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20 Things to Do in Malang for the Perfect Holiday - Wandersmurf
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20 Things to Do in Malang for the Perfect Holiday

20 Things to Do in Malang for the Perfect Holiday

Malang is a one-stop entertainment. You got natural beauty, delicious culinary dishes, friendly locals, and so relaxing ambiance. There is never a better feeling than talking about your hometown. I, for one, am very proud that I was born in Malang. I will never lie about it and undermine the fact that the city has given me so much to shape me like the way I am today. This small city, is an unique town on its own. We are proud of speaking Javanese harshly, saying what’s on our mind without sugarcoating, and always help each other whenever we need it. And although I love other city just as much as I love Malang, but this will always be my favorite place. SO, as you might know by now, Malang is one of those trendy cities to be travel destination. One of the best in East Java, I think. But, there are so so many things that you can do in Malang. So as a local, I will recommend you some of the best things that you MUST DO in Malang. Here goes:
1. Watch sunrise at Bromo Mountain
Bromo Mountain is so beautiful.. Watching a sunrise at its crater will feel magical, to say the least. Do come when it’s dawn. You will glide over the vast sand and feel the freezing air of a mountain. Nature has a way to keep us alive, so enjoy this one. Don’t hustle with your camera or Instastory. Just take a deep breath and enjoy every seconds of the sunrise.

Photo from: https://www.bromojavatravel.com/2015/01/the-best-places-to-enjoy-mount-bromo.html
2. Eat Pangsit Mie at Dempo Street
Pangsit is like a dumpling with broth. Eating Pangsit Noodle (Pangsit Mie) is a tradition for me and my family. And the best place to have it is at Dempo Street, Malang. Here, all sellers are selling the same thing: either Pangsit Noodle or Shaved Ice wih avocado, pineapple, syrup, etc. It would be the best dynamic duo after bacon and cheese!

Photo from: https://www.foody.id/surabaya/pangsit-mie-dempo-sulfat
3. Try Putu Lanang
Putu is a traditional cylindrical-shaped and green-colored steamed cake, made of rice flour with green color, filled with sweet (and heavenly) palm sugar, and steamed in bamboo tube, hence its name. Putu is best served hot. So when you bite into it, there’s this mix of good aroma of coconut, warm rice flour, and the sweet palm sugar. The best one is in Cilaket and called Putu Lanang. Go taste it!

Photo from: https://www.menuresepkue.com/2015/05/resep-kue-putu-bambu-khas-medan.html
4. Visit One of the Southern Beaches
The beaches in Malang is one of the reasons why people keep coming back. It’s near, just two-hour away by car, and you will be exposed with bright sunny clouds with blue horizon. Just one splash away for your temporary amnesia of all your problems. There are a lot of beautiful beaches, the most famous ones are: Goa Cina, Balekambang, Sempu, Kondang Merak, and so many more.

Photo from: https://oostethys.org/travel/
4. Have Some Grilled Meatballs
Malang is so rich of culinary dishes that are to die for. Grilled meatballs are one of them. It’s crunchy, smoky, sweet, and yet spicy at the same time. Sometimes people eat it with broth that is used for regular meatballs. The best places to have these grilled meatballs are at Ciliwung or Pahlawan Trip. They are ALWAYS crowded, which proves how much Malang residents love to eat this.

Photo from: https://www.putrinyanormal.com/2014/12/kuliner-malang-bakso-bakar-pak-man.html
5. Chill at Malang City Hall
As a result of colonialism, Malang City Hall still holds the important principles wherein its wind directions point to four central buildings in the city, which are: city mosque, Mayor office, central market, and (I forgot the other one). Now the City Hall is the public park where people could chill out and relax at Sunday morning or even Saturday night. The breeze and the fountain in the center of the area brings a relaxing vibe to all of its visitors. You can also do your favorite people-watching activity here. At night, the fountain will be dancing in sync with lighting effect.

Photo from: https://www.jengpatrol.id/news/daerah/alun-alun-malang-simbol-perebutan-kekuasaan-belanda-dan-jepang/
6. Sip on STMJ
STMJ is the short for Susu (Milk), Telur (Egg), Madu (Honey), Jahe (Ginger). It is the best beverage to sip amid the cold weather of Malang. I don’t know why but I feel that STMJ in Malang and other cities taste different. So, if you come by to this city, don’t forget to order "STMJ" to the street vendors and eat grilled corn with it. It’s how we spend the night. Not partying, not clubbing, but sipping on the hot STMJ and eating that sweet grilled corn. The best way to serve hot STMJ is by pouring it to the cup base to that it got to cool down.

Photo from: https://ngalam.co/2016/01/28/stmj-glintung/
7. Take Your Instagram Pictures at Jodipan Village
A colorful village full of pop colors and beautiful contrast is ready for you at Jodipan Village in Malang. Nestled amid the hustle city center, this village was initially created as a research project from local university. Although they are not exactly like Positano, but they will still awe you and inevitably you’ll take at least 100 pictures here.

Photo from: https://nahwatravel.co.id/wisata-ke-kampung-warna-warni-jodipan-malang.html
8. Stay at Modern Tree House
If you ever dream to live at a tree house, well this one is twice better! It is called Pohon (Tree) Inn, located in Batu. The hotel is designed like a trunk of tree. Through a room window you would overlook the safari jungle that they keep below. Not only that, you will also get the chance to have breakfast in safari-themed restaurant. A worth of stay!

Photo from: https://nahwatravel.co.id/wisata-ke-kampung-warna-warni-jodipan-malang.html
9. Experience the Festive at Batu Night Festival
For me personally, no trip is ever completed without going to the local theme park. Seriously, it’s the best kind of park! In Malang, the fun is not over when the theme park closes on the evening. Yet, they get merrier. Visit the Batu Night Festival and have fun till you drop. They have all kinds of amusements from Lantern Park, Carousel, Go-Cart, Laser War, Trampoline Pads, Rodeo, and so many more!

Photo from: https://wisatamalang.info/batu-night-spectacular-bns-malang/
10. Try Paragliding
To all those adrenaline junkie, this one is especially for you. Located in high area, Malang, specifically Batu, has the suitable spot to para-glide over the cities beneath you. The professional staffs will help you along the way and it is completely safe. You will feel as free as a bird! Come on, you know you want it 😉

Photo from: https://bromotravel1.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/paket-wisata-paralayang-malang-batu-city-tour/
11. Taste the Old Ice Cream Recipe at "Toko Oen"
This is certainly a must-do for everyone who visit Malang. Toko Oen is an antique bistro which has been established since 1930s, when Indonesia was still colonialized by the Netherlands. The management has kept the building intact with only minimum renovation. So if we enter the room, there is this old-school and vintage vibe all around. Their traditional ice cream is so famous, you should take a scoop!

Photo from: https://indodiscovery.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/colonial-heritage-alive-and-well-in-malang/
12. Travel the Mini World at "Museum Angkut"/Transportation Museum
As you could guess in its name, this museum is taking you down to the memory lane of every transportation ever existed in this world. Well, sort of. Not only that they display antique beautiful cars, ship replicas, and even flight simulator, they also have this mini version of world. They got Gangster Town area, artificial Buckingham Palace complete with the wax of Queen Elizabeth II, France, Las Vegas, and even Chinatown. There are so many incredible photo spots in here. Better arm yourself with fully-charged camera.

Photo from: https://pantauanharga.com/harga-tiket-masuk-museum-angkut/
13. Dine – or Better Yet – Stay, at Tugu Hotel
Tugu Hotel is a legendary hotel in Malang. I actually never realize that it is famous until I got out from Malang and all of my friends talk about it. Yes, Tugu Hotel is an exotic, antique, and historical hotel that you should check out if you visit this city. They have Melati Restaurant with superb Indonesian food. This hotel has so many collections of antiques and paintings, and there is this famous woman painting that has been known for decades. You should see it by yourself because I don’t dare looking at it directly, let alone put the photo in my blog 🙁

Photo from: https://www.tuguhotels.com/hotels/malang/indonesias-cultural-dining/dining-venues/melati-restaurant/
14. Play at Jatim Park 1
This is the first theme park that I visited, which makes me fall in love with all theme parks ever since. They have scary rides, ghost house, go-cart, roller coaster, and everything else. My favorite one is the Tornado, even though you can also ride it in Dufan. Jatim Park 1 offers a lot of fun, AND they have some hectares of waterpark, which must be great!

Photo from: https://wisatabromojatim.com/jatim-park-1-dan-jatim-park-2-wisata-batu-malang-jawa-timur/
15. Taste "Ketan" near Batu City Hall
Ketan is glutinous rice as well as sticky rice delicacy in its simplest form. The handful mounds of glutinous rice is rounded and sprinkled with grated coconut, either fresh or sauteed as serundeng, which is called "Ketan Bubuk"/Powdered Ketan. If you wanna taste the most original and authentic taste of Ketan, you have to go to Batu City Hall and look for the street vendor which has the longest queue. The name is "Pos Ketan" and it’s been around for half a century.

Photo from: https://indonesialegacy.my.id/?p=60
16. Back to Nature at Coban Randa Waterfall
Actually, the name "coban" means "waterfall" in Javanese. So, Malang has plenty wonderful waterfalls that you could visit. The water is refreshing, transparent, and it feels so good when you dip in it. The famous waterfall in Malang is called "Coban Randa". It is still very natural with lushes of green around it. However, there’s this local myth that you should not bring your spouse to this waterfall because the world "Randa" means "Widow" in Javanese. People believe that you and your spouse will break up if you go together to this waterfall. (So far, it happens to a lot of my friends. I don’t know whether or not there is any correlation).

Photo from: https://indonesialegacy.my.id/?p=60
17. Climb Semeru Mountain
When traveling, you either go big or go home. So, might as well climb the highest mountain on Java Island, which is Semeru Mountain. This active volcano is known as MahaMeru, which translates to "The Great Mountain" in Javanese. Although the hike needs some serious efforts, but the view along the way are totally worth it. Wait until you see the transparent and magnificent Ranu Kumbolo (Lake) and camp with milky way above your head.

Photo from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW059mdBBCw
18. Go Nuts at Hawai Waterpark
When I told you that Malang is one-stop entertainment, I meant it. You have so many options to have fun and enjoy your day. If you are with family or a bunch of friends, try going to Hawai Waterpark. They are alike Waterbom in Bali with fun water slides, flowing river, and TSUNAMI POOL. I actually have some bad trauma with the tsunami pool because the wave was too hard, I got kicked and the wave hurt my eardrum. Until now it is ruptured and I am not allowed to swim any more. I don’t know, maybe I was just unlucky. But before the incident happened, I was actually having so much fun! So it’s worth to try.

Photo from: https://hawaiwaterparkmlg.blogspot.co.id/2015/08/di-indonesia-hanya-ada-di-hawai.html
19. Take a Break at Taman Indie Restaurant
Malang has this authentic traditional restaurant called Taman Indie. Here, you can have your lunch in gazebo made of bamboo and hay. You can feel the fresh air from the greeneries all around and you can hear the river flows from the distant. They serve Indonesia’s cuisines, so you better eat with your HANDS for the best experience. Duhhh! But aside from having a full tummy, you will feel at ease and refreshed to see the glance of nature amid the busy city life. At night, it is still as beautiful. They have dimmed yellow lights and vintage ambiance that is going to make you fall in love.

Photo from: https://thearaya.com/facilities/taman-indie-resto/
20. Get Up Close and Personal with Animals at Batu Secret Zoo
Batu Secret Zoo is a zoo, upgraded. This 14-hectare zoo has extensive array of wild animals from exotic Africa and Asia. All the animals are well-fed and look healthy. We could see them taking a nap and getting cozy in their "natural" habitat. We could also see them being fed or even feed them on our own. They set everything so nicely so that we could see animals based on their origins. It’s one of the best zoos in Indonesia. You surely don’t want to miss out.

Photo from: hhttps://www.lihat.co.id/wisata/jatim-park-2.html
After all these, what are you still waiting for? Malang awaits you with these 20 wonderful things to do. So book the flight, set the itinerary, and go have your perfect holiday at my lovely hometown!
Have other recommendations on what to do in Malang? Put down on comments below 😉
Follow me on Instagram @Falen_Naoenz or find me chirping at Twitter @Vanilla_Naoenz
Falencia Naoenz
falenciabiru@gmail.com
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