Sometimes the more “minor” parts of day tours are the ones you remember more. On my tour round central Java in Indonesia, I was pleasantly surprised by the silver factory tour in Kotagede. The reason that most people visit Central Java is for the volcano Mount Merapi, Borobudur the largest Buddhist temple in the world and the Hindu Temples of Prambanan. Throw in a visit to a real silver factory in Kotagede and suddenly this is an eclectic day of travel. In fact, this was an unexpected bonus for me. Kotagede has numerous silver factories but we visited one called Silver Smith or HS Silver (it got a tad confusing as to what the actual name of the place was but they have their own website: HS Silver Kotagede. )
Most day tours of the region will include some kind of visit to these places, mainly for profit reasons. They expect tourists to buy something. And they often do, as I did – but a visit here is NOT A SCAM. It’s part of most tours and don’t refuse to go inside like many tours in Thailand etc. do. This is a decent insight into local people working in a silver factory.
How to get to a Silver Factory in Kotagede
This will more than likely be included in your tour of the region. If it isn’t, ask about it – the tour only takes about 30 minutes and it’s a decent stop off point. You can also buy genuine silver items all made within the factory’s compounds.
If you’re not on a tour, getting to the Silver Factories can be tricky. It’s 5 kilometres from the centre of Yogyakarta. It’s a village called Kotagede. There is a local bus that stops there so best to stop around – but beware of thieves – Yogya is a densely populated city and tourists can be targeted.
How much does it cost to do a silver factory tour in Kotagede?
My entry ticket which included a tour by a local lady called Cecilia cost around $1 US Dollar (though it was al bundled into my tour cost for the day – there was me and my travel buddy Rodrigo and we did all the sights of the area on one day). Don’t be paying more than $2 US for the Silver Factory tour – it’s short and the factory is tiny (at least the one we visited).
What happens on a silver factory tour in Kotagede?
Each tour and possibly each day might be different, but here are the things that were included:
– Introduction speech and video detailing exactly what the silver factory is about
– Watching the local workers make handcrafted items with silver
– Watching the local workers melt silver
– Witnessing the factory live in action
– A chance to ask any questions
– A chance to buy silver and other souvenirs
What exactly do they make in silver factories in Kotagede?
There is a wide range of items being made here, so I’ll name a few of them:
Plates, knives, spoons, forks, mugs, badges, hair accessories, elephant badges, keyrings, ear-rings, rings, necklaces, etc…
There is a big shop and you can get hunting for souvenirs easily.
Is there anything else to see at Kotagede?
Yes, there is also the grave site of Senopati who is locally known as the first King of Mataram. Nothing much to write home about, but it’s there if you want to check it out!
Other than that, the entire region is SPECIAL, don’t miss this brace of top sights:
My Videos from the silver factory tour in Kotagede:
Speech on the Silver Factory Tour in Kotagede:
On the Silver Factory Tour in Kotagede: