Semarang, Indonesia is a popular destination for conducting commercial and industrial business. However this medium-sized port city on the coast of Java, has plenty of culture and sights to see making it ideal for for tourists as well. Whether you plan to stay for additional time after a business trip or go here for leisure, here are five reasons you should visit Semarang.
Semarang is home to several different Chinese temples but the two most famous are the Gedung Batu (also called Sam Poo Kong) and the Tay Kak Sie. The Gedung Batu is the oldest Chinese temple in the city and was originally founded by the Chinese explorer Zheng He. Today Indonesians of all different faiths pray or worship here. The Tay Kak Sie temple is located in Semarang’s Chinatown. It was originally a Buddhist temple devoted to the Buddhist god of compassion but later became a Confucius temple. Today visitors come to explore its charming, incense-laden interior and the locals practice Buddhism, Confucianism, or Taoism.
For those wishing to see other religious sites besides temples, the city has three main mosques, the Baiturrahman, the Kauman, and the Semarang Grand. Each is a testament to a part of the history of the city. The Baiturrahman mosque was built in the 1600’s and was part of the resistance to Dutch rule. The Kauman was built in the 1700s during the influx of Muslim religious leaders to the city. It is built in traditional Javanese style. Finally, the Semarang Grand is a newer mosque built in 2001 in a moder style. It makes for an impressive complex as it covers 25 acres of land.
Due to control of the city by the Dutch East India Company for from 1678-1870, there are many colonial-Dutch style buildings in the Old Quarter. Walking through this charming and old part of the city will; make you feel like you are in old, colonial Europe. Its Dutch architecture is why it is nicknamed Little Netherlands.
Another group of people that had great influence on Semarang were the Chinese. Because of this, Semarang’s Chinatown is full of authentic Chinese culture including spice shops, jade stores, fortune tellers, and pagodas. To this day, Semarang houses the largest Chinese population in Indonesia.
The final and most tantalizing reason to come to Semerang is the local food. Some of the more popular traditional Javanese dishes include shrimp and bamboo filled spring rolls, rice cakes with fried tofu in peanut sauce, and pressure-cooked milkfish. In addition to traditional Javanese foods, through the years Semerang has had many Arabic, Chinese, and Indian flavors that have influenced the dishes.
Now that you know all the reasons to plan a trip to Semarang, book the best accommodation at Quest Hotel Semarang. Located within walking distance from Chinatown and only a few kilometers from the airport, this hotel will give you the best place to stay while enjoying all that Semarang has to offer.