Day 55 – March 1, 2015 – Sunday – Semarang, Java, Indonesia

Semarang, located on the northern seaboard of Java offers an eclectic mix of cultures. First inhabited by the Chinese in the 15th century, Java has play host to many different occupants due to its strategic position along major trade routes. At the beginning of the 18th century Semarang became a part of the Dutch East India Company. The country’s infrastructure was quickly built up to make the city more accessible for trading. The Dutch influence may still be seen in many buildings. In 1942 the Japanese military occupied Semarang and ruled until Indonesian independence was achieved in 1945.

Semarang (along with Java) is mostly Moslem in faith, in contrast with Bali where Hinduism was by far the major religion. Nevertheless, there are still numerous religions represented on Java.

We arrived in the port of Semarang about 8:00 AM. We had arranged a tour with Cruise Specialists of about 5 ½ hours.

This map shows our previous port, Denpasar on Bali, our current location Semarang in Central Java and our next destination in West Java, Jakarta, the Capital.

I was greeted from our veranda this morning with this nice view of Indonesia Power Company.

Despite the fact we were docked in a working industrial port, we were greeted by these beautiful traditional dancers.

Street vendors located under a bridge near the port. Here you can buy petrol, and I hate to think what else… Many of these photos were taken through the windows a moving bus, thus the quality is not great, but I always say any photo is better than no photo…

Although it is illegal to ride more than 3 persons on a motor bike, four were commonly seen and on occasion we saw five. The legal age to get a motor bike license is 15 and for an auto it is 17. The average household has three bikes.

Sam Poo Kong , also known as Gedung Batu Temple, is the oldest Chinese temple in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia. Originally established by the Chinese Muslim explorer Zheng He (also known as Sanbao), it is now shared by Indonesians of multiple religious denominations, including Muslims and Buddhists, and ethnicities, including Chinese and Javanese.

The main temple. Here a priest will forecast your fortune for a small fee.

Zheng He 1371-1435, Chinese navigator, explorer, diplomat and fleet Admiral.

Various artwork around the temple.



Our tour guide Netty.

A happy family on a Sunday outing.

We visited another Batik workshop, Denah Lokasi. The batik in Semarang is similar but different from that in Bali.

Here you can see a worker stamping a pattern on the cloth.

This worker is dying a piece of cloth. There were a number of different natural product dyes used.

Dyed batik cloth hung to dry.

This is a few of the hundreds of pattern stamps in the stamping room.

A close-up of the detail in the hand made stamps.

This worker is making a stamp. The intricate design is made from copper foil which the worker forms by hand. That combined with the process of hand stamping results in each piece of cloth being unique.

I purchased a shirt and these lovely ladies, along with their lovely batik cloth, worked at the counter and happily agreed to allow their photo taken.

This is another clip of real life in the countryside of Semarang. Again, this photo was taken from the bus. Note the birds and cages. Birds are popular pets and are often entered in competitions.

A worker in a field.

I don’t know what was in the box, but it certainly doesn’t look like a comfortable way for it to be carried, at least for me…

This family was enjoying the nice weather and having lunch in a park. The father invited me to take their photo. I was never close enough to even speak but we communicated through signs and smiles.

This gentleman was filling cans with water from the well behind him. You could purchase a cup of water for 1000 rupiahs, about 8 cents.

The traffic was horrendous. Photos cannot begin to convey the mass confusion in the streets. There were buses, trucks, autos, motorbikes, trishaws, bicycles and pedestrians all competing for same space. The absolutely amazing thing was that in three days of travel in these kinds of conditions we never saw a single accident, we never saw a driver become upset (I don’t think they even know the term road rage), and I can’t even remember seeing a single car with a dent. I have no idea how they do it….

He has a load. Sometimes you would see a motor bike loaded like this and I can’t imagine how the rider could possibly even keep his balance.

Taking a break…

This was a family day for many of the crew members. Holland America had a covered area set up for those relatives who were not able to come aboard the ship. Each member is allowed six passes for adults and unlimited children age 5 and under.

As we were returning to the ship we met Ronald and his family. Ronald is one of Carl and Janet’s cabin stewards. As you can see by the expression on his face, he was excited. Every family member, his grandparents, parents, wife, brother and children all had to shake everyone’s hand. Ronald’s grandfather (seen in the back far left) was especially proud of his grandson. Ronald’s sons each shook our hand and then lay their cheek on our hand as a sign of respect. It was very touching.

George and Kim returning from a nine hour bus trip. At least they are still smiling! This photo was taken from the promenade deck where we were partaking of the complimentary food and drinks at the sail-away party.

Quality live entertainment was provide along with the food and beverages for one and one-half hours. A great way to get primed for dinner…

Tomorrow we make port in Tanjung Priok (Jakarta). This is a commercial port and it is quite a trip into town. We elected to do a HAL tour out of the city. It is a 9 hour tour and we will be gone for most of the port time.

Until tomorrow.


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1 Response to Day 55 – March 1, 2015 – Sunday – Semarang, Java, Indonesia

  1. Teresa says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to
    Blog about your experiences on the WC. I
    Haven’t been well and this is the one bright
    Spot in my day that I look forward to.


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