Backpacking to Magelang….Enjoying “Lima Gunung” Festival.

Magelang….a small town in Central Java Province, Indonesia which since Dutch colonial era was known as armed forces producer. But my arrival here was unrelated to military even though two members of my family were soldiers from Magelang barracks.

This time I had a opportunity to climb to east slope of Merapi mountain for enjoying the beauty of “Tutup Ngisor” village. A village where is famous for its efforts to preserve dance culture through a Padepokan Seni “Tjipta Boedaja” (in english: “Tjipta Boedaja” dance gallery) which was founded in 1937 ago.

And a main reason for my arrival there was the 18th “Lima Gunung” Festival (FLG XVIII). The festival which is able to attract my interest to heading there amid my dense work activities in capital city.

The festival is named “Lima Gunung” (in english: Five Mountains)…. Referring to five mountain names located around Magelang district i.e Merapi, Merbabu, Menoreh, Sumbing and Andong.


My journey to Magelang used a legendary bus service which had triumphed in year 1990-2000, namely PO Santoso. Old and “voiced” bus slowly but surely drove and dropped me to Magelang on cold Saturday morning (6/7/19).

The warmth of long black coffee in a cold morning disrupted my eyes to close and required me to accompany my morning until dawn coming.

A shadow of festival’s majesty continued to disrupt my concentration that morning. And after the dawn came, a brother-in-law’s white hatchback began to split green rice fields towards festival.

I have to be willing to lag one session, because this event has been started since Friday (7/7/19) afternoon. A road to Tutup Ngisor village that has been closed for several types of public transportation indicates that this festival will be attended by many visitors, and finally I had to park the car a little far from village gate.

A few steps later I arrived.

Java eagle as stage background. This bird is believed to give a sign when Merapi volcano will erupt.

My Whatsapp continued to actively reply some messages to find someone who had an important role in my presence at this festival. Our friendship in blogging world started since a year ago and finally we met here.

He is Yokhanan who give a big contribution in my arrival at festival this time. Finally, we can meet in an event after we each other just contact in blogging world for a long time….Thanks, “Brother” Yo.


In addition to local performers, the festival was also enlivened by performers from other countries. Likewise with visitors….international visitors were also coming….It was cool.

Kaori Okado from Japan performed “Gambir Anom” dance. She is a good Japanese dancer.
Well, this photo is deliberately displayed, it’s nothing…I just interest to see Putri who was very exotic….hahaha, it’s heard naughty.

FLG XVIII presented 79 performers, all performances were presented in 3 days duration (5-7th July 2019) with 20 minutes show time for each performance. Really massive agenda, visitors were required to be smart to choose performance which they wanted to see within timeframe which was prepared by committee.

“Barong Gunung” dance from Sanggar Rangkul Dulur (Lumajang, East Java Province)

This 18-year-old festival was also independently organized by “Lima Gunung” Community without sponsors. This is based on a commitment that community is trying to maintain art purity so willn’t be contaminated by commercial businesses.

“Gedruk Pangekes” dance from Sanggar Gaboet Wasesa (Magelang, Central Java province).

Carrying a theme of “Gunung Lumbung Budaya” (in english: “Mountain is Source of Culture”), shows that villages are main enclave of cultural guards amid swift influences of modernization. Villages are expected to be the guardian of diverse cultural originality which dance is one of them.

“Uni Ing Geprak” dance from Gramang Art Community (Special Province of Yogyakarta).

“Lima Gunung” festival is usually held close to Dieng Culture Festival. So these two events can be visited alternately if you want to feel how lively art parties in Java land.

“Subali Senopatya” dance by Culture Board of Bantul (Special Province of Yogyakarta).

FLG XVIII committee was organized on by millennials, this was very visible from many young faces of committee members, event concept was neatly arranged and brought an interesting theme. Stage design also looked very modern when night. Light shot towards stage wasn’t inferior to many performances in capital city.

“Brahmarupa” dance in collaboration with Kemlaka Sound of Archipelago and Pesona Nusantara Surakarta (Central Java Province).

FLG XVIII slipped a session i.e Culture Carnival of “Lima Gunung” Community around “Tutup Ngisor” village on third day of festival.

Culture Carnival of “Lima Gunung” Community preparation.


There are several other things that can be found during FLG XVIII. Visitors could enjoy it as an added bonus for their presence in “Tutup Ngisor” village.

Padepokan Tjipta Boedaja (“Tjipta Boedaja” Dance Gallery).

Almost all Tjipta Boedjaja’s art activities are did out in this gallery.

Gallery is often used for Wayang Menak show by villagers.

The Tomb of Roso Yoso Soedarmo.

Roso Yoso Soedarmo is a central figure in art development at “Tutup Ngisor” village. Padepokan Tjipta Boedaja was born as his initiation. Because of his pioneering work in art, “Tutup Ngisor” village has consistently produced artistic talents until now.

This is the tomb.

“Lumbung Karya” Art Exhibition

This art exhibition displayed various artworks in form of paintings, sculptures, dance costumes and masks.

Father and his son also took pictures in exhibition gallery.
It was good right….masks felt alive.
He was carving something in wood.

“Mangunsuko” Suspension Bridge.

During festival, MC always reminded visitors fo didn’t miss a view from Jokowi Bridge (the famous name of Mangunsuko Suspension Bridge). Hearing this repetitive emphasis, made me curious. And on my first day of arrival at “Tutup Ngisor” village, I immediately visited this bridge.

Like a suspension bridge in general….sway if we step on it….hahaha.
Enchanting mini waterfall.
Beware, don’t eat there… can be bitten by a tiger.

Transit House

Transit house is a term for a resident’s home which was voluntarily and unpaid used to stay for festival visitors. Strong spirit of mutual cooperation, making every village residents is very compact in competing to provide transit house during FLG XVIII.

Complete combination, visitors can also stay in tents in front of transit house.


During my visitation in FLG XVIII, there were two culinary which have left an impression until today.

Nasi Lesah (“Lesah” Rice) is an Magelang’s original rice with a mixture of vegetable sprouts, vermicelli, sliced tofu, small pieces of beef, fried onions and celery. Then it was poured with soup of hot coconut milk…..ulala.

Eating Nasi Lesah for first time.

Wine Coffee….For me who is a beginner coffee fan, finding wine coffee was something special. “Kopi Tanpa Nama” Coffee Shop which was located near stage, provided a “Sindoro Wine Coffee” menu with a very pleasant wine aroma.

Wine coffee can also be called fermented coffee or coffee which undergoes 30 days fermentation process before it is roasted.

So … Want to go to “Lima Gunung” Festival in 2020?….Let’s go with me.

Menuju Magelang….Menikmati Festival Lima Gunung.

Magelang….sebuah kota kecil di Propinsi Jawa Tengah yang sejak zaman Belanda terkenal sebagai produsen perwira Angkatan Bersenjata Republik ini. Tapi kedatanganku kesini tak terkait dengan dunia militer walaupun dua anggota keluargaku adalah serdadu hasil gemblengan barak Magelang.

Kali ini Aku berkesempatan menanjak ke lereng timur Merapi untuk menikmati pesona Desa Tutup Ngisor. Sebuah desa yang terkenal karena usaha pelestarian budaya tarinya melalui sebuah Padepokan Seni “Tjipta Boedaja” yang berdiri pada tahun 1937 silam.

Dan alasan utama kedatanganku adalah Festival Lima Gunung ke-18 (FLG XVIII). Festival yang mampu menarik minatku untuk merangsek kesana ditengah padatnya aktivitas pekerjaan di Ibu Kota.

Festival ini dinamakan demikian….Mengacu pada lima nama gunung yang terletak di sekitar Magelang yaitu Merapi, Merbabu, Menoreh, Sumbing dan Andong.


Perjalananku menuju Magelang menggunakan jasa bus legendaris yang pernah berjaya di masanya yaitu PO Santoso. Bus yang sudah berumur dan “bersuara” ini perlahan tapi pasti mengantarkanku tiba di Magelang tepat di dinginnya Sabtu (6/7/19) dini hari.

Hangatnya kopi hitam di tengah dinginnya pagi mengganggu terpejamnya mata dan mengharuskanku menemani Si Pagi yang tengah menjemput Fajar.

Bayangan keagungan festival terus mengganggu konsentrasiku di pagi itu. Dan setelah sang fajar datang, hatchback putih milik Ipar mulai membelah hijaunya persawahan.

Aku harus rela tertinggal satu sesi, karena acara ini sudah dimulai sejak Jum’at (5/7/19) siang. Jalanan menuju Tutup Ngisor yang sudah ditutup untuk beberapa jenis kendaraan umum menunjukkan bahwa festival ini akan dihadiri banyak pengunjung, bahkan akhirnya Aku harus memarkirkan mobil sedikit jauh dari gerbang desa.

Beberapa langkah kemudian Aku tiba.

Elang Jawa sebagai background panggung. Burung ini diyakini sebagai pemberi tanda jika gunung Merapi akan meletus.

Whatsapp ku terus aktif berbalas pesan untuk mencari seseorang yang punya peran penting dalam kehadiranku di festival ini. Perkenalanku di dunia maya setahun lalu (….kek ABG aja) akhirnya dipertemukan disini.

Dialah Mas Yokhanan yang  berjasa besar dalam kedatanganku di festival kali ini. Akhirnya Kita pun bisa kopdar di sela acara setelah sekian lama cuma ledek-meledek di dunia blogging….Thanks ya, Mas Yo.


Selain performer lokal, festival ini juga dimeriahkan performer dari negeri sebelah. Begitu juga dengan para pengunjung….pengunjung internasional juga banyak yang datang lhoooo….Keren kan.

Kaori Okado dari Jepang membawakan tari Gambir Anom. Masak kalah sama orang Jepang?
Nah foto ini sengaja kupajang, bukan apa-apa sih….Suka aja liat Si Putri yang eksotik banget…..hihihi, nakal.

FLG XVIII menghadirkan 79 performer yang keseluruhannya disajikan dalam durasi 3 hari (5-7 Juli 2019) dengan rata-rata waktu tampil 20 menit untuk setiap performance. Padat banget ya, pengunjung dituntut cerdas untuk memilih performance yang ingin mereka lihat dalam rentang waktu yang disiapkan panitia.

Tari Barong Gunung dari Sanggar Rangkul Dulur (Lumajang)

Festival yang sudah berusia 18 tahun ini juga diselenggarakan secara mandiri oleh Komunitas Lima Gunung tanpa sponsor. Hal ini didasari pada komitmen bahwa komunitas berusaha menjaga kemurnian seni agar tidak terkontaminasi oleh bisnis komersial.

Tari Gedruk Pangekes dari Sanggar Gaboet Wasesa (Magelang).

Mengusung tema “Gunung Lumbung Budaya”, menunjukkan bahwa desa adalah kantong utama penjaga budaya di tengah derasnya pengaruh modernisasi. Desa diharapkan menjadi penjaga orisinalitas beranekaragam budaya dimana seni tari adalah salah satunya.

Tari Uni Ing Geprak dari Gramang Art Community (Yogyakarta).

Festival Lima Gunung biasanya diadakan berdekatan dengan Dieng Culture Festival. Jadi dua event ini bisa didatangi bergantian jika ingin merasakan bagaimana meriahnya pesta seni di tanah Jawa.

Tari Subali Senopatya dari Dinas Kebudayaan Bantul.

Kepanitiaan FLG XVIII digarap oleh para millennial, hal ini sangat terlihat dari wajah muda para anggota panitia, konsep acara yang tersusun rapi dan detail serta mengusung tema yang menarik. Desain panggung pun terlihat sangat modern ketika malam tiba. Tembakan lampu ke arah panggung tak kalah dengan pertunjukan-pertunjukan anak muda Ibu Kota.

Tari Brahmarupa berkolaborasi dengan Kemlaka Sound of Archipelago dan Pesona Nusantara Surakarta.

FLG XVIII menyelipkan sesi Kirab Budaya Komunitas Lima Gunung mengelilingi Desa Tutup Ngisor pada hari ketiga pelaksanaan.

Persiapan Kirab Komunitas Lima Gunung.


Ada beberapa hal lain yang bisa ditemukan selama penyelenggaraan FLG XVIII. Para pengunjung bisa menikmatinya sebagai bonus tambahan atas kehadirannya di Desa Tutup Ngisor.

Padepokan Tjipta Boedaja

Hampir seluruh kegiatan kesenian padepokan ini dilakukan di pendopo ini.

Pendopo yang sering digunakan untuk pementasan Wayang Menak oleh warga desa.

Makam Roso Yoso Soedarmo.

Roso Yoso Soedarmo adalah tokoh sentral dalam pengembangan seni di Tutup Ngisor. Padepokan Tjipta Boedaja lahir atas inisiasi beliau. Berkat kepeloporannya dalam seni, Tutup Ngisor konsisten melahirkan bakat-bakat seni hingga saat ini.

Bangunan makam Romo Roso Yoso Soedarmo

Pameran Seni “Lumbung Karya”

Pameran seni ini menampilkan berbagai karya seni berupa lukisan, patung, kostum tari dan topeng.

Anak dan Bapak pun ikut berfoto ria di galeri pameran.
Bagus kan….topengnya serasa hidup
Si Mas sedang mengukir sesuatu di kayu

Jembatan Gantung Mangunsuko

MC sepanjang acara selalu mengingatkan pengunjung festival untuk tidak melewatkan suguhan pemandangan di Jembatan Jokowi (nama tenar dari Jembatan Mangunsuko). Mendengar penekanan berulang-ulang tersebut, membuat rasa penasaran menyerangku. Dan dihari pertama kedatanganku di Tutup Ngisor, Aku langsung meyambangi jembatan ini

Seperti jembatan gantung pada umumnya….goyang-goyang euy…..aseekkk
Air terjun mini yang mempesona
Awas jangan makan disitu…bisa digigit macan

Rumah Transit

Rumah transit adalah sebutan untuk rumah warga yang secara sukarela dan tanpa pungutan sepeserpun digunakan sebagai tempat menginap para pengunjung festival. Kuatnya jiwa gotong royong, menjadikan setiap warga sangat kompak dalam berlomba-lomba menyediakan rumah singgah selama FLG XVIII.

Kombinasi lengkap, pengunjung pun bisa bertenda di depan rumah transit.


Selama keikutsertaan Saya dalam FLG XVIII, ada dua jenis kuliner yang membekas hati hingga saat ini.

Nasi Lesah merupakan nasi khas Magelang dengan campuran sayur taoge, bihun, irisan tahu bacem, potongan kecil daging sapi, bawang goreng dan sledri. Kemudian diguyur kuah soto bersantan yang masih panas….Wadaaauuwww

Pertama kalinya makan Nasi Lesah

Wine Coffee….Buat Saya yang penggemar pemula kopi, menemukan wine coffee adalah hal yang istimewa. Kedai Kopi Tanpa Nama yang berada dilokasi pameran menyediakan menu Sindoro Wine yang aroma wine nya sangat terasa nikmat.

Wine coffee juga bisa disebut dengan fermented coffee atau kopi yang mengalami proses fermentasi sebelum menjadi biji kopi.

So…Mau ikut ke Festival Lima Gunung tahun 2020?…..Kuy hal.

Cilacap Main Square, Indonesia

In Indonesia, Main Square (Indonesian Language name it as “Alun-Alun”) is always identically with downtown and government offices. And will usually be a landmark for the region concerned.

Similarly with Cilacap Main Square. I will dissect what’s in this main square.

Come at night to captures the beauty of Cilacap Main Square.

1. Fisherman Monument 

This monument shows the statue of a fisherman couple who are raising wijayakusuma flower. precisely located in front of the Main Square courtyard. At night, the fountain under it will emits various colors rotately so we can enjoy the blend of its beauty from Main Square courtyard.

Air Mancur

This monument is located on the protocol street i.e Jenderal Sudirman Street and becomes the center of 3 way intersection. When saturday night arrives, the traffic flow along this monument will be closed and will become a night tourist spot for foreigners aand Cilacap townspeople.

2. Jami’ Mosque Darussalam 

The interesting thing from this jami mosque is its minaret. Like in the fountain of Fishermen Monument, the mosque minaret also emits very harmonious colors with Fisherman Monument ones.

Located to the west of Main Square and flanked by 2 main roads i.e Jenderal Sudirman Street and Masjid Street.

Masjid Jamie

The lower chamber of the minaret is a radio station i.e 107.2 Radio Da’wah Daarussalaam FM Cilacap.

3. Cilacap Regent Office

Whereever Main Square location then that is where the government office is located. Located to the north of Main Square, the Regent’s Office has large gates and yard before actually entering the main office building.

Kantor Bupati

3. Cilacap Penitentiary

Located on Mataram 1 Street, this building is a Penitentiary Class IIB  with maximum capacity of 500 prisoners.

Lapas Cilacap

At night, the Penitentiary is very quiet and strangely horrified when I lingered in front of it.

4. Cilacap Judiciary

I was overlooked to captured this object because I thought there wasn’t more buildings in Main Square after captured Penitentiary. The building itself is flanked by Jenderal Sudirman Street and Mataram 1 Street, precisely at right front of Main Square.

5. The Park Fountain

Located opposite Jenderal Sudirman Street, in front of the Main Square courtyard. This fountain is located inside a park behind the CILACAP BERCAHAYA lighting board.

Air Mancur Warna

The color change in the fountain makes the park look very beautiful.

Well …. If you go to Cilacap, visit Main Square for culinary tour and enjoy the light party around it.


Bonus from Tanjung Intan Port, Cilacap, Indonesia

Mr. Fatchul Rochman  (online transportation driver) finally picked me up at Pendem Fort courtyard after he strayed into its south courtyard.

I just ordered in GOJEK application to went to Tanjung Intan Port. When I got on his bike, he asked my origin. After he knew I was from Jakarta, he seemed enthusiastic, and without my consent he said that he would deliver me to some places before entering Tanjung Intan Port. He was sincerely because at the end of the trip he refused when I tried to gave additional tips.

He explained to me every place that we passed along the way to the Port. Starting from the history of KOPASSUS Headquarter building and several stories about Nusakambangan. Exciting………

He turned abruptly. When I asked where we were going, he said we were heading for the Coal Pier.

This is it guys …. Was given a bonus like this


Pelabuhan Sandar Batubara

Cilacap Coal Pier

Leaving the Coal Pier, he started to told about the hustle and bustle of Cilacap when there were dead executions of some famous prisoners. While told, he suddenly brought me here:

Penyeberangan ke LP


Left: PENGAYOMAN IV Ship that transported prisoners to Nusakambangan Jail.
Right Up and Down: Sailing post to Nusakambangan

This is the sailing point of prisoners toward Nusakambangan jail. So it was very tight. I said: “We don’t have to go there, Mr. Fatchul”, I thought we would be expelled by officers because we didn’t have any interests there. But he still assured me that he would successfully entered me to this place because he was Cilacap townspeople and surely could be given access by officers.

Yes….finally We were still refused. We were only allowed to saw the sailing process from Pandu Station.

Stasiun Pandu

Pandu Station is a guiding center of big ships that would dock in Cilacap to avoided for stranded or crashed corals.

Well, after being given three bonus venues we were finally arrived Tanjung Intan port. He said that the port was closed for tourism especially for me who would try to visited without specific purpose.

But he had a never give up gene. He told to security officers that he was taking a guest. And finally they gave us access … ..The incredible Mr. Fatchul ….

Finally I enter into this logistic port

Pelabuhan Tanjung Intan

riding a motorcycle behind a coal truck makes the clothes being black … hehehe

Well, when I arrived near the coal ship, I tried to captured the IVS KAWANA and PUTRI SEJATI coal ships.

But my action didn’t continue for long because there was security officer who came to me on his motorcycle and said that I should get out from there because I was considered to entered without the permission of internal security and I didn’t wear PPE (Personal Protection Equipment).

Finally I had to got out without long negotiation … .Anyway, this experience became a closing part of my trip in Cilacap that I always remembered.

Okay then there wasn’t other purpose than had to back to Whiz Hotel Sudirman and got ready to Jakarta.

Wait for my other acts while in Cilacap that I had not told yet … .thanks guys.

Attractions Near Cilacap Downtown, Indonesia

Free visiting to other places is certainly fun for everyone, especially for people who have traveler passion.

I experienced it on business trip 28-29 April 2018. 3D2N visitation to southern city of Java delivered me to some tourist attractions around Cilacap downtown.

Here are some places you can visit in Cilacap:

1. Saung Madu Al Azhar

Saung madu Cilacap

“Klanceng” honey that’s cultivated here is a program of Lembaga Amil Zákat Nasional (LAZ) Al Azhar Cilacap which aims to build surrounding society economy. Therefore, in addition except have its own area for cultivation, the manager also entrust 2 cultivation boxes to every family in the village.

Located in northern of downtown, only takes 20 minutes to get there. Taste honey directly from the nest and eat markisa fruit from the plants around the cultivation area are a interesting moments as my trip opening in Cilacap.

2. Sunset at Sleko Port

Sleko port is a ferry port in Cilacap. Of course many people sail from it, especially sailing to famous tourist village in west Cilacap namely Kampung Laut.

Pelabuhan Sleko

Coming in afternoon after a long day working becomes a good option to relaxation while enjoying beautiful sunset.

3. Teluk Penyu Beach

Don’t leave the night without do interesting activities…. after the sun sinks, I immediately headed to Teluk Penyu beach for enjoying the night and seafood dinner.

Pantai Teluk Penyu

Eating “mendoan” (Cilacap’s local food) or seafood isn’t expensive here. I also spent time to saw night fish auction here. Local language made it seemed funny and entertaining. According to local community, Cilacap has the most “Ngapak” accent (Cilacap accent) among other areas whose “Ngapak”accent too.

I visited 2 times to this beach. At night I could visit for free and during the day had to paid Rp. 5,000 at front gate.

4. Cilacap Square

After enjoying night breeze, I drank local beverage namely “wedang ronde” in Cilacap Square to warmed my body.

Alun Alun Cilacap

The square has very beautiful lighting at night. Some junior high school students even held art performances here. It can be a free show that you can see while hangout with your beverages.

5. Karang Pandan Beach

In second day afternoon, after the office’s event was over, I rushed to east side of Nusakambangan island. This was the main destination that I had been waiting since my departure from Jakarta.

Pantai Karang Pandan

I need to rent a motor boat service worth IDR 30,000 for round trip sailing toward there. Because of its dropping point in the north of the island, I needed to walked for 30 minutes to Karang Pandan Beach which was located on the South of the island.

Beautiful white sandy beaches ready to pampered every tourist eyes who visited it.

6. Singapore of Java Cruise.

Coinciding with Saturday night, I wanted to hangout for enjoying my last night. One of attractions that be used by Cilacap young people to hang out is getting around the sea by Jaya Sakti Ship to enjoy the beauty of Cilacap night through Singapore of Java Cruise.

Singapore of java Cruise

2 hour cruising could pamper enough my eyes with beautiful light along Cilacap coast. It made me amazed about the beauty of Cilacap at night.

Oh yes, the cruise departs from Sleko Port guys….

7. Pekan Raya Cilacap. 

I thought it was a “G” political party tentatived event to campaigning. I passed it when I came back from Singapore of Java Cruise. Because of intriguing finally I stopped by.

Pekan Raya Cilacap

There were some food stall, fashion stall and toys stall inside and a large show stage. I just wandered around for a while without buying anything here.

8. Pendem Fort.

The last day in Cilacap felt incomplete if you hadn’t visited this Dutch colonial heritage fort. The defense fortress that lies on the shores of Teluk Penyu beach had added my information that Cilacap in the past had a risk to be attacked by enemies via sea. So Dutch Colonial built it, this fort was one package project with Karang Bolong Fort on Nusakambangan Island.

Benteng Pendem

Only spent IDR 5,000, I could explore the ins and outs of this fort, even I went into all the fort room that had different function on its time.

9. Tanjung Intan Port.

Looks like this logistics port isn’t open to public because the port is very busy with heavy trucks traffic for carrying unloading coals from docked ships in this port. Except coal ship, there are fertilizer and refined sugar ones also.

Pelabuhan Tanjung Intan

I was just lucky to get through the security guard for 5 minutes before I was finally banned and asked to out from it for security reasons.

That are some alternative tourism attractions near downtown. Come to Cilacap to see the other side of its tourism that rarely expose to public.




Pendem Fort …. Dutch Architecture in Cilacap, Indonesia

Last day extend, I spent time to visited Pendem Fort. Because I was very tired after night sightseeing in Cilacap downtown, finally I prepared very late. I would visit Pendem Fort and Tanjung Intan Port before departing to Jakarta at 2:30pm by Purwojaya train.

Got out of Whiz Sudirman Hotel main lobby, my stomach began to rumble. Went across the street for breakfast. I ate chicken porridge in small stall with many customers. This was it guys….


Breakfast with unique menu, chicken porridge with opor sauce.

After finished breakfast …. I rode GOJEK (online transportation) for Rp. 5,000 and I was picked up by female driver to Pendem Fort

When standing in front of the fort gate, my first impression was well-maintained 157 years old fort. But I needed to looked inside to proved my perception.

Gerbang depan

Left: Pendem Fort gate frontview

Top Right: Ticket counter. Ticket sold for Rp. 5,000. Operation hours of Pendem Fort is 8am-6pm and open from Monday-Sunday.

Bottom Right: Pendem Fort inside view.

True, many janitors worked inside so the fort looked very clean.

The fort built in the 19th century and needed 8 years to finished it. Before it was found, the fort was buried by coastal soils.

The fort consists of several rooms that have respective functions. The following rooms were identified their functions:

Ruangan benteng

Top Left: barrack rooms

Top Right: Clinical rooms

Bottom Right: Acommodation rooms

Lower Left: Armory

The fort has an area ​about 6.5 hectares. Besides several important rooms, the fort landmark is beautified by clear water canal and wide yard.



 Top Left: Canal in front of fort 

Top Right: The canal at rear of fort 

Bottom Right: a yard is surrounded by several fort rooms

Lower Left: Another side of canal in front of fort

Besides for tourism destination, the fort is also used for educational activities such as

outbound activities or school scout activities such as images that I get below:




Left: School outbond in Cirebon

Right: Scouting activity

Approximately I browsed one hour through all sides of the fort. Saluted to Cilacap government that kept well the fort condition.

Well guys, if you visit Cilacap. Spend time to visit it !…. a place with rich histories….

Short Cruise “Singapore of Java”, Cilacap-Indonesia

Precisely on 7pm, Jaya Sakti ship sailed from Sleko port and taked a short cruise for 2 hours. The next cruise with another boat departed on 8 pm, so they would pass each other on the sea.

The ship would move southwards from Sleko Port. The first view that would find
was coal ship that was leaning for unloading.

Kapal Batubara

Coal Ship “Putri Sejati”.

After passing it, I could see a building was owned by PT. PUSRI:

Gula rafinasi

PUSRI Cilacap Company‘s Fertilizer Package Unit 

Around of it’s area smells fragrant, evidently at behind of PUSRI Company’s building was a refined sugar factory which was the origin of fragrant aroma.

Then the ship had passed Nusakambangan Prison’s execution area that wasn’t visible because of pitch darkness. Then the ship would turn back and moved northwards. After passing the departure point, passengers would be viewed Cilacap LPG Depot:

Depot LPG Cilacap

LPG depots are adjacent to PERTAMINA oil refinery.

Kilang Pertamina

PERTAMINA’s Cilacap Oil Refinery.

At PERTAMINA oil refinery, ship would sail very slowly because this spot was the prettiest among the others. The ship captain also gave opportunity for passangers to took photos as much as possible.

After finishing at this spot then the cruise ended and the ship would back to Sleko Port.

Yes …. that was the flow of this cuise.

“Singapore of Java” Cruise is a short saturday night tour in Cilacap every 2 weeks. Cruise started from Sleko Port at 7pm and the ship would depart every 1 hour. The cruise was a Cilacap Mayor idea which aimed to increased tourist visitation to Cilacap. Named Singapore of Java Cruise because the cruise view was similar to one of Singapore’s corners at night.

The cruise was already popular in Cilacap so the ship usually fully chartered by several communities.  Individual visitors like me often ran out of tickets.

I was lucky to could join it on mid-March 2018. At that time the ship actually was fully booked by the church community from Solo, Central Java.

Because that night was my last night at Cilacap, then I wouldn’t give up to got in the cruise. I persistently lobbied ticketing staff to sold an additional ticket for me.

I said that I came from Jakarta and it was my last night in Cilacap, then she began to emphatize to me and after she talked to ship’s captain finally I allowed to joined the cruise but I must sit at the back because all seats was already filled.

By paying Rp. 30.000 finally I got in the ship without holded a ticket because it were actually sold out … ..Great Job, happy to be a part of the cruise.

KM Jaya Sakti


Top Left: Jaya Sakti ship tickets counter

Top Right: Jaya Sakti ship prepared to sailed

Bottom Right: The first floor of ship.
Lower Left: A view from long distance.


Exoticism of Nusakambangan, Cilacap- Indonesia

When my office event has finished at 13:00, I immediately headed to Whiz Hotel Sudirman to got ready for sailing to Nusakambangan. Actually I would go there tomorrow, because off curiousity, finally I  went there a day faster. 

Whiz Hotel Sudirman was 3.7 km from Teluk Penyu Beach which was starting point of sailing to Nusakambangan. There was simply way to went to Teluk Penyu Beach, just 12 minutes rode online taxi for IDR 10,000.

When I arrived at Teluk Penyu Beach, many fisherman offered boat services to Nusakambangan. “Rangga Ayu” boat which I chose offered IDR. 30,000 for return way. The scenario was boat owner would deliver me to Nusakambangan then he would back  to Teluk Penyu Beach again.

He gave me his phone number. “If you finish for Nusakambangan sightseeing, please call me sir, I’ll pick up you” “, he said.



Top Left: Teluk Penyu Beach.

Top Right: Crude Oil Tanker named BULL SULAWESI

Bottom Right: Cilacap Crude Island Berth belongs to PERTAMINA

Lower Left: Tourist dropping point


When got off the boat, my curiosity was began …. what are attractions inside the island?

The deeper journey into Nusakambangan was started …..

Pictures below were views that I found in the starting point of exploration.




Top Left: Multipurpose wooden building on the east coast of Nusakambangan.

Bottom Left: Beverage and food hawker

Middle: Site name board

Right: Phone number of boat service




Top Left: Entering Nusakambangan island, I walked through a small slippery rocky road. So my speed was very slow.

Top Right: small road with low cliff

Bottom Right: I also found a bamboo bridge over a small river

Lower Left: I also found tree branch that grew across the road

Forest preservation in the island was seen from many wildlifes that often found i.e monkeys and eagles. Didn’t fear, because along the way, I several times met tourists who headed back to starting point.

After walking for 15 minutes, finally I found a sign that directed me to Karang Bolong Fort and Karang Pandan Beach


benteng karang bolong

Top Left: The fort was strong looking when was viewed from front gate. It was unfortunate that gate roof was overgrown by pioneer plants that threaten fort durability

Left Bawas: The inner fort gate. The top wall of inner fort was also overgrown by small trees and moss.

Middle: The inner fort wall was very thick.

Right: The underground rooms was impossible to reached because the rooms had narrow aisle that very dark and humid. I canceled to entering it.


Continuing my step straight ahead,  Finally I found the beautiful white sand beach in eastern island. Beach was visited by young people either friend groups or in love couples.


Pantai Karang Pandan

Enjoying God’s creation by cross-legged sit, listened sounds when waves hit rocks, saw ships activities that threw anchors and grasped soft white sands. Calming my heart and soul.

Something that rarely found in capital city.

Because time was getting dark, I decided to went back toward Whiz Hotel Sudirman immediately.

Back to the pick-up (starting) point, while waited for the boat, I did relaxation by drank hot tea and mendoan (Cilacap’s traditional food) in food stall. Also watched sunset before the night came.

My adventure ended beautifully and was closed by fascinating sunset……

Pantai Nusakambangan

I Love Indonesia………..




Mengenal Alun-Alun Cilacap, Indonesia

Di Indonesia, Alun-Alun selalu identik dengan pusat kota dan kantor pemerintahan dan biasanya akan menjadi landmark bagi daerah yang bersangkutan.

Begitu pula dengan Alun-Alun Cilacap. Saya akan membedah apa saja yang ada di Alun-Alun ini.

Datanglah pada malam hari untuk menangkap keindahan Alun-Alun Cilacap.

1. Tugu Nelayan 

Tugu ini menampakkan patung pasangan suami istri nelayan yang sedang mengangkat bunga wijayakusuma. Terletak tepat di depan pelataran Alun-Alun. Pada malam hari, air mancur pada tugu ini akan memendarkan berbagai warna secara bergantian sehingga kita bisa menikmati paduan keindahannya dari sisi pelataran Alun-Alun.

Air Mancur

Tugu ini terlatak di jalan protokol  yaitu Jalan Jenderal Sudirman dan menjadi pusat dari persimpangan 3 arah. Saat malam minggu tiba, arus lalu lintas yang melewati tugu ini akan ditutup dan akan menjadi tempat wisata malam untuk masyarakat Cilacap.

2. Masjid Jami’ Darussalam

Hal yang terlihat menarik dari masjid jami’ ini adalah pada menara masjidnya. Seperti di air mancur Tugu Nelayan, menara masjid jami’  ini juga akan memancarkan berbagai warna yang sangat harmonis dengan warna pada air mancur Tugu Nelayan.

Terletak di sebelah barat Alun-Alun dan diapit oleh 2 jalan utama yaitu Jalan Jenderal Sudirman dan Jalan Masjid.

Masjid Jamie

Ruangan bagian bawah pada menara masjid ini bahkan menjadi sebuah stasiun radio yaitu 107.2 Radio Da’wah Daarussalaam FM Cilacap.

3. Kantor Bupati Cilacap

Dimana ada alun-alun maka disitulah letak kantor pemerintahan berada. Terletak di sebelah utara alun-alun, Kantor Bupati ini memiliki gerbang dan halaman yang luas sebelum benar-benar memasuki bangunan utama kantor.

Kantor Bupati

3. Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Cilacap

Terletak di Jalan Mataram 1, Bangunan ini adalah Lembaga Pemasyarakatan kelas IIB yang berkapasitas maksimal 500 narapidana.

Lapas Cilacap

Pada malam hari terlihat Lembaga Pemasyarakatan ini sangat sunyi dan terkesan ngeri saja ketika lama-lama berada di depannya.

4. Kejaksaan Negeri Cilacap

Saya terlewat untuk memotret obyek ini karena saya fikir sudah tidak ada lagi bangunan di alun-alun setelah memotret Lembaga Pemasyarakatan. Bangunan Kejaksaan sendiri diapit oleh Jalan Jenderal Sudirman dan Jalan Mataram 1, tepat di ujung depan sebelah kanan alun-alun.

5. Air Mancur 

Terletak di seberang Jalan Jenderal Sudirman tepat di depan pelataran Alun-Alun. Air mancur ini terdapat didalam sebuah taman di belakang papan nama CILACAP BERCAHAYA.

Air Mancur Warna

Pergantian warna di air mancur ini membuat taman terlihat sangat indah.

Nah….Kalau Kamu ke Cilacap, berkunjunglah ke Alun-Alunnya untuk berwisata kuliner dan menikmati pesta cahaya di sekitarnya.


Wisata Dekat Pusat Kota Cilacap, Indonesia

Mengunjungi Cilacap gratisan tentu sesuatu yang sangat menyenangkan buat siapa saja, apalagi buat orang yang memiliki gen traveler.

Kejadian ini saya alama ketika ada business trip 28-29 April  2018. Kunjungan 3D2N ke kota di ujung selatan pulau Jawa ini mengantarkanku ke beberapa objek wisata di sekitar pusat kota Cilacap.

Berikut beberapa tempat yang bias kamu kunjungi di Cilacap:

1. Saung Madu Al Azhar

Saung madu Cilacap

Madu klanceng yang dibudidayakan di saung ini adalah program dari Lembaga Amil Zákat Nasional (LAZ) Al Azhar Cilacap yang bertujuan untuk membangun ekonomi masyarakat sekitar. Oleh karena itu selain memiliki area tersendiri untuk budidaya ini, pengelola juga menitipkan 2 kotak madu ke setiap warga di kampung ini.

Terletak di bagian utara pusat kota hanya butuh waktu 20 menit menuju ke tempat ini. Merasakan madu langsung dari sarangnya dan memakan buah markisa dari tanaman di sekitar area budidaya menjadi sesuatu yang menyegarkan sebagai pembuka dari trip saya di Cilacap.

2. Senja di Pelabuhan Sleko

Pelabuhan Sleko adalah pelabuhan penyeberangan di kota Cilacap. Tentu banyak masyarakat yang ramai menyeberang di pelabuhan ini. Termasuk menyeberang ke kampung wisata terkenal di barat Cilacap yaitu Kampung Laut.

Pelabuhan Sleko

Datang pada sore hari setelah seharian bekerja menjadi opsi yang baik untuk duduk menenangkan diri sembari menikmati indahnya sunset dari kejauhan.

3. Pantai Teluk Penyu

Jangan tinggalkan malam begitu saja….setelah sang surya tenggelam segeralah menuju ke tenggara yaitu ke pantai Teluk Penyu untuk sekedar menikmati angin malam dan seafood dinner di sekitarnya.

Pantai Teluk Penyu

Makan mendoan atau seafood tidak terlalu mahal di sekitar tempat ini. Saya juga sempat melihat acara lelang ikan yang baru di bongkar dari perahu nelayan yang mendarat. Dengan bahasa ngapak-ngapaknya membuat lelang ini  terkesan lucu dan menghibur. Memang menurut masayarakat setempat, Cilacap memiliki bahasa paling ngapak diantara daerah lain yang bahasanya ngapak juga.

Saya berkunjung 2 kali ke pantai ini. Saat malam saya bisa secara masuk gratis dan saat siang perlu membayar Rp. 5.000 di gerbang depan menuju pantai.

4. Alun-Alun Cilacap

Sepulang menikmati angin malam, supaya tidak masuk angin, saya mencari penjual wedang ronde di Alun-Alun Cilacap untuk menghangatkan badan.

Alun Alun Cilacap

Alun-Alun saat malam hari memiliki cahaya lampu yang sangat indah dipandang mata. Beberapa pelajar SMP/SMA bahkan mengadakan latihan seni di tempat ini,. Bisa menjadi pertunjukan gratis yang bisa dilihat sambil kongkow dengan minuman hangatmu.

5. Pantai Karang Pandan

Sore hari di hari kedua, setelah acara kantor selesai, bergegaslah saya menuju Pulau Nusakambangan bagian Timur. Inilah destinasi yang saya tunggu-tunggu sejak awal keberangkatan dari Jakarta.

Pantai Karang Pandan

Menuju tempat ini perlu menggunakan jasa perahu motor seharga 30 ribu pulang pergi untuk menyeberang melewati laut. Karena dropping pointnya di utara pulau maka saya perlu berjalan selama 30 menit menuju Pantai Karang Pandan yang berada di sebelah Selatan Pulau.

Pantai berpasir putih nan indah siap memanjakan mata siapa saja yang bersedia berkunjung ke sini.

6. Singapore of Java Cruise.

Bertepatan dengan malam minggu, tentu saya ingin kongkow melihat anak-anak muda Cilacap berhang out ria menikmati malam. Salah satu wahana untuk muda mudi Cilacap memadu kasih adalah dengan berkeliling laut menaiki Kapal Motor Jaya Sakti untuk menikmati keindahan malam Cilacap melalui Singapore of Java Cruise.

Singapore of java Cruise

2 jam cruise memanjakan mata dengan wisata cahaya di  sepanjang pesisir Cilacap membuat saya kagum akan keindahan Cilacap di malam hari.

Oh ya cruise ini bertolak dari Pelabuhan Sleko ya gaes……

7. Pekan Raya Cilacap. 

Sepertinya ini adalah acara partai politik “G” untuk berkampanye di Cilacap. Saya melewatinya ketika pulang dari Singapore of Java Cruise. Penasaran dengan apa yang ada didalam akhirnya saya mampir.

Pekan Raya Cilacap

Didalam terdapat beberapa stand makanan, fashion dan mainan dan sebuah panggung pertunjukan yang  lumayan besar. Saya hanya berkeliling sebentar tanpa membeli apapun di sini.

8. Benteng Pendem.

Hari terakhir di Cilacap rasanya kurang lengkap kalau belum mengunjungi benteng peninggalan Kolonial Belanda ini. Benteng pertahanan tepat di tepi pantai Teluk Penyu membuka pengetahuan saya bahwa Cilacap pada masa lalu berpeluang di serang lewat lautan. Sehingga Kolonial Belanda membangun benteng ini, yang juga merupakan satu paket dengan Benteng Karang Bolong di Pulau Nusakambangan.

Benteng Pendem

Berbekal uang Rp. 5.000, Saya menghabiskan waktu 1 jam untuk menelusuri seluk beluk benteng ini, bahkan saya masuk ke semua ruangan banteng yang memiliki fungsi yang berbeda-beda pada masanya.

9. Pelabuhan Tanjung Intan.

Sepertinya pelabuhan logistik ini tidak terbuka untuk umum karena memang pelabuhan ini sangat sibuk dengan lalu lalang truk-truk berat pengangkut batubara yang di bongkar dari kapal yang berlabuh di pelabuhan ini. Selain batubara juga ada kapal pengangkut pupuk dan bahan produksi gula rafinasi.

Pelabuhan Tanjung Intan

Saya hanya beruntung bisa menembus penjagaan security selama 5 menit sebelum saya akhirnya dilarang dan diminta meninggalkan area pelabuhan ini karena alasan keamanan.

Itulah beberapa alternatif wisata yang berada di dekat pusat kota Cilacap. Berkunjunglah ke Cilacap untuk melihat sisi lain pariwisata yang jarang terexpose untuk umum.