Jakpost guide to alternative destinations for the Idul Fitri holidays

Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /  Sat, May 19, 2018  /  10:10 am

Daytime view of the shore of Tanjung Aan, Central Lombok. (Shutterstock/File)

The government recently issued a Joint Ministerial Decree (SKB) to extend the collective Idul Fitri holiday to 10 days from June 11 to 20, allowing employees to spend more time with their loved ones or explore new places.

Prior to booking your airline tickets, let us give you some brief information about some popular destinations for the upcoming holiday.  

According to data shared by online booking platform Agoda, most of its local users have booked accommodation in four destinations, namely Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta and Bandung in West Java, for a period of stay between June 10 to 23.  

However, the company shared some other local destinations in the top ten, as well as popular accommodation. 

Malang, East Java

Based on Agoda's data, Malang was ranked fifth on the list. It's not a surprise though, as Malang is one of the rare family-friendly cities in the archipelago.

Here, those traveling with children can visit Batu, a small city that hosts various attractions, such as Museum Angkut (Transportation Museum), Batu Secret Zoo and amusement park Batu Night Spectacular.

Where to stay

Travelers who want to enjoy fresh cool mountain air may want to make a reservation at Golden Tulip Holland Resort. Located in Batu, the accommodation is equipped with a spa, swimming pools, kids' playground and gym, making it an ideal hotel for families.

Meanwhile, those who prefer to stay in the city center can book a room at Harris Hotel & Conventions Malang.

What to do

Tridi village in Malang, East Java (Kompas/Kristianto Purnomo)

Warna-Warni and Tridi kampongs in Blimbing district are a must-visit destination for avid Instagram users. Featuring rainbow-colored houses, the villages have plenty of attractive selfie spots.

Furthermore, it is also recommended to visit Batu. Located 20-kilometer away from Malang, parents can bring their children to visit Museum Angkut and Batu Secret Zoo.

The former showcases myriad vintage vehicles. Meanwhile, Batu Secret Zoo is home to a total of 295 species, including Javan leopards, pygmy hippos, Sumatran elephants and orangutans.

What to eat

It would be a sin to visit Malang without sampling the city’s signature dish bakso Malang. Comprising meatballs, fried meatballs and fried wonton, foodies can find this local staple at Bakso President on Jl. Batanghari No.5.  However, those who want to try the grilled version may drop by Bakso Bakar Pak Man on Jl. Diponegoro No. 19.

Furthermore, Depot Hok Lay on Jl. KH Ahmad Dahlan is among the must-visit eateries in Malang. Founded in 1946 by Tio Hoo Poo, the place serves cwie mie Malang (chicken noodles) and fosco (a beverage containing milk and chocolate). The latter is considerably iconic as it is served using an old Coca Cola bottle.

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Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara

Lombok is a popular destination for those seeking beautiful beaches. Here, travelers can explore clean beaches, such as Tanjung Aan, Pink Beach and Gili Trawangan.

Where to stay

According to Agoda, the two most popular accommodations in Lombok are Holiday Resort Lombok and Kebun Villas & Resort. Both located on Jl. Senggigi, the main tourist strip in Lombok.  

What to do

Those who want to do some snorkeling or surfing can visit Tanjung Aan, located on the southern part of the island.

Meanwhile, those seeking a quiet island life can schedule a visit to Gili Trawangan. Here, cars and motorcycles are not allowed, allowing you to get fresher air.

Alternatively, travelers can also learn about the Sasak tribe at Sasak Sade village.

What to eat

Lombok is known for ayam Taliwang, grilled chicken served with sambal. The dish is suitable for those who love spicy food.

Furthermore, sate rembiga is among the must-try dishes in Lombok. Served without peanut sauce, the beef satay offers a combination of sweet and spicy flavors.

Semarang, Central Java

Semarang is among the top ten destinations for the upcoming Idul Fitri Holiday.

Last year, a toll road connecting Jakarta and Semarang in Central Java was opened, making it easier for travelers to reach the city. Furthermore, the city is also home to many historical places, making it a must-visit place for history buffs.

Where to stay

Nestled in the heart of the city, Simpang Lima is a huge roundabout surrounded by food centers, shopping complexes and hotels, such as Amaris Hotel Simpang Lima, Hotel Santika Premiere Semarang, Louis Kienne Hotel Simpang Lima and Hotel Ciputra Semarang.

According to Agoda, Louis Kienne Hotel Simpang Lima is currently the most-booked hotel in Semarang.

What to do:

History buffs may want to visit Lawang Sewu (A Thousand Doors) and Sam Poo Kong temple.

The former is a landmark of Semarang. Built by the Dutch between 1904 and 1907, the building was once a railway company’s headquarters. Many believe that the building is haunted, but it does not stop tourists from visiting.

Sam Poo Kong is Semarang’s oldest Chinese temple. (Shutterstock/File)

Meanwhile, Sam Poo Kong temple is a witness to the history of the Semarang Chinese Indonesian community. The temple’s foundations were were built by Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho in 1405 after he arrived in Semarang. Here, visitors can check out the klenteng (Chinese temple) and see details of Cheng Ho's journey on a relief on the rear wall.

What to eat

Loenpia (spring roll with bamboo sprouts, fried egg and prawn filling) is said to be Semarang’s most iconic local food. Visitors to Semarang will see numerous loenpia sellers across the city. However, foodies may want to try loenpia on Jalan Gang Lombok No. 11. Founded around 100 years ago, the small shop is always crowded with guests, a testament to its popularity.

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Surakarta, Central Java

Surakarta, the birthplace of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, is recognized for its traditional cuisine, arts and culture, as well as batik.

Also known as Solo, the small city is well-maintained and clean, making it convenient for travelers.

Where to stay

Alila Solo is a luxurious accommodation located in Surakarta. Offering 255 rooms and suites, the hotel also features Agra rooftop bar, the highest entertainment venue in Central Java.

What to do

First-time visitors to Surakarta need to schedule a visit to Kraton Surakarta (Surakarta Palace). The historical building was designed with the help of Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, who was also one of the designers behind the Yogyakarta Palace. Here visitors can learn the history of the sultanate at the museum.

For batik shopping, travelers can head down to Kampoeng Batik Kauman (Kauman Batik Village). Located a stone’s throw away from Kasunan Surakarta Palace, Kampoeng Batik Kauman is a popular shopping destination for both local and foreign visitors as it offers the area’s signature dark color batik.

What to eat

Wedangan, hanging out at a warung hik (local coffee stalls) while enjoying wedang (a drink), is a way of life for most Surakarta residents. Usually, the residents sip hot beverages, such as tea, coffee or ginger tea, while savoring local snacks such as jadah (sticky rice) and nasi kucing (a small rice portion wrapped in banana leaves).

Waroeng Kroepoek, a modern-style wedangan place in Solo (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)

Wedangan is still very popular in Surakarta, even though the younger generation has established modernized outlets, such as Cafe Tiga Tjeret (Three Kettles Cafe), Waroeng Kroepoek and Wedangan Cangkir Blirik.

Surabaya, East Java

The recent bombing attacks at three churches in Surabaya have left many brokenhearted, but it should not make us afraid to visit the city.

There are plenty of interesting places in the City of Heroes, including Tugu Pahlawan (Heroes Monument), Monumen Kapal Selam (Submarine Monument) and House of Sampoerna.

Where to stay

Agoda shared that Vasa Hotel Surabaya is currently the most-booked accommodation in Surabaya. The five-star hotel is located near to the city’s landmarks, shopping complexes and restaurants, making it easy to reach for first-time visitors.

What to do

Check the city’s landmark Tugu Pahlawan. The monument is dedicated to soldiers who died in the Battle of Surabaya on Nov. 10, 1945.

Furthermore, Monumen Kapal Selam is also a must-visit landmark, as it was a witness to the 1952 liberation of West Irian from the Dutch. The monument is the original KRI Pasopati 410 submarine and opened for the public in 1998. Here, visitors can learn about maritime matters.

House of Sampoerna is also an interesting place to visit. Here, visitors can learn the history of PT HM Sampoerna Tbk. and see how the company's signature kretek (clove cigarettes) are made by hand.

What to eat

Rawon and rujak cingur are the two Surabaya’s most iconic dishes. These two dishes use beef as one of the ingredients. However, the former is a beef soup cooked in keluak (black nuts), resulting in a nutty flavor and dark soup color. Meanwhile, rujak cingur is a vegetable salad with slices of cow’s snout. It is one of the Indonesia's most unique dishes. (kes)


Editor's note:

Paragraph four in this article has been corrected.