Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Java Trip (II)

WARNING: Long post


My first stop in Java was Surabaya…

Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia, was not geared towards tourists. Unlike Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ho Chi Minh City or Bali, Surabaya did not have a backpackers’ quarter with high concentration of budget hotels and other tourism-related businesses. Based on the information given in Lonely Planet, I decided to stay in Orchid Guesthouse, near the ‘Old City’.

This picture was taken in Jalan Bongkaran, where Orchid Guesthouse was located. Trishaw remained common throughout East Java…

After the evening rain…

For reasons which I did not know, most of the shops in this area were closed. (It was Sunday evening.)

Here is a Chinese-style architecture in Kya Kya Market. Lonely Planet refers to this area as Chinatown, but I didn’t see many ethnic Chinese…

A church in Chinatown…

Narrow alleys in Chinatown…

Fish market in Old City…

While there were plenty of road-side stores in this area, proper resto were hard to come by. In the end, I had to settle it in McDonald’s.

Value meal specific for McDonald’s Indonesia – with rice, soup, chicken, scrambled egg and soft drink…

Question: Should you go to Surabaya?

While the Old City is quite interesting, Surabaya as a whole isn’t such a great place to visit. If you are short of time, you may give it a pass.


  1. Is Surabaya safe for tourists? The McDs meal didn't look appetizing. I prefer our McValue meals here :)

  2. Hmm... no french fries. Glocalization eh? Haha.

  3. Hmm...the way I look at how vacant it is...hmmm...don't feel like going already.:D

  4. LOL! Kya Kya Market sounds apt for Chinatown. Kya Kya means jalan-jalan in Hokkien. Indonesia has a lot of Hokkien and Hakka people who still speak the dialect. However, not sure if that's the origin.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. The place looks deserted, probably Sundays are like that or is the city not that crowded? More pictures?

  5. I'd like to go to Surabaya one day.

  6. Mei Teng
    The hotel I stayed was rather deserted, but you can certainly choose other place.
    McD Indonesia had Big Mac too, but I just wanted to try something different.

    They did serve French Fries.

    There are more interesting destinations in Java.

    More pictures in my next post.

    Autumn Belle
    I hope you'll like Surabaya.

  7. Ah, you are a LP person too! I love their travel books even thought they became almost an empire.

    I can't believe the McDonald's menu is so different. Healthier too actually.

  8. i think the place looks quite slow and dead. definitely not a place that i would like to go.

  9. Zhu
    They also served Big Mac, McChicken etc.

    Wait for my next post.

  10. We arrived there at 8pm. We str8 went for dinner at a cheap cafe, then headed to Cemoro Lawang and arrived there at midnite. LOL.

    Didn't have time to explore the city, and based on numerous info on the net, it was not a touristic city, but I'm sure it might have some hidden charms.

    Seems like you're paranoid of street food eh that you had to settle at McD. We had street food thruout our trip! :P

  11. hahaha, ok lah, not really a long post ah, moderate length lah..

  12. haha, yeah funny they call that Chinatown.. i don't see anything Chinese at all besides that gate..

  13. and don't see any Chinese there besides all Indonesians.. or perhaps they have eliminate all Chinese there??

  14. wah, the McD set meal is quite special there woh, so localised..

  15. Wow, Indonesia's McDonald has rice and soup? I wonder what China's one has.

    Bintan is the only place in Indonesia I have been to.

  16. kyh
    I wasn't paranoid of street food. I just wanted some comfort.

    McD Malaysia also has chicken porridge.

    I went to China many years ago. Can't recall what were sold in McD there...

  17. Looks very quiet and lonely..Chinatown does not look Chinese at all haha..tQ

  18. I didn't know there are rice in McDonalds. Thanks for sharing. :)

  19. Surabaya looks like a very quiet place. The localized McDonalds meal looks different.

  20. Bananaz
    Actually KL's Chinatown is also getting its identity 'diluted'.

    Everywhere it goes, McDonald's localized its menu.

    This part of Surabaya is quiet. Other parts are busy and noisy.

  21. My brother goes to Surabaya for work quite often too.. and he told me it's actually quite a poor place, with many beggars around. In fact, he found it to be quite scary. Was it what you experienced too?

  22. witch
    I didn't spend enough time in Surabaya to confirm what your brother told you.

  23. I don't think Surabaya interests me haha!! Will give this place a miss : )