Malang is located between two massive groups of mountains with Semuru, the highest mountain on Java, and the national park Bromo-Tengger to the east. The climate up here is relatively cool. The Sungai Brantas river floats through the city, which were founded by the Dutch at the end of the 18th century as a center of tobacco trade. The Dutch had an important military base here until 1949, and Malang was the capital of the district of the same name.

Mount Arjuno, seen from Malang
Mount Arjuno, seen from Malang (Source: Wikipedia)

Malang is a trade center in an agricultural region were the most important crops are sugar, rice, coffee, tea, corn and peanuts. The main income is mainly production of textiles and soap, timber and tobacco. There is also a university here, Brawijaya, and some tourist industry. Population is about 700.000.

Some of the buildings from the colonial period can still be seen, like the town hall, Balai Kuta, and the town is known for its “colonial atmosphere”. A popular place for the locals, especially the children, is Taman Rekreasi Senaputra, a culture and recreational park. There are several hotels and restaurants in Malang. The biggest attraction here must however be the beautiful landscape. In addition there are some temples not far away known as the Singosari temples. They were built to honor the Singosari dynasty, the predecessors of the Majapahit kingdom. Candi Singosari, built for king Kertanegara, and Candi Sumberawan are both close to the Singosari village north of Malang. Candi Jago and Candi Kidal are both located in Tampung east of Malang.

An easy way to Malang is by train or bus from Surabaya, which takes about two hours. From Malang you can for example travel further to Kediri over Batu. This road passes through some beautiful and changing scenery, passing volcanoes, rich farmland, hot springs, deep valleys and dense jungle. Along the coast south of Malang there are some popular beaches, actually they belong to the Malang district which stretches all the way south to the Indian ocean.

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Bjørn Grøtting

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Photographer based in Norway. See a collection of my best photos in the portfolio. Licensing of images is done through Photoshelter or alamy.
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