May 2, 2015

Semarang; Holland van Java

One month , One city. The vision that I keep holding on during year 2015. On last March, I and my friends, Ester and Hanny went to Semarang, the capital city of Central Java province. It was a randomly picked up destination since we want to try to take train transportation.

Semarang Trip, March 2015

We booked the train ticket from www.tiket.com I give an applause for PT Kereta Api Indonesia, since its newly reformation, everything is better. Even though I was a newbie and a beginner in riding a train hahahaha. Thus I am so much excited for this trip yayy!!!

We departed from Pasar Senen Station caused we booked the economy class, guess what, it costed 55000 IDR for taking a train from Jakarta to Semarang hahahaha. We stayed in Hotel Dafam Semarang through www.booking.com due to it offers a payment during check in time. We arrived at 11.00 PM on Friday night, thus we directly to take a sleep right we reached our hotel room.

Deluxe Room Hotel Dafam Semarang
On our first day in Semarang, we rent a car with its driver for our first destination to Ambarawa. We visited Fort William II in Ambarawa. We were shocked because it located in the middle of Ambarawa prison hahahaha. Thus it needs a permission from the prison’s keeper for us to take a tour and photos in its surroundings. It was a beautiful building from Holland colonialism in 1800’s.

Travel Companion: Hanny & Ester
Fort William II in Ambarawa
From Fort William II in Ambarawa we went to the upper side area in Semarang, Ungaran. We visited its famous coffee shop, Pondok Kopi Umbul Sidomukti. Actually it is not only coffee shop which is available in Sidomukti area, there are swimming pool, outbound and villas. Pondok Kopi Umbul Sidomukti actually THE MOST FAVORITE PLACE DURING MY SEMARANG TRIP. It located on the hill with its fresh air, serenity nature view, cheap price and a cozy interior to chill out with your favorites people. I recommend this place if you visit Semarang. Too bad during my visit, it was raining very hard thus I have not a chance to explore more the swimming pools, outbound and villas. Maybe I have to visit it again in future time XD

Pondok Kopi Umbul Sidomukti
Then we visit Pagoda Avalokitesvara (Wat Tu Gong). Actually it is a vihara for our Buddhist family to have some pray. Gratefully it open for public as long as we respect the place and the worshipers. It felt like We were in Thailand or somewhere abroad with the enchanted panoramic view for its pagoda. It was beautifully enchanting place, and Indonesia owns it in Semarang (more beautiful than any other overseas pagoda). Proud Indonesians :)

Enchanted Pagoda Avalokitesvara (Wat Tu Gong) 
Our next stop is Sam Poo Kong temple. Another majestic yet enchanted place in Semarang that we felt like we were in overseas ahahahahaha (too good to be true). Sam Poo Kong also is prayers place, thus we have to respect the place and the people too. Due to our lack stamina since we were traveled for the morning, we were not having much time to explore the Sam Poo Kong, only to take some photos and poses. LOL.

Indonesia's Temple, Sam Poo Kong
During night time we went to Kota Lama Semarang and it was like we were in Europe with its historical building and European architecture. We went to Blendug church and we were happy enough caused we found some flea market in its neighborhood. I had not much taking a photos there, because I was tired enough huhuhu. Then we took a dinner in Kampung Semawis, Semarang’s China Town. Hanny and Ester were very joyful since they can easily find pork meat with cheap price. The concept for Kampung Semawis was very charming, I wish Jakarta has the same place too, with offers a pedestrian line with its street food vendor’s night market. How lovely is it.

Not forget to mention that My Semarang Trip is contained 80% with culinary times hahahaha. After we went to Kampung Semawis, we went to Simpang Lima for trying Semarang street food in night’s market. We ate Tahu Gimbal and Es Durian. Then we back to hotel to have some rest for the next adventure.

On the second day of our trip, we directly headed to Semarang’s Brown Canyon. I knew this reference from Instagram @exploresemarang. To be honest, all of our visited place, we got the recommendation form Instagram’s post @exploresemarang hahahaha. So this Brown Canyon was a hit place among Semarang’s urban people lol. It was a sand mining that made this hill looks alike a Grand Canyon in United Stated. But it was a worth visit, since we got so many good pictures with its landscape view.

Semarang's Brown Canyon
We went lunch in Toko Oen, it was established since 1912 during the Holland colonialism. The menu offered a Western menu adn some Semarang cuisines. The atmosphere inside the restaurant felt like I was on of “Noni Belanda” hahahaha. Indeed it was a good place to have some lunch or dinner when you were in Semarang. After that we wen to Masjid Agung Semarang due to I was wondering a lot about it. I am grateful that Hanny and Ester are please to join it. Thank you <3

Toko Oen, established since 1912
The Majestic Masjid Agung Jawa Tengah
And the last place is Semarang famous landmark, Lawang Sewu. At first we were doubt and scare to visit it, but its architecture attracts us more. Some of my friend suggested me to visit its underground where it used as prison during Japanese colonialism and the third floor where many Indonesian woman got raped. Incredibly, when I entered the building I don't feel scary anymore, indeed I was so so sad by imagining how it looks like during Japanese colonialism, woman ripped, people tortured etc. The origin purpose of Lawang Sewu during Holland colonialism is as main head quarter office for the Train Corporation at these time, but it changed as “scary place” during Japanese colonialism :(

Lawang Sewu, which means Thousand Doors
Beautiful Architecture from the late Netherlands Colonialism
The Thousands Doors
Here I share our budgeting cost during Our Semarang Trip, it only costed around 800K IDR for each person. I am totally HAPPY:)


Indeed it was a good time for visiting Semarang, and I want to visit it more especially for its coffee shop Pondok Kopi Umbul Sidomukti hahahaha. See you on next traveling’s blog post.


Adios.
Elsa

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