Surabaya – Part 6 (Surabaya City)

Right after the Reog Ponorogo performances at Balai Pemuda, we then moved to Masjid Cheng Ho. At that point of time, we’re lucky enough to witness a wedding solemnization in between local muslim and a Chinese converted. On overall, it can be considered as a very small mosque. I’m totally not sure on the total amount of ‘jemaah’ that can fit it. Basically, the design of the mosque was influenced with a Chinese Architecture. At one glance, it really looks like a Chinese Temple.




Our next destination is definitely the ‘Makam Sunan Ampel’. ‘Sunan Ampel’ (also known as Raden Rakhmat) was one of the Wali Songo, who spread Islam in the Land of Java. He can be considered as the focal point of Wali Songo because several of them were descended from him and studied with him before. It’s prohibited to snap a photo of the grave. If you ever tried to snap a photo, a security guards or local peoples will warned you out. So, just be careful since the whole area of the grave are packed with locals.

Oh ya, i almost forgot. We did meet up with one of the local, Pak Mustajab who gave us a long explanation of the history of Wali Songo. I considered him to be at the age of early 80’s and he talked fluent English! I’m impressed. He told us this is one of the things that he inherit from the Dutch Colonial period.

The pathway to the ‘Makam Sunan Ampel’

The water pot. This is only used for drinks and not for other purposes. Some might misused it!

The mosque. I got impressed with the whole structure and the architecture of the building. I took my sweet times to look around. Oh my!








Just next to the main mosque, you’ll see a whole street of market. They called it as ‘Pasar Ampel’ or Arab Market and it’s really a big one! You can really find good stuffs here especially Arabian carpet! Besides, i could see dates, prayer mats, telekung, tasbih and others. Just name it and you’ll get it here!



And at one of the corner, you’ll came across the ‘Makam Mbah Soleh’. Don’t be suprised when you see 9 numbers of graves which belong to the same person! Mbah Soleh was believed to be one of Sunan Ampel student and the cleaner or caretaker of the Sunan Ampel Mosque. Throughout all the articles by local, i found out the same stories as following:

Mbah Sholeh, said a history, is a loyal follower of Sunan Ampel, who during his life diligently to help build and clean the mosque. One time, Sunan Ampel involuntarily sighed, “Ah, if Mbah Sholeh still alive, of course yard mosque is not dirty like this.” Immediately, Mbah Soleh who have died, suddenly appeared and immediately help Sunan Ampel clean the mosque. Miracles were repeated up to nine times, until his death in 1478 of Sunan Ampel in Ampel. Mbah Sholeh ever died later buried in the tomb complex north of the old Ampel Mosque. Here, we could see nine tombstones lined up neatly, as a sign of Mbah Sholeh ever lived and died nine times. On the west side of the mosque, there are grave Mbah Sonhaji or also known as Mbah Bolong.



The graves of National Warrior and others

Our next destination is definitely the House of Sampoerna. The most awaited destination of all. Definitely not into tobacco! Bau pun sebenarnya tak boleh since hubby don’t smoke. Even my brother as well. But the most attracted me is definitely the whole processes of the traditional ‘kretek’ cigarettes. I know i shouldn’t do this, but i really need to capture it! Once in a lifetime. Furthermore, i don’t have any intention of studying the whole processes of the cigarettes making pun. Sorry Sampoerna!

Check out the number of staff there. You’ll be impressed on their working speed as well. Like seriously! Laju gile! Couldn’t explained it here.

The mould used for printing purposes.


This was spotted inside the toilet. Unique! The wallpaper was made from the original packaging of the cigarettes.

They have a very nice photos collection here. Cantik sangat! I got stucked here staring at every each of the photos. Nostalgic sangat.

The original logo since 1913.

A slight info of Sampoerna is that they are the largest Indonesia tobacco company ahead of Gudang Garam and Djarum. It’s already a public company owned by Phillip Moris International way back in 2005 when Putera Sampoerna sold his family shares and led another company with his son Michael Sampoerna.

The main building.


The house which is next to the main building. It was believe that the owner really wanted that the house to be built next to the factory so that the whole family members could take charge of looking after the business. This is no longer the official residential to the owner send the company has been sell of to another company.


Masjid Nasional Al Akbar (Masjid Agung Surabaya) completed way back in 2000 and it was the 2nd largest mosque in Indonesia. One of the unique characteristics of this mosque is that it was equipped with a 99 metres of tower and view tower can be assessed by the visitor at the height of 68 metres from ground level which could accommodate 30 persons at one time.

The view of the tower.It produced such green effects due to the window tinted.DSCN7915-2


The building.


The single door leaf was totally heavy which is 250kg and it was made from solid wood of ‘Jati’. Therefore, special hinges was designed and custom-made due to the heavy weight. There’re only 45 number of door (which is 90 numbers of door leaf in total).

Finally, the Suroboyo monument. This monument is exactly in front of Surabaya Zoo it is really an iconic symbol where it was believe that Surabaya name was derived from the words of ‘Suro’ (shark) and ‘Boyo’ (crocodile) in a battleship.

In overall, i really miss Bromo a lots! Bromo was totally amazing!

Simply me,
Zara AB
The Province of Chroma


Surabaya – Part 5 (Balai Pemuda – Reog Ponorogo Dance)

We gonna had another Pak Supir today which is Pak Marji since Pak Asyirin have to attend a wedding in his neighbourhood. Pak Marji arrived somewhere around 8.30am and i told him that we wanted to go straight to the Grahadi. In the Colonial Era, this is the residence of the Governor of East Java. Along the way i’ve made a short discussion with Pak Marji asking him about the performance that they normally had every weekend which is ‘Reog’ at the nearby Balai Pemuda (Youth Hall – one of the historical building in Surabaya). ‘Reog’ dance is actually a vagarious traditional dance originated from the glorious of the Kediri Kingdom around the 15th century.

Reog is a traditional Indonesian dance form. There are many types of Reogs in Indonesia, but the most notable ones are Reog Ponorogo (East Java) and Reog Sunda (West Java). Although both share a similar name, there is no connection nor similar theme among these traditions. Reog Ponorogo seems to be the kind of dance drama that demonstrate physical strength and extravagant lionpeafowl mask and costumes, while Reog Sunda is a lot more like a traditional musical dance drama and comedy.

Source: Wikipedia

Me : Pak, di Balai Pemuda itu lagi ada upacara kebudayaan ya jam 8.30 pagi? Reog? Bagus ngak?

Pak Marji : Saya juga ngak pernah tonton. Mungkin bisa ke sana dulu. Dekat aja ni.

Once we reached there, we parked our car and as mentioned by Pak Marji, the show gonna start just in a few minutes. Just right in time! I browsed around the area and my eyes keep roaming looking for a subject. Basically, we really don’t have any idea what is ‘Reog’ is all about. Luckily, the girl next to us explained the whole stories of ‘Reog’ since her husband is also the main player of ‘Reog’ and eventually from Ponorogo itself. She explained to us confidently. The one we’re going to watch is Reog Ponorogo. I bet we’re the only non-Indonesian there. I considered the performance to have a full house crowds and i told myself that this must be very interesting.

Spotted the small players of ‘Reog’. Cute huh? Can’t wait to see them to perform.DSCN7812-2

Reog is a traditional dance that become the main identity for Ponorogo Regency. Reog National Festival is held every years along the anniversary of Ponorogo regency and Grebeg Suro celebration. Reog dance is also staged full moon nightly in paseban, Ponorogo town square. Reog told about the struggle for a prince who will propose to a beautiful princess. Reog Ponorogo tells the story of a mythical battle between the King of Ponorogo and the magical lion-like creature called Singa Barong. Singa Barong is a large mask usually made of tiger’s or leopard’s head skin, upon the mask attached a large fan adorned with peafowl feathers. The Singa Barong mask was notoriously heavy, the dancer of Singo Barong bear the mask about 30 – 40 kg weight and supported by the strength of their teeth.

Source: Wikipedia

Check out the main dancer who are wearing the Singo Barong mask weight about 40 kg! Oh my. And they did a few stunt by turning the whole body, slammed themselves on the floor and immediately stand up. Imagine that! As mentioned the whole mask worn by a man by biting the wood inside the mask.


The Singa Barong mask and one of the main player (with black shirt). They are also called as ‘Dadak Merak’.

The person behind the mask. I told them that I’m super impressed with their performance. Amazing!


While waiting for the next performance, i saw this one group of young girls called ‘Young Jatil’ or ‘Jatil Kecil’ teasing each other before performing. They are super cute! This dance originally performed by a handsome, youthful teenage boys wearing a colourful costumes. But today, young female dancers usually played the role and this will be the 2nd performances of the day.




Them, ‘Young Jatil ‘ while performing the ‘Jaran Kepang’ dance which is similar to ‘Kuda Lumping’ or ‘Kuda Kepang’, horses made of weaved bamboo. Formerly, these horse-riders were played by men called Gembak.



The third performances is definitely the ‘Young Warok’ or ‘Warok Kecil’. A Warok is actually an honorary title of local hero or strongman of the village that possessed both exceptional spiritual and physical strength. The dance itself is demonstration of physical strength of the dancers. That’s the reason why you can see a lots of stunt during their performance.


The fourth performances are the ‘Young Ganong’. Love this one. They are like teasing each other, making jokes and even playing around with the crowds. Basically, it’s just like a 2 way communication and interaction with the crowds. Kudos to the performers! Check out the lil’ one.



The final performance is the main attraction of the show where it is performed by all the Reog dancers. We spent around 1 1/2 hours there under a hot direct sun. That’s the price that we have to pay. It’s free. Who doesn’t love free stuff. So Malaysian! Hahaha.


The official merchandise.

In overall, i enjoyed the whole show. Oh ya, the total number of Reog team is between 20 to 40 members together with the musician. If you’re in Surabaya, don’t miss a chance to watch Reog at Balai Pemuda (Youth Hall) every Sunday at 8.30am.

We will continue our journey on Part 6 – Surabaya City.

Simply me,
Zara AB
The Province of Chroma

Surabaya – Part 4 (Cemoro Lawang, Kabupaten Probolinggo)

Right after our ‘heavy’ breakfast and some overdosed of hot Sosro tea to kill the cold morning air, we had a quick nap till 11.00am. Confirm semua terbungkam tido kat bilik. Oh ya, I didn’t mention about our hotel in the previous entries. We’ve booked Hotel Cemara Indah through Agoda. Unfortunately, the hotel doesn’t look very much impressive where no ‘HOT’ shower (even though they claimed that have this facilities) and slow water supply in our rooms. We should have book from Lava View Lodge as advised by our Pak Supir. Luckily, the whole view from the hotel itself save all the troubles that we’ve faced.





We continued with the journey back to Surabaya at 12.00pm. Since we’ve reached the place somewhere around midnight the day before, we actually couldn’t see the whole view of the village. So, i guess this is the only times to appreciate the view and surroundings. The main activities at this Cemoro Lawang village are farming (potatoes, onion and etc). You can actually see a lots of onion and potatoes patch around but do remembered that its dry season and you might see empty patches at certain area.




As we leave the village and reached the main street of Probolinggo area, mum’s keep reminding that we shall stop at any of the mango stall by the roadside to taste the local mango. I only knew that Probolinggo is famous of its mango and grapes at that point of time. Probolinggo mango will spread all over the market within Indonesia from May – October and the price is super cheap! We managed to get a kilo of mango with the price of IDR 5000. How cheap is that? An average of RM 1.60 per kilo.




We finally reached Surabaya town after 4 hours of journey. We will continue our journey on Part 5 – Surabaya Metropolitan City.

Simply me,
Zara AB
The Province of Chroma

Surabaya – Part 3 (Mt. Bromo)

It took us less than 20 minutes to get to the sand ocean of Mt. Bromo from Mt. Penanjakan. From here, we need to cross the sand ocean (Javanese called it as ‘Segara Wedi’ meanwhile Indonesian called it as ‘Lautan Pasir’) to get to Mt. Bromo and I definitely lost count on the total length or distance.

Mount Bromo (Indonesian: Gunung Bromo), is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. At 2,329 metres (7,641 ft) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the most well-known. The massif area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. The volcano belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The name of Bromo derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god.

Source : Wikipedia

It’s a long way to go!


Lagi dan lagi. Bertabahla.

Checked out the number of visitors. Phew!

The shadow.


Finally, you will reached the open area. Take a deep breath since we still have to climb up another 250 steps just to reach the rim of crater of Mt. Bromo. We were there on Saturday and the place has been dominated by local. Hari Liburan kan? There’s actually a proper staircases but the steps seems to be fill up with soils and it’s quite dangerous. Oh ya, be patience. Some of the climbers might have lost their breath half way creating traffic jam all the way. There’s a few pit stop all the way to the top. The best part is when the people who are descending down will give full moral support in order for you to reach the top. Love the positive vibes and energy! Padahal tak kenal each other pun.



Finally, the crater



The visitors which created massive traffic up there. Please do be careful where at certain area, there’s no hand railing provided. Everything is all at your own risks. It can be dangerous if you slipped through. Nak amik gambar pun cuak juga sebenarnya since you’ve to stabilize your body around on non flat ground.

Me and the crater. Just ignore my messy hair there! Muka puas hati!

Making our way down. Awesome view! Masih ‘KANGEN’ dengan yang ini.


Resting point! Outdoor Starbucks. We didn’t stop either since breakfast buffet is waiting for us in the hotel. Nak melantak kejap lagik.


Oh ya, I didn’t mention about the Hindu Temple called Pura Luhur Poten in the middle of the Sand Ocean.

The temple holds a significant importance to the Tenggerese scatter across the mountainous villages such as Ngadisari, Wonokitri, Ngadas, Argosari, Ranu Prani, Ledok Ombo and Wonokerso. The temple organized annual Yadnya Kasada ceremony which lasts for about one month. On the 14th day, the Tenggerese will congregate at Pura Luhur Poten to ask for blessings from Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa and God of Mahameru (Mount Semeru). Then the mass will proceed along the crater edges of Mt Bromo where offerings will be thrown into the crater.

The major difference between this temples with the Balinese ones is the type of stones and building materials. Pura Luhur Poten uses natural black stones from volcanoes nearby, while Balinese temples mostly made from red bricks. Inside this pura, there are several buildings and enclosures aligned in Mandala zone composition.

Source: Wikipedia

The exterior of the Hindu Temple. I didn’t get a chance to explore the place itself. Penat sangat. Oh ya, I’ve google about the Yadnya Kasada Festival and Ceremony. Amazing!



Me and Gunung Batok. Yes! Mission accomplished!

Our very trusted jeep.

Muka tak sabar nak breakfast and tido!

We will continue our journey on Part 4 – Cemoro Lawang Villlage (A village in the clouds) and Kabupaten Probolinggo.

Simply me,
Zara AB
The Province of Chroma