Sleep & Sleep Capsule: Cheap Lodging in Semarang

Good morning….The last dawn at The Azana Hotel Airport.

According my business trip schedule, I should return to the capital city this afternoon. Of course, on 12:00 that afternoon, I had to check out of The Azana Hotel Airport. Because training would finish on 14:00, before I went to Bukit Semarang Baru area to handle the training, I immediately handed over my room key while leaving all my belongings at reception desk.

This second day of training went very smoothly and was finished on time. One by one, all participants withdrew to return to their respective cities. I immediately returned to The Azana Hotel Airport, to picked up my items.

You certainly already know my behavior….Yups, I deliberately extended my visitation to Atlas City with my own expense. Now, I was ready to behave again like a backpacker. I would move to a hostel for USD 3 per night. And because Mr. Muchlis, who would back to home on 19:00 hours, he finally followed my steps.

Taking an online taxi, I headed to Sleep & Sleep Capsule in Dadapsari area. The online taxi driver seemed to know about this cheap capsule hotel, was able to read my intend for visiting Semarang, so my conversation with him automatically warmed up in backpacking realm.

I was dropped off at Imam Bonjol Street, right in AKI University courtyard. It wasn’t difficult to find Sleep & Sleep Capsule, because its name inscription was very large on university wall. A small canopy corridor led me to a door with size of an alley which directly opposite the reception desk.

Entrance corridor.
Reception desk.

Having paid the hotel cost through Agoda.com, a female reception staff only asked for my ID Card to match the data. Although minimalist, this hotel looked very neat and modern with the concept of activities at an airport. The lobby wall interior was designed like an airplane window side, complete with its airplane seats. Meanwhile, the flow of guest traffic in the lobby area was limited by floor design of airport asphalt. The entire lobby was dominated by yellow, brown, white and gray….Very nice.

Lobby.
Shared spaces.
Shared spaces.

Meanwhile, each guest would get a locker which was placed in a separate room from bedroom. I noticed a lot of guests who put their laptops and some educational institution paperworks in their locker, I then concluded that they were students who were studying. I didn’t know whether they prefer this capsule hotel type to live in or they only stayed overnight because of overtime work on campus. This was possible because this hotel was located next to AKI University.

Locker corridor.

I immediately put my backpack in my capsule room, in the top level in bunk bed. I immediately put my traveling equipments in my folding bag to bring it to my next destination that afternoon. Frankly speaking, this was my first time, I had slept in a capsule room. Usually I chose a regular dormitory.

There is a slight difference between capsule and dormitory. Capsules have a border while dormitory tends to feel more relieved because it don’t have a border.

Because capsule number in this room are 42 capsules, it wasn’t wonder that the capsule room was very noisy when bedtime approached. It was certain that among these 42 people were expert in snoring and would disturb others in the night….Hahaha. The commotion would return in the morning because people scrambled to shower. They seemed to pursue their respective affairs as early as possible. So do I.

Bedroom.
My capsule.

The toilet was at the end of capsule room. The sink, urinal and shower were in separate rooms. Even though it was used for 42 guests in one room, the bathroom still looked clean and smell good. It seemed that these guests have experienced in living here, maybe students have subscribed to stay at this capsule hotel.

Bathroom.
Bathroom.

Well, who want to stay in a capsule type hotel like me?……Hahaha.

Roman Aura at Grand Mosque of Central Java

Leaving Sam Poo Kong Temple, my gaze ransacked canteen area. Trying to find Mr. Muchlis as soon as possible. I had to bring him to Grand Mosque of Central Java, not only to perform prayer, but also to fulfill religious tourism that afternoon after just finishing around the temple.

I found him in a corner, he looked delicious in smoking a cigarette. Smoking while taking turns with splashing his throat with mango juice….Hahaha.

Come on sir, come with me again!“, I loudly shouted from a distance.

Oh, where are we going?“, He exclaimed, putting out his cigarette fire.

Let’s prayer“, I briefly said as I stepped towards temple exit gate.

Regular taxi which was also online taxi came to pick us. Now I faced with a half-aged driver who was already proud with his human mistakes. He said, he once asked for more fees from a pair of Dutch tourists just because he had a reason that Dutch had colonized his country. Then that two tourists didn’t accept it. The driver stopped the taxi in front of police office, he explained his reason for asking for more fare. Then the policeman explained to that tourists in a more elegant way. Amazingly, That tourists somehow wanted to pay more to the driver….Funny, strange and magical….Hahaha.

Once, he didn’t want to accept a fare change Chinese tourist. He said that he had a pride to not to be pitied….This story was even more miraculous, I wanted to laugh out loud

Never mind…. I was lazy to argue….I hoped that this white taxi ran faster and arrived soon….And finally, this online taxi arrived right at the destination courtyard.

Yup…. Great Mosque of Central Java… Call it as MAJT.

The courtyard was deserted, car park but full of motorbikes, shining lamp in combination with gurgling of fountains along pond in the middle of sidewalk. At the end of courtyard, there was a gate with twenty-five pillars, in roman style, with a typical Middle Eastern calligraphy which was circling on top.…Roman taste was clearly embedded in the courtyard.

Roman aura at the start of my visitation.
How?.…Cool, right ?.

The right side of mosque was dominated by Al Husna Tower as high as 62 meters, embodied in 19 floors. If you want, go up as you like, at above, binoculars are waiting you to enjoying the beauty of Atlas City from altitude, then enjoy a cup of coffee at an 18th floor cafe which can turn in a full circle….Wow.

Al Husna Tower.

While the left side of mosque was acquired by a giant green drum which put under 3 layer roof pavilion. A Gift of students from Al Falah Boarding School in Banyumas for MAJT.

How does that giant drum sound?

Meanwhile, mosque courtyard was decorated with six giant hydraulic umbrellas which liked same umbrella in Al Masjid an Nabawi at Medina. This great mosque looked endless spacious, it was said that its area reached 10 hectares. Making this mosque as pride of Sambirejo people. A beautiful mosque whose dome had a diameter of 20 meters which was combined “Limas Roof” as Javanese typical architecture.

Look at the full shape….Waooww.

Not really caring about the crowds in yard, I hurried towards downstairs, did ablution, then prayed in upstairs. Praying with the accompaniment of an ustadz’s sermon to recitation congregation.

Mosque interior.
Hanging lamp in the middle of mosque room.

I linger a little by following this spiritual sermon. A habit which I always repeated when visiting famous mosques. No needed to worry because my time to treat my colleagues was still later. I could catch up with an online taxi in just 15 minutes.

The giant Qur’an by Mr. Hayatuddin, a calligraphy writer from University of Science and Qur’an, Wonosobo.

After the sermon, I began to leave this 14-year-old building, said goodbye to this Islamic center after a religious tour in it, and praying that MAJT would become a prosperous religious education center.

You needed to know that this mosque has other functions, i.e as a library, auditorium, lodging, marriage ceremony room and museum of Islamic development.

Beautiful Spots at The Azana Hotel Airport

Almost Isha’ time….

I entered The Azana Hotel Airport gate which is located on edge of Jenderal Sudirman Street just under Kalibanteng flyover. Hotel room which have booked by my office for three days for USD 33/night.

The Azana Hotel Airport.

Thing that I know is, my colleague, Mr. Muchlis, who comes from Gresik City, had been opening the room since noon. He preceded me, because he departed earlier using Argo Bromo Anggrek train from Surabaya this morning. In fact, he had completed all kinds of rehearsals for next two days of training. Make all were easy for me, because I just accepted final concept when I arrived in Semarang….Thank you, Mr. Muchlis.

Reception desk.
Mini bar in lobby.

I got information that our room which was ordered with office name was number 523, so I decided to directly go to upstairs for quickly pausing and cleaning myself, I felt very disheveled after half a day of was exposured by capital city street dust.

I had a plan to hunt seafood with Mr. Muchlis after taking a bath, it was normal, when I had an office assignment like this, I always used it to improve nutrition….Hahahaha. But I didn’t know where we would go, I would have a discussion with him later.

Room corridor.
Guest room.
Bathroom.

It was also nice to meet friend from same company but from different branches. I worked at head office and Mr. Muchlis at Surabaya branch. We usually met once a year during Year End Party, a moment where awards are given to several outstanding employees.

That night, we decided to go to Kampung Laut in Tawangsari area. For an hour and a half, we enjoyed seafood dishes on the lake. Enjoying the taste, sitting back, relax, enjoying fruit juice, eating sea food while was accompanied by a local band amidst splash of serene lights. Releasing tired after a long journey.

After being satisfied and full, on around 9:30 p.m., we left Kampung Laut Restaurant, took by online taxi which using Wuling Confero (a brand of China car), we headed back to hotel.

And it’s not a Donny if I stop exploring….Arriving at hotel, I didn’t directly go to the room for rest. According to information from reception staff, on seventh floor or the top floor, I could enjoy the beauty of Semarang city from a height. Immediately I headed to Sky Lounge. Here were the best pictures which I have:

Sky Lounge. You can order hot coffee here….Cool, right?.
Kalibanteng Flyover was rich in color.
Great views towards beach and airport.

Not only that, I also went out to street in front of hotel. The festive colors of lights on Bunderan Kalibanteng Street have actually attracted several young people to spend their night at the roundabout. Meanwhile, at intersection point of Yos Sudarso Street and Jenderal Sudirman Street, there is a statue of Ir. Soekarno who was reading proclamation text.

Is third statue of Ir. Soekarno in Atlas City.

So on second day in Semarang, I went back upstairs to get something, here it was:

Guess!….Dawn or dusk?

Oh yes, literally, Azana means “the most luxurious“. Maybe it reflects this hotel vision. Then in general, The Azana Hotel Airport provides guest rooms on the third, fifth and sixth floors. Meanwhile, restaurant and meeting room are placed on second floor. The karaoke area and lobby are on Ground floor. Then swimming pool is placed on basement floor.

Let’s had breakfast at hotel restaurant. After that let’s worked and continued to explore Semarang City in the afternoon!