Monumen Kapal Selam

Monumen Kapal Selam

A fish out of water

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Not exactly the first thing you expect to see walking around the downtown streets of Surabaya, the Monumen Kapal Selam has a single exhibit—the Pasopati 410—a Russian Whiskey class submarine.

Travelfish says:

A clear sign of a time when Indonesia and (the then) USSR had considerably closer relations, the Pasopati was built in Vladivostok in 1952—one of twelve submarines supplied to Indonesia by the Soviet Union. This one was transferred to the Indonesian navy in 1962, where it remained in active service until 1990. Some accounts mention it seeing active service during the Battle of the Arafura Sea, but given that took place in January 1962, it must have been a baptism of fire for the vessel as records suggest it was delivered from Russia that same year.

Man the torpedo tubes! : Stuart McDonald.
Man the torpedo tubes! Photo: Stuart McDonald

Today, the submarine sits above ground in a cradle of sorts and has had two doors added, one at the fore and one at the aft to allow ease of access. You enter through the fore fore and walk the length of the vessel before exiting via the aft door. While these two doorways are modifications to allow ease of access, inside the sub the quarters are largely unmodified save some very welcome air-conditioning units—so watch your head!

The walk commences with the front torpedo tubes, four in all, then through various quarters including sleeping chambers, a radio room, the periscope room, the primary engine room and then, at the rear, the rear torpedo tubes. The equipment is all marked in Cyrillic, with Indonesian and some English labelling attached to give you some idea of what you are looking at. Signboards outside the vessel supply all of its vital stats.

Handy for spotting tourist visa overstayers. : Stuart McDonald.
Handy for spotting tourist visa overstayers. Photo: Stuart McDonald

We’re not exaggerating when we say the interior is cramped and claustrophobics should perhaps give at least the interior of the Pasopati a miss—what it must have been like at 250 metres underwater (the sub’s maximum depth) is a bit beyond us—especially considering a full crew complement in a Whiskey class is 63 people!

Contact details for Monumen Kapal Selam

Address: Jalan Pemuda 39, Surabaya
Coordinates (for GPS): 112º45'0.58" E, 7º15'55.83" S
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: 15,000 rupiah

Reviewed by

Stuart McDonald co-founded with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.

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