Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Java Malang



Malang is a city of great historical significance. It was a seat of major power in Java's Hindu past and the Dutch took a great liking to its relatively cool, fresh climate in the colonial period. Modern day Malang, although significantly urbanised, has retained much of its historical character and a few days looking around this lovely city and visiting nearby places of interest, will be time well spent. In the city centre a great first stop is Ijen Boulevard. This is a quite beautiful street lined with tropical trees against a backdrop of old colonial structures. The street houses a number of interesting buildings including the Brawijaya Army Museum, Immanual Catholic Church and the city library. Nearby Jalan Tugu is home of the city hall (Balai Kota Malang), the Tugu Monument, Aloon-Aloon Bunder (park) and the Tugu Hotel. The latter houses a magnificent collection of Javanese antiques and serves lunch or tea.



Sights and Activities

In a city of such great cultural and historical significance there are lots of cultural attractions and any visitor to Malang should dedicate some time to exploring these.

There are also a number of beautiful sights in the rural areas surrounding the city. Malang is home to multiple temples and mountains, as it is a mountainous region. Several mountains such as Bromo, Panderman and Semeru, surround the city and can be seen in the early morning and evening.

  • Balekambang Beaches (about 60 km south of Malang). There are actually three beaches here: Balekambang, Ngliyep and Sendang Biru. All three are quite beautiful, are close by to each other and locals most often refer to all 3 as just Balekambang. It is best to visit on weekdays as this is a very popular weekend escape and it can get crowded. It is not safe to swim here but these are great relaxation beaches which offer some stunning coastal scenery. There is an offshore island called Pulau Sempu which can be visited by chartering a boat from Sedang Biru beach. At Balekambang beach there are three little islets just offshore which are attached to the beach by walkways. Of the three beaches, Balekambang itself is perhaps the most attractive but all three are worth visiting. The beaches can be easily visited as a da-trip from Malang in a car but for the adventurous there are basic places to stay at and around all three. Rp 10,000.
  • Ijen Boulevard, Malang. This is a quite beautiful street. It is lined with well-tended bougainvillea against a backdrop of old colonial structures. The street houses a number of interesting buildings including the Brawijaya Army Museum, the Catholic Church and the city library. Usually every Sunday, there is an event called "Car Free Day" when almost all of Ijen Boulevard is free of motorised vehicles. There is also a "Pasar Minggu", a traditional market which offers a wide range of items to buy, from traditional foods to clothing, even pets. It starts from 06:00 to around 10:00, depending on the number of events held. You should take in this area as part of a becak or walking tour of the historic downtown area.
  • Padepokan Seni Mangun Dharma (Mangun Dharma Art Centre), Desa Tulus Besar Tumpang, e-mail: Arts centre dedicated to the research, promotion and performance of traditional East Javanese art forms including dance, batik, shadow puppetry and carving. Superb place. Dance performances can be arranged on demand and are of excellent quality as the dancers are trained from childhood. Their motto is Rescuing the Arts of East Java.
  • Purwodadi Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya Purwodadi, Pasuruan), Jl Raya Purwodadi (about 20 km north of Malang), e-mail: Opened in 1941, This is one of the four official botanical gardens in Indonesia (the others being the headquarters at Bogor, Bedugul in Bali and Cibodas in West Java. The 85 hectares of gardens house an impressive collection and the splendid Baung waterfall. edit
  • Taman Rekreasi Senaputra (Senaputra Park), Jalan Brawijaya, Malang. Traditional East Java dances every Sunday morning at 10:00 in the park during the dry season only. Every last Wednesday of the month there is a Wayang Kulit shadow puppet show starting at 22:00. edit
  • Malang Night Paradise (Dino Park Malang), Jl. Graha Kencana Raya No.66, Balearjosari, Blimbing, Kota Malang, Jawa Timur 65126, ☎ +62812 3363 1616, e-mail: 6-11PM. Family entertainment place with 2 theme parks. There are some replicas of dinosaurs.


Those who are interested in the history of Java can visit at least five Hindu and Buddhist temples in the Malang area. They date from between the 8th and 14th century. One of them lies within Malang, for the others one has to get out of town.

  • Badut Temple - a typical Shivaist temple, the oldest of the five though of uncertain date. Located in a western suburb of Malang.
  • Kidal Temple - Main interest of this Shivaist temple are the Garuda reliefs, referring to a story that explains why the Garuda bird figures in the coat of arms of the Republic of Indonesia. Located 12 kilometres east of town.
  • Singosari Temple - This well preserved Hindu temple dates from 1351 AD and has played a role in the rivalry of the great Hindu kingdoms that ruled East Java before the arrival of Islam. Situated in Singosari village, 12 kilometres north of Malang. A visit can be combined with the nearby Ken Dedes recreation area and swimming pool. Ken Dedes was the wife of the first King of Singhasari (later spelled Singosari) and the bathing pools are believed to have been part of the royal court. There are some quite wonderful statues here.
  • Jago Temple – An only partly restored temple, but with fine reliefs on the base depicting Hindu and Buddhist stories. Located in Tumpang village on the road to Bromo at 22 kilometres from town.
  • Jawi temple - A 25 metre-high slender structure that dates from the 13th century. But it looks brand new because it was rebuilt from the remaining rubble in modern times. Situated 44 kilometres north of Malang, west of the main road to Surabaya.



Getting There

By Plane

Abdul Rachman Saleh Airport (MLG IATA). Malang's small airport with a few flights every day mainly from Jakarta on Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, and Citilink. Regional airline Wings Air (subsidiary of Lion Air) also flies to Denpasar, Bali. There are also daily flights from Bandung in a ATR-82 propeller plane. Prepaid taxi from the airport costs (March 2015) Rp 75,000 to the city center. Alternatively, Malang can be reached via Surabaya's Juanda International Airport (SUB IATA), served by many domestic and international flights. From Surabaya airport, you can reach Malang using a private shuttle service (Rp 80,000-100,000/pax), public transportation (DAMRI airport bus to Bungurasih bus terminal, then an intercity bus to Malang, see the main Surabaya article), or taxi. A 95 km journey will take 2-3 hours or more, depending on traffic and mode chosen.

By Train

Overnight train services link Jakarta and Bandung to the Malang railway station. There are many train services every day from Surabaya. One advantage to arriving in Malang by train is that the station is much more central than the long-distance bus terminals. There is also three daily trains from Malang to Yogyakarta (Rp250,000 eight hours) via Solo or you can also go to Yogyakarta via Surabaya. Surabaya is served by economy trains (2/3 hours). there is one train a day to Banyuwangi (ferry port to Bali) (Rp65,000 8 hours) the train goes via Probolinggo, good for visiting Mount Bromo.

By Car

Malang is about 95 km south of Surabaya; 2-3 hr via the Surabaya-Gempol highway, but frequently takes 4 hours to reach.

By Bus

There are frequent bus services into Malang's Arjosari bus station from Bungarasih bus terminal in Surabaya. Non AC from Probolinggo 14,000.



Getting Around

By Car

Formal and informal taxis are available in the city. The two biggest firms offer telephone advance booking and instant ordering: Argo Perdana. ☎+62 341 49044 and Citra Kendedes ☎ +62 341 490555. The new price of a regular taxi after November 2014 petrol increase is first flag fall Rp 6,000 for first one km, Rp 4,350 for every next km, and Rp 43,500 for one-hour waiting (fractional in one minute) including stuck in traffic jam. While the executive taxi is Rp 9,000, Rp6,650 and Rp 66,500 respectively. Both with minimum payment Rp 30,000, because Malang is a big city with low price, so the metering maybe stated lower than Rp 30,000. Conveniently, online ride-hailing-services such as Gojek and Grab are now abundant.

By Public Transport

City mini-vans in Malang, called "mikrolet" or "angkot" by locals, are blue and can be hailed at random. Two- or three- letter acronyms indicate their routes, and journeys are flat-priced at Rp 2,500 for students, indicated by their uniform, and Rp 4,000 for everyone else. There are multiple routes that the mini-vans take, and prices may differ on how far you ride.

Becaks (pedicabs) are a great way to see the city and are easy to find, often on the side of the road waiting for customers.

By Foot

With its relatively cool climate and wide colonial streets, Malang is a good city to walk around. But keep with you an umbrella in the Wet Season (Oct-Apr), and wear cool clothes in the Dry Season (May-Sep). Though Malang has cooler temperatures, it still is a tropical climate.



Keep Connected


Internet is becoming more widely used in Indonesia, and warung Internet (warnet) - Internet cafés - are emerging everywhere. A lot of restaurants and cafés in big cities normally have wireless internet available for free. Internet connection speed in Indonesia varies between ISP and location. Prices vary considerably, and as usual you tend to get what you pay for, but you'll usually be looking at around Rp3,000 to Rp5,000 per hour with faster access than from your own mobile phone. In large cities, there are free WiFi hotspots in many shopping malls, McDonald restaurants, Starbucks cafes, 7 Eleven convenience stores, and in some restaurants and bars. Some hotels provide free hotspots in the lobby and/or in their restaurants and even in your rooms.


See also: International Telephone Calls

You can use 112 as an emergency number through mobile phones. Other numbers include 110 (police), 113 (fire) and 118 (ambulance).
The international phone code is 62.

If you have GSM cellular phone, ask your local provider about "roaming agreement/facility" with local GSM operators in Indonesia (i.e.: PT Indosat, PT Telkomsel, PT XL Axiata). The cheapest way is buying a local SIM card, which would be much cheaper to call and especially use internet compared to your own cell phone's sim card.

The Indonesian mobile phone market is heavily competitive and prices are low: you can pick up a prepaid SIM card for less than Rp 10,000 and calls may cost as little as Rp 300 a minute to some other countries using certain carriers (subject to the usual host of restrictions). SMS (text message) service is generally very cheap, with local SMS as low as Rp129-165, and international SMS for Rp400-600. Indonesia is also the world's largest market for used phones, and basic models start from Rp 150,000, with used ones being even cheaper.


Pos Indonesia provides the postal service in Indonesia. Pos Indonesia is government-owned and offers services ranging from sending letters and packages to money transfers (usually to remote areas which have no bank branch/ATM nearby) and selling postcards and stamps. Sending a postcards, letter or parcel is relatively expensive, but fairly reliable. It takes several days at least to send it within Indonesia, at least a week internationally. It is recommended to send letters from a Pos Indonesia branch, not by putting it inside orange mailbox (called Bis Surat) in the roadside, because some of the mailboxes are in very bad condition and aren't checked regularly by Pos Indonesia. Opening times of post offices usually tend to follow general business hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm (sometimes shorter hours on Fridays), Saturdays from 8:00am to 1:00pm, closed on Sundays. Bigger cities, tourist areas and central post offices tend to keep longer hours, into the evenings.

Private postal services based in Indonesia include CV Titipan Kilat (CV TIKI), Jalur Nugraha Ekaputra (JNE), Caraka, and RPX. There are also foreign postal services that have branches in Indonesia, including DHL, TNT, UPS, and FedEx.



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