Our school is located in the foothills of Java’s central mountain ridge, which gives us a pleasant, tropical climate year round with temperatures ranging from 75 – 90°F (24-32°C), and lower humidity than coastal areas. The city of Malang has a population of nearly 1 million and is known for its universities, its good weather and its peacefulness. Malang is a very developed city with numerous western restuarants, taxis, shopping malls, and swimming pools. However, bicycle rickshaws, open markets, and beggars are routine sites. A few minutes-drive puts you into hand-tilled rice paddies and the ruins of ancient Hindu temples. Malang is located 2 hours south of an international airport (Malang does have a domestic airport which flies to Jakarta and Bali) and 2 hours north of the sparsely populated south Java coast, home to rare hornbills, nesting sea turtles and secluded white sand beaches. A 40-minute flight lands you on the beaches of Bali, a major tourist destination.
Family Fun in Malang
Malang is a very family-friendly city with many activities for kids and adults alike. Here are a few fun places in and around Malang:
About an hour outside of Malang nestled in the mountains, Taman Safari is an amazing wildlife park. Guests can drive their own vehicles or ride on a park tour bus through the park amongst the animals. With lions, tigers, hippos, elephants, and many more animals, this is an unforgettable experience. You can feed zebras and camels as they come up to your car. The park also has daily animal shows including dolphin, lion, and bird shows. The park even has a waterpark.
Istana Dieng Clubhouse and Pool
Istana Dieng has a heated outdoor pool which includes, a large slide, a kiddie pool, and a lazy river. Surrounded by lush tropical landscaping this is a great place for a relaxing family swim. The clubhouse also houses a bowling alley and a fitness center. Just 5 minutes away from Wesley’s campus, this is a weekend hotspot.
Sendang Biru Beach
Two hours south of Malang lies the crystal blue waters of Sendang Biru, a remote beach along Java’s southern coast. Here you can explore the island of Sempu, a short boat-ride from the beach. This beach area is a favorite spot for those wanting a day trip outside of Malang.
Batu is a small town located about 30 minutes outside of Malang. Nestled in the mountains, Batu is well known for being the best spot in East Java to beat the heat and relax. It offers some great scenic hotels for weekend retreats, a zoo, and several amusement/water parks for family fun. Guests can spend the day picking apples in an orchard, hiking scenic trails, and enjoy a relaxing meal overlooking the valleys below.
This list of fun spots around Malang would not be complete without mentioning Bali. Bali is renowned for its surfing, scenic beaches, and lush mountain getaways. Now that there are direct flights from Malang to Bali, vacationing in Bali has never been easier for people living in Malang. It is also accessible by car (and ferry) for the more adventurous vacationing family. From the hustle and bustle of the main city of Kuta to the secluded beaches of the northern coast, Bali is an adventure waiting to be had.
Malang offers a variety of good restaurants. Here is a list (by no means exhaustive) of some of the options:
- Hungry Kitten Resto – This American-style eatery offers great burgers.
- Java Dancer – A nice coffee shop and full-service restraunt, offering great Indonesian coffees and a variety of Western & Indonesian dishes.
- McDonalds – Self-explanatory.
- KFC – Also needs no explanation.
- Pizza Hut – Once again, you get the picture.
- Hachi Hachi – Excellent sushi restaurant with good atmosphere.
- Bunga Bali – The perfect date night restaurant.Great atmosphere and food.
- A&W – Fastfood chain from the company that makes A&W root beer.
- Merpati Pavilion at Tugu Hotel – A one of a kind restaurant and hotel. Extensive menu.
- Thai Nam Resto – A swanky restaurant that offer a blend of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, located directly across from MOG mall.
Websites About Malang
Here are a few websites that offer unique angles on Malang:
- For a great informational website focused on life as an expat in Malang try Expats Living in Malang.
- Check out Wikipedia’s Profile of Malang for an overview.
- The Eastjava.com website offers some good information about the history of and sites around Malang.
- This Holiday/travel site offers info about Visiting or Living in Malang.