Friday, August 24, 2012

We Went to Semarang!

Hey, I've just been back from my holiday travel this year. In my country, there's a tradition called mudik where the people go back to their hometown once a year. It happens during Lebaran or Eid al Fitr. They visit their relations for silaturahim.

Most people in Indonesia live in Jakarta, the capital city, but only a few are the real citizens of Jakarta. Mostly, they come from another city, or small town, or even village, to make a living. So, once a year, they visit their home to be together with their beloved family at the Lebaran moment.

I was born in Jakarta, I grew up in Jakarta, and till now, I live in Jakarta. So, I am a citizen of Jakarta, though I'm not a Betawi (an ethnic living in Jakarta). My Mom came from Blora, Central Java, and this is where my family go once a year to gather with my grandma, grandpa, uncles, aunts, and other relatives.

Usually, after visiting my Blora family, Dad, Mom, and the kids, go to the tourism areas in Central Java. So this year, we visited Semarang, the capital city of Central Java. It wasn't a long visit though, just four spots that we visited.

We arrived in Semarang, at night, so we decided to stay in the hotel. Then, we go to the Kota Atas of Gombel (Kota Atas, literally, city above). We spent a night there.This area located above the city. So, we can see a beautiful view of Semarang from above.

It's prettier at night.

The next day, we had brunch at Jalan Thamrin. Here, you can found the best soto, not only in Semarang, but I think in Indonesia.

Yes, its name is Soto Ayam Pak Darno. IDR 8000 for a bowl of chicken soto, and IDR 5000 for the satay, there are clam satay, chicken satay, and quail eggs satay. It's pretty cheap, isn't it?! And believe me, it's so delicious. This soto stall is always crowded.

After feeling so full with soto (I ate up two bowls! yumm.. :9), we headed to Lawang Sewu. This is a historical building in Semarang. The name 'Lawang Sewu', literally means 'A Thousand Doors'. Why is it called like that? Because of this...

See! Doors..Door's everywhere.

This building used to be Nederlands-Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij or NIS's office during the colonialism in 1904. Now, it becomes a museum and it's open for public for historical tourism. Lawang Sewu becomes well known in Indonesia after this place becomes a location for Dunia Lain. Remember my post about Trans Studio? Dunia Lain is a ghost house, its name comes from a reality show in Trans TV that people can test their guts by staying in a haunted place all night long. And that Lawang Sewu gave a really good show in one of the episodes of Dunia Lain. That place is really haunted and scary. So then many people, including me, were attracted to go there.

The Map

The Yard

Building A

Building B

It's me! Inside the Building

Museum, inside Building C

I found a bird nest

Lawang Sewu reminds me of Kota Tua in Jakarta. All of them are Dutch's building, and they are ancient, so maybe it makes them seem scary and haunted.

After enjoying Lawang Sewu, we prepared to go back to Jakarta. But how can we go home empty-handed?! There, in Pandanaran street, we bought some foods, special from Semarang, for our relatives in Jakarta. Along this street, there are shops that sell Bandeng Presto, Loen Pia, Wingko Babad, and other food that have Semarang taste. The famous one is Bandeng Juwana. But after seeing frustrated crowded, we decided to go to other shops. Then, we ended in Djoe, and got what we wanted to buy.

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