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Traveller's Tales



Malang (S7 58.994-E112 37.798, 1,498 Ft) a hilly town located around 60 kilometers south of Surabaya, used to be the perfect model of The Dutch Colonial town, where most of the family of the Dutch   Plantation Estates Masters, in the area lived, during the colonial days. There were and still are hundreds of mostly rubber, coffee and cocoa plantation estates around Malang.

Malang sits in kind of valley, surrounded by mountains, while these days is crowded by people and of course polluted by  car’s fume, however the atmosphere is still pretty cool, especially in the evening.

As any typical major town, Malang has a town square or aloen-aloen and the Chinese Town or Pecinan and of course the Arab Quarter or Kampoeng Arab, where these respective ethnics lived. Normally, in this particular aloen-aloen there were always the Dutch Regent residence, then changed to Kabupaten, where the indigenous Bupati took up resident after the independence.
In the elite west part of the town, a part that was almost exclusively reserved for the Dutch family in the colonial days, characterized with a big fountain facing the Ijen Boulevard. However, a Tugu Statue (please see the first picture above) was build in the middle of the fountain commemorating the independence from the Dutch occupation for nearly 450 years. There are still many typical colonial houses in perfectly good condition found in this area.
Perhaps Malang is the only town in Indonesia whereby we could find Boulevards with a rather impressive pedestrians, in the residence area since back in the colonial days, that still exist and indeed well maintained.
Roads with old trees are also still nicely maintained in the west part of the town, where as in other parts of the town, like many other towns in Indonesia, where residential area are mixed with the small businesses.
Around Malang, there are many places of interests, such as Batu, Selecta, Wendit and Bromo and in the south there are white beach resorts, such as Ngliyep and Sendang Biru.
Some places of interests around Malang:
Ngliyep Beach.
Ngliyep beach with its crystal clear water is located around 70 kilometers south of Malang, or 45 kilometers south of Kepanjen. The road to go there is relatively good, except, when visited, a detour via village roads has to be made, due to the new bridge construction just outside Sumberpancing. Ngliyep is a typical neglected resort, without a proper facilities, that may just attract more tourists if adequately provided ………
Here are some pictures:
Sendang Biru Beach
Sendang Biru, located around 76 kilometer south east of Malang is a white sand beach and it is protected from the rather rough south sea weaves, by Sempu island that make this particular place is a perfect spot for a fisherman’s village. Many high-sea fishing enthusiasts normally go to Sendang Biru to do just that. Again, there are no adequate facilities in this area.
Here are some pictures:
Bromo Plateau
The most visited place of interest that attract more tourists, from both locally as well internationally, is the most famous Bromo Plateau, with its magical crater. In this particular area, lived a small number of Tengger people, an old animism followers, as the other parts of Jawa also has, namely: The Badui people, lived in south of Banten-West Jawa and the Samin people, lived in the triangle between Blora-Randublatung-Bojonegoro near the border of Central-East Jawa. The biggest yearly event in the Bromo region is the Kesodo festival amongst the Tengger people, an event characterized with animism rituals and offerings to the Goddess who lived on the plateau, by throwing animals into the crater. However, most, if not all the animals thrown, ended up into many hands who were waiting to catch whatever are thrown into their direction …
There are many ways to go to Bromo, but from Malang it is   around 60 kilometers north east via Wendit, Nongkojajar and Tosari.
The prime time to visit Bromo crater is just before the dawn (around 4 am), to see the sun rise, where one has to go up to the edge of the crater, either by walking (2X2) or by horse (4X4), but one has to go up the 250 stairs by foot …… either one does it or missed it! I must say that it is worth the climb to see such a beautiful scenery (when the weather is clear of course), as if we were in the other planet ……. From the distance we could also see the majestic Mount Mahameru ( 3,675 meters, the second highest summit) blanketed with cloud, just fantastic …..
Here are some pictures taken by my assistant Benny, because my eyes were still half opened:
See you in the next article …….

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