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East Java Tour: Surabaya

This is part of my East Java Tour on 13th-17th August 2016 (4 nights 5 days):

The trip started with a chaos. We arrived in Soekarno-Hatta airport at 6.30 to check in Sriwijaya flight 8.05 to Surabaya. Suddenly the staff in check in counter said, “this ticket is for tomorrow flight.” WHAT?! I just realized that I’d bought a wrong ticket, and my husband did not check it either.

We then hurrily went to Customer Service (CS) Sriwijaya to change the ticket. The staff said all flights to Surabaya for today was full. There are seats available in flight 7.00 to Surabaya transit Semarang, but unfortunately the plane was already boarding and gate closed. We went to CS Lion in the same terminal with Sriwijaya (1B) to buy a new ticket: the next available flight was at 14.30. We then went to terminal 1C to check in CS Batik: the next available flight was at 14.00. I didn’t know where to go anymore because AirAsia and Garuda was quite far (need to take shuttle bus to terminal 2 and 3).
I checked Traveloka app, wondering if I could still book today’s flights. Apparently yes, it gave me the list of today’s flight starting around 11am. There was Garuda 11.15 and CitiLink 11.55. Ah, I then remembered about CitiLink. I asked Batik staff, where is CS CitiLink? It was in this terminal too, not far from CS Batik. We went there and asked for the earliest flight we could get. In the beginning he said 11.55, same one as in Traveloka but more expensive. I was about to book via Traveloka when the staff suddenly said they found another flight: 7.45. Oh we want that! Fortunately the price was still reasonable: 1.4 times our original Sriwijaya tickets. I could cancel and refund 30% from our Sriwijaya tickets. So total damage to fly to Surabaya was 1.4+0.7 = more than twice our original tickets haha *sad laughing*. Lesson learned: be more careful and detail when you book flight tickets. The damage would be more if I didn’t fly today to Surabaya, because I already paid all the hotels and car rentals.

We arrived in Juanda International Airport in Sidoarjo 20 minutes earlier than I planned, and apparently the baggage claim in Juanda airport was much faster (and peaceful) than Soekarno-Hatta. We were waiting for about 20 minutes before our driver from Orange Madya Sarana car rental picked us. I booked 1 Daihatsu Ayla for 12 hours to go around Surabaya city which cost 400,000 including gas fee (not include parking fee and driver’s meals).

We started the journey almost 10am, and the first stop was having brunch. The journey from airport to Surabaya town is quite far about 1 hour so I asked the driver to take us to nearby good food. He brought us to Rawon Pak Pangat. Rawon is a traditional beef black soup originally from Surabaya. Rawon Pak Pangat is one of famous delicious Rawon restaurants in Surabaya, and it tasted more delicious since we were quite hungry (especially after facing the incident in Jakarta airport before).
Rawon Pak Pangat
After reaching Surabaya city 1 hour later, we asked the driver to take us to Semut train station first because we need to buy tickets to Malang on the next day. Semut Station (also called Surabaya Kota Station; Kota means town) is the oldest railway station located in the central city of Surabaya. I chose this station because it’s the nearest train station from my hotel, but apparently the station building is poor, dirty and not comfortable. It is used more for cargo rather human passengers, although passengers can also stop and get on the trains here. We bought the tickets here but the staff said we can take the train in other Surabaya stations that this train passed, so the next day we would go to Gubeng station instead to take Penataran train. Penataran train is an economy train routes from Surabaya to Malang and vice versa. We chose this one because it has the schedule we wanted: around 11.30am. In this digital age, it’s quite disappointed to see that we couldn’t buy the tickets online. I found another train from Surabaya to Malang that could be purchased online but unfortunately it only ran one time a day in early morning (Bima train). During holiday we would love to wake up late and relax (my definition of relax is still far from my husband’s).
After securing 2 tickets (children are still free until 3 years old without seat), we continue to visit Tugu Pahlawan nearby. This area is the old town part of Surabaya so we passed by many historic buildings in Dutch style, such as Bank Mandiri and Governor offices. Tugu Pahlawan is a heroes monument to commemorate the Battle of Surabaya on 10th November 1945. During that incident, Surabaya people fought with British troops who wanted to take over Indonesia after independence, where thousands of Indonesians died. That day also became the National Heroes Day. In Tugu Pahlawan area we can see the statues of Soekarno, Hatta, Bung Tomo (the vocal heroes in Surabaya) and his car, and other national heroes. Under the monumen there is Museum 10th November which is filled with dioramas describing the incident and showing the old stuff during that era such as radio, weapons and bicycles. Ticket entrance to the museum was IDR5,000/person.
Tugu Pahlawan
From Tugu Pahlawan we went to House of Sampoerna, a museum about the famous Indonesian kretek (cigarette) company Sampoerna that was founded by Liem Seeng Tee from Surabaya. The Dutch styled building was previously an orphanage and a theatre before Liem bought it for his cigarette factory. In this free museum we can see the history of Sampoerna company, types of cloves and cigarettes. People who love smoking must be really excited to visit this place. On the second floor there was a giant glass window where we could see the process of making the famous Dji Sam Soe kretek done by its employees using hands and old simple tools. Unfortunately the factory was already closed at 12pm (on Saturday) when we went there around 13pm. This museum opens everyday from 9am to 10pm. On the left side of the museum there is A Cafe, souvenir shop and gallery. We stopped by in that cafe for a while to drink. Even though it was already noon but we weren’t hungry yet because we just had brunch at 10am. We gave money to the driver for him to take lunch, but we saw he didn’t go anywhere to eat.
House of Sampoerna
Our next stop was Ampel Mosque. To go there from Sampoerna we passed by Jembatan Merah (red bridge) that was famous as the economy center of VOC (Dutch company) and also one of the locations of the battle in 10th November. We also passed by Chinatown and Kampung Arab (Arab village). Ampel Mosque is one of the oldest mosque in Indonesia built in 1421 during Majapahit Kingdom time by Raden Rachmat. He had a big role in spreading Islam in Java, therefore he got the title Sunan Ampel, and one of Wali Songo (nine saints who spread Islam in Java; each saint has his own title Sunan which means honoured). His tomb complex in this mosque is often visited by local pilgrims. Not me, I went to Ampel Mosque to take pray (Sholat), to see the ancient architecture of the mosque which still remains, and to see the pilgrimage. Women should wear scarf inside the mosque area so prepare your own scarf or you can lend it from the guard staff.
Kawasan Wisata Religi Sunan Ampel
From the mosque we continued the journey to Monumen Kapal Selam (Submarine Monument). The real submarine Pasopati 410 was brought here by splitting it in few pieces and assemblied them again, dedicated for Indonesian navy army and fighters. Entering this long submarine, I was amazed how people could stand living in the tiny spaces like this for few months. From the submarine, we went to video room to watch the history of Submarine Pasopati 410. There are also canteen with nice riverview (and the river is quite clean) and kids swimming pool (that is dirty and neglected). This monument is opened from 8am to 10pm with entrance fee IDR10,000/person.
Just beside this monument, there is Skate and BMX Park. I love that Surabaya city has many opened public spaces like this. This park is special because it has Suroboyo statue. Suro means shark and Boyo means crocodile. The city name comes from a local folk about a shark and crocodile fighting each other in that area. I only knew that the statue was in Surabaya Zoo, and I didn’t plan to go there. So I was happy to find the statue in this park so I could take the picture with it. How come you visit Surabaya without taking a pose in front of its name? Hehe.
Suro Boyo
It was almost 5pm, I wanted to eat some local foods, but not too big one because I still wanted to have dinner later :p So I asked the driver to take us to Jalan Kalasan where is famous with Tahu Campur (mixed tofu). It was  a mix of tofu, yellow noodle, some veggies with sauce of shrimp paste. We only ordered one plate to share, then moved to the neighbor meatball shop called Bakso Goyang Lidah (with organic green noodles) to order one plate because our child loves meatballs and we hoped she would eat it. In the end we ate the most of it.
Next destination was Kwan Im Temple. I didn’t know it was located inside Kenjeran Park, a multi-themed park like Ancol in Jakarta. There are waterpark, amusement park, fishing, temple, pagoda, and beach. We arrived there almost 6pm where almost all facilities were closed. We paid IDR25,000 for 3 adult, 1 kid and 1 car (don’t know how it counted), only to see Kwan Im Temple and Four Faced Buddha Statue. As its name, the golden Buddha statue has four different faces on each four side that resembles the 4 Buddha’s kindness philosophy: patience, liberal, fair (unbiased), and meditated. This statue is the same with the four faced Brahma (Hindu God) statue in Thailand. Across the street, there is Sanggar Agung Temple where a big Kwan Im Goddess statue standing right by the sea as if the Goddess protecting the temple from the sea. The way inside the temple was divided into two parts: the way for people who want to pray, and for people who want to sightsee or take picture will pass by the temple shop. Both ways will reach Kwan Im statue on the backyard. Both Sanggar Agung temple and Four Faced Buddha can be visited without extra fee.
Four Faced Buddha and Kwan Im Goddess Statues in Kenjeran Park
The reason why I planned visiting Kwan Im Temple around 6-7pm because it’s near Taman Hiburan Pantai (THP) Kenjeran Bridge that has a rainbow water light show (like Banpo Bridge in Korea) every Saturday night at 8pm. Since the water show was just opened less than a month ago, so many people came to watch that free show which lasts for about one hour. The cars had to park quite faraway then people should walk to the bridge. At that time our kid was still taking nap (and looking at THAT crowd) so we decided to skip the show and went back to the middle of town.
Before taking rest in the hotel, we asked the driver to take us to dinner first near our hotel. Fortunately the kid was already awake so we could have dinner out together. The driver suggested to eat Bebek Donal in Kedungdoro. The name itself is quite funny (Bebek means Duck), and the foods were uhmaaazing! It sells fried duck and fried chicken. We can choose the duck/chicken part by ouurselvesm then they will dip it into a special sauce then fry it. Eating it with rice, yellow sauce and chili sauce…. sooo crispy and yummy! This small stall on the street only has 3 tables and can only fit for about 20 people sitting side by side, so expect to share the table with strangers. One portion of duck with rice was about IDR 20,000, very cheap!
On the way to hotel we stopped by Bu Rudy shop, whose chili sauce was so famously spicy, to buy some souvenirs. Bu Rudy shop or Depot Bu Rudy has many shops, one of them located in Jl Anjasmoro No.45, which is near our hotel. After that, around 8.30pm we finally went to Prime Royal Hotel and called it a day.
The next day, after swimming, having breakfast and packing in the hotel, we went out around 9.30am to visit Cheng Ho Mosque. We did not rent a car on that day because we would go to Malang in the afternoon by train, but no worries, it was very easy to call Uber in Surabaya. From our hotel to the Mosque cost only IDR 18,000 with Uber. Muhammad Cheng Hoo Mosque is a mosque with Chinese style that was built in 2002 with the name of a well known Chinese Admiral Moslem who came to South East Asia to spread Islam. The Chinese style architecture includes pagoda, red-green-yellow colors, and dragon reliefs. On the left side of the building, there is a nice fish pond with a picture of Cheng Hoo and his ship.
Cheng Ho Mosque
I was planning to go to one other place in that morning but it looked like there was not enough time, so we took Uber again to go back to hotel which cost about IDR 16,000. We then walked to nearby shops to buy some foods for lunch in the train. Jl Kranggan, where our hotel located, is famous for Lontong Balap dishes. The most famous one is Lontong Balap Pak Gendut. We went there to buy one portion for takeaway. It’s quite difficult to takeaway Lontong Balap because it contained soup, but I really wanted to try it. I couldn’t eat there because I was still so full from the heavy breakfast and we needed to catch the train. Other than Lontong Balap, we also bought grilled chicken in Warung Padin which was famous for any kind of fried and grilled foods (chicken, duck, seafood), spicy chili sauce and open 24 hours.

While in Surabaya: Rawon Pak Pangat, Tahu Campur, Bakso Goyang Lidah, Bebek Donal, Lontong Balap Pak Gendut

From the hotel around 11am we ordered Uber again to take us to Gubeng Railway Station, which cost about IDR 18,000. I was a little bit worried that we would miss our 11.40am train, but apparently we could make it. Not as I expected, Surabaya traffic was far less crowded than Jakarta. Surprisingly I also found the city was green and clean, and I like it. Thank you, Surabaya! It was nice to finally visiting you.

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