Malang, Java, Indonesia

Trip Start Dec 25, 2008
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Where I stayed
Helios Hotel

Flag of Indonesia  , East Java,
Monday, September 28, 2009

This morning I wake up with the sound of dishes outside my room!!  OMG, this is the 1st time that I am served breakfast at the room!!  Well actually there are two breakfast because here it doesn't matter how many times I tell them  that I want a room for one person!!!! (Of course that doesn't exist!!!) All are double rooms or twin rooms and so they charge me for a double room including breakfast for two so theu serve two breakfasts or always give me two breakfast coupons!!!! (I just wonder how I can use up two breakfast coupons when it is a buffet breakfast!!!!). Even when I tell them that I just need one coupon, I still get two!!  I think maybe I should have an early breakfast at 6 am and then an early lunch at 10 am, Being that I still haven't been able to get used to Asian breakfast of noodles, rice, meat !!! if I had eggs and toast at 6 am then maybe I could have noodles at 10 and consider that lunch!!!! One more thing!! I could not drink  the coffee nor the tea as it was already sweetened!! but I did eat my rice (this is indeed a first) with fried egg!!! No choice this time that is all that is offered!!!!

After breakfast, I get an early start on discovering Malang also established by the Dutch in late 18th century.  The hotel is about 10 to 15 minute walk to the center but basically quite an easy walk and interesting buildings along the way.  I stop at the tourist information and get some great information. I also stop at the Bromo Sunrise Travel and there as well I am given excellent information on different tours around Malang and to Mount Bromo.  Most of the day is spent walking, visiting and enjoying this "small town atmosphere".  I also check out a few hotels to see if there is something better than what I have as I don't know how much time I will spend here.  I check out the Splendid Inn that did not get good reviews on Trip Advisor but when I see a room with AC at 220,000 incl. breakfast it looks clean and actually better value than Helios. There is also a pool.  I am thinking that maybe I will change hotels tomorrow. I also check out the top end hotel - Hotel Tugu Malang  which I love.  It is very well maintained and is filled with antiques and basically has a great atmosphere.  The prices are quoted in US $ and they start at 99$ US. I really don't need this luxury!!! so I decide to just have lunch here at the Melati restaurant which is beside the pool (again lovely setting).  I had chicken satay and the best coffee that I have had in a very long time. The price was very reasonable and I would say not more expensive then other decent restaurants. Definitely worth it.  The Lonely Planet talks about the Roti Tugu as having sublime pastries at this hotel but you have to know that it is not inside the hotel but has a separate entrance which is on the right hand side of the main entrance. (On the main street beside it.) I did not try it as it really didn't seem that great!!! There is a Dutch pastry shop further along  on Julian Kahuripan which has a better selection.  Also further up this same street there is a great "supermarket"  where you can probably satisfy most of your cravings:  peanut butter,  smuckers jam, cornflakes, canned and fresh fruit . . . .!!! and it is also at a pretty penny. Of course this is located close to the "Estate Homes" of Malang.  Some of the houses here are just amazing and huge and the Boulevard is also very impressive.
(I think I read somewhere that at one time Malang had more millionnaires living here than any other place in Indonesia.)

I did visit the Chinese temple, the Catholic Church and the exterior of the Mosque, the bird market and yes I think this is the last Bird Market that I am visiting as they totally turn me off especially what they feed the birds.  I had forgotten that birds eat "worms and bugs". I guess when they find then on their own in my lawn it seems OK but to see all these wiggley worms on a huge platter is just so not  natural!!!! Also this market seemed to be selling any type of animal they could find:  bats, monkeys, squirrells, owls . . .   Why do they sell bats!!! I found out from my guide to Mount Bromo that the heart of the bat is supposed to be very good to heal breathing problems like asthma!!!! Go figure!!!

Hotel Helios is @ Patimumra 37 (phone 62341362741). This is where I decided to stay and was happy I did after talking to a couple that stayed at Splendid Inn and said that even if it looked clean at the beginning it was infested with ants and that she would not dare to go in the pool in its present state/condition.

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jasmine on

the way you describe this city is interesting- I few times went to Malang for food adventures - but I missed the spot you captured - like the monkey show and also that bird market - maybe because I see those as day to day routine.. :)

the must visit spot in Malang is BATU for the apple.... you missed it I think... ?

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