Photo: Temple incense.

Things to see and do

East Java's Trowulan

Approximately 60 kilometres southwest of the bustling port city of Surabaya lies the dusty town of Trowulan. What on the surfaces appears to be just another bland and nondescript rural village among a long line of others in East Java is in fact a town that hides a beautiful secret. The secret is that this entire area housed the capital of the incredibly powerful and influential Hindu-Buddhist ... Read more about East Java's Trowulan .

Surabaya's sights in a day

Many travellers we here at Travelfish.org speak with during their trans-Java journeys like to take in the main Java attractions of Borobudur, Gunung Bromo and Kawah Ijen before making a beeline to Bali. Fewer stop to take in cities such as Bandung, Malang and the capital of East Java, ... Read more about Surabaya's sights in a day .

House of Sampoerna
Taman Sampoerna 6

It's a beautifully presented attraction with a polished museum, trendy cafe and interesting city tours. Better still, the staff are professional, courteous and can speak English. The museum contains photos and memorabilia from the early 20th century when the factory was in its early stages of production. These provide a fascinating insight into how life was some 80 years ago under Dutch ... Read more about House of Sampoerna .

Trowulan
Trowulan, 61km southwest of central Surabaya

This famous Hindu-Buddhist empire was the precursor to modern-day Bali and many architectural qualities found in Balinese structures are seen in the buildings of Trowulan. It's a wonderful place to explore on becak as the driver takes you on a leisurely ride along quiet backroads to these remarkable relics which are infrequently visited by foreign tourists. Some of the structures around ... Read more about Trowulan .

Old Chinatown
Jalan Kembang Jepung

Much of the old Chinese influence has waned aside from a few Chinese temples and all that is left is row after row of very old buildings filled with piles of stock. Trucks, motorbikes, handcarts and becaks all line up to transport their cargo around Surabaya and indeed around the whole of Indonesia such is the importance of trade to this port city. A good way to experience the old ... Read more about Old Chinatown .

Makam Belanda Peneleh
Jalan Makam Peneleh

The expansive grounds of the cemetery contain the remains of many of the former Dutch colonial masters from years gone by and it is now preserved as a rarely visited tourist draw. If you're interested in this side of Indonesia's past, this place will give you hours of pleasure as you wander through the well-kept graveyard. For others, it will be a 10-minute stroll of only passing interest. ... Read more about Makam Belanda Peneleh .

Kong Tek Coen Ong Temple
Jalan Dukuh

Upon entering the compound, you will see most people praying on the right and this area houses an abundance of candles in a moody and somewhat dark room. Moving across the alley to the left, a staircase leads up to a second floor of prayer rooms and dedications to religious figures associated with Buddha. While photos are permitted throughout the temple, we were advised to be careful not to ... Read more about Kong Tek Coen Ong Temple .

Monumen Kapal Selam
Jalan Pemuda 39

The boat was acquired by the Indonesian Navy in 1962 and saw active service up until the time it was decommissioned in 1990, at which time work began on turning it into a tourist attraction. This work finally came to fruition in 1998 when it was opened to the public. Visitors are allowed to enter the submarine and walk right through the length of it, and it's interesting to see the various ... Read more about Monumen Kapal Selam .

Kebun Binatang Surabaya (Surabaya Zoo)
Jalan Damro Raya, Surabaya 3km south of Gubeng

Surabaya zoo is home to a diverse range of animals including many types of primates, deer and birds, but they are kept in dire conditions that don't seem to have improved much despite international coverage of shocking animal deaths. A string of deaths have occurred in very recent years, including a giraffe (with nearly 20 kilograms of plastic in its digestive system), a Sumatran tiger, an ... Read more about Kebun Binatang Surabaya (Surabaya Zoo) .




Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Surabaya? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.


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