SNAPSHOTS: Asia Photo Essay #2: BERJALAN SURABAYA

For some reason, I have seriously YOLO-ed myself over traveling a lot in 2019, as if I know something will happen that will literally bar me and everyone else in this planet from traveling in 2020. I have been out and about on every school break there is (presenting researches, sneaking in quick vacations, and doing projects, among others). The freshest overseas travel memory I have is with Surabaya, Indonesia, where I went to attend and academic event, visit museums, take advantage of my layover in Jakarta, and get to know the a side of Indonesia I, if I’m being honest, actually almost never knew existed.

Surabaya is the second largest city in Indonesia located in East Java. Unheard of by so many people, Surabaya does not even consider itself a tourist destination, unlike Bali or Yogyakarta. I seriously don’t know why some cities could steal my heart just like that. Surabaya is definitely not the best city I have visited, that’s for sure, but there’s some kind of magic it projects that made me fall in love. For one, it’s a more relaxed version of Jakarta (which could be as crazy as Manila, my home city). And more importantly, it being a less popular tourist destination means that, chances are, it has other awesome things to offer.

BTW, SOME TRIVIA!

In case I will forget to mention sometime later in this post…

“Berjalan” is an Indonesian word which means “to walk”, and I used the term to signify that this photo essay is a result of my photowalk around the streets of Surabaya.

Surabaya Street Photography Indonesia
SELAMAT PAGI, SURABAYA! It’s a bright and beautiful day to explore the city! During the course of the academic event I attended in Universitas Airlangga, I was housed at Novotel Samator East Surabaya Hotel (which is a super duper awesome hotel!) but it is located in another neighborhood. Since I am exploring museums and doing some food trip, I transferred to another hotel close to my destinations: Swiss Belinn Tunjungan. This was my lovely view. At nighttime, some kind of a light traffic is evident, but I would trade the crazy Manila traffic for this. I just love staring at the vehicles and the lights from buildings turning off one by one slowly as the night goes deeper. Man, I just love staring at hotel windows with views! But I came here to explore the city, so I’m going out!
Surabaya Street Photography Indonesia
JALAN ELANG. The surroundings of Surabaya reminded me so much of my hometown (Batangas, Philippines). Life is so simple, and the city life in urban areas like Tanauan, Lipa, and Batangas City are so chill and they don’t try so hard to become like Manila. And I like it that way. There’s just so much provincial vibes here. This man sitting by the street next to some mechanical equipment is also common in the Philippines.
Surabaya Street Photography Indonesia
MERDEKA. Prior to my visit to Surabaya, I only have a superficial academic knowledge about its history, and it has come to my attention later that a lot of historical events happened here. The nerd in me Googled like crazy and made sure I will not miss out all the important historical sites. My journey led me to visit the Museum Sepuluh Nopember next to Kota Balai (where the super cool City Mayor hosted a welcome dinner for us during the event a few days ago). Unlike the Philippines, Indonesia had a bloody struggle for independence against the Dutch, so imagine the nationalism they have until today.
Surabaya Street Photography Indonesia
BECAK. The different modes of local transportation in the places I visit always fascinate me. In the Philippines alone, you will find a lot of varieties of bicycle/sidecar/pedicab rides which reflects the resourcefulness of the Filipinos. In Surabaya (and in Indonesia as a whole), I admire their Bluebird taxi system, and other modes to get from point A to point B, such as becak or the bicycle rickshaw.
Surabaya Street Photography Indonesia
SURO DAN BOYO. I had to stop and take a photo of this embossed Surabaya Coat of Arms in a bench at Tugu Pahlawan because it reminded me of the manhole covers in Yokohama, Japan. I want to have memories of the identity of the places I visited. Suro (shark) and boyo (crocodile) were the two words of origin of the name of the city of Surabaya.
Surabaya Street Photography Indonesia
ANOTHER BECAK. Oooh, so that’s what it looks like if it’s occupied by a passenger. Amazing! I don’t know about you, but my heart really jumps whenever I am being mindful about setting foot in another land and just looking around the streets and try to feel how far from your home city the place will make you feel.
Surabaya Street Photography Indonesia
PROUD AND LOUD. Seriously, my visit to Surabaya has made me want more of Indonesian History. Indonesian food is one thing I will always love about this country, but its history is something else. I was very excited to learn more and share a lot of things about it to my students. This is how academic nerds roll, if you know what I mean.
Surabaya Street Photography Indonesia
OH, HELLO THERE, CUTE ONE. This girl right here has a super soft spot for cats and will always stop to take photos or admire them as they walk around ignoring all them hoomans. Cats are a very important part of the streets. They bring life to streets. Don’t debate me on this. My day lights up everytime I see cats. Thank you, Surabaya, for letting me see some cats in your streets. Your blazing humidity is something untolerable, btw.

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Flying Around Southeast Asia: Direct Flights From Brunei Darussalam

Direct flights to Southeast Asia may have been limited before, but more routes have been opening to so many destinations connecting the East and the West every now and then. Flights to Brunei Darussalam, for instance, are increasing, hence Bruneians and other travelers have more options on where to go next. Brunei has direct flights to six (6) Southeast Asian countries. As part of my passion project to help travelers have a seamless navigation experience around Southeast Asia, I am writing a series of flight guides to help you have the best travel experience in this beautiful region of the world. The first of this series is this comprehensive article guide about direct flights from Brunei Darussalam.

DIRECT FLIGHTS TO SOUTHEAST ASIA: FLIGHTS TO BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Brunei Darussalam

Are you currently in Brunei and planning your next Southeast Asian destination? But wait, I do hope you were able to visit this beautiful places during your stay in Brunei:

Places to visit in Brunei Darussalam:

Omar Ali Saiffudin Mosque

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3yo6QEH9df/

Jame ‘Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqNJbyvHUUv/

Kampong Ayer

https://www.instagram.com/p/BvrEqYqHZvM/

ALSO READ: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 23 INSTAGRAM-WORTHY SPOTS IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

Where to stay in Brunei Darussalam:

So thank you, next! Where to? Did you know that you can actually directly fly to six (6) Southeast Asian countries from Brunei?

DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM BRUNEI DARUSSALAM: A COMPLETE GUIDE

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Indonesia

DENPASAR (DPS)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-DPS): 2 hours and 20 minutes

Airline that has direct flight from Brunei to Denpasar:
Royal Brunei Airlines Logo

Places To Visit in Denpasar:

Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) Park

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4XHMXLnykR/

Bali Museum

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv7-639Hk5X/

Goa Gajah Temple

https://www.instagram.com/p/By7hrZVntxG/

Where to stay in Denpasar:

JAKARTA (CGK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-JKT): 2 hours and 20 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Jakarta:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Jakarta:

National Gallery of Indonesia

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJkTUoPDmcn/

Wayang Museum

Museum Bank Indonesia

Where to stay in Jakarta:

SURABAYA (SUB)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SUB): 2 hours and 10 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Surabaya:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Surabaya:

Hotel Majapahit

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5oxtBknmeB/

Heroes Monument

House of Sampoerna

Where to stay in Surabaya:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Malaysia

BINTULU (BTU)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BTU): 55 minutes

Airline that has direct flights from Brunei to Bintulu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Bintulu:

Similajau National Park

Niah National Park

Taman Tumbina

Where to stay in Bintulu:

KOTA KINABALU (BKI)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BKI): 40-45 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Kota Kinabalu:

Mount Kinabalu

Desa Cattle Dairy Farm

Manukan Island

Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu:

KUCHING (KCH)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-KCH): 1 hour and 50 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Kuching:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Kuching:

Kuching Cat Museum

Fort Margherita

Bako National Park

Where to stay in Kuching:

KUALA LUMPUR (KUL)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-KUL): 2 hours and 20-25 minutes

Kuala Lumpur is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of low-cost carrier AirAsia.

Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Kuala Lumpur:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places To Visit in Kuala Lumpur:

Petronas Twin Towers

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2qY3ionRBw/

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt8cP5UHtjC/

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bled5AVnNLR/

ALSO READ: 4 MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur:

SANDAKAN (SDK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SDK): 1 hour and 5 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Sandakan:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Sandakan:

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Park

Turtle Islands National Park

Puu Jih Shii Temple

Where to stay in Sandakan:

SIBU (SBW)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SBW): 1 hour and 10 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Sibu:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Sibu:

Tua Pek Kong Temple

Sibu Central Market

Sibu Night Market

Where to stay in Sibu:

TAWAU (TWU)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-TWU): 1 hour and 5 minutes

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Tawau:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Tawau:

Tawau Hills National Park

Teck Guan Cocoa Museum

Tawau Tanjung Market

Where to stay in Tawau:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Philippines

MANILA (MNL)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-MNL): 2 hours and 35 minutes

Manila is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific.

Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Manila:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Manila:

National Museum of Natural History

https://www.instagram.com/p/By4xf0InBf_/

National Museum of Fine Arts

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bo_W05gnHH0/

Filling Station Bar Cafe

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuTkADZHiwO/

ALSO READ: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO 64 INSTAGRAM–WORTHY SPOTS IN MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Where to stay in Manila:

ALSO READ: TOP 10 PLACES TO STAY IN LUZON, PHILIPPINES

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Singapore

SINGAPORE (SIN)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SIN): 2 hours and 5 minutes

Singapore is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam, because of the presence of many routes by its flag carrier Singapore Airlines.

Airlines that fly directly from Brunei to Singapore:
direct flights from brunei direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Singapore:

ArtScience Museum

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3PhVfsnUIe/

Little India

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzqZs4RHQjz/

SEE ALSO: POSTCARDS FROM LITTLE INDIA, SINGAPORE

Kampong Glam

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3PleohHUCW/

Where to stay in Singapore:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Thailand

BANGKOK (BKK)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-BKK): 2 hours and 45 minutes

Bangkok is known to have a lot of direct flights to Southeast Asia destinations, including flights to Brunei Darussalam. It is also a good transit point to many Southeast Asian destinations.

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Bangkok:
direct flights from brunei

Places to Visit in Bangkok:

Grand Palace Bangkok

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4PJKFmHda1/

Wat Arun

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4ATGnlnWM9/

Soi Nana (Chinatown)

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5K4FMbH6pU/

ALSO READ: BANGKOK, THAILAND TRAVEL: 11 AMAZING THINGS IN 24 HOURS

Where to stay in Bangkok:

ALSO READ: 5 REASONS TO CHECK-IN AT THE JOURNEY HOTEL LAKSI BANGKOK

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY (SGN)

Non-Stop Flight Time (BWN-SGN): 1 hour and 55 minutes

One of the nearest destinations to Brunei outside Borneo, Ho Chi Minh city also operates a lot of flights to Brunei Darussalam and other destinations to Southeast Asia

Airline that flies directly from Brunei to Ho Chi Minh City:
direct flights from brunei

Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City:

Bitexco Financial Tower

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlzLffWnr7_/

Ben Thanh Market

Cu Chi Tunnels

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City:

See? I told you there is a lot of flights from Brunei Darussalam! There are so many direct flights to Southeast Asia and direct flights from Brunei is just one of the many destinations to choose from. Are you ready to draft your ultimate Southeast Asian itinerary covering these amazing destinations and hop on that plane to take one of the next direct flights from Brunei?

ALSO READ: THE BEAUTY OF LEARNING ABOUT SOUTHEAST ASIA