Blessed with green and leafy colonial boulevards, and a breeze that brings that takes the edge of an Asian summer, Malang has lots to offer a tourist. It’s a city that moves at quite a leisurely pace, though carries the weight of a considerable cultural hub.
It’s an easy place to get around and many of the tourist parts of the city are quite walkable. Find best hotels by staying in the centre at reasonably-priced places like the Everyday Smart Hotel Malang. It has has modern rooms and you’ll get easy access to mosques, museums and shopping as well as a tasty selection of restaurants and cafes nearby.
Take a walk
Today, the city’s colonial past is slipping beneath the smart buildings and stretching developments as Indonesia’s economy booms so make the time to visit now and and enjoy the stunning Hindu temples and traditional sights outside the city. With its good accommodation and great local cuisine (try the bakso baka or grilled meatballs). Malang is an excellent base to explore this intriguing corner of East Java, full of waterfalls, volcanoes and national parks.
If you want to get a feel for Malang itself, the City Hall Monument is a good spot to stretch your legs. It’s a nice green space to stroll through and there’s always snack vendors in and around the park to keep you cool and well-fed. Go at night and see the large display of artificial flowers lit up.
See the sights
Moving on, the Museum Malang Tempo Doeloe is definitely worth its entry fee. It’s small but does a good job of explaining Malang’s history, all the way from pre-historic times, and the dawn of civilization right through the poignant photo collections from the Dutch colonial period and then onto Japanese occupation and the struggles for peace in Indonesia. There’s some really interesting photo opportunities and the guides speak excellent English. And if you work up an appetite with all the photo taking, there’s a large restaurant on-site.
And if you’re looking for something with more fun than culture you can spend a day at the Hawai Waterpark with its really fun (but fast) slides that give you an adrenaline rush to remember! There are so many slides across the park that each of them is a totally different experience. It’s nice to chill if you are travelling alone but children will absolutely adore it. Don’t forget to try the huge wave pool which sends walls of water higher than your head (though this one is probably not for the little ones!)
What a view!
The final thing to mention (as it’s actually just outside the city) is easily the most impressive on the list. The Mount Semeru volcano is located around 50 km (two hours journey) from the city itself but tours are easily organised and it’s not a difficult trip. Use Malang as a base in the area then take a few days to trek, or ride, up the side of this sleeping giant. The terrain gets tougher the further up you go but the views are spectacular!
Malang is a city that’s soaked in the culture of the past and the energy and enthusiasm for life that’s turning Indonesia into a global giant. Take a trip and see everything this spirited city has to offer.