Sam Po Kong temple complex

The Sam Poo Kong temple complex (Klĕnthèng Sam Poo Kong, also known as Gedong Batu or “The sanctuary of the rock”) is on the western edge of central Semarang about four kilometres from the Simpang Lima (Five-Way Intersection) in the centre of the city. From the Simpang Lima the distance is walkable in about one hour, or you can get there in a few minutes by taxi or ojèk motorbike taxi.

From the Simpang Lima go west for 1.5 kilometres along Jalan Pandanaran to the big Tugu Muda roundabout. Turn left into Jalan Dr Sutomo and walk about 1.2 kilometres, curving slightly to the left, as far as Dr Kariadi General Hospital (Rumah Sakit Umum Dokter Kariadi). In front of the hospital [6°59’40.76″S  110°24’24.17″E] turn right into Jalan Kaligarang and proceed a further one kilometre over the Kaligarang River to the bright red entrance to the Sam Po Kong complex on your left [6°59’41.04″S  110°23’54.82″E]. There is a parking lot at the entrance.

Entry to the complex is by ticket at the gate. Prices vary between Rp.10,000 (70 cents US) and Rp.30,000 ($2.10 US) depending on whether you are an Indonesian citizen or a foreigner, and whether you wish to enter the devotions areas or remain in the public concourse (I recommend paying to enter the devotions areas).

There are six shrines, large and small, that are detailed in a guide you can buy on entry. All the shrines are associated in some way with the Chinese-Muslim Admiral Zheng He (Cheng Ho, also Sam Poo Kong) and members of his crew. The most important shrine for students of Islamic pilgrimage is that of Kyai Juru Mudi, the Honourable Helmsman, which is Chinese on its outer side and Islamic on its inner side.