Semarang Bus Adventures

March 5th

Woke up this morning to perhaps the least beautiful port I have ever seen.

The welcome ship seems to have had some sort of issue 😉

Looking around the port from the ship we saw colorful boats and some sort of fish or shrimp farm right in the port waters, I will think twice before I buy Indonesian fish or shrimp again.

We decided to not take another long bus excursion and instead decided to take the shuttle into the city center and walk around a bit, who knew this would turn into quite an adventure. The shuttle busses had seen better days to say the least, one of them had a dashboard with most of the controls missing and as near as I could tell none of the remaining instruments were functioning. Though I do wish he had turned on the DVD player and let us see what he had. Each bus had 2 “helpers”. We were not sure what they would be doing, but it turns out there are a lot of times when they have to get out and divert traffic or make sure we will fit through or under a passage. The bus does slow down a bit before they jump out. They also help with navigation.

First bit of excitement came when we came up to a bridge and realized our bus would not fit under the bridge. It took the driver 3-4 minutes to get the bus into reverse and back us out of that jam. But now where? Well turns out going up the down ramp against traffic with one of the bus “helpers” running ahead and chasing cars out of the way was the solution to that problem. Then a short run on the wrong side of the road, with head on traffic trying to get out of our way, before we could get over to actually go with the flow once again. But now we were lost and there was a lot of  waving and pointing and consulting google maps required before we finally got to the drop off point at the mall.

We did some wandering around the fairly modern mall and Susan made a new friend. He requested that we go to his stall in the mall and meet his team. They insisted we sample the Cassava treats and ginger tea. Actually both quite good. 

Then, they wanted us to hold their products and pose for pictures, marketing I guess. And then, yes there is more, all the other stalls around thought this was a great idea and they all brought of their products and had us pose with them. Crazy stuff. I am sure we are already all over Indonesian Facebook. We forgot to get them to take a picture with our phone, so we have no images of this event. We actually did buy the ginger tea and they gave us some sort of Cassava snack (no idea what it is).

After a bit more wandering around we went into the local grocery store to poke around and buy some treats to share and for the crew. Sad all the produce is wrapped in so much plastic.

We then decided to head back and guess what the adventure continues. This was an even worse bus that I was not sure was going to get us back, but we piled on anyhow. 

There was much pointing and waving again and they actually stopped in the middle of the road and one of the “helpers” got out and asked for directions back to the port. We did eventually make it back and were happy to be back on the ship.

No idea what this is, but it was a huge pile of something.

Semarang was an adventure for sure. I am pretty sure it is off the list of places to retire.

5 thoughts on “Semarang Bus Adventures”

  1. Belated Happy Birthday to Susan.
    So glad you’re sharing these adventures and photos. That’s one part of the world I’ve no desire to return to. Took a ferry to Indonesia and ended up the only ‘honey’ on the island – an oil refinery.
    I actually drove a car through Malaysia where Biggest vehicle wins. Glad you were in a bus. The people were lovely. Thanks for the stories, great memories.

  2. Wow! This is quite the story! As we are on next year’s (oh, I keep forgetting – it is THIS year’s cruise, next December), I will remember your adventures in Semarang as part of our shore excursion planning. Thanks for sharing it! (Cruising Denise on Cruise Critic)

  3. Wow ….that sounds like a crazy adventure.
    Thanks for sharing your pictures, you captured the experience!

  4. Awesome stories. I have liked the pretty pictures and stories of the eclair buffet and the opera house – but I loved this one!

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