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That very morning we had to leave Da Rifi Hostel for Malang, the owner had just finished praying and insisted us to eat some breads before leaving the hostel. I did pack some breads for us to eat and off we walked to the Dunkin Donuts waiting for our newly found friend, Ardi.
Not long after, an Avanza pulled over in front of us and a man walked out from the car introducing himself as Ardi. We greeted him and quickly placed our backpacks inside the car. Ardi is a talkative person, we really enjoyed the ride from Sidoarjo to Malang as he narrated what should be done in Malang and Batu, the good food, the tips etc. One of the few first things he asked us was where would we be staying and he persuaded us to stay with him until we left for Semeru. It would be rude to refuse, isn’t it? So, we said yes.
As we rode on the highlands heading to Apple District of Malang, we passed by Hotel Niagara – one of the many hotels I had in mind for a stay. Ardi told us it is a haunted hotel as 5 people had killed themselves in the hotel; same method – in bathtub full of blood. Ok, scary.
Before I went to Malang, the only thing I knew about Malang was it being the starting point for many mountains including Bromo, Semeru, Arjuna and Welirang. Little was said about the food. Our visit to Malang is nothing but food – a real good food. There are too many types of food. If you ask 5 of your Malang friends about famous food, all 5 would come up with different food stalls with different types of food.
When we arrived in Malang, we had to go on our own as Ardi had to go to work. He gave us a motorbike for sightseeing in Malang and Batu. Of the many places, I chose to go to the many outdoor shops in Malang first since I forgot to bring gloves. We spent more than 3 hours there before we had luncheon of a famous dish in Malang. The outdoor gears are dirt cheap in Malang.
Bakso is Indonesia meatball made from beef or chicken or fish or shrimp with a small quantity of tapioca flour. Usually served in a bowl of beef broth with noodles or rice vermicelli, salted vegetables, tofu, egg, bean sprout, siomay or wantan, sprinkled with fried shallots and celery. It can be found all across Indonesia. Bakso Bakar is the roasted version of Indonesia meatball eaten together with Mee Pangsit and wantan soup. It tastes real good. We were told by Ardi, a special noodle is used to prepare mee pangsit. Mee Pangsit is a plate of noodle stirred with soy sauce and minced chicken, papadom and vegetables. Bakso Bakar & Mee Pangsit are two perfect combination. Ah, not to forget the soup. I am not a fan of Bakso but Bakso Bakar is really good. Yumyumyum. The one we had was near to the Pahlawan area near the roundabout.
Then we took off to Batu. Our aim was Coban Rondo. A very beautiful waterfall.
It is about 32km to the west of Malang which could be reached within 1 hour. After the uphill winding road we arrived on the top of the hill with a big sign board that directed us to Coban Rondo. We reached “Welcome to Wana Wisata Coban Rondo” but could not see the waterfall or even hear the waterfall sounds. We stopped by and sought for directions from the locals. True we were on the right track, only that we were 2 kilometers from Coban Rondo. Then, we entered into alpine forest atmosphere with chill air. The road ahead was fogging.
Then we arrived at the parking area with lot of food stalls and merchants. Not to waste our time further, we continued to walk for two minutes before finally arriving at the waterfall area.
Located at 1,135 meters above sea level, Coban Rondo waterfall drops from 84 meters height. The water of Coban Rondo originates from a water spring in Cemoro Dudo, in the slope of Mount Kawi.
Coban Rondo means a widow waterfall. Legend has it that once upon a time, there was a newly married couple by the name of Dewi Anjarwati from Mount Kawi – the bride and Raden Baron Kusumo from Mount Anjasmoro. One day, in the 36 days after their wedding ceremony, Dewi Anjarwati asked her husband to visit his hometown in Mount Anjasmoro. However, the parents of Anjarwati strictly forbade them to go because the marriage age was still 36 days. They went still. In the middle of the trip, the couple met an unknown man named Joko Lelono. This man was dazzled by the beauty of Dewi Anjarwati and tried to take her away. To save his wife, Raden Baron Kusumo asked his assistant to hide Dewi Anjarwati in a place called “coban” which means waterfall. Fight ensued between Raden Baron Kusumo and Joko Lelono and both were killed. The tragic death of Raden Baron Kusumo made Dewi Anjarwati a “rondo” which means a widow. It is believed that Dewi Anjarwati still lives behind the waterfall and contemplates her fate on a big rock under the waterfall which still exists until now.
1. From Arjosari Terminal, take bemo or a small minibus to Landungsari.
2. Then take a bus heading to Kediri via Pujon. Stop at the Buffalo Statue.
3. Rent a bike or ojek to reach the parking area.
After Ardi finished his work, he brought us to meet his friends. Mostly importantly, he brought us to eat his favourite Lalapan. Thumbs up for the Lalapan Ayam Goreng Krispy. Sedap sehingga menjilat jari.
One thing I learned there was that, what we called Ayam Penyet in Malaysia is actually Lalapan Ayam Goreng in Indonesia. Ayam Penyet refers to fried chicken which is lightly smashed using a pestle in a mortar laced with sambal. Remember, the chicken must be smashed for it to be called Ayam Penyet. That’s the requirement.