Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 5 December 2009 • Itinerary
We woke up early the next day because we had to chase Malang before dark. That morning Semarang was raining. It had been raining for a few hours. While searching for the rout out to the highway… we got lost… way lost! I guess the city heard us last night, and it lead us back to the old city. We were meant to go there as the universe wants us and so did a photo session… click!
Destination: Semarang, Central Java, to Malang, East Java
Turns out that Semarang is a flooded city and they even have a song for it. I thought it was a sentimental song. What do you know… it’s a factual song. Give it an ounce of rain and the water is already up to your ankles. It’s such a turn off even though the old city was really nice. After the photo session we easily traced back our route and found that the high way out was a mere 10 minutes from the wrong turn we took.
The Pantura road from Semarang was a pain in the butt. There were so many reconstructions to it!!! Sally knows these roads well and she informed us that this is merely a routine thing coming in the Lebaran day (the festive day after a months fasting for the moslems) which most of the people use the road to head to each of their hometown. This shouldn’t be something routine, because it really is stressful! Remember, I’m the day day driver… Huuuhhh!!
We kinda took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up taking the alternative route all the way up north. But hey, it was great! A sightseeing tour! The scenery was beautiful all along the north coast. The characteristic of the north coast is different to most of the south beaches. The north sea is the Java Sea which has less energy and waves making it a more subtle ocean. This also leads to less white sand beaches and um… murkier water!
Coming in the night we finally reached the outskirts Surabaya, and we took the highway straight to Malang. We were to meet our friend Fahrur in Malang. Arriving at about 8 pm, and of course Sally behind the wheel by then, we searched for a venue to eat. No doubt we were looking for meatballs, which the city is infamous for. Fahrur took us to Baso Kota. Turns out we could actually get that in Jakarta! It was a good meal. It had the taste of the Malang meat ball for sure.
After this meal, we called it a day at Fahrur’s place. Fahrur’s family happen to have girl’s dormitory, a business hype around campus areas such as where Fahrur lives. Luckily there was an empty room.
The agenda: Sleep!
It’s been 3 days waking up damn early and driving a heavy car like Puspita. And it’s always about 10 pm arriving to where ever we sleep. Not to mention the midnight talks and laughs. Hell yeah! We gave ourselves a little break and woke up a little later than usual. Bondi, one of the owners of Puspita, happily joined us with his wife Ami from Bali. It was great to have 4 out of 5 Puspita gang on the trip.
Our agenda that day was to tour Malang. Puspita needed a break after a lot of speed so we toured this small cool city. You can tell Puspita needed a break since she started to get a bit nagging and didn’t want to start… wait a minute… ummm the gas tank was dry, our bad! So filled her up and started to push just to give that extra umph to start her up.
Going around Malang, we basically saw the city, looked at the elite area, the monuments, with Fahrur as the guide, and then headed to the famous Toko Oen. Toko Oen is a restaurant with recipes from the colonial days. The ice cream is very famous having not so creamy taste but still good. The restaurant is within an old preserved building and the waiters can also serve you in Dutch. It’s a great place for us to hang out because it’s not the usual Jakarta hype urban café.
After Toko Oen, we went a little shopping to the commercial bookstore just beside Toko Oen. There was a stand for hiking gear so we stopped by to try out some stuff. We probably would need a thing or two since we were heading for… BROMO! Yes people, Malang is the city to transit once you intend to visit Bromo Mountain. So some of us went and bought beanies just for the cold air.
Closing in the night, we went to the supermarket to get some supplies. We carefully calculated and decided to take Puspita up so that we can continue our trip to Bali afterwards. We then grabbed a bite at Cui Noodles, which was located … before heading home preparing for the big trip to Bromo.
Bandeng Juwana, located not far from the Lawang Sewu junction. It had a huge supply of local food and snacks for you to buy on the first floor and a restaurant on the second. Now don’t be fooled about the establishment because the food was awesome! Semarang is well know for it’s soft bone Bandeng fish. And in this restaurant most of the menu was made of it and it taste great.We eventually took two nights to eat here. It was worth the taste we can tell you that!
At Malang, we happen to have some Cui Mie or Cui Noodles. This noodle is handmade and is originated from Malang. We browsed online to see where people eat and we found this store. The noodles tasted great. It had a different taste to the noodle having more texture and has a great blend of spice to the noodle. For Sally, a noodle eating freak, it tasted great. For me? Yum to the Mo!
Kudus was one of the cities for food. Kudus is well known for it’s Soto or Soup. This time we found a Soto with buffalo meat. I specifically have never tried it but what the heck? All I can say is… YUMMO! For a random street vendor, his Soto was yummm! Added the gloomy cold morning… just perfect!
If you are travelling to Malang from Surabaya using your personal vehicle, taking the highway is definitely a lot faster. Just follow the signs and the highway will lead you to the exit to Malang.
To Malang, you would have to drive 1-2 hours.
Semarang is the capital province of Central Java. it is located on the north coast of Java. Considering tourism, Semarang is well known as the gate to Karimun Jawa National Jawa.
Malang is a satelite city to Surabaya. It is considered the retreat city for the Surabaya population. It has a chilly air and green environment compared to Surabaya life.