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“Must see, but beware!”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Museum Wayang

Museum Wayang
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Private Tour: The Old Batavia Trail from Jakarta
Ranked #20 of 263 things to do in Jakarta
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This museum exhibits a great many wayang kulit, two-dimensional puppets used in the ancient art of Javanese storytelling.
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Must see, but beware!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2012

If you love culture, history, and folklore, this is one of the places you must visit in Jakarta. It has great collections of different traditional puppets from different areas and ethnicity in Indonesia as well as some from around the world. The display is pretty good, lots of written information in both Bahasa and English. The building is old and not well maintained, just like most old buildings in Jakarta. Some parts of the museum are cool, but most are hot. If you're a local and you're traveling solo, you might not spend more than 15 minutes inside this museum unless you're a huge fan of puppets or the classic epic Ramayana-Mahabharata stories. If you travel with a group, you might be able to enjoy going around this museum with the presence of a guide who will provide you with lots of information about each puppet and the characters. However, if you're not big on culture and folklore, all the puppets will start to look the same after a few minutes, and it could be a very boring trip.
A hint for foreign travelers: you may be greeted by a person who claims to be related to the person who built the museum, or a volunteer for foreign tourists who will take you for a tour around the museum (that person may tell you that your ambassador has helped restore the museum and that he/she promised to pay it back by guiding the tourists from that particular country). You may find his/her assistance quite helpful, since he/she has tons of information and stories about the items in the museum. After the tour, he/she will take you to the gift shop and ask you to buy a souvenir or two, and of course show you all the expensive ones. Good quality souvenirs, but most of the prices in this gift shop is more expensive than the ones you can buy at Sarinah in Jalan Thamrin. And before you leave, he/she will ask you to pay some money for the tour. We were asked a shocking US$ 50! We ended up paying our guide IDR 50,000. He wasn't happy at all, but we didn't expect this because he told us that he would guide us for free when we met him at the entrance.
Last but certainly not least, use the bathroom before you leave your hotel, or use one in a shopping mall before you visit any of the places in the Old Town or Fatahillah square. These places do not provide clean bathrooms.

Visited September 2011
2 Thank Summer1206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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421 reviews from our community

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  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • German first
  • Indonesian first
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English first
Level Contributor
112 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“must see in Indonesia”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2012

Enormous collection of puppets. Presentation as in XIX century, however descriptions are provided also in English which helps in understanding the phenomenon of puppet theatre in Indonesia.

Visited April 2012
Thank zimag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Wayang Museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2012

We happened upon this museum (in Old Town) when it had only been open for 1 week, in May 2010. At that point the puppet theatre was in the process of being set up, but half way around our wander of the building, the owner, Daniel, met up with us and gave us a tour of the puppet theatre and told us how the theatres last for many hours, unlike those in the west. Traditional puppet theatres last for about 8 hours mostly, and people take food with them so they don't have to leave and miss the theatre. He told us about how each theatre tells a story of life in Indonesia through the puppets and dolls, and many of the stories are about the struggles of life under Dutch rule, and then on to the independence of this lovely country. His family owned the museum and he travels widely to often reclaim Indonesian artifacts from various countries, as well as from his own. An awesome place to visit.

Visited May 2011
Thank Cheekyface7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
77 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Interesting and informative.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012

Wish it was was more interactive, but overall a good museum.

Visited January 2012
Thank Ana R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Interesting but in need of some TLC”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2012

The Wayang Museum in Batavia Square is certainly packed to the rafters with puppets of all sizes and all ages. The history of the wayang in Indonesia is very well represented and quite fascinating. I can understand the tour guides pride in his tradition but the tour was a little too long with a lot of repetition of displayed wayangs and information! Also the museum would benefit greatly from a "facelift" everything is dark and a bit shoddy. So sad as the history of the wayang is very interesting just the setting is very disappointing.

Visited October 2011
Thank nomadmamma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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