Malang in East Java is known for being a layover between volcano hikes and further journeys into Central Java. Unfortunately, the multitude of writing I read before visiting Malang had an array of attractions that weren’t within distance of most of the accommodations and required hiring a driver for a day. After doing our own exploring, I’ve put together a list of a few local spots that are within walking distance (or a short moped ride) and easy on the wallet to help you enjoy Malang to its fullest :)
1. Rainbow Village
Jodipan is a district that runs alongside the train tracks in the centre of Malang. A ‘slum’ area that was threatened with eviction by the local government due to its un-sanitary living conditions (and rumoured lack of aesthetic to the city,) was saved by a group of University students who grouped together and covered the town in rainbow. The locals love visitors and are welcoming as you walk through the town, every door, pavement, umbrella and window painted a different colour of rainbow.
2. Blue Village
Across the other side of the train track is the newly painted ‘blue village’, similarly to the rainbow except, yes, you guessed it, it’s blue…
Both the villages cost 3,000IDR(£0.16) to enter and are accompanied with a little keying or gift from the locals. It’s such pleasure to walk around and to chat to locals whilst admiring the stunning artwork. A must do if you’re in Malang.
3. Madame Wang's Secret Garden
The perfect lunch spot belongs to the elusive Madame Wang. This inexpensive and charming café offers an extensive menu of smoothies, full lunches, dinner and lots and lots of cake. The selection was diving and the atmosphere delicate and calming.
DOG LOVERS – this is for you.
Pawvillion is a local dog shelter and café open to the public offering vet services, training and re-homing. You can bring your dog for day-care or you can just hang out with the permanent residents that live there. Food was reasonably priced, if not a little expensive which was expected and the dogs, of all ages, friendly and cuddly. Our favourite was Tiger-Lily the corgi who was unfathomably affectionate and loving.
5. Museum Angkut
This park was quite possibly the most bizarre experience of our lives. Remember Fyre Festival? Picture Billy Macfarland trying to put everything together frantically and combine it with someone who says they like ‘all genres of music.’
Museum Angkut is a transport museum turned theme park with fighter jets, fake towns, dancing staff, flight simulators all surrounded by vintage cars. It felt like a children’s event except there were absolutely no children in sight, just fully grown adults. Despite all this, it was entertaining and I’d recommend going purely for the absurd (almost) Willy Wonka experience.
Museum Angkut is located just out of town in Batu and tickets are 80,000IDR(£4.50) per person.
Outside of Malang, you can get transport connections to wonderful waterfalls, volcano’s and beaches if you’re wanting to travel further. Overall, it’s a suitable stop over to spend a few days in whilst travelling Java.
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