Heritage Tourism Hub Set for Malang
Malang’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ) currently in development with a strong focus on the city’s and region’s cultural attributes (Image: Singhasari.co.id)
Creating successful destinations often starts with a good story. Cue Bali and its traditional arts, and its legendary surfing waves. In Central Java, the story has many chapters, among them the region’s cultural pulse and mystical heartland.
Some stories are well known; others are waiting to be discovered. Take Malang, the second largest city in East Java, where ancestry and tradition create the story being folded into a destination best known for its rich and remarkable Singosari Kingdom.
Together with PT Intelegensia Grahatama, the developer behind Malang’s luxury residential area, Singhasari Residence, ITDC is currently developing a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with a strong focus on the city’s and the Malang region’s cultural attributes, an extensive project with an expected Rp. 40 trillion required to bring the vision to life.
The head of the East Java Investment Board (BPM), Lily Sholeh, announced in March that the Singosari SEZ was at an Engineering Design and Feasibility Study stage, involving ITDC with some 15 foreign and local investors who have expressed interest in the development.
Substantial investment is planned for a culture-rich city that moves at a leisurely pace, and is enriched by a large student population. The central district of Malang offers much with its leafy, colonial-era boulevards where coffee trading once flourished.
During the period of Dutch colonization, Malang – known for its mild climate - was a popular destination for European residents, and today it continues to delight intrepid international tourists prepared to move beyond Bali.
The city is a springboard to nature and discovery. Nowhere more so than the 13-century Singosari Temple complex with its intricate stone statues and its Jago Temple, featuring architecture that reflects both Buddhism and Hinduism.
Venturing further afield offers travelers a rich and diverse countryside such as the 120-meter high waterfall, Tumpak Sewu, or Madakaripura, a magnificent 200-meter waterfall, Java’s tallest.
South of Malang, Sempu Island brings clarity to the word “exotic” with its beaches and natural wonders. The island’s Segara Anakan lagoon offers clear, turquoise waters, ringed by lush hills, and mesmerizing views of an unspoiled coastline. Little more than 40 kilometers from Sempu, Mt. Mahameru generates a further superlative, Java’s highest peak at 3,676 meters.
A popular weekend destination for locals, Kota Batu (15 kilometers northwest of Malang) is a large hill resort and former Dutch retreat. Located below Mt. Arjuna, Kota Batu is surrounded by volcanic peaks, majestic scenery with a soothing climate and, so far, few international visitors.