ROAD TRIP UNDER 5 HOURS: 5 PLACES TO VISIT
The holiday season is here. If you’re in the mood for a road trip, Indonesia’s toll road company Jasa Marga has good news in store –the new Jakarta-Cikampek (Japek) II elevated toll road is now open for Christmas and New Year’s travelers, and, even better, is still free of charge.
Japek II is another game changer in Indonesia’s transportation network. Shortening distance and time, more destinations are now in your hands. Now that Jakarta and other cities in Java are more connected, here are five best places to visit along the route, with the farthest city reachable within just five hours.
Purwakarta could be your ideal first stop. Merely 1 hour and 30 minutes from Cikunir 4 Toll to Cipularang Toll gate, this is where Sadang touristic village, “Kampoeng Sadang” is located, in Mulyamekar in Babakan Cikao area.
Offering family-friendly accommodation equipped with facilities for children, it’s only seven minutes or 2,1 KM away from Purwakarta’s center. Being close to Purwakarta means you can enjoy both the luxury of nature and small-town life when staying in Sadang – at night, drop by to the town’s Sri Baduga Situ Buleud Fountain that features water and light entertainment. You can also head west from Sadang to visit Jatiluhur Waterworld or pack up and drive further south to stay at Giri Tirta Kahuripan resort and take a dip in Ciracas Hot Spring. With Japek II, destination hopping is perfectly possible.
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2. West Bandung
The ‘Paris van Java’, or Bandung, is an uber-famous destination in West Java. But the city isn’t its only appeal. Exit in Sadang and head to West Bandung area where the lush landscape of tea plantations with visit options including hot springs and waterfalls will greet you and your Instagram feed. Feeling adventurous? Try out the glamping sites, such as Legok Kondang Lodge that is 93 kilometers or two hours away from toll exit. It’s farther up the hill and surrounded by the forest, which means cooler and cleaner air. If you prefer to be by the water, there’s also Lakeside Glamping just 15 kilometers or 44 minutes from exit.
What’s great about Japek II is that it’s connected to Trans Jawa toll road, which opens to travelers a wide variety of destinations to choose from along the northern Java coast. Closest, historic, and still part of West Java Province is Cirebon – the city famous for shrimps and batik. Located 191 km from Cikunir 4 toll road, batik shopping at the famed Trusmi Batik is only 2,5 hours away.
For family travelers whose kids are avid water fan, go to Cirebon Waterland Taman Ade Irma Suryani by Cirebon’s northern beach. Follow Pilang Raya road if you come from Subang or Cirebon-Bandung Main Road from Cileunyi near Bandung. Extend your stay by booking a room at the sea view cottage.
There are more in Cirebon to explore. Gronggong Hill between Cirebon and Kuningan, just 25 minutes away, is perfect for afternoon and evening excursion to watch Cirebon city lights. Moreover, the city itself is packed with historical sites from the Cirebon royal palace, Kanoman Palace, Sang Cipta Rasa Grand Mosque, Sunan Gunung Jati tomb, to Sunyaragi Cave.
Located practically next to Cirebon, Tegal in Central Java Province has diverse attractions from water activities, nature tourism, to historical destinations. Drive 272 km, or 3.5 hours, from Cikunir 4 to Brebes toll exit to reach Tegal. Feeling hungry? Drive down 20 minutes from Brebes to get to Tegal town square where one of its culinary centers, Pokanjari (Teri Road hawker center) is located. Grab a table and eat alongside locals to taste soup-based sauto Tegal, rice-based nasi grombyang, as well as kupat glabed and kupat blengong – featuring rice cooked in diamond shaped woven palm leaf. Be pleasantly surprised by the food and the cheap price.
For history buffs, Semedo Pre-Historic Museum and Site in Kedung Banteng area is 27.6 km or 44 minutes from the town square. It houses a collection of fossils, including the Homo Erectus, and other pre-historic artefacts such as chopping tools, flake tools, and scrappers. The tomb of Mbah Semedo, Tegal’s historic figure, is located nearby.
Known for its iconic snack lumpia, Semarang is the farthest city in our list and reachable within 5 hours with Japek II – saving travelers 30 minutes compared to previous route. Here, the city’s historical architecture and sites, culinary delights, and children’s attractions will more than make up for the distance traveled.
Many places in Semarang are located nearby each other and thereby easy to navigate. A Central Java Grand Mosque will appear in just 25 minutes after you exit the Semarang-Batang toll road, while Kauman Mosque is only a short 15 minutes ride away. The colonial Lawang Sewu building is strategically located in the city’s center and near Sam Po Kong temple as well as the Avalokitesvara Pagoda.
To keep the kids entertained, you can take them to the Old City 3D Trick Art Museum, Wonderia water park, or Jungle Toon Waterpark. Top your vacation with dishes that tickle your buds; the authentic, Semarang-grown Toko Oen serving Dutch-inspired menus in a colonial-style building can be found at Pemuda street No. 25. Going local? Choose from Semarang’s long list of delicious menus from soto bangkong Semarang, nasi koyor, to legendary ice dessert Cong Lik Shaved Ice at Ahmad Dahlan street, a convenient six minutes away from Toko Oen.
So, are you ready to pack your bags? We hope this list has been helpful in choosing your best destination. Keep in mind to check your car’s condition before hitting the road and make sure your e-toll card is replenished. Have a great holiday and joyous year’s end!