In and around Malang, East Java
|Malang by night|
One curious feature of Malang is just outside the city to the south were you’ll find a huge railway network. But not for people! It was setup by the Dutch during colonial times to transport sugar cane from the fields to the factories and is still in use today. It’s a marvel of engineering with little diesel locomotives hauling a huge number of rail carts behind them. The network of rails can also be laid “on the fly” into the fields and then removed again once the carts have gone. Fantastic!
|Sugar cane diesel locomotive|
|Carts (carrying extra rail-track here)|
|Friendly loco driver|
The architecture of Malang is also quite interesting with a large number of period buildings, again built during the Dutch colonial times.
Have you ever wanted to find that beach from the movie of the same name staring a certain Mr. DiCaprio? I have, and although I know where it is in Thailand, so does everyone else making the whole idea of locating a secluded beach, hidden in a lagoon on an island rather superfluous. It just so happens such a place exists of the coast of Eastern Java. A little place called Sempu Island. I had to go find it!
The journey starts by hiring a boat on the mainland, at a pretty reasonable Rp100,000 ($10US), to get you to the island. You could swim but I saw what happened in that movie and didn’t fancy a shark encounter thanks.
Another Rp100,000 will get you a guide to help you actually find the lagoon (it is hidden after all). Well worth it my my opinion as it’s a good hour’s trek through the jungles and although the path seemed to be fairly easy to follow I suspect a heavy rainfall would wash it away pretty quickly.
Luckily the tide was in when I arrived, as the lagoon is only full at high tides. Low tide will expose rocks although there’ll still be some water. The beach itself is everything you’d want from a secluded setting. Not another soul around, pure white sands and crystal clear water. Total bliss and the prefect way to end my little trip before heading back to work in the mountains of Papua.