3D2N in Surabaya

Helooo Surabaya! I had been here in 2021 only to land in Java Island for a transit flight so it is good to be back a year after in a much much much better situation. In this trip I took a flight from Denpasar to Surabaya. The itinerary in general is just to enjoy the city for a while, catching up with friends, and trying the Food! 😀 Here, it is 3 days 2 nights story to tell in Surabaya.

Day 1 – The Arrival and City Tour

I took a morning flight so I could arrive and have lunch in Surabaya. The Airport was definitely livelier compared to 2021. Happy to see the business yet there was a bit of foreign feeling. I took an airport taxi and the rest is quite usual going into my accommodation and checking in. Perhaps if you are like me who is going to stay in Surabaya for a while Gubeng area could be a good way to go for a stay. It’s near with many city highlights, restaurant, and Gubeng Train Station if you are planning to continue your journey using train.

City Hall and Zangrandi Ice Cream

As my first itinerary, I went for lunch nearby before I went to the city hall. there was an event in the city hall so I could roam around seeing some pictures and exhibition. The first exhibition was in the basement where they were holding an event related to art while the other one was in the other part of the building where they hosted an exhibition from the fresh graduate out of the local university. Both are good in a way that from the first one I could see local paintings and the second to catch up with what is currently happening in the visual design world. For me, I got another thing too which are some snacks that they sold around the exhibition area. ( oh dear me and my interest)

Once we finished from the city hall, we could across the street into one of the classic ice cream – Zangrandi. I always like such place ’cause its vibes and that kind of specific flavour that excites the taste palate. It made me remeber Ragusa in Jakarta and Tentrem in Solo. They shared some similarities too which made me wonder if they come from the same root during the olden days. The place itself has a good ambience if you want to spend sometime hanging around. I came on Weekend and there was some live music and there was a cart that sold boiled peanuts which you could buy and eat while enjoying your ice cream and having a chit chat with your friend.

Jalan Tunjungan and Lontong Balap Pak Gendut

After the dessert, here comes another walk. My friends and I went to Jalan Tunjungan. This road was so much different compare to the last time I was there in 2015. In 2022, It is lively with people walking around, cafe, restaurant, and all that. Unfortunately, when we were walking the rain starting to pour so we had to cut our trip shorter. Therefore of we go to the next destination to try Lontong Balap Pak Gendut.

We went to the stall which located near to Jalan Tunjungan. The place is spacious and it was not that crowded. The service was quick and the portion was huge. If you are not big eater perhaps sharing 1 portion for 2 persons will be sufficient. Overall I like the taste and if you don’t really like vegetables or bean sprout this food might not be the one for you. For me on that day, Lontong Balap was the end of the day itinerary as it was quite late at night and it was actually my travelling day. let’s call it a day and prepare myself for another day.

Day 2 – City Tour and Another Eateries

Waking up in the morning, I decided to take a walk around Gubeng area and landed my choice to have breakfast in bubur ayam spenxis bang Salim ( lovely chicken porridge ) . It is located in a place which look like a food court so there are other choices too. Another happiness was when I found Jipang. It is a traditional snack made from rice. It’s kind of a reminiscing of the past for me. After I finished my breakfast, I continued to walk around the area where I found a chain coffee shop – Kopi Tuku. Actually Gubeng area hosts many restaurants, so if you want to try some local food you could spend sometime here and it will be alright.

Kenjeran Park ( KEN PARK )

After a lovely morning breakfast, i went to Kenjeran park. Resides near to the sea, you could feel Surabaya sun shine to the fullest in this area. Oh dear.. how hot Surabaya is. Entering the park, unfortunately only some parts remain opens. One of it is our main reason to go here to go to the Klenteng. It has a beautiful dragon gate near with the sea as the background. Pssstt.. please be mindful in this area because it’s still being actively use for prayer. Other than the klenteng you could go to the other place just across the street where you can see another highlight which remind me of Thailand. If you see the picture below, what do you think? My visit to Ken Park was short partly because of the weather that was a bit too hot ( bring your umbrella / sunglasses ) on that day and oh well, I wanted to go to other place which is House of Sampurna just another unfortunate event for me at least while this story is being written the place is still temporarily closed therefore we shift our destination to eating lunch in Sate Klopo.

Sate Klopo Ondomohen and Cincau Station

Sate or Satay klopo is one of the specialty food if you come to Surabaya. Unlike other satay, in Sate Klopo you will get coconut flakes (we call it serundeng ) on top of the satay. Other difference as well, the satay will be accompanied with cold rice / rice cake ( lontong ). All in all it’s a good one with a twist that differentiate this satay with other types. Worth to try.

after our lunch, we actually went to a Mall. Oh dear, Mall has been out of the picture for me for a while and being in the mall remind me of a world that I have temporarily detached myself from for a while. Within this mall I have been introduced to another local favourite of ready to drink item named Cincau Station. I would say the taste is accustomed to Indonesian local taste palate. You should try. When we finished and packed our food, here comes another confusion of where should we go next? LOL. the visit is rather unplanned and well, my friends knows the city so well so for me i relied on them and finally we decided to go to Rustic Market by The lake.

Rustic Market by The Lake

Seeing this place, I think it’s one of the hip place to hang around on weekend. The ambience was nice, a lot of open space and it’s indeed by the lake as stated in the name. The concept is rather interesting if you would like to go into the open while still maintaining some comfort. if you want to enter you have to commit on certain value of your order. You will pay upfront for the minimum order then you will be given a wrist band to wear when you are in the area.

Place wise it’s good, you will see different buildings within the area and you can order the menu from anywhere. once you order you will be given a number and this is where things become a bit hustling for the waiters. They have runners and they have people who talk to the walkie talkie informing if they are looking for which order number. You know.. seeing how they are looking for certain number at times makes me wonder if there is another way which is more efficient for all yet it didn’t really affect my experience when I was there. I think because we ordered quite number of food so we still have something on the table when the other haven’t come yet.

When we were there on the weekend, there was live music and actually one building is reserved for a party. perhaps, another option too if you need to host some events? we ended up staying quite long in the area before we left for other places and taking away some other food but that was another story to tell in some other time. For me, it’s time for me to pack my bag and be ready for the journey on the day after.

Day 3 – Going to Another City By Train

Here comes the morning, I can’t really roam around because I chose morning train to go to Jogjakarta. Packing up my bag and here it goes to Gubeng Station. Btw, it is a bit confusing when I used the hailing service as it has 2 gates. Somehow, the driver said to me that between each the distance is quite far, but when I went to it no, it is not really. Anyway, some people just like it to be certain while for me, I don’t know too well of the area so perhaps as a learning for you take a look at on which part of Gubeng station you will need to board your train from.

When you are already at the station, it was actually the same experience as I’ve already shared in this post about Luxury Train. You come to the train station, get your boarding pass, and you will be able to enter the boarding room and ride your train. Gubeng station is definitely smaller than Gambir – Jakarta but it has everything that you need and it’s clean. For this ride Surabaya – Jogjakarta I took the executive class and it is comfortable enough. Just a note though, they don’t have a luggage space so if you bring a non cabin size like a medium or large luggage please book the seat at the first or last row where they have the arrangement of 1 seater. Over that place you will have an extra room for your luggage.

You could see some in the picture below of how the executive class train looks like. You could recline your seat and it has a foot rest. It is quite spacious and with AC plus it has power socket in case you need to charge your electronic devices. It didn’t have an onboard wifi though so you will need to use your own provider. the ticket doesn’t include meal so prepare something for yourself before you board the train or you could go to the restaurant carriage or purchase from the trolley. Oh, and other than that the executive class has an onboard entertainment in a shared TV that I didn’t really use. Not to worry the toilet is proper too and clean. As always, riding train in Java island you will be able to see paddy field along the way. A part of the journey which is enjoyable and giving you some space and white noise. Who knows you get another inspiration?

Saying my goodbye to the city here. Thank you for the kindness Surabaya!

Wish you were there to roam the city and eat the local delicacies with us.


Triana Mustika Rukmi

Bandung With Train – Luxury II

Bandung, the capital city of West Java, Indonesia. A city that will always have my heart. I spent some years lived in Bandung during my university years. The thought of coming back always spark some excitement and this time, I went there using Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI ) Luxury train. One of the latest class type released by KAI.

It was happened around mid of 2022, a friend of mine asked me to join her into a trip to Bandung and I thought why not? It is also as if I get the light of trying the Luxury train as I have been curious about it for sometime so there I was booking the trip from Gambir to Bandung train station. Excited!

Booking the trip

You could go into several websites to purchase the ticket online or if you want to buy it offline you could also go to the train station. Once you get into the site make sure you choose the luxury type. Afterwards you will see some class, I have been informed that those classes are different depending on the seat position to the train facilities. They said there is a price difference perhaps due to the extra convenience a position has to offer e.g. closer to the train restaurant. However, within my experience I had the same price though it has different class. not sure if it is expected or not.

Going on the Day of the trip – Departing station

If you can, come earlier because you will still have to exchange your booking with a boarding pass and there is no separate place for the luxury class to get the boarding pass. A bit different concept with an air flight. You could exchange it in the self service machine. The process was rather quick as you just need to enter your booking code reference and print the boarding pass. By the way if you depart from Gambir station, there was one machine on the right side near to the boarding gate in which most people weren’t aware of ( including me ) that machine didn’t have any queue while the others are pack. It is actually intrigued me of how for Luxury train they didn’t have a separate place to get a boarding pass but who knows it might be me who didn’t know or maybe there has been an update right now.

Once you get your boarding pass, off you go to enter the boarding room. Again, don’t do it like me whereas I wasn’t aware that luxury class has its own dedicated waiting room in Gambir. So i can’t really say anything on this. Let me know if you have tried it and how’s the experience? 😉

The Train and Its Facilities

Alright now the train has come, the luxury carriage is located in the prime location towards the beginning of the train or I would say the most convenient place possible to board a train. Likewise, the clumsy side of me I went to the different end. ( crying ) It will be quite prominent on which carriage you are in since there will be a steward/ess wearing different uniform in front of the door.

Entering the train, it reminds me of an airplane. It is spacious with 2 & 1 seating arrangement. Only limited seat within the carriage that has extra leg room seat arrangement either in the front or at the back row. If you are planning to bring a big luggage try to get this seat as it will be more comfortable for you. ( talking about the experience getting bumped in a train by the neighbouring luggage ) I am not sure why but train carriage in Indonesia don’t have that med – big luggage storage space.:( Anyway, when you get into your seat you could see that you have a reclining seat ( not flat bed type i have tried ) with its adjustable leg and foot rest too. You have a small screen, if you get into the front seat as I did, it won’t have much use as it is located quite far away from you. Other than that within your seat you will have a foldable tray, charger for you and only you and reading lamp. In terms of privacy, it wasn’t as private as I thought it would be. When you are in fully reclined position ( perhaps only me ) you feel a bit more vulnerable and some separator will be much appreciated, won’t it? Overall, the interior has its luxurious feeling with all the colour and the wood ambience.

Other facilities within the train, there was minibar with a stewardess on my trip, in which you could request for some drinks. I didn’t try tough because they have provided you with some food to be eaten along the way and drinks which were enough for me. Oh, and although I found it weird not sure why many people reviewed its toilet. The toilet between man and woman are separated, one each and it’s dedicated only for the luxury carriage that you are in so with only little passenger (26 total per carriage ) there was no problem in toilet queue. The toilet was clean and the design was indeed looks like the airplane toilet.

all in all the journey was quite enjoyable. I didn’t really remember though. do they have in train wifi? I made some IG stories along the way so it seemed that I didn’t have an issue with my connection. At least that, I could say. Basically you have everything set for you so just enjoy the ride.

Arriving – Arrival Station

Nearing the arrival station, I got a refreshing towel handkerchief handed by the stewardess. Afterwards, you could go down. Another perks in the luxury class is the location is at the most convenient to the exit pathways but once you are out nothing much different to the other classes facilities. So nothing really specific in this area. I was actually more awed by the New Bandung Train Station. Some construction upgrade have been finished and some are still underway. No more walking between rail / train to get into your intended gate. the pathways are nice, clean and modern.Looking at the one that has been under operation I think I could put hopes and looking forward to its final result. Here are some pics for you to see.

To sum up the journey and within my verdict, I think the whole experience was great! kudos to the team. For sure, things have its area of improvement but what is it that don’t have those rooms? I would recommend this if you in need of a little more quiet environment and extra leg room. It will be better perhaps for longer journey. However, if you are going like me from Jakarta to Bandung, I think executive class will be sufficient yet it isn’t bad either to try new thing once in a while, right?

Hope you had/ will have a wonderful experience too within the train!


Triana Mustika Rukmi