You have been to Bali, Phuket, Bangkok, Malaysia …The question is where should you go next? Make Semarang your next destination! Where is Semarang? Why Semarang? These questions came when I told people that I am going for a short weekend getaway to Semarang. So, today’s post I will be sharing with you our experience in Semarang and the places we went.
Flying into Semarang is relatively easy; the journey is approximately 1h 55m. You can book a flight via AirAsia which usually depart at 14:35(SIN) and arrive 15:30(SRG). Do note that there is a time difference of one hour between Singapore and Semarang! This means that you have one hour more to enjoy!
There are many hotels along the road. Book a hotel that is big and known. This is because Semarang is not yet a tourist city and taxi drivers may not know the hotel and drive you round and round. We stayed at quest hotel which is a 3-star hotel. It is quite convenient and has an Indomart right opposite, 10 minutes’ walk away from Lumpia Delight, Super Penyet and 15 minutes’ walk from Semawis market which is a night market!
Cost: Approx. SG$40 a night
We booked our flight tickets and 2 nights stay at quest hotel at SG$200 per pax through Expedia.
Traffic Condition in Semarang
Let me warn you first, we do not encourage tourist to drive in Semarang. Unlike Malaysia where you can rent and self-drive to the point of interest, please don’t try this in Semarang regardless how marvellous your driving skill is. There are many motorcycles on the road and the traffic is crazy. It is even worse if there is a jam. We just don’t think it is a good idea to drive in Semarang. Semarang drivers are really incredible, astonishingly they know what other drivers are intending to do and are able to react swiftly. In addition, there are many shortcuts around that experience drivers use to avoid the jam. So if you drive on you own using Google map, you will end up being stuck in the jam! HAHA!
Getting around in Semarang
Please do download the Blue Bird Application on your mobile device. The blue bird is a taxi app in Indonesia which means you can use it in Bali, Jakarta and Semarang. With this app, you don’t have to worry about untrustworthy taxi drivers and taxi that do not turn on meters. It saves a lot of time and most important it is very safe! It works like our Uber or Grab app where you can book the taxi and track their location. Most of the time the meter fare would be less than SG$ 2. The only cons about this app is there is the minimum fare is Rp. 25,000 (SG$ 2.64) when you book using the application, which means even if you meter fare is only Rp. 15,000 you still must pay Rp. 25,000. We took a cab everywhere like a millionaire. This app is super awesome and we use this to travel around.
Weather & What to Pack
We went in November and the weather in Semarang is around 26°C to 31°C. It is scorching hot and sunny in the day, sunglasses and caps would be useful. If you are visiting Candi Gedong Songo located on top of a hill, the temperature is around 20°C. It doesn’t feel like 20°C to us so no special clothing is required just wear light airy clothing.
But it would be good if you wear long pants if you are visiting pagodas and temples. Semarang is more conservative than Bali where tourist can feel free to wear bikinis and shorts around.