Category Archives: Surabaya

3 Days 2 Nights Surabaya Weekend Break – Day 3 (September 2013)

Day 3 – Surabaya to Singapore

Very quickly, we woke up to a morning to prepare to fly home after a very short weekend break to Surabaya City. We had never thought of visiting this city until Jetstar launched its flights here at extremely low promotional airfares. It was also a time for us to bring our younger daughter away before she returned to London in two weeks’ time to complete her studies.

It was the same affair of having breakfast at the restaurant first thing we did in the morning. Nothing much had changed to the buffet spread. So we had the usual international fare of eggs, and western items on top of some local dishes. Of course the usual coffee and tea, fruit juice, fruits and pastries were available as well. The only thing different was that the restaurant was a lot quieter where those hotel guests attending convention were absent. Perhaps the convention was over.

Since the weather was good and the swimming pool tempting, we went for another swim after breakfast. It was a bright and sunny day. The relaxing swim was good. We were glad there weren’t any guests smoking at the outdoor area of the restaurant which was very near one end of the swimming pool.

Swimming Pool on a sunny day
Swimming Pool on a sunny day

After the swim, we returned to our room to shower and pack up. We didn’t have a lot of time to spare this morning as our flight was early afternoon. Once we were ready, we grabbed our bags and went to the hotel lobby to check out.

Swimming Pool view from room
Swimming Pool view from room


Another swimming pool view from room
Another swimming pool view from room

It didn’t take very long and having settled our outstanding bills, we made our way to concierge to help us get a bluebird taxi. Not long after, we were on our way to the airport. In about an hour, we arrived at Surabaya Airport. Taxi fare was 95,000 IDR inclusive of 10,000 IDR toll fee. So the fixed cost of taking the airport taxi to Novotel Surabaya Hotel at 95,000 IDR plus another 10,000 IDR toll fee was not too far off from the regular bluebird taxi.




Surabaya Airport Entrance
Surabaya Airport Entrance
Surabaya Airport Entrance
Surabaya Airport Entrance

Having obtained our boarding passes, we cleared customs and immigration. Soon we were free to roam the airport. There were not many shops though so we decided to just find our seats and wait for our flight.

Surabaya Airport waiting area
Surabaya Airport waiting area

Soon, we saw a Jetstar plane taxiing to our waiting area. Passengers began exiting the plane and entering the airport. It was the same flight about the same time we arrived Surabaya two days ago. When all the passengers had disembarked and crew staff having prepared the plane for the next badge of passengers, we were allowed to board the plane.

Jetstar Plane at aerobridge
Jetstar Plane at aerobridge
Many Jetstar planes at Surabaya Airport
Many Jetstar planes at Surabaya Airport

In about another 15 minutes, we were airborne and on our way back to Singapore. Since we were flying on a low cost carrier, our entertainment was our own mobile devices. It didn’t seem very long when we realized we were already approaching Changi Airport. Shortly after, we were making our way out of departure hall.

As our buffet breakfast was rather filling, we didn’t eat lunch before our flight home. So it was time for us to head to the food court at Terminal 3 for a very late lunch. With lunch done, we boarded a taxi and were homeward bound.



This short trip was quite relaxing and we only ate, shopped and swam. We didn’t exhaust ourselves travelling out of the city to go places. Novotel Surabaya Hotel was a resort hotel and it was an enjoyable stay. This hotel is not meant for those expecting major shopping malls around the corner within walking distance in the downtown area.

Nevertheless, there is a sizeable mall on the right of Novotel Surabaya Hotel about five minutes walk away where Carrefour is the anchor tenant. So stocking up on supplies wouldn’t be a problem for those who intend to stay longer. Anyway, Tunjungan Plaza is just less than 30 minutes away by taxi and taxi fare is around 30,000 IDR.


What we wanted for this trip was actually to bring our younger daughter out of town for a break and shopping and eating were bonus activities. So our mission was accomplished. Should we visit Surabaya again, we would include a trip to Mount Bromo to catch the enchanting sunrise.


This trip with low airfare and accommodation cost was simply great. But we won’t be returning to Surabaya anytime soon. There are many other destinations on our priority list. With Jetstar flying to new destinations, we will look forward to more adventure in the future.

3 Days 2 Nights Surabaya Weekend Break – Day 2 (September 2013)

Day 2 – Surabaya

Since this was going to be a relaxing weekend break, we didn’t have to wake up early to keep up with a packed itinerary. We took our own sweet time and when we finally felt the need to replenish our stomach, we went to the restaurant.

Hotel lobby sitting area
Hotel lobby sitting area
Hotel lounge and sitting area
Hotel lounge and sitting area

The restaurant was small so it was a little crowded. However, we managed to get a table and we settled in for the buffet breakfast. The buffet spread wasn’t the best for a Novotel Hotel we came across but it wasn’t bad either. The food selection was sufficient and fine. The wait staff were busy as usual as we helped ourselves to a few helpings at the buffet spread. Having had enough of food intake, we returned to our room.

Cake and pastry counter at restaurant entrance
Cake and pastry counter at restaurant entrance

It was still early and shops in the shopping mall won’t be open so we made our way to the swimming pool for a swim. This time the swim was better as those hotel guests attending convention were busy and we were not affected by cigarette smoke from smokers at the restaurant outdoor area. After a relaxing swim, we went back to our room to get ready for our shopping activities.

Nice Hotel ground in Novotel Hotel
Nice Hotel ground in Novotel Hotel


Garden next to swimming pool
Garden next to swimming pool

We went to the concierge to request for a bluebird taxi for Tunjungan Plaza. Shortly after, a bluebird taxi arrived at the hotel entrance. We boarded the taxi and were soon on our way to Tunjungan Plaza. It was a Sunday so the traffic was light this late morning. So in about 15 minutes, we reached Tunjungan Plaza. Taxi fare was under 30,000 IDR.

Novotel Hotel car park
Novotel Hotel car park
Novotel Hotel entrance
Novotel Hotel entrance

Tunjungan Plaza wasn’t very crowded yet when we arrived. The mall was rather huge with many floors and there were two wings so we started slowly from the ground floor and made our way up. When it was past noon, we went to look for a restaurant for lunch. We ended up at a food court with a wide selection of food stalls for lunch. In fact, we were not very hungry after our heavy buffet breakfast, so a meal at the food court was good enough for us.

Many levels of shops in Tunjungan Plaza
Many levels of shops in Tunjungan Plaza

After lunch, we continued with our shopping at the many shops in Tunjungan Plaza. We took our time as we had the whole day at the mall. The leisurely walked eventually tired us out. So it was tea time and we parked ourselves at Secret Recipe Café for some cakes and coffee. Tunjungan Plaza was getting busier now. There were quite a lot of young people hanging out at cafes and spending time on a Sunday with family and friends. The coffee break was good to rest our tired legs and the cakes and coffee simply sweetened our break.




Nice cakes at Secret Recipe Cafe
Nice cakes at Secret Recipe Cafe

We continued with more shopping and this time we hit Matahari Departmental Store. We spent a lot of time here while my daughter and wife shopped for clothes and shoes. I managed to purchase two pairs of shoes for myself and my younger son. The prices at Matahari were very good with great discounts during weekends.

Many more shops in Tunjungan Plaza
Many more shops in Tunjungan Plaza
Plenty of shops in Tunjungan Plaza
Plenty of shops in Tunjungan Plaza
Many levels of shops in Tunjungan Plaza
Many levels of shops in Tunjungan Plaza

With shopping at Matahari done, we continued roaming the different levels in the mall. The ladies decided to go for a hair cut at a salon so I had a chance to sit down to rest and play with my phone. It was a good hour spent at the salon and we were refreshed again. So we were on our feet again to explore more shops.

Many shops in Tunjungan Plaza
Many shops in Tunjungan Plaza
Shopping in Tunjungan Plaza
Shopping in Tunjungan Plaza

We went to a mobile phone shop to enquire whether they could help cut our normal sim card to a micro size sim card for our other handset. They obliged and when it was done, I wanted to pay them but they refused payment and just smiled and told us it was alright. It was really a nice gesture and we were very pleased. This was the first time we were visiting this second largest city in Indonesia. We found the people here very helpful and friendly even though many of them could not speak English. So we thanked the good people at the shop and moved on again.

Tunjungan Plaza and Convention Centre
Tunjungan Plaza and Convention Centre
Plenty of shops in Tunjungan Plaza
Plenty of shops in Tunjungan Plaza

After another round of strolling at the mall, it was dinner time. So this time we looked for a proper restaurant as we had a very good dining experience the previous night and were hoping to sample more delicious Hong Kong style food. The mall was very big with many restaurants. So we went into this Chinese restaurant that offered dim sum items and other dishes.



We ordered porridge and noodles again plus more dim sum items. We liked the roast pork that came with the porridge. The dinner was very good and we were very satisfied again. We were totally filled up after dinner.

As it was already evening, having had enough of shopping, we decided to head back to Novotel Surabaya Hotel. There was a queue at the entrance of the mall for taxis so we had to wait for our turn. Finally, we managed to get into a bluebird taxi and we were on our way towards Novotel Surabaya Hotel.

However, this taxi driver was multitasking too much to our comfort. He was using the horn so often at the same time yakking away on the phone and squeezing into any available gaps on the road trying to get ahead in the busy part of town. Thankfully, we arrived the hotel in one piece and in good shape.

Once again, we went straight to the cake and pastry counter at the entrance of the restaurant. We bought more cakes and pastries at 50% discount for our supper in the later part of the evening. Next we returned to our room.

It was good to be back to our comfortable room. Shower after a day out was a great feeling. It was time to slack again and watched TV. We sent pictures of our shopping back home to share with the children via our phones. It was a great time of catching up.


Soon, it was coffee time and we enjoyed our supper with the cakes and pastries over coffee in our comfortable room. It was a great day of shopping in Surabaya even though we did not explore many parts in this city. It was nevertheless, good enough for us. Perhaps for our next visit, we would schedule an early morning hike to Mount Bromo to watch the legendary sunrise.

Meanwhile, we continued with our TV programs before finally succumbing to the call of our clean and comfortable beds for a good night of sweet rest. That ended our second day in Surabaya.


Continue to Day 3

3 Days 2 Nights Surabaya Weekend Break (September 2013)

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.

Novotel Surabaya Hotel
Novotel Surabaya Hotel

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.

Hotel lobby area
Hotel lobby area

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.

Swimming pool view from room
Swimming pool view from room

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.

Swimming pool area
Swimming pool area

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.

Delicious dim sum dinner
Delicious dim sum dinner

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.

Restaurant and refreshment counter
Restaurant and refreshment counter

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