Malang is a small city, with a population of fewer than 1 million, located in the hills two hours' south of Surabaya. Most people visit this lovely laidback town with an elevation of approximately 500m above sea level to relax and escape the heat of the surrounding lowlands, but Malang also boasts a number of attractions that make it a worthy visit on any trans-Java journey.
Of particular note are the Singosari temples, which are dotted around the countryside and date from the 14th century, the rolling hills around Batu and of course unmissable Gunung Bromo.
As with many Indonesian towns, the focal point in Malang is the alun-alun, which comes alive every night with vendors selling all manner of goods. The markets here reach a climax every Saturday night when the heaving masses descend to snap up a bargain and hang out with friends in the balmy evening air.
Near the alun-alun are the usual array of malls, fast food joints and even a Gramedia bookstore. It’s all very easy for Western tourists who are uncomfortable with or just sick of street food, market stalls and the local way of life. That said, there are also plenty of warungs for those still happy to eat nasi goreng, basko and martabak.
To the north of the alun-alun is where most of the best accommodation options lie; the train station is situated and where most visitors will spend most of their time.
ATMs are located throughout town and free internet can be found at Java Dancer cafe.
By Adam Poskitt