City centre hotels are reasonably-priced and offer good hotel points redemption options. Tunjungan Plaza is at the centre of action with plenty of familiar food options should you not want to venture too far from your comfort zone.
Across the street, the Hotel Majapahit was built in 1910 to be a landmark hotel. Beautiful colonial architecture set amongst gardens and courtyards, this is a great oasis from the city's hustle and bustle. The builders also developed other luxury hotels across Southeast Asia, including the Raffles Hotel in Singapore and the Strand in Burma.
Exiting from paradise, I was back in a much more humble reality.
Pedestrians don't have it easy in this city, but a rickety sidewalk leads to the Governor's residence a short walk away.
Further down the street, this set of historic buildings under renovation is actually home to the tourist information office.
Despite the bad sidewalks, they have done a good job beautifying the street.
Locals see Surabaya as an important city in Indonesian history, where the battle for independence from the Netherlands began.
Continuing down towards the river, you will notice a submarine on dry land. Monumen Kapal Selam is a former Russian submarine that served in the Indonesian navy. Its interiors are now open to explore the cramped quarters. Be sure to head into the building behind it to watch the very dated propaganda video about its history.
Several fishermen were already trying their luck along the riverfront next door.
Neighbouring streets are more quiet and less touristed with gated residentials.
It is a long walk from the submarine to Cheng Hoo Mosque, so I recommend taking a Grab.
Part 2 | Part 3