I would say not to give kids who is begging money as I have seen small kids probably about 6 years old or so buying and smoking cigarettes with the money that they got from begging. If you do want to give them something I would say rather give them food as they can be really persistant.
Having one free day in Surabaya, but not having time to make any plans for far off places, I decided to take about an hour’s drive from Surabaya, to Taman Safari. It is actually a well maintained and populated drive-thru zoo, or Mc Zoo as a friend got me hooked on. From hippos to lions to monkeys to ostriches, they all came up within a few feet of the car.
The road systems are not well marked, so it is best that you get directions from a local (maybe hotel concierge) from your specific location.
Not many people knows Prigi beach - not even listed in VT. I went there not in plan either! But I found it very beautiful!
Prigi is 4 hours driving to the south from Surabaya, 30 min from Tulungagung - the closest city.
This city and certainly it’s rural suroundings provide an abundance of interesting and adventurous opportunities for those wishing to explore the local culture and share the Indonesian experience. Mount Bromo, world famous for its sunrise, and the island of Madura, known the world over the annual Kerapan Sapi (bull race), are examples of these point of interest. Mount Pananjakan is the Pasuruan region, approximately 60 kilometers south of Surabaya, offers the best view of Mount Bromo‘s sunrise and is an ideal spot for photography. A visit to Mount Bromo’s “sea of sand” is a must! A breathtaking ride on sturdy mountain ponies to witness dawn over the fiery Bromo crater is an unforgettable event. Some sleep sacrifice is required for the 3.30 am start, but your will find the extra effort involved is eclipsed by the joy of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Bring a warm sweater, as Mount Bromo temperatures at this early hour are rather cool. A trip to Mount Bromo will take about three hours from Surabaya.
Another wonderful trip is the one to Mount Semeru, Java’s highest volcano (3.676 meter). In the Pasuruan region you can find a small industrial centers and handicraft workshops, the 13th century Jawi and Belahan temples as well as the Purwodadi Botanical Gardens and the magnificent open air theatre of Candra wilwatikta, where the classical ballet dances, based upon epic stories of Ramayana and Mahabarata, are performed during full moon (Saturday) nights from June to September. This trip will take you less than one hour, by coach, from Surabaya’s city center.
Cave and Waterfalls
East Java is famous for its caves and waterfalls. In the Kakek Bodo Recreational Forest you can find the 40 meters high waterfall of the same name. Since its located near Tretes, you should not forget to explore this refreshing mountain resort. Some 30 kilometers northwest of Malang the famous Coba Rondo waterfall is located near to the Pujon plantation, while Ngliman Village, 28 kilometers south of Nganjuk, is home to the 100 meter high Sedudo waterfall where the Prana Pratistha annual bathing ceremony, dating back to the Majapahit era and is believed to keep bathers forever young.
25 Kilometers west of Surabaya, in the Lamongan district, you can find the 2,500 square meters wide Maharani cave, only recently discovered, on August 6, 1992. Its located some 25 meters below ground level and is compared with world famous like the one in Altamira (Spain) and Coranche in France. In Tuban, some 60 kilometers northwest of Surabaya, is located the Akbar Cave, well known for having the origin of a river springing from a waterfall springing from the roof of cave. IN Kediri, west of Malang you can find the 10th century Selomangleng Cave, which dates back to the famous Kediri Empire of the same era. A relief on the wall of the cave depicts the story of Arjuna Wiwaha one of the rulers of the empire. O yeaaa, you can find also one of Indonesia’s most beautiful caves called the Lowo Cave in the little village of Trenggalek, toward southern coastline of Java. This 850 long cave is one of the longest in the country containing impressive formations of stalagmites and stalactites.
Malang, The Apple City
One of the most attractive town in East Java is Malang, located at the end of Surabaya-Malang toll road, ninety kilometers south of Surabaya. The well-maintained, and often completely restored Dutch-styles houses, the neat mainsquare and clean streets show a strong sense of civic pride. Malang is often called “the apple city” because the outsstaanding fruit produce for domestic and international consumpstion. Twenty kilometers from Malang, near Batu, and on the southern flank of Mount Arjuna, you can find the popular resorts, Selecta and Songgoriti with their hot springs.
You probably won't want to stay in Surabaya very long. Go south, then east, toward Mt. Bromo, an active volcano. The locals say that people who climb Mt. Bromo will have good luck for the rest of their lives. It's true, for me! You should stay in one of the many hotels and guest houses on the way up the mountain, so that you don't have too far to go to reach the top the next day. Tour operators will take you as far as cars can go up Mt. Bromo very early in the morning. Then you climb in the darkness, reaching the top just before sunrise. After watching the sun rise, you can look down into the volcano's pit, see the red glow and smell the sulfurous fumes. Then climb back down to your transportation. It's not terribly strenuous. Any healthy person can do it.
TAMAN SAFARI INDONESIA - Prigen, Pasuruan (60 min from Surabaya). A national tourism and wildlife conservation site which span over 400 acres at the foothill of Mount Arjuna. Blessed with a tropical mountain view and the amazing collection of more than one thousand wildlife from 150 world rare and endangered species such as Komodo Dragon, European Bison, Himalayan Black Bear, White Tiger etc.
A great advise for everyone travelling with a lonely planet in hand! Find a restaurant or hotel and go to the next door neighbour....... Mostly they are just the same quality and you're not always stuck with the same foreigners on the same tracks. Could be a good thing just to listen to other stories for a while.
A new day has started. This sunrise pic I took this morning at 5:30 AM on 26 Feb 2005.
Isn't it beautiful?