Expat Living in Semarang, Central Java
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Semarang is not big as Jakarta, which has plenty facilities for expats. But Semarang is a beautiful city and has a lot of historic old buildings.
Semarang, although quite a small city, does in fact have an expat organization known as Semarang International Community (S.I.C.). The S.I.C. organizes quite a few sports activities such as golf (with a monthly competition and BBQ afterwards), Squash, Indoor Soccer, 10 pin bowling and soon a Cricket side. For these sports please contact Daniel at HP 0816-650192.
The longest running activity has been the Hash. You can join
the Semarang Hash House Harriers, a cross-country
running group, consisting of 50% expats. They run, walk, stumble every
Monday at 16:30 around Semarang. Daniel also has all this information.
Go to the popular expat hangout, the On-On Pub at Candi Baru Hotel, and
read the whiteboard adverts for directions for upcoming runs and contacts.
Monthly events are organized, such as cooking classes at a 5-star hotel
and coffee mornings. There are often various functions such as sports
days, family picnics, dinners and theme dinners. Located at Jl. Sultan Agung 100.
Semarang doesn't have as many apartment buildings as Jakarta, just one on Jl. Sisisngamangaraja near Grand Candi Hotel.
Most expats who live in Semarang live in rented houses or apartments; recommended neighborhoods include the Candi area (known as highland Semarang-Semarang Atas) such as Jl. Sultan Agung, Jl. Kawi, Sumbing, Papandayan, Raung. Other quieter housing estates include: Bukit Sari, Griya Bukit Mas, Srondol Bumi Indah
Parama Graha Apartment
Popular restaurants include those on Jl. Sisingamangaraja, in front of the Grand Candi Hotel, where there are European, Western, Japanese, and Indonesian restaurants.
Dok Mai (Thailand Food)
Great eaterie called Basillia with good pizza, Indian curry and some decent soups and salads. There's also a good Italian Restaurant at S2 and On On Pub does a range of decent pub-grub, bangers and mash, lasagna etc. The Hills in Bukit Sari also has some quality dishes.
Provided in Semarang at:
Telogorejo Hospital (KH. Achmad Dahlan Phone. 024-844 6000. 024-8448448)
If you look for amusement places or shopping you can go to the center of the city to an area called Simang Lima. There you will find hotels, shopping centers, bookstores and government offices near Simpang Lima.
If you looking for oleh-oleh (traditional food snacks) such as Lunpia, Wingko Babat, Bandeng Presto (Press processed Milk Fish), Otak-otak tengiri (Tengiri fish fillet), this can be found in this area too.
Grocery stores that sell western food:
For clothing and sports equipment:
The Gramedia bookstore is on Pandanaran Street.
Broadband services are available through IM2Broom (Indosat), Telkomsel Flash, or Matrix which works with 3G or 3.5G Mobile Cellphones, or GSM USB Modem (3.5G supported is better)
Some expats visit the better hotels in town for bars and limited night life - Club 123 at Novotel Hotel on Pemuda Street and the Grand Candi Hotel on Sisingamangaraja Street.S[pr
Sports and Fitness
Celebrity Fitness @ Mall Paragon
Some thoughts from an expat who has lived in Semarang for five years:
We have lived in Semarang before, and to shed some light on your questions about cleanliness I think it depends on where one goes. I lived there for 5 years and rarely became ill. Generally it is cleaner than Jakarta or Surabaya for sure, it is crowded and polluted but if you live where most expats live this isn't really a problem. I think its easy to meet people, the expat community is quite small.
Its not as 'exciting' as Bali - I've lived in Bali and prefer Semarang. There is a lot to do in the surrounding areas to Semarang that is quite culturally exciting. The locals are very kind, although their friendliness can sometimes be mistaken as intrusive. It took me a few years to understand this aspect of Javanese culture. I can honestly say I have never felt in danger (even at night) in Semarang. Mind you as a (western) woman things are different so keep this in mind. You may be subject to some harmless heckling- but even Indonesian women endure this. June 2004
A site with some interesting information on Semarang:
Our thanks to Victorio Sukamto for his wonderful contributions to update this page !
Last updated December 21, 2012.
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