Published/Last edited or updated: 2nd March, 2018
Set just a ten to fifteen minute walk from the train station, the dusty collection at Museum Probolinggo isn’t one of the better collections we’ve seen, but if you’ve got some time to kill while you wait for your train, you could do worse than wander through for a quick look.
The thrown together collection kicks off with some large stone statues, including some artefacts from Candi Kedaton, a power box (which looks close to identical to the ones you still see used all over Indonesia) and an array of blades and kris’. This is followed by a small selection of ceramic plates, some notes and coins (note the many notes from during the Japanese occupation) and other minor points of interest.
The presentation then moves on to a series of dioramas, including goat racing (who knew!) and some mannequins wearing traditional dress. The glass boxes containing these displays are in dire need of a clean out—we imagine they get a fair number of school kids through and all those fingers on the glass have left their mark, but they really are inexcusably dirty.
Goat racing out of the way, the display moves on to fabrics, with a selection of motifs on hand—some are quite attractive, but, as with the previous section the display cases really need a good wipe over. Last but not least, right before the exit, in an effort to present a brief history of local transportation, there are bicycles, an old motorbike, a bekap and very oddly, in the centre of the display a bright red Vespa, with a card noting that it is a special Vespa because it belongs to the mayor of Probolinggo.
Some displays have information cards in Indonesian and English, but many are in Indonesian only and you’d need to be pretty determined to spend more than 30 minutes inside. Admission is free but you’re asked to sign in to a guest book.
Out the front of the museum there is an armoured personnel carrier of some description, and, mounted up on high a Nomad Indonesian navy plane. The park area is a popular spot for kids and families to hang around in, but we preferred the park down closer to the station.
The Museum Dokter Mohamad Saleh is superior to here in pretty much every possible way, but it does have more limited opening hours. If it is open, go there not here!
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.