4D/3N Backpacking Bromo & Ijen Without A Tour (Part 1) : simPATI Telkomsel @ Reliable 3G Internet Prepaid SIM in East Java

        On Monday, 19 January 2015, at 0720 hours, my sister and I left Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) via AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Surabaya (SUB) for our 3D/2N Ijen & Bromo Backpacking Without A Tour (via Public Transportation) @ East Java adventure. The complete travel itinerary can be read here.

        Throughout our two hours and forty five minutes flight, we experienced quite a number of turbulence that made us felt uneasy. On the back of my mind was the recent AirAsia Indonesia (QZ8501) flight disaster that crashed into the Java Sea a week before. I said a little prayer for the victims and prayed for our safe journey, hoping that history will not repeat itself. Thankfully enough, we landed safely at Juanda International Airport, Surabaya as scheduled, at 0855 hours.

Juanda International Airport @ Information Counter

        Upon reaching the airport, the first thing I did was to buy a local 3G internet prepaid SIM card/pack in order to be online and stay in touch with my family. The first thing I noticed about the airport is it does not have any telecommunications kiosks or counters, so I asked the female personnel at the information counter. She then directed me to a suspicious looking man in his forties, which I found out was the person in charge for the sale of prepaid SIM card/packs at the airport. In other words, he controlled and monopolised the market there.

        After asking the locals what is the best Telco for 3G internet prepaid SIM card/pack, I was recommended simPATI Telkomsel. We bought the SIM card/pack from the man for Rp.30,000 and topped up Rp.20,000 for 1G worth of data/internet package with the help of the female personnel at the information counter.

My reliable local 3G internet prepaid SIM card/pack in East Java - simPATI Telkomsel

        Later, I found out that the prepaid SIM card/pack itself costs only Rp.3,000 – the old man sold it to us at a freaking 10 times fold the actual price!! What a sneaky old man! I noticed something was amiss when he sneakily discarded its packaging without letting me see it and when I asked for it, he reluctantly gave it to me. 

        This is the No.1 scam that you should look out for when you step foot in East Java. I have compiled a list of the Notorious Scams at Bromo & Ijen @ East Java that you should be aware of and it can be read here. Not wanting to argue or cause a scene, I rest my case and proceeded to look for a taxi to take us to Surabaya Gubeng Train Station. This is the next scam that you should look out for.

Up next: Taxi Prima ride from Juanda International Airport to Surabaya Gubeng Train Station

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