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

In the month of January, my sister and I travelled to Surabaya 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.


The information counter at Juanda International Airport


The First Scam In Juanda International Airport

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 doesn’t have any telecommunications kiosks or counters. 🙁

As a result, I asked a female personnel at the airport’s information counter for help. 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 in the airport. In other words, he seemed to be in control and monopolise the market there.

After asking a few local Indonesians what’s the best Telco for a 3G internet prepaid SIM card/pack, I was recommended simPATI Telkomsel. Without a choice, we bought the SIM card/pack from the man for Rp.30,000 and topped up Rp.20,000for 1G worth of data/internet package with the help of the female personnel at the information counter.


A reliable local 3G internet prepaid SIM card/pack in East Java is simPATI Telkomsel. However, beware of hiked-up prices when purchasing a SIM card/pack in Surabaya as many will try to take advantage by charging foreigners exorbitantly


Exorbitantly Priced SIM Card/Pack Scam

Later, I found out that the prepaid SIM card/packitself costs only Rp.3,000 – the old man sold it to us at a freaking 10 times fold the actual price!! Grr…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. 🙁

So, travellers/visitors to East Java, this is the No.1 scam that you should look out for the moment 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.


To read my list of the Top 5 Tourist Scams in Bromo & Ijen @ East Java, click here. 🙂


Up next: Taxi Prima ride from Juanda International Airport to Surabaya Gubeng Train Station and our experience with the infamous taxi scam

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