Friday, May 11, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions About My Semarang Trip

In less than 24 hours, I will be onboard in the Air Asia flight to Semarang, Indonesia. Every times I tell people that I’m heading to Semarang, the first question that pop out would be, where is Semarang, followed by, why did you choose this place instead of, say, Jakarta or Yogyakarta? Another popular question would be, what are the attractions over there in Semarang?

To be honest, I had not heard of Semarang until I saw the promotion on Air Asia. Back in late 2011, Air Asia was launching new routes to Semarang, Indonesia and Surat Thani, Thailand at a promotional price. Since it’s rather cheap and I have yet to been to Indonesia, why not start with Semarang? So, in view of my approaching holiday, I thought of answering these few questions before I fly off to the Indonesian city.

Where is Semarang?

Semarang is located at Java, situated right at the centre of the island. It is the largest city in Central Java and back in the colonial era, this Indonesian city is an important port. It is actually quite near to other major cities in Java such as Solo and Yogyakarta, all under few hours of journey.

Why Semarang?

Being a cheapskate that I’m famous for, whenever I want to travel to a new country or a new place, I always hunt for cheap flight and what cheaper than Air Asia and its launching price? My return trip to Semarang only costs RM126.00 inclusive airport tax and fuel surcharge.

What to do/see over there?

As it is in Central Java, it is quite easy to go to other cities surrounding Semarang. It is actually two to three hours ride to Borobudur, the famous Mahayana Buddhist monument in the UNESCO heritage listing, which I will be going, for sure. Another religious complex within the proximity of Borobudur is the Prambanan, a Hindu temple compound dedicated to Trimurti.

While both complexes are outside of Semarang, this does not mean there is nothing interesting in the city. Lawang Sewu is a famous landmark in the city. Originally built as a railway station for the Dutch East Indies, the basement of the building served as a prison during the Japanese invasion and is rumoured to be haunted with ghosts of the past.

There are also many fascinating colonial buildings left behind during the Dutch era in Kota Lama which I always enjoyed admiring at. These beautiful remains of the past are something worth protecting of as it is part of our history. That is why I like walking along the old Chinese shophouses whenever I’m in Penang or admiring the British colonial buildings in my hometown Ipoh.

There will be more entries on Semarang after I come back from the trip. Till then, wish me a safe flight! 


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