Fun Activities You Can Have in Surabaya, Indonesia

Java is the beating heart of Indonesia. The island, with a population of 141 million people, offers an enchanting mix of culture, history, bustling cities and beautiful landscapes. Historically and linguistically the island is split into two, with the Sundanese kingdoms in the West centred around the capital city of Jakarta and the Javanese kingdoms in the East centred around Surakarta and Yogyakarta.
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Java is one of the most developed islands in Indonesia. The Dutch built major railroads that cross the island connecting the major cities together offering a comfortable way to take in the countryside as you travel around the island. There’s also a well maintained road system, which is easy to travel around if you plan to rent a car or want to get to places by bus.

Flying is the most convenient and fastest way to get around Java. All of the major cities on the island have international airports and plenty of choices for domestic routes. Garuda Indonesia, the national carrier, operates routes between most cities. If you’re looking for a low cost carrier try either Lion Air or Air Asia.

Sunrise at Penanjakan Viewpoint 

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This view requires you to:

  • Wake up in the dead of the night at 3AM (varies with your distance from the viewpoint)
  • Brave the cold, which could plunge below 10 Degrees Celsius
  • Take a bumpy but cosy jeep ride up to the viewpoint
  • Squeeze with many others as you await the sunrise in complete darkness

But it will all be worth it when you witness the sun painting its beautiful palette of colours across the sky in hues of blue, purple, pink and orange. The multitude of stars littered across the dark sky before the sunrise is a worthy bonus too!

You would never seen so many stars in the sky. It’s truly a magnificent sight.

The Bull Races on Madura

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The island of Madura is located just off the coast of Java. From July through to August buffalo races are held on the island. The races are held as a way to celebrate the rice harvest. If you are in the region between these dates you should try to visit the bull races. It’s a 3-4 hour drive from Surabaya, so you will have to do it on a day trip, or overnight trip, but it is definitely worth it. The bull races are as unique as they are unusual (and on Madura probably more popular than football).

Stand Between Bukit Kapur Sekapuk

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Similar to Jaddih Hill, the Sekapuk Hills in Gresik regency are composed of active chalk mines that, after years of “sculpting” by the miners, have resulted in sleek-looking caves, hallways, and beautiful giant “pillars” that are sure to remind you of the halls and pillars of ancient Greece.

For those who like to “do it all”, Sekapuk Hill is located only 14 kilometres from Mushroom Hill, so it’s easy for you to be able to do both in one day – and should absolutely be part of your holiday itinerary in Gresik!

Address: Desa Sekapuk, Kecamatan Ujung Pangkah, Kabupaten Gresik

Getting there: the hill is only about an hour away from Gresik regency. Take Jalan Pantura Lamongan to reach Desa Sekapuk in Ujung Pangkah.

Visit the Cheng Hoo Mosque

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Many people may not realize that Surabaya has a large Chinese population who originally came here as traders and then settled in the area.

As a result, the Cheng Hoo Mosque is one of the key religious sites for Chinese Indonesians in Surabaya who converted to Islam but still retained much of their heritage, and this is a top spot to visit if you want to see some of the culture firsthand.

Make sure to check out the vivid red, yellow, and green decorations all over the mosque as well as the traditional pagoda which is a blend of dragon and lion carvings.

A Sublime Limestone Scene: Bukit Wisata Pelalangan

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The local community-managed Pelalangan Hill in Madura Island houses towering, highly photogenic landscapes of limestone cliffs surrounded by bright, lush greenery, and the limestone mining adds that flowy, sculpted look to the cliff face.

We promise you’ll be awestruck just staring at these cliffs – but make sure to capture the magnificence on camera so you can see it again and again!

But the beauty is of course not all man-made; the brown rocks—resembling something that you might find on a trip across America—have naturally-occurring carvings etched into their surfaces.

So feel free to snap away (to preserve the moment forever!) then go ahead and marvel at the wonder.

Coban Rondo Waterfall

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This waterfall is named after an urban legend of a widowed princess – Coban Rondo is Javanese for “Widow’s Waterfall”. Despite its melancholic name, there is nothing ominous about the beauty of this natural formation.

Coban Rondo waterfall is a beautiful water fall on the slope of Mount Panderman resort that is about 32 km to the west from Malang, it is very interesting to see and visit. The height of waterfall is about 60 meter. Visitor can find and enjoy beautiful panorama ore peaceful impression around the waterfall.

I’ll admit it is not as majestic as most waterfalls, but its size is what allows you to go up real close. And at such close proximity, one can’t help but be transfixed by the torrents of water steadily plunging into the rocks.

Monumen Kapal Selam – Climb Inside a Submarine!

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If you’re a fan of boating, Monumen Kapal Selam (or Monkasel) is the perfect daytime destination while you’re out and about in Surabaya. You won’t want to miss this unique attraction! Located near Plaza Surabaya, the monument lies as majestically on land as it would in water. This Soviet era-made submarine was once used during missions in the 1960s, and now stands proudly on land as a visitor attraction. And not just to look at, either – this stunning structure is open to the public, and you can actually enter! Named KRI Pasopati 410, the submarine boasts of seven small rooms. Explore the corners of this awe-inspiring submarine, from officers’ modest lodgings to the structural points unique to this underwater beast. Get a sense of how life at sea might have been, and explore the innards of this historical structure – you won’t regret spending your day here!