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Surabaya is Indonesia's second-largest city, and the capital of the province of East Java. It is located on the northern shore of eastern Java at the mouth of the Mas River and along the edge of the Madura Strait. To Indonesians, it is known as "the city of heroes", due to the importance of the Battle of Surabaya in galvanising Indonesian and international support for Indonesian independence during the Indonesian National Revolution.

Suburbs of Surabaya
From quiet neighborhoods to red-light district

At the most remote Southeastern corner of the city, at the end of Jalan Kenjeran, is Pantai Ria Kenjeran, Kenjeran Beach. There is no beach in the area and the new amusement park has changed into a love hotel, but in the old park there certainly is good seafood for sale. It's in the middle of the Madurese fishing villages, which hold birding contests as a popular game of gambling; illegal, but inexstinctable.

South and West of the Kenjeran, past the campus of the Institut Teknologi Surabaya ( ITS ), is a flamboyant nouveau riche quarter. On scheduled times the Indonesia-America Friendschip Association holds art expositions. At Toko Miroto good collections of arts and crafts can be found.

At the Southern egde of Surabya, besides Jalan Raya Darmo, the Dutch built an elegant quarter at the start of the 20th century. At Jalan Taman Mayangkera 6 is the Mpu Tantular Museum, placed in the house of the former representative of the 'Javaasche Bank' ('Javanese Bank'). It has a small but important historical and archeological collection. Across the museum is the Kebun Binatang, one of the oldest and biggest zoo's in Southeastern Asia, with among the animals the Komodo Dragons and river dolphins from Kalimantan.

The way back to the centre takes you along Jalan Diponegoro to the busy crossing with Jalan Girilaya. Here is the famous brothel Dolly's, named after the lady who started the sex-industry in this quarter in the 1960's. This red-light-district gives a sobering view on the blending of normal housed, houses of prayer and brothels.

Last revised on December 04, 2009
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