Java: Malang

A common travellers’ lament is that they don’t stay long enough in a place to really explore it. Such was my lament about Malang. We arrived here by train from Surabaya. This was our second long distance train trip in Java; the first being Yogyakarta to Surbaya. Indonesia does trains well: they are efficient, punctual, comfortable and cheap. Executif class travel was the princely sum of $A4. Other positives were the incredibly helpful staff and serene views of rice paddy after rice paddy.

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Malang is set high and enveloped by mountains, so the weather is very comfortable; a welcome relief from the typically high Indonesian humidity.

Walking proved the easiest way to see the sights and given the mild weather, we spent time taking in Malang’s Dutch colonial history which is on show everywhere. Tree lined streets, town hall (see feature photo), churches, food and monuments – it’s all here and so very easy to digest.

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Also, on show is the town’s impressive mosque – a showpiece in itself.

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Plenty of cafes serve up rich Malang coffee. The photo below was taken inside the cafe at Hotel Tugu in the old town.

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Nap time in the main street

We stayed in a guesthouse that we could not fault. Run by a group of young men who were very laid back and casual, they kept the place clean and tidy, managed to throw together a reasonably decent breakfast and promoted their local airline with the dubious claim, ‘Well we haven’t lost one [a plane] recently. I flew once and survived.’ Talk about confidence building!

The scenery on takeoff for our one hour flight to Bali was beautiful – green rolling mountains. And yes, we survived!

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