I just remembered that I haven’t posted pictures I took during a short transit in Surabaya before coming back to Balikpapan from Ubud (29 December 2014). Actually it was my very first time stepping on the second metropolitan city in Indonesia. I only had a couple of hours and a cousin to visit. I crossed the zoo out of my option and of course the malls too, leaving me only a few tourist attractions. Surabaya is not a touristy city but it’s a nice gate for East Java (Malang, Mount Bromo, or Baluran) and other islands on the Eastern Indonesia (yes, to Bali, Lombok, or Komodo). I browsed Wikitravel, Lonely Planet and some other articles. I decided to go to House of Sampoerna, just wander around the town with taxi and eat at Restoran Bu Rudy (which is very famous for the chili a.k.a sambal).
In the morning I landed on Juanda Airport and got picked up by my cousin. She told me that the airport is actually located in Sidoarjo instead of Surabaya. We then directly headed to House of Sampoerna, which was literally on every Surabaya must-visit list. On the way there I looked around and found the town just similar to Jakarta or Bekasi.
House of Sampoerna was cool, neat and very well-maintained. It displayed the cigarette company evolution and history from era to era. There was an interactive digital display about the step by steps of making the cigarette (pretty nice for Indonesian museum). Even it’s got a small portion of real factory you can watch from the 2nd floor (the museum has only 2 floors).
Unfortunately after House of Sampoerna, my cousin and her hubby had dentist appointment so I had about 5 hours or so to spend by myself. After further browsing, I decided to go to Ampel, a well known Islamic district from which Javanese Muslim religious leader, Sunan Ampel, was from. It was pretty crowded with people doing ‘local’ pilgrimage. As a Moslem who isn’t particularly engaged to Wali Songo, I got mixed feeling about the Arabic food and body products, Islamic clothes, books, tapes and some other casual daily wear with Wali Songo or Sunan Ampel illustration printed all over them. It was nice to see the local culture giving influences to religion and vice versa.
After Ampel, I chose to end the adventure and be earlier at the airport, not wanting to risk my next flight. However, I asked my taxi driver to drive me around, passing some landmarks such as Kya Kya Kembang Jepun (Chinatown not far from Ampel but it lives only at night), Surabaya icon; the shark and the crocodile, Tugu Pahlawan (Heroes Monument), Museum Kapal Selam (Submarine Museum), and Surabaya Zoo. Not much but I guess it was a good way to wrap up a day trip (8 hours, to be exact?). Before airport, I had lunch at Restoran Bu Rudy and tried its rice with beef (completed with dried prawn seasoning and the famous chili) and bring some jars of chili back to Balikpapan.
Then that was it and here are some more pictures I managed to capture (not at my best mood though) :)