What’s a better way to travel than having a local good friend showing you around their town. Three years of friendship in Kyoto, now it’s our turn to see Wen’s country, Indonesia. Wen studies arts in Solo. It’s surreal to see him here. It seems like we get to know our friend on a deeper level. Like an onion’s first layer being peeled off. At the same time, he leads us deeper down to the local’s life, penetrating the superficial tourist layer.
Wen introduces us to his friends, who are all from Japan and studying batik and Indonesian arts here. Batik is a traditional textile of Indonesia, made by applying wax and dye to create complex multicolored designs. Solo is a great place to study batik. In the city center around Museum Keraton, many households used to produce batik for a living. Nowadays, even though the art form of batik is losing its popularity, this neighborhood is still vibrant and charming.
Solo is an Islamic city, alcohols are generally not sold in supermarkets. But Wen’s guesthouse owner knows where to get them. Every evening, we would hangout, have some traditional food, then come back to the small rooftop pavilion at Wen’s place and have a couple of drinks. The evening breezes were comfortable. The prayers from a nearby mosque were loud, emphasizing the importance of Ramadan.
The last day before we left Solo, we took a motorbike trip up to Cetho Temple in the mountains. If you have a chance to visit Solo, don’t miss this place. It took us an hour and a half through some bumpy roads and very steep slopes to get up there. But the terraces of tea plantations and mountains under the sunlight were absolutely breathtaking. The Balinese-Hindu temple was sacredly high up in the clouds. The beauty of Indonesia has revealed completely in front of our eyes!
We are coming to the end of our trip in Indonesia! Love the magic of nature, looking forward to explore another country soon!