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About Batu City
Batu is a city in East Java. The cool, fresh hill town of Batu was a retreat for the Dutch in colonial days. Similarly, these days wealthy local business people from Surabaya and Malang have weekend houses up here whilst the less fortunate visit on a more casual basis. The area is also a major agricultural centre with apple orchards everywhere and a large number of orchid nurseries. Until 2001, Batu was administratively part of Malang but since that time it has been a municipal town in its own right.
The entire area of Batu, including Selecta (specifically constructed as a tourism venue in 1928) is surrounded by mountains and hills. Mount Welirang and Mount Arjuna (Gunung Welirang, Gunung Arjuna) are at the north. To the south is Gunung [“Mount”] Panderman, to the west lies Gunung Banyak [a paragliding site often used for national- and international-level competitions], and to the east is the diminutive Gunung Wukir.
Batu, including Selecta and the surrounding villages, makes for a charming place with much that will appeal to visitors and a couple of days exploring this beautiful area is a worthy part of any visit to Java.
The Batu area is at 800 to 1,100 metres so it is pleasantly cool here compared to lowland East Java. Typical day time temperatures are 17 to 20 °C. Night-time temperatures on the high peaks at 3,000m+ are regularly as low as 3 to 4 °C.
Tourist information Centre
Batu Tourist Information Centre location at Alun-Alun Batu [look for the gigantic strawberry building], ☎ +62 341 591706.
How To Get In?
It is an easy 30 minute drive from Malang to Batu.
Those coming in from Surabaya do not have to pass through Malang; the best way is through the ring road at Singosari [find a major three-way junction on your right – it is called the “Bentoel”/”Karanglo” junction]. Turn right and keep driving until you reach Karangploso, where you’ll see another major intersection. For most major tourist attractions, take a left turn and follow the road signs to Batu. [If you are heading to Selecta or Coban Talun Waterfall, go straight ahead instead].
Regular shuttle buses and pink public minivans ply the route, departing from Malang’s Landung Sari bus terminal. The Malang-Batu bus fare for the Puspa Indah bus is Rp 3.000,00 [early 2014].
The better hotels in the area are open to arranging to collect you from Malang airport or, to a lesser extent, train station [please check the hotel’s web site]. If you are not driving yourself, try to get this as part of your accommodation package.
You can also reach Batu from Kediri by bus [Puspa Indah is the main bus] or car. Please note that this route, although quite scenic, presents some potential risks. The Pare and Kandangan segments are fine but once you leave Kandangan, the road starts to make some sharp turns. Also watch out for an open valley right beside the road [near Pujon – about the last 5-10 km of the trip] possible landslides at this road segment during the rainy season, and reckless bus drivers. On a happier note however, this scenic route passes through a tropical forest, the beautiful Selorejo dam with a mountain backdrop, and a mountainous terrain up to the Batu town border. You are also rewarded by stunning views of the Coban Rondo waterfall [in the Pujon area] which is a short trip away from the main road. The waterfall is a short walk from the parking area. The dam and the waterfall are great stopovers along this route. This makes the Kediri-Batu route a good alternative pathway during the dry season, as long as you exercise extra caution.
During the rainy season however, it is better to take the Surabaya-Batu route [via Singosari-Karangploso or through Malang] which is much safer from natural hazards.
A word of warning that it does get very crowded in Batu at weekends and during school holidays with trippers from Malang and Surabaya. Avoid those periods if at all possible.
The area lends itself very well to walking. There are regular local angkot (public minivan) services and all of the better hotels offer tours and/or private transport to the main sights.
Some notable “angkot”s are:
- the light green ones go to Songgoriti where a famous hot spring is located
- some yellow ones go to the Jatim Park 2 (i.e. Museum Satwa and Batu Secret Zoo) as well as the Batu Night Spectacular (BNS) and Balitjestro subtropical fruit centre. These destinatons (namely BNS and Secret Zoo) are clearly marked on the angkot. Do not board a yellow angkot without this label, as it goes to Karangploso (a completely different direction!)
- Orange-coloured angkots go to the flower village of Sidomulyo and orchard village of Punten. Most go onwards to Selecta (to its ticketing gate, which is a nice 10-15 minutes walk from the actual park entrance), and some proceed to the Coban Talun Waterfall parking area, then further northwards to Sumberbrantas where a lesser known Cangar hot spring, a forest and an arboretum are located. Before getting on one, ask the driver whether he goes to your intended destination. Simply say, for example, “Pak, Coban Talun?”
An average distance [e.g. Batu-Sidomulyo] costs you Rp 3.000,00, while a short distance would cost Rp 2.500,00. The farther the distance, the greater the angkot fare. For instance, Batu-Selecta and Batu-Coban Talun cost Rp 5.000,00 while the fare for Batu-Sumberbrantas is Rp 7.000,00. If you are going to Cangar, ask the driver for a return trip which will cost you Rp 15.000,00. The driver will usually give you his mobile number to be contacted when you need to be picked up, or you can ask him.
- Alun Alun, Batu (the centre point of Batu town). A small park in the middle of Batu town, where locals regularly take walks and idle about. The newly re-worked Alun Alun is adorned with representations of pretty much all of Batu’s specialties: apples, strawberries, milk-producing cows, rabbits, etc. as booths, lanterns and statues. There is also a decent-sized ferris wheel with Rp.3,000 entrance fee… and a drinking water tap [free of charge!]
- Mount Panderman, Songgokerto village. You can see Mount Panderman looming large from the centre of Batu. It is a good hiking and birdwatching area. If an organised hike is of interest you should be able to find a guide at Coban Rondo Waterfall.
- Punten, Punten village (3 km from Batu town centre). Hectare after hectare of apple & orange orchards and orchid nurseries. Pay a nominal rupiah sum and pick and eat as many apples as you can manage. A number of other villages in Batu have similar setups and include Sidomulyo [flower “centre”], Gunung Sari [rose “centre”], Pandanrejo [strawberry]. Punten also has a fish breeding centre.
- Three waterfalls which require require a long and strenuous walk to reach: Coban Talun [north of Selecta], Coban Rais and Coban Putri [south of Batu Night Spectacular]. The latter two are actually two cascades of the same waterfall.
- Songgoriti, (about 2 km west of Batu town centre). This is probably the single most attractive village in the area and a day or half day spent just wandering here will be time well spent. There are some nice hot springs to relieve tired legs and a notable Hindu temple dating from the Majapahit period in the 15th century. There is also a “water park” with a swimming pool, clean toilets [a rarity in Indonesian public places], statues of various kinds [Chinese monkey king and his “bands”; fruit; cars; sculptured trees], Chinese style pavilion. Boats can be hired to get around the pond. There are separate entry fees for the water park and hot spring [Rp 10.000 per person excluding parking fee].
- Taman Rekreasi Selecta, Selecta, ☎ +62 341 592379. This landscaped park [which has lots of flowers with different colours] was established by the Dutch in 1930 and although very changed, it remains a charming place to visit outside of the school holiday seasons (when it is overrun with children). Nice swimming pool and small waterpark, interesting aquariums and water features. Opportunities for some guided walks and horse riding. There is a hotel and restaurant attached to the park.
- Kaliwatu Rafting (rafting malang), Jalan Raya Pandan Rejo no.4. Batu (Through the town of Batu From Surabaya – Malang, fork Karanglo (Bentoel), Market Coral Ploso turn left, turn right fork Pendem, town square, BCA intersection (traffic light), selekta right direction, the second junction turn right (car wash bendo) base camp kaliwatu (approximately 20 minutes from Karanglo)), ☎ 0341 -594175. 1.5 hour. http://baturafting.com | Kaliwatu rafting gives you the best serv from children to adults. You also offer a variety of products. like paintball, airsoft gun, flyingfox, donald boot, and many others. was fit to be an alternative your family recreation.
- Balitjestro (Government-run Citrus and subtropical fruit plantation & research centre), Jalan Raya Tlekung 1 (from Jatim Park 2, go along Jalan Raya Oro Oro Ombo, past BNS but before Rumah Sakit [Hospital] Baptis. It is on the right hand side of the road.). Learn about subtropical fruit varieties grown in Indonesia, including a local tangerine cultivar named “Jeruk Keprok Batu 55”. Also has a guest house. In the harvest month of August, juicy oranges are free to pick and eat inside the orchard. Expect to pay Rp 10.000 for every kilogram of oranges you take home [price is current as of August 2014].
- Taman Wisata Tirta Nirwana Songgoriti, Jl. Songgoriti 51, Songgokerto, Batu, ☎ 0341-593551-555. Songgoriti is located in Songgokerto village, Batu district, under the hillside of Mount Panderman and has a hot spring pool. There is temple Songgoriti and Ganesha Statue as the empire omission of Singosari and Dutch era. Songgoriti Temple is located in a dale dissociating between mountainsides of Arjuna with mountainside of Kawi. This temple has built with a hot spring, which had believed able to heal various diseases. Seen from its simple architecture style, this temple classified as eldest temple in Central Java and the decoration described Central Java manner. Songgoriti tourism object is surrounded by nature scenery, so that it has fresh and cool air. This object is very interesting for anyone who wants to walk around for having relaxed or feel the real nature nuance. 10.000 IDR.
- Climb Mt Panderman. There are two routes: through Pesanggrahan [drive along Jalan Suropati until you see a gated street with a “Gunung Panderman” sign] and through a mountain pass near Kusuma Agrowisata. The former alternative is a longer but easier trek.
- Walk. The area in and around Batu and Selecta is very scenic indeed and lends itself well to casual walking as well as more strenuous treks.
- Eat apples. They are everywhere and you can hardly not. Fruit picking [including apples, strawberries, oranges, guava and dragon fruit] can be done in the vast Kusuma Agrowisata Resort [Jl Abdul Gani Atas]. This resort also has a 3-star hotel-and-cottages, restaurants, cafes and a coffee shop, a swimming pool attached to one of the restaurants. Apparently a waterpark has also been built recently.
- Those interested in religion, history and culture might want to visit Pura Luhur Giri Arjuno, a large active Hindu temple near the northernmost village of Sumberbrantas.
- Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park for active volcanoes.
- Coban Rondo Waterfall, (4km from Sebaluh village, west of Batu). A good waterfall on the slopes of Mount Panderman with a 30 metre drop. The road here from Sepalu village goes through attractive terrain with some nice views and passes a small Elephant enclosure. A nice excursion is to get dropped off at the turning at Sepalu and walk the 4 km to the falls. There many monkeys in the area as well. Entrance fee is Rp. 15,000 (Sept. 2013). For those who dislike walking too far, the waterfall is a short and relatively convenient walk from the parking lot.
Theme and Amusement Parks
- Jawa Timur [Jatim] Park 1, Jl Kartika 2 Batu, ☎ 0341-597777
- Jatim Park 2 (which consists of Batu Secret Zoo and ”Museum Satwa”/Wildlife Museum), Jl Raya Oro Oro Ombo
- Batu Night Spectacular (BNS), Jl. Raya Oro-Oro Ombo 200 Batu, ☎ 0341-5025111
- Museum Angkut+ [literally “Transport Museum Plus”], Jl Abdul Gani [at the intersection with Jl Sultan Agung]. A tourist attraction “complex” comprising a transport museum, replicas of various buildings around the world, a movie star studio and an elegant floating-market styled food court. D’Topeng Museum, a comprehensive mask museum is also located here.
*More Information: Batu City
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About Malang Raya
The term Malang Raya covers the area of Malang City (Kota Malang), Batu City (Kota Batu) and Malang Regency (Kabupaten Malang). The area is scattered from the north (85 km from Surabaya) to the south (Hindian Ocean) and from the west and southwest a mountainous area with the peak of Mount Arjuno (3.339 m) and Mount Kawi (2.651 m), to the east a mountainous area with the peak of Mount Semeru (3.676 m) and Mount Bromo (2.392 m). This type of landscape and elevation, results in mild climate with average temperature of 27°C. The day average temperature is 31°C (24-33°C) and the night average temperature is 26°C (22-29°C) which varies between seasons (dry and rainy seasons).
The tropical climate of Malang Raya with significant rainfall throughout the year is a good combination for agriculture. The highland of Batu city and Malang regency produce variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers and has been a major area for tea plantation since the Dutch colonial. The lowland of Malang regency produces rice, corn, cassava and sugarcane. Malang city grows as a centre for trade and industries.
Malang city is nested within the Malang regency and a home to 800 thousands inhabitants, Batu city has population of 170 thousands, while Malang regency has more than 2 million inhabitants clustering in the Malang valley. However, with the population density of 6000 inhabitants/km2, Malang city is the second most populous city in East Java.
Malang has a strong reputation as a centre for higher education and learning in Indonesia. There are 17 state and private universities and colleges as well as 2 international schools in Malang. University of Brawijaya is one of state universities in Malang, has made its rank into the top 6 universities in Indonesia.
Malang Raya is a centre of tourism, owing various places of interest from beaches along the Hindian Oceans in Malang regency to mountainous area in Batu and Malang regency which becomes one of the popular destinations in Indonesia attracting both domestic and international travellers. Malang is not only blessed with beautiful nature but is also rich with cultural heritage, historical sites and art maintained harmoniously along with the pace of modernization and industrialization.