Day 2: Malang
Day two of this road trip, we spent a full day at Malang. The objective? Safari Park, Malangese delicacies, and Malangese delicacies. Not a typo, I want to eat.
Prigen Safari Park
This morning, we went to the Safari Park in Prigen, Pasuruan, some 40 km away from Malang. Google Maps showed that it would take around one and a half hour from where we stay. For a good measure, I decided to wait until 10 AM before we went so that the traffic would be lighter still. You know, Monday morning rush hour, I want to avoid that.
Well, Malang being Malang, it was so crowded, we managed to get there in more than one and a half hour. I don’t know, but it seems that I found the similarity between Yogyakarta and Malang. Both are known as serene and peaceful cities back then, but now they are so crowded. As for Yogyakarta case, I could say that I almost don’t recognize it. Yogyakarta when I was a kid was not like that. I still remember that at 9 PM, all of the traffic lights in Yogyakarta cease to operate. The traffic was literally nonexistent. Not the case anymore.
Anyway, Prigen Safari Park is basically the carbon copy of Cisarua Safari Park in West Java. That’s not a bad thing, as I love Cisarua Safari Park. It was big, a lot of awesome animals, especially those big cats, they were in the mood today it almost seem.
About those big cats, yes, look at this.
The Bengal Tiger exhibit there was the highlight of my visit. There were several tigers there. They weren’t just sleeping, as I usually see them at other zoos. Well, I love tigers, and big cats in general, so it was a jackpot. Ever since I was a child, I watch wild documentaries a lot. Out of those animals being filmed, big cats were my favorite. Tigers, lions, leopards, jaguars. I love them.
Speaking about documentary films, I still remember two things. First, when I was at elementary, I always woke up early in the morning every Sunday because there was documentary in TV. Good things.
Second, still at elementary, one morning, Monday if I recall it correctly, there was a documentary film being played at the TV at 6:30 AM. School was at 7 AM. I got sucked up at it and my father were furious and just went with my sister without me. 6:50 AM, I panicked, tear rushing down my face. My mother then just hauled me up to the motorcycle and went to school. Midway between our home and my school, we met one of my teacher. I can’t recall why, but my mom just handed me over to her. She begged her to pick me up and bring me with her to the school. Still late, but without the punishment, as my teacher was also late.
Okay, so, tiger. I decided to splurge and get a photograph with a tiger. IDR 15,000 for one photo session with a tiger.
I love the park. A lot of exciting things there, well, at least for me.
Also, it’s cheap. I pay IDR 70,000 for the entry ticket. I originally wanted to go to Bali Safari and Marine Park in Bali, but looking at the admission fee, it’s not for me.
This is the delicacy Malang is known for. Bakso is the Indonesian word for meatball. Bakso has became the staple food for Indonesian people already. You could find bakso stall and vendor at every corner of Indonesian cities.
Bakso Malang is a bit different than the common bakso. The meatballs in Bakso Malang come in several variations. But in the nutshell, there are three distinct variations of meatball. They are fried meatball, normal meatball (just like the one found in normal bakso), and tofu-meatball fusion.
One proceed to just pick any variations of meatball she likes, then just proceed to the cashier, which will calculate how much one needs to pay. With this kind of system, one could mix and match a lot of combination of bakso.
Wise people said that with freedom comes responsibility. It was absolutely the case when we ate Bakso Malang. I picked one meatball for every variant. I think I picked around ten meatballs in total. When I got to the cashier, she said that I got to pay IDR 27,500. I was shocked, because my host, Andhika, only got to pay around IDR 10,000, one third of what I paid. Well, turned out there’s a sign in front of me that indicates the price of each meatball, and I turned a blind eyes and just picked everything. Absolutely no regret though, sooo tasty, mmmm.
Next: Jember & Banyuwangi
Next destination would be Banyuwangi, where we would try to cross the strait to Bali. However Banyuwangi is some 300 km away from Malang, so we decided to break it down into two separate legs. First, we’re going to go to Jember, which is 180 km away from Malang, spend a night there, and then continue to Banyuwangi the following day. The Jember - Banyuwangi leg will be easier, as it’s only 120 km long.