What I really like about Semarang first and foremost were not the sights that I was supposed to see (only if I opted to go ashore after my watch) but simply was the weather. It was warm and very humid, exactly just like the neighbouring Philippines. Well, many would not like warm and humid but I am the opposite – I hate cold weather.
So, arriving the port of Semarang, Indonesia, the ship docked at Tanjung Emas. There’s a cruise terminal in the port but having visited many European ports, I would say that the cruise terminal in Semarang is not that modern. Looking from the ship, it looks like a freight warehouse. Unless, you go inside and you’ll find few souvenir ships, currency exchange, taxi information desk and tourist information desk, there you’ll know that it is a cruise terminal. The cruise terminal offers free wifi internet access but I wasn’t able to connect, so does everyone else.
Five kilometres away is the city center. It’s a bit far to get there by walking but with shuttle service, getting to downtown Semarang was a breeze. But I chose not to visit downtown. I had very little time to spend, so I just went as far as inside the cruise terminal and checked on the souvenir shops for some local items I could take home as souvenir.
One of the most popular souvenirs in Indonesia is the ‘batik’, a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth. Though this craft is produced in several places around the world, Indonesia most particularly the island of Java is more famous for making the best quality ‘batik’. So, if you bought a ‘batik’ cloth from Indonesia, it means that you have the best ‘batik’ cloth in the world.
Before the ship left Semarang, I had another souvenir in hand. Unfortunately, the ‘batik’ I bought in Semarang did not managed to get it’s way home. I forgot to pack the ‘batik’ in my luggage when I signed off from the ship 5 months later. Anyway, ‘batik’ is also sold in the Philippines and you can find the same even in department stores. When you ask the sales girl where their ‘batik’ comes from, you’ll always get an answer that it’s imported from Indonesia. Well, nobody actually knows where but anyway, if they say it’s from Indonesia, so be it.