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zaktim Salatiga - A travel report by Tim
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Salatiga,  Indonesia - flag Indonesia -  Jawa Tengah
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zaktim's travel reports

Pelabuhan Ratu; paradise forgotten

  7 votes

Pelabuhan Ratu (Queens' Port) is one of several gorgeous coastal towns on the S coast of Java, easily accessible by bus for Salatiga. This is where the rich Jakartan's spend their holidays, and while nothing's cheap like elsewhere in Indo, the whole area is refreshing for it's Indonesian-ness. Not many foreigners make the trip - the transport's not much fun - and the coast is wonderfully rugged, volcanic hills fighting an ageless battle with storms coming in off the Indian ocean.

Favourite spots:
No one place takes the cake, but there are abundant beach-side open air restaurants where you can watch the sunset, chase cats off your table, imagine the military strategies of geckos tearing each other to shreds on the ceiling, and enjoy the most exquisite meal of freshly caught seafood. 'Ikan Bakar' is the dish of preference.

What's really great:
That unless you speak Indonesian, you needn't come here....well, I won't stop you, but get ready for lots of articulate arm waving and general non-linguistic conversation.

Sights:
The whole area is a continuous wonderland of steep forested hills, palm-lined beaches and high energy beaches. The ports, fish markets, and ship-repair yards are always fun for an afternoon's entertainment.

Accommodations:
Look hard and you should be able to get a place for under 50,000 Rp. There are very few budget places, but that's the spirit of the area. You come here, lap it up for a couple of days to pump money into the stalling fishing industry, enjoy the hospitality and the scenery, and be on your way.

Nightlife:
None to my knowledge. Not I was looking at the time.

Hangouts:
Few. This is genuine quietly devout muslim territory.

Restaurants:
As before, you can't go past the beach side cafe-restaurants. And unlike the normal advice, don't worry if you choose one with no other customers. The chefs will probably treat you like a king. Mine even introduced me to the whole family after I'd eaten (in hindsight I should have invited them to sit with me and chat over dinner).

Other recommendations:
Pelabuhan Ratu is by no means the only such place in southern Jawa. There are at least a dozen others that receive probably even less fame and are equally delightful.

Published on Monday January 27th, 2003


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Thu, Oct 02 2003 - 07:59 AM rating by marianne

Did you go to the big hotel at the far end where the Queen of the South Sea has her own room?

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