Semarang’s Chinatown is well worth investigating, particularly around the riverside Gang Lombok. With temples, pagodas, shop houses, jade jewellers, pharmacists, fortunetellers and food stalls, the area illustrates the depth of the connection between China and this port city. The focus of the entire community is the Tay Kak Sie Temple, dating back to 1746, with its huge drums and incense-clouded interior.

The temple overlooks the badly polluted Kali Surabaya (Semarang River), where there's a model of one of the ships of legendary Chinese explorer Admiral Cheng Ho, who visited Java on several occasions. Next to the temple is Pujasera Tay Kak Sie, a Chinese food court and also a community hall used for martial arts.