BERKAIN WHILE TRAVELING, WHY NOT?

SURAKARTA EDITION

I had a trip to Surakarta a view days ago with my best friend. That short getaway is too picturesque to not be exposed. I gather several questions from my fellows on instagram regarding my Surakarta trip and will summarize it into several points. So, here it is the unwrap story of my one day Surakarta trip.

Unique Place in Surakarta

  • Choose Gatot Subroto street as the first stop

When I arrived at Solo Balapan station, I took a walk heading to Gatot Subroto street. My best friend saw some reccommendation on social media that the street is nice for photography. But in the middle of the way, we could not take it anymore. The weather was freaking hot and we were out of water. We decided to take online transportation. We had chit chat with the driver and he said that Gatot Subroto street is the best place to start strolling, because it is at the midpoint, where it isn’t far from tourism sites and shopping centers. And, it is also the best place to see a lot of murals by local artists painted on the ancient building’s folding gates. I guess the best idea of spending time in Surakarta is by walking.

  • Cafe Hippusuta and Home Decor

Surakarta has a hidden gem in the back alley of big shopping center, Hartono mall Solo. The place called Hippusuta Cafe and Home Decor with Japanese bohemian style. I think this place is the most homey cafe I have ever visited. This cafe is pretty small. The owner full it with green plants and brown rustic displays both on indoor and outdoor area. Some displays are on sale, some of it is the cafe’s decoration. The place is just too beautiful with unique menus. I recommend you with the non coffee signatures, like Osmanthus Sparkler and Frosted Coconut Lemonade. Trust me, those menu are fresher than any of water springs. You can order Cannelé, a mini caramelized crust cake originated from France, to accompany your refreshment.

  • Keraton Surakarta residence

As we all know Surakarta has keraton which open to the public, just like in Yogyakarta. It is a mandatory to visit keraton and get to know more about Kasunanan Surakarta’s history. Yet, you also need to stroll around outside the palace. There are plenty classic spots to take photos or just walk enjoying the historical vibe.

  • Food in Surakarta

Unfortunately, I didn’t do culinary. But I had a conversation with the local people about food. He mentioned that Surakarta food has similarity with Yogyakarta, but the taste says different. The spices/seasonings from those 2 cities have their respective identities. For example, gudeg Jogja that has more sweeten while Surakarta is more sour, tahu tupat for Surakarta and tupat tahu for Yogyakarta with different spices from both cities. Though, Surakarta is titled as kota Liwet, since they have culinary called nasi liwet as one of the most popular food there. The other famous food is selat solo, and sate kambing H. Kasdi in front of Solo Balapan station.

Transportation in Surakarta

Surakarta has various public transportation. Namely, Batik Solo Trans bus, angkot/kol, pedicab, and online transportation. The most affordable one is by Batik Solo Trans bus or angkot/kol, but you need more reserach about the direction of each number of the bus. If you intend to use bus, it is important to have detail itinerary so then you will not get confuse what bus you should take and where destination you want to visit. In my trip, I used online transportation, mostly used Grab since it is cheaper than any other brands. However, I recommend you keep walking since it is the best way to stroll around Surakarta city, especially around the Kasunanan Surakarta residence.

Berkain when traveling, How is it going?

On this trip, my best friend and I intended to feel the experience of berkain. Yup, it is some kind of youth movement to preserve Indonesian traditional fabric that is now becomes a fashion staple. There is no rule to use the frabic. The youth usually mix and match it casually with many style. Though this isn’t popular in old generation, so then we found out many eyes staring at us when we passed by the streets. I never walked in a long runaway but at that moment, I clearly feel how Karli Kloss walk in Fashion Week. Anyways, using traditional fabric for trip feels super cool in a whole different level. You bring values to your fashion pridefully. One tip from me, be considerate with the mix and match, because some of traditional fabrics has significant symbols that we cannot use carelessly. Also, be smart in choosing style to make yourself move freely during the trip.

Stay safe during trip

One thing that is so disturbing, catcallers are on every corner. And we feel pissed off. There is no way we can do except be silent or shout it back. I honestly cannot talk much about it since I still learning to respond that kind of behavior.

In this pandemic, trip is more challenging. Remind yourself every time to not touch anything in public if it isn’t necessary. Also, always use medical mask whenever it is especially in public transportation. Lastly, spray your hands with hand sanitizer regularly.

Trip Budgeting

  • KRL Rp 8.000 (buy emoney in station for Rp 30.000 include saldo Rp 10.000)
  • Grab car (cheaper than Gocar) range Rp 19.000–30.000 for more less 3–7 km
  • street food Rp 5.000–15.000
  • Price range in cafe Hippusuta Rp 18.000–30.000

The most memorable one

The most memorable thing in my Surakarta trip is when I took a walk at Gatot Subroto street. One day I ever heard someone said, the more we slow down, the more details we can see clearly. And when I walked along Gatot Subroto street, I saw a lot of painting details made by local artists, which something that I couldn’t see when I took car. I look deeper to those painting. I saw a painting like a picture of a man dressed in traditional kebaya complete with his bun, a dutchman make batik pattern on a fabric, an iconic image of Ibu Susi Pudjiastuti with her words “tenggelamkan!” which was drawn together with the character Jack Sparrow and his ship in the film Pirates of The Caribbean, and many other artsy paintings. In addition, seeing the old buildings heritage from colonial era brought me to the old movies scene.

Overall, this trip is amazing. That wasn’t my first time traveling to Surakarta, but I choose different experience by using kain as my traveling outfit. I hope that this trend will last longer. I humbly support the movement, now it’s your turn!

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