Photo: A great city to explore!

Surabaya walking tour

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Like many large Indonesian cities, at first glance Surabaya doesn’t scream out “walking town”, but upon closer inspection, it is actually a great town for a stroll, with pavements that rarely need security warnings, plenty of shade, loads of less-trafficked laneways and no shortage of places to snack at.





This walk will take at least half a day, and our advice is to start early, pack a hat, sunscreen and a refillable water bottle. You’ll be starting at one house of worship and finishing at quite another, while in between you’ll wander through the Dead Centre of town (yes Dad joke, sorry) along with one of the many birthplaces of an independent Indonesia and some other museums, a famous bridge, a magnificent wet market and a spot or two to stuff face. Sounds good? Lets go.

Gazing upwards at Cheng Ho Mosque. Photo taken in or around Surabaya walking tour, Surabaya, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Gazing upwards at Cheng Ho Mosque. Photo: Stuart McDonald

In a city as enormous as Surabaya there is no right place to start a walk, so we’re going to kick off at the southern-most spot of this particular walk, Cheng Ho Mosque. Named after the Chinese explorer Zheng He (also Zheng Ho and Cheng Ho) of the 14th and 15th century, he undertook expeditionary trips to various points of Southeast Asia—we’re assuming it is a rendition of him behind the Chinese junk on the far side of the main prayer area. What makes the mosque remarkable though is that it looks far more like a Chinese pagoda than a mosque—for us really the only particularly mosque-like feature was the main prayer area with the cool marble under foot (obviously do take off your shoes before entering) and the prayer mats laid out. It is a curious spot, backing onto a large basketball court public access area, when we first arrived we thought we’d ended up at a random pagoda ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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