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IT’S NOT every hotel that comes with its own Spider-Man.

But at a high-rise hotel in the East Java province of Indonesia, a window-washer is dressed in a superhero costume to amuse guests.

He’s dangling outside the hotel in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-biggest city with more than 3 million people. For visitors to Surabaya, spotting such a Spider-Man could be a welcome diversion in the traffic-thronged city, known more for business travel than tourist attractions.

For visitors who pause in Surabaya, rather than just changing planes, trains or buses, the city has bustling, chaotic areas that reflect Indonesia’s cultural mosaic, including a Chinatown, Arab quarter and dilapidated Dutch-style buildings, a relic of Indonesia’s days as a Dutch colony. And, perhaps, a U.S.-style attraction in the form of Spider-Man, dangling off a hotel.

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Kristin R. Jackson is The Seattle Times NWTraveler editor. Contact her at