Malang is the second largest city in East Java with a rapidly growing population of about 887,000 in the city (2017), and 2.8 million in the urban area. Modern-day Malang, although significantly urbanised, has retained much of its historical character, remains vibrant and is regarded as by far the most attractive large city in the East Java region.
This is a city of great historical significance. The oldest existing record of Malang as a regency is from the 8th century when it was the seat of government of the ancient Kanjuruhan and Singhasari kingdoms. The city officially became part of the all encompassing Javanese Mataram kingdom in the 17th century which by that time was controlled by the Dutch colonialists. Unsurprisingly given that history, there are several interesting Hindu relics in this area. The city quickly became very popular with the Dutch due to its cool climate, very attractive rural surrounds and easy reach from the main trading port city of Surabaya.
Malang Regency is between two groups of mountains with Mount Semeru, the highest mountain on Java, and Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park to the east. The biggest attraction here is the beautiful landscape; there are some temples not far away.
Tourist information CentresEdit
- East Java Tourist Office, Jl Jendral Basuki Rachmat 6, ☏ .
- Indonesian Guides Association, Jl Semeru 4, ☏ .
- Malang City Tourist Office, Jl Tugu 1, ☏ .
- Malang Travel Guide, Jl Candi 3 No.513, ☏ .
- 1 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/person), 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.
Malang is about 95 km south of Surabaya; 2-3 hr via the Surabaya-Gempol highway, but frequently takes 4 hours to reach.
There are frequent bus services into Malang's 2 Arjosari bus station from Bungarasih bus terminal in Surabaya. Non AC from Probolinggo Rp 14,000.
Overnight train services link Jakarta and Bandung to the 3 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 (Rp 250,000, 8 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) (Rp 65,000, 8 hours) the train goes via Probolinggo, good for visiting Mount Bromo.
Formal and informal taxis are available in the city. The two biggest firms offer telephone advance booking and instant ordering: Argo Perdana. ☏and Citra Kendedes ☏ . The new price of a regular taxi after November 2014 petrol increase is first flag fall Rp6,000 for first kilometre, Rp4,350 for every next kilometre, and Rp43,500 for one-hour waiting (fractional in one minute) including stuck in traffic jam. While the executive taxi is Rp9,000, Rp6,650 and Rp66,500 respectively. Both with minimum payment Rp30,000, because Malang is a big city with low price, so the metering maybe stated lower than Rp30,000.
Online ride-hailing-services such as Gojek and Grab are abundant.
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.
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.
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.
- 1 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 is perhaps the most attractive but all three are worth visiting. The beaches can be easily visited as a day-trip from Malang in a car but for the adventurous there are basic places to stay at and around all three. Rp 10,000.
- 2 Ijen Boulevard (Jalan Besar Ijen). 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.
- 3 Jodipan Colorful Village (Kampung Warna-Warni Jodipan). This village has all houses in it painted colorfully. The village has two areas, Jodipan and Tridi, which are connected by the Ngalam Indonesia Glass Bridge over the Brantas River, the first glass bridge in Indonesia. Rp3,000.
- 4 Padepokan Seni Mangun Dharma (Mangun Dharma Art Centre), Desa Tulus Besar Tumpang, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 5 Purwodadi Botanical Gardens (Kebun Raya Purwodadi, Pasuruan), Jl Raya Purwodadi (about 20 km north of Malang), ✉ email@example.com. 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.
- 6 Singosari Temple (Candi Singosari), Singosari (about 12 km north from Malang). This well preserved Hindu temple dates from 1300 AD and is a reminder of the great Hindu kingdoms that ruled East Java before the arrival of Islam. A visit to the nearby bathing pools at Ken Dedes combines perfectly with Singosari Temple. Ken Dedes was the wife of the first King of Singhasari (later Singosari) and these bathing pools are believed to have been part of the royal court. There are some quite wonderful statues here. The whole area has some other fine relics from the early Hindu kingdoms including Candi Jago and Candi Kidal. Ask your guide or at Singosari Temple for further directions.
- Taman Rekreasi Senaputra (Senaputra Park), Jalan Brawijaya. 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.
- 7 Malang Night Paradise (Dino Park Malang), Jl. Graha Kencana Raya No.66, Balearjosari, Blimbing, Kota, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 6-11PM. Family entertainment place with 2 theme parks. There are some replicas of dinousaurs.
- 1 Kanjuruhan Stadium (Stadion Kanjuruhan), Jl Trunojoyo. Home of Arema F.C., which plays in the Liga 1, the top soccer league in Indonesia.
- Take a tour of this fine old city by becak.
- Visit the many Buddhist and Hindu temples in the area.
- Buy souvenirs at the many bazaars (marketplaces).
- Climb one of the mountains surrounding the city.
- Go to Mount Bromo on your own. There are many "sunrise" tours available to Mount Bromo that can be booked in Malang. This is the "safe" (yet arguably dull) way to get there. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can rent a motorbike and go see the park by yourself. The ride takes about 2-3 hours each way. This ride is also not suggested for inexperienced motorbike drivers and it is not suggested that you do the ride when it is dark, so seeing the sunrise may not be an option unless you want to stay there over night. However, going later in the day guarantees that you will be at the main sights at a time when it is not swarming with tourists and you will have the freedom to chose when to stop, where to eat and where to go. Driving through the "Sea of Sand" on your own bike can be particularly exhilarating, though somewhat challenging. Many of the people working at the hotels will tell you that the roads are too dangerous and that you can't rent motorbikes in Malang. Neither of these things are true. You can rent 150cc manual dirt bikes/ trail bikes for 200,000 rupiah a day from "Moto East Java" (+628123399902) in Jalan Simpang Sulfat Utara 63. The roads heading there and back are usually in pretty good condition after repaving that was completed in early 2016, though they are very steep. Riding with 2 people on one bike may require that the passenger gets off and walks for a few short distances during the steep inclines, but it is by no means not doable. If you head to Cemoro Lawang using a map or GPS, you should have no problem figuring out where to go from there.
But most people visit Malang as a starting point for a trip to the nearby volcanoes, or as a place to enjoy cooler weather for a time.
Malang has some large shopping malls but you are better off in Surabaya for those. But you can visit one of the multiple bazaars that sell all sorts of things from traditional knives to foods to clothing.
Local textiles and handicrafts can be found at Batik Keris, Jl Merdeka Timur 2d.
- Fabulous Spa & Salon, Jl Panderman 1A, ☏ . Offers professional massage and spa treatments in clean and relaxing ambience including body spa, body scrub, Balinese touch massage, manicure and pedicure spa. There is also a hair salon which offers haircuts and styling. Supplies are ordered in small and selected batches to ensure freshness when they are used. Fresh new towels are provided for each guest.
Malls & SupermarketsEdit
- Giant Supermarket, Mog Mall Olymic Garden Jl Kawi Kawman. 10am-9pm.
- Malang Plaza Mall, Jl Agus Sailm, ☏ . 09.30am-9.30pm. Has a big supermarket.
Eating is a highly rated experience here. Local specialities are best sought out at street stalls and simple warungs and include:
- Ayam Goreng Kampung (fried village chicken).
- Bakso Malang. The city's own unique and delicious take on the Indonesian meat ball soup staple. Try Bakso Bakar, literally means "grilled meat ball". The famous one will be the one in Jl Pahlawan Trip, in the corner of the junction with Jl Ijen
- Jagung Bakar (grilled young corn on the cob) is everywhere. Best eaten at a streetside stalls fresh from the coals. Some of them congegrate in Pulosari Stalls.
- Apples (Apel). The highlands around Malang are the apple growing centre of Indonesia and the small green beauties (manalagi) are very highly prized. Eat them here and they are sure to be fresh from the tree.
- Malang's night market on Jalan Merdeka operates every Saturday. A riot of flavours and smells will assault your senses. A must do for any visitor to Malang.
- Bakmi Gajah Mada, Jl Pasar Besar 21. Eastern Javanese noodle dishes at their very best.
- Inggil, Jl Gajah Mada no4, ☏ . Highly rated restaurant specialising in Javanese cuisine.
- Warung Pojok, Jl Pejajeran 25. Very well known for rujak (salad with spicy sweet peanut sauce).
- Martabak Cairo. The kopi jahe is infused with cloves for a powerful and simply decadent taste. Serving martabak, sate kambing and nasi goreng cairo.
- Warung Subuh. Dizzying array of foods, incredibly cheap, fresh and delicious. This place is booming with locals, so you know it's good. A great place to try some new and interesting food and drink.
- Harmoni Restaurant, Jl. Bromo 44, ☏ .
- Kongkow cafe, Jl. Patimura 48 malang, ☏ . Friendly owner who speaks good English and has good knowledge of area. Good and free wifi. Reasonable prices with western movie themed menu. Is about 500 metres northwest of railway station. Corner of Jl. Patimura and Jl. Trunojoyo
- Bakso President, JL. Batanghari No 5, ☏ . 8AM-9.30PM.
- 1 Kedai Remboeg Pawon, Jalan Terusan Sulfat No. 19-21, Pandanwangi, Blimbing, ☏ . M-Sa 10:00-01:00, Sun 10:00-00:00. Original Indonesian coffee blended by pro. Rp 6,000 - 18,000.
Malang is by no means famous for its nightlife, being a more relaxed and less party-intensive city, however there are still some decent bars if you're up for a drink.
- KL Express Cafe, Jl. Villa Puncak Arjuna. 24 hr. 24/7 bar
- Levels Brewhouse, Jl. Terusan Borobudur No. 26. 11:00-01:00. Bar with more rare beer brands and live music.
Malang offers a full range of accommodation through from simple homestays to star-rated hotels.
- Ardjuno, Jl Brigjen Slamet Riadi No 122,, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Windowless house, small rooms with what might be 20-year-old mattresses. The only entrance is 2 steps from a busy main road. A bit distant from the city center but closer to shopping mall Town Square. Free Wi-Fi. (Despite a photo you might find on Google, there's definitely no swimming pool.) From Rp 60,000-130,000.
- 1 Hotel Helios, Jl Patimura No 37, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Clean hotel that is overpriced due to being in a central location and its popularity among Western tourists. They'll send you upstairs to Kampong Tourist if you want a cheap room. Available rooms are Rp 200,000 (fan room) or Rp 280,000 (air-con). Free Wi-Fi. Tours can also be booked next door. from Rp 200,000.
- Kampong Tourist on the top of Hotel Helios, Jl Patimura No 37, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Dutch-owned backpackers hostel on the roof top of Hotel Helios. Great view over the city and the mountains. Choice between a 16-bed bamboo dormitory and three gazebo bamboo huts with 2 quality mattresses, but tiny blankets. Shared very hot showers and toilets. Well-maintained and clean. Free WiFi. Friendly English, Dutch and Indonesian speaking staff. Bicycle rental possible, also two quality mountain bikes (Rp 50,000), towels: Rp 7,500, toilet paper: Rp 3,000. Unfortunately quite noisy from 06:30 due to motorcycle traffic and a nearby Mosque (04:15). The restaurant is slightly overpriced and serves small portions. The banana pancake contains four small banana slices. Tours can be booked at reception. Rp 65,000 dorm, Rp 160,000 gazebo.
- 2 Hotel Palem 2, Jl. Mohammad Husni Tamrin No.15 (Ffom the intersection near Hotel Helios, walk north till the next intersection, the hotel is on the left side 50 m past that intersection (you'll see "Hotel Palem" signs on the street to the left, but it seems to be closed)), ☏ . Basic but relatively clean, rooms are bigger than in Helios. Breakfast included. No Wi-Fi - bring you own SIM card. Little English may be spoken here. From Rp 160,000.
- Pondok Backpacker, Jl Tumenggung Suryo 28. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Air-conditioned, 12-bed, mixed dorm with free breakfast and wifi. Security lockers. Dorm bed Rp 75,000 per person.
- Kavie Hostel, Jl Merbabu 29. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Air-conditioned, 10-bed, mixed dorm with free wifi and self-catering facilities. Dorm bed Rp 75,000 per person.
- Hotel Malang, Jl K H Zainul Arifin No 85-87. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Fan double room with shared bathroom. Rp 115,000.
- 3 Hotel Pelangi, Jl Merdeka Selatan 3, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Centrally located mid-range hotel in the city. From about Rp 400,000.
- The Shalimar Boutique Hotel, Jl Cerme No16, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. A converted colonial building that dates from 1930s. Designed by Dutch architect Ir Mueller. Has been operating as a hotel since 1994. 52 rooms, large swimming pool and restaurant.
- Regent's Park Hotel, Jl Jaksa Agung Suprapto 12-16, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Large 100-room modern hotel which is a little lacking in character but offers good value and service. From Rp 430,000.
- 4 Tugu Hotel, Jl Tugu No3, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The sister hotel of the famous Tugu Hotel in Canggu, Bali, and a similar type of property. It is fitted and furnished with a range of Javanese antiquities. The owners of the Tugu rescued and relocated many splendid old trees here when property developers razed the old Malang botanical gardens. It's in the heart of the old town and looks out on the Tugu Monument which commemorates the independence struggle in Indonesia. A four-star property. From US$105 for a deluxe room up to US$1,000 for the Apsara suite.
- RSUD Dr. Saiful Anwar, Jl. Jaksa Agung Suprapto No. 2, ☏ , fax: .
- RS Panti Nirmala, Jl. Kebalen Wetan No. 6, ☏ , fax: .
- RSU Lavalette, Jl. W.R Supratman No. 10, ☏ , fax: .
- RSI Aisyiyah, Jl. Sulawesi No. 16, ☏ , fax: .
- RST Tk. II Dr. Soepraoen, Jl. S. Supriadi No. 22, ☏ .
- RSI UNISMA, Jl. MT Haryono No. 139, ☏ , fax: .
- RS Panti Waluya Sawahan, Jl. Nusakambangan No. 56, ☏ , fax: .
- RS UMM, Jl. Raya Tlogomas No. 45, ☏ .
- RS Permata Bunda, Jl. Soekarno-Hatta No. 75, ☏ .
- RS Universitas Brawijaya (UB) Malang, Jl. Soekarno Hatta No. A6, ☏ .
- RSIA Hermina Tangkubanprahu, Jl. Tangkubanprahu No. 33, ☏ , fax: .
- RS Bersalin Husada Bunda, Jl. Pahlawan Trip No. 2, ☏ , fax: .
- RS Khusus Bedah Manu Husada, Jl. Sultan Agung No. 12, ☏ , fax: .
- Persada Hospital, Jl. Panji Suroso Kompleks Araya Business Centre Kav. II-IV, ☏ , fax: .
- RSIA Mardi Waloeja Kauman, Jl. Kauman No. 23, ☏ .
- RSIA Melati Husada, Jl. Kawi No. 32, ☏ , fax: .
- RSIA Mutiara Bunda, Jl. Ciujung No. 19, ☏ .
The telephone area code for Malang is 0341
- Batu - nearby hill town. Very cool, fresh and visually extremely attractive, with a few theme parks and beautiful views.
- Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park - active volcanoes and unearthly scenery.
- Blitar, where the first president of Indonesia was buried, is around 2 hours west by road
- Surabaya, a port city that's a hub for local life.
- Wendit - a little lake with a woody place full of monkeys, nice to see and to swim.
- Sengkaling - a place for swimming with crystal clear water.