It might be far-reaching to have a sustainable trip without mentioning the carbon footprints we left behind. The air quality that grew worse in Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia might drive us to book a trip somewhere where the sky is clear, where we could be closer to nature.
It’s very normal to want to escape, but being a responsible traveler wherever you go would never hurt!
This could be solved by traveling locally, especially to the cities that don’t require you to fly to get there. For this, one of Bob’s favorite destinations would be Malang, East Java.
With lush tea plantations, reinvigorating waterfalls, and tasty organic delicacies in every nook and cranny of the city, Malang is a green thumb’s paradise.
Aside from that, Malang is a host to Pujon Kidul, one of Indonesia’s sustainable tourism villages according to the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.
The village refers to sustainable tourism as the concept of tourism that prioritizes long-term impact. This includes the environmental, social, cultural, and economic impact, both for the present and the future for all local people and tourists alike.
So without further ado, let us take you on a full-day guide to a sustainable trip in Malang!
A Full-Day Guide to a Sustainable Trip in Malang
06.00–07.30: Catch the Sunrise in Bukit Nirwana
Let’s start your sustainable trip in Malang by catching the sunrise. With a comfy coat and steaming cup of tea, the sight in Bukit Nirwana is a wonder to see—particularly because you don’t need to trek too far to enjoy the view.
Located in Pujon Kidul, a village known for their agriculture-turned-sustainable tourism destination, Bukit Nirwana is pretty quiet early in the morning. It’s the best spot to start up your day.
If you’re staying in Bobocabin Coban Rondo, we can arrange a bike rental if you’re up for a little hill challenge here. There are plenty of bamboo-based shacks to lounge around, although the cafe might open later in the day around 8 am.
Selfie spot? Worry not! The rolling hills, rice paddies, and stunning landscape offer a perfect backdrop for every picture, especially if you’re standing on the edge of the hill.
08.00–09.30: Affordable Breakfast with a View
Nestled in downhill Pujon Kidul near the entrance is the renowned Cafe Sawah.
With a picturesque landscape of rice paddies and colorful vegetation from their own garden, it would shake you to the core knowing that meals here don’t even cost more than Rp30,000!
Though the place is fairly new, Cafe Sawah is a tourist favorite in Pujon Kidul, mainly due to their unique wood and bamboo-based interiors, grounding everyone closer to the earth.
Remember Gardens by the Bay’s Supertrees? Cafe Sawah crafts bamboo miniatures of them in some of their tables instead of using plastic umbrellas, adding an organic finishing touch to shelter you from the warm morning sun.
Their flowers are pretty too, especially when they’re blooming. Just remember to be a respectful traveler and hold back the urge to pick them!
10.00–11.00: Get Lost (Literally) in Nature
Green maze that changes every few months or so is the place you can’t miss while you’re in Malang. Taman Labirin Coban Rondo could be the perfect activity for a date or even family outing, as good teamwork would be the key to successfully finding your way out.
The instructions are pretty simple: try to find the water fountain in the middle of the maze, and get back outside. For an easy way out, you could ask one of your friends to have a lookout from the tower and guide you.
Though there’s nothing much to do inside the maze, you can take The Shining-esque pictures on every corner. They also offer other fun and nature-friendly activities with an extra charge, like archery.
12.00–13.30: A Cup of Joe, or Two
From crafty manual brew to artisan pick of tisane, Greenrock Cafe is the perfect shelter during your sustainable trip in Malang when the sun’s at its highest.
Located just a few minutes walk from both Taman Labirin Coban Rondo and Bobocabin Coban Rondo, you’re invited to nurse a light lunch and engage in warm conversation with your loved ones, all the while indulging in the serene breeze of the forest.
Bob’s personal favorite? Their “Sweet Temptation”, an ensemble of green tea, pineapple, lavender, lime, and chrysanthemum tisane. What a way to refresh and rejuvenate your body after solving the maze earlier!
14.00–17.00: Harvesting Memories with Agro Rakyat
A sustainable trip in Malang wouldn’t be complete without picking your own apple. One of the efforts in traveling sustainably is to support local businesses, and Agro Rakyat Apple Picking might be the best example of it.
All the local farmers grew around 4 to 5 different strains of apples that you can pick. The best time to harvest these apples is around January–March, when Malang’s climate is at its coldest. You still can visit and apple-pick all year round, but the quality of the apples might vary.
Climate change indeed plays a role in the ever-shrinking amount of apple production in Malang. Over the past 10 years, Malang has warmed by 0.5°C each year and currently reaches 32°C on its warmest days.
This poses a problem since the ideal conditions for growing apples require temperatures between 16–27°C. So, even if the apples here aren’t as big and bountiful as they were in the 90s, they’re still fresher and more sustainable than the ones you’ll get at a supermarket.
All the apples you picked will be weighed on your way out, so make sure to harvest them mindfully to avoid any waste!
17.30–19.30: Plateful of Blast from the Past
in a sustainable trip in Malang The culinary scene of Batu grew even more diverse with the introduction of Omah Madhang Saridjoyo.
This restaurant specializes in serving authentic Javanese dishes from the golden eras, and is conveniently located within the village of Sumberejo.
The concept of preserving tradition is deeply rooted in the owner’s hometown of Pacitan, where Javanese customs remain strong and alive. This influence can be felt in every aspect of the place, from their architectural design to the cuisine.
The owner’s sentimentality didn’t just stop there. The word sari in Saridjoyo is derived from the name of the owner’s wife, signifying longevity and sustainability.
Meanwhile, the word djoyo conveys the essence of success. Combined, they symbolize sustainable blessings and prosperity.
Speaking of prosperity, the food in their buffet is one to die for. From the rich flavors of botok to a comforting sego bakar, you’ll find yourselves transported to a Javanese mbah’s warm and nostalgic home.
20.00–End of Day: Rest Amidst Pine Forest in Bobocabin Coban Rondo
Traveling sustainably means making sure your accommodations are eco-friendly. In Bobocabin, we take our environmental responsibilities seriously. We’re committed to supporting sustainable tourism in every way possible by implementing initiatives such as:
- Wooden toiletries: A small step, yet we hope it can grow into an impactful choice to reduce the use of single-use plastics.
- Greener future: We take full responsibilities in the use of natural resources and reduction in GHG emissions.
- Waste management: A drinkable water filter unit is available to reduce the need for single-use water bottles, minimizing plastic waste.
The choices we make while exploring new places can have a lasting impact on the environment and the communities we visit.
When you’re staying at Bobocabin Coban Rondo as part of your sustainable trip in Malang, you can rest at ease amidst the serene nature without worrying over leaving a heavy carbon footprint.
After all, small steps like being a responsible traveler wherever you go leads to bigger efforts, taking us into a more sustainable and greener future.
Bob’s Budget Check
- See updated prices of Bobocabin Coban Rondo, including the bike rental services
- Pujon Kidul entrance ticket: Rp13,000/pax
- Bukit Nirwana: Rp10,000/pax
- Cafe Sawah: around Rp30,000/pax (a la carte ranging from Rp1,000 to Rp8,000)
- Taman Labirin Coban Rondo: Rp35,000/pax on weekdays, and Rp40,000 on weekends for domestic tourists. International tourists are charged Rp75,000/pax.
- Greenrock Cafe: drinks and snacks range from Rp10,000 to Rp30,000
- Agro Rakyat Apple Picking: entrance fee Rp25,000/pax, apple-picking starts from Rp20,000/kg
- Omah Madhang Saridjoyo: starts from Rp50,000/pax for a complete meal