Malang is the second largest city in East Java, with Surabaya the only other city that is larger in the region. However in stark contrast to Surabaya – Malang has a much more laidback feel to it. The streets are calmer and there is more space, and the city is known for the beautiful green trees that line the roads.
The city is an eclectic mix of races and cultures and is home to some large and important universities, which gives it a large student population. The city emits a calm and charm that attracts many retirees to its suburban areas too. The city was established by the Dutch in the 18th century, although not much of the heritage buildings remain. The leafy boulevards, various temples, great food and beautiful surrounding areas make Malang a great place to stop and explore.
Things to do
One of the coolest places to take a walk around in the city is the neighbourhood of JlBesarljen. This is Malang’s version of ‘millionaire mile’ and some of the richest residential homes can be found here. Many of the building are old Dutch Heritage buildings but they have been largely restored back to their former glory. The Malang Kembali Festival takes place here in May, when the entire neighbourhood is only accessible by foot.
Hotel Tugu Malang
One of Malang’s favorite attractions is Hotel Tugu Malang. Not only is it a stunningly beautiful boutique hotel, it is also one of the finest collections of Asian art in Asia. The owner showcases his much admired pieces throughout the hotel and according to Lonely Planet visitors can see “10th-century ceramics, jade carvings from the 13th century, Ming dynasty porcelain, Qing dynasty wood carvings and even the complete facade of a Chinese temple.”
Visitors are welcome to have a look around but it’s also advisable to visit the hotel’s poolside restaurant ‘Melati’, which has some seriously delicious local and foreign cuisine and some great wine.Traveloka.com can give you cheap flights and transport to the city, and its various sites.
Although not in the city, the Singosari Temples really shouldn’t be missed. 12 km out of the city these temples can all be seen in one day. Many of the temples were built in the 14th Century to honour kings and other monarchs, and the four temples are Candi Singosari, Candi Sumberawan, Candi Jago and Candy Kidal.
There are many different things to see and do in Malang, which is why it’s one of East Java’s favorite cities for travelers. Many come to see the above-mentioned attractions, but there is also much more in the area such as flower markets, Chinese temples, delicious local food and nightclub hotspots that keep the younger generation busy. The surrounding areas of Malang are home to waterfalls, coffee farms, rice fields and even ancient volcanoes. It is truly the gem of East Java and it makes one of the best place to explore this amazing region from.