There are plenty of awesome places to visit in Indonesia thanks to the thousands of equatorial islands and massive population. One city worth adding to your itinerary is the Malang, one of the biggest in eastern Java. Its popular with both locals and tourists thanks to its variety of historic landmarks, culturally important venues and a wealth of tourist activities to get involved in to. So here’s my short guide to Malang and why you should visit.
Things to see
The’s a couple of really obvious reasons to come here, it’s the gateway to the two volcanic mountains on the island. Mount Semeru and mount Bromo. The first being some 3,676 m tall and fairly active too, its last eruption was in 2015. While mount Bromo is is the little brother at 2,329 m high but even more active having last erupted in early 2016. There are plenty of activities taking you closer to both of them, most of which start and end at Malang so for the best deals on treks and tours you’ll find many of them at hotels and tour operators in the city.
One of my favourite places to visit in Malan is Ijen Boulevard where you can take a stroll and do some people watching amongst the old colonial buildings. Bouyain villa is well worth checking out and there’s an old catholic church here too making this early a wealth of history and an education in to Indonesia’s past. There’s also Singosari Temple located in the north of Malang which is one of the best preserved Hindu temples on the island of Java, dating back to the 14th century. Its a short taxi ride away and well worth checking out. If temples are your thing then be sure to visit Badut, Kidal and Jago templates.
Where to stay
There’s plenty of accommodation options thanks to the city being both of local importance and a tourist hotspot. For the best deal I recommend an easy online hotel booking for the most value for money and to book ahead. Check out one hotel worth a mention, the Swiss Belinn Malang hotel as its perfectly located for major tourist attractions and easy to get to from the city airport too. They have all the facilities you’d want from a city hotel and at a very reasonable price too.
How to get there
The city airport, Abdul Rachman Saleh, is mostly domestic flights from major islands and serving the capital of java too. There’s plenty of competition here so you should be able to find a good price and flying at a time that suits you. There are plenty of other transport options available depending on where you’re coming from. If your flight comes in to Surabaya Juanda Airport its around a 2.5 hour drive to Malang. From Jakarta there are plenty of use services usually running overnight and trains from both Jakarta and Bandung too. The station in Malang is also very central so its a great option if you plan on saving some money and getting right to the heart of the city.
Once you’re in Malang much of what you’d want to see is fairly walkable but there’s plenty of cheap transport to get you places. Look out for the “Mikrolets” which are minivans picking up random passengers and usually costs about 16p (about 25 cents) to get you anywhere! Definitely the best way to get round if your feet are sore.