Blogs from Surabaya, Java, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya January 8th 2020

Surabaya is the second larger city in Indonesia. The town where I was born and spent a quarter of my life has changed enormously since I was last there. Everything changed so fast that I needed time to adjust. I didn't recognise my home and my neighbourhood. The home I grew up in was in a massive area surrounded by only a few neighbours with loads of greens. Sadly, that turned into a packed neighbourhood where houses are attached (just like houses built in The Netherlands), and tiny alleyways have separated some in between. Dad designed and built our house himself (with the help of a few constructors), which was cool, but it no longer looked the same. Everything had changed. Despite the massive changes in town, I am pleased that Surabaya city has become more ... read more
Home where food ang giggles never run out
Gemalan: traditional Javanese musical
Scooting in the alleys

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya August 10th 2018

By 6:00 we were at the train station awaiting our locomotive’s departure. The station was not well marked as far as which line was going to Surabayaor when. We eventually figured out where we needed to be. The train itself was quite nice. Kristy had paid extra to be in the executive cabin. The ride to Surabaya from Jogja was about five hours. Along the way, we passed many smaller towns. We made stops in towns large enough for a train station. There were many rice paddies and a few cornfields alongside the tracks. In the distant horizon, we could see large volcanos which were largely obscured by clouds. During the journey, Kristy read about gun dog training and posted several pictures from Jogja to Facebook. Brad played on his computer and watched his kindle fire. ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya April 24th 2018

Tuesday, 24th April 2018 Breakfast experience at JW Surabaya was great. The spread was sufficient and it was nice that the staffs tried to converse in Mandarin while showing us to our seats. What I loved was probably the decor which opened up to a bright atrium that allowed plenty of daylight into the dining hall. After breakfast, we paid a visit to the House of Sampoerna, a tobacco museum that documented the rags to riches story of the founder of the cigarette's brand. There were many interesting artefacts of yesteryears as well as a viewing hall at level 2 where visitors could have a great view of the cigarettes rolling and packing process. We had sometime before our flight in the evening and it was nice to spend our time idling at Cafe Tua Baru ... read more
Chilling out at Cafe Tua Baru

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya March 19th 2018

After spending time in Bali, it is a cultural jolt to visit Java. Even though they are in the same country it is a different world. The difference is because of the two dominant religions....Islam and Hindu. Surabaya is the second largest city in Indonesia with a very busy port and big industry more geared to business than to tourism. There is a large Arab quarter in Surabaya along with a bustling Chinatown. Since this was our first visit here, we decided to hire a local guide to show us around. There are still many traces of the former colonial powers who ruled Java for many years. Dutch style buildings dot the cityscape. The British became caretakers of the Dutch colony after the Japanese occupation ended and they left their mark as well on the city. ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya October 11th 2016

Day 6 My main reason for the Surabaya stop was to see the Masjid Nasional Al Akbar Surabaya - aka the Grand Mosque (2nd biggest in Indonesia ), and it was on the way to Bromo Tengger NP. Caught a cab there early (the Artotel reception called one for me then I negotiated with him to wait for me for an hour and a half and drive me back to the hotel). The mosque's level of spectacularness didn't disappoint - green and turquoise domes, lots of gold leaf, intricate mosaics, stained glass and huge tracts of white marble floors. Slippery marble floors. Even slippier when newly mopped. I think my post-Merapi stiff legged robot style walk that throws your centre of balance may also have contributed but my L knee took the brunt of my spectacular ... read more
Masjid Nasional Parking and Front Courtyard
Masjid Nasional
Masjid Nasional

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya February 19th 2016

Giava è l'Indonesia classica e tradizionale che tutti conoscono ed il più delle volte il termine "indonesiano" può essere tranquillamente sostituito da "giavanese"; Giava però, prima di essere indonesiana è innanzitutto giavanese ed i suoi abitanti non esiteranno a ricordarvelo. Ho viaggiato per le Molucche e lungo Papua ma non posso dire di aver visto questo paese senza prima aver messo piede sulla sua isola madre ed aver vissuto una pura esperienza giavanese, cioè indonesiana. Mi rimangono solo una decina di giorni che cercherò di sfruttare al meglio attraversando l'isola da Est ad Ovest. Prima tappa Surabaya, nome che nelle lontane lande ai confini dell'impero evoca immagini di ricchezza ed abbondanza, modernità e progresso; è questo infatti l'estremo lembo di terra da cui salpano gli emigranti in cerca di fortuna nelle isole più sperdute dell'arcipelago, l'ultima ... read more
Vulcani in lontananza
Jakarta: Monas, il monumento nazionale...
La fertile Giava

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya April 9th 2015

In this section, I'll talk about my last few months in Indonesia, as well as a bit about the characteristics of the people and the culture that have been so eye-opening over the last year of my life! I felt myself enjoying the country more and more as the months progressed, and I'd lived in Indonesia for about 7 months at this point. I'd managed to find a properly equipped gym, a running route, a local swimming pool, and learned a fair amount of the Indonesian language. However, I was also beginning to tire of the numerous aspects of the culture that caused me frustration on a daily (and often hourly) basis. These frustrations included religion being a constant presence in public places, lack of infrastructure, people being late, transport being inefficient, and constant attention for ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya October 19th 2014

The steady stream of visitors continues! I had two dear friends from high school join me in Indonesia. They explored Thailand first for two weeks before seeing me. We had a great time catching up and seeing another part of Indonesia together. One of my Indo friends joined us on our adventure, making a group of four. Day One · Jakarta – Surabaya – Ijen Crater My friends flew in late Saturday night and this past Monday morning we caught an early flight to Surabaya, East Java . From there we were picked up by our tour group and drove 7-8 hours to our hotel. Day Two · Ijen Crater – Mt. Bromo We started our hour drive to Ijen Crater at 4:00am and once we arrived we started our trek. Ijen Crater is famous for ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya July 27th 2014

In a few days, I will have been in Indonesia for 4 months, which is a third of my time here. I went out shopping at the Sunday roadside market; the stalls literally spring up by the roadside on Sundays at 6am. I've bought all sorts of things, ranging from wicker sunbathing mats, clothes, crockery, a mobile phone... Today I bought a set of PC speakers that cost 115,000rp (about £6), among other less interesting items. I've been learning a little bit of Javanese this week, as my Indonesian is getting stronger. "Mator suwon" (probably spelled wrong) is 'thank you'. "sici, loro, thulu, papat, limo, enum, pituh..." is the numbers 1-7, I can't remember 8-10. Indonesians are mildly impressed if you can chat in Indonesian, but they really love it if you throw a bit of ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Surabaya July 11th 2014

Whilst I came to Indonesia to teach English, my other motivation is to travel. (travelblog... duh!) I have spent the first few months of my time here ensuring that I pass my probation period (3 months) but I've still managed to get a few trips in. A few of these trips are to Surabaya, a large city further up the coast. Surabaya has plenty of shopping choice, big malls, and an international hotel with sunbeds and a swimming pool. During these trips to Surabaya, I'll generally be in the malls buying batik (a type of clothing pattern here, much like the different tartans of Scotland) or visiting Dunkin' Donuts. Another trip I went on was to Malang (30,000rp, or £1.50 on the train from Sidoarjo, return ticket!), a picturesque town about 80km from Sidoarjo. I stayed ... read more

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