January 25, 2009

Semarang "Religious" Tour - part 1 : Temples (Kelenteng)

Semarang is the capital city of Central Java. It is known to have a huge ethnically Chinese population compared to other cities in Indonesia. Therefore it is not surprising that there are many temples here (temple in Indonesian = Kelenteng). Two well-known temples are :

1. Sam Po Kong temple
Address : Jl. Simongan no. 129, Kedong Batu

This temple was built to commemorate the Chinese commander Zheng He/Cheng Ho. Legend has it that the admiral stopped at this place during his journey because one of his crew members was sick. While treating the sick crew, many other crew members entered into marriage with the local people. Before Zheng He continued his voyage, he gave his crew members who stayed behind lessons on farming and on how to live prosperously.

Tip: Don't go there on a Sunday morning, as I did. Prayers were still in session so I couldn't go inside the temple.

To read more info on this temple, please visit : http://indonesialover.blogspot.com/2008/01/sam-po-kong-temple.html

2. Tay Kak Sie temple
Address : Gang Lombok no.62

Tay Kak Sie means "Great Conscience". This temple is used to worship various Tao gods and goddesses. What I found interesting about the place is that near the temple you can also find a replica of Sam Po Kong's ship. And also, when visiting here, don't forget to try the famous Lunpia Gang Lombok, a Semarang specialty, located at the front of the alley.

Dragons, Dragons and more Dragons...

An old temple next to the new one

Replica of Sam Po Kong's ship

Lunpia...Semarang's specialty


Matt said...

Wow! Thanks for the tour. Very interesting. I'd love to see it in person one day and try that lumpia. Looking forward to reading more.

Fitri said...

Thanks Matt! I still have a few places to write about. I wish I could just finish them all at once, but...time constraint.

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