Hundreds of foreign tourists, mostly from the U.S., arrived in Central Java capital Semarang's Tanjung Emas port on board a Holland America Line Amsterdam cruise Friday.
According to Bobby from Merapi Tours and Travel agency, which guided the 687 tourists on their one-day tour in Central Java, the cruise stopped in Singapore on Thursday and will continue on to Bali. From the resort island, the cruise, which left from Seattle in the U.S., will depart to Australia.
"I'm so happy that I can visit Indonesia and enjoy a ride on board a steam-powered train in Ambarawa, especially since many souvenir traders offered their handicrafts. This is really interesting," German tourist Bunde Reinhard told The Jakarta Post.
The man, who is on a 62-day vacation on board the cruise with his wife, was one 120 tourists who decided to take a trip on the 1902 train. After the train trip, the tourists visited Borobudur Temple.
Other tourists decided to visit Semarang's sights, such as Sam Poo Kong temple, Blenduk church in Semarang's old town as well as learning about jamu (herbal medicine) and the making of batik.
"We will visit countries in Asia, Australia and Polynesia. This is a long trip," Bunde said, while smoking a cigar during a break at Jambu train station.
The nine-kilometer train trip, which traveled from Ambarawa to Bedono, was popular with the tourists, some of which got a close-up look at the train and its driver, Pujiono.
Along the way, tour guide Nurudin was busy handling their questions, explaining everything, from the town, the train to the region's coffee specialty.
"This is my first time taking an old train. I love antiques and this is so much fun," said tourist Wderanfarel of Washington.
"He's right, taking this train is really fun," said Belle, Wderanfarel's wife. (JP/Suherdjoko)