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Surabaya Indonesia

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Thing To Do & See

House of Sampoerna

Just northwest of Jembatan Merah is the city’s best-presented attraction, the House of Sampoerna which is the home of one of Indonesia’s most famous kretek cigarette manufacturers. Whatever you think about the tobacco industry, this factory and museum makes a fascinating place to visit. The building itself is a wonderful 19th-century Dutch structure, originally an orphanage but later converted into a theatre (indeed Charlie Chaplin once dropped by). The former lobby now forms the museum and is something of a shrine to the Sampoerna empire, with exhibits on the use of cloves and the history of kretek in Indonesia alongside uniforms and drums of the Sampoerna marching band and other quirky company curios.

Old City

Even though much of Surabaya's historical centre is literally falling to pieces, the old city easily wins the 'Most Attractive Neighbourhood' prize. With crumbling Dutch architecture, strong Chinese influences and an Arab quarter, it's also the most interesting and idiosyncratic.

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