One Hour at Sam Poo Kong

My cousin said that hanging out at Sam Poo Kong felt like being at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, with Summer Palace as its background. So I dragged my feet to Semarang for the temple to create my photo session right there.

Eddy Fahmi - Vicky Laurentina - Sam Poo Kong 6The temple is located on district of Simongan at the centre of Semarang city. Basicly it is a cluster of five large Confucianism temples (please correct me if I’m wrong, coz I didn’t enter into each of those). Those temples stand around a plaza which becomes the arena for visitors to make pictures with the temples at the background.

Eddy Fahmi - Vicky Laurentina - Sam Poo Kong 3Actually Chinese community at Simongan found the temple as memorial site for Zheng He (Cheng Ho), a Chinese admiral who came to Indonesia for selling silk around 15th century. Said that Zheng He was sailing on Java Sea and landed a while at Simongan. Zheng He was actually muslim, and he built a mosque at Simongan for praying. A few times later, he finally sailed back, while some of his flatfeet remained at Simongan, got married to Indonesian and bred into Chinese community who lived in Semarang nowadays. A natural disaster had damaged the mosque that he had created, but then the building was renovated becoming the temple for those Chinese descents to pray. While Simongan which was located on the shore of Java Sea, kept having sedimentation continously became a large land, so its position changed from the seashore into the center of the city which is known as Semarang today.

Vicky Laurentina - Sam Poo Kong 1Sam Poo Kong only charged IDR 3k/person for Indonesian, but it takes IDR 10k/person to pay a ticket for non-Indonesian citizen. Though it charged so cheaply, but the Sam Poo Kong Foundation take care of the temples very cleanly, so the tourists seem love the place.

Eddy Fahmi - Vicky Laurentina - Sam Poo Kong 5The visitors are not just Chinese, coz I also saw a lot of tourists wearing hijab here. I was amazed coz this probably was the first time I saw temple complex contained a musholla. The musholla stood at the complex side, available for around 20 people to shalat. It even provided mukena and even faucets for wudhu.

I got here around two PM. It was not really sunny at Semarang, so it was shady enough for photo session (which then I regretted coz made my pictures weren’t bright enough, so I needed to edit a few of them).

Eddy Fahmi - Sam Poo Kong 4It can be accessed easily enough for visitors who use public transportation. Just using the yellow angkot in Banyumanik direction and stopped at the front of Sam Poo Kong complex. The BRT shelter nearby is at the front of Dr Karyadi Hospital (BRT is like busway in Jakarta, or TransJogja in Yogyakarta).

Eddy Fahmi - Sam Poo Kong 2Another fascinating feature at the temple is Chinese costume rental. The foundation provides old Chinese dynasty-style outfits to be rent, and a photographer to make picture of the customer in the outfit. They charge IDR 80k/pax, including printing fee for 4R-size (exclude the JPG file).

I’m satisfied by spending just one hour here to hang out around the complex. Enough for me before I can make my Tiananmen Square dream come true 😀

All photos are created by Eddy Fahmi and Vicky Laurentina

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. dani
    Jan 13, 2015 @ 06:40:20

    An interesting place to sightsee. Hopefully I will get the chance to visit. Couple of times went to Semarang but always for business related. 😀


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