Indonesia 1: Surabaya

We flew from Tawau in Borneo to Kota Kinabalu in Borneo to Bali to Surabaya, all in 2 days! But it was worth it, because now we are in Java! Indonesia is going to be one whole month of adventure to which we had been looking forward to. We started our trip here in Surabaya, a city almost all tourists skip. We went here as Joske’s grandfather was born and raised here, and so it would be nice to see where he grew up. Unfortunately, Surabaya has changed a lot in over 80 years…

We had some old photos of houses where he grew up, but as we visited them, we couldn’t recognise any of them… Too bad.

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The street is still there, just not the house..

We did see many neighborhoods that still had old Dutch houses standing, but most were “overgrown” with new houses, and slums attached to it. Surabaya is a pretty poor and dirty city. We were noticed a lot as probably many people we met had not yet seen a white person (due to our stroll into old Surabaya), which was comical. But all in all, we didn’t feel very safe, and were quite happy to stay in our (super awesome and cheap) hotel. We did go out another day, and checked out Indonesia’s first submarine, which you could enter now as a monument. Pretty cool, I would say.

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Indonesia’s first submarine.
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Even the periscope still works!

Walking around, we also noticed a fancy colonial villa and a remembrance park.

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Remembrance park.

After that, we took a taxi to the House of Sampoerna, which is an old house/factory turned into a museum with many old photos and items. It shows the history of this place, which used to be, and still is, a cigarette factory. We also went into the biggest mall of Surabaya, where they were running a Barbie beauty contest for girls. One woman actually came up to Joske to ask her if she was taking part into the contest because she was blonde!

At night, we either ate at our hotel, or went out, but either way, the prices are ridiculously low here. You pay 1 to 2 euro for a good dish! And for a one hour taxi ride not even 4 euro. So that made up for a lot. Still, we are looking forward to tomorrow, when we will take a morning train to Yogjakarta.

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