Take A Glance of Jakarta Old Town’s History from A Historical Water Fountain

Fatahillah Museum is an iconic view of Old Batavia. There is a lot to see in the Jakarta Old Town complex that might catch your attention. One of them is a little fountain that quite stands out in the middle of the square, in front of the museum.

It is shaped like a small monument, designed with a little dome on the top of it. It was built as a replica of a water supply in the 1970s era, whereas water around the city is contaminated, and there is a scarcity for clean water, causing illnesses and deaths. So, the government-built pipes and provided supplies for the Old Batavia area from other areas.

The fountain is a product of a reconstruction from the authentic water fountain that is built in colonial era of VOC. The references are from Johannes Rach’s painting, a famous painter from VOC. So, it is not functioning as a “real” water supply for the city, but only a monument to commemorate the history of Old Batavia.

Although it does not have a functioning water supply, it has become a spot of tourist attractions inside the Old Batavia complex. Many people from inside or outside the city keep visiting the the complex to spend their weekends with their families.

The placement of the fountain adds a nice touch for a view if you look at Fatahillah Museum from a distance. Aside from the fountain, there are also a lot of different spots that will attract tourists to take a picture of. So, it is a nice place to hunt and take artistic photos. A few people are also taking their pre-wedding pictures inside or around the complex.

If you are curious about the real appearance and history of this water fountain, come visit Jakarta and take a walk around the Old Town complex. You can also look and get an in-depth insight into Jakarta’s history and culture by joining a Jakarta Old Tour with Jakarta Walking Tour. So, what are you waiting for? See you in Jakarta!

A Trace of Spices That Are Worth More Than Gold in Old Batavia

There are countless delicious Indonesian that you can find in Old Batavia, and the key ingredients are the spices. The strategic location of Indonesia and the great ability of Indonesian ancestor to navigate ships in the sea, makes it possible for Indonesian to trade and learn to grow spices from people at other countries and places.

The abundant amounts of spices in Indonesia attract foreigners from Europe and spurred their ambition to exploitation of economics, hence the colonialism started. The history of spices that is worth to know and spread can be found in Indonesian museum in the present day. One of them are in Museum Bank Indonesia, that is located inside the complex of Jakarta Old Town area.

Aside from Museum Bank Indonesia, the history of spices can also be found in Museum Bahari, that is mainly displaying a maritime history of Indonesia. It is not located inside the Jakarta Old Town area, but it is quite near and can be reached in walking distance. It is also near to the Sunda Kelapa Harbor where you can see big ships anchored to load and unload.

A variety of spices that are widely used in Indonesia until the present days includes clove, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemongrass, aromatic ginger, turmeric, galangal, and many more. These spices are used not only for cooking ingredients, but also for traditional drinks and medicines. The use of spices provides a rich aroma and distinctive flavors.

Curious about the spices that become a treasure that is sought after? Come visit Jakarta, join our Jakarta Walking Tour, and follow the trace of spices in Old Batavia with us. You can learn the route of spices, see the shape and smell of the spices, and learn their history.

Aside from learning the history of spices, you can also try delicacies that include spices if you join our Jakarta Food Tour.  Prepare your comfortable shoes and clothes, and you will be ready to walk around with the Jakarta Walking Tour. See you around!


keris collection

The keris is a distinctive dagger indigenous to Indonesia. Nearly all regions in the Indonesian archipelago have their own distinct from of keris. Most Javanese families own a keris that has been passed down through generations.

The best keris are made by master blade smiths called ‘empu’ who are highly respected craftsmen and also learned in the arts, history and occult sciences. The process of making keris is often secretive and mystical.

keris body part

Keris blades are generally narrow with a wide, asymmetrical base. A keris aesthetic value comprise of the dhapur (the form and design of the blade), the pamor (the pattern of decoration on the blade), and tangguh (its age and origin). In high quality keris, the blades are created by folding in layers of different metals hundreds of times with utmost precision. The Javanese keris can have either a straight or wavy blade with an odd number of curves.

Both weapon and spiritual object, the keris is considered to possess spiritual powers or kesaktian to which special titles are conferred. Today, this magnificent dagger are still used for display purposes, as talismans, weapons, sacred heirlooms, auxiliary equipment for court soldiers and accessories for ceremonial dress which is an indicator of social status and a symbol of heroism. Cleansing rituals in keris­-bathing ceremonies on the first of the Javanese Sura month ensures the kesaktian of the sacred keris.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
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An unique musical instrument from West Java, the angklung is made up of two to four bamboo tubes suspended vertically on a bamboo frame. The lower part of the tubes us unattached, enabling them to produce sound were shaken. Each piece of angklung is made using bamboo of a particular diameter, corresponding to the different chords its intended to produce. Therefore, the smaller the angklung, the higher note it produces.

To play the angklung, the left hand lightly holds the upper left edge of the frame while the right hand shakes the lower right edge of the instrument. The angklung can be played in an ensemble of 15 players with 15 pieces of angklung or in combination with other musical instruments. Watch wonderful angklung group play on Bandung bamboo musical instruments workshop below:

However, you could also play it solo. Couple weeks ago, we saw street musician who play angklung in a very comfy way – sit on the low chair, cross the leg, and effortless play this instrument: 

The angklung’s present day diatonic chromatic scale, developed in 1938 by Daeng Sutigna of Kuningan, West Java, enables players to broaden their repertoire and go beyond traditional songs. The exotic sound of the angklung has attracted many contemporary Western musicians to incorporate the humble angklung into their ensembles.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
Disclaimer click here  
Featured image credit: www.tempo.co      

Do you want to experience angklung group orchestra just like people on the video? Read more about Bandung tour tips and trick here or drop us message here



Batik is highly refined Javanese art of decorating cloth. More than just an adornment, batik embodies the soul and mysticism of the Javanese. Batik can be traditionally hand-drawn (batik tulis) using a canting (copper wax pen) or stamped using finely shaped copper blocks (batik cap). Batik tulis is generally more highly-praised as it requires more time, concentration and skill to produce. A single hand-painted batik cloth may take up to 2-3 months to complete. Stamped batiks are a more modern invention and require less time to produce. Traditional motifs include kawung, ceplok, and parang.

The styles of batik vary according to the region, each having an unique set of motifs, color preferences and symbolism. Coastal Batik show influences of foreign cultures. They are brighter and more colorful, dominated by yellows, mauves, ochre, greens and pale blue. Batik Pekalongan is characterized by its Dutch-influenced flower (buketan) motifs, while Cirebon has its signature mega mendung or stylized cloud motif of Chinese influence. Court Batik comes primarily from Solo and Yogyakarta and is colored using dyes of earthy tones. In batik design, the color blue traditionally symbolizes the earth; brown symbolized fire, and white for water and air.

Batik is highly versatile, used in both formal and informal occasions, by people from all walks of life.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
Disclaimer click here         

Do you want to learn more about batik? We will bring you to the batik workshop to learn how to make batik and get to know more about batik cultural background on the right place with the expert. Contact us here



Gamelan is the traditional musical ensembles of Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java. The ensembles features a variety of instruments such as sets of tuned bronze gongs, gong-chimes, metallophones, drums, bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked string instruments. A gamelan orchestra can sometimes include singers. Gamelan music, weather played live or the recorded version, usually accompanies important events such as weddings, rituals and ceremonies, traditional dance and wayang performances.

Gamelan comprises two scales; the slendro (minor) and pelog (major). Each instrument has its functions. Gongs maintain the basic structure of the music; the metallophones carry the theme, while the kendang leads the orchestra by controlling the tempo of the musical piece.

Gamelan Jawa

Javanese Gamelan

There are generally three distinct types of gamelan, the Javanese, Balinese and Sundanese styles, each with its own distinctive musical scale, dynamics and mood. In Central Java, the gamelan is an essential element in many kraton (palace) ceremonies. In Bali, almost all religious rituals are accompanied by the gamelan.

Gamelan Bali

Balinese Gamelan

Certain pieces of the ensemble are believed to possess supernatural powers and would be played to ward off evil spirits or even manipulate the weather. Such special pieces are given titles and treated with utmost respect.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
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wayang workshop

Wayang is ancient Javanese form of storytelling that refers to the performace and the puppet itself. For centuries wayang flourished at the royal courts and rural areas of Java and Bali before it eventually found its way to other islands in the archipelago, each developing its unique performance style and musical accompaniment.

Although puppet come in many sizes, shapes and styles, the two primary types are the flat, perforated leather shadow puppet (wayang kulit, kulit means leather) and the three-dimensional wooden puppet (wayang golek). Different wayang characters are distinguished by facial features, costumes, mannerism and assigned voice.  In the shadow-puppet theater, the master puppeteer (dalang) manipulates the puppet’s arms by means of slender sticks attached to the puppets, in front of a screen lit from behind.

The dalang are well-versed in a large repertoire of characters and lore, able to recite ancient narrative passages and poetic songs in a witty and creative manner. Besides directing the story, the dalang also leads a gamelan ensemble. In the past, dalangs conveyed moral and aesthetic values through popular stories with characters borrowed from indigenous legends, folk stories and the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata epic.

Other forms of wayang include wayang wong, performed live by actors, and wayang beber, illustrated ballads inscribed on paper or lontar leaf scrolls.

Source                  : “The Ultimate Destination of INDONESIA”
Copyright            : Indonesia Culture and Tourism Ministry (2011)
Disclaimer click here         

Do you want to learn more about wayang? We will bring you to wayang workshop to learn how to make, play, and get to know wayang historical background on the right place with the expert. Contact us here