I LOVE THIS CITYJournal
Arriving in Malang from Surabaya took my breath away - in the midst of the insane traffic jams, I found a view that i will never forget: the huge mountains were across the fields with the sun desapearing behind them. Malang is a breath of fresh air, after the chaos of the big city of Surabaya: much calmer, with very nice neighbourhoods filled with colourfull houses. It's clean and, as in every part of Indonesia I visited, the people are very welcoming.
Getting into Malang city, one of the things that one notices are the two big wonderful statues in the entrance of the city. The first one is a soldier in a marching position. It looks that he is powerfully protecting the city. My host did not know what the meaning of it was, and I couldn't find anything about it - only that maybe the name should be Ken Arok. The other one was a woman, sitting peacefully with her eyes closed. It is Kendedes statue, the representation of the Hindu Goddess of Transcendent Knowledge. It is a gorgeous piece of art, besides being really big. It is next to a very busy road, but when you look at it, with your back to the traffic, you forget about the cars and scooters - it is hipnotizing with its golden bronzish kind of tone.
On sunday, you can't miss the market next to the football stadium, specially if you are interested in buying some souvenir: it's the best place to do it! Hand made bags, t-shirts with the simbols of the city, traditional clothes from Malang, old photos of the city and a great deal of many others things that might interest you. You can also find stands with delicous food - personally I tried the Roti Maryam, a delicious kind of indian pancake, with chocolate and condensed milk.
shirt with any symbol. Pancasila, wayang, Indonesia Heroes, and many mores.
CENTRUM AND INGILL
After a well deserved rest, we decided to visit the Centrum at night - but first, we stoped at Inggil, an amazing restaurant that has live acts such as a singer and the traditional Malang dance with masks - the Topeng dance. I was really impressed with the whole restaurant, it's kind of a museum itself: it has old photos everywhere, a collection of puppets, old radios and writing machines. Besides that, the ambience is great and you can find a lot of bule's there (bule is the term used to describe a white person. It comes from "blue eyes", which were used to describe the Dutch during the colonization). The dance itself is hipnotizing - the movements are very soft but with sudden very subtle quick and steady head and hands moves. The music that goes with it is beautiful.
The mask about Panji
The dancer with topeng dance
To accompany the dance, I ordered a tea and commited the mistake of not saying "no sugar, please" - the result was that I recieved a beverage that would probably cause me instant diabetes. If you are like me and really don't like very sweet beverages, you might have to remember to always ask "no sugar" because in Indonesia they like their drinks with a crazy amount of sweetness. After leaving the Inggil, we went to the actual Centrum to see the Tugu, which is a must-see at night. The monument in the center of the square is unbelievably colourful at night, with smoke coming out of it. There's the City Hall right in front, which gives it a sense of impressiveness, and the very well known Hotel. Really worth seeing it.
On alun alun bundar Malang
Tugu monument with city hall background
The next day I was droped off in front of the Catholic Church next to the Alun-Alun garden. There are 2 churches nearby - one Catholic and one Protestant. Both equally impressive, though from different arquitecture styles, but I was more inclined to like the Catholic one because it has a really beautiful facade. Next to the Protestant Church you will find the Jami Mosque, in what I consider a very nice coexistance of religions. When I saw the Mosque it was being renovated, but it was visible to see it was going to be impressive. Next, I strolled around the park, which supposedly had free wifi but I couldn't catch it, and went through the streets looking for the Bentoel Museum. During this walk I felt I was really here, everything felt real all of the sudden: I was in the middle of these people's daily life and each and everyone would look at me like and smile. It was great and I asked for directions, which were given to me in a very primitive english, but with a huge smile. I found my way and got to my destination.
Alun Alun Square
on Catholic church: Hati Kudus Yesus
Protestan Chruch: GPIB Imanuel
MASJID JAMII. This mosque near with protestant church: GPIB Immanuel
Museum Bentoel is about a Tobacco Factory which was created by a chinese man called Ong Hok Liong. As in the House of Sampoerna, in Surabaya, you get a very individualized tour by the staff. But, for someone who is not speacially interested in tobacco or the company, it will not be an extremely interesting visit. If you are indeed interested in this kind of subjects, I would recomend you to visit House of Sampoerna, as it is much more impressive, even for someone who is not that interested, has a much more beautiful space, you can watch the workers in the factury and has a big load of history presented to you by a very professional and enthusiastic staff, with almost flawless english. Bentoel is smaller, more company focused and the staff just points to you what you should do next.
Logo of Bentoel
Product of Bentoel
PASAR BESAR - UNDERGROUND MARKET
After this visit, we went to an underground market (literally). It is the "real" Indonesia there, in those very narrow corridors filled with clothes, underwear, food, wedding gifts and much more! Very fun for someone who wants to know the culture more in depth.
street stall in pedestarian
electronic and electricity seller
They sell jewellery and bread
traditional food and fashion
ENG AN KIONG
The next destination was the chinese temple nearby. While walking around the streets to get there, you notice a lot of pharmacies - and behind the counters you will find chinese descendent indonesians, which proves, once more, that Indonesia is a wonderful and unique mix of cultures.
Eng An Kiong the place for taohis, Confucionist and Buddhist in Malang
The Gates on Klenteng Eng An Kiong
You will feel that again the moment you arrive in this Chinese temple, which combines Taohist, Confucionist and Buddhist religions. This temple is fairly big and beautiful and in the facade, the roof shows that the javanese culture is also present in it, with some javanese characters in the base of the roof. the entrance is composed by the guardian lions, and some beautifully sculped dragons with two green lamps in the place of eyes in the pillars.
In the center a gourgeous buddist altar. as one should do in every buddhist temple, we started from the left. the first room we found was a praying room for buddhists - plain, simple and with a beautiful altar. next you can see a lot of different altars, each one for a different God. All of these altars are equally beautiful, but you may want to check out the God of Love and Fertility - call me romantic, but that was my favorite. After the altars on the left, when you look right you will see, in the sun, a big chinese dragon statue in a little lake that has the typical chinese fish - the carp.
You literally feel you left Indonesia and you are somewhere in China. then, you have the buddhist altars, with monks and buddhas' statues. As you would expect, it is impressively beautiful. and in one of them you can find what we call the fat buddha, or the happy buddha or even the laughing buddha.
Before ending the tour around the temple, i went to see that this was not just a worshiping place - it was also a school. on the back you can find a backyard with chairs and another building next to it. finally, heading back to the end of the tour, the last room on the left is a praying room for confucionists.
BIRD AND FLOWER MARKET
Before going back home, we went to visit the Bird and Flower market. These two markets are incredible - first we went to the flower market and got lost in the narrow ways in the middle for the most beautiful flowers and the people who live/work there. You can clearly feel the smell of the flowers and it's kind of "fairy taily".
Pasar bunga or Market Flower
Then, the bird market was a mixed feeling visit to me. I thought it was great and even funny to see some of those animals, who are not just birds: it's also rabbits, dogs, reptiles, cats and much more. You can even find small chickens of every colour, like bright blue, pink or green. On the other hand, these animals are in very poor conditions, as I guess you would expect from a market in Asia. Overall, I liked it, but I felt bad for those animals.
Buyer and seller meet in this market
Food for birds, kitties and many more
Gold fish & fighter fish
catfish on the brick
After that, a quick ride with a scooter to a bridge looking over a kind of slumb area. It's an impressive view that I recomend, as it shows a different way of living in Malang, with very poor houses that make an amazing view. Roaming through the streets of this city gave me a pretty good impression of it. I considered a very good place to live: not too big to be chaotic, but big enough to have everything you need.
on aisle street, i dont remember where is it
gas & oil they sell on bottle. this Gas & oil is for motorcycle.
They make souvenir from rattan. look their hand, so faster!!!
looks like old city, but actually this is cemetry.
unstable blue bridge