It was my first time to Surabaya and we had only a few hours to see what Surabaya had to offer once we left the cruise ship. It was time for a quick decision and I decided that visiting a submarine parked smack in the middle of the city seems like a good idea. That, and that there are a couple of shopping malls where we could spend our time afterwards made the decision easier to make.
After a 15 minute taxi ride from North Quay where our cruise ship was berthed, to the city center, I could see the hulking shape of a submarine rising above the trees. Locally known as Monumen Kapal Selam, or Submarine Monument, this is a decommissioned Russian submarine from the cold war era that has been turned into a museum.
The submarine was built in Vladivostok, Russia in 1952. The Indonesian Navy bought it in 1962 and was the first submarine owned by the country. In 1995 the submarine was decommissioned and transported here to be assembled as a museum. The entrance fee is IDR 10,000 or SGD 1, really cheap if you ask me. The ticket covers entry into the submarine itself. You climb up the stairs near the front of the submarine and exit at the rear. It’s quite straight forward until you realize how cramped the inside of the submarine is. If you have claustrophobia, this isn’t the place for you.
Here are some quick facts about this submarine
Weight: 1,340 tons
Speed: 13 knots
Endurance: 166 hrs submerged
Propulsion: 2 diesel electric motors
Armament: 12 torpedoes
There is a small water park for kids just beside, but we did not visit it. If you have a short time in Surabaya, this could be an interesting place to visit especially if you are crazy about military vehicles. The park itself is rather lacking so don’t expect too much in terms of facilities for visitors. For ourselves, we spent about 30 minutes here and continued to the nearby Surabaya Plaza and Grand City Mall for lunch and some shopping before heading back to North Quay.