The most “shiok” (enjoyable) part of the trip was being able to leave my kids to the care of my parents every night while me and my wife head over to the hotel pub or lounge for a drink. The pub experience at The Maj in Hotel Majapahit was one of the best. Unfortunately there was no live music on the night we were there (Sunday), but still, the atmosphere was great, and the price was a steal. A pitcher of Bintang draught beer was IDR 150k (S$15.80), while a plate of Nachos was only IDR 50k (S$5.30).
There isn’t quite enough to see or do in Surabaya, other than shopping and eating, so I had to make the hotel stay an activity in itself. Hotel Majapahit and Hotel Tugu Malang both turned out go be great. Continue reading Surabaya trip highlights
What’s there to see in Surabaya you might ask? Not much actually (no offence intended). I took advantage of a promotion by Singapore Airlines and chose to fly to the nearest destination. At S$180 per adult, it’s a steal. The total came up to S$695 for 2 adults and 2 children. Comparatively, the tickets i bought for my old folks to fly to Surabaya from KL on AirAsia cost more than S$200 per person.
Since i’m travelling with my parents and with young kids, the trip has to be at a very relaxing pace, so it will consist of light sightseeing, food and shopping. Otherwise, the very exciting thing to do if one were to fly to Surabaya is to visit Mount Bromo (3 hours drive away) and Ijen Crater (6.5 hours away). Part of that journey has to be made on a bumpy Jeep ride, and one has to wake up in the wee hours to catch the sunrise, crowding with probably hundreds of other travellers who would do the same. Anyway, just to give you an idea of what Mount Bromo is like:
The other possible sightseeing location near Surabaya, which i have chosen to go to, is Batu, about 3 hours away. There are various attractions here, including waterfalls, theme parks and orchards. So here’s my 5 days itinerary:
Day 1 Arrival. Check in to Hotel Majapahit. Hotel Majapahit was founded by the Sarkies Brothers, who also founded Raffles Hotel. The room rates of the Majapahit is about S$140 and up, whereas for Raffles it is S$1040 and up, which is more than seven fold higher. You’d be doing yourself injustice if you don’t capitalize on this opportunity to enjoy some luxury at a bargain price. Staying at the Majapahit is an attraction in itself. The hotel offers a free shuttle service to the Grand City Mall, a good place to get lunch. After getting some rest at the hotel, we will walk to Tunjungan Plaza, the largest mall in Surabaya, for dinner and shopping.
Day 2 Since my mum is an Orchid enthusiast, we will visit the Pasar Anggerik (Orchid Market) of Surabaya. We will be using a hired car with a driver to get around. Previously when i visited Bandung and Bali, i was able to get a hired car without paying a deposit in advance. However, for Surabaya, i only managed to get a response from two car rental companies, and both require a 50% deposit payment. Anyway, both of them seem large-scale enough for me to trust them enough to make the deposit payment, and i went for the cheaper of the two. I will give a review of the car rental (and reveal the name of the company) after the trip.
Update: the car rental worked very well, the driver was very courteous. Thank you Globe rent a car.
Lunch would be at Layar Seafood Bukit Mas, one of the better known seafood eateries in Surabaya. After lunch, we would make our way to Malang, where we will be staying at Hotel Tugu. There is actually a complimentary afternoon tea offered to guests of the hotel, and somehow i’m quite looking forward to that. Dinner is WellDuck Bebek Goreng & Bakar, which obviously specializes in duck.
We’ll start the day by visiting an Orchid Orchard along the way to Batu, after which we will check out Coban Rondo, a nice looking waterfall. After having lunch at Warung Wareg, i will bring the kids to Batu Secret Zoo. By the end of a 3 hours journey back to Surabaya, we will probably be ready for dinner, which i have decided on Dewa Ndaru, a restaurant housed in what looks like a former Chinese temple.
Spend half a day in Galaxy Mall, one of the bigger malls in Surabaya. Dinner would be at Kya-Kya Kembang Jepun, the Chinatown of Surabaya, with street food sold from stalls.
Day 5 Check out Pasar Atom, a wholesale market. Have buffet lunch at Arumanis, a restaurant of Hotel Bumi. Fly home.
Looking forward to a relaxing holiday, and i think my parents will be pleased.