Fresh green apples, cool mountain air, stunning natural beauty, and a whole lot of fun, are among the many appealing features associated with the pleasant town of Batu in East Java. Located about 15 Km west of the city ofMalang or approximately 100 Km from Surabaya, capital of East Java, the town of Batu was dubbed by the Dutch during the colonial era as Klein Switzerland, or little Switzerland in Java for its sheer beauty. Nowadays, adding to the fascinating natural features of Batu, a number of exciting theme parks have been added, making it truly a vacation city for the entire family.
Until 2001, Batu was administratively part of the regency of Malang, but since then it has become a municipal town in its own right.
The town of Batu, Malang (Source : travelingyuk.com)
Surrounded by three mountains: Mount Panderman, Mount Arjuna, and Mount Welirang, the town of Batu sits on a hill between 680 to 1,200 meters above sea level and has plenty to offer as a perfect holiday destination.
Selecta, a tourist resort specifially constructed in 1928, sits on the slopes of Mount Welirang and Mount Arjuna, and is a favorite laid back resort since the Dutch colonial era. Here visitors can enjoy the lush green landscape, flower gardens, and a large lido. For those wishing to feel the refreshing hot springs, the nearby Songgoriti Hot Springs and Cangar Hot Spring will not only refresh the body but also relaxes the mind. Cuban Rondo, Cuban Rais, and Cuban Talun are some of the beautiful waterfalls around here that add to the natural splendors of Batu.
The sweet green apple is the icon of this pleasant town, and with good reason, since Batu together with Malang are known as the nation’s major apple producing centres. The apple plantations around the city have also grown as tourist attractions where visitors can experience the sensation of picking fresh apples right from the trees. Punten Village, Bumiaji Village, and Kusuma Agro are the places where apple is the main attraction.
Batu in Malang, East Java (Source : gldelapan.com)
Batu is also sprawling with exciting theme parks perfect for the whole family.
Jatim Park or East java Park combines recreation and education activities, making it a perfect destination for children. The park comes with a science stadium that can house approximately 300 persons and comes complete with indoor and outdoor science collections. The Water Park, Midi Skater, Airborne Shoot, are among some of the rides that will please visitors of any age.
As addition to the first park, Jatim Park 2 was officially opened in 2010. With the same theme of recreation and education, Jatim Park 2 focuses more on the wildlife kingdom in its two main attractions: the Animal Museum and Batu Secret Zoo. With its Roman Architecture, the Animal Museum presents a collection of over 1000 pieces ranging from fossils, life scale animal diorama, and many more all in a modern style museum. The Batu Secret Zoo offers more than just a regular zoo. Aside from presenting some of the most unique collection of animals, the emphasis on “Secret” is implemented in the many revealing facts presented to visitors through various interesting media. Jatim Park 2 also features a tree style hotel called Pohon Inn (literally meaning Tree Inn).
Another sensation of Batu’s Theme Park is the Batu Night Spectacular located not too far from Jatim Park 2 complex. Opened in 2008, the collection of rides and other features are specifically designed for night recreation. Opening from 03.00pm local time in the afternoon to 02.00am, visitors will be thrilled to take on the gallery of ghosts, Rocking boat, Bumper cars, Vertical Spinning Bike, High air Bike, Go Cart, and other rides under the bright Batu moonlight.
Declaring itself as a vacation city (Kota Wisata Batu), Batu truly offers a complete experience for those who wish to get away from the bustling city life.
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Being a vacation city, Batu is never short of facilities, including dining options. If you want to taste the local cuisine you can try some of East Java’s typical cuisine such as Rawon, Chicken Soto, and Malang’s own Bakso (meatballs in soups) Malang. Here are other delicacies you can try around Batu:
Sate Hot Plate
Jl. Patimura No. 40
Sate kambing (goat satay), and other sate, including beef and chicken. Steaks and many vegetable, noodles, tofu and tempe (soya bean cake) dishes are also on the menu.
Jl. Puskesmas – Raya Beji Batu
Sego Bancakan is Javanese style rijstafel, with fresh and healthy ingredients. Also featured are Jangan Lombok – an original Batu hot chili soup, and Ikan Bakar Lempung – clay wrapped baked fish.
(Around Alun Alun or Batu square)
A large array of local food and snacks, served in permanent makeshift tents that give you truly local tastes and lifestyle. Most famous street foods include tahu brontak (deep fried stuffed tofu), pisang molen (banana wrapped in flour-based batter), pisang goreng (fried banana), ketan (sticky rice, served with ground soy bean and coconut), etc.
(Opposite Metropole Hotel)
Delicious local interpretations of Chinese cuisine. Generous portion with local price range. Lesehan (sitting on the floor) dining is available. Specialties include Fu Yung Hai, Koloke and Fried Rice.
(Cart foods are commonly sold in Batu)
The single-manned hand-pushed carts commonly sell food such as bakso (meatballs in soup), Mie tek tek (fried noodles), Tahu Lontong (tofu and rice cake in peanut sauce), Roti Goreng (Sweet fried bread), Putu (steamed pandanus cake served with coconut and red sugar), etc. They come with handy eating utensils, and will wait for you to finish eating before moving on.
(Up the mountain roads at Pujon)
In the afternoon until late night. Many tents along the roadside up the mountain of Pujon sell Jagung Bakar (barbecued corn), where you can pick your own corn from the stack and season the corns yourself if you prefer. The sites jut out precariously on the ledge of the roads, propped up by bamboos. Beautifully casual, one can admire the city lights of Batu . It gets chilly at night, so come prepared.
Famous as the “apple” city, the one thing you should get that defines your vacation in Batu is obviously apple products (the fruits not the gadgets). From the freshly picked apples, apple syrups, to apple crackers. Souvenir shops and snack centers anywhere will definitely offer these iconic snacks. Aside from apples Batu also offers various kinds of fruits chips, such as Jackfruit, Banana, Guava, Starfruit, Salak, Watermelon, and many others.
There are a lot of quite exclusive hotels in Batu which are designed to cater to the weekend market. If you are visiting Batu on a weekday outside of the school holiday season you can very likely get a nice deal at one of these higher end hotels. Simpler budget accommodations are also available and if you visit on weekdays without a reservation you will almost certainly find plenty of available options.
Here are some of the accommodations options in Batu:
Kartika Wijaya Hotel, Jl Panglima Sudirman 127, Batu
Klub Bunga, Jl Kartika 1, Batu
Kampung Lumbung Boutique Hotel and Spa, Jl Puskesmas Dalam 1 Raya Beji
Metropole Hotel, Jl Panglima Sudirman 93, Batu
Royal Orchid Garden, Jl. Indragiri 4, Batu
Hotel Sumber, Jl. Darsono 14, Batu
Villa Gunung Putri, Jl. Arumdalu no. 42, Songgoriti
Its proximity to the city of Malang (which takes a mere 30 minutes drive) makes Batu easily accessible via several transportation modes. From Surabaya, Jakarta orBandung you can take the train which will stop at the Malang City Station. Then you can continue to Batu by Taxi, or public transportation. The Abdurrahman Saleh Airport in Malang serves flights from Jakarta and Bali. From the Bungurasih Terminal in Surabaya there are frequent bus services to Malang’s Arjosari bus station. The trip will take about 2-3 hours. From Arjosari Station you can take a taxi or public transportation to Batu.