Add Semarang to Your Bucket List


Semarang? What’s that? Actually, it’s a place in Indonesia. Sadly, very few people, who aren’t seasoned travelers, at least, are even aware of its existence, but it is one of the most quaint little places in the whole of Southeast Asia, and it certainly has something a little different to offer than better-known places in the are like Jakarta and Bali.

There really are numerous reasons why you should give the little-known port city of Semarang a chance and put it on your vacation bucket list. Here are some of them:

It is Absolutely Stunning

The most compelling reason to visit Semarang is Semarang itself. The place is absolutely stunning. As well as beautiful blue skies and even bluer waters and exotic plant and animal life, the port city is home to some pretty impressive examples of Dutch Colonial architecture, particularly in the city’s old quarter. If you’re looking for a destination that’s a feast for the eyes and makes for some very impressive selfies, then Semarang is the place to be!

It’s Inexpensive

Like most of Southeast Asia. Semarang is a very affordable place to travel. You only have to look at the apartment prices at to see that. What that means is that you can spend lots of time indulging yourself and doing all the things you’ve ever wanted to do on vacation in Semarang with very few limits, certainly no financial ones, unless your dream is to fly a gold encrusted jetpack or something, anyway!

Frolick in the Clouds

Umbul Sidomukti is a fabulous resort located at the bottom of Mount Ungaran. It was created specifically to take advantage of the amazingly beautiful contours of the Atas landscape, and it is now a fantastic play park ‘in the sky’. When you’re there, you can challenge yourself in an obstacle course and…

There’s an Ah-Mazing Zip Line

If you’re into extreme experiences, you won’t be disappointed by Semarang where you can zip line across the skyline some 2000 meters above sea level. You’ll barely get to see much of the Bandungan Valley as you fly by, but what you do see will take your breath away.

Take the Marine Bridge Challenge

Thrillseekers will also delight at the challenge Semarang presents in the form of the Umbol Sidomukti marine Bridge – a suspension bridge- which although it looks like a pretty easy walk is anything but. It takes real mental and physical grit to get across that thing in one piece and kudos to anyone who attempts it and, especially those who succeed!

Bask in the Beauty of Karimunjawa National Park

Karimunjawa National Park is an amazing island, which has something to offer everyone; from amazing coral reefs and beautiful tropical fish to laid-back restaurants serving up the freshest seafood you’re likely to find in Indonesia. Sure, they aren’t exactly sunny paradise islands, but they are peaceful and fulfilling, and you’re likely to see things you won’t see anywhere else. Oh, and there’s a huge mountain Bukit Joko Two, which is well worth a climb if you want to get a great view of the island.

See a Ghost

In Semarang, there’s a place called Lawang Sewu, which you can find out more about at It was once a Japanese Military HQ at the time of WWII, and a lot of people imprisoned there were treated very badly, to say the least. Today, the local people say that headless ghosts can be seen walking the corridors of the building and that a creature known as a Pontianak lives in the basement. So, if you’re looking for a genuine thrill and chill, you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to visit.

Relax in a Natural Spring

Semarang is home to a natural spring water pool located on the outer side of the Umbol Sidomukti. The infinity pool is said to have healing powers, but even if you don’t believe that, and even if you aren’t in need of any healing, you’ll want to pay it a visit because it’s amazingly relaxing and the mountain air is amazingly renewing.

Ride Gedong Songo on Horseback

If it’s once in a lifetime experiences you’re after, you can’t beat riding a beautiful stallion up a massive mountain, where you’re surrounded baby amazingly exotic views and when you’re in Semarang, that’s one of the main attractions! Don’t worry – you’ll have a local guide to help lead you and your horse to the top of the mountain, where you will be rewarded by the beauty of the surrounding city and beyond.

Explore the Beautiful Rawa Pening Lake

Semarang is home to the Rawa Pening, a sizeable lake that benefits from being right in the middle of lots of picturesque mountains. For a few dollars, you can go on a magical boat ride along the river where you’ll see some amazing sights and, even better, get to speak to some of the lovely locals.

Shop Like an A-Lister

If you’re a shopaholic, then you’ll be elated to find that, in Semarang, you can buy designer clothing, from the likes of Gucci and Burberry for less than $50, sometimes a lot less, which means that you will quite literally be able to shop ‘til you drop. Just make sure you head to Simpang Lima – the shopping area of the city!  

Visit a Unique Temple

There are temples all over Southeast Asia, and in fact the world, but what makes the Sam Poo Kong Temple so unique is the fact that it does not belong to any particular religion, and you can find Buddhists worshipping alongside Muslims, Taoists and Hindus. It was originally erected to honor Cheng Ho, an admiral who greatly contributed to the local community, but now it’s a great melting pot and a really beautiful place. It looks kind of like it should be in China, but somehow, it also feels perfectly in place where it is!

So, go on – add Semarang to your bucket list. It’ll be one of the best decisions you ever make.