Although located near the town centre, 'town forest' is rather too much praise for this arboretum. However, if you happen to be a botanist, you should not miss it. About 80 of Indonesia's species of trees are represented here.
The city advertises it's forest even for recreation with children. We consider this ill-advised if only because of the mosquito's pestering us during our walk through the arboretum.
The arboretum is owned and run by the state forestry company, Perhutani. It serves mainly for training of employees. Ample accommodation for student groups is available, and if you are an interested visitor the staff will be happy to let you stay over. For reservations contact mrs Dewi, +62.351.7761641.
Waduk Widas is a vast irrigation lake with recreational area. Like Waduk Wonorejo in Tulungagung residency it is managed by the state water company Jasa Tirta I. However, it is much less developed and visited. The water is clean, as evidenced by the other name the lake goes by: Waduk Bening (Clear Lake).
So it is possible to have a swim and picnic here without being disturbed. We only met some villagers going about their business. Three of them came swimming across the lake with their clothes and luggage on a raft. They dressed and hopped on their bikes parked nearby. It was the shortest way to their work.
The site is vast and deserves some exploration. There is a mango grove, where mangoes are free for the picking (season: October-December). Hunting is not allowed and we saw lots of birds.
On holidays you can expect some local visitors, but they concentrate near the Jasa Tirta office where there is a playground with a few foodstalls and boats.
Our photo's show the lake at its lowest, because it was the end of the dry season.
No customers. Only us. Staff only interested in watching TV and that to too loud. Very hot. We had to request to put on the air-conditioners. Long time to serve the food. Food was mediocre and bland. The worst part was that the owner spoke to us in very impolite words and was rude. Even though we are foreigners we speak the local language fluently and he used words to address us which is used normally to servant class people.
Big mistake. I would advise you all not to eat there. Heard there are better places for food in Madiun.
Madiun may not be impressive as hotels go, but this restaurant is extraordinary! Javanese kitchen at its best. Not the standard cheap dishes of any warung, but fresh and tasty, with flavours we did not know before.
'Mbah Jingkrak' may be translated as 'Dancing Granny'. It is the name of the cook who founded the restaurant two generations ago.
You have the choice of three dining rooms: the main room in front, an air-conditioned room at the back or the airy loft upstairs.
The prices are comparable with those of any roadside restaurant.
Favorite Dish: Not for tourists who expect their meals to taste like they do at home: pick any unfamiliar dish, but beware of the spicy ones. The same goes for the drinks, which go by names like Es Tobat and Es Surga.
There are seven trains daily from Yogyakarta to Madiun, some run in the dead of night.
As per April 2010 the schedule was:
ARGO WILIS, dep. 14:08, arr. 16:20, executive Rp 130,000
BIMA, dep. 00:47, arr. 02:59, executive Rp 130,000
GAJAYANA, dep. 01:30, arr. 03:43, executive Rp 150,000
MUTIARA SELATAN, dep. 01:13, arr. 03:24, business Rp 80,000
SANCAKA PAGI, dep. 07:15, arr. 09:28, business Rp 50,000, executive Rp 75,000
SANCAKA SORE, dep. 16:00, arr. 18:09, executive Rp 75,000
TURANGGA, dep. 02:35, arr. 04:49, executive Rp 130,000
You can check for yourself the latest schedule on: http://kereta-api.co.id/ .The site is in Indonesian, but you need only to fill in on the right: Tanggal = your date of travel , Asal = Yogyakarta, Tujuan = Madiun, then click [Tampilkan].
We hired a car with driver (Avenza) for two days. They made us pay up front for both days.
The next day the car that came was absolutely different and in very bad shape. They refused to change the car and refused to return my money. We returned the car but lost our money.
NEVER RENT A CAR IN MADIUN FROM SURYA CITRA TRAVEL. BIG CHEATS.
My curses on them. They will have so many accidents and maintenance problems they will become bankrupt and broke very soon.
I was suppose to depart from Solo to Malang, East Java. But since i couldn't get any ticket by minibus or train, so i had decided to buy the Gajayana train, depart from Madiun, which it runs from Jakarta to Malang. On my ticket stated Executive Gajayana, depart at. 03.49am. At 11pm i started my trip to Madiun by car, Had to depart earlier as it is in Idul Fitri holiday season. Anticipated the road must be crowded. But beyond our expectation, we arrive in Madiun at about 1,5 hour drive. It was still early, so I decided to have supper, just opposite the train station. It is not difficult to locate the train station, as Madiun is such a small city. The signboard is clear and informative.
I waited patiently for the train, to kill time i had some pictures of madiun train station. Generally it is just like other train station around Indonesia. Dirty and bad maintained. Less than one hour of scheduled departure time, they announced the delayed of the train for approximately 4-4,5 hours. I was panicked, but i manage to get me a small motel aournd the corner. it was expensive, i paid 95,000 rp. for a few hours sleep. The room was horrible, dirty bedsheet, cramp bathroom and dirty too. couldn't have a better choice.
i set off to the station at 05.30. And i had to wait for another two hours before the actual train arrived. totally the train delayed for almost 4 hours. When i asked for confirmation when the train will be there exactly, the station master answered me, saying,"it is a train, what do you expect?"
Interior of Gajayana was horrible, broken reclining seat, dirty toilet, the door that can't be shut. it is filthy. this is the caused of bad mantainance and also the consumer failed to contribute the garbage.
It was around 12.40 when i arrived in malang at last. I am glad to get off the train, after a long wait to the destination.
Not far from Madiun is Nglambangan village, boasting some historic remains from the time of the Majapahit kingdom. When we had found the spot, we were welcomed by the caretaker, pak Samiono, who lives across the road. After showing us around, he took us to meet the village head, pak Sudarto Saputro, who served tea and sweets as it was Idhul Fitri day.
Unfortunately, neither the caretaker nor the village head had much knowledge to share about the historic significance of their village.
The site must have been some holy bathing place, but nowadays the area seems rather dry. It is difficult to discern what are real remnants from Majapahit times, and what are more recent additions or renovations. An original artifact seemed to us the lumbung selayur, a model in stone of a rice storage shed. One can imagine small offerings to be presented in the lumbung.
Village festival: Pak Sudarto invited us to the yearly village festival bersih desa, on 7-8 February 2008, see our travelogue Nglambangan village festival. The festival takes place in the Javanese month of Sura, but the date is not fixed even on the Javanese calender. So, if you are intersted and happen to be around in Sura month, contact pak Sudarto for the exact date.
Directions: Leave Madiun by Jalan Diponegoro, straight on until Mojorayung village. Here in front of the primary school (SD) turn left. Next at Nglanduk village turn right and immediately left again. Through Dempelan village you reach Nglambangan.
We happened to pass by and see the sign 'Prasasti Sendang Kamal'.
It is about half way on the road between Madiun and Maospati, a sign pointing north. The site lies one km from the main road, in a village, and is not guarded.
Prasasti denotes an inscription on a rock. The Javanese characters are barely visible. But what do they mean? We asked around at the neighbouring houses, but nobody had any idea. The municipality of Salatiga at least has installed a panel with a translation at its Prasasti Plumpungan.
It is clear though what Sendang Kamal means. It must have been the name of an adjacent swimming pool in colonial times. It is dry now and only some ruins remain.