Short Hop to Surabaya

Well, it’s been a long time since I last blogged I guess my one-week break is a good time to reconnect myself with blogging. I’ll start with my short journey to Surabaya with Mandala Airlines on the 8th of July, 2010. Don’t bother asking me what was the flight number because I forgot.



My seat was the second last row from behind. It was almost sunset, yeah, and luckily the beaches surrounding Ngurah Rai Airport is facing the west. Pushback began.

Passing the international terminal


Garuda’s brand-new livery airliner ‘moored’ to gate 3/4

Passing all this cargo-and-baggage-related thingy

Turning over, bound for the mangrove side of the runway, isn’t it beautiful?

And finally took off. I think Duran Duran should make a song titled “Reached Out for the Sunset”.

I didn’t took many photos since it was only a 40 minutes flight and my camera sucks (can’t take photo inside a building and Brisbane Open House is this Saturday, and in the darkness hence I relied on my mobile phone’s camera for QBE Riverfire).

Anyway, it was almost time for landing. A snapshot of suburban Surabaya.
It seems like the opening segment of Seven News Adelaide, seriously. See it here.

And the plane that brought me to Indonesia’s second largest city was parked next to ExpressAir.
Isn’t the picture quality sucks? Or was it me who has the inability to take photos?

All in all, it was a nice trip with friendly flight attendants. Hopes Mandala will rock Indonesia’s sky in the years to come. Hoping they could manage their crisis although my fingers are crossed.


SUB – DPS with Lion/Wings Air

Another episode from my trip report, I hope you enjoy it.


Destination: Denpasar, Bali WADD
ETD: 1130 (well, Lion really knows how to delay their flights politely)
ETA: 1300 (refer to my comment above)
Flight: Lion Air JT ??? (I forget what was the flight number)

Long queues in all check-in counters. Lion, you really know how to make people fed up!

And finally manage to check-in and it was 10 minutes to the flight schedule

Going up, sorry for the blur image

This is Juanda Airport, international and domestic check-in counters done in separate terminals but all flights are done under one roof.

The alley of Juanda, travellator can be found very far away from here, somewhere near gate 1.

Security check ahead, will I do silly things to my beloved country?

Inside the boarding room, passengers heading to Bali were really confused as the boarding pass stated that boarding procedure will take place on Gate 3A. When we entered the lounge, gate 3A is waiting for passengers heading to Balikpapan (or was it Mataram). And the actual boarding procedure for passengers leaving for Denpasar took place in Gate 3B.

Inside the aerobridge, the bule (on the right) was quite angry with Lion. Well, Indonesians know that Lion is among the worst airline in Indonesia in terms of service. After that, we went downstairs to catch a bus that will “chauffeur” us to the correct plane.

Lion Air’s Boeing 737-900ER PK-LGI

This is the bus. “Mas, lihat apaan sich?”

Spotted Lion’s MD-90 PK-LIM on board the bus, I could say I miss the old Juanda terminal at the opposite side of the current terminal.

Garuda Citilink Boeing 737-300 PK-G??, Citilink is Garuda Indonesia’s sister company that focuses its service on budget segment to rival Lion and AirAsia Indonesia. It ceased operation in early 2007 and resumed operation in late 2008. Their old livery is more colourful though.

This is my ride, Wings’ MD-82. Lion used to operate MD-82 before it was given to its subsidiary, Wings. Lion is going to focus on the full-service market whereas Wings will be the budget carrier. So far, the plan is somewhere in … never mind, you know most Indonesian businessmen put profit ahead anything else.

This is a compulsory photo in Indoflyer. My ride is registered as PK-LMF. The man is conducting a regular checking.

Could you believe that this plane is older than me? It was manufactured in 1982 and I was born in 1993. In Europe, such planes would have been grounded.

Shabby windows on this old Uncle Douglas.

Batavia’s Boeing 737-400 parked besides Uncle Douglas. I was seated at row 26 and it is near the engines. Fortunately, it was only a 30-minute flight.

Aircraft graveyard near Merpati’s facility, adjacent to the old terminal and TNI-AL hangar.

Another dead planes from Bouraq, a ceased-operating carrier due to low passengers rate and high fuel price at that time (2005). It was one of the oldest carrier in the country, ‘The Big Five’ members (Garuda, Merpati, Sempati, Bouraq, Mandala).

Leaving Surabaya


Near Bali

The waves of Jimbaran Bay as if being stopped by Uncle Douglas’ wing.

Descent, a safe landing at Ngurah Rai airport in Tuban

Going down from the back of the plane

Ngurah Rai airport that afternoon; SIA’s Boeing 777-200, Garuda’s Beoing 737-400, Merpati’s Fokker 28, Mandala’s Airbus A320-200 and Lion’s Boeing 737-900ER

See you next time, Uncle Douglas!

Boarding the bus

Last shot of Uncle Douglas

A staircase being carried

Mandala’s Airbus A320-200

Two state-owned carriers aircraft parked next to each other, the Merpati plane must be from Waingapu or Waikabubak in Sumba island.

Ngurah Rai Domestic Terminal welcomes you with Indosat advertisement.

Crowded baggage claims, they really need terminal expansion.

WADD Control Tower


And that’s the way it was on 22 June 2009. For now, good day.

Suramadu Bridge – Part 3

The third part of my Suramadu Bridge Trip Report. After the report on Suramadu is done, my trip report on the way back to Bali will be available soon.



Stuck on the right, food stalls on the left. What’s going on actually?

I did not manage to edit all the photos so here is one of those edited.

Business booming for Madurese

Limestone hill, the hill was cut through to make way for traffic flowing from Surabaya

Not many people went ahead to see the rest of Madura, some only wanted just to cross the bridge

Use your imagination to decide what was going on with the long queue of cars wanting to go to Surabaya

Despite the availability of electricity in Madura, there was no phone signal at all there especially in Bangkalan

500 metres more to the toll gate

Photograph1685 - 001

Photograph1686 - 001
Don’t follow them! They were able to smile after I took these photos.




They should be more considerate of others. That’s the problem, most of Indonesian motorists and drivers are arrogant.

And finally

There are some reasons why until now I still refuse to learn how to ride a motorbike.

Good bye, Madura

The suspension could be seen from here

People stopping on the left, that is against the law on driving





Welcome back to Surabaya


And that’s the way it was on 21 June 2009.

Suramadu Bridge – Part 1

As I have promised you, I will share with you my personal experience using the bridge. I know it’s a bit late but it’s better than never, sorry for the late-coming.

It was 21 June 2009, I was in Surabaya for a short weekend getaway. In the morning, I went to Holy Shepherd Church for Sunday prayer in Jemur Andayani district, near Kutisari, the place where I usually stay whenever I visited Surabaya. In the afternoon, I went for a lunch to celebrate my aunt’s birthday. After the chow, my cousin drove my mother, my grandmother and I to take a glimpse of Suramadu Bridge at first. Seeing how long the queue of cars there, we decided to cross the bridge.

The sign says “Reduce Your Speed, Suramadu Toll Gate 500 metre”

Do you notice the number of motorbikes queuing just to cross the bridge? Well, in a few months it won’t be the same view.

The car that my cousin drove was Honda Jazz, his car is an 11-year old or 12-year old Isuzu Panther. My uncle asked my cousin to drive on his (my uncle) car instead as my cousin’s car air conditioning system is not working at all and with the humid condition of Surabaya, I could die inside the car once it reached Madura island. Back to the photo, you could see a policeman with his motorbike, I guess, was patiently trying to control the traffic flows.

Here we go again! The traffic jam.

How could a car be on the motorbike way?

Repairing your motor, sir?

Jasa Marga is Indonesia’s highway operator. This photo shows one of its fleet patrolling in Kenjeran district near the Suramadu Bridge and trapped inside the traffic. For your information, the pick-up’s plate number is Jakarta’s ‘B’. Don’t they have any of their fleet with ‘L’ or ‘M’ plate? ‘L’ is the car plate for Surabaya and ‘M’ is for Madura island. ‘DK’ is for Bali.

A police car and ambulance among the vehicles parked by the road.

Jasa Marga’s ambulance on siege just in case anything unexpected happened. I hope nothing like today’s explosion in Jakarta would happen in Suramadu or any other parts of Indonesia again.

“Mohon Maaf Di Bentang Tengah Ada Pemeliharaan Sehingga Perjalanan Anda Terganggu”. Does Jasa Marga understand the Bahasa Indonesia Ejaan yang Disempurnakan? It should be written as “di bentang” instead of “dibentang” as the word “bentang” refers to a place, location and in this context, it does not refer to a verb. The sentence means “We would like to apologise for the maintenance check on the middle platform that caused inconvenience on your journey”.

300 metre seems that long.

This is what I called as abuse of power. Inside the van was not our navy members but their family. “Angkatan Laut” means Navy whereas TNI refers to Tentara Nasional Indonesia or Indonesia National Soldiers.

Some motorbike passengers were desperately waiting to cross the bride. At the back was a poster says “Bayar Tol di Gerbang Masuk” which means pay the toll fee at the gate.

Almost there but not yet

“Gerbang Tol Surabaya” or Surabaya Toll Gate


That’s the first part of my report. Tomorrow, the second part and hopefully the third part could be posted as well. And also, my blog will be running special coverage of Jakarta blasts on “Jakarta Under Attack”. I wish you a pleasant reading. For now, good day/night.


Read my special report for Akhyari’s blog here or at Good News from Indonesia.

DPS – SUB with Mandala Airlines

Second episode from my ‘Trip Reports’, three more to go.

Destination: Surabaya, East Java WARR
ETD: 0700
ETA: 0645
Flight: Mandala Airlines RI 565

This is Denpasar early in the morning around 5.30 am. The location is next to the Renon Square, near governor office. The zebra cross is really, really a … disgrace.

This is where Sunset Road and Imam Bonjol road intersects. A very slow-moving truck is in front, painfully slow.

This is the gate of Ngurah Rai Airport. Only one parking gate is open in the early hour and you can imagine cars queuing up just to enter the airport, a shame to Indonesia’s best airport.
The domestic terminal of Ngurah Rai Airport has been extended but it’s not final yet. More progress is coming up but I don’t know when. After that, I walked into the terminal and went through the airport security check. Checked-in done, went to toilet for a while (nasty toilet) and headed to the second floor to pay the airport tax. Passed through the security check again and trying to find a seat in the small waiting lounge.

Denpasar’s domestic terminal waiting lounge is really poor. You could smell cigarettes almost anywhere even though there is smoking lounges. Insufficient seats as well as dirty terminals. I can’t wait for the further extension project to start.

This is Mandala’s plane Airbus A320-200 but this is not the plane I’m going to board. The plane is going to Yogyakarta. The plane I took has the same livery, same type just different registration which I did not manage to find out.

Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 777-200 9V-SRB is parked at Gate 8 Ngurah Rai International Terminal.

Almost welcome aboard

I didn’t get a window seat so I only managed to get a cabin shot during the flight. Fortunately, I had a nice person sitiing next to me. I believe he is a frequent traveller on this sector. Mandala’s flight schedule to Jogja (the other spelling of Yogyakarta) is different by 15 minutes from their flight to Surabaya. Imagine the chaos it could be. There’s only three gates in Ngurah Rai’s domestic terminal, Gate 15, 16, 17 and 18 (but I’ve never been through this gate before so ignore this). Gate 15 and 16 is just next to each other and imagine if both Mandala flights being called up. What will happen? For your information, Mandala only uses gate 15 and 16. That’s what the person sat next to me said.

And a cabin shot after landing

Inside the aerobridge

Almost out of the aerobridge

This is Juanda airport’s terminal

Going down to pick up luggage

Around the baggage claim

Really East Javanese architecture

The conveyor belt

Outside the terminal

Walking to the car park

That’s my trip report for now, next is TR is to Suramadu Bridge. Apologise for the poor quality.