[Trave] Malang – Bromo | Tripping Over Once Upon a December

Finally, I have time to write about a holiday mini trip with friends to Malang and Bromo on December 2019.

DAY #1

We start off our trip from Train station located in Senen, Jakarta. The girls meet up at the meeting point around 13:00 and wait for the train departure at 14:15. It’s going to be a looonngg train ride (12 hours). Ticket 1 way Jakarta – Surabaya around IDR 820.500 (USD$55.04) for 3 girls. Our train is KERTAJAYA/256 and my friend bought the tickets online via tiket.com.

Our bags and carry on
Inside the train. Quite comfortable.

Some sleep, some food, and snacks, some stopover on several stations and some smokes later… we arrive at Pasar Turi station, Surabaya, at around 1:30 AM. Right on time.

DAY #2


Our guide/driver, Alex, pick us up at the station. We opt to have *ahem* super early, early breakfast near the station. Car rental (Toyota Avanza) including guide/driver, food, and gasoline is IDR. 600.000/day or USD$40.25 that cost we share among the five of us.

Rice and chicken with sambal ulek (ground chilli). Delicious! IDR 56.000 (USD$3.76)

From Surabaya, it’s a 3-4 hours trip to Malang. On the way, we stop by this lovely Mosque (still ongoing building), the Tuban Turen mosque, or better known as the Blue Mosque of east Java. The mosque myth that it was built in one day by a Jinn. Somehow it gets famous and many local tourists flock to this mosque. Reminds me of The Kek Lok Si temple in Penang.

After meeting up the rest of the entourage, a couple who came in by flight to Malang, we have a quick breakfast at the famous Bakso Bakar Pak Man (grilled meatball Mr. Man).  Quite a unique and interesting taste. I love soup and thin white noodles with it.

BBQ meatball and a bowl of noodle soup Rp. 60.000 (USD$4.02)

After breakfast, we change our top clothes (since there’s a dress code for this all mini trip) and have a photoshoot at Goa Pinus Pujon. The morning is pretty cloudy and drizzling.

One of the Instagram spots named Gardu Pandang with the view of Mount Arjuna.


We spent quite a few hours exploring the place amidst drizzling and light soaking with sweat and raindrops. From there, we stop at Warung Areg restaurant for late lunch in traditional Javanese food.

Each person is IDR 75.000 (USD$5.03) with such a feast.

We drive back to the central city Malang and check into the night’s accommodation. We stayed at Family Guesthouse Malang. It’s a house turned into a guesthouse. Around IDR 300.000/night for 5 people (USD$20.12). It’s quite alright but very deep in the middle of a housing complex. Not public transportation friendly. But it’s cheap and semi-clean. The owner is very helpful and we get delicious Javanese breakfast on request.

We have dinner Rawon on a nearby street hawker food. My favorite so far sampling east Java food. (Notice we are quite happy to tour food and eat and eat and eat during this trip).

A bowl of Rawon rice and soup IDR. 25.000 (USD$1.68)

We return to the homestay and take a… nap since we have to wake up past midnight to catch the sunrise at Mount Bromo. 

DAY #3

Around 2 AM, the Guide, Alex, picked us up and we drive for an hour or so to switch city car to a Jeep. Crossing the black sea of sands need a 4wd or a jeep. IDR 300.000 per person or USD$20.12. Quite expensive but it is during the holiday and high peak.

We underestimate how full and traffic it is going to be going up the sunrise spots. We have to stop on the foot of the mountain to chartered motorcycle (ojek) to go up.

We ended up halfway up on the side of the hills at Bukit Cinta, around 2.680 meters above sea level. We didn’t quite able to see Mount Bromo since it’s behind Tenger mountain. We can only see smokes/steam coming out behind mount Tenger. Maybe we can find another time, less crowded, next time.

Still a beautiful view!
Where we have our sunset spot
Going down the mountain, we have breakfast in a nearby warung/hawker food stall. Fried rice corn with eggs, fish, and sambal/chili. IDR. 20.000 (USD$1.34)
Tenger mountain
Riding a small horse IDR 140.000 (USD$9.39) to the foot of Bromo mountain


Climbing up the stairs of Mount Bromo
The view from the stairs
Mount Bromo crater
The full view of the mountains

We also went to several spots like The Whispering Sands (Pasir berbisik), Teletubbies field, but at that point, the blue sky changed into cloudy morning and raining. We have to cut our trip short and have an early lunch.

Lunch at Tongas Asri restaurant  – I have chicken, sambal, rice, and vegetables IDR 40.000 (USD$2.68)

We drive back to Malang and have a relaxing day in the afternoon. The night we go out and have a dine-in at Saigonsan Restaurant at Tugu Hotel. It’s an eclectic restaurant, a mix of Chinese, Javanese, Spanish or colonial vibe. Kinda like east meets the west thing. Not as chaotic as  House of Raminten, Yogyakarta.


Dinner set with Vietnamese/Thailand flair IDR 300.000/person (USD$20.12)

After dinner. We go back to the homestay. On to the next morning of:

DAY #4

We wake up not so early but still have a chance to have breakfast at the homestay. We checkout after it and off we go on our half last day in Malang.

Kampoeng Warna Warni (Rainbow village)

Our first stop is Kampoeng Warna Warni. Although it has certain charms, years of low proper care make it looks like some of the paint peels off and dull. Around the river is also dirty so we opt not to explore the village (as you need to pay a certain fee to go down and go out from the other side). Totally not what we expected, unfortunately.

Next, we drive a few hours toward the beach and ended up at Teluk Asmara (lovers cove). I don’t feel like going down to the beach since I’m having a slight fever. So I wait in one of the food stalls near the parking lot.

Have a light brunch IDR. 50.000/person (USD$3.35)
We love Rawon Tessy so much so we have this for lunch. IDR. 40.000 (USD$2.68)

Going back to Malang, we again have lunch (yes, we do eat a lot on this trip). Then we visit the new Instagramable hits in Malang town, Kampung Heritage Kayutangan (Kayutangan Heritage Village). Going here reminds me again of Yogyakarta, for example, the Cyber village behind Taman sari.

From here, we drive to Surabaya. While the rest go to explore Malang, I have a flight to catch back to Jakarta. And thus, conclude my trip to Malang and Bromo. Until next time.



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