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Jakarta Post

A journey north to Java's best kept secret

  • Will Wiriawan

    Contributor

Cirebon   /   Fri, May 1 2009   /  02:51 pm

In the wee early dawn hours, rare scenes of serenity reveal themselves along the outskirts of Jakarta's horizon. After weeks of working weekends, months since my last visit, I was finally on my way to the West Java city of Cirebon. The timing was perfect, the short drive to Jakarta's Gambir station was an exciting prelude. A major port city opened in the 1860s during the Dutch colonial era, Cirebon was a key distribution point along the northern coastal line of Java. With a population of over 230,000 and as a major contributor to the province's domestic production, Cirebon is the natural hub of West Java, just as Surabaya is to the East and Semarang is to the Center. Today, about eight trains depart for Cirebon daily from Gambir not including other trains heading to Semarang or Surabaya which go via Cirebon. This little gem is undoubtedly one of the most frequented c...