Did you know in Chinese, Surabaya is called “Four Water”? As in 泗水 (pronounced “Sìshuǐ”)
I learned that from the very pixelated, very old screen of the inflight entertainment of my Cathay Pacific flight to Surabaya. The four hour flight was uneventful, except some Indonesians (maids) who seem to have no reservation to chat right across me. So I did the polite thing and held up my magazine higher and higher in a fruitless attempt to block out their line of sight.
And oh, this is the closest I ever get to the equator. It might come as a surprise to you (as it was to me) that Surabaya is actually located in Java, not Sumatra, and that it is located between Jakarta and Bali.
And that it is rather close to Australia!
First impression of Surabaya. It was a rustic town, kinda like my own hometown of Menglembu, with instances of “modernity” and “urbanisation” here and there. It is quite disconcerting to see a towering new hotel built right next to a slow flowing river where thatched huts and abandoned old buildings hugged the riverbanks.
We got in to Surabaya rather late in the day, and checked in directly at the hotel. Garden Palace Hotel is a large, clean and unpretentious accommodation of choice by my travel buddy, Chris, located within a large compound with at least one bar and one club (which for some reason thumped our some real loud music from 6 a.m. onwards one day. Goodness knows what the youngsters were up to. This old chap needs his sleep!). The hotel is well equipped with restaurants – Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, Western – and throughout we sample some of them. Some were okay, others were not worth mentioning.
Thank God for the nearby shopping mall.
The room itself was much larger than I thought, and in much better condition than I imagined. It’s airy with plenty of space for each of us. Though not everything is spanking new but everything is well maintained. Definitely a good choice, Chris!
For the first night we dined our at the outdoor restaurant Cat’s Pajamas Club & Bar for some Indonesia food and beer. Perhaps we were tired from a day of traveling, the ice cold beer had never tasted so good!
And so we were off for an early night, since we have got an early start the next day!
See more of my Surabaya 2013 posts:
- The One With Symphony Surabaya, Part 2
- The One With Symphony Surabaya, Part 3
- The One With Symphony Surabaya, Part 4
- The One With Symphony Surabaya, Part 5
- The One With Symphony Surabaya – A Journey Into Nature Concluded
Staying In & Hotels
Garden Palace Hotel
Jl. Yos Sudarso 11, Surabaya 60271
Jawa Timur – Indonesia
Tel: +62 31532 1001