Traveling in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia.

Semarang  ojekan.blogspot.com
Semarang ojekan.blogspot.com

Semarang

It's holiday time. Indonesian kids will back to school about July 12, 2010. So, there is still time to enjoy vacation. This time let's travel to Semarang, Central Java Capital city.

Semarang, just 50 minutes flight from Jakarta, Indonesian Capital. An old port city that still keep its beauty and heritage. It's the fifth largest city in Indonesia.

Semarang got its name from Chinese word Sam Po Lung means a city of Sam Po, or from the Javanese word asam (tamarind) and arang (rare). The weather is hot and humid. With its harbor known since the Dutch era, Semarang is an ideal city as a gateway to other cities in Central Java. Various activities occur at the Tanjung Emas port like loading and unloading, and then transported to other cities. Not surprisingly, then known as the City of transit more than city of tourism.

But actually, Semarang has many interesting places to visit and explore. Fist, try to visit Kota Lama or Old City.

Kota Lama or Old City

This is an old walled city where there are many Dutch buildings around. This is a must visit location if you travel to Semarang. The streets in this 30 hectare area are lined with old buildings with triangular roofs, which were built around 16th centuries.

Just like walking in some old European city. Too bad many old buildings are in bad conditions and sometime in certain months, Kota Lama will suffer flood by the rising of tide. Semarang people call it "rob".

For people who appreciate history and architectural art, Kota Lama is really inspiring site. A potential tourism site but needs to restore and maintain well.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kota Lama or Old City in Semarang detik.comNight time in Kota Lama jogjaphoto.net
Kota Lama or Old City in Semarang detik.com
Kota Lama or Old City in Semarang detik.com
Night time in Kota Lama jogjaphoto.net
Night time in Kota Lama jogjaphoto.net

Gereja Blenduk or Blenduk Church

Still in Kota Lama area, there is a church called Gereja Blenduk. It's the oldest Christian Church in Central Java, not only in Semarang. Built in 1750 and renovated in 1787 by two Dutch architects who placed a neoclassical art, the metal-plated dome which inspired Semarang people to call it : Gereja Blenduk.  Blenduk is a dome-shaped in Javanese language.

The Blenduk Church is like Dutch Churches and you will find a very old Baroq Organ (an old pump-operated organ) and an impressive stained-glass windows. The shape of this building is also unique, it has a hexagonal shaped. The inside architecture is based on a Greek Cross.

This church is still used for Sunday Service and the congregation's name is GPIB Immanuel or Immanuel Pentecost West Indonesia Church.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Blenduk Church Inside Blenduk Church vahn.friendster.comInside Blenduk Church infotempat.com
The Blenduk Church
The Blenduk Church
Inside Blenduk Church vahn.friendster.com
Inside Blenduk Church vahn.friendster.com
Inside Blenduk Church infotempat.com
Inside Blenduk Church infotempat.com

Gedung Lawang Sewu or Thousand Doors Building

Lawang Sewu is a beautiful art deco building but once again it's too bad because it's not properly maintain. Lawang Sewu building is situated opposite the Tugu Muda Monument in Simpang Lima Semarang. Actually, this building is indeed beautiful. I love art deco buildings, there are many in Bandung, West Java. But Lawang Sewu Building is special because it has many many doors, they claimed to have 1000 doors.

Some people who already visit Lawang Sewu told that there is mysterious feeling around this building, but I think it's just because its so many similar doors that will make visitors feel disoriented. If you'd like to visit this building, you have to ask the "Kuncen" or Guide to take you around.

Lawang Sewu was built in 1863 by C. Citroen, a Dutch architect. It has twin towers at the entrance gate and there is a wide garden in the back. The building was originally the offices of the Netherlands Indies railroad company, the Japanese used it as interrogation headquarter when they jailed and also tortured many Indonesian men, and maybe killed them. (Sound scary isn't it?) Then it's used by the Diponegoro Military Region, then of the Indonesian state railroad company. Most recently the provincial office of the Department of Transport.

Inside, you may enjoy several stained-glass windows ages more than a century.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lawang Sewu Building thejakartapost.comInside Lawang Sewu Building kbmwbu.jawatengah.go.id
Lawang Sewu Building thejakartapost.com
Lawang Sewu Building thejakartapost.com
Inside Lawang Sewu Building kbmwbu.jawatengah.go.id
Inside Lawang Sewu Building kbmwbu.jawatengah.go.id
The Sam Po Kong Temple yoyo-travel.blogspot.com
The Sam Po Kong Temple yoyo-travel.blogspot.com

Sam Po Kong

Sam Po Kong is a Chinese temple dedicated to Cheng Ho. Who is Cheng Ho? He is a Moslem Chinese from Yunnan-China, a real traveler, great admiral from Ming dynasty. He visited Central Java and taught many things to the local people such as agriculture, carpentry, and fishing. Cheng Ho also introduced Islam to the local people. People in Java used to be Hindu at those time.

People in Semarang built a huge temple to honor Cheng Ho. Located in Simongan area. It is easy to find this location, as there are many sign boards showing direction to this temple. It also called Gedong Batu or Stone Building, because there is a big stone cave in it. Local people believe that it's the place where Admiral Cheng Ho anchored and build his headquarter there when he visited Central Java.

I think this is a unique temple, it assimilated many cultures and beliefs. Cheng Ho is a Moslem, but many visitors that used to pray in that temple are Buddhist or Confucian, this temple atrracts many local tourists from different kind of background. It's a good thing.

You may visit the temple from 8.00 am, 11.00 am, and 03.00 pm at all just 30 minutes. Yes, the schedules are tight. If you don't visit at those time, you just allowed at the front of the temple and can not go inside.

The entrance fee is cheap. But the bathroom condition is not so good.

Sam Po Kong or Tay Kak Sie (Great Awareness Temple) Temple was built in 1746. At the beginning it just to worship the Kwan Sie Im Po Sat, but now visitors may worship many Gods and Goddess. Like :

  • Sam Koan Tay Te (Nature Sovereign God)
  • Kwan Im Po Sat (Kwan Im Goddess)
  • Sam Po Hud (The Three Buddha)
  • Thian Siang Seng Boo (Sea Goddess)
  • Sam Po Tay Jin (Sam Po Kong )
  • Cap Pwee Lo Han (18 Buddha)
  • Kwan Kong (Kwan Kong was a great general in the Sam Kok legend or the legend of Chinese Three Countries) and many more


The Sam Po Kong Temple indrajabrix.wordpress.com
The Sam Po Kong Temple indrajabrix.wordpress.com
Wingko Babad
Wingko Babad

Semarang Food Tour

After hanging around and satisfy our eyes, it's time to tame our gastronomic system. Most of tourist are really enjoy the Bandeng Presto or pressure cooked milk fish, Semarang spring roll called Lunpia Semarang with bamboo shoots filling, chicken, prawn, and egg and also Wingko Babad or sticky rice and coconut cake in a variety flavors.

Bandeng Presto

If you want to try this you may find many Bandeng presto sellers in along Pandanaran street in Semarang, but the most famous one is Juwana Shop.

Lunpia

Like Bandeng Presto, Lunpia sellers are many, but there are at least two Lunpia sellers that is worth trying.

First, in Gang Lombok or Lombok aile and second is in Pemuda Steet. Local people call it Lunpia Mbak Lien or Miss Lien Lunpia. And they are still one family. All the lunpia makers originally from the late Mr. Tjoa Thay Yoe, the first lunpia maker in Semarang.


Wingko Babad

This snack is really delicious and sticky. The most famous one is with Express Train brand. The first Wingko maker is Mr. Loe Soe Siang, in 14 Cendrawasih Street, Semarang. (Years ago it called 14 Osterwal Straat)

He used to sell it in a train station, so he gave his cake express train brand.

But beside those places above, there are still many interesting places to visit. I think I have to make a sequel about it.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bandeng Presto or pressure cooked milk fish gpdisahabatallah.comFried Bandeng Presto simplekitchen.wordpress.comLunpia Semarang or Semarang Spring Roll with bamboo shoots filling tahuponglunpiasemarang.wordpress.com
Bandeng Presto or pressure cooked milk fish gpdisahabatallah.com
Bandeng Presto or pressure cooked milk fish gpdisahabatallah.com
Fried Bandeng Presto simplekitchen.wordpress.com
Fried Bandeng Presto simplekitchen.wordpress.com
Lunpia Semarang or Semarang Spring Roll with bamboo shoots filling tahuponglunpiasemarang.wordpress.com
Lunpia Semarang or Semarang Spring Roll with bamboo shoots filling tahuponglunpiasemarang.wordpress.com

Comments 18 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for introducing me to that interesting and fascinating place.


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

Wow !. I visited Semarang last Lebaran, I only visited Lawang Sewu at that time because I didn't know the other places to visit. I should have read this hub before I had gone there. Thank you for sharing.


lilian_sg profile image

lilian_sg 6 years ago from Singapore

It's a shame that many Asian countries are not preserving the old buildings properly. Same in Malaysia =(


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

Hello, hello, it's a pleasure to me and I'm glad that you enjoy it :)

Agus, hi! haha..well you should visit there again then :) I have not mentioned about Gedong Songo temple yet haha..

Lilian, yes, it's too bad, but my local government in Bandung, West Java tries hard to preserve old buildings here. Well at least if you visit Gedung Sate, it still maintain well.

Thank you for visiting and commenting! Have a wonderful weekend!


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 6 years ago

an interesting place to visit. Do you think a weekend getaway (2D1N) is enough for these places ?


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

It's been a long time I never visit your hub. Although I am Indonesian people but I never go to Semarang. I know that Semarang has many great tourism place. You also give us good presentation. That's why I liked your hub. Two thumbs up for you. I rate this hub.

Prasetio


Devara profile image

Devara 6 years ago from Indonesia

Dear febriedethan, your hub reminds me about 2 years ago when I was visiting Semarang. I miss the bandeng presto so badly lol. Hoping to visit Semarang again as soon as possible. :D


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

@ingenira, absolutely! You may take the 6 am flight from Jakarta, arrive at Semarang's Ahmad Yani airport before 7 am, and you still have time to check in at a Hotel, have breakfast and start to explore the city. 2D1N is enough to visit all the places :)

@Prasetio, hi! so visit Semarang then haha...it's hot and many mosquito in the night-time but worth trying.

@Devara, yes, I love bandeng presto too.

Thank you for visiting my dear friends!!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Beautiful! I love what I see of Indonesia! Thank you Ma'am!


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

Hi Mickey Dee, you're welcome, so visit here someday!


wawies profile image

wawies 6 years ago from Indonesia

wow, that is the only word i know if i read all of your traveling hub, it's my pleasure to become follower of your hubpages.


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

@Wawies, Hi! Sugeng Rawuh ....hahaha..thank you for visiting my hub!


Bima.Purnawan1 profile image

Bima.Purnawan1 6 years ago from Republic of Indonesia

I like the Semarang city I was born here. The ancient city has many stories and memories of the past and this is a tourist attraction in Semarang. If a visit to Semarang don't forget to test the LUMPIA, WINGKO and BANDENG PRESTO.

This is a great article.


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

Hi Bima, my favorite wayang character :) thank you for visiting and of course, I won't forget to grab Lunpia, Bandeng presto, and wingko if I'm visiting Semarang!

Have a great day!


dede370 profile image

dede370 5 years ago

Was in Semarang 2 weeks ago, Should have read your articles before.....superb

well done

dede


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 5 years ago from Indonesia Author

Hi dede370, welcome to hubpages! Well, at least if you'd like to visit Semarang again, you know where to go :)

Thank you for commenting!


mapeo profile image

mapeo 4 years ago from Poland

I have been to Indonesia but only on Bali, Lombok and Gili Islands. Next time I will go to Java. This quite big piece of your advice will be very helpfull for me ;) Thank you for this hub ;)


Tung Mun Tat 4 years ago

10 paxs arriving Semarang on 9-3-2012 leaving 12-3-2012 with hotel through Air asia.Kindly arrange tour with date as above. Quote us too.Thank you.

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