With leafy, colonial-era boulevards and a breezy climate, Malang moves at a far more leisurely pace than the regional capital, Surabaya. It’s a cultured city with several important universities, and is home to a large student population. The central area is not too large and is quite walkable.
Established by the Dutch in the closing decades of the 18th century, Malang earned its first fortunes from coffee, which flourished on the surrounding hillsides. Today, the city’s colonial grandeur is quickly disappearing behind the homogeneous facades of more modern developments, but there’s still much to admire for now.
And with a number of Hindu temples and sights outside the city, Malang makes an ideal base to explore this intriguing corner of east Java.