Saturday, December 5, 2009

Into Solo= Bengawang Solo and Nordin Top

New SOLO, Sungei Bengawang SOLO and Noordin Top

SOLO or Surakarta with a population of close to a million, is traditional in many areas. Unhurried but well developed, Solo won the prestigious MICE award in 2009. Javanese culture is deeply entrenched in this city, it is a joy to hear the people speaks - normally slowly, clearly and dragging the tone. Late President Soeharto's birthplace, Solo though quiet is known for its violence when Soeharto was overthrown. History has it that Javanese carry their Kris behind their back , unlike other ethnic groups that exposes and show of their Kris when worn. In modern Solo, she boasts of strong tourists arrival, Colonel Sanders KFC a plenty, Starbuck, Coffeebeans, good 5 stars hotels . Mid range hotels like IRIS and Novetels are also well positioned in town centers for the busy business executives.

Even Singapore style schools for primary and kindergarten levels are now in Solo. Was told that there is a Singapore community of teachers looking after the Singapore Piaget Academy. There are also beautiful Palaces and museums which are worth visiting - hope to find time and show some pictures in my next blog on SOLO

Bengawang Solo because of the popularity of the song is actually a river. Sungei Bengawang Solo span some 500m from one end of bridge to the other. A busy thoroughfare passes thru this bridge and it is busy and crowded on both side of the bridge. The river itself follows a tidal wave and it could be as dry as what i saw, while it may flood towards the road during wet season.

SOLO. Muhammadiyah school for Muslims , strongly supported by ex President Amin Reis, this school takes in a lot of secondary level students. Like the Catholics and Mission schools they provide proper educations including board and lodging. Noordin Top and his members stays close to this area and was apparently trying to recruit students from this school. To reach his hideout , the kampong in Mojosongo is quiet and not so populated. Winding single traffic lathe rite lanes winds around a meandering pathway. It is however close to the highway which makes entry and exit on foot very easy. Locals felt that he took a gamble to stay in such a place.

Pic on Noordin Top's Hideout. The house that Noordin Top and his accomplish stayed was in an obscure village. The houses are old but independent of each other. When the Indonesian Police cracked down on Noordin Top and his members, it was able to isolate it from the other houses. The Indonesian police was able to surround the house completely ensuring that escape routes are all cut off. After the cracked down , there were many visitors and the house was thus given a new cote of paint.

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