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When it comes to Indonesian destinations, Sidoarjo might not be the first place that comes to mind. This charming town, located in East Java, often gets overshadowed by its more famous neighbors like Surabaya and Malang. However, what Sidoarjo lacks in popularity, it more than makes up for in its hidden gems and delightful surprises.

A Glimpse into History

Stepping foot in Sidoarjo is like taking a journey back in time. The town is steeped in history, with remnants of ancient temples and archaeological sites scattered throughout the area. One of the must-visit attractions is the Candi Tikus, an underground temple believed to have been built during the Majapahit Kingdom. As you explore the temple, you’ll be amazed by its intricate carvings and mysterious aura.

Indulge in Culinary Delights

No visit to Sidoarjo is complete without savoring its delectable culinary offerings. The town is renowned for its traditional dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. Be sure to try the famous Soto Lamongan, a flavorful chicken soup served with rice and a variety of condiments. If you’re feeling adventurous, sample the local delicacy of Rujak Cingur, a unique salad made with cow snout and a spicy peanut sauce. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a refreshing glass of Es Dawet, a traditional drink made from coconut milk and pandan-flavored jelly.

Nature’s Retreat

For nature enthusiasts, Sidoarjo has plenty to offer. Take a trip to the Mangrove Conservation Area, where you can immerse yourself in the beauty of lush mangrove forests. Explore the boardwalks and spot various species of birds and marine life. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the majestic Javanese eagle soaring through the sky. For a more adrenaline-pumping experience, head to Gunung Anyar Adventure Park, where you can go hiking, camping, and even try your hand at ziplining.

Unleash Your Shopaholic Side

If shopping is your guilty pleasure, Sidoarjo won’t disappoint. The town is home to several traditional markets where you can find an array of unique handicrafts, batik fabrics, and local snacks. Visit the Pasar Pabean, a bustling market known for its vibrant atmosphere and affordable prices. Don’t forget to haggle with the friendly vendors to get the best deals. For a more modern shopping experience, make your way to the Suncity Mall, where you can shop till you drop and indulge in some retail therapy.

Experience the Festivities

Sidoarjo is a town that loves to celebrate, and there’s no shortage of festivals and cultural events throughout the year. One of the most anticipated events is the Grebeg Suro Festival, held annually to commemorate the Islamic New Year. This colorful festival features traditional parades, music performances, and a vibrant market selling local delicacies. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and witness the rich cultural heritage of Sidoarjo firsthand.


Sidoarjo may not be on everyone’s travel radar, but it certainly deserves a spot on your bucket list. From its historical sites to its mouthwatering cuisine and breathtaking natural beauty, this hidden gem has something for everyone. So, the next time you’re planning a trip to Indonesia, be sure to venture off the beaten path and discover the surprises that await you in Sidoarjo.

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