Cirebon is a favourite one day trip from Jakarta for the locals and tourists alike. If you think you need an escape plan from the capital city while you don’t want to take your annual leave, then going to Cirebon would be a great choice.
Cirebon is easily accessible from Jakarta and is located on the border between West and Central Java. It is no wonder that this place is rich with cultures from both sides hence making it an interesting place to visit culture wise.
Things to Do in Cirebon
Visit Keraton Kasepuhan Palace
Keraton Palaces are usually on the list to visit whenever one is in the cities of Java. One famous one is the Kraton Palace in Yogyakarta. Cirebon has its own too, which was built in 1446. This palace stands as a testament to Islamic history in Cirebon. When you enter this palace, take a look closer at their wood carvings and their ornaments. Here you can learn how East and West cultures meet in harmony.
Starting from 1988, the palace left two buildings are turned into museums. Here you can find relics not only from the archipelago but also from the Portuguese, China, Dutch, and Japanese.
Find peace and quiet in Gua Sunyaragi
Another historical place worth to visit is Gua Sunyaragi (Sunyaragi Cave). Built in 1703, this place is not a literal cave. If Yogyakarta has Taman Sari as a bathing complex for the royal families to relax, then Cirebon has this Gua Sunyaragi for the same
Sunyaragi is derived from a word of “Sunyi” which means quiet or silent and “Raga” means body. Sultans also come to this place often to have meditation surrounded by the sound of the waterfall. Unlike other common temple made of stones like Andesite and bricks, Gua Sunyaragi is made from coral stones resembling a temple.
Shop for Batik Cirebon at Trusmi
Don’t leave Cirebon without carrying batik from this city. Trusmi village is where most of its resident live to make batik. It is located about 4 km west of the city center. There are workshops dating back to the 14th century here at the many small alleys. Trusmi village has been a central of batik business since a long time ago. They produce and sell them here at the same time. There are many products beautifully decorated with Batik Cirebon that you can choose from here, such as clothes, sandal, bag, wallet, and accessories.
Where to Stay in Cirebon
If you are here for more than just one day trip, there are many choices of place to stay here in Cirebon, ranging from luxury to budget. Recommended hotel is the Aston Cirebon Hotel & Convention Center *, a four stars hotel with a contemporary design. It has more than 200 rooms which are divided into different types. The facilities are also great with an outdoor pool, jogging and bicycle pump track, mini golf, mini zoo, and spa for pampering yourself.
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What To Eat in Cirebon
Empal Gentong is the most famous food here in Cirebon. Diced beef meat are mixed with other parts such as intestine, lung, and tripe. Then it will be poured with curry-like beef soup. Empal Gentong literally means beef in gentong (clay pot). This dish is cooked using a traditional method cooking the beef in a clay pot over firewood from the mango tree.
You can find Nasi Jamblang almost everywhere on the roadsides in Cirebon. Nasi Jamblang is rice which you can mix and match with various side dishes such as fried Tempe, salted fish, various Pepes, fried chicken, black squid stir-fry, sautéed shrimp, satay, egg stew, tongue cooked with curry, and fried lung.
The most important part of Nasi Jamblang is its rice wrapped by teak leaf. Teak leaf brings the aroma into the rice and also keep it from going stale easily.
How to get to Cirebon from Jakarta
There are some choices you can take to go to Cirebon. First, you can take bus departing from several terminals in Jakarta. The fare is between IDR 50,000- IDR 200,000 it depends on the class you choose.
The train travel from Jakarta offers you a comfortable journey to Cirebon. The train price is only a little higher than the bus fare, making it a much more attractive option, especially that it is such a scenic ride. The economy train starts from IDR 80,000 while executive class (Cirebon Ekspres or Tegal Bahari) starts from IDR 120,000.
Be aware though that you might have to pay more if you choose certain train whose last station is not Cirebon like Argo Dwipangga, Argo Lawu, Argo Muria, Argo Jati, Purwojaya, Taksaka, Gajayana, and Bima. Those trains can take you to Cirebon with higher fare where sometimes you have to pay more than IDR 300,000!
A one day trip to Cirebon is quite enough to refresh and rejuvenate. Prep yourself for the week ahead by taking the train back to Jakarta, enjoying the pleasant view of rice paddies along the way.