For your entertainment, here’s what Hazelle put together for the Unravel Travel campaign:
My top 5 picks on what to do in Semarang:
1. Visit the House of a Thousand Doors / Lawang Sewu
This large building stands as an icon of history and heroes. On October 14, 1945, shortly after Indonesia declared her Independence, the building became the scene for the bloody “Battle of Semarang”, where many were tortured and executed over 5 days. Because so many deaths took place at this site, it’s also renowned for being haunted! If you’re curious, the building is open to the public 24 hours a day, should you want to go ghost hunting. 😮
Entrance fee: Approx SGD$1; excluding a guide
2. Horseback Riding at Gedong Songo
(Too dark for pics!! Check out Hazelle’s video above!)
This was a memorable experience for me! It’s best to visit Gedong Songo together with Umbul Sidomukti as they’re quite a distance from Semarang. Gedong Songo is a Hindu temple originally built during early period of Medang Kingdom which controlled Central Java during the 8th and 9th centuries. There are 5 clusters of temples, all quite a distance from each other so I’d definitely recommend getting on a horse! For IDR$50,000 you’ll get to take in the sights elevated on horseback, with a guide that leads the horse.
We arrived just as the sun set, so half our journey was actually done in darkness. It’s pretty surreal being on horseback, surrounded by ancient temples and descending mist. The entire ride lasts about an hour and a half? So empty your bladders lol. And bring a sweater. It gets cold!
Entrance fee: IDR 25,000 + IDR 50,000 horse riding package
3. Get Active at Umbul Sidomukti
Umbul Sidomukti is about 1.5hrs away from Central Semarang, and because it’s situated in the mountains it’s really best to hire a driver to take you up. The whole set up is honestly a little random – here you get to scale structures, cross a “marine bridge”, fly across the valley on a flying fox (not literally), take a dip in their pool, ride ATVs and enjoy a meal all with a killer view of the City of Ungaran below.
Entrance fee: I don’t quite remember but it was about IDR$20,000-$30,000: less than SGD$3!
4. Check out Car Free Day
Car Free Day is an interesting event at Semarang. From about 6am – 9am every Sunday, the roads around Jawa Tengah are closed to cars, leaving pedestrians free to walk / jog / cycle / scoot around. Plenty of vendors are out and about selling food (or even randoms like hermit crabs) and renting large-format bicycles (for lack of a better word) that seat four or more. Preeeetty interesting way of getting some exercise into your trip!
5. Eat, eat and eat.
Ma main highlight is the food in Semarang – super cheap and super tasty, so eat all the things while you’re there! Click here to read more about the must-try local dishes 🙂