On our road trip from Surakarta (Solo City) to go back to Jakarta, we definitely need some rest areas to have a little break. I recommend my friends to have our first stop in Banjaratma Rest Area 260B in Brebes city.
I’m so excited to recommend this place because I’ve seen couple news about it. This is a new rest area, located on the side of Pejagan-Pemalang Toll Road (Part of Trans Jawa Toll Road), which attracts attention many people to come for its historical value and unique concept.
Normally, rest area is a complex with minimalist building with gas station, toilets, some convenient stores, and some restaurants. However, this rest area offers different kind of experience. People can feel touristy moment as well while they have break from their trip. This old building which elegantly blends with the simple shop layout of couple tenants here gives another atmosphere for visitors.
People can enjoy selfies with the background of old bricks which are displayed as the way they are. The ruin shows naturally without extreme renovation. However, we can see several steel structures are applied to strengthen the building for the safety reason.
Well, what was the real function of the building? It looks so huge with tall ceiling and big door ways. Definitely, it’s not typical residence of people living in Central Java. In fact, it was a sugar factory during Dutch colonialism era. It was built 1908. Unfortunately, due to several problems, it closed its operation in 1998.
Here, Visitors may also take a locomotive and some other tools of sugar factory as their photo object. Those are the real items used when the factory was still on operation.
Several state-owned enterprises (BUMN) are in collaboration for its restoration and rejuvenation project. This project reminds me with what they have done before in de Tjolomadoe in Karanganyar Solo which transforms an ex sugar factory to be a lavish event venue as well as a tourist attraction.
With costs around IDR 124 billion or around USD 9 million, this 10-hectares space is projected to become one of the most beautiful rest area in Indonesia as well as to become income-generating place for small and medium enterprises.
I’m so happy to have some minutes to be here. I cam feel the glory from the past which transforms into something beautiful thing to enjoy today. It not only gives us moment to have a break from our road trip but also gives us joyous time just like what we have in tourism attraction. I really appreciate government for the idea of restoring this by optimising its economy function, too. I hope I can see more classic places with potential value to be restored as being done here.