Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Malang and winding road

Where to go next after walking inside a volcano? 

Malang, apparently, to see some poorly preserved Dutch colonial buildings and dilapidated Hindu temples.

What, again?

East Java

Wikitravel is stretching credulity a little when it calls this place 'the most attractive large city in the East Java region.' That may be true, but it's like saying epithelioid is the least aggressive sub-type of malignant mesothelioma. There are some fairly nice old buildings poking through the debris, but it mostly gets lost in the filthy stew of traffic, broken pavements and cigarette billboards.

I'm not having a go at Indonesia's economy or anything (less developed cities are very welcome after a month getting pissed off by the endless air-conditioned shopping mall substrate of Singapore). But there's really not much worth seeing in Malang. I would say that though - I was just in a bloody volcano. It'll probably take some time before I can be impressed by some crumbly temple or pointy church again.

Crumbly temple

Pointy church

This langour is probably only temporary. I felt similarly desensitised after seeing the Giza pyramids last year and realising there would be extremely few man-made objects capable of eliciting a response from me in the future (with the possible exception of the world's second largest pencil - oh boy oh boy).

I'm just worried I might have spoiled nature too. I'm heading to Central Bali next, which is supposed to be quite nice, but can sweeping mountain vistas and lakes cut it after volcanoes? Perhaps all that's left is for me to get to Norway, Greenland or Antarctica some time and admire the glacial scenery and aurora borealis. Then I think I've seen everything. I can finally collapse in the snow and this tedious existence will be over.

On that cheery note, here are some boring photos.

I guess this place isn't so bad, compared to other Indonesian cities - from some angles it could almost be the village where I grew up. Apart from the brown people

A rather literal interpretation of a street lamp. I'm not sure how they expect this to work

Nature wants it back

I love footie, me. I love kicking the football in the goal and watching footie in the pub with my mates and talking about the footie. Footie, footie, footie, that's my life. I love it almost as much as I love shopping.

Someone thought this was an acceptable colour scheme

Someone thought this was acceptable


  1. Malang is not or was before the Asian finacial Crisis, the "Paris of East Java." Malang was spared many of the effects of the Asian financial crisis, and since that time it has been marked by steady economic and population growth. (Wikipedia) - Thanks for your frank comments.

    1. I just didn't really get why it was singled out as a city for tourists to visit, it seemed very ordinary. But like I said in the post, anything was going to be a downer after visiting volcanoes on previous days.