Getting There: Convenient air service connects Surabaya with almost all cities in Indonesia (however, there are no international flight as yet), with a Garuda (airbus) shuttle every other hour to and from Jakarta (about US$90 one way). Many flught heading for the northern and eastern islands also make a stopover here.
A good number of trans Javan express trains and buses terminal or originate is Surabaya, with many immediate on ward connections (for the bus / train to Bali, see the section on Bali. “Getting There”).
Jl. Tunjungan / Basuka Rachmat is generally regarded as the main street, running north – south, and parallel to the river.
There are three train stations: Pasar Turi, Semut (also known as Kota) and Gubeng. The last is the closest to the hotel districts, if you have a choice where to alight. The Joyoboyo Bus Terminal is in the south of the city, just opposite the Surabaya Zoo, about 2 km (1 mile) south of Jl. Tunjungan. Juanda Airport is 15 km (9 mile) farther south, on the road to Malang and Tretes. (So if you are going straight to the mountains, you need not enter the city.) Inter city bus company offices (like Elteha) are around Jl. Basuki Rachmat on side lanes like Embong Sawo.
The Tourist Information Office at Jl. Pemuda 118 has brochures and a “Calendar of Events” with dates for events like the fortnightly bull races on Madura (August / September) and the Ramayana Ballet performances at Pandaan (June to November).
There are no metered cabs in this city of more than 3 million. Taxis may be rented nby the hour (US$3 to US$4 per hour, 2 hour minimun) at any hotel and at the airport. The fare from the airport to the city is US$5.
City buses and mini buses (bemos) circulate throughout the city, converging on the Joyoboyo Bus Terminal in front of the zoo. The important lines to know are those that travel north – south between haere and the old section of town through the central hotel district: Jembatan Merah (“Red Bidge”) – Tunjungan – Joyoboyo. Fare is Rp 100. Ask at your hotel for details about other lines.
Accommodation (First Class (above US$35 a night)
Hyaat Bumi (US$35 a night on up, plus 21 percent tax and service) is the only four star luxury hotel. The Simpang, at the corner of Jl. Tunjungan and Jl. Pemuda, costs US$64 a night (plus 21 percent). The Mirama and the Ramayana just to the south are in US$50 to US$60 tange (plus 21 percent), and the Elmi and the Garden, also in the same area, have rooms for a bit less.
The older Majapahit Hotel on Jl. Tunjungan (formerly the “Oranje” built in 1910) is something of a historical monument. It is the site of the famous “flag incident” that sparked off the revolutionary battle for Surabaya. Air conditioned rooms for US$40, non air conditioned ones for US$24, plus 21 percent).
Elmi Hotel (140 rooms), Jl. Panglima Sudirman 42 – 44, Surabaya, Tel: 471570, 45291.
Garden Hotel (100 rooms), Jl. Pemuda 21, Surabaya, Tel 470000 – 9.
Hyatt Bumi Surabaya (269 rooms), Jl. Basuki Rachmat 124 – 128, Surabaya, Tel: 470875 – 470503.
Majapahit Hotel (106 rooms), Jl. Tunjungan 65, P.O. Box 199, Surabaya, Tel: 43351 – 5.
Mirama Hotel (105 rooms), Jl. Raya Darmio 72 – 74, P.O. Box 232, Surabaya, Tel: 69501 – 9.
New Grand Park (101 rooms), Jl. Samudra 3 – 5, Surabaya, Tel: 270004 – 8.
Patra Jasa Motel (63 rooms), Jl. Gunung Sari, Surabaya, Tel: 68681 – 3.
Ramayana Hotel (100 rooms), Jl. Basuki Rachamt 67 – 69, Surabaya, Tel: 46321 – 9.
Simoang Hotel (128 rooms), Jl. Pemuda 1 – 3, P.O. Box 36, Surabaya, Tel: 42150 – 9.
Intermediate & Budget (under US$35 a night)
No guest – houses here. For US$30 your best bet is the Garden (see above) of for US$22 you get a non air conditioned room at the Majapahit (see above). The Sarkies across the street and down Jl. Embong Malang is another older hotel owned by the Majapahit, with air conditioned rooms for US$25 to US$30,. Or try the Royal and Olympic for around US$20.
Budget travellers always stay at the Bamboe Denn / Transito Inn, with dorm beds for US$1, singles for US$2 and doubles for US#3. They have lots of travel information here to help you get around and they serve cheap breakfasts and snacks. For a bit more (US$6 to US$8) try Wisma Ganeca near Gubeng Station.
Bamboe Denn/Transito Inn, Jl. Pemuda 19, Surabaya, Tel: 40333.
Cendana Hotel (23 rooms), Jl. KBPM Duryat 6, Surabaya, Tel: 42251 – 2.
Lasmana Hotel (54 rooms), Jl. Bintoro 16, Surabaya, Tel: 67152.
Olympic Hotel (25 rooms), Jl. Urip Sumoharjo 65 – 67, Surabaya, Tel: 43215 – 6.
Pregolan Hotel (25 rooms), Jl. Pregolan Bunder 11 – 15, Surabaya, Tel: 41251 – 2.
Royal Hotel, Jl, Panglima Sudirman 68, Surabaya, Tel: 43547 – 8.
Sarkies Hotel (51 rooms), Jl. Embong Malang 7 – 11, Surabaya, Tel: 44514, 43080, 40494, 40167.
Wisma Ganeca, Jl. Sumatra 34 A, Surabaya.
Surabaya is well known for its Chinese food. The Bima Garden (Jl. Pahlawan 102) specialises in Hong Kong style tim sum. The best known banquet houses are located along the river: the Mandarin (jl. Genteng Kali 93) and the Phoenix (Jl. Genteng Kali 15). Try also the Hoover in the Wijaya Shopping Centre (2nd floor), and the Oriental, Jl. T.A.I.S. Nasution 37. For something less pricey, go to Chinatown: Kiet Wan Kie at Jl. Kembang Jepun 51 and a small hole in the wall opposite the New Grand Park Hotel on Jl. Samudra (excellent fish here).
For seafood, try the Satelite Garden down on Jl. Raya Kupang Baru 17.
The best known Indonesian restaurant is Bibi & Baba right on Jl. Tunjungan 76. Taman Sari Indah (Jl. Taman Apsari 5), just opposite the Joko Dolog statue next to the Post Office is also very clean and good – serving pepes and sate.
Tours or Travel Agents
Most travel agents will arrange a private tour of the area for any number of people, via rented taxi or mini bus with a guide. Turi Express organises excursions to Bromo and East Java’s temples. The Tourist Information Office (jl. Darmokali 35) will also arrange special bull races and trance dances.
It is said you can cameras, tape recorders and portable electronic items here as cheaply as in Singapore. Try the shopping centre on Jl. Tunjungan or the new Wijaya Shopping Centre.
There is a whole string of antique and curio shops around the hyatt on Jl. Basuki Rachmat. Also on Jl. Tunjungan (Kundadas at No. 97 and Sarinah at No. 7). Several more are located down on Jl. Raya Darmo (Rochim at No. 27 and Bangun at No. 5).
For batik and hand woven cotton textiles, the area around the Sunan Ampel mosque in the middle of the Arab quarter is the best.
Javanese wayang orang, ludruk and ketoprak folk dramas are performed nightly at two theatres in the People’s Amusement Park (Taman Hiburan Rakyat) on Jl. Kusuma Bangsa. There is also a hysterically funny a whole gang of transvestites. Shows start at about 8 p.m. Ticket are cheap.
From June to November there are fortnightly (first and third Saturdays of each month) Sendratari classical Javanese dance drama performaces at the huge open air Candra Wilwatika amphitheatre in Pandaan, 45 km (28 milrs) south of Surabaya on the Malang road. The Tourist Information Office can arrange an East Javanese kuda kepang “hobby horse” trances dance performance if you notify them three days in advance. Regular bull races are now held monthly in the new stadium at Bangkalan just across the straits of Madura. Check with the tourist Information Office for dates.
Other than this, there are many cinemas in Surabaya, and most large hotel restaurant have some form of evening entertainment or live music. Check the local papers for film listings.
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