One of Indonesia’s Hidden Gems

3Indonesia is huge, and because of that there are countless destinations to choose from. The most iconic are certainly the ones which spring to mind first, such as Jakarta, the huge and bustling capital, or the idyllic, laid-back vibe of beautiful Bali, but there are many other destinations within this massive country, which are under the radar. You might have heard of Borneo, and the thick and vast jungle landscapes are ideal for those who want a true adventure, or the many other cities which are packed with culture and traditions to explore.

One of those cities is Semarang.

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Located around 10 hours’ drive from Jakarta, traffic permitting, Semarang is the capital of Central Java, which is the most populous part of the country. Whilst Semarang is more for business visitors than general touristic purposes, it’s a great idea to combine business with pleasant when visiting this reason, with plenty to see and enjoy aside from work, work, work!

Semarang is full of old Dutch colonial architecture examples, as well as a colourful and vibrant Chinatown. There are many shopping opportunities, as well as plentiful museums too. Of course, where you base yourself is important in any city, and Semarang is no different. There are many accommodation options available, both hotels and apartments, so make sure you shop around for the best one for you, such as the Quest Hotel Semarang, for example. Online is certainly the place to go for the best prices, such as traveloka hotel deals found by heading to the website – money saved will give you a better location for your cash.

When visiting this part of the country, you need to think about the weather. Semarang experiences almost constant hot and humid weather, so light clothing is a must. You can travel to the city either by plane, flying into Achmad Yani International Airport, close to the city centre, or you can drive from Jakarta, which takes around 10-12 hours, depending on how busy the traffic is at the time. Once in the city and checked into your accommodation, it’s time to explore.

Sam Po Kong Temple is one of the most iconic sights in the city, and this was built back in the 15th century. On top of this, the northern part of the city is packed with Dutch colonial architecture, especially around Kota Lama, or the Old City; this part of the city does flood at certain times of the year, because of the rising tide, so check this out before visiting.

If you want to escape from the bustling city for a few hours, head to Taman Budaya Raden Salah, a very pretty garden in the centre of the city, which is ideal for those travelling with families, for simply for those who want to chill out and breathe in some fresh air and space. Bukit Sari is a hilly area just outside the city where you can head to take in the stunning views, whilst enjoying a refreshing drink after your long walk. On top of this, Kreo Cave is a good place to visit for nature fans, with stalactite and stalagmites to explore.

Evening times tend to be focused on Simpang Lima, a large and busy square in the centre of the city, where you can walk, eat, drink, and generally take part in the bustling nature of daily life.

Photo credits

Adityo Saputra for Flickr
Seika for Flickr
Kevin Dooley for Flickr

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