Experiencing Free Surabaya Heritage Tour by House of Sampoerna

Surabaya Heritage Track is free of charge bus tour conducted by courtesy of House of Sampoerna, visiting Surabaya's historical and other interesting sites.
There are several routes (see the official website for updated info):
- visiting Tugu Pahlawan (Heroes monument)
- to visit Chinatown and Arabtown
- to visit some factories
The tour departs 3 times a day, except weekends. Contact IKIRU personnel for further information and reservation support.

On 13 June 2012, we joined for the first time this heritage tour. The tour departed from House of Sampoerna at 13:00. Since it is quite popular, the tour has to be booked before. Since we had time before the departure, we ate delicious Lontong Balap (typical Surabaya food) in a warung (street food stall) just in front of the House.

The fancy red bus took us to the Chinatown (or Pecinan in Indonesian language). Vivi, the guide explained in interesting way the stories when we passed the old jail of Kalisosok, Jembatan Merah (red bridge), many historical streets, and other sites.
Our first and the only stop in this route was the old Chinese temple (Hok Ang Kiong Temple) in the Chinatown. We got 20 minutes to explore the temple. Some of the tour participants tried the Chinese traditional pray, asking God yes or no answer on certain thing. After burning incense, the question to God is asked in the heart, then a pair of wooden things were dropped. God's answer was shown by the dropped wooden thing, how they faced after they dropped.
Hok Ang Kiong Temple

We continued the tour to visit the Arabtown. Vivi said that all middle eastern things were sold there, except camels. While the houses and stores in the Chinatown were lined along the streets, the ones in Arabtown were in labyrinth circle towards the center where the big mosque, Masjid Sunan Ampel was located.
On the way back, passing along the river Kali Mas side, Vivi explained how important the river was in the past time when boats from the sea sailed inside the river to reach their destinations inside the city.
One hour passed quickly and we enjoyed the tour. We wanted to join other route tour departed at 15:00, but it was fully booked, so we just went to the museum to see hundreds of workers working in the tobacco factory.