Welcome to the Semarang cruise port guide. Semarang is a mega city of 2 million inhabitants. This bustling city is a reflection of modern Java. You will find the super malls along side the old Dutch colonial quarter. Learn about the Chinese heritage in China town or at the amazing Sam Poo Kong temple. Everything shows that different groups have mixed and mingled here at one point or another. Enjoy the diversity of the city in combination with the beautiful modern culture of Java. The town of Semarang is not the only reason the cruise ships visit Semarang. It is also the gateway to Borobudur. This is one of the most impressive sites in the world, that nearly made it on to the list of 7 wonders of the world.
When in 1682 the Dutch gained the exclusive rights over Semarang they started to build their own neighbourhood. Semarang would become an official Dutch East India company in 1705 where the Dutch would benefit from the tobacco plantations and other industries. The area they build and lived is nowadays Semarang’s old town. Walk through the 18th and 19th century streets to get acquainted with the local history.
Semarang is home to the Nyonya Meneer Museum. It is the first herbal museum of the city and it tells the story of what the medicinal value is of herbs and they can be used in every day products. The most famous product is Jamu. This is an ancien Indonesian herbal medicine from the 8th century and is considered a healing potion. Learn more about this product and many others at the museum.
The main site to visit from Semarang would be Borobudur. It is a colossal monument and the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It was build by the Shailendra dynasty in 800 ad. After it was taken by nature and buries under a thick layer of jungle it was rediscovered by Stamford Raffles in 1814. The drive to it is very scenic where you get a good sense of everyday life outside the cities of Java. Keep in mind it is also a very long drive of 105 km or 56 miles. This trip could take up to 3 hours one way, however it will definitely be worth the trip to visit this unique site!
Aside from the local pasar (market) and souvenir markets you will also find the big malls in Semarang. Citraland Mall is a perfect example of a modern mall where you will find all the international brands. Surrounding the mall you will also find more traditional malls with local brands.
Just outside the city centre of Semarang lies the Sam Po Kong Chinese Temple. It is the oldest Chinese temple in Semarang. It is a large premises with several temples on it that all serve a different purpose. We would recommend going with a guide to get a better understanding of what this temple is used for.
In between the old Dutch Warehouses you will find the Gereja Blenduk church. It was build in 1753. It still stands witness to the history with the Dutch and nowadays it is one of the most unique churches to visit in Semarang.