Ninety kilometers south of Surabaya lies Malang, one of the most leisurely and attractive towns in Java. With leafy boulevards and a cooler climate, this city is a laid back destination, popular with many retirees in East Java.
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Take a stroll around the leafy streets of this city which is famous for it’s stately colonial architecture. Discover Candi Badut, a small Shivaite temple dating back to the 8th century. See the old Dutch reform Church the Gereja Cathedral Jun. Indulge in some luxury and support a worthwhile cause with a visit to Nuansa Fajar an organization that trains and employs blind masseurs from around Indonesia.
Visit the ancient Singosari temples surrounding Malang. These were built between 1222 and 1292AD and are mostly dedicated to the kings of the Singosari dynasty. Visit the candi or temple of Singosari, Candi Kidal, Candi Jago, and others.
Spend some time at the Kebun Wonasari tea estate where you can take a tour of tea plantations, play a game of tennis or visit the mini zoo. For the more adventurous, hire a guide here to take you on a demanding hike up the dormant volcano, Gunung Arjuna.
Seek your fortune with a visit to Gunung Kawi. Pilgrims come to this mountain from all over Indonesia as it’s believed that the sage who is buried here will answer the prayers of those seeking fortune. The town of Batu 15 km from Malang is small but it does have spectacularly beautiful natural scenery and a cool climate and is well known for its apples and flowers.
Founded in 1941 for the study of plants, the Purwodadi gardens lie about 30 km northeast of Malang on the slopes of Mt.Arjuno at about 300 meters altitude. This dry climate botanical garden covers an area of about 85 ha (212 acres). Mount Bromo and Mount Penanjakan are 2.5 hours from Malang. The Tenggerese inhabiting this area are believed to be direct descendents from the Majapahit aristocracy. They hold the annual Kesodo festival, known as Yadnya Kasada, to thank the Almightly for a good harvest and to appease the god of Mount Bromo.
Airlines flying to Malang’s Abdul Rachman Saleh airport are: Lion Air from Denpasar (Bali) and on to Surabaya; Sriwijaya Air from Jakarta, and Citilink flies to Malang from Balikpapan, Jakarta and Surabaya. You can also reach Malang overland from Surabaya.