When you hear the word ‘museum’, you may have the image of a boring old building full of antiques from the distant past. However, the Museum Angkut (transport museum) in Indonesian Batu city is like none other. Well, this museum surely contains old collections of transport, otherwise it will not be called a transport museum. However, once you enter the location, you will be amazed by the fact that this Indonesian museum was set up in such a way that visitors will even forget that they are actually in Indonesia.
The museum has a large collection of old vehicles from around the world and there are 3 main zones that are based on the vehicles’ place of origin: American zone, European and Asian zones. You can read about the history (mainly in Indonesian language) for most vehicles. Those who are unable to read Indonesian need not worry as you shall be able to view vintage cars and see the printed name, year of production and engine capacity written on its registration plate.
Wait, this place doesn’t look Indonesian at all. With its western style buildings, first editions of American cars and a few people wearing Halloween costumes, you may feel like you have stumbled upon the Broadway Theater on a Halloween evening in 1930s. In this zone, you will see old collections of American cars like the early editions of Ford and Dodge.
Visiting Europe is a breeze, as you can reach it in just a few steps from USA. Here, you can experience Europe during its industrial era in the 18th-19th centuries. See the earliest British car brands of Mercedes Benz and Rolls Royce, which have become some of the world’s most expensive cars at present times. You will also find German cars Porsche and Heinkel! France also takes part in the exhibition by displaying its Limousine brand. However, this limousine is 2014’s edition. You scratch the car, you buy it!
Indonesian traditional transportation
Other than cars, the museum also displays Japanese and Western old bikes and motor bikes as well as Asian traditional transport. Nevertheless, the most interesting part is the traditional Indonesian animal-drawn vehicles and “man-drawn” rickshaws. In real life, dokar (horse carriage) can be seen in many Indonesian small towns, but the picture below is the one that used to carry a Javanese Royal family in the distant past. Ox-drawn carriages were widely used by villagers in Java to carry crops and sell them to a bigger village or a town/city. However, as more and more people own a motorcycle, such carriages are no longer used in most areas. You can still see such a vehicle in the very remote villages in Java, although there is no way that this vehicle can enter an Indonesian big city like Jakarta or Surabaya. Can you imagine if that really happen in current times?
The iconic Becak
Another very popular traditional transportation in Java in the present is becak (rickshaw). Different from Chinese rickshaw where the driver is in front of the passengers, Indonesian rickshaw are built in such as way that the driver’s seat and paddles are located behind passenger’s seat. Hence, the driver drives behind the passengers.. Other than Jakarta, you can easily find becak almost everywhere in Java.
Museum Angkut (Transport Museum) opens from 12pm to 8pm and entrance fee costs 60,000 IDR (4.70 USD) per person on weekdays and 80,000 IDR (6.30 USD) per person for weekends and public holidays. There is an additional charge of 30,000 IDR (2.30 USD) for each camera brought inside the museum (handphone camera is free). This museum is always included in Batu tour package, but if you want to go to the museum yourself, it’s quite easy to get there. If you stay in a nearby hotel (there are some hotels just around 200 meters away), you can simply walk to get there, otherwise from East Java Park 1 or 2, follow Museum Angkut signboards that will take you there.
Discover all sorts of transport in one place!
It is completely free to take photograph. However, if you want to have a photo session in the American Broadway zone, do take extra caution and don’t get yourself shot by Broadway’s gangsters!