Exploring East Java. Next stop – Malang

IMG_9496From Yogja to Malang we took a train that runs early in the morning or better said, late in the night – around 2am is the departure from Yogyakarta Train Station. This trip took us about 7 hours!!!! Unfortunately, for me, I could not close an eye during that journey as the train was a bit noisy and the people were keep going off and on the train. The good part of it was that the carriage had air conditioning and the train staff gave us a blanket 🙂 In order to avoid any incidents, we chose the business class and, I have to say, that the price was reasonable.

It is important to mention here, that in Indonesia you have 2 options: to book your seat online and then print your booking at a local store (just bring your USB with the document on it, for that you should use an Older version of Office because these stores might not have the latest Office installed on their PCs!) such as Indomarkt or 7eleven otherwise you can go directly to the counter and buy it from there…I don’t know about other train stations, but the one in Yogyakarta has no air conditioning and the queues are long!

Note: If you choose to book your train ticket online, you should go to the train station few hours before your departure to change the printed version of your booking with the train tickets (better go 3 to 4 hours in advance!).

Malang is a strategic stopover for those who want to climb Bromo Mountain and maybe maybe go for a short trip to Surabaya.

When uploading the pictures I’ve recalled that in Malang there’s a theme park! Yes yes, you just have to ask your host about it…I don’t know how to get there, because one of my friends took us to that theme park…some pictures from that theme park you can find below 😉

In order to climb Bromo Mountain , we had to book this trip in advance. We were told that during the high one should book this trip a lot in advance, so keep this in mind!!! For your safety and comfort, I would recommend to rent a car (if you cannot drive, then you can hire a driver as well) and early in the morning – about 2am depart from your place to Bromo.
You should expect encountering many people, so don’t be surprised! If the season is low, then you can hire a guide on the place, and we were told that this is the cheapest way to go. If it’s a high season you’ll have to book one guide in advance.

Remember: YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN ON YOUR OWN!!!!

The sunrise in Indonesia is around 06:20am, so make sure you don’t miss it while climbing the mountain! If the weather is good, then you’ll be blessed with a fantastic sunrise! 🙂

The absolutely fantastic part of this trip is that you’ll be taken by an off-road to the lava valley and to a smaller volcanic crater (that is still active 😀 ).On this valley where a SF. Indonesian movie was made and also you’ll have the chance to climb the active volcano, just take light clothes with you, sunscreen, a hat, light boots, and WATER!
If you feel like that volcanic crater is way too far and you’re not willing to walk, then you can pay a guy there and have a horse ride (both ways). You’ll ride the horse until the moment you have to take a steep path of 250 concrete steps leads to the edge of the crater (and believe it or not is not that easy as it seems!!!) and a precarious meter-wide ledge from where you can gaze into the steaming crater. Due to safety concerns, for some tourists at times may be very limited. When eruptive activity and the prevailing alert status permits the caldera may be approached by foot, but should still be approached with considerable caution.

Yeah, not to forget. After seeing the sunrise and taking lots of pictures ask your driver to stop at the Love Hill (or something like that). The view from there is breath taking. As the sun goes up in the sky, you’ll see the beautiful valley and the fog moving around the active volcano. This fog, most likely, you’ll associate it with a white milk sea that is escaping from sunbeams. Just check some of my pictures I uploaded and see what I’m talking about. 😉

If you choose to stopover in Malang, then I would recommend to sleep at Oscar Guesthouse. It is a bit far from the city center and a bit hard to find, but it has fair prices, a huge green garden and even a swimming pool that can be used 😉 They have rooms for 2 and 6 people. The one we rented was for 6 people and had private shower and toilet!
The owners are nice that know very very well the most interesting spots in Indonesia!!!! and of course they are travelers as well!

I leave the e-mail address for those who want to go there: oscar.pancadinata@yahoo.com

When you’re in Malang, I would recommend to eat chicken soup – soto ayam and meat balls, they are delicious! And if you want to have a nice refreshing ice cream then Toko Oen is a restaurant to try. They serve some other foods, therefore you can have a lunch or dinner there as well. For those who want to experience the real East Javanese cuisine should go to Inggil (Rumah Makan Inggil). I cannot their business web page, but you can find it on this address :  Jl. Gajah Mada No.4 – Malang or call to make a reservation at (0341) 332110. They have live music, which is very nice. You can choose to sit on the floor or have a western table. The wall color and the pictures that are part of the decor, in this restaurant, make it look like one from retro movies. The food is delicious and not expensive!

I hope this post will make you visit Malang and why not, Mt. Bromo!

For more information about Malang and parts of Indonesia, you can check Indonesia’s Official Tourism Website.

Travel safe and wise!

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