While traveling Indonesia I encountered a minor mishap on my way to Malang. I accidentally got on the wrong train and got kicked off of it in the middle of the night. Needless to say, when I finally made it to Malang and stepped off of the train I was exhausted and hungry.
Outside of the train station was a row of food stalls. I walked over to the first stall that I saw, which had four chairs tightly packed in around it. One seat was free and so I sat down and ordered whatever it was that they were serving. As I waited for my food, I began speaking to a local couple sitting next to me. When I told them that I had just arrived and hadn’t made any plans yet – they invited me to join them. They had a whole day of activities scheduled for a small city not far away called Batu.
I was exhausted and dirty and could have really used a shower and nap, but I didn’t want to pass up such a gracious offer – and unique opportunity. In my experience, the best way to explore a country is with locals. I mustered up the energy and quickly checked into a hostel, changed my clothes, and brushed my teeth before jumping into the back seat of their car.
I am happy that I accepted their kind offer because my day exploring Batu ended up being one of my favourite days in Indonesia (along with Mount Bromo). The spots that they took me to were secret gems and not once did I ever see another foreigner.
I decided to share these secret spots because they are just to amazing to keep to myself. I was fortunate enough to be driven around by my new friends, but if you want to visit any of the following destinations you will need to rent a motorbike.
The following are the jaw-dropping attractions that I visited in Batu. But shhh….it’s our little secret.
Feel the Mist of Coban Rondo Falls
One of the first things that you must go visit in Batu are the Coban Rondo Falls. It doesn’t take long to visit since you literally just walk five minutes up a pathway from the parking lot until you reach the falls. The nearer you get to the falls the more water that sprays on you. The falls are very powerful so you have the potential to get pretty wet – so don’t bring any electronics too close unless they are waterproof.
It was magnificent standing under the powerful -falls feeling the cold mist spray my skin. Make sure to take a moment to enjoy this gift from mother nature.
Sleep in the Jungle
This isn’t as wild and crazy as it sounds. In Batu there are tree-houses that you can sleep in. I wish that I had known about this place before-hand and I would have booked a night to sleep in a treehouse. However, this is attraction isn’t well known unless you are Indonesian.
It is a hot spot for Indonesian tourists – in fact I even met an Indonesian soap opera celebrity while I was there. Don’t let this fool you into thinking that these are glamorous tree houses. The facilities are very basic and the bed is just a foam mattress on the floor. I wouldn’t book this place for your honeymoon – but it would be a unique experience for a night!
Your accommodation comes with a local breakfast.
The only place that I can find to book this spot is on TripAdvisor.
Even if you don’t want to spend the night up in a tree you can still visit it for a small entrance fee. It makes for a fun walk and a great view!
Yet another thing that I wished I had known about! Paragliding has always been on my bucket list and this was way cheaper than anywhere else that I had seen around the world. Unfortunately, I was wearing a little pink skirt that day – not the best choice for flying through the sky in.
If you want a little thrill then you should add this activity into your day! It is at the same location as the tree houses. In fact, you can sit on the balcony of the tree houses and watch people paraglide down.
Other Batu attractions include whitewater rafting – and some less exciting ones, like a a maze and strawberry farm.
Take a Dip in Sumber Sira’s Turquoise Waters
If you want to real inside scoop on local’s secret destinations then this spot it is. This place was amazing!
It is a water hole, that from the surface just looks fun – but swim a little deeper and open your eyes and you will see that it is clear underwater! You can see all of the vibrant green plants growing in the fresh turquoise water. Truly a gem of a find.
Off the side of the water hole is a stream that flows through a rice field which makes a natural water slide. You have to be okay with the feeling of mud squishing between your toes as you make your way over to the slide – but it will be worth it. I have never slid through a rice field before. It was both fun and beautiful at the same time.
I was the only tourist at the beautiful water hole. It was like I was in on a secret that no other travellers were let in about. In fact, I almost feel a little bit guilty for sharing it on here.
Because it is not tourist there are no tourist prices to enter – the entrance fee was 3,000 Rp which is so cheap that it was practically free.
There are small shops selling snacks and some food for if you get hungry. You may end up wanting to spend the whole day hanging out here.
Note: As this is a Muslim island please make sure to cover up. Woman must wear a t- shirt and long shorts or pants over their bathing suite and guys must wear a t-shirt and long shorts.
To get out here you will have to rent a motorbike – or meet some amazing locals who are willing to take you there!
After this amazing day came to an end I was sad to say goodbye to such amazing people. The cherry on top was when a few weeks later my friend sent me this video that he made of our day together. Indonesia has some wonderful people and beautiful places!