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Martin & Cheryl Do Indonesia! Special Guest Star, Rick!

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And Widalia insisted we go on the Air Race. That was my last time, everyone.


I have yet to try an Air Race ride; somehow, I doubt that I will.

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Thanks for reading and thanks for the comments, everyone.


This part of the report includes our failed trip to Trans Studio in Makassar, and the next day's parks that we did in daylight, leaving that evening's parks for the next update. Advance apologies for the snarkiest update so far.


Let's begin.


We woke up at our beautiful hotel in Bandung.


Ate a hearty Asian hotel breakfast.


Drove back to Jakarta Airport and boarded this flight to Makassar, which is on the island of Sulawesi. It's a 2-hour flight.


We arrived in Makassar, checked in to the airport hotel, and got a taxi to the city. Trans Studio is inside a mall. It's about 7pm and the mall is scheduled to close at 10pm.


And the ticket office is closed.


Whoops. Two hour flight for nothing. Shit.


After a night in the shittiest hotel ever (Avoid the ibis Hotel at Makassar Airport at all costs), we had an early flight to Surabaya.


Garuda Indonesia is part of SkyTeam, and so is a Delta affiliate. Now I don't know what the hell we were thinking, but I find it interesting that, on the very same day the New York Times ran a front page article highlighting Indonesia's poor air safety record (http://nyti.ms/1BlxHwv), we booked plane tickets on an Indonesian airline. We survived all 3 internal flights on Garuda. Surabaya, you may recall, was the origin city of Air Asia 8501.


Once we landed in Surabaya, we met our driver at the airport and proceeded to drive south to Batu.


This is our first destination, Jawa Timur Park 1.




Looks cool.


Worth noting Dutch influence. Kantoor is the Dutch word for "office".


Weekday visit comes to a whopping USD$4.60.


Two of four credits down!


Nicely themed entrance, in any case.


Guest star Rick takes in the grand entrance plaza.


Jawa (Java) is home to ancient human civilizations (think Java Man), and those aboriginal cultural roots are celebrated in the entrance area.


Rick leads us into the park.


Rick has a spontaneous harem form around him. We will call him "Big Love Rick".


A science center. As you might guess, lots of school kids.


Beautiful grounds with Indonesia/Java-themed displays.


This was a first. This "ride" was 3 flume logs chained together with an outboard motor on the lead log.




A patriotic Indonesia display that we did not visit. Everything I know about early Indonesian politics I learned from "The Year of Living Dangerously".


Animatronics gone bad.


Ulat Coaster was not down, but actually operating, but no amount of Rick trying to bribe the operator would get him to relax the height restriction. We saw the op almost cave, as the increasing bribes approached his monthly salary.


Volcano Coaster down.


Looked like fun.


Clown does not find Rick tasty.


Some weird ass random themeing.


Like this.


Finally a working credit that will let us ride.




Actually some nice topiary.


This seemed to be a seminal moment, when Javans stopping for photos started to get out of hand. I guess Westerners are rare in East Java.


My hair is getting frizzy from the humidity.


The powered Jet Coaster was fun.


There's a water park too.


A dark walk through. There were a lot of these around and they were actually decent.


Rick and a staffer check their phones.


We then headed off to Jawa Timur Park 2, aka Batu Secret Zoo, which has a hotel with strange architecture. Meanwhile, a camel appears to have discovered the new taste sensation that is Rick's arm.


That's USD$5.77.


Richard B. has commented on the oddity of the "Batu Secret Zoo" name. Not a well-kept secret.


You must navigate a meandering zoo to get to the rides.


I love primates of all sorts.


There were some decent crowds.


White wallaby!


No idea what the hell these are.


We have noticed a fondness for American prairie dogs (or gophers?) at Asian zoos.


Shark Coaster credit!


We're happy when we see a credit!


Apparently your Tinggi has to be 100cm but fortunately they didn't check.


And here's an actual highlight: A woodie! Sweet. There are actually 2 wooden mouse coasters in Indonesia.


These are actually fun.


I liked this one. My favorite is the one at Blackpool.


Bizarre tilt-a-whirl.


We're getting hungry. Little did we know.


Another haunted walk-through.


I liked this photo so much I posted it on Facebook at the time.


And Jawa Timur Park 2/Batu Secret Zoo wins the award for worst theme park pizza ever. Appears to be a Japanese product. We also had the confusing/annoying must-put-money-on-a-card-to-buy-food-system. Hey, if you're looking for really good theme park pizza, Cheryl and I were at Adventureland in Long Island on Friday. It's definitely pizza parlor quality.


Next update: The Sad Beauty of Taman Remaja Surabaya and the new Suruboyo Carnival Night Market. Hope you enjoyed.

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I really liked these 2 parks. Both well themed, and staff was very helpful. I totally think the ride op would of let us on if his boss had not walked by....... i didnt even realize i was offering him a months salary until later (which was only about $30 if i remember correctly).


The one think i liked about all these parks were they actually had shirts! until i got home and the one from Batu actually melted in the Dryer.......

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I really liked these 2 parks.


Even the one where the giant clown tried to eat you?

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As someone who books many hotels I'd love to hear the story of why the Ibis (usually a decent go to brand) was so terrible!


Doing this segment of the trip report prompted me to finally do a TripAdvisor review of that hotel. It's pending now but I'll share the link as soon as it's up. *evil laugh*

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I really liked these 2 parks.


Even the one where the giant clown tried to eat you?


That was the best part!!


And that Ibis was HANDS DOWN the worst hotel i have ever stayed in. The stench of feces in my room was terrible! Honestly that 6 hours we spent there was the worst!


When we go back to get this credit, in and out in one day!

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When we go back to get this credit, in and out in one day!

Or, maybe this is a sign that perhaps you should just let this one slide and go back to GOOD parks that have GOOD hotels nearby instead.

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When we go back to get this credit, in and out in one day!

Or, maybe this is a sign that perhaps you should just let this one slide and go back to GOOD parks that have GOOD hotels nearby instead.


I did have an epiphany yesterday..... We will see how long it lasts

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I am enjoying the TR as well. Weird parks are generally interesting. Also i am reminded why I'd rather go to good parks and enjoy myself rather than go to very obscure places for super rare credits. That being said, you guys should keep being you.

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I have a particular sweet spot for bad/obscure Asian parks. And also a really-wanted-to-love-it / wish-I-loved-it-more relationship with Indonesia. So I'm really enjoying this TR, thanks for posting. Those old wooden mouses are on my list. We weren't able to get out to that area last time we were in the country, but maybe one day!

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Always love your reports Martin, as I'll likely never go anywhere near any of these places. Thanks for posting for us.

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When we go back to get this credit, in and out in one day!

Or, maybe this is a sign that perhaps you should just let this one slide and go back to GOOD parks that have GOOD hotels nearby instead.


I did have an epiphany yesterday..... We will see how long it lasts



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I was astounded when I first saw the pictures of the log flume boat ride on Facebook, and it's no less amusing now. So bizarre...


Always fun to read your reports and see these parks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm finally partially recovered from my jet lag so that I can post another segment of this report. I was trying to do this last night after having taken a sleeping pill and I literally couldn't see the screen. Slightly better after finally getting some actual sleep during actual night-time hours. Here we go. First, here's a video, which I finally understood how to embed. Sorry it has facebook-y stuff with it. [fbvideo]



As promised, I wanted to show you pictures of the lovely Taman Remaja Surabaya. It had some real charm at night, with lots of cheap but oddly beautiful light sculptures made of inexpensive light ropes and such. Unfortunately, the park was completely dead at its evening opening time and we were practically the only guests. We were told that the newer park (Suroboyo Carnival, where we were next headed), was taking away what little business they had. So a pall hung over this charming but sad place.


The operator hadn't shown up yet for the "big" coaster, so we got the Wacky Worm credit.


These cheesy but charming light scultptures were all over.




Cheap light ropes made for a great entrance to the...


Ghost House!




Great Cars


And the Devil


There were lots of these cheap light things all over. It was beautiful in the dead quiet. As I said, there were few, if any, other guests. Note shark and crocodile theme, which will come up again.


We finally did get on the larger credit.


Here's a photo as dusk was falling.


And a little bit later.


Thank you for a beautiful evening, green fellow.


I think it had been raining on and off all day, and a longer shower hit as we moved across town to the new park, Suroboyo Carnival. It was at least drizzling, but we hoped to get on the two credits.


Oooh, street performers. There were a few more customers here, but not that many more, thanks to the rain.


This park has the obvious advantage of being new and fresh.


Sura/Suro and Boya/Boyo are the amazing Shark and Crocodile team from whom the city get its name. It's the 2nd largest city in Indonesia, with a metro area population greater than 5mm, according to Wikipedia.


The theming continues in the restrooms!


The rain was dying off, but they wouldn't open the first credit, so we just waited on a bench on the platform. I think the ops were a bit annoyed with us waiting there (I was too tired to care), but eventually they chatted with us a little bit. And eventually they started testing. It was touch and go for a few minutes because it looked like the track was too slippery and the car valleyed before the lift chain, but eventually they got it going.


Thanks for the credit guys!


There were a lot of rides, but I didn't get a lot of good photos, thanks to the darkness, and my laziness. I was starting to lose it at this point of the trip. Jet lag and exhaustion were catching up and making me snappy and impatient. This was a really weird haunted walk-through.


There was some okay theming.


This is the only picture I can find of the other credit, which we got without any waiting.


There were a TON of souvenir shops, which might explain why we the name is sometimes Suroboyo Carnival Night Market.


Most of the shops had the same set of park t-shirts, but they were actually pretty nice so I got two. Here's one. Thanks for visiting Surabaya with us. Next stop will be Wisata Bahari Lamogan!

Edited by milst1
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I like these trip reports of obscure parks in less prominent destinations. The rides always seem to be interesting and sometimes the parks seem really random (which is fun).

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How was the "Pirate Ghost Ship"?


If i remember correctly (Which i might not, this trip was awhile ago) it was mediocre. it was a walk through, but with no scare actors.


i do remember the "dark ride" that was a train that went through these random rooms and outside. that was decent.


This park seemed like they tried really hard, but didn't quite execute it....

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I also remember the Ghost House being a decent dark ride, and the Pirate Ghost Ship was just bizzare. See photos.


Also, here's a video from the train ride at Suroboyo Carnival.




Pirate Ghost Ship at Suroboyo Carnival Night Market


Pirate Ghost Ship at Suroboyo Carnival Night Market

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  • 4 weeks later...

We've been traveling so much that I've fallen way behind on this and all other reports. Today we take you to East and Central Java for Wisata Bahari Lamongan and Wonderia, in that order. Interestingly, many of the airports in East Java are closed at the moment, due to the eruption of Mount Raung. Once again, I visited a seismically active country and nothing happened. I know that I'm being stupid, but I am terribly curious as to what an earthquake feels like. Here's to hoping that I never find out.


This is the well-themed entrance to Wisata Bahari Lamongan, aka WBL. The park is on the shore of the Java Sea.


This was a Thursday, so the entrance price was about US$4.62.


The guests at this park seemed very interested in taking photos with us.


It started innocently enough. Cheryl had started taking pictures with her phone as well.


The whole family wants in!


And still more.


And still more.


Around this point I got a call from one of the managers of Jawa Timur Group, who own the park. We had contacted them earlier about getting the kiddie credit at Jawa Timur Park I. I walked away to chat for a bit.


And this is what I saw when I turned around. It got totally out of hand. We started running away from people to avoid being photographed again.


There was one credit, the wooden mouse, which was not as smooth as the one we had ridden at Jawa Timur Park 2.


And there was this powered, which was fun, right on the water.


This park was a real hodge podge. There were miniatures...


...nicely themed natural scenes...


...and utterly bizarre theming elements.


There were also some decent flats.


And it was a big park. This was the wooden mouse from a distance.


The funniest and strangest thing we encountered was the "Cat Museum".


There were informational displays.


"Pussy on vacation to WBL"


And then lots of actual cats.


Although I wasn't sure how genuine the breeds were. I guess the Himalayans were real, but this didn't look like a Maine Coon, for instance.


And there were several hallways like this.


And then a huge meandering cat sculpture garden.


I think it took five minutes to walk past the sculptures.


Bizarre but fun.


We did a huge indoor haunted hospital walk-through also.


Camel rides. Then we hopped back in the car and headed to Semarang, which is the capital of Central Java. That was a trip and a half, or 2-3 hours plus 5 hours for traffic. Good thing we had GPS, because the driver had no idea how to find the Crowne Plaza in Semarang.


The next day we visited Semarang's park, Wonderia.


This park sold us entrance tickets, yet seemed abandoned. We had to search for an operator and ticket seller for the ride.


The park was not in good shape. The only people there were attending some large meeting of women around a huge outside table (I didn't photograph them). It was more like a public park with a 50 cent admission fee.


We then found the "big" credit.


But we were told that it's not running anymore.


So you'll see it as SBNO in rcdb now.


It was like one of those abandoned amusement parks on the internet, except that this one is actually still "open" for business.


One bright spot, sort of, was the dark ride.


I wonder if the eyes still light up.


The dark ride "operated" in complete darkness with not a single gag. At one point, the power went out and we were just sitting there in pitch black. We yelled to each other in the darkness. Eventually the power came back on. Creepy.


Found this in the exit area wreckage.


And that was our brief visit to Wonderia in Semarang.


Then it was on a plane back to Jakarta. Thanks for joining us for this update!

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