Travel Guide Malang.
Some says that if a friendship last 7 years, it lasts forever, which means I am kind of stuck with these two weirdos, Yessi and Dian. Our friendship began when we were in Senior High School, it was in 2002. We’ve been through many phases in our friendship. You know, those phases when you were an innocent teenagers, drama queens, frenemies and in the end we are still stuck together till now.
Unlike with Yessi, the one I had some adventurous trips together with in Bromo, Kawah Ijen and Phuket, my last trip with Dian was a long time ago when we were still active students in high school. So in regard to our long life friendship, three of us finally decided to do a short escape together in Malang.
1. Getting Here
Malang can be reached with many options of transport modes. That time we took a train from Surabaya Gubeng to Malang Kota. It was comfy and efficient choice with what we aimed to do in Malang. Other than train, Malang has airport named Abdul Rachman Saleh that connects the city to another city such as Jakarta, Bandung and Denpasar Bali. Bus is also a reliable option to reach Malang from various cities.
Some people chose Malang as their starting point to reach Bromo.
2. Getting Around & Attractions
As we had only half-day to explore Malang, time effectiveness was super important for us. We didn’t want to miss our train back to Surabaya at the same day in the afternoon, so what we chose was going around by online transport, GrabCar. Otherwise, if you have more time to explore the city and want to have a cheaper option, Malang does have public transports to reach some attractions, also motorbike rentals can be found in the city.
Kampung Warna-Warni (Colorful Villages)
Located only 2 km from the station where we got-off, Kampung Warna-Warni comprise of 2 kampung (villages) separated by Brantas river. Kampung Jodipan and Kampung Tridi are their names.
Initially, these kampung were slum villages. Then some local university students were engaging paint factory to magically transform those villages to be more attractive. They did it as a part of practicum assignment from the university and as we can see now, they are not only successfully transforming the kampung but also the life of the villager in a better way.
These kampung have become one of the popular destinations for both local visitors and foreigners. With only IDR 3,000 entrance fee, you can get a small handmade souvenir, a chance to explore some murals on the walls and not to mention some selfie spots for your instagram.
I was attached to learn the kingdoms history in Indonesia lately, this makes the visit to Malang was about it. I proposed to the girls to join me to Singasari temple, a Hindu-Buddhist temple, to witness the masterpiece of 13th century from Singasari dynasty.
The temple is not as huge as Prambanan or Borobudur temple in Jogja, but historically speaking, this temple is not less significant to contribute to the culture of Indonesia. It is said to be the temple for the commemoration of the decease of King Kertanegara, the last king of Singasari.
Before departing to Malang, I consulted with my colleague who’s hometown is Malang about the recommended places for culinary and souvenirs. He mentioned some places like Rujak Cingur Penyet Sumba Pojok and Bakso Presiden. Since half-day in Malang was not long enough to eat a lot and considering that Malang is known for its delicious Bakso (meatball soup) we managed to have late lunch in Bakso Presiden.
As for the souvenirs, we stopped by to Kripik Tempe Cak Mul where snacks and foods are sold with a lower price than other shops (yes, this is also a recommendation of my colleague).
3. Travel Tips and Cautions
Malang is like a twin sister of Surabaya. The people, the culture, the language, most of them are similar, so for us, there is no particular thing noticeable as a caution.
While for travel tips, half-day in Malang was satisfactory also because we have an advance recommendation for souvenir shop. Otherwise, we could have spent more money to buy souvenir in celebrity-owned souvenir shops for exactly the same products. Thanks to my colleague for this.