Skyscraper city, multicultural markets and ethnic dining
Thanks to its backstory as a bastion of Dutch colonial trade, Surabaya is a truly multicultural city. Indonesia’s largest Chinatown is a melange of pop-up markets and incense-filled temples, the labyrinthine Arab Quarter an appealing jumble of coffee bars and perfume shops resounding to the beat of Middle Eastern music.
The Buddhist Sanggar Agung Temple, with its monumental statue of Guan Yin supported by dragons, co-exists happily with the pagoda-shaped Cheng Hoo Mosque, a marriage of Chinese architecture with Islamic symbolism.
Modern impacts on ancient too. The elegant Suramadu Bridge soars across the Madura Strait to once-remote Madura, an island community that has preserved its centuries-old traditions in art and language as well as the colourful, annual Karapan Sapi bull run.
Culinary adventures might include gourmet dining, but for a real taste of Indonesia, join the milling crowds at Genteng Night Market as they tuck into spicy black soup, bakso meatballs and rujak fruit salad.