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“Well maintenance ancient tradition”

Mangkunegaran Palace
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Sukuh and Cetho Temple Tour from Yogyakarta
Ranked #4 of 46 things to do in Solo
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Owner description: Built in 1757 by the nephew of the King Pakubuwono II after a bitter power struggle, this smaller palace is still lived in.
Reviewed April 26, 2013

Many cool stuff, we go around the house until the inside part to learn and see the ancient history of Surakarta.

Thank ssijuve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"worth a visit"
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"nice museum"
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93 - 97 of 239 reviews

Reviewed March 22, 2013

In 2011, I spent a lovely hour at Kraton Mangkunegara. At the entrance, I paid the ticket and asked for an English guide and was told the fee was up to me to discuss with the guide directly. He was a young grad student from another part of Indonesia just happened to be in Solo and he explained he was there not long but wanted to make his time productive by guiding tourists knowing history of his land.
We started to tour the Pendopo where there will be an event that night. Workers are busy preparing the hall with flowers. We spent time in the museum where the treasures were kept. Lots of precious old European gifts and Indonesian jewelleries including the chastity belt. Of course I was being asked to guess what it was. I think my faked answer of umbrella handle generated really good laughter from my guide. But of course I researched all about it before and so when asked about other exotic pieces, I just gave the right answer and cultural reference, then I think my guide starts to take me seriously and sweated a bit on historical facts!
Anyway, I think proper etiquette was straightly enforced. To a point, most outsiders would not understand. We have to be bare-footed inside the museum, no photos. So we can actually take time to see the beautiful authentic dancer costume and photos of the dance events. Outside in the garden, we took rest and I talked to the parrot. At another reception hall, a royal lady was receiving a visitor. I did not know what was the proper way to do, so I just brow from a distance not wanting to intrude. My guide did not tell me who she was. When we are on the side of the hall, a royal servant came out to let me and my guide know who she was by pointing to some old photos on the wall. I thanked her. But they said Indonesian which I did not understand. My tour guide afterward explained that she was not pleased that my guide did not explained to me who she was and he had to do a better job next time. It is very true as it is her house!
But overall, my guide speaks perfect English but just lacked a bit tact and experience in life.

2  Thank mucuna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2013

Went there after lunch and it was already closed. If I'm not mistaken, it closed at 3pm. So you better reach there in the morning or before lunch.

Thank ivettainaray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

A rather disappointing visit to the Kraton Mangkunegara (local name), aka Istana Mangkunegara (national name). In the first place they have a completely weird dress code here, very different to everywhere else we have been in Indonesia. They objected to the full length traditional Indonesian sarongs, with sash, that one of my friends and I were wearing (which we wore everywhere else in Indonesia to much local approval) and said that we had to use their own sarongs - and worn three quarter length. Not only that but the sarongs they gave us to wear were not even proper sarongs being violently coloured beach sarongs and one of them actually saying Rio de Janeiro! Our group guide had a long discussion with the staff in Indonesian but they refused to budge and refused to let us in unless we wore their strange sarongs. Apparently though it would have been fine if we were wearing shorts! The supervisor claimed it was instructions from the royal family though I very much doubt it and suspect the real reason was the supervisor was in a bad mood and wanted to take it out on some 'defenceless tourists'. However, be warned about weird dress codes here.
We were then allocated an English speaking local guide to take us around, you are not allowed to go round on your own. She was OK but not very informative. Mind you there wasn't much to see really, a whole load of dusty European china, glassware, cutlery, jewellery etc, badly displayed and not at all attractive. Certainly there were some nice pieces and some nice furniture but few and far between. Some Indonesian items too but far more European than Indonesian. The item though that they seemed most proud of was a golden male chastity 'belt' – which was dull and broken! Not only that but we were all then sat down at one side of the main room and had to listen to a 15/20 minute sales pitch from our local guide for their health/natural spa products, cream, soaps etc. Nearly as bad as the time-share salespeople you get in many European seaside resorts and certainly not something that should be part of a tour of a 'historical' site. We were not allowed to take photos in the main room with the bulk of the artefacts or of the soapy sales pitch. However, we were allowed to take photos of some of the other audience/visitor rooms and outer buildings. Quite a few parts were off-limits though presumably being part of the private residences.
Compared to the Kraton/Palace in Yogyakarta which we had visited the previous day, there is just no comparison, the Yogyakarta Kraton is miles better and far more interesting. Also although I can't remember exactly how much, entry charges here were quite expensive for Indonesia. All in all a very poor visit on many fronts and Kraton Mangkunegara is certainly a place not worth visiting unless you are very much at a loss for things to do in Solo/Surakarta.

2  Thank Arthurrvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 6, 2013

Mangkunegaran Palace was known to have a very intimate relationship with Napoleon. The Mangkunegaran Regent sent an army of Javanese Troop in Napoleonic War, although the war was already over when the troop finally got there...

Thank Saesario I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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