I meet up with a couple of friends in Cirebon for the weekend. We plan on a day in Cirebon and another day in Majalengka (the last trip on April is not enough *cough*).
Like the tourists we are, albeit local, we hit on several tourist areas including the food. A must try in Cirebon area is, of course, empal gentong. Empal is beef cooked in a Javanese style of cooking with spices. We try one of the reviewer’s recommendation, Empal Gentong H. Apud. The restaurant starts in 1995 by Haji Mahcfud or Haji Apud.
Empal Gentong Rp. 22.000, Lontong (Rice Cake) Rp. 3.000, Tahu Gejrot (Tofu with spices) Rp. 6.000, ice coconut Rp. 12.000. In total, my brunch is Rp. 33.000 (USD $2.2).
Kraton Kasepuhan Cirebon
Our first stop is the Kraton Kasepuhan Cirebon, a palace complex where the royal family of the Cirebon Sultanate still resided. Although it’s not as big (or famous) as Kraton Yogyakarta, Kraton Kasepuhan Cirebon is a nice find to cool down from the hot weather in Cirebon. And who knows, you might meet up with the royal family. It’s best to explore this place with a guide to learn the history even though there are placates explaining the place.
Kraton Kesepuhan Cirebon has two complexes. The first one, Dalem Agung Pakungwati was built in 1430 by Prince Cakrabuana and the Pakungwati Kraton built in 1529 by Prince Mas Zainul Arifin.
The raised area is called Siti Inggil or Lemah Duwur (means raised earth). The architecture looks like the temples from Majapahit but with Muslim philosophy and prayers. Interestingly, the walls are decorated with Chinese and European porcelains from around 1745.
The garden has its own philosophy from the name Dewandaru or Dewadaru trees from the epic Hindu story, Ramayana. In the Muslim context, the garden symbolized as a reminder for a human to find their way into the path of God.
Unfortunately, we can’t enter most of the buildings. Kutagara Wadasan was built by Sultan Sepuh I Syamsudin Martawidjaja in 1678.
The current sultan the family crest.
We end up going the back and see a lovely pond. Here’s my favorite part because you can cool off from the heat here.
The next stop we visit
Taman Sari Gua Sunyaragi
Taman Sari Gua Sunyaragi is a series of caves that look like temple. Sunyaragi is a name derived from Sanskrit language; “Sunya” or “sepi” (Silence) and “Ragi” or “Raga” (Body). The place is built for the royal family to relax and meditation, much like the Taman Sari in Yogyakarta. Entry: Rp. 10.000 (USD$0.72).
This 15-hectare land was previously surrounded by the lake (hence the name “Taman Sari”) but nowadays the water is mostly dried up.
The complex is divided into two, the guesthouse and the building of the caves. The guesthouse is equipped with a series of room and hallways. The outer building is covered with rocks and coral reef that from afar looks like black clouds.
For some reason, this reminds me of the Skeleton palace in He-Man.
We spent a couple of hours here. There are some fun spots and beautiful blue sky enhance the dark architecture mystique. We almost forgot about lunch.
We end up eating late lunch at Nasi Jamblang Bu Nur (Jamblang Rice by Mrs. Nur). Unfortunately, we came after lunch so most of the 30 iconic Cirebon dishes are mostly sold out. The rice portion is small and cheap (around Rp. 2000), often visitors would like to have more than that. From me, a small portion of rice is enough because I can sample all range of side dishes. A couple years ago, the plate is made of bamboo with a leaf for an added layer. Now mostly the restaurant uses melanin plate but keep the iconic leaf. (It’s not Jamblang rice without the leaf, yo!).
After late lunch, we pass by Batik Trusmi, specialized fashion, traditional fabric and snacks from Cirebon. I want to see how the local ladies make the traditional batik, alas, we arrived too late. We end up looking around the store and buy snacks and two printed fabric.
The night has fallen, we off again to Majalengka. This will be my second time to visit this city. I love it. Check out my first trip to Majalengka a few months ago.
We stay the night at Noni Lodging again. Tomorrow, we have an early rise to go to Terasering Panyaweuyan (again).
Cirebon and Majalengka Trip
- [Travel] Cirebon & Majalengka | 1st Day Explore – Palace of Skeleton
- [Travel] Cirebon & Majalengka | 2nd and 3rd Day Explore – Nature is calling (again)