Our younger daughter would be back from UK for her summer break in June. Jetstar happened to launch its inaugural flight to Surabaya. We took advantage of the great discount and booked a flight for my wife, daughter and myself for just S$126.30 excluding airport tax from Surabaya for a weekend break in September.
As for hotel, we booked Novotel Surabaya Hotel & Suites for under 1,000,000 IDR for 2 nights inclusive of breakfast. This rate was basically very good for a four stars resort hotel.
Our flight timings were pretty ideal as well.
Singapore to Surabaya 11.40 am to 12.55 pm.
Surabaya to Singapore 1.40 pm to 5 pm.
Normally, tourists visiting Surabaya would include a hike to Mount Bromo to catch a splendid sunrise. However, we didn’t have enough time for such a tour so we were contented to just spend a weekend to enjoy some shopping in the city of Surabaya.
Day 1 – Singapore to Surabaya
The day came and we took a bus to the airport as we were travelling very light. Having collected our boarding passes from Jetstar counter, we went for a late breakfast at the McDonalds.
After strolling a while in the secured area of the departure hall, we boarded our flight and flew south towards Surabaya. The flight didn’t seem very long and we soon landed safely at Surabaya Airport.
Immigration clearance didn’t take very long and we were out of the departure hall shortly. We exited the airport and tried to look for the Bluebird Taxi counter. Unfortunately, bluebird taxis were not allowed to pick up passengers from the airport. So we had no choice but took the airport designated taxi to Novotel Surabaya Hotel & Suites at a fixed cost of 95,000 IDR plus another 10,000 IDR toll fee. In less than an hour, we arrived at Novotel Surabaya Hotel & Suites.
We didn’t encounter any difficulty during check in and we were given a non-smoking room facing the swimming pool. Welcome drinks were also given during check in and the staff were very helpful and friendly.
Our room was renovated to standard Novotel features. However, workmanship was a little on the downside. Wall papers were not properly done up with air bubbles clearly visible. Toilet bowl was not securely and firmly fastened to the floor. Although, it wasn’t leaking, it was a little rocky when sat on.
In room coffee and tea facilities were available. There were plenty of channels on TV. Wifi was free but for two devices only. Signal strength was intermittent at times.
Having checked our room and with nothing to complain, we went to the restaurant for lunch. After placing our order, a huge crowd came into the restaurant. They were attending a convention in the hotel and the small restaurant quickly filled up. The restaurant staff were overwhelmed but they did their best to serve everyone.
Our food arrived and we tucked in to have a quick meal and then left. We could not stand the cigarette smoke from the other hotel guests in the restaurant.
We rested for a while in our room watching TV and then decided to head to the swimming pool for a swim. The swimming pool was nice with a maximum depth of 1.6 metres. Unfortunately, cigarette smoke from guests sitting at the outdoor area of the restaurant not far from the pool was too much to bear. So we evacuated ourselves and went back to our room.
Near to 5 pm, we went to the hotel lobby and requested for a bluebird taxi to bring us to a shopping mall. We told to driver to send us to Tunjungan Plaza, the largest shopping mall in Surabaya and so off we went. It was peak hour and there was a little traffic jam along the way. We arrived Tunjungan Plaza in about 25 minutes and taxi fare cost about 30,000 IDR.
Tunjungan Plaza was huge. We spent some time surveying a few levels. There were many shops and restaurants. We were soon getting hungry and we found a Chinese restaurant offering Hong Kong style food. We settled in and ordered porridge, noodles and dim sum items. The food was delicious, in particular, the porridge, and the dinner didn’t cost very much either.
After our very satisfying dinner, we continued to window shop for the evening but didn’t buy anything as we intended to return the next day. It was just a quick survey trip because we were going to spend a greater part of our time at this mall again the next day. Feeling a little tired, we decided to return to Novotel Surabaya Hotel to spend our evening and rest.
We caught another bluebird taxi and in about 20 minutes, we were back to Novotel Surabaya Hotel. We went back to the restaurant to check on cakes and pastries and found that there was a 50% discount after 6 pm. So we bought some cakes and pastries for our supper later and then returned to our room.
So it was time to slack and watch TV again. Though wifi strength was not great at times, we still managed to get connected and updated with events outside of Surabaya. Catching up with the rest of the children back home was great. After some online chatting, we continued with our TV entertainment.
Soon, it was coffee and tea time again. The pastries and cakes we bought earlier were great, so was the coffee we made ourselves. This refreshment was a simple joy while watching TV and chatting about all and sundries.
As the night wore on and tiredness set in, we decided to call it a night. We were glad our younger daughter was with us to get away from Singapore before returning to London in two weeks’ time. Switching off the TV and turning down the lights, our clean and comfortable beds accompanied us through the night of peace and rest.
Continue to Day 2 …