As Indonesians, few things get our patriotism pumped up more than the upcoming presidential and legislative election. Indonesians everywhere celebrate their rights to pick the representatives and the president, setting up the national landscape for the next five years. Regardless of what your political views or presidential choice might be, a democratic election is a reminder that we’re all already winners in democracy, since everyone from every corner of Indonesia's thousands of islands have the right to be represented.
The 7 individuals who have taken the responsibility of becoming Indonesia's president since our independence in 1945 came from a lot of different–and beautiful–places in Indonesia. To celebrate Election Day, and to show you how beautiful Indonesia's local destinations are, here's a journey to the many different hometowns of our presidents!
The 2nd biggest metropolitan of Indonesia, Surabaya's growing charm will certainly put the city in your traveling list. Not only does it hold a historic value as the hometown of Indonesia's first president Soekarno, but it also continues to blossom under the care of its current mayor Tri Rismaharini.
In the recent years, Surabaya has successfully stolen the spotlight by nabbing a few prestigious international award as the best urban space for its dwellers. If you happen to land here on your holiday, there are endless spots to visit and take great photos in and around the city; from the majestic Mount Bromo, popular local landmarks like the Chinatown or National Heroes Monument, and more. Don't forget to visit Sudirman Street to satisfy your street-food cravings of delicious traditional cuisines such as Rawon and Lontong Balap!
One of the most renowned and controversial presidents in the world of his time, Soeharto was born in the village of Argomulyo, Sedayu Regency of Bantul, just outside the historic town of Yogyakarta. With the installation of his memorial monument, currently this small village is getting more attractive and drawing tourism interest.
However, if you don’t plan to travel all the way in to his hometown, the city of Yogyakarta itself is more than ready to offer countless amazing must-visit, must-do, and must-eat activities for tourists. The city of Yogyakarta is the hometown of Indonesia's first female president, Megawati Soekarnoputri, who is also the daughter of Soekarno, the first president. Other than
Yogyakarta certainly needs little introduction for even worldwide travellers. It is a town that still retains its traditional Javanese culture such as ancient Kraton courts, batik marketplace, art performances and other lively values, yet also is a growing urban space for the emerging creative industry in Indonesia.
Visit the majestic Borobudur Temple, one of the 7 wonders of the old-world, climb Mount Sewu or Mount Kidul, shop for souvenirs and ride a horse carriage through the street markets of Malioboro, sit down lesehan-style and sample Yogyakarta's famous street food such as Gudeg, Mie Jawa, Kopi Joss and Sate Klathak, stroll along the white-sand beach of Parang Tritis, or immerse yourself in the history of Keraton Yogyakarta and its' surrounding sultanate palace complex, there are simply endless reasons for you to visit Yogyakarta this coming holiday!
From master engineer and inventor to president, BJ Habibie is the first president during the transitional period of Indonesia into the Reformation era. Hailing from South Sulawesi, he spent his childhood at Parepare which is also known as Bandar Madani, a port town a few kilometres north of Makassar. Although not a very popular destination, Parepare is still considered a unique spot that holds plenty to see. There are a few natural attractions such as Senggol and Mattiro Tasi beaches or Mount Nepo, and Tonrangeng Riverside. You’ll be delighted with the culinary options too!
Mr. Habibie's continued excellence in the world of science, technology, and inventions–even through his advanced age–is an inspiration for many young Indonesian inventors and scientists, making him one of Indonesia's most popular and loved public figures. Adding to this, his storybook-like lifelong love story with his late-wife Hj. Ainun Habibie is being held dear by many Indonesians nowadays, so don't leave Parepare before capturing some great photos with your loved ones at the Habibie-Ainun monument.
Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid–better known with his nickname Gus Dur–was most loved for his witty, carefree, and just personality. His term as president was a short one from 1999 to 2001, but he left his marks in the country with his wisdom and endless humour, even long after he had passed.
His hometown of Jombang, situated southwest of Surabaya, is recognized as a religious muslim town, but is also famous for its' diversity and harmony for its' many different inhabitants, which includes many ethnic Chinese and Arabic living in the city harmoniously with the majority Javanese people. It is also the hometown of many national heroes such as Hasyim Azhari and Wahid Hasyim. When you go to Jombang, visit the historic ruins of the imperial city of Majapahit, the largest kingdom ever to be present in the history of Indonesia, or holy resting places such as that of Gus Dur himself. It also has a lot of tourism potentials that may surprise you, such as several natural spots as well as the town itself that continues to grow.
Also known as 'The town of 1001 Caves', Pacitan, the hometown of Indonesia's sixth president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono–also known as SBY–is a rather secluded area in East Java with few modern infrastructure to explore, but therein lies its' raw beauty as the off-beaten-paths in Pacitan become the homes of hidden natural wonders. Hop from waterfalls to rivers, such as Sungai Cokel or Kali Maron Pacitan, explore beautiful caves such as Goa Tabuhan and Goa Gong or run off to Watu Bale beach.
As the current president of Indonesia, Jokowi has been all over the map of Nusantara. He was a student at Yogyakarta, a worker in Aceh, a governor in Jakarta, and now the nation's number one man who travels from Sabang to Merauke on daily basis. But if there’s one place that he always identifies with, it has to be Solo. Starting his political journey in his hometown, Jokowi has a lot of significant role in transforming the city into the wonderful place that it is today. It’s culinary heaven where recreational parks meet with traditional culture and the combination of modern and old at a perfect balance.
There you have it! A quick recap of the presidential hometowns worth of your SweetEscape session. Whereever you plan to go for your long weekend holiday this week, make it memorable with SweetEscape! We connect you to 2000+ professional photographers in more than 400 cities around the world, so all you have to do is to create your memories, while we take great photos of your every moment! Use the code FIRSTESCAPE on your first SweetEscape booking to get USD50 off and let's #MakeLifeMemorable! For our fellow Indonesians, we encourage you to use your voting rights this Election Day, and may the best man wins!