A dusty crowded town, Surabaya is the second most populated city after Jakarta and the capital of East Java. The initial impression for a tourist would not be the best – congested and polluted, it may seem to offer little in terms of attractions or sites to visit. However, with some patience, curiosity, and an adventurous spirit, a little exploring can yield much wonder. It gets its name from sura (shark) and baya (crocodile), historically believed to have been fighting for their territory of land and sea. This is depicted in the statue at the Surabaya Zoo, which shows them circling each other in battle.
Surabaya, for the locals, is known as Kota Pahlawan or City of Heroes, so called because it is the site of the Battle of Surabaya – closely linked to the birth of the independence of Indonesia. Statues commemorating these heroes are displaced all over the city. Tugu Pahlawan is the main monument in honour of the heroes of battle, with a museum on location as well. Monkasel, abbreviated from Monumen Kapal Selam or Submarine Museum, is a reassembled submarine that is now set up as a museum after its life span of 28 years in the navy led it to be dismantled.
The Arab influence is seen in the historic mosque, Masjid al-Akbar Surabaya, which is a place of pilgrimage, led up to by a maze of lanes. Don’t be surprised by Masjid Cheng Ho, the first mosque in Indonesia with Chinese-style architecture! Surabaya has one of the largest Chinatowns in Indonesia, and plenty of good shopping. Kenjeran Beach and Bungkul Park are also worth visiting. Known as the Paris of East Java,
Malang is the place to relax. With leafy surroundings and a cooler climate, the temperament here is laidback and easy going. Discover the historic temples of Singosari like Candi Kidal and Candi Jago that were built between 1222 and 1292, and the beautiful beaches of Ngliyep, Balekambang, and Sendang Biru that attracts many tourists. Home to waterfalls, tea plantations and mountains, Malang offers a lot of scenic beauty and relaxation. Visit Coban Rondo and Coban Pelangi waterfalls, the Wonosari Tea Plantation – where you can take a tour, play a game of tennis, or visit the mini zoo; and take a hike up the Kawi and Bromo Panorama Mountains. The dormant volcano, Gunung Arjuna is also a popular attraction. Support a cause and indulge yourself with a massage doing it by visiting Nuansa Fajar, an organization that trains and employs blind masseurs from around Indonesia.
Located about 15 kilometres from Malang and around 100 kilometres from Surabaya lies Batu, a hill resort surrounded by volcanic peaks. Known for its green apples, Batu offers more than just apple picking and scenic viewing. It is the perfect holiday destination with its combination of beautiful scenery and adventurous ventures. Selecta, a tourist resort, allows you to take it all in – the landscape, flower gardens, hot springs and waterfalls.
Punten Village, Bumiaji Village and Kusuma Agro are those villages most known for their apples. Besides this natural asset, Batu has developed theme parks that combine recreation and education to make learning an enjoyable experience for kids. Jatim Park has a science stadium and rides, while Jatim Park 2 focuses more on the wildlife kingdom with the Animal Museum and Batu Secret Zoo. The theme park also has a Night Spectacular that offers a different experience of rides and excitement by moonlight.
For more information on Indonesia please visit http://www.indonesia.travel.