One Day Trip to Cirebon from Jakarta

Cirebon is a favourite one day trip from Jakarta for the locals and tourists alike. If you think you need an escape plan from the capital city while you don’t want to take your annual leave, then going to Cirebon would be a great choice.

Cirebon is easily accessible from Jakarta and is located on the border between West and Central Java. It is no wonder that this place is rich with cultures from both sides hence making it an interesting place to visit culture wise.

Cirebon train station, Indonesia

Arriving at Cirebon train station. Photo by Kars Alfrink

Things to Do in Cirebon

Visit Keraton Kasepuhan Palace
Keraton Palaces are usually on the list to visit whenever one is in the cities of Java. One famous one is the Kraton Palace in Yogyakarta. Cirebon has its own too, which was built in 1446. This palace stands as a testament to Islamic history in Cirebon. When you enter this palace, take a look closer at their wood carvings and their ornaments. Here you can learn how East and West cultures meet in harmony.

Starting from 1988, the palace left two buildings are turned into museums. Here you can find relics not only from the archipelago but also from the Portuguese, China, Dutch, and Japanese.

Cirebon Keraton Kesapuhan Palace, Indonesia

Behind the two well-known white tigers in Keraton Cirebon complex. Photo by Isti

Find peace and quiet in Gua Sunyaragi
Another historical place worth to visit is Gua Sunyaragi (Sunyaragi Cave). Built in 1703, this place is not a literal cave. If Yogyakarta has Taman Sari as a bathing complex for the royal families to relax, then Cirebon has this Gua Sunyaragi for the same

Sunyaragi is derived from a word of “Sunyi” which means quiet or silent and “Raga” means body. Sultans also come to this place often to have meditation surrounded by the sound of the waterfall. Unlike other common temple made of stones like Andesite and bricks, Gua Sunyaragi is made from coral stones resembling a temple.

Corals at the Gua Sunyaragi, Indonesia

Corals at the Gua Sunyaragi. Photo by Isti

Shop for Batik Cirebon at Trusmi
Don’t leave Cirebon without carrying batik from this city. Trusmi village is where most of its resident live to make batik. It is located about 4 km west of the city center. There are workshops dating back to the 14th century here at the many small alleys. Trusmi village has been a central of batik business since a long time ago. They produce and sell them here at the same time. There are many products beautifully decorated with Batik Cirebon that you can choose from here, such as clothes, sandal, bag, wallet, and accessories.

Cirebon batik in various colors, Indonesia

Cirebon batik in various colors. Photo by Citta Swissanto

Where to Stay in Cirebon

If you are here for more than just one day trip, there are many choices of place to stay here in Cirebon, ranging from luxury to budget. Recommended hotel is the Aston Cirebon Hotel & Convention Center *, a four stars hotel with a contemporary design. It has more than 200 rooms which are divided into different types. The facilities are also great with an outdoor pool, jogging and bicycle pump track, mini golf, mini zoo, and spa for pampering yourself.

-> Find the best htoel prices in Cirebon with *

What To Eat in Cirebon

Empal Gentong is the most famous food here in Cirebon. Diced beef meat are mixed with other parts such as intestine, lung, and tripe. Then it will be poured with curry-like beef soup. Empal Gentong literally means beef in gentong (clay pot). This dish is cooked using a traditional method cooking the beef in a clay pot over firewood from the mango tree.

Cirebon batik in various colors, Indonesia

Empal Gentong is usually served with rice or rice cake. Photo by Swaradila Weesy

You can find Nasi Jamblang almost everywhere on the roadsides in Cirebon. Nasi Jamblang is rice which you can mix and match with various side dishes such as fried Tempe, salted fish, various Pepes, fried chicken, black squid stir-fry, sautéed shrimp, satay, egg stew, tongue cooked with curry, and fried lung.

The most important part of Nasi Jamblang is its rice wrapped by teak leaf. Teak leaf brings the aroma into the rice and also keep it from going stale easily.

Nasi Jamblang at Cirebon, Indonesia

Nasi Jamblang at Cirebon. Photo by Kars Alfrink

How to get to Cirebon from Jakarta

There are some choices you can take to go to Cirebon. First, you can take bus departing from several terminals in Jakarta. The fare is between IDR 50,000- IDR 200,000 it depends on the class you choose.

The train travel from Jakarta offers you a comfortable journey to Cirebon. The train price is only a little higher than the bus fare, making it a much more attractive option, especially that it is such a scenic ride. The economy train starts from IDR 80,000 while executive class (Cirebon Ekspres or Tegal Bahari) starts from IDR 120,000.

Rice fields of Java view by train, Indonesia

Rice fields of Java view by train between Jakarta and Cirebon. Photo by Jason Graham

Be aware though that you might have to pay more if you choose certain train whose last station is not Cirebon like Argo Dwipangga, Argo Lawu, Argo Muria, Argo Jati, Purwojaya, Taksaka, Gajayana, and Bima. Those trains can take you to Cirebon with higher fare where sometimes you have to pay more than IDR 300,000!

A one day trip to Cirebon is quite enough to refresh and rejuvenate. Prep yourself for the week ahead by taking the train back to Jakarta, enjoying the pleasant view of rice paddies along the way.

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Top 10 Best Food to Eat Bandung

Unlike many other cities in Indonesia, Bandung doesn’t have such a set food scene, and it can be hard to find ‘traditional’ food that is unique to the city. Instead, Bandung is most famous for its dishes that originated in other parts of Indonesia but which have been given their own ‘Bandung twist’.

Much of the food found in Bandung is Sundanese in origin and although you may find similar dishes across Indonesia, the Bandung varieties are usually unique in their own right even if they can’t claim to be the original version of dish.
Despite its lack of a definitive culinary identity as opposed to other cities like Medan in Sumatra, you definitely won’t go hungry here, and a trip to this part of Java is the perfect opportunity to eat your way around the city.

Here are the recommended 10 best foods to try in Bandung.

Eating out in Bandungfood, Indonesia

Eating out in Bandung. Photo by Phalinn Ooi


Serabi, also known as Surabi, are Indonesia’s answer to pancakes which are made with flour and then cooked in a special clay mould over charcoal to help them keep their shape. Sometimes the pancakes can be flavoured with pandan which produces a pretty pastel green version of serabi. The pancakes are usually thick and more like a mix between a cake and a pancake and are served with a sauce of palm sugar and coconut milk which is drizzled on top to give them a sweet kick. Nowadays some serabi can be served with different toppings like shavings of cheese, chocolate sprinkles, or sliced banana. This is usually a street food and can be found at breakfast time although you can also eat them as a snack at any time of the day. In other parts of Indonesia, serabi may come savoury as well.

Serabi of Bandung food, Indonesia

Serabi with sweet sugar sauce. Photo by Serenity via CC


Batagor is eaten all over Indonesia although it is said to have originated in West Java and is one of Bandung’s specialities. The name comes from an abbreviation of the ingredients used in the dish, bakso tahu goreng, or fried meatballs and tofu. The dish is usually eaten as a snack rather than a full meal and is served with fried fish balls that are usually encased in a crispy batter or are stuffed inside the chunks of tofu for which this dish is famous. The fish balls and sit alongside shredded cabbage and are doused in a delicious peanut based sauce.


Lotek is a Sundanese dish that is basically another version of Indonesia’s most famous salad, gado-gado. Lotek is made from vegetables like bean sprouts and water spinach, and also includes pillowy chunks of tofu. The salad ingredients are covered in a spicy peanut sauce which is reminiscent of gado-gado although the two dishes use slightly different seasonings in the sauce. Lotek also comes with prawn crackers called krupuk and is served with compressed rice cakes named lontong.

Lotek of Bandung food, Indonesia

Lotek. Photo by Okkisafire via CC

Pisang Molen

Pisang molen is a quintessential snack found all over Bandung and consists of bananas encased in pastry. The bananas are then deep fried so that the pastry puffs up to provide a kind of crunchy shell around the soft interior. This snack is so popular that many people buy pisang molen as presents to take home at the end of a trip to Bandung although they are best enjoyed piping hot from a roadside stand.

Pisang Molen of Bandung food, Indonesia

Pisang Molen. Photo by Midori via CC

Soto Bandung

Soto is a kind of soup that is famous across Indonesia and varies according to each region, and Soto Bandung is no different. Many soto recipes call for chicken to be used as the main protein, although Soto Bandung is traditionally made using beef. Unlike some soto dishes like Soto Medan which uses coconut milk to thicken the broth, Soto Bandung is clear and is pepped up with the unusual addition of slices of radish which give it a peppery kick that mixes with the hearty beef stock.

Soto of Bandung food, Indonesia

Soto Bandung. Photo by Gunawan Kartapranata via CC

Cilok Bandung

Cilok gets its name from aci which is the Indonesian word for starch. This delicious street food snack is made from tapioca which is rolled into the shape of a ball and then boiled. It may not sound exciting but the balls are then threaded into skewers and served with a spicy dipping sauce that makes this a delicious snack to eat on the go.

Mie Kocok

Mie Kocok is quite different from many Indonesian noodle dishes and is made from flat noodles that swim in a delicious beef stock. Depending on how it is made it can come served with kikil or cow tendons and tripe. The broth is then spiked with celery leaves and topped with fried onions. Sometimes it can also be made with chicken and may include chicken’s feet or other variations use beef meatballs.

Mie Kocok stall in Bandung, Indonesia

Mie Kocok stall in Bandung. Photo by Phalinn Ooi


Karedok is similar in many ways to gado-gado and lotek. Essentially it is a salad made up of crunchy vegetables such as beans, bean sprouts, cabbage, and cucumber although it omits steamed potato which is often found in both gado-gado and lotek. The salad is tossed in a thick peanut dressing mixed with chilli and the signature difference when it comes to keradok is the use of basil leaves which add an aromatic herbal hit to the dish.

Sundanese Food in Bandung, Karedok, Indonesia

Sundanese Food in Bandung, Karedok on bottom left. Photo by Gunawan Kartapranata via CC


Another Sundanese favourite in Bandung is gepuk which is a dish of spicy fried beef which is sometimes likened to Indonesia’s famous beef rendang curry. The dish is usually made using beef flank which is pounded to soften the flesh and then mixed with aromatic spices like coriander, lemongrass, galangal and Indonesian bay leaves. The meat is then cooked in coconut milk and is slightly sweet thanks to the addition of palm sugar. Gepuk is usually served with rice and is topped with fried shallots.

Amanda Brownies

Brownies may not immediately sound like a quintessential Indonesian dish but if you are looking for dessert in Bandung then these are not to be missed. The brownies here are steamed rather than baked which means they are incredibly soft and fluffy with a deep hit of cocoa that makes them rich and incredibly moreish. The most famous spot to buy brownies in the city is Amanda Brownies so make sure to come and pick up a box before you leave.

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Top 10 Best Coffee Places in Jakarta – Locals’ favourite picks

The coffee culture in Jakarta is vibrant and thriving. Nowadays, coffee shops or cafes are the places to go when you are not in the mood of being at home. Whether it is the weekend or after office hours, people in Jakarta would choose a coffee place to hang out with their friends or even to hold a casual meeting.

As the demand of coffee shop goers grows and cafes pop up like mushroom after rain, there are many (maybe too many) to choose from. With the vast amount of choices, choosing the best coffee place for yourself is no easy feat.

Here we pick our personal 10 favourite coffee places in Jakarta just for you:

Best coffee places Jakarta, Indonesia

Best coffee places in Jakarta. Photo by Verena Yunita Yapi


This coffee shop is owned by a geologist graduate. A small place located on the left side of Jl. Prof.DR. Satrio . If you are a coffee lover, this place is just for you. Kopikina is out to present the best coffee from all over Indonesia. You name it, they have it, from Arabica, Robusta to Liberica.

Address: Jalan Kh. Abdullah Syafi’ie No. 1, Tebet, RT.1/RW.2, Tebet, Kota Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta 12810

Kopikina coffee shop in Jakarta, Indonesia

Kopikina coffee shop in Jakarta. Photo by Isti

Toko Kopi Aroma Nusantara

Hidden among hundreds of stores at the 4th Floor of Mall Ambassador in Kuningan, this place is a good respite after walking around and getting lost at this massive mall. Enjoying your local coffee while surrounded by coffee bean jars of coffee varieties from all around Indonesia is definitely an experience.

Address: Mal Ambassador, Lt 4 No 18, Jl. Prof. DR. Satrio, RT.11/RW.4, Karet Kuningan, DKI Jakarta, 12940

Toko Kopi coffee place in Jakarta, Indonesia

Toko Kopi, a hidden coffee place. Photo by Isti

Bakoel Koffie

Cikini has been well-known in the area with the ambience of old Jakarta around. Bakoel Koffie is one of them which has its history dated since the 1870s. The decorations, the wooden chairs and the other classic furniture will surely give you the nostalgia at this historical coffee shop. The coffee signature from Bakoel Koffie belongs to black coffee made with the hereditary recipe from the founder.

Address: Jalan Cikini Raya No.25, RT.16/RW.1, Cikini, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat, DKI Jakarta 10330

Bakoel Koffie, a historical coffee shop in Jakarta, Indonesia

Bakoel Koffie, a historical coffee shop in Jakarta. Photo by Ardy Muswardi

Ninotchka Coffee

Do you really have the heart to finish your coffee with a cat-shaped latter art in front of you? Despite this carefully and beautifully crafted kitty-shaped foam, you will not be able to resist drinking their blend of espresso, steamed milk till the last drop. This coffee shop apparently is owned by a popular Indonesia fashion blogger, Sonia Eryka.

Address: Citra Garden 6, Ruko Sixth Avenue J5A-18, Jl. Peta Utara, RT.1/RW.5, Tegal Alur, Kalideres, Jakarta Barat, DKI Jakarta 11810

Filosofi Kopi

Brought to the reality based on the movie with the same name “Filosofi Kopi”, this coffee shop shows a small corner in a former obsolete building to be a place of Jakarta people to associate. This coffee place is decorated with paintings displayed at a long table in the corner and a brick wall drawn with a giant cup of coffee.If you are here after watching the film, don’t expect to get a cup of Ben’s Perfecto here or a card from Ben.

Address: Jalan Melawai 6 Blok M No 8, Kebayoran Baru, RT.3/RW.1, Melawai, Kota Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta 12160

Filosofi Kopi Jakarta, Indonesia

Filosofi Kopi. Photo by Isti

Tuku Kopi

In Javanese, “Tuku Kopi” means buying coffee. This is one of the happening coffee shops to visit around Jakarta. If you a signature coffee taste from Tuku Kopi, you should try the Kopi Tetangga. There is a philosophy behind its name. The owner hopes everyone in the settlements would be able to enjoy coffee. Hence, the coffee here is sold underprice compared to other coffee shops in Jakarta. Also, to adjust to the taste and needs of the society, there are three different coffee grinders for a light roast, medium roast, and medium dark roast.

Address: Jl. Cipete Raya No.7, Cipete Sel., Cilandak, Kota Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta 12410

Tuku Kopi for everyone in Jakarta, Indonesia

Tuku Kopi for everyone in Jakarta. Photo by @tokokopituku

Kuppie Coffee

A shopping mall may not be the place you want to go to enjoy your coffee, but do not judge before trying out this place yourself. Located inside STC Senayan, Kuppie Coffee can be enjoyed without looking out the glass door to the crowds. It is quiet inside here and you can take your time to sit, sip the taste of coffee you selected, read your favourite book, or just have some good conversation. Kuppie Coffee is probably one among the minority who doesn’t provide Wi-Fi since we are asked to transport ourselves back to 1845, a life without that addictive connection.

Address: STC Senayan GF/56, Jalan Asia Afrika Pintu IX Gelora Senayan, RT.1/RW.3, Gelora, Kota Jakarta Pusat, DKI Jakarta 10270

Kuppie coffee Jakarta, Indonesia

The mini Mr Kuppie will serve you a cup of coffee. Photo by @kuppie_coffee

Tanamera Coffee

Purported to sell only 100% Arabica coffee from Indonesia, Tanamera has caught the attention of many coffee lovers around Jakarta. It is located in Central Jakarta and the best thing is that they only brew original coffee from Indonesia like Aceh, Toraja, Manggarai, and Malabar coffee. You can have either coffee from manual brewing or espresso from the machine.

Address : Thamrin City Office Park Blok AA No. 7, Jalan Kebon Kacang Raya, Tanah Abang, RT.8/RW.9, Kb. Melati, Kota Jakarta Pusat, DKI Jakarta 10230

Tanamera cafe in Jakarta, Indonesia

Tanamera cafe in Jakarta. Photo by pauluswilliamk

Es Kopi Tak Kie

If you’re looking for an authentic coffee in Jakarta, Es Kopi Tak Kie is a must go to place. Founded in 1927 by Liong Kwie Jong, it is now run by their 3rd generation. The classical taste started by their predecessor remained unchanged. Ayauw, the current owner, also makes a variant blend of coffee into one glass, such as Arabica and Robusta coffee from Lampung with Toraja and Sidikalang coffee. While already widely known, thanks to the social media, Es Kopi Tak Kie got a surge in popularity. Previously you will see many old people here enjoying their coffee as usual but now, young people flock here to taste the original coffee since the colonial days of Indonesia.

Address: Jl. Pintu Besar Selatan III, Gang Gloria No. 4 – 6, Glodok, RT.7/RW.6, Pinangsia, Tamansari, Kota Jakarta Barat, DKI Jakarta 11120

A nostalgic coffee place in Jakarta, Es Tak Kie Indonesia

A nostalgic coffee place in Jakarta, Es Tak Kie. Photo by Jerry Toisa

ABCD (A Bunch of Caffeine Dealers)

This coffee place is actually more of a coffee stall located inside a traditional market called Pasar Santa. Please note that they are only open on weekends since this place is used for the school of barista on weekdays. There is a few uniqueness you can find at ABCD, which opened in 2014. It is owned by Hendri Kurniawan, one of World Barista Championship Judge and this coffee kiosk opens based on their stock of coffee. Check their Instagram @abcd_coffee for opening information before visiting. They also implement the concept “ pay as you like it”t. All the barista and the owner are only volunteers here to serve the best coffee to the people. They do not profit but instead use what the people pay to purchase the coffee beans and restart the cycle.

Address: Pasar Santa Level 1, Block AL.01-BKS No. 75-77, Jl. Cipaku I, South Jakarta

If you are a typical coffee addict who only needs a shot of coffee at home, you can also order the coffee via online ojek (online taxi bike) through an application. Almost all the above coffee shops have a partnership with the online ojek provider. But if you are looking for a good coffee place to escape to, then just check out the cafes we have suggested above for some good coffee and a good hangout with friends!

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Top 10 Things to Do in Malang

When I decided to visit Malang during my trip, it was not because there were many things I want to do there. A good friend of mine happens to be there for work. Being a cheap backpacker, I was excited for the free accommodation while being a solo traveler, I was thrilled to have a companion. Much to my surprise, Malang turns out to be an interesting addition to my Java trip. This city is brimming with local buzz, giving it an authentic Indonesian experience. It is also filled with some interesting tourist attractions that may not be on a typical tourist’s radar.

Tugu Bundaran, Malang's monument, Indonesia

Tugu Bundaran, Malang’s monument

Explore the city center

Malang city center is relatively small and easily explored by foot. First, take your orientation with the famous Malang monument – Tugu Bundaran. This majestic monument stands in a middle of a waterlily filled pond. If you are staying at Tugu Hotel *, a highly recommended place to stay in Malang *, the monument is just across at the roundabout. From here take a walk around the city, taking in the buzz of the Indonesian life. Head on south-west to Malang’s Great Mosque Jami, another noteworthy tourist attraction in Malang.

Malang's Great Mosque Jami, Indonesia

Malang’s Great Mosque Jami

Walk along Jalan Ijen (street)

First off, take your time and wander around the city. Malang is small enough to comfortably, if you ignore the heat, to explore all over. When you walk around, you will see traces of Dutch influence here. If you go along Jalan Ijen (street), you will see colonial houses and palm trees lining up. Here you will feel somewhat transported to somewhere in Europe. Do not miss out the church here, St. Maria, a Catholic church that also boasts Dutch colonial features. The latest initiative here, since 2011, is the car free Sunday from 5 am till 9.30 am. At this period, you will find many locals come here for their morning walk, biking, skateboarding and gymnastics.

Colonial Ijen Street, Malang, Indonesia

Colonial Ijen Street, Malang

Eat the local food

In Malang you can find many famous Java local cuisines, from street stalls to restaurants. The Indonesian food that you must try here in Malang is fried gurame (fish), satay (grilled meat skewers), urap-urap (mixed salad with grated coconuts) and local dessert of fried banana. When I was here, my friend and I went to Inggil restaurant, not just for its delicious food but also its interesting atmosphere of various old trinkets and antiques inside a Dutch house. Another must try food is the local mie goreng (fried noodles) at a roadside stall.

Indonesian dishes at Inggil Restaurant, Indonesia

Indonesian dishes at Inggil Restaurant

Visit the traditional market (pasar) or the night market

There is a few traditional market in Malang that you can visit. A popular one is the Oro-oro Dowo and the Pasar Besar (big market). Here you can come in the day and shop together with the local for the freshest produces. If you are a night person, there are also the night market here in Malang at Jalan Kyai Tamin. This market offers a variety of local souvenirs and food vendors, though don’t expect too much for the quality of the food here.

Malang Inggil Restaurant, Indonesia

Inggil Restaurant interior

Take a becak ride

After refusing several times during my wandering times around Malang, I finally gave in for a ride on the becak. My friend wanted to also have the experience, so I thought it would be a good reason to also try it out. It turns out to be a cooling and breezy ride, a nice change from my slow walking around the city. With a ride on the becak, you may find a new perspective of the city and feel a little bit more like a tourist looking from the outside in.

-> Find places to stay in Malang at Free cancellation. *

Visit Candi Singosari temple

Candi Singosari, or also known as Singhasari, is a Hindu-Buddhist temple located in the village of Cendirenggo, 10 km from Malang. It is also a favourite of the local tourists, you will find many of them there. This ancient temple dates back to the Singhasari dynasty and is the funerary temple of its last King. The site of the temple is believed to be the center of the Javanese court of Singhasari. You can get to the Candi Singosari with public transport from the Arjosari bus terminal. The temple requires a donation of 2,000 IDR to enter.

Malang Candi Jago temple, Indonesia

Candi Singosari temple

Compare Candi Kidal and Candi Jago temples

Both of these temples lie about 24km to the east of Malang. You can visit both temples at the same time for convenience. Kidal and Jago are both Hindu temples, dating back to the 12th and 13th century. Although older, the Kidal temple is more intact than Jago. But Jago temple boasts a lot of intricate carvings on its remains.

Malang Candi Jago temple, Indonesia

Candi Jago temple

Go to Batu and pluck some apples

Batu is a city next to Malang and well known as “Apple City”. Hence, one must visit an Apple farm when one is here. I visited an Apple Farm here and paid for the apples that I picked. Besides apple picking, you can also tour the rest of the farm. There are various plants and fruits to be enjoyed while taking in the fresh cooling air. There are also always a cafe for a pit stop and rest for some fruit juices with a view.

Malang Kebun Apple Farm at Batu, Indonesia

Kebun Apple Farm at Batu

Check out the waterfalls in Batu

If you are a nature lover and enjoy some waterfalls, Batu city offers a few waterfalls to visit. They all take about 45 mins to 1-hour drive from Malang. One popular one is Coban Rondo waterfall, located in the middle of the forest. Come here during the weekdays to avoid the local crowds and to have more space and time to enjoy the place. Another waterfall to check out is the Coban Pelangi (rainbow), which lies to the east of Malang and at the fringe of Bromo Tengger National Park. This is the waterfall to visit if you are on the way to the famous Mount Bromo of Java.

One of the waterfalls near Malang, Indonesia

One of the waterfalls near Malang

Take a 4WD ride to Mount Bromo

Speaking of Mount Bromo, rent a 4WD in Malang and take the scenic route to Mount Bromo. If you are on a budget, you can try to share with other tourists who are going on the 4WD. Check out the hostels around and there should be one heading off the next day or so. Going with the 4WD is one of the nicer ways to access Mount Bromo. The drive takes you through highlands and greeneries with beautiful views. You will not be disappointed with this dramatic entrance into the amazing volcano mountain, one of the best in Indonesia.

4WD ride from Malang to Mount Bromo, Indonesia

4WD ride from Malang to Mount Bromo

As you can see, there are many things one can do in Malang, and I am surprised that the city is not yet filled with tourists. This place promises a more subdue traveling in Java and more interactions with the local Indonesians. Visit Malang for its Dutch colonial architectures, local Indonesian food, traditional market, local life and farms, ancient Hindu temples and nature with waterfalls and volcano mountain.

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