4D/3N Backpacking Bromo & Ijen Without A Tour (Part 2) : Prima Taxi Ride

        Our very first day at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya saw us being scammed for the purchase of a local 3G internet prepaid SIM card/pack by a middle-age man who seems to monopolise the market there. For a detailed account of that incident, kindly read it here.

        Our next scam experience came right after – during the process of looking and booking for a taxi within the airport terminal itself! Here is how it happened…remember the female personnel I mentioned at the information counter? Common sense told me to ask her for the estimated taxi fare from the airport to Surabaya Gubeng Train Station. I was told it costs about Rp.130,000 per way.

       With that, we bid farewell and proceeded to what looks like a “taxi booking counter” located nearby the airport entrance and were instantly approached by a woman dressed in batik that looks like a uniform. She asked where we were going and innocently, we told her our destination. She then informed us the taxi fare was Rp.160,000 and proceeded to book a taxi for us at the counter, instructing us to pay the amount mentioned. I refused and questioned her about the fare. When she insisted that we pay that amount for the taxi, my sister and I simply walked away.

        Seeing us being street smart and not that easily fooled, she gave up her efforts and directed us to one of the automated taxi booking teller machines located on the left side of the airport's main entrance, in front of the information counter. Pfft...why did not I notice those machines earlier? That could save us from the hassle and some time! She then helped us to book our taxi by clicking on certain menus and keys on the screen.

        Lo and behold, the amount we needed to pay for the journey was only Rp.125,000, Rp.35,000 less from the amount she insisted earlier!! After we got our booking receipt, we walked towards the foyer of the building and showed our booking receipt to one of the taxi drivers waiting outside. There, we found our taxi driver, hopped into his taxi and headed towards our next destination – Surabaya Gubeng Train Station.

        There is one more thing you need to know – almost every taxi driver will charge you a so-called compulsory parking ticket/entrance fee if he drops you off at the airport, train station, bus station or anywhere that charges a parking ticket/entrance fee. It does not matter whether you already paid the fare in advance or not, he will proceed to bill you the parking/entrance fee when you get off the taxi. Twice we took a taxi and twice we were asked to pay the extra fee by the taxi driver, so do allocate some extra cash in hand just for that purpose.

Up next: My first impression of Surabaya Gubeng Train Station, plus my first long distance train ride experience in East Java!

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