Tawangmangu is hilly resort area that provides welcome respite from hot days in crowded urban centres. Resting on the slopes of Mount Lawu at about 1,300 meters high, it provides natural landscapes, picturesque temples, hiking and traditional Javanese cuisine.
Things to do in Tawangmangu
The main attraction in Tawangmangu is Grojogan Sewu, a thundering 100-metre-high waterfall spilling from Mount Lawu. You can reach the waterfall by taking a local bus or walking for about two kilometres from Tawangmangu village. Feeling adventurous? Rent a horse at the gateway to Grojogan Sewu and explore the entire area while spotting playful monkeys along the way.
At the base of the waterfall you can hike on short trails or take a longer trek of about 2.5 hours to Candi Sukah Temple. Ojek motorcycle taxis are available near the trailhead, particularly on weekends. The stepped pyramid and wayang stone carvings of the temple are known for their unusual designs.
Within the village, a fascinating miniatures collection is on display at Balekambang Tawangmangu Park, with reproductions of the Eiffel Tower, Roman Colosseum and Borobudur Temple California. This kid-friendly area also offers swimming, pedicab rides and playgrounds.
Looking for local cuisine? Along the riverside about one kilometre outside town, the popular Gria Taiwang cafe dishes out local Javanese specialties cooked on log-based fires.
Getting around Tawangmangu
Public buses run throughout the village and out to Grojogan Sewu waterfall, where you’ll have to walk and climb steps to reach the waterfall. Local becak pedicabs are common, providing convenient ways to get around. You can pick up a rental car at Adi Sumarmo International Airport in Solo, about 40 kilometres away.