Indonesia’s Museum’s, Monuments Loaded With History

Museums, Monuments Found Across Indonesia

Indonesia’s monuments and museums are found throughout the country. They represent the whole spectrum of Indonesian life, thought and history. The best-known and also the oldest in existence of the museums of art, culture and history is the Central Museum in Jakarta.

Museums of natural history are found in Bogor and Bandung. Of equal scientific interest, though small in size, is the Sangiran museum of paleontology and anthropology near Solo (Surakarta).

Sangiran Museum

Sangiran Museum
A small museum in this village, 15 kilometers from Solo, displays prehistoric fossils found in the region. This area is found along the Solo River. It has an outcropping of the earth’s prehistoric surface, which has yielded many major anthropologic finds. Among them were the remains of Solo Man, one of the earliest human fossils known. The fossilized remains of Java Man were found not far away in 1881 by the Dutchman Dr. Eugene Dubois near the village of Trinil, East Java.

Indonesia mask

Central Museum
Jakarta’s Central Museum is one of the finest in Southeast Asia. Founded in 1788, it still has the world’s most complete collection of Indonesian artifacts. Its Hindu-Javanese collection is one of the finest in the world. It has one the richest collections of Han, Tang and Ming porcelain, and an array of Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese export ceramics. Its monetary collection includes rare specimens of cloth-money used in the past in various areas of Indonesia. The National Library is adjacent to the museum. It features more than 700,000 old and recent volumes of books, manuscripts and periodicals covering virtually every subject on Indonesia.

Jakarta History Museum fatahillah square

Jakarta History Museum, Fatahillah Square
This open-air museum in Jakarta has three main structures. The first is the Jakarta Museum, which exhibits the colonial history of the city, but also includes relics from the pre-colonial past. The building on the east, formerly the Supreme Court, houses the Fine Arts Gallery and the Ceramics Museum, which contains an excellent Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics collection. On the western side of the square is the Wayang Museum, filled with puppets used in the indigenous puppet theater. The largest part of the collection consists of wayang kulit, the popular flat leather puppets from various regions. Demonstrations of the shadow play are given every Sunday morning.

Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is at the northern end of Jakarta. It has exhibits displayed inside the historic Dutch East India Company warehouses. In small-scale models and pictures, the museum attempts to give the visitor an idea of Indonesia’s seafaring tradition and the importance of the sea to the economy of present-day Indonesia. The museum features models of fishing boats from most parts of Indonesia, including the legendary pinisi schooners of the Bugis people of South Sulawesi.

Merdeka Square Monas National Monument Jakarta

National Monument
The 137-meter tall monument, also known as Monas, symbolizes Indoesia’s independence with a gold-leaf flame at the top. It faces the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. The basement of the monument houses a Museum of History with dioramas about Indonesia’s history—from prehistoric times through the present. A good portion of the display is devoted to the national war for independence, which raged from 1945 through 1949. You can hear the voice of Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno, in the Hall of Silence at the foot of the National Monument. The monument is located at Merdeka Square (freedom square).

Armed Forces Museum
The Satria Mandala Museum, or Armed Forces Museum, is located in the southern part of Jakarta. It features an interesting collection of arms, including Japanese fighter planes from World War II, Russian and American guns, and armored cars.

The Textile Museum
The Textile Museum in Jakarta has about 600 different kinds of traditional Indonesian textiles, from batik to ikat and Dayak bark cloths. In many regions, such textiles are still used to pay fines, avert illness, and mark other social and religious purposes. Some of the oldest Indonesian ornamental designs are found in their original textiles.

Museum Indonesia
The Museum Indonesia, a three-story structure in traditional Balinese architecture, is located inside the Taman Mini Park. The museum has a vast collection of contemporary Indonesian arts and crafts, traditional costumes from the various regions, puppets, musical instruments, masks, and a large variety of utensils and equipment used in daily life across the islands. Mannequins and replicas display the various rituals concerned with the passage of life.

Museum Sono Budoyo
Founded in 1935, this museum faces the Kraton (Sultan’s palace) in Yogyakarta. It is built in traditional Javanese architecture. Its collection includes weapons, leather and wooden wayang puppets, masks, statues, textiles, curios, and old Javanese gamelan instruments. A library also is attached.

Museum Radjapustoko
The Radjapustoko Museum is located next to the Sriwedari amusement park in Solo. It features an interesting collection of art objects and mementoes from Java’s past.

Zoological Museum
The Zoological Museum in Bogor has a vast collection of preserved Indonesian animal species, from birds and reptiles to mammals and conchs displayed in life-like dioramas. The museum includes a library about the Indonesian animal world as well.

Geological Museum
The fossilized skull of legendary Java Man is featured at the Geological Museum in Bandung. The museum was founded in 1929 and includes collections of fossils, rocks, minerals, volcano models, maps, and more.

Other Monuments and Museums

Museums of local culture and history are found in many provincial capitals and towns across Indonesia, including the Bukittinggi Museum in West Sumatra, the Makkasar Museum in the former Fort Rotterdam in Ujung Pandang (Makassar), South Sulawesi, and the Simalungun Museum at Pematang Siantar, in North Sumatra.

Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia

Indonesia Not Ready For More Cruise Ships

Indonesia Boosting Port Capacity For Cruises

Steven Young, a top official with ship operator Carnival UK, visited Indonesia‘s booth during the 2014 Cruise Shipping Miami exhibition with one important purpose: To find out whether there has been infrastructure and facility improvements in the country’s ports and shipping industry.

Indonesia cruise

The Jakarta Post reports that Young, head of port operations & services with the world’s largest ship operator, wanted to make sure that Indonesia had fulfilled its promise to develop its ports and facilities.

“Our ship came to Semarang [Central Java] months ago and was upset with the condition of the port. I came here to find out if improvements had been made,” he said, referring to his cruise line Costa Victoria.

On his visit to the Indonesian booth, Young was welcomed by and had a discussion with Ali Sodikin, general manager of Benoa Port, whose parent company, port operator PT Pelindo III, also supervises Tanjung Mas Port in Semarang.

golf Indonesia

During the brief talk, Young asked the Indonesian port authority if it had improved port facilities, including dredging the access channel and the turning basin. Improvements would ensure that every ship could enter and anchor in the port safely.

Responding to the inquiries, Ali said the port authority — with the help of the Transportation Ministry — had dredged the access channel and the turning basin in Semarang Port to accommodate larger ships.

The port operator, Ali said, was also in the midst of improving Benoa and Celukan Bawang (Bali), Tanjung Perak (Surabaya), Tanjung Tembaga (Probolinggo) and Kumai in Central Kalimantan.

Young was not the only global ship operator representative who wanted an update on port conditions in Indonesia. Representatives from Holland America Line, Salen Ship Management AB, Carnival Australia and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, to name a few, also met with Indonesian delegates to get updates on infrastructure development as well new tourist destinations in the archipelago.

Indonesia travel and tourism

Data and media reports have shown the potential of the cruise shipping industry in Indonesia and, generally, in the Asia-Pacific region. During the Cruise Shipping Miami conference, Adam Goldstein, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, also highlighted the potential too.

“Virtually anything is possible,” Goldstein said about the potential for Asia and the Australasia region.

He said Indonesia was home to potential tourist destinations but unfortunately did not provide enough facilities. “The industry is still struggling and infrastructure development is very slow,” Goldstein added.

Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry director for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibition (MICE) and special interests promotion, Rizki Handayani, who also attended Cruise Shipping Miami, said the government needed to develop ports to achieve its target of welcoming 500,000 cruise ship passengers by 2016.

marine tourism Indonesia

“The number of cruise ship passengers visiting Indonesia is on the rise. The issue here is the fact that our ports cannot accommodate large ships,” she said, adding that the number of cruise passengers had reached 200,000 in 2013.

Rizki emphasized that the target of seeing 500,000 cruise passengers by 2016 could be achieved if the government improved some of its ports, particularly Benoa Port in Bali, and also developed new tourist destinations to support the domestic cruise shipping industry.

Hong Kong, which claims to be Asia’s cruise hub, currently operates two terminals: Ocean Terminal and Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Both can accommodate large ships measuring up to 300 meters in length. They are also equipped with ship repair and engineering maintenance facilities.

Benoa, in the meantime, has been seeing improvements, albeit slowly.

With one of the world’s longest coastlines, Indonesia has plenty of tourist destinations. Unfortunately, many points of interests, such as in Semarang and Bali, are not accessible to large ships. Meanwhile, Sabang Port, in Aceh, which is ready to accommodate large ships, has no tourist destinations to offer.

Mt. Merapi Java Indonesia

Cruise ship passengers who stop at Sabang Port, for example, have to take smaller boats and then buses, before reaching points of interest in the province. This situation has deterred tourists from visiting the area.

According to Rizki, Indonesia has more tourist spots than its neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Thailand. Cruise ship passengers usually only visit Phuket and Bangkok in Thailand as well as Kuala Lumpur, Malaka and Penang in Malaysia.

“Indonesia has opportunity,” Rizki added.

Indonesia has at least 100 destinations to offer, including those in remote areas accessible to mid-sized ships. If the government develops Benoa Port to accommodate larger ships, more passengers would visit Indonesia. “My message is clear. The government needs to seriously work on this issue. The entry of large ships will bring more tourists who will spend more money and eventually drive the economy in tourist areas,” she said.

Purba Robert Sianipar, assistant to the deputy minister at the Coordinating Economic Ministry, criticized the Transportation Ministry for working too slowly.

Robert said the government needed to take the issue of port development into account because it would have positive effects on the economy.


Indonesia tourism marketing and public relations firm

Crossbow Communications specializes in international marketing, issue management and public affairs. Indonesia is one of our regions of expertise. Our President and founder is the author of the Language and Travel Guide to Indonesia. Please contact Gary Chandler at Visit Indonesia.

Language and Travel Guide To Indonesia