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keshie
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Kemuning tea plantations: Another weekend getaway destination near Surakarta
The breathtaking view over the Kemuning Tea Plantation is a worthy reward for a heavy journey through the steep and winding pathways of the mountainside. The plantation, with an area of approximately 438 acres, consists of several adjacent hills between Ngargoyoso District and Jenawi. It is located in Kemuning village, Ngargoyoso District, Karanganyar Regency, at a height of 1540m above sea level. Situated in the area between Sukuh Temple and Cetho Temple, the plantation offers a mountainous view and a cool climate, with a temperature around 22 degrees Celsius. Two Dutchmen named Johan and Van Mender Voort founded the plantation in 1925 under the name NV. Cultuur-Maatschappij. It is still producing tea now, operated by PT. Agro Kemuning Tourism Management. Besides producing tea, the plantation is open to the public as an agro-tourism destination. Visitors can walk through the tea trees and find their way to the river, or do adventurous activities such as downhill cycling or paragliding. Cold air greets the early riser. Green hills of tea trees spread as far as the eye can see. Far behind is another hill covered with pine and spruce, still cloaked in a thick fog. Six women carrying a large plastic bag walk down a small alley between the tea plants and begin to pluck the tea leaves. They start at dawn and work, with care and patience, until dusk. In the middle of the plantation there is a teahouse named Ndoro Donker Tea House. Dining there is definitely a must-do when visiting the plantation. It occupies an old building with Dutch colonial architecture. The name is taken from a Dutchman named Donker, once the chief of the Kemuning plantation. Donker was, according to local history, a very kind and caring man. To commemorate his kindness, a village near the plantation was named after him; Dongkeran Village. Ndoro Donker (Javanese for “Mr. Donker”) Tea House provides various types of tea, such as green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong, earl gray, mint tea and a variety of flower and fruit teas. It also serves traditional Javanese cuisine, such as sop buntut (oxtail soup), timus (yam cake), nasi goreng and grilled ribs. The best seat in the house is outdoors, facing the vast green carpet of tea trees. There are several cottages and hotels to stay at around Kemuning. Their facilities tend to be simple, and some are built using Javanese traditional architecture, which makes them more interesting. The atmosphere at night adds an extra dimension. The cool breeze, dark mountain slopes and welcoming mist at dawn could add up to another lux-for-less getaway. How to get there Kemuning tea plantation is easily accessible by public transportation from Surakarta. From Tritonadi terminal, take the bus to Tawangamangu and stop at Karangpandan terminal. From here there is a smaller bus to Ngargoyoso.
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