The Jakarta Post
Sam Poo Kong is Semarang’s oldest Chinese temple. (Shutterstock/File)
Following Split in Croatia and Ulsan in South Korea, Jianyang city in China has recently sent its delegates to Semarang to propose a partnership deal between the two cities.
The delegates’ leader Yang Xin Qiang said that Semarang is close in history with China as evidenced by the story of Admiral Cheng Ho who arrived in Semarang. Today the Sam Poo Kong, also known as Gedung Batu Temple has also been built in Simongan, Gedung Batu, not too far from the Banjir Kanal Barat river which disembogues in the Java Sea.
“I hope a partnership deal between Semarang and Jianyang can be established. In terms of tourism, both cities have interesting tourist destinations,” said Yang Xin Qiang.
Semarang mayor Hendrar Prihadi received the delegates' intentions positively and mentioned that the city has plenty of attractions to offer to Chinese from categories such as religious tourism which encompass Central Java Grand Mosque, The Semarang Grand Mosque (Kauman) and Sam Poo Kong temple. Another category is the city-based tourist attractions such as Lawang Sewu and Old Town, education tourism such as Mangkang Zoo, Catfish Park, Mandala Bhakti Museum and finally culinary tourism in Pandanaran.
Read also: A guide to visiting Semarang
“We’re currently developing Kalipancur Waterfall and Rainbow Village consisting of 390 houses painted in attractive, eye-catching colors,” said Prihadi.
“We are invited by Jianyang to make a follow-up visit to the city in November, and we’re taking a few entrepreneurs from Semarang with us,” he added.
Tourism minister Arief Yahya said he expects Semarang to be invited into partnerships with other cities from around the world. He said the city has many elements that make it a complete tourism destination.
"In the tourism destination development, we have the 3-A formula; Attraction, Access, and Amenities. Semarang's strength lies in its access," he said.
Yahya also appreciates the development efforts of Semarang's Ahmad Yani Airport, as it's creatively developed not only as an accessibility facility but also as an aesthetically attractive object that attracts tourists.
"The Ahmad Yani airport in Semarang can be a tourism icon, and not merely a transportation infrastructure. This will breathe a new hope for Indonesian tourism, which president Joko Widodo has established as the nation's economic core," Yahya concluded. (asw)