Indonesia is known as the largest coal producing region in the world. But do you know where the first time coal mining was carried out in Indonesia? The answer is in Sawahlunto, West Sumatra. As I told the previous article, to get here is not too far from the city of Padang. It only takes about 3 hours, and even then because the road to get there must pass through the hills. Travel time will not be boring because along the way you will be presented with fantastic natural scenery.
Arriving in the city of Sawahlunto, you can go directly to the Mbah Soero hole located in the city center. To enter the location you have to buy a ticket that is affordable. After buying a ticket, you will be given a safety helmet like a miner’s helmet and a pair of boots. Oh yes, to enter this hole you will be accompanied by a guide who understands the situation and history of Mbah Soero’s hole.
According to the story, this hole is in depth and in length several kilometers. But now what is open for tourism is only about 200 meters. Even though it’s only 200 meters long, you can certainly feel the original atmosphere of the mine pit. On the left and right wall of the hole can still be seen raw coal. Because of that, lighters should not be brought inside. Because this hole is close to the times, don’t be surprised if you also hear the gurgling of water.
The coal source in Sawahlunto was first discovered by Dutch geologist De Groet in 1858. While the history of Mbah Soero’s name comes from the name of a foreman named Soerono who was respected at that time. Soerono was a prisoner brought in from the Java region to lead a chain person. Before it was named the Mbah Soero Hole, the name was the Soegar Hole because it was located in the Soegar valley. Many interesting stories about this mining pit, including the mystical ones. You have to come there by yourself to hear all complete the stories.
This coal mine in Sawahlunto is the forerunner of other coal mines in Indonesia. If you come to West Sumatra, a big loss if you don’t come to this multi-racial city full of history.