Two Must Visit Places for First Timers at Semarang

Is this your first time coming to Semarang? Then, these two places in Semarang are a must-visit for you.

Lawang Sewu

Do not let its reputation of being the most haunted places in Indonesia keep you away from one of the city’s most icons. Lawang Sewu is a must visit if you’re in Semarang. Step in the courtyard, and you’ll be transported a hundred years in the past. With lots of perfect angles to snap out of, the only hauntings you’ll see throughout the afternoon are tourists with selfie sticks! Constructed as the headquarters of the East Indies Railway Company, Lawang Sewu translates into a thousand doors because its design consists of many doors and windows.

Throughout the Japanese occupation in WWII, the construction was announced as a base, and the basement was utilized as a prison. Now, Lawang Sewu is a museum operated by the national railroad company, demonstrating artifacts which showcase the progress made by Indonesia’s railways through the years.

Sam Poo Kong Temple

Temple Sam Pu Kong was constructed to memorialize Chinese Admiral Zheng He’s visit to Semarang in the 15th century, reinforcing the cultural influence of the Empire in Java. As a Chinese voyager, Admiral Zheng has been sent on trade and mission to several nations in Asia, including those in Southeast Asia. His visits have been celebrated by the natives as the expedition brought products as well as a market of people and culture. The cave where Zheng He’s men would take refuge in the area was subsequently employed as a temple for meditation. The temple is also home to their graves, and rock reliefs hang on the walls of the entry, demonstrating their visits to Indonesia. The annual ritual of the Sam Poo Kong Temple takes place towards the end of the sixth Lunar month, where sculptures are paraded throughout the streets from Jalan Lombok, Semarang’s Chinatown, to the temple for blessings for the year. For an authentic feel of the Chinese civilization, visitors can rent traditional outfits to take pictures in that complement the background of the temple that is red. The bundle includes a photographer in addition to printing, and is available from 9am to 5pm, with an extra charge of IDR 80,000 each person.