Indonesia travel information Solo shopping. Although Bali also offers plenty of Batik souvenirs, in many hotel shops and cheap markets, the cradle of it is in Central Java Solo and Jogjakarta. This art form is a fascinating topic to discuss, but there is much more you can learn and take home from Solo.
Central Java is the cradle of the Indonesian Batik. It is a wax resist dyeing technique to pattern and color pieces of white cotton, today also silk. The patterns used to identify the persons social status. Even today colors and outlines that are reserved for the king and his family may not be worn by commoners when visiting the Keratons (Royal Residences for example Surakarta, Jogjakarta,Cirebon)
Today Indonesian Batik is declared and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO
Batik today is made in different ways. Commercial factories use stamps to print the pattern and artificial colors. Small workshops still tulis or paint pattern by hand to create unique and also modern patterns and pieces. Collectors, and there are many, value a piece for their uniqueness, or the story and history of the pattern or color and the quality of the craftsmanship.
We visited the incredibly interesting and vast Danar Hadi Batik Museum and boutique. They also sell high quality fashion in their shops scattered all over Indonesia.
Buy affordable daily wear at the Pasar Pusat Grosir Solo, right in the center; a multi story building with many different stalls offering plenty of choices.
We also visited a small museum/batik boutique: Go Tik Swan run by the family Hardjonagoro. They offer fine batik designs, that are unique, artistic, modern and quite valuable.
When in Solo and you love to visit Flee or Antique Markets; welcome to Triwindu Antique Market. Find old coins, irons, sewing machines, weapons, clocks, masks and much more.
A typical souvenir to bring back for family members, neighbors and co-workers are cakes, chips, and from Central Java Jamu. Drinking Jamu has been a long tradition in these parts. The court ladies started it all with beauty and health treatments for themselves and their men. Today in super markets you can buy sachets full of powder to be mixed with water to give you the health boost you are looking for. Sadly many of these products contain artificial components.
In Solo in souvenir shops we found a new kind of Jamu; all natural. These sachets are transparent; you can see the cinnamon, bay leaves, ginger, cloves or other natural ingredients that give you a spicy tea to relieve travel ills like masuk angin (bad air), kecapean (tiredness) or the onset of a cold. Kathy and I used these teas to keep us going throughout the trip.
We stayed at the beautiful and very Javanese The Royal Surakarta Heritage by Sofitel a must see.
Aziza Hotel by Horizon, an Islamic Boutique Hotel catering to Moslems who are looking for a Halal stay. This hotel has a beautiful prayer hall fit for kings and queens and is reasonably priced.
There are also different themed hotels in Bali, here a surfer hotel not at the beach: Bliss Surfer Hotel Legian.
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