Surabaya is a port city on the Indonesian island of Java. A vibrant, sprawling metropolis, it mixes modern skyscrapers with canals and buildings from its Dutch colonial past. It has a thriving Chinatown and an Arab Quarter whose Ampel Mosque dates to the 15th century. The Tugu Pahlawan (Heroes Monument) honors the independence battles waged in Surabaya’s streets in 1945.
The waterside Kapal Selam monument displays a Soviet-made submarine once used by the Indonesian navy. At the House of Sampoerna cigarette factory and museum, workers hand-roll high-end clove cigarettes. The city’s shopping options range from glitzy, multilevel shopping malls to overflowing, chaotic bazaars, and its food scene from street stalls to upscale, international restaurants. On the city’s outskirts, the modern, enormous Al-Akbar Mosque, with its distinctive blue-green domes, offers an elevator ride to the top of a minaret with panoramic views.