Lasem is a district in Rembang, Central Java. It’s located approximately 12 km to the east of Rembang, or about 4 hours from Semarang, the capital of Central Java. You can find some interesting and unique things here. About 5 km to the east, there is a shore of Bonang Binangun. Not a sandy beach, but it’s a place where the fishing boats docked. In this place, we can buy a variety of fish that fresh from the ocean. At the dusk, there is a sunset view with the shadow of hundreds of ships anchored there. I’ve posted some photos about this port.
In addition to fishing boats dock, there also mostly found the salt fields at Lasem. Some locals who live along the northern coast utilize the land for farming of salt.
Lasem also well known as a Chinatown, or at least formerly was being the dwelling place of Chinese entrepreneurs. Therefore, we can find the Chinese ancient houses along the main road, although some are not well maintained. However, when you enter the small roads in the township, there are more old Chinese houses with almost similar models. Some were wooden old houses that were built without brick, and using terracotta tiles. It is emphasized the designation that Lasem is a Small China on the north coast of Java. Unfortunately, there are many houses left empty and neglected. The owners chose to move to the big city, such as Semarang or Surabaya to do business there.
Lasem also known as the batik village. Formerly batik business were well developed there. The history of batik Lasem had close relations with the arrival of Admiral Cheng Ho in 1413. Supposedly, the princess of Champa, named Na Li Ni landed in Lasem. She stayed and taught the people there to dance and batik. People believe that Li Na Ni was a person who started to develop batik of Lasem.
Assimilation has made the batik of Lasem a cross-cultural product, especially between Java and China. The motifs that were taken from Chinese culture are the phoenix motif, chrysanthemums, and latticework. Whereas Javanese motifs can be seen from the typical geometric motifs of batik from Surakarta and Yogyakarta, such as parang, kawung, dan udan liris. In addition, the batik artisans in Lasem also creates a local motif, such as latohan, gunung ringgit, and kricak or watu pecah.
Those who love adventure and photography, Lasem is the one of right alternative destination. Because in one place can be found spots of natural beauty and cultural uniqueness.