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Soerakarta (Solo) is situated in the heart of the once-powerful Javanese kingdom of Mataram. Here we find native princes still holding their
courts in time-honoured style but, of course, SOLO. minus the independence of former days. Solo
is connected with Batavia by rail and a branch iine also runs north to the seaport town, Samarang. The climate is healthy and temperate (average shade temperature, 86A ) with cool nights, and the picturesque little town is well worth a visit.
Among the more conspicuous places of interest may be mentioned the Sultan's palace. This edifice is enclosed by twelve-feet high white walls and contains numerous buildings for the various officials and servants connected with the court. An introduction to the Sultan may be obtained through the Dutch Resident, but it is not always easy to secure.
A Dutch fort is situated here, called " Vastenburg," and a permanent force is always maintained. The street scenes are particularly interesting, and one may meet a company of strolling actors in hideous masks gravely performing in the crowded Solo Street Scene. streets, oblivious of
the din and bustle.
Driving through magnificent avenues of Tamarind trees, the visitor's attention is drawn to the constantly moving throng. Here a street hawker may be observed squatted on the ground, with his two baskets, displaying his dubious-looking wares which evidently find favour in the eyes of several Javanese youths who are spending their money to the best advantage. Comely, gaily-attired women wend their way along, with their quaint little children suspended by a band from the shoulder. Hundreds of good-humoured chattering Javanese pass to and fro, all looking neat and clean in the universal sarong, and occasionally a court dignitary with golden umbrella in his well-appointed carriage.
Many drives of great beauty may be taken in and about the town through beautifully shaded streets, with a distant view of the mountain peaks in the background. Before leaving Solo the tourist should avail himself of the opportunity to visit the most interesting home of the Chief