Semarang: A Little Chinese Town


This is the giant gate on the back of sites

I moved to Semarang two days ago for works! and this is my first touristy trip (ever) even after flying back and forth to Semarang. I have ever gone to Lawang Sewu though, but has no courage to look inside, LOL. Anyway! Before I talk more about Semarang, I’ll explain briefly about this city.

Semarang is the capital of Central Java, considered as small city (compare to Jakarta, yes of course) its size might be around 1:5 of Jakarta. The weather is super hot and humid! because it surrounded by the sea. There are two parts of Semarang, the uphill and downhill. The downhill area is the central of Semarang city where government buildings, tourism places, department store etc located. And so does the famous Sam Poo Kong Temple! Sam Poo Kong Temple also known as Gedung Batu Temple is the oldest Chinese Temple in Semarang.



There are 2 main building of the temple

It’s not far from Simpang Lima (or called five intersection in English), because it does have 5 intersection. Anyway! it took only 5-8 minutes drive from Simpang Lima. The good things of living in small city is it’s very easy to go here and there. Back to Sam Poo Kong. The foundations of Sam Poo Kong were set when Chinese Muslim explorer Admiral Zheng He arrived in the western part of what is now Semarang via the Garang River.  Zheng He, often spell as Cheng Ho in English, was commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433. He also promoting peace during his expeditionary voyages.


Front look




Giant statue of The Great Cheng Ho

This Temple is not as tremendous as I imagined though (sadly), there are no sufficient information about the site. Which I wonder why, so people usually just come to take couple pictures without knowing the story of this temple. However, it’s make sense considering the price of ticket, which is very cheap! it’s only IDR 5000 or less than 1 USD. But still, I always love Chinese ornaments. It’s beautiful, and worth a visit. Just, don’t expect too much.




reddish ornaments everywhere

Semarang is one of city in Indonesia, where Chinese ethnic lives. You could easily find Chinese restaurant, Chinese Temple and Chinese shop on the street. I decided to grab night snacks at famous street snacks area, called Chinatown. Local people called it “Waroeng Semawis”. Semawis in Javanese has a similar meaning to buffet, means people could choose what they want to eat, because everything is there.


It was unlike Chinatown that I had ever visited in Kobe though, the street food are mostly not Chinese (again, I wonder why haha). It mostly have sort of fusion food street of Javanese-Chinese. As I am a sweet-tooth person, I picked sweet snacks called Martabak, however local people called it “Kue Bandung”. It’s kind of pancake, yet this one looks like crepes. It was yummy and crunchy, it was not that sweet, but just enough sweet to please me.


Kue Bandung, Tipis Kering

You could grab it for IDR 30,000 or around 2.5 USD


Snack vendor


Chinese Temple everywhere!


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