Malang sweeps and winds over gentle ridges and gullies along the banks of the Brantas River, with unexpected views and quiet back streets that beg to be explored. It hasn’t experienced the explosive growth of other large Javanese cities, and it remains a small, quiet town.
Although there are local 3rd class trains running along the old tracks from Surabaya to Malang, the express “colt” taking the highway is quicker and more comfortable, and costs just US$2, it delivers you to your doorstep in Malang. Ask your hotel in Surabaya to book a seat for you. Buses also leave regularly from Surabaya’s Joyoboyo bus terminal and the fare is only about US$1.
The colonial style YMCA has huge, spotlessly clean rooms with hot water and a fan only US$14 (including tax, service and breakfast). For a bit more, the Splendid Inn is very pleasant: a spacious guest house with gardens. Air conditioned rooms are US$20 to US$25 (including tax, service and breakfats). The old Pelangi facing on the town square has many large rooms for US$10 to US$18 and some cheaper ones at the back for only US$7 (including tax and service). Budget travellers stay at the Bamboe Denn for US$2 and can stay for free if they attend some English classes at the language school.
Bamboe Denn/Transito Inn, Jl. Panglima Sudirman 99, Batu, malang tel: 259Semeru 35, malang, Tel: 24859
Pelangi Hotel (74 rooms), Jl. Merdeka Selatan 3, Malang, Tel: 2004.
Santoso, Jl. H. Agus Salim 24, Malang, Tel: 23889
Splendid Inn (23 rooms), Jl. Majapahit 2 – 4, Malang, Tel: 23860
YMCA, Jl. Basuki Rachmat 68 – 76, Malang, Tel: 23605.
There’s good Padang food opposite the YMCA at the Minang Jaya (Jl. Basuki Rachmat 22). Oen’s at Jl. Basuki Rachamt 5 is an old colonial place serving Dutch food like wienerschnitsel, broodjes and uitsmijters. For steaks and ice creams, try the new La Vanda ice cream parlour at Jl. Semeru 49. For Chinese food, try the New Hongkong, Jl. Arif Rahman Hakim.
There are many antique and curio stores on Jl. Basuki Rachmat. Also try the antique section of the Pasar Besar market, on the second floor at the back left hand corner. This can be a great place to buy old Dutch glasses, tray and silverwere.
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