Malang, A Must-Visit City in East Java.
Malang has given a special memory to me for some reasons. In this green and cold city I was born 49 years ago and spent my childhood for more than 10 years before I moved to another city. Positive remembrance like childhood memory, in fact is not the only reason why people always consider to visit Malang again-again, what I want to say that Malang is not only attractive as a hometown but the city also has other temptations that others see it a worth visiting place. Believe it or not, a trusted local person told me that almost all east java government officials have at least one house in Malang, that gives another prove how the city is liked .
Malang as a second home.
Malang is a friendly city in term of atmosphere and cost of living . As I've mentioned before that this city has a nice climate which is suitable for those who want to relax, try to take a break after facing tiring life activities and be away from the tense of business oriented cities. Because of those reasons many busy people from surrounding cities visit Malang as their second home on weekends or holidays . They'll enjoy fresh air plus other attributing attractions including its culinary and tourism destinations which can recharge those people with new energizing spirit . What makes it more attractive that people living in Malang don't have to worry about the costs since this apple city is also friendly to our budget, and I've proven that after visiting the city for a week in end of August this 2012.
Malang, a favorable city for education.
There 4 state universities and more than 30 private universities and higher education levels available in Malang, not to mention hundreds of schools. If every university accepts 400 examinees, then at least 13,600 new students enter universities in Malang every year. One of the big and prestigious state universities in Indonesia which is located in Malang is Brawijaya University boasting as World Class Entrepreneurial where thousand of senior high school graduates compete every year to be accepted in the university. Students who are not accepted don't have to upset since there are also other universities with good reputation besides Brawijaya where they can choose as alternative. One of big, excellent private universities in Malang where around 20,000 local and foreign students study is Muhammadiyah University.
Conducive climate and economy become the main consideration why students want to stay in Malang to study. They say the nicely cold temperature of the city, the compromising cost of living including the available accommodations and food, more varied majors taught, and study facilities are the main factors in choosing a place/city to get higher education.
Malang as a Tourist Destination.
There is no doubt about Malang as a tourist destination since there are many attractive places in and at outskirt of the city. Here are some of them.
Many tourism spots near Malang located in Batu which is only around 19 km away from Malang and very easily reached by car, public transports or motorcycle for about 20 minutes. Batu administratively used to be part of Malang city until 2001 when it became an independent city until now. Because of its varied recreation areas, Batu is also called a tourism city. There are at least 7 interesting, beautiful places you can visit when you are in Batu:
Alun-alun (City Square)
Coban Rondo Waterfall
Songgoriti , and
Jatim (East Java) Park.
Alun-Alun Batu or Batu City Square is a place in the heart of the city where many activities take place. Tourists mostly come here to buy Batu's main commodities like apples, strawberries, potatoes, orchids, flowers, vegetables, fresh milk and even rabbits.
Apples, strawberries, and potatoes are sold not only as fresh fruits but also in their derivatives various fruit pickles and chips, potato chips so that they have added values and last on the shop shelves longer.
Coban Rondo. Coban Rondo is a beautifully scenic place at the feet of Panderman mountain where people can go hiking starting from Sepalu village and finish at a wonderful-30 m waterfall. Other activities like bird watching and white water rafting can also be great things to do here.
Mt. Panderman. Mt. Panderman is one of the mountains surround Malang and from Songgokerto in Batu this mountain gives its best appearance and near to climb. Hiking and mountain climbing, bird watching while you enjoy the beauty of Panderman is very recommended.
Selecta. Selecta is one of the oldest tourism places located in Batu city which is very popular from generation to generation. This comfortable area was established by a Dutch man named Ruyter de Wildt in 1930s and later often used as a rest resort for the Dutch officials to have holidays. The reputation of Selecta as a favorite resort area didn't stop in the Dutch era. The country's founding fathers as well the first President and Vice President of Indonesia: Mr. Soekarno and Mr. Moh Hatta also liked to visit Selecta in their holidays.
Situated in the high lands at 1500 m from the sea level and can be reached around 1 hour from Malang, this exotic place is surrounded by some mountains: Welirang, Arjuno and Anjasmoro. Carpeting gardens of various flowers vastly seen there and all composed in very well designs.
P u n t e n. Punten is one village which has some uniqueness. Besides its potential in natural beauty and fertile soil so that beautiful gardens are found there, Punten's industrious people also grow various flowers, vegetables, and fruits particularly apples which have become the main income of the are . Punten also has admirable fine and culture in its society and now it is being intensified by Batu local government to be one of Batu's main attractions and traveling destinations.
Songgoriti. If you want to find the trail of Majapahit, the biggest kingdom in Southeast Asia ruling in 15th century then you should come to Songgoriti, a village located around 2 km from Batu downtown. At Songgoriti you can find a Hindu Temple called Supo temple and don't forget to bathe with spring water there which is believed to be able to heal illnesses. Songgoriti is also a nice place for hiking, enjoying the beauty and freshness of nature.
Jatim (East Java) Park. Jatim Park is very suitable for family recreation since it offers entertainment as well education for all members of families. Jatim Park facilitates visitors with attractions ranging from outdoor activities like agricultural learning (agro park), enjoying adrenalin-pumping rides, and to make Jatim Park positively unusual that it has educative sections like prehistorical venue, Biology and chemistry science center, Papua and East Java ethnic gallery, and many other venues.
Brantas river and valley.
Brantas river is another legendary landmark of Malang city that makes the river and Malang inseparable identity. Brantas river can be beautifully viewed from different sides in Malang and one place to look at its rarely seen parts are from Mergosono and Temenggungan areas. Brantas historical stories have also made tourists from The Nedherland come to Bantas areas to enjoy nostalgic moments when they lived in Malang.
Taking a stroll in Malang.
Malang is a nice city for pedestrians. Besides its moderately cold-to-warm climate, specially during morning and afternoon, shady streets which are shadowed by the tree canopies, most of them have become the witnesses of Malang history, create enjoyable times when strolling in Malang streets. Many Albizia (Samanea saman), Canary (Canarium ovatum), and Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) trees flank the streets.
Those old, tall trees had also left beautiful remembrance of my childhood when my friends and I combed the bushes under and near canary trees to look for ccanary fruits which dropped in the night. After we collected them then we broke the hard shells with a rock and joyously enjoy the canary savory seeds together.
Tamarinds "race" had also decorated my memory about Malang. Like other boys of my age, I used to gather with my friends swimming, dragon fly hunting, hiking or just hang around together. Tamarind race started just some seconds after we all heard a sudden sound "Crackckck!", a familiar sound for us signaling some tamarinds had fallen. First, we would look to one another faces among us, some seconds afterward we would try to be the fastest reaching the old, sourly sweet fallen tamarinds.
Don't worry about taking a stroll in Malang. The city is nice enough for walking and if your legs are weary and you think you don't want to continue walking, just take a public transport anywhere you like. Public transport fares in Malang are cheap, around 2500 - 3000 rupiahs (+/- 3 US dollars) and they go to all directions in the city.
Becaks or three-wheeled cabs are also commonly seen and worth trying. Their fares are negotiable ranging from 5000 to 10,000 rupiahs (around 0.5 - 1 USD).Taking becak will surely gives you another sensation in enjoying the atmosphere of Malang.
Don't pass up the culinary attractions.
Malang is very popular city for its culinary attractions in the country. If you want to taste the rare, exotic East Java specialties then Malang is the place to satisfy your wish. Some food experts even see Malang has become the icon enriching national culinary and choose the city as one worth destination in culinary tourism. Here are some of Malang specialties that you should try when you visit this city :
R a w o n.
Javanese beef soup stewed with black nuts. There are many restaurants and food stalls serving rawon but the one which has gained popularity for its rawon dish is Nguling restaurant near Malang main market.
Sego Campur Buk.
Sego campur is rice mixed with beef, lung, tempe, and sayur lodeh (curry made of young jack fruit simmered in coconut milk). It's sold by a lady (locally addressed ''Buk" meaning mam). Some locations in the city selling Sego Campur Buk are next to Brantas gas station, around city station, Kidul Dalem, Kebalen market, and Malang big/main market.
Nasi Goreng and Mie Jowo (Fried rice and Javanese Noodle).
They can be bought at intersection Kasin, Buring, and Lonceng street.
Jajanan Pasar (Market snacks).
They are Malang/Java originally snacks and mostly sold at traditional markets. They are tastily sweet or savory and suitably match Indonesian taste buds that make them very popular to all parts of the country. To buy fresh Jajan Pasar just go to local market or to Malang main market for more varied kinds of them.
Martabak and Terang Bulan (Fried egg kebab and Full Moon Cake).
They are very delicious and every body likes them best. Popular martabak and terang bulan cakes can be bought at Kairo restaurant at Pejagalan, and at Mr. Syaifuddin's restaurant near Rampal field.
It's true that Malang is not only about a beautiful city, so visiting the city without tasting its specialties will not be perfect.