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Semarang, Central Java

As the capital of Central Java, Semarang offers a splendid multicultural harmony all over the place. Famous for its business district, it is indeed the perfect melting pot for Chinese, Indian, Arab, and European culture. This can be seen from old buildings that are well-preserved in some areas, like Lawang Sewu, Blenduk Church and Gedung Batu. When in Semarang, make a stop by the Chinatown to taste its delicious Lumpia. For a more complete culinary experience, visit Pasar Semawis area in Gang Warung. The lined-up food stalls here will serve various kinds of local dishes with its signature taste that can’t be found in any other places.

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More about Semarang

About Semarang

Who says tourist attractions in Semarang are limited? You only need to explore further, because there are so many interesting destinations you can visit. Semarang is more than just a stopover city, and this 5th largest city in Indonesia is unique and exciting. Semarang has an area of ​​392 square kilometers, and it’s a connecting city between Jakarta and Surabaya along with others in the direction of Solo and Yogyakarta. Based on history, the word “Semarang” is derived from the word "sem" or “tamarind tree,” and the word "arang" means “rarely” in Indonesian. Legend has it that Ki Ageng Pandanaran I's journey stopped in the Tirang Island area. He then discovered the presence of tamarind trees that grew in a gap or sparse distance. Now, the existence of these trees is increasingly rare and difficult to find. Another story reveals that Semarang was once included in the territory of the Ancient Mataram Kingdom. The majority of the area was a sea surrounded by small islands. The deposition that continued occurring made the group of islands finally united and formed new land. The port was once in the Pasar Bulu area and was the place where Admiral Cheng Ho's ship docked.

Top Things to Do in Semarang

Until now, Semarang is still a city that people only pass by or transit. You can try to spend about 2 to 3 days here, however, because you’ll find various interesting tourist attraction listed below

Simpang Lima Area

During the day, this roundabout area is indeed quiet and hot. On the night, however, the Simpang Lima area will be transformed into a park with a unique bicycle or lighted car ride. Around it, you can easily find a variety of culinary or typical foods of Semarang. Two favorite shopping centers flank the Simpang Lima area in Semarang, namely Matahari Department Store and CitraLand. Both are equally crowded, especially during holidays and weekends. So, if you still have enough time in Semarang, there's no harm in visiting these two big malls.

Sam Poo Kong Temple

The next interesting place in Semarang is Sam Poo Kong Temple. Reportedly, this is a place of worship where Admiral Cheng Ho rested. The striking red color characterizes this building, with a giant statue of the Admiral built inside the temple. Several areas can be visited, but some are prohibited from entering except for matters of worship. Even so, the exoticism and nuances of history are still evident every time you set foot here.

Lawang Sewu

This particular icon of Semarang City is never empty of tourists. The majority mostly claim to be curious about the scary story covering the 1,000-door building. Some others want to feel the sensation of adventure for themselves in this spooky and haunted building. Lawang Sewu used to be a railroad industry company. However, its relatively narrow location made the Dutch government eventually moved it. This is why you can easily find the train locomotive and visit the train museum inside the building.

Cimory Dairyland Semarang

This particular tourist attraction in Semarang isn’t much different from Cimory in Bogor. Cimory Valley View is another name intended for this place. You can enjoy all the dairy products and its products anytime, especially when the weather is hot in Semarang. You can also buy souvenirs such as good quality chocolate here. Not only that, but Cimory also offers agro-tourism for those of you who take along children and family. There’s a variety of plantation crops growing here, as well as a variety of cattle bred in the Cimory region. A kids playground is also available.

Water Blaster Ride

The hot Semarang is undoubtedly suitable for swimming. The best swimming pool option is, of course, the Water Blaster. This Semarang tourism object offers a swimming pool complete with a variety of exciting water rides you shouldn’t miss, especially with children. You can try a winding slide, a waterfall from a bucket, rafting to artificial waves. Not only water rides, but Water Blaster also has other games, from paintballs to jungle trees. Heat is no longer a barrier to your enjoyment with family and loved ones.

Top Culinary in Semarang

Your holiday won’t be complete without trying the culinary specialties that belong to the area you’re visiting. Traveling around tourist attractions in Semarang is fun, but you still have to pamper your stomach with the best foods, listed below.

Tahu Gimbal 

At first glance, this culinary looks similar to ketoprak. However, there’s the uniqueness of tahu gimbal (tofu dishes) not similar with others, namely fried shrimp. Tahu gimbal is the simplest menu since it’s only a piece of rice cake plus sliced ​​cabbage, bean sprouts, spring onions, eggs, and shrimp. Pour the peanut sauce on top for a final touch.

Lumpia (Spring Rolls)

You can find this easily in the souvenir center in Pandanaran area. Semarang spring rolls are a snack made from a mixture of bamboo shoots, eggs, and shrimp or chicken wrapped in thin crepe pastry skin. This snack can be steamed or fried when served.

Bandeng Presto (Milkfish Dish)

This is a fish dish made with a pressure cooker. When you eat it, you won’t be bothered by the sharp bones anymore. The fish can be either fried or steamed.

Garang Asem

This traditional food from the City of Atlas is made from small pieces of chicken doused in coconut milk sauce. They add the star-fruits to produce the sour taste in the dish. After the mixture is wrapped in banana leaves, it’ll be steamed.

Where to Stay in Semarang

Semarang tourist destinations turned out to be quite diverse, right? If you’re interested in exploring further, it’s better to book a place to stay immediately. Fortunately, Semarang has lots of accommodations, which is easier if you book through the Traveloka application. Here are a few:

MG Suites Hotel Semarang

Are you going around the Gajah Mada area? MG Suites Hotel is ready to welcome you. This 4-star property is on Jalan Petempen and very close to the Simpang Lima, Lawang Sewu, and the Semarang Town Square or Setos shopping center.

Louis Kienne Hotel Pandanaran

This is the best choice if you’re in the Pandanaran area. This 4-star hotel is very close to the souvenir center of Pandanaran, Lawang Sewu, and the Simpang Lima area.

Ciputra Hotel Semarang

You want to stay in a place nearby the exoticism and splendor of the Simpang Lima area? Just choose the Ciputra Hotel Semarang as your accommodation to stay! This 5-star hotel stands majestically right in front of the Simpang Lima field so that you can enjoy the crowd at any time. Not only that, this hotel isn’t far from other tourist attractions in Semarang, such as Lawang Sewu, the nightlife center of Gajah Mada, and the center of Pandanaran souvenirs.

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