PRINCESS TAN ONG TIEN
Princess Tan Ong Tien who was is the wife of Sunan Gunung Jati, founder of the Cirebon sultanate, Cekong Mas (from the Han family, his tomb is located in a prayer house at Prajekan near Situbondo in East Java and is regarded as a sacred place)
CIREBON - NEGARA GEDE (THE GREAT KINGDOM)
"CHERIBON, CHEERAYBONE, GRAGE"
Cirebon (formerly referred to as Cheribon in English) is a city on the north coast of the Indonesian island of Java. Its name is often said to be derived from the Sundanese words of "Cai" (or river) and "Rebon" (or "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.
Cirebon itself is known as Grage in the Cirebon dialect of Javanese language, which came from the words "Negara Gede", meaning "Great Kingdom."
"SUNAN GUNUNG JATI"
Wali Songo, especially Sunan Gunung Jati, is known to have influenced the city's history. Sunan Gunung Jati's grave is located several kilometres outside the city, in a district called Gunung Jati. There are two temples and a cave system built by two Chinese architects around the 1880s, decorated by Chinese and Western porcelain.
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.
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 with peanut sauce and mixed with vegetables) and ayam panggang (barbecue chicken). Another native food is "Docang" (rice cake with sour vegetable soup).
My Second Cirebon Trip
"Things you can do in Jakarta"
This was my second visit to Cirebon. My first trip was basically climbing Mount Ciremai. This time was for relaxing to walk around Cirebon.
Sangkanurip road is generally a resort strip. Here is where you can find quite a number of hotels ranging from low budget to expensive 5 stars.
The one I stayed is "Hotel Mata Air". It is a budget type and cost Rph. 77,000 including tax. There is no toilet flushing system, you got to force splash a pail of water to push your load down. I guess this is typical to budget hotel. It has a rectangular ceramic tiles bathtub and warm natural spring water leads into it. Soak all you want. Not bad for a budet hotel.
Hotel Mata Air
Jl. Raya Cipanas No. 208
Sangkanurip - Cilimus - Kuningan 45556 Jawa Barat
Tel: 0232 - 613202
In my stay, I observed that it is quite a popular budget hotel for the locals. There is a karaoke lounge and dining restaurant and well priced room rates. And perhaps because of these reasons, there are always a group of 'working girls' sitting around. But they are not agressive and generally passive. Rest assured that they will not pester or grab you. In my first night stay, there was this stunner who was sitting near to the check-in counter. When I briefly looked at her, thinking that she might be a hotel maid, she just had a split second eye contact with me and then looked away. I was later told that she is one of the working girl. Just don't give any signal and you will be alright and peaceful.
I was fortunate enough to meet this old masseuse guy. Not only can he speak english, he gives hell of a good massage. By pressing on certain parts of your body, he can tell what what are the problems without you telling. Throughout my stay, he is my great communication tool. Because I can't speak and hear a single Bahasa Indonesian. And 99.9% of the locals don't speak English. His name is Eddy, find him when you are there. Not only he is a great help, he will show you a miracle weed called ‘gotu kola’ that you can pluck some and plant it at your own country which I did. A man in China actually lived to 256 years old with the help of this herb.
The owner of the hotel is a lady, her name is Ida. She speaks very little English. Extremely kind and friendly. And very hardworking yet full of smiles.
Unless you are accompanied with friends or can speak Bahasa, you cannot stay for more than one day. You will absolutely be bored to death. Check-in around evening when it is still not dark and start your next day at about 8am to visit the famous 'Keraton Kasepuhan, Cirebon (sultan of Kasepuhan royal palace)' , the market place nearby, a delicious chinese seafood lunch at Magna (formally Maxim's),batik shopping and then back to the hotel to have a swim at the public hot and cold spring water swimming pool just right in front of Hotel Mata Air.
Magna Seafood and Chinese Food Restaurant ( English, Chinese and Cantonese speaking found here.)
Here is the address -
Jl. Syarief Abdurachman /
Jl. Bahagia 45 - 47
Tel: (0231) 208045 or 203185
For batik, if you don’t want to go to the Trusmi village. Go to a shop near this restaurant, it is only a short ride on the trishaw. Ask for the famous mega mendung, or Chinese influenced stormy clouds pattern batik design that is distinctively Cirebon.
Here is the address –
Mulia Toko Batik
Jl. Lemahwungkuk No. 134
Tel: (0231) 234304 or 208506
"From Cirebon and back to Jakarta"
I figured out that it is quite easy to go to this place from Jakarta. Because I took an aircon bus right at the mouth of Sangkanurip road back to Jarkarta. I waited for the one with aircon for not too long. Those that are non-aircon passes by almost once every 5mins. First, ask the hotel staff which way to walk out. Once out of this road cross to the opposite and wait. Look out for the buses that have the word 'Luragung' or 'Sahabat'. Most likely they will automatically stop and ask you if you want to board it. By the way, if you say aircon, they will unlikely understand what you say. You need to say AC pronounced as 'Are-See'. and follow by hand and head signal, they will understand. I paid Rp. 45,000 for the aircon bus, standard priced ticket. The whole journey back takes about 6 hours. So I presumed that coming from Jakarta should take about the same time.
Coming from Jakarta, you should be able to sleep in the bus for 5 hours and you still cannot miss this place. What you can do is write the word 'Sangkanurip' on a piece of paper and gives to the bus conductor, and bug him once a while and they will understand to alight you. Prepares lots of rp. coins, because there will be frequent buskers coming into the bus and perform. There was this lady that even brought her portable karaoke mic set to the bus and sing.
>> abdi na nyariosakeun kacirebonan <<
cirebon, a hidden jewel of west java, there are several palaces of the old sultanates, with unique lingo mixing central and west java, an old harbour and traditional batik influenced by chinese and west europe patterns. also delicious eateries called nasi jamblang.
it's so laid back in cirebon, walking along jalan lemah wungkuk. witnessing time goes by, as a palace hidden by a local market. sad but true, reflecting the glorious moment from the past.
"a becak song"
[this is one of my childhood song]
saya mau tamasya, keliling-keliling kota
keramaian yang ada
saya panggilkan becak
kereta tak berkuda,
becak-becak, tolong bawa saya
[i want to go wandering, around the city
for watching and looking
bunch of tourist spot
so, bring me here a becak
cart without horse
oh becak, becak take me to there]
the places we’d been at cirebon: sugar mill sindanglaut, old houses along jalan lemah wungkuk, bank indonesia-british american tobacco [BAT]-bank mandiri buildings, chinese temple welas asih [klenteng thiaw kak sie], keraton [grand palace] kasepuhan, keraton kanoman, grand mosque cirebon, local market kanoman and the harbour of cirebon.
thanks to dearly nick who gave me ‘special offer’; sugar mills visits at Sindanglaut, 40 kms away from cirebon. Yes, suiker-fabriken [sugar factory, dutch lingo] becomes our main destination. we have to ask many local before, since both of us never been at sindanglaut. then i added idea to visit grand palaces of cirebon sultanates, old mosque, temple, harbour, local market, old buildings and cirebon square [town square].
during weekend, we got so many experiences. visit the old steam locomotives ~which very rarely found in the world [nick gets the information from his dad and several sources in the net], visit the old house of de onderneming [chief of sugar factory, dutch lingo] ~I do love to learn about its indische woonhuizen [dutch design and architecture for houses that applied for tropical countries like Indonesia], ‘till laugh oud loud whenever seeing flipper show at cirebon square. “the dolphins looks so stressed,” nick's comments. “maybe feel like hell, as hot as the loco-steam!”
oh, anyway i got a new nickname ‘Puffin Billy’, since my experience about locomotive only based on a small literary from a children book the famous five [by enid blyton, uk]. meanwhile nick got that ‘lovely’ nickname based on the flipper show; ‘steam dolphin’.