Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Taken From Wikipedia

Cirebon (formerly referred to as Cheribon in English) is a city on the north coast of theIndonesian island of Java. It is located in the province of West Java, approximately 297 km east of Jakarta, at 6°43′S 108°34′E.


Its name is often said to be derived from the Sundanese words of "Cai" (water or river) and "Rebon" ("shrimp"). (Indeed the main production of the city is fishery including shrimps.) The alternative Javanese derivation is from "Caruban", meaning "mixture"--a reference to Cirebon's complex mix of Javanese, Malay, Sundanese, Chinese and Arabic cultural elements. While Indonesians from outside Cirebon pronounce the name CHEE-ray-bone, locals say Cher-BONE.
Aside from fishery, its harbour, Tanjung Emas, on the Java Sea has been a major hub fortimber from Borneo. A small landing site "Penggung" also serves the TNI-AU. The city lies on Jalur Pantura (Pantai Utara Jawa), a major road on the northern coast of Java that stretches from Anyer, passes through Jakarta, and ends at Surabaya.


Cirebon was part of the Sunda kingdom as stated in the travel records of Prince Bujangga Manik, a Sundanese Hindu monk who visited all the holy Hindu sites in the islands of Java and Bali at the beginning of the 16th century AD. In his lontar manuscripts, which have been saved in theBodleian Library of Oxford University in England since the 16th century, the borders of the Sunda kingdom in the west are the Sunda Straits and in the east are the Pamali River (present day Brebes River) and the Serayu River in Central Java Province.[1]
Another source proclaiming the fact is a report from Tomé Pires, a European explorer. He reported a Sundanese port of "Cimano". Manuk is a river passing through Cirebon area, though not flowing directly through the city. In fact, Manuk River (Ci Manuk) flows through Indramayu.
A major event in Cirebon's colonial history was the massive famine of 1844, apparently triggered by a combination of drought and the shift from subsistence agriculture to cash crops, particularly indigo and sugarcane, that had begun as a result of Dutch colonial policy (seeCultivation System) in the 1830s.[citation needed]

Demographics and c Culture

The city's population is 295,764 as of the Indonesia Census 2010 count.[2] As with other coastal cities in Indonesia, a large population of ethnic Chinese has flocked into the city as a result of long-term Chinese immigration since the seventeenth century.
Cirebon itself is known as Grage in the Cirebon dialect of Javanese language, which came from the words "Negara Gede", meaning "Great Kingdom."
Although surrounded by Sundanese-speaking areas in West Java, linguists have stated clearly that Cirebon (and the historically related region of Serang city in Banten Province) are Javanese language areas. In addition, this is supported by the Cirebon people referring to themselves as "wong Jawa" ("Javanese people"), and to their language as "basa Jawa" ("Javanese"). However, the Cirebon dialect is sufficiently different from the dominant south central Javanese dialect that it is sometimes assumed to be non-Javanese by outsiders. See also: Java, languages map.
As a coastal city, Cirebon's main industry is fishery. Its products include terasi (shrimp paste), shrimp crackers and salted fish. Cirebon is known for local foods, such as nasi lengko (rice mixed with bean sprouts, fried tofu and fermented soybean cake), nasi jamblang (rice of various side dishes), empal gentong ( a kind of curry ), tahu gejrot (fried tofu with red sugar topping), tahu tek-tek (fried tofu topped withpeanut sauce and mixed with vegetables) and ayam panggang (barbecue chicken). Another native food is "Docang" (rice cake with sour vegetable soup).

Monday, 25 October 2010

Hotels in Cirebon

Hotels in Cirebon
Here is some information about hotels in Cirebon. Listed are the prices and address. I haven’t checked out all the hotels yet will add as I find more info.

Sejahtra Guest House,
Jl. Suratno No 18,
Tlp 0231 20721
Standard room all hot water and AC. rp. 175,000
This is a small guest house with only 12 rooms. Opening in 2010 the rooms are equipped with AC hot water, TV and serve a nice traditional breakfast. One of the best if your not looking for big hotel facilities.

Hotel Aurora Baru,
Jl. Siliwangi No 62
Tlp; 0231 233143/233145
Standard Room rp 180,000
VIP Room rp 200,000
Family Room rp 230,000
This hotel is very close to the main train station in Cirebon, all rooms have A.C. and hot water. Breakfast included.

Hotel Aurora
Jl. R.A. Kartini No 27
Tlp; 0231 204541/206338
Standard Room rp 140,000
VIP upstairs room rp 145,000
VIP Room rp 170,000
Family Room rp 190,000
Extra Family Room rp 210,000
All rooms have A.C. and hot water. Breakfast Included.

Wisma Bahtera
Jl. Cangkring I No 5 – 7 (off Jl. Kartini)
Tlp; 0231 231920
Standard Room A rp 150,000
Standard Room B rp 175,000
Family Room rp 200,000
Deluxe Room rp 250,000
Standard Rooms have A.C. but no hot water. Breakfast included.

Bentani Hotel

Jl. Siliwangi No  69
Tlp; 0231 203246
Standard Room rp. 452,238
Superior Room rp. 517,124
Junior Suite rp. 607,571
Suite rp. 774,703
Executive Suite rp. 1,049,978
Presidential Suite rp. 1,478,620
Extra Bed rp. 128,500

These rooms all have A.C. and hot water. Includes  breakfast. There are 3 restaurants, a pub, swimming pool and gym. These prices are with discount. This is the most popular hotel catering to foreigners in Cirebon.

Hotel Cordova
Jl. Siliwangi No 87 – 89
Room Rates valid until Dec 2010
Suite Room rp 250,000
Special Deluxe Room rp 180,000
Deluxe Room rp 170,000
Superior Room rp 160,000
Until Dec 2010 the above rooms will get 30% discount off the above prices. All with A.C.
Standard Room rp 75,000/65,000
Economy Room rp 55,000
Until Dec 2010 these rooms will get 20% discount off the above prices. Fan only.

Hotel Langensari

Jl. Siliwangi No127
Tlp. 0231 201818
Medium Room rp. 300,000
Superior Room rp. 400,000
Deluxe Room rp. 600,000
All rooms have A.C. and hot water. Includes breakfast.

Hotel Mega        
Jl. Kusnan No 101
Tlp; 0231 209332
Deluxe Room Rp. 203,300
Standard Room Rp. 187,700
This is quite a new hotel. Rooms have A.C. Deluxe Rooms have a fridge. Includes breakfast.

Hotel Sare Sae
Jl. Siliwangi No 70
Tlp. 0231 209489
Deluxe Room Rp. 300,000
Superior Room Rp. 250,000
All rooms have A.C. and hot water. Includes breakfast.

Hotel Sidodadi
Jl. Siliwangi No. 72
Tlp. 0231 202305
Deluxe Rp. 480,000
Superior Rp. 380,000
Moderate Rp. 240,000
All rooms have A.C. and hot water. Breakfast included.

Hotel Asia
Jl. Kalibaru
Tlp. N/A
Fan Room Share Bathroom rp. 40,000
Fan Room Bathroom inside rp. 60,000
A.C. Room rp. 100,000
This has been a popular hotel for backpackers over the years. Old colonial building. Basic but cheap. Includes breakfast.

Hotel Tri Jaya
Jl. Aria Banga No. 9
Tlp. 0231 2525225
Standard Rp. 125,000
Deluxe Rp. 150,000
Another new hotel. All rooms have A.C. hot water and wifi.

NB: All prices correct at the time of posting (October 2010)

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Subang Hot Springs, Kuningan, near Waduk Darma

Here in a small village right in the heart of Java there is a small river with some natural hot springs. From the village it takes about 20 to 30 mins walk through some nice padi fields. When you get to the river there is a 3 tier waterfall falling around some massive boulders with a couple of cool pools to jump into. As the river goes down it becomes shallow with small streams of hot water coming through cracks in the rocks. This is a lovely spot to chill out for an hour or 2. The road to reach this place is really beautiful. At some points there are drops on either side of the road but the it is a pretty good road until Subang. If you go further than here then the road becomes really difficult in a small car, you will need a motorbike or a car with a high clearance. I have yet to explore further down this route but have heard from locals there are more hot spring and waterfalls.

|Google map link;

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Tespong Lake (Telaga Tespong), Cibujangga Spring (mata air Cibujangga) and Fish Therapy.

        Within a few hundred metres on the same road you can find all 3 of these places.
Tespong Lake
        This is a pleasant untouched lake right off the beaten track. There are 2 small waterfalls and the lake is surrounded by forest on 3 sides. To get there you will have to walk down from Padaherang Village. It's a nice walk about 20 mins through stepped padi fields and forest. Quite steep but not difficult.There is a plan to build a path from the main road in this coming year.

Link googlemap; http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Jalan+Siliwangi&daddr=Tespong+Lake+%40-6.8015222347005055,108.40545773506165&hl=en&geocode=Fd6zmf8dQXJ4Bg%3BFY43mP8d0iJ2Bg&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=0&sz=14&sll=-6.710641,108.545866&sspn=0.031114,0.055189&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=14
Cibujangga Spring
           This is a nice place to stop and have a coffee, just relax a bit or even jump in the spring water. This is only a small spring which flows along in a small river for about 25metres before going down the mountain. The water is crystal clear and cool. So very refreshing if you have just had a hike or it's a hot day. There is a small warung (food/drink stall) here and the young guys that run it are very friendly and ever so happy to see a foreigner stop here. Actually, I'm the only foreigner who has ever stopped here. Good little place to relax for a while and practice your Bahasa.

Link to googlemaps: 

Fish Therapy 
          Today, about 30 metres before Cibujangga a swimming pool opened. Here they have the fish which eat dead skin. They call it fish therapy, it's good for excma and other skin disorders. I will post more info when I have it.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Sangiang Lake (Telaga Sangiang)

         This is another natural mountain spring lake up on the slopes of Ciremai mountain. The lake is about 1000m above sea level so often surrounded in cloud by the afternoon. Surrounding the lake on 3 sides is some nice tropical forest. If you visit on a quiet day you can hear the animals across the lake. There is a nice path through the forest to circumnavigate the lake. It will probably take 1 n half hours.
         In the lake are thousands of cat fish, goldfish and nila fish. When you arrive you will be approached by loads of old women trying to sell you bread or cakes to feed the fish. It's worth spending a dollar or two to feed them. You can wade in the water an feed them by hand. The cat fish are massive up to about a metre long with big gaping mouths. The goldfish too are pretty big as are the nila fish. They say your not allowed to swim but I will question that next time as I think it could be fun to have a snorkel with the fish.
        There is a myth about the lake. Hundreds of years ago 2 sultans from nearby Panjalu and Sumedang were at war. One of the armies went missing. The local myth is that they went into the lake a became the cat fish that are found there. Whatever to believe, the fact is it stops the locals from eating them so the lake is full of fish. There is also a grave of one of the sultans at the site. This is revered as a sacred Islamic site so be aware and be respectful if you visit.
         The location of this lake is high up on the South slopes of Ciremai Mountain.It is about 2 hour journey from Cirebon or an hour or so from Kuningan. Note; the final approach is probably best done on a motorbike or 4-wheel drive. There is some renovations going on as this was posted but the road hasn't been started yet. Apart from that there are some amazing views and you will probably be stopping to take pics every hundred metre or so. On a clear day you can see the volcanoes between Cirebon and Jakarta.
         The directions to this place would take ages to explain. I am trying to iron out some issues with my google map now. I will post the link as soon as I have sorted the problem.

Try this temporary link;

Friday, 3 September 2010

Gua Sunyaragi (Sunyaragi Cave)

Even though this place is called Sunyaragi Cave, it isn't really a cave. This is a man made building but it has a very unique construction. It was built in 1703 by one of the sultans of Cirebon as a water palace to relax with his harem. The locals say it is built from coral but I've yet to find out if that's true. In the 1800's the place was renovated by a Chinese architect and they say he was killed after so as not to reveal the secrets of the palace. Anyway, there are many stories surrounding this unusual building which I will translate and research some more. If your in Cirebon it's definitely worth taking an hour or so to look around this maze of man made madness.
This is located on the ring-road (by-pass). Easily reached by pedicab from the town centre. By car head North on the by-pass and you will see the building on you left before a set of traffic lights. Turn left at the lights and the car park is on the left as soon as you turn.

Google map link;


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Indonesian Language/ Bahasa Indonesia

New In Indonesia?

Here are some basics in Indonesian to help you get by.

Apa kabar? = How are you?

Siapa nama kamu? = What’s your name?

Mau ke mana? = Where are you going?

Saya mau ke ________. = I want to go to __________.

Berapa ini/itu? = How much is this/that?

Saya mau ini/itu. = I want this/that.

Jam berapa? = What time? What time is it?

Permisi kamu bisa bantu saya? = Excuse me, can you help me?

Pak = Sir- use for older men

Ibu = Mother - use for older women.

Mas = Bro- use for younger men.

Neng = Sis – use for younger women































Dua puluh

Tiga puluh

Empat puluh

Lima puluh

Enam puluh

Tujuh puluh

Delapan puluh

Sembilan puluh


Dua ratus

Hundred = ratus

Thousand = ribu (1000 = seribu)

Million = juta

Example; 1250 = seribu dua ratus lima puluh

1,400,000 = satu juta empat ratus ribu

932 = Sembilan ratus tiga puluh dua

Indonesian people are very talkative and interested in why you are here and what you are doing. Instead of getting uptight or angry it’s better you enjoy it. Joking is okay. For example the question you will always get asked is, “Mau ke mana?” “Where are you going?” They don’t really expect a detailed answer it’s just a way to talk. Have fun, answer what you want. Tell them you’re going to the moon or looking for a girl. Saya mau ke bulan. Saya cari cewek. You will get a laugh and make Indonesians impression of foreigners better than those who get angry and tell them to f%£*& off. Believe me I know sometimes it can be annoying but better to learn nice replies it will make travelling much more pleasant in Indo.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Night-life in Cirebon

Cirebon is hardly known as a party place. There are few places to get alcoholic beverages. Listed here are a few.

Bentani Hotel, Grizzly's Pub and Resto, Jl. Silawangi.
This is the most popular bar in town for expats. It's a hotel bar so not too cheap but good food, drinks and service. Live music at 10pm Mon-Sat. Opens at 5pm til late. Most nights you will find a few foreigners after 8pm. Nice friendly place.

Mithas Nightclub, Hotel Apita, Jl. Tuparev.
This is the only real nightclub in Cirebon. Live music and/or DJ's most nights. Prices normal for nightclub in Indo. Not really lively until 11pm. Plenty of girls if that's on your agenda. Not bad place, people friendly though service is crap. Sometimes foreigners hang out here.

Rain karaoke and Lounge, CSB, Jl. Cipto.
A pretty upmarket karaoke bar. This place is new to Cirebon and is busy most nights. There is a bar and you can also rent karaoke rooms. Lots of girls. Good service (the bar not the girls).

Santika Hotel Bar, Jl. Wahidin.
Overpriced and seldom has any customers. Nuff said.

Prima Hotel Bar, Jl. Silawangi.
Nice cosy bar. Cheap for a hotel. Not many customers but nice for a quiet drink.

Rumah Makan Elok Gunung Sari. Jl. Wahidin, (behind hotel Tryas)
This is actually a restaurant/cafe selling local food. There is a small karaoke bar and rooms. Cold beer and reasonable prices. Good food if you want to try some local fare.

Lido Bowling Centre, Jl. Cipto, (opposite Carrefour)
This is a bowling alley, karaoke and pool hall in one. Cold beer and cheapest in town. There are a few expats that hang out in the pool hall. (can plug you mobile or i-pod into the amp so good music).

Spot Billiard, Jl. Pulasaren.
A large pool hall with about 20 tables. Cold beer. Cheap prices.

Teh Poci, near the Kesepuhan palace.
There are a row of cafes here. Open 24 hours and selling cold beer. Sleazy but friendly people.

Anywhere i've missed out??? Let me know.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Cirebon Getting there and away.

Transport from Jakarta; buses are available but unless you have no money and are into long wasted journeys I wouldn't recommend wasting your time and energy using buses. If your on a tight budget you can always use the economy train. I don't have the schedule but you can assume economy trains are almost always late.
The business class and executive class are pretty reliable, in 4 years i have rarely known them to be other than fashionably late. There are 2 trains, Argo Jati is the better one but only runs twice a day each way. It's all executive. The other train is the Cirebon Express (Cirex). This is mixed business and executive classes.
The times were correct when posted on this blog (Times updated 22/02.12)

Argo Jati; (all executive)

From Gambir (Jakarta): 09.00 and 17.10
From Cirebon : 05.45 and 14.00

Cirebon Express; (executive and business class)

From Gambir (Jakarta) : 06.05, 09.45, 11.00, 13.20 and 18.15 (Fri, Sat & Sun 20.10)
From Cirebon Station: 06.15, 07.45, 10.00, 15.15 and 18.15

Executive = has air conditioning, reclining seats.
Business = no air conditioning, basic but okay seat.

To other cities such as Bandung, Yogjakarta and Semarang there are buses from the bus terminal. Ecomony and AC classes. Also there are travel buses. These are mini-buses or cars that will take you door to door. All have AC and usually will stop on the way for food. Good option if you can't face bus stations. Ask at your hotel they should have details. Trains of course also run across Java to all major cities. Note; if you buy ticket for example Yogjakarta to Cirebon you have to pay the fair from Yogja to Jakarta. So if you use the Surabaya train from Yogja to Cirebon the fare is Surabaya to jakarta. This can make train tickets a bit expensive.
New note; trains are now becoming busier all the time. If you are travel Fridays or holidays you will have to book beforehand. 

Cicerem Lake/Situ Cicerem

This is a beautiful spot to relax and swim. The small lake is fed by mountain springs so the water is very clean. If you have snorkel and mask bring it along as you can swim around the rocks and see hundreds of fish. The water here is beautiful shades of blue or green depending on the sunlight. There is a small warung (food stall) that sells drinks, snacks and noodles. If you want a proper lunch better you bring a take away (bungkus). The lake is about 5m deep in the middle so if your not a strong swimmer stick to the edge or ask if there are any tubes (ban) available; sometimes there are sometimes not.

Directions. From Cirebon head to Sumber Town. After you pass Sumber you will see a turtle monument in the middle of the road. Direct after that turn left, follow the small road left again, then take a right. Keep going unitl you see a sign on your left saying Kaduela. Turn right at the sign through the village and you will come to the lake.
If you want public transport you will have to get a bus from Cirebon terminal to Majalengka, tell the driver you want to get off at the turtle monument (patungkura-kura). From there you will have to nego with a small bus or motorcycles.
Note: If you go here make sure people don't direct you to a nearby lake called Telaga Remis. The locals assume this is where you want to go but you will be disappointed if you end up in this place. Telaga Remis is ok but not suitable for swimming.

Here is the link to google maps.


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Cilengkrang, Kuningan.

About 40 mins out of Cirebon is Lembah Cilengkrang or Cilengkrang Valley. This is a lovely hike through farmland and forest into a green lush valley. The walk is easy and takes about 40 mins fast to 1 n half hours taking it easy. At the end of the walk there are natural hot springs and a couple of waterfalls. If you go take some grub as your gonna get hungry. In rainy season better to leave early morning to beat the rain.
Directions; from Cirebon you need to head towards Kuningan. After Sangkan Nurip (about 2 to 3 km) look for a small green sign on the left hand side of the road which says "Objek wisata lembah cilengkrang". The sign is on the left pointing to the right. When you see the sign tun right into small road then follow the small green signs all the way up to the parking area for the Valley.
Public transport from the bus station in Cirebon head on bus to kuningan. Check that the driver knows the turn off. From there you will have to negotiate and charter motorbikes or small bus.

Here is a link to google maps. Pajambon Village .

Cirebon West Java

Cirebon is a small city on the North coast of Java about 2 and a half hours East of Jakarta. It's a small city not often frequented by Western tourist. With this blog (over time) I hope to give lots of information for those wishing to get off the beaten track and explore the real Java.
I have been living in Cirebon for more than four years but am an avid explorer so I know more about the area than your average locals. 
If you need any info regarding Cirebon, Majalengka and Kuningan please don't hesitate to ask. If i can't help I'm sure I can put you onto the people that can.
Please come back and visit this blog as I will be adding info everyday as i get it started.