06 February 2009

SemarangSemarang is one of important port in colonial time. Its range is 373.67 km2 and become the capital city of Central Java province. Now, Semarang become the biggest community for Chinese decline in Indonesia.

If you ask where does the name Semarang come from, you’ll two version which completely different, depends on who are you asking to. Java aborigines will tell you about the combination between asem (tamarind) and arang (charcoal). The combination of these two words become “Semarang”. While Chinese people in here will tell the story about an admiral from china who ever came to this city, Admiral Chen Ho.

Semarang journey in this modern area is like walking through the past. Old buildings still established through the street. This area was well known as Kota Lama (Outstadt), the Netherland colonial period. Gereja Blenduk (Blenduk church at St. Jend. Suprapto, PT. Perkebunan XV Persero building at st. Mpu Tantular and post office building not far from the Berok bridge are mute witness.

Merchantmen with their small kiosk through the canal Berok, also offer unique scenery from the past. Freeland massager, traditional Chinese treatment, kiosk, coffeshop kopi, voucher hand phone kiosk were found in here.

Simpang Lima SemarangNot far from the outstadt, you can visit another historical area. It’s called Kawasan Pecinan Semarang; crossed the KH. Wahid Hasyim street and then branching to small narrow street (called “gang”), such as Gang Pinggir, Gang Warung and Gang Lombok. There are also china temples between the Chinese eatery which spread the food smell and flirt your appetite.

Pecinan SemarangFood is become one of the high yield commodity in Semarang. Not only Chinese food, but also all kind of food exist in here. One of the center is Kawasan Simpang Lima. Simpang Lima is the hearth of Semarang city. It was full of shopping centers, office buildings and grand hotels. It never off from morning till night. On weekend this area was closed and made for market 'pasar kaget' which sell many things from very cheap scarce plant until dancing attraction.. You name it! You got it!

Lawang SewuThere are two luxurious buildings in Simpang Lima area, the legend Lawang Sewu (= means 1000 doors) and Raya Baiturrahman Mosque at the west side of the center park. These two building become the favorite place for architect, photographer and artist. Lawang Sewu itself was very well known as a place for test your guts, people say this building was hunted by ghost from the past.

Lawang Sewu has independence historical moment. In August 1945 14-19th, thousand young warriors as Angkatan Muda Kereta Api (AMKA) died in war against Netherland. Five of them be laid to rest in Lawang Sewu yard. This moment was known as 'pertempuran lima hari' (5 days fight).

Sam Poo Kong TempleBesides the historical buildings, center of Chinese religious place in Semarang also offers many interesting story. The most famous is Klenteng Sam Poo Kong (Sam Poo Kong temple) around the Gedung Batu (Stone building). It was one of the oldest religious complex in Indonesia and become the symbol of the glamour Chinese heritage in Semarang.

This place has already renovated and added several new buildings. Every year many people celebrate the Admiral Chen Ho arrival in Java land. In fact, at the 600th Admiral Chen Hoo arrival, last year, were celebrated regally. There are prayer together, Barongsay, Liong-Samsi, art show, China lantern party, firework, and bazaar.

Avalokitesvara PagodaThere is another great place you should come, up the hill at the side os the main road to the Ungaran. Avalokitesvara Pagoda, also known as Metta Karuna Pagoda which mean loving kindness, were declared by the governor of Central Java, Mardiyanto recently.

This Pagoda has 7 level, and become the resident for about 30 lovely and gorgeous sacrifice statue. A giant statue exist in the middle of the Pagoda, around by so many fruits and flowers as tribute. Very unique! This 45 meters Pagoda is now become the newest landmark in Semarang.


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