Our train departed from Yogyakarta to Malang at midnight. We arrived in Malang around 8 in the morning. We didn’t book any hostel before so we had to find accomodation first. Knowing no one in town, we were lucky to find a cheap and comfy hostel near the station. It only cost us 10 bucks for a room with twin beds. To tell you the truth, I barely know anything about this town except for its apple which is well distributed in Indonesia (I guess).Malang’s apples. Good to make apple pie.
Therefore, the first thing we did was browsing some information about its touristic spot.
Our highlight in Malang was to visit Mount Bromo and see sunrise from Mount Penanjakan. Since we had to depart from Malang very early to go to Bromo (like 3 in the morning), we decided to use tour service. That way we got a car and a driver which also acted as tour guide that will pick us up at the hostel at 3 in the morning the next day.
After we booked the tour to Bromo, we decided to find this hamburger restaurant that sell huge-size burger in Malang and then go to Batu.It’s called “Burger Buto” Buto means giant in local language.My brother ordered hotdog though.
We had no problem finding the restaurant, the problem was when we go to Batu. Batu is a town nearby, around 20 km to the west of Malang. There were Selecta theme park, Batu Night Spectacular, and many more. One of the Angkot (public mini van) we rode offered to take us to Batu with Rp 80,000.00 each (now it’s around 6 USD). I thought it might be a good offer since we didn’t have to go through the hassles of transfering public transport to reach Batu. However, on our way to reach the final terminal for the Angkot, I felt sleepy due to the excess activities in the past 2 days in Yogyakarta before we reached Malang. My brother even fell asleep in the Angkot! I didn’t realize we were exhausted. Thus, we cancelled the Batu trip and went straight back to the hostel. I remembered it was still early afternoon and we slept right away as soon as we reach the hostel only to be awaken at 7 in the evening to have dinner.On our way to have dinner, we found this Arema fans club cafe. Arema is the local football club well loved by the people of Malang.The Lion of Arema.
We woke up at 2.30 AM the next day to start our tour to Bromo. We checked out early from the hostel since we has to ride the train to Surabaya right away after our Bromo trip. The driver arrived at 3 AM and we departed to Bromo. The ride to Bromo was long. I didn’t remember anything before we reached the foot of the mountain since I had been sleeping the in the car. The ride to the top from the foot of the mountain was groovy. It was pitch black outside the car and the road was kinda off-road. We change the car into jeep due to the hilly contour of the road and arrived around 4 AM at the viewing point of Mount Penanjakan. It was freezing cold there! We need to rent a thicker coat to fight the freezing temperature. We stop at a warung to wait for a while before hiking to the viewing point.
There were many people coming to see the sun rise from the viewing point of Mount Penanjakan. It was silent when we arrived at the point, and 30 minutes later the place was packed with tourists who wanted to see the sunrise.We met Pepi at Mount Penanjakan. Pepi was a tv host in Indonesia. At that time he was hosting a food and travel show in our national tv program.The sun was rising and the darkness fade.Dawn at Mount Bromo.Sea of clouds.Another sight seen from Mount Penanjakan.
After viewing the sun rise, we went to Mount Bromo to see its caldera. To reach the mountain, you can either walk or ride a horse. We chose the second option only for the sake of trying it. Although we had to admit that it’s quite far from the parking lot to the foot of Mount Bromo.Riding a horse to Mount Bromo.Stairs to heaven. To see it’s caldera, you have to hike the stairs built on the side of the Mount Bromo.The caldera of Mount Bromo.Behind my brother was a Hindu temple. The temple survived the eruption of Mount Bromo years ago despite the fact that other things that surrounds it perished.
Beside hiking Mount Bromo, you can also visit Pasir Berbisik, a deserted area. It looks like a desert and we wanted to see it but the driver said we had to pay another Rp 300,000.00 (around 25 USD) to reach that place because it’s quite far. After considering the money we had spent so far, we decided not to. If you want to visit Mount Bromo, it’s better to go in group. That way you can share the cost for the rented jeep and travel to more spots around Mount Bromo with a cheaper price.Bye-bye Mount Bromo.
After the Bromo tour, the driver promised us a short visit to Candi …. before taking us to the train station. But as soon as we arrived there, it was just a small site located in a neighbourhood.Such an anti-climax.
I’m not even sure until now if he really took us to a historical site. We didn’t even get off from the car and go straight to the train station after that. Lesson learned from this trip was, always book your tour early. This way you can spend more time to assess whether the tour you wanted to book was a good one or not. (npa)