Things to Do in Semarang
Thanks to the Loenpia Blogging Community, they’ve been showing me around their city of Semarang.
Once again, there’s lots of stuff to do here, so here goes:
1. See Gedung Batu (Sam Po Kong Temple) and know your future.
This Chinese temple was built in the name of Admiral Cheng Ho who led scores of Chinese fleets to Java. He is revered as a saint and is credited with spreading Islam through Java.
Luckily for me, I had one red, one yellow.
He then shakes a few sticks, and the one that pops out determines your future.
This is what is in store for me:
The sunrise illuminates from east. In front of it there’s glory, behind it waiting prosperous people. Clouds sweeping past’. Then all troubles will be excluded and no-one will dare to make trouble.
Good deeds occur when you plant the seed of fortune. Because of other peoples prayers, your life will gain improvement. Temptation can be handled by virtue.
There’s profit on sales. If you look for profit there will be a result. There’s happiness in the household. You will be in a perfect couple. Good news is approaching. If you have certain problems, please fix it very soon. You can make a daughter and a son.
Sounds like good news! I’ll report back on how this works out!
2. See Lawang Sewu – the old Dutch Railway Station
Lawang Sewu was originally constructed by the Dutch as a railway station, and administration building.
It’s a grand colonial building that has seen better days, but there is some restoration going on around this attractive edifice.
However, Lawang Sewu was grusomely used by the Japanese during World War II to execute Indonesians.
These concrete separations underneath Lawang Sewu were designed by the Dutch to be filled with water to help with the cooling of the building.
The Japanese used them to house up to 5 prisoners in each compartment, in pitch black conditions with no sanitation.
This area below was used for a different kind of torture. Prisoners stood up in neck high water, with no sustenance, until they literally dropped dead.
Their bodies were then removed and disposed of in a nearby river.
These photos were all taken with the flash. There is virtually no light in these areas. You also have to wear gumboots because some areas don’t drain very well and this creates a sloppy existence.
While Lawang Sewu may have a chequered history, it’s worth a visit.
3. Once again, like everywhere else in Indonesia, eat copious amounts of great food.
Here is some of the stuff that has made its way to my stomach:
Loenpia – this is the signature dish of Semarang. It’s a mixture of a prawn with young bamboo cooked with egg, wrapped in pastry. It can be deep fried or left out of the oil!
Rabbit Sate. This is rabbit meat on skewers served with a peanut sauce.
Deep fried banana and cassava. You can feel the precise point when this stuff adheres to your arteries, but it tastes great!
Kerupuk Rambak – Deep Fried Buffalo Skin. Sounds gross,but tastes crispy and salty.
4. Visit the Ambarawara Train Museum.
For those who love trainspotting, this is for you.
There’s loads of old locomotives that were brought to Indonesia by the Dutch, and they are sitting in a yard waiting for you to climb all over them.
The best thing about the museum is that you can take a short trip around the country side in a smaller, more modern train and see locals working in the rice fields.
5. Hike around the Gedung Songo Temples
Didut from Loenpia transported my big frame on his small motorbike to this great place. It probably wasn’t a wise move, because I’m sure the addition of myself to his small Honda probably greatly exceeded the carrying capacity of the bike, especially his brakes when going downhill!
Gedung Songo Temples are a heap of Hindu shrines scattered around a mountain. From here you can view a number of large volcanoes in the distance. Try to arrive early if possible. We walked around this place at midday and almost became vapourised.
It’s a great place to walk off the calories ingested by all the food you will eat here.
Or you could be a lazy arse and hire a horse and guide to take you around.
6. Spend Time With The Semarang Blogging Community
As mentioned before, The Semarang Blogging Community here is called Loenpia. I’m staying with Adi (or his nickname, Didut) at the moment.
These guys are very social beings and love nothing more than spending time with each other, mucking around, joking, eating and helping each other out.
They also do great community work. They have set up a fund called Force which they contribute money into.
This fund helps some of the poorest children in the Semarang area to attend school. School in Indonesia costs about $USD1 per month, but some families cannot afford that.
Loenpia also takes these kids out to other places out of school, such as museums, and other fun activities.
The voluntary contributions of Force help kids who would not be able to attend school, now do so. Once again, this is just another example of the great people of Indonesia!
More Things To Do In Semarang
You might also need this Semarang Travel Map First Edition.