Menyantap Mangut di Kampung Pelangi

Kampung Pelangi Kalisari berada tiga kilometer di selatan Sleep & Sleep Capsule yang menjadi tempat menginap pada masa extendku di Semarang. Jam sepuluh pagi, aku sudah merangsek melalui Jalan Imam Bonjol lalu bersambung ke Jalan Pemuda, menaiki ojek online, aku ingin menuntaskan rasa penasaran mengenai keindahan kampung wisata itu. Dengan mengunjungi Kampung Pelangi Kalisari ini, aku tak perlu bersikeras menuju Malang untuk menikmati keindahan yang sama di Kampung Jodipan dan Kampung Tridi, Kali Code di Yogyakarta atau Kampung Teluk Seribu di Balikpapan.

Semalam aku juga sudah menghubungi teman lama yang tinggal di Semarang, namanya Titan. Kebetulan dia meluangkan waktu untuk bertemu. Kita sepakat untuk bertemu di Kampung Pelangi saja. Dia akan mengajakku berkeliling Semarang menggunakan motornya. Lihat saja dalam tulisan selanjutnya, kemana aku akan diajak olehnya.

Tiba di tujuan, aku menyempatkan diri mencari sarapan di kompleks kios yang terletak memanjang mengikuti kontur Sungai Semarang yang memisahkan Jalan Dr. Sutomo dengan rumah-rumah di Kampung Pelangi. Aku menyantap Nasi Mangut (olahan ikan pari asap khas Pati) dengan sangat lahap.

Deretan kios di gerbang depan Kampung Pelangi Kalisari.
Masakan “Mangut” khas Pati.

Aku mulai memasuki Kampung Pelangi melewati sebuah jembatan kecil bermotif lengkung. Di Jembatan ini eksitensi Pasar Bunga dan Taman Kasmaran sudah diinformasikan kepada para wisatawan melalui sebuah papan penunjuk arah. Sedangkan Sungai Semarang tampak rapi dengan keberadaan turap bercat warna-warni, lengkap dengan trotoar tepat di sisi permukaan air sungai.

Aku mulai memasuki Kampung Wonosari (nama asli Kampung Pelangi) ini melalui sebuah gang landai beralaskan pavling block bercat warna-warni, berhiaskan payung penuh warna  yang menjadi peneduh dari terpaan sinar matahari, deretan pot-pot bunga membuat setiap gang menjadi asri serta papan informasi diletakkan pada jarak yang konsisten. Di beberapa titik tanjakan disediakan titik jeda berupa tempat duduk terbuat dari beton, memungkinkan beberapa penanjak yang kelelahan bisa beristirahat sementara.

Tangga sebelum memasuki Kampung Pelangi.
Sungai Semarang.
Jalur pejalan kaki.
Papan informasi beserta peta lokasi.

Ketika mencapai perbukitan paling atas, tepat di bawah papan nama raksasa “Kampung Pelangi”, terdapat kompleks pemakaman bernama “Taman Bahagia Wirawati Catur Panca”. Pemakaman umum inilah yang menjadi sejarah asal-usul Kampung Pelangi. Dikisahkan, awalnya area Kampung Pelangi ini diperuntukkan sebagi area pemakaman umum. Namun kemudian beberapa warga datang dan mendirikan pemukiman di sekitar pemakaman ini hingga menjadi ramai hingga saat ini.

Entah darimana ujung jalannya, tampak beberapa wisatawan turun dari kendaraannya di sebuah area parkir. Sementara beberapa warga yang sedang berbincang ringan di sebuah warung kopi, menunjukkan kepadaku letak titik pandang terbaik untuk melihat kota dari ketinggian. Tunjukan tangan para penikmat kopi itu berujung pada sebuah loteng terbuka milik warga yang ketika kunaiki membuat tatapanku dilenakan oleh pemandangan kota tanpa penghalang sama sekali.

Pemakaman “Taman Bahagia”.
Papan nama raksasa “Kampung Pelangi”.

Ketika sedang menikmati pemandangan kota yang apik tanpa sengatan sinar matahari, datanglah di loteng yang sama Pak Asep asal Bogor. Sama, beliau juga sedang extend di Semarang pasca tugas luar kotanya sebagai seorang Pegawai Negeri Sipil. Mendadak aku mendapatkan teman traveling dan percakapan hangat menjadi tak terelakkan. Aku mengaguminya sebagai orang yang berjiwa muda, memiliki kebiasaan yang sama denganku ternyata, hobby jalan-jalan dengan memanfaatkan setiap momen tugas ke luar kota.

Titan akhirnya memanggilku menggunakan smartphonenya. Dia menunggu di gerbang depan, tempat awalku memasuki Kampung Pelangi satu jam yang lalu. Segera, aku undur diri percakapan yang sedang seru-serunya itu. Tak kusangka, pak Asep lebih memilih turun bersamaku dan melanjutkan obrolan sembari kami berdua menuruni Kampung Pelangi.

Menuju sebuah loteng tertinggi di Kampung Pelangi.
Pemandangan manakjubkan dari atas Kampung Pelangi.
Sini mas Donny saya fotokan, buat kenang-kenangan!”, pak Asep menawarkan diri.

Aku sudah berada di bagian terbawah Kampung Pelangi. Berpamitan dengan Pak Asep, pandanganku mulai menyapu setiap sisi untuk menemukan Titan. “Sebelah sini, Don”, Titan memanggilku. Oh itu dia sedang duduk mengopi di sebuah warung. Pertemuan dengan teman lama kedua di Semarang setelah malam tadi aku juga bertemu dengan Ezra.

Kutinggalkan Kampung Pelangi di jok belakang motor si Titan. Aku bersiap menuju destinasi berikutnya.

Eksplorasi Tertahan di Air Mancur Jalan Pahlawan

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Selepas makan malam di warung makan Ayam Pak Supar Semarang, Ezra berpamitan untuk undur diri. Dia berujar membutuhkan waktu tiga puluh menit untuk sampai di rumahnya. Sementara malam sudah menunjukkan pukul 22:30. Bahan percakapan kami juga sudah habis. Dia menawari untuk mengantarku balik ke Sleep & Sleep Capsule. Berfikir merepotkan, aku menolaknya halus. Akhirnya aku hanya meminta diturunkan di sebuah tempat yang masih ramai di arah pulangnya, dengan begitu aku tak akan merepotkannya.

Dengan cepat aku dibonceng dengan sepeda motor manual warna birunya. Beberapa saat kemudian, sepeda motor mulai melambat dan dia menurunkanku di sisi trotoar yang cukup lebar, penuh dengan muda-mudi yang duduk berkumpul di beberapa titik, diselingi para penjual kopi keliling di sepanjang trotoar.

Di sini nih Don, tempat teramai di arah pulangku. Gimana, mau turun di sini saja?”, ujar Ezra setelah menghentikan sepeda motornya.

OK, di sini saja. Saya ngopi dulu aja sebelum balik ke hotel, Zra”, aku meyakinkannya supaya dia bisa segera pulang. Lalu duduklah aku di sebuah beton pembatas taman, lalu memesan segelas kopi instan. Bagaimana rasanya, jika seorang penikmat kopi original, harus nongkrong dengan meminum kopi instan….Hahaha. tak apalah, yang penting aku bisa menikmati malam.

Kantor Telkomsel Semarang di daerah Mugassari.
Sebuah sisi Jalan Pahlawan.

Belum juga menghabiskan kopi dalam gelas dan sedang asyik-asyiknya menikmati aktivitas muda-mudi di depan Kantor Telkomsel Semarang, satu dua tetes air mulai jatuh dari langit. Pertanda bahwa kota akan segera tertumpah hujan.

Aku memandang sekitar untuk mencari tempat berteduh jika hujan benar-benar turun. Aku melihat di utara ada sebuah panggung yang beberapa orang tampak ramai berkumpul di dekatnya. Tanpa pikir panjang aku segera bergegas kesana.

Benar adanya, tetesan air langit telah naik tingkat menjadi gerimis lembut. Butuh waktu untuk memesan taksi online, sebelum basah kuyup lebih baik aku berteduh. Dengan cepat aku menaiki panggung itu untuk menyelamatkan diri dari hujan deras.

Ternyata panggung ini akan digunakan untuk menyambut Gubernur Jawa Tengah dalam acara Jalan Sehat dalam rangka memperingati HUT KORPRI ke-47. Akhirnya, hujan tertumpah sangat deras, walaupun berada di panggung beratap, tetap saja sebagian tubuhku basah karena air hujan itu disapu oleh angin kencang ke segala arah.

Genap 45 menit aku menunggu hujan tanpa bisa menunaikan niat awal untuk melakukan ekplorasi di sepanjang jalan protokol itu. Jalan utama di Semarang yang sangat terkenal dengan agenda Car Free Day kota itu. Aku hanya mendapatkan bonus menikmati pertunjukan warna pada sebuah air mancur di perempatan antara Jalan Pahlawan dan Jalan Imam Bardjo SH.

Panggung perayaan.
Bundaran di Jalan Pahlawan.
Air mancur di Jalan Pahlawan.
Air mancur di Jalan Pahlawan.

Menjelang tengah malam, Jalan Pahlawan sudah tak berdaya di hajar hujan. Segenap sisi menjadi sepi. Akhirnya aku memutuskan untuk segera balik ke hotel untuk merehatkan diri. Inilah malam terakhirku di Semarang sebelum besok sore kembali ke Jakarta. Tetapi aku masih ada waktu eksplorasi hingga tengah hari di esok hari.

Pertunjukan Langit di Pantai Marina Semarang

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Sore, hari ketiga di Semarang, akhirnya aku mengkreasi peluang untuk menyaksikan pertunjukan bumi yang sering dicari oleh penggila warna langit….Yups, Sunset.

Aku meluncur cepat dari Sleep & Sleep Capsule di daerah Dadapsari pasca menaruh semua peralatan dan backpack. Menggunakan taksi online berjenis Calya warna orange maroon, aku dan Pak Muchlis menuju Pantai Marina di daerah Tawangsari. Pengemudi muda itu terus memamerkan spion tengahnya yang dimodifikasi fungsi menjadi kamera mundur dan kamera rekam jalan….Padahal itu hanyalah kamera buatan China harga 400 ribuan….Hahaha.

Menempuh jarak enam kilometer dalam lima belas menit, aku tiba di gerbang Pantai Marina. Melewati sebuah pos dan membayar tiket masuk sebesar lima ribu Rupiah, aku diturunkan tepat di area parkir pantai. Satu yang akan menjadi kendala adalah tidak tersangkutnya signal handphone di area pantai. “Wah, alamat, saat pulang nanti, aku mesti berjalan lumayan jauh ke luar area pantai untuk memesan ojek online”, batinku.

Arah asal masuk ke pantai.
Area parkir pantai.

Waktu sudah menunjukkan pukul 17:30, tetapi pantai masih saja menyengat. Matahari masih menunjukkan keperkasaannya di area terbuka itu. Untuk mengurangi hawa panas, aku duduk di sebuah bangku di bawah pohon sambil menikmati es kelapa muda dari batok kelapanya langsung. Biarlah surya kecapaean bersinar dan aku akan mulai menikmatinya saat dia mulai langsir.

Masih menyengat.

Matahari yang sudah mulai turun, membuatku segera beranjak dan menapaki area tanggul beton sekaligus pedestrian yang masih diperkuat dengan keberadaan batu-batu raksasa pengurug bibir pantai. Menjadikan pantai ini tak bisa lagi menampakkan keindahan naturalnya.

Tampak muda-mudi duduk diatas batu-batu raksasa itu, berpacaran, berselfie ria, atau merenung meratapi nasib di tengah khasnya riak ombak. Sedangkan anak-anak kecil berlarian di sepanjang pedestrian beton.

Bebatuan besar penahan ombak.

Pemandangan lain adalah tertancap kokohnya bagan-bagan penangkap ikan di sepanjang pantai, sedangkan di arah lepas pantai, sebuah daratan mirip pulau berhiaskan kapal-kapal cepat yang terparkir rapi, area West Marina Beach.

Untuk menyaksikan sunset dengan sudut pandang sempurna maka aku merapat ke bagian pantai yang menghadap ke arah barat. Tampak deretan pemburu yang tetap fokus dengan mata pancingnya di sepanjang pedestrian hasil reklamasi yang pada sisi ini dilapisi dengan paving block yang membuat penampakan bibir pantai lebuh berseni. Sementara para pedagang minuman dan makanan tampak sibuk melayani pelanggannya yang menempati deretan bangku dan bersiap menikmati pertunjukan alam. Di bagian selatan sana, Marina Convention Center tampak gagah membiru, menyematkan kesan bahwa Pantai Marina telah terpapar teknologi dan modernisasi.

Disinilah spot terbaik menikmasi senja.

Aku mulai mengambil tripod, memangarahkan smartphoneku ke arah surya yang mulai membulat jelas dan perlahan berubah berwarna orange. Muda-mudi dari pantai sebelah utara mulai berpindah mengambil posisi maasing-masing di pantai barat. Sementra Pak Muchlis terlihat lebih santai, duduk menikmati seporsi lontong. Sedangkan aku duduk bersila saja tepat di bibir pantai, bersebelahan dengan kamera smartphoneku yang sedang bekerja mengabadikan momen special itu.

Pertunjukan yang luar biasa.
Dia mulai bersembunyi.
Selamat datang malam…..

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Sleep & Sleep Capsule: Penginapan Murah di Semarang

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Selamat pagi….Fajar terakhir di The Azana Hotel Airport.

Sesuai jadwal business trip ini, aku seharusnya pulang ke ibukota sore nanti. Sudah barang tentu, jam 12 siang ini, aku harus melakukan check-out dari The Azana Hotel Airport. Karena pelatihan baru akan selesai pukul 14:00, maka sebelum aku berangkat ke kawasan Bukit Semarang Baru untuk mengawal jalannya pelatihan, aku segera menyerahkan kunci hotel sembari menitipkan semua barang-barang di reception desk.

Pelatihan hari kedua ini berjalan sangat lancar dan selesai tepat waktu. Semua peserta pelatihan pun satu persatu undur diri untuk kembali ke kotanya masing-masing. Aku pun segera kembali ke The Azana Hotel Airport, untuk mengambil barang yang tertitip.

Kamu tentu sudah tahu kelakuanku…Yups, aku sengaja memperpanjang masa kunjungku di Kota Atlas dengan biayaku sendiri. Kini aku bersiap berperilaku kembali layaknya seorang backpacker. Aku akan berpindah menuju sebuah hostel seharga Rp. 40.000 per malam. Dan karena Pak Muchlis yang masih akan kembali pada pukul 19:00 nanti, akhirnya mengikuti kemana kakiku melangkah.

Menumpang taksi online, aku menuju ke Sleep & Sleep Capsule di daerah Dadapsari. Pengemudi taksi online yang kutunggangi rupanya tahu perihal hotel kapsul murah itu, mampu membaca tujuanku tiba di Semarang, sehingga percakapanku dengannya pun otomatis menghangat di ranah backpacking.

Aku diturunkan di bilangan Jalan Imam Bonjol tepat di halaman Universitas AKI. Tak sulit menemukan Sleep & Sleep Capsule, karena tulisan namanya tertera sangat besar di tembok pembatas universitas itu. Lorong kecil berkanopi itu mengarahkanku menuju sebuah pintu seukuran gang yang langsung berhadapan dengan meja resepsionis.

Lorong masuk.
Reception desk.

Telah terbayarnya biaya hotel melalui Agoda, staff reception perempuan itu hanya meminta KTPku saja untuk mencocokkan data. Walaupun minimalis, hotel ini tampak didesain sangat rapi dan modern dengan mengambil konsep aktivitas di sebuah bandara. Interior dinding lobby itu didesain bak sisi jendela sebuah pesawat lengkap dengan kursi pesawatnya. Sedangkan alur lalu lintas tamu di area lobby dibatasi dengan desain lantai bak aspal bandara. Segenap lobby didominasi dengan warna kuning, coklat, putih dan abu-abu…..Ciamik banget.

Lobby.
Ruang bersama.
Ruang bersama.

Sedangkan setiap tamu akan mendapatkan sebuah loker yang diletakkan di ruang terpisah dengan kamar tidur. Aku perhatikan banyak tamu yang menaruh laptop dan beberapa berkas tugas sebuah institusi pendidikan di loker itu, aku kemudian menyimpulkan bahwa mereka adalah para mahasiswa yang sedang berkuliah. Entahlah, apakah mereka lebih memilih hotel jenis kapsul ini untuk tinggal atau memang mereka hanya sesekali menginap saja karena ada tugas lembur di kampus. Hal itu  mungkin saja karena memang hotel ini berlokasi bersebelahan dengan Universitas AKI.

Koridor loker.

Aku pun segera menaruh backpack di ruang kapsulku, bunk bed tingkat paling atas. Aku segera menaruh peralatan traveling di folding bag untuk kubawa ke destinasi berikutnya sore itu. Terus terang, aku baru kali ini tidur di sebuah ruangan kapsul. Biasanya aku memilih sebuah dormitory reguler.

Memang beda tipis antara kapsul dan dormitory. Kapsul berpembatas sedangkan dormitory cenderung lebih terasa lega karena tak berpembatas papan.

Karena jumlah kapsul dalam ruangan ini adalah 42 buah, tak hayal lagi ruangan kapsul ini sangat berisik ketika waktu tidur menjelang. Sudah dipastikan diantara 42 orang ini adalah para pengorok ulung yang mengganggu nyenyaknya malam. Keriuhan akan kembali terjadi di pagi hari karena disaat itulah orang saling berembut untuk mandi. Mereka tampak mengejar urusannya masing-masing sepagi mungkin. Begitu juga aku.

Kamar.
Pindah peraduan.

Sedangkan toilet berada di ujung ruangan kapsul. Wastafel, urinoir dan shower berada pada ruangan yang saling terpisah. Walaupun dipakai untuk 42 tamu dalam satu ruangan, kamar mandi itu tetap tampak bersih dan wangi. Sepertinya para tamu ini sudah berpengalaman tinggal di sini, mungkin para mahasiswa itu sudah berlangganan menginap di hotel kapsul ini.

Kamar mandi.
Kamar mandi.

Nah, Hayo siapa yang mau tinggal di hotel jenis kapsul sepertiku?……

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Citilink QG 145 from Semarang (SMG) to Jakarta (HLP)

Citilink QG 145 flight route. Source: https://flightaware.com/

Titan treated me to lunch before arriving at hotel. A portion of Pecel 1* rice near Public Senior High School 1 Semarang. Then he also supplied me with typical Semarang Presto 2* Milkfish to take back to Jakarta. Wow, he was my kind friend.

Before actually checking out, Titan, who was curious about how I chose cheap lodging, he came with me to dormitory room. He paid close attention to dormitory room and its sleeping capsules. “Great Donny, can you sleep in a capsule like this?“, he said with a smile. “When abroad, I did the same thing, Titan. That’s why I can travel at a low cost”, I replied in a whisper.

Toyota Calya in orange metallic color, picked me up at Sleep & Sleep Capsule. Simultaneously, I said goodbye to Titan to leave Semarang. Thank you Titan.

On 15:25 hours, I arrived at the airport. Without further ado and exploration, I hurried over to check-in counter. I was only forty-five minutes from boarding time. Less crowded counters allowed me to finish check-in process in fifteen minutes and finally my boarding pass was in my hand….Nice.

I continued to focus on heading to waiting room quickly. I was only thirty minutes away from flight. And exactly fifteen minutes before boarding, I reached waiting room and sat down with gasping. Not long, after enjoying the beauty of waiting room, A call from ground staff to got ready to fly echoed. Now, I was preparing at Gate 3A to enter aircraft cabin.

Ticket to Jakarta.
Citilink QG 145’s cabin interior. Sat on seat number 10A.

Now I was sitting on seat which matched with its number on boarding pass. I was getting ready to go to Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, which was 394 Km from Ahmad Yani International Airport. I would fly with Airbus A320’s flying casings with a maximum altitude of 26,000 feet, with a speed of 520 mph and a travel time of 53 minutes.

During boarding process, I continued to enjoy the beauty of Ahmad Yani International Airport’s new passenger terminal from plane window. Seen some planes were back and forth coming and going on left side of plane which I was riding. The sky was cloudy, a sign that I should be prepared for a little turbulence right after take-off.

The time when had been waiting arrived, the plane was already getting ready on runway and waiting for permission to spur its jet engine into air. I was just busy in reading Citilink’s inflight magazine, i.e Linkers. Plane slowly began to advance and showing overall shape of airport from end to end. Beautiful of Ahmad Yani International Airport.

Wings Air’s ATR aircraft.
Which destination was that Air Asia to ?.
Terminal building along with ATC of Ahmad Yani International Airport during take-off.

Before breaking through thick clouds above, this flight quickly showed the beauty of Semarang’s north coast. Combination of dark clouds with orange sunlight which penetrated between clouds, combined with blue sea with the creeping of ships around port….Hmmhh, a very authentic Semarang.

The vibrations began to be felt when plane wanted to stabilize its flying altitude. But after that, sky returned clean and revealed its beauty from a height. That afternoon, I didn’t want to close my eyes and mised that amazing sky show.

Semarang north coast….Wouww, awesome.
The sun version of sky and the sun version of sea …. Beautiful isn’t it ?.
Pilots were very adept in dodging clouds….Smooth flight.

Flight incredibly felt short. Citilink began to get down above capital sky. Land of Bekasi was very dense. Several city icons were clearly visible from above. Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium, which I visited during President Cup match between Bali United and Semen Padang FC, just for seeing Irfan Bachdim’s figure closer.

While another view was LRT line which was being built along Cikampek toll road, it looked very beautiful. That was the path which almost I have taken every day throughout my profession as a salesman in capital city.

Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium was visible from a height.
LRT line which was currently under construction.

Citilink QG 145 landed at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport very smoothly. As usual, passengers would get off and walked at apron area to main terminal building. I rushed to conveyor belt to pick up luggage and then went home using an online motorcycle taxi.

Get off the plane in apron area.
Several visitors were waiting for Apron Free Shuttle Bus. I prefered to walk..

Many beautiful flights with Citilink. Thank you Citilink.

Alternatives for flight tickets from Semarang to Jakarta can be searched on 12Go or the following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

The Story of Buddha’s Death at Watugong Pagoda

The moped was lauched with all its might by Titan heading south of the city. 15 kilometers away, 30 minutes in length. He said that I would be brought to the highest pagoda in Indonesia, in Pudakpayung area. Almost 12:00 hours, Titan and I arrived there, right on the edge of Perintis Kemerdekaan Street. Entering the gate, I just realized that it was a Buddhist monastery or worship complex, named Vihara Buddhagaya Watugong.

I passed a building with a roof shape which was similar to roof top at Grand Palace, Bangkok. If Grand Palace has a golden roof, this building will be brick red. This building is called Dhammasala Vihara. I started exploring it from top floor which was used as a multipurpose hall then entered its room in downstairs.

Dhammasala Vihara.
The first floor of Dhammasala Vihara is a praying room, decorated with a golden Buddha statue.

Leaving Dhammasala Vihara, I slowly approached second main section of monastery. This was what Titan meant earlier. The seven-story pagoda was with its nicknamed as Avalokitesvara Pagoda. Avalokitesvara itself comes from Sanskrit word “Avalokita” which means to hear down and “Isvara” which means sound. Meanwhile, Avalokitesvara in Chinese language is called by two words, namely “Kwan Im”. Meanwhile “Kwan Im” itself is a manifestation of compassion from Buddha.

Therefore, this temple is also known as Goddess Kwan Im Pagoda. Some people call it as Metakaruna Pagoda or Love Pagoda because of its existence to honor Kwan Sie Im Po Sat figure, Goddess of Love.

Sidharta Gautama statue under Bodhi Tree, a 65 year old Bodhi Tree.
Avalokitesvara Pagoda rises 45 meters in high.
Me dan Titan.
The 5 meter high statue of Goddess Kwan Im is located inside Avalokitesvara Pagoda.

Having finished walking around Avalokitesvara Pagoda which was guarded by God statues which arranged around each side on ground floor, I started exploring its courtyard and garden. There were twin gazebos with two layers of roofs which were used by visitors to sit and rest because they were tired after exploring vast monastery area.

Meanwhile, on other side of its courtyard was Sleeping Buddha Statue (Buddha Parinibbana), which reminded me when visiting Pha That Luang in Vientiane exactly five months before my visitation to this monastery. Next to Sleeping Buddha Statue, lined Ariya Atthangika Magga Monument, which represented eightfold main path as a practice for attaining highest happiness (Nibbana).

Gazebo around pagoda.
Buddha Parinibbana which describes passing of Buddha between two Sala Trees.

I slowly started to leave Buddhagaya Vihara. 7 meters tall Ashoka Monument was also visible. A monument made from solid stone and had lion head. A meaning which is contained in this lion head is that no matter how wild a lion is, when we know its character, it will be easy to conquer.

And at the end, I passed Sanchi Gate and Watugong Monument. This gate is a replica of a gate in front of Sanchi Stupa at India. The gate was built as a symbol of respect when entering temple building.

Meanwhile, Watugong Monument was built to show origin of area name, i.e “Watugong”. The name was taken from an original natural stone in the form of a gong (Javanese musical instrument).

Almost finished in visiting.
Ashoka Monument to commemorate King Ashoka from India who obey in practicing Buddhism.
Watugong Monument and Sanchi Gate.

My visitation in Semarang had really ended. Titan would take me to Sleep & Sleep Capsule to pick up my backpack and supplies. After that I would go to Ahmad Yani International Airport and returned to Jakarta.

Thank you Semarang.

Eating Mangut at Kampung Pelangi

Kampung Pelangi Kalisari (Kalisari Rainbow Village) is three kilometers at south of Sleep & Sleep Capsule, which was a place to stay during my extended period in Semarang. At ten o’clock in the morning, I had driven through Imam Bonjol Street then continued to Pemuda Street, riding an online motorcycle taxi, I wanted to finish my curiosity about the beauty of a tourist village. By visiting “Kampung Pelangi Kalisari“, I don’t have to insist on going to Malang to enjoy the same beauty in “Kampung Jodipan” and “Kampung Tridi“, “Kali Code” in Yogyakarta or “Kampung Teluk Seribu” in Balikpapan.

Last night, I also contacted an old friend who life in Semarang, his name is Titan. It so happened that he took the time to meet up. We agreed to meet in Kampung Pelangi. He would take me around Semarang on his motorbike. Just see in next article, where I would be brought by him.

Arriving at destination, I took time to look for breakfast in a stall complex which was located along the contour of Semarang River which separated Dr. Sutomo Street with houses in Kampung Pelangi. I ate Rice with Mangut (processed smoked stingray, typical from Pati City) very heartily.

A row of stalls at Kampung Pelangi Kalisari front gate.
Pati’s typical “Mangut” cuisine.

I started to enter Kampung Pelangi through a small arch patterned bridge. On this bridge, existence of Flower Market and Kasmaran Park had been informed to tourists through a signpost. Meanwhile, Semarang River looked neat with presence of colorful painted river wall, complete with sidewalk right on river side.

I started to enter Kampung Wonosari (the real name of Kampung Pelangi) through a sloping alley with colored pavling blocks, decorated with colorful umbrellas which provided shade from the sun, rows of flower pots made every aisle looked beautiful and information boards were placed at consistent distance. At some points of climb, a break point was provided in the form of a concrete seat, allowing some climbers who were tired to rest temporarily.

The bridge before entering Kampung Pelangi.
Semarang river.
Pedestrian path.
Information board with location map.

When I reached at hill top, precisely below at a giant signboard “Kampung Pelangi“, there was a burial complex called “Taman Bahagia Wirawati Catur Panca“. This public cemetery was history of Kampung Pelangi origin. It was said, initially, Kampung Pelangi area was designated as a public burial area. But then some residents came and established settlements around this cemetery until it became crowded today.

I didn’t know where the end of road, some tourists got off their vehicles in a parking area. Meanwhile, some residents were lightly chatting at a coffee shop, showing me where the best vantage point to see the city from a height. Show the hands of coffee connoisseurs, located in an open attic belonging to a resident, which when I climbed it made my gaze was brightened by city view without any obstacles.

“Taman Bahagia” cemetery.
Kampung Pelangi” giant signboard

When I was enjoying a nice view of city without sun’s rays, came to the same attic, Mr. Asep from Bogor City. Similarly, he was also currently extending in Semarang after his out-of-town assignment as a Civil Servant. Suddenly I got a traveling companion and a warm conversation was inevitable. I admired him as a person who was young at heart, had same habits as me, it turned out that his hobby was traveling by taking advantage from every moment of his duty at out of town.

Titan finally called me using his smartphone. He was waiting at front gate, where I first entered Kampung Pelangi an hour ago. Immediately, I finished our conversation that was having fun. The surprise was, Mr. Asep preferred to come down with me and continued our conversation while we descended from Kampung Pelangi.

Towards the highest attic in Kampung Pelangi.
Amazing view from top of Kampung Pelangi.
Come on, Donny!. I can take your photo, for your travel memories!” Pak Asep volunteered.

I was at bottom of Kampung Pelangi. Saying goodbye to Mr. Asep, my gaze began to sweep across sides to find Titan. “Over here, Donny!“, Titan called me. Oh, he was sitting at a coffee shop. Meeting with my second old friend in Semarang after last night I also met Ezra.

I left Kampung Pelangi in back seat of Titan’s motorbike. I was ready to go to next destination.

Exploration Stuck in Pahlawan Street Fountain

After dinner at Ayam Pak Supar Semarang food stall, Ezra said goodbye to go home. He said, it took thirty minutes to reach his home. While, the night showed on 22:30 hours. Our conversation material had also ran out. He offered to take me back to Sleep & Sleep Capsule. Thinking troublesome, I subtly refuse it. Finally I just asked to be dropped off at a place where was still busy on his way to home, so I wouldn’t troublesome him.

I quickly took a ride on his blue manual motorcycle. A few moments later, the motorbike started to slow down and he lowered me on a side of sidewalk which was wide enough, full of young people who sitting together at several points, interspersed with roving coffee sellers along the sidewalk.

Here, Donny, the busiest place on my way to go home. Do you want to get off here? ”Ezra said after stopping his motorbike.

OK, just here. I’ll have a coffee first before going back to hotel, Ezra”, I assured him so he could go home. Then I sat on a concrete dividing, then ordered a glass of instant coffee. How does it feel, if you are an original coffee connoisseur, and then you have to hang out with drinking instant coffee… .Hahaha. Never mind, the important thing was I could enjoy the night.

Semarang Telkomsel office in Mugassari area.
A side of Pahlawan Street.

Having not finished yet drinking coffee in a glass and enjoying youth people activities in front of Semarang Telkomsel Office, one or two drops of water began to fall from the sky. A sign that the city would soon be pouring by rain.

I looked around for shelter in case it really rained. I saw in north, there was a stage where several people seemed to be crowded around it. Without thinking I immediately rushed there.

It was true, drops of sky water had risen to next level be a gentle drizzle. It took time to order a taxi online, before getting soaked, I better took shelter. I quickly climbed the stage to save myself from heavy rain.

It turned out that this stage would be used to welcome Governor of Central Java in a Healthy Walk event to commemorate the Anniversary of KORPRI (Indonesian Civil Servants Corps). Finally, rain poured down very hard, even though I was on roofed stage, still some parts of my body was wet because rainwater was swept away by strong winds in all directions.

Even 45 minutes I waited for the rain without being able to fulfill my initial intention to explore along this protocol road. The main street in Semarang which was very famous for routine Car Free Day agenda. I only got bonus for enjoying color show at a fountain at an intersection between Pahlawan Street and Imam Bardjo SH Street.

Celebration stage.
Roundabout at Pahlawan Street.
Fountain at Pahlawan Street.
Fountain at Pahlawan Street.

By midnight, Pahlawan Street was helpless in the rain. All sides were deserted. Finally I decided to immediately return to hotel for rest. This was my last night in Semarang before returning to Jakarta on tomorrow afternoon. But I still have time to explore Semarang until noon on next day.

Sky Show at Semarang Marina Beach

In the afternoon, on my third day in Semarang, I finally created an opportunity to watch an earth show which was often sought by sky color enthusiasts….Yups, sunset.

I quickly drove from Sleep & Sleep Capsule in Dadapsari area after putting all my equipments and backpack. Using an online taxi i.e orange maroon Calya (Cayla is a brand of Toyota in Indonesai), Mr. Muchlis and I headed for Marina Beach in Tawangsari area. A young driver continued to show off his rearview mirror which was modified into a reverse camera and a road recording camera….Even though it was only a camera made in China, the price was USD 30….Hahaha.

Driving for about six kilometers in fifteen minutes, I arrived at Marina Beach gate. Passing a post and paying an entrance ticket for about USD 0.4, I was dropped off in right at beach parking area. One problem was cellphone signal didn’t get caught in beach area. “Wahhh, bad news, when I will get back, I have to quite walk far outside beach area to order an online motorcycle taxi“, I thought.

Origin direction into the beach.
Beach parking area.

It was already 17:30 hours, but the beach still stung. The sun still showed its might in that open area. To reduce the heat, I sat on a bench under a tree while enjoying coconut ice directly from its shell. Let the sun still shined and I would start to enjoy it when it started to down.

It still stings.

The sun which had started to fall, prompted me to get up and stepped on concrete embankment area as well as pedestrian area which was still reinforced by giant rocks in shoreline. Making this beach could no longer show its natural beauty.

Young people were seen sitting on giant stones, dating, taking selfies, or contemplating their fate in the midst of the characteristic wave ripples. Meanwhile, little childrens run along concrete pedestrian.

Big rocks as waves breaker.

Another sights were firmly planted fishing charts along coast, while offshore, an island-like land decorated with neatly parked fast boats, was West Marina Beach area.

To watched sunset with a perfect viewpoint, I moved closer to beach part which facing west. There were rows of angler who remained focused with their fishing rods along reclaimed pedestrian, which on this side was covered with paving blocks which made shoreline looked more artsy. Meanwhile, beverage and food stall were busy serving their customers who occupy benche rows and got ready to enjoy nature show. In southern part, Marina Convention Center looked dashing blue, giving impression that Marina Beach had been exposed to technology and modernization.

This was the best spot to enjoy the dusk.

I started to take a tripod, aimed my smartphone towards the sun which began to clearly round and slowly turned into orange color. Youth people from north of coast began to move to take up their best position on west of coast. Meanwhile Mr. Muchlis looked more relax, sitting and enjoying a portion of “lontong” (rice roll). Meanwhile, I just sat cross-legged right on beach side, next to my smartphone camera which was working to capture that special moment.

Extraordinary show.
He started hiding.
Welcome evening.…

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.