The lower slopes of Mount Arjuna above Selecta, nr Batu, East Java. The high peak in the background is Mount Semeru
The cool, fresh hill town of Batu was a retreat for the Dutch in colonial days. Similarly, these days wealthy local business people from Surabaya and Malang have weekend houses up here whilst the less fortunate visit on a more casual basis. The area is also a major agricultural centre with apple orchards everywhere and a large number of orchid nurseries.
Until 2001, Batu was administratively part of Malang but since that time it has been a municipal town in its own right.
The entire area of Batu, including Selecta (specifically constructed as a tourism venue in 1928) is surrounded by mountains and hills. Mount Welirang and Mount Arjuna (Gunung Welirang, Gunung Arjuna) are at the north. To the south is Gunung ["Mount"] Panderman, to the west lies Gunung Banyak [a paragliding site often used for national- and international-level competitions], and to the east is the diminutive Gunung Wukir.
Batu, including Selecta and the surrounding villages, makes for a charming place with much that will appeal to visitors and a couple of days exploring this beautiful area is a worthy part of any visit to Java.
The Batu area is at 800 to 1,100 metres so it is pleasantly cool here compared to lowland East Java. Typical day time temperatures are 17 to 20 °C. Night-time temperatures on the high peaks at 3,000m+ are regularly as low as 3 to 4 °C.
It is an easy 30 minute drive from Malang to Batu.
Those coming in from Surabaya do not have to pass through Malang; the best way is through the ring road at Singosari [find a major three-way junction on your right - it is called the "Bentoel"/"Karanglo" junction]. Turn right and keep driving until you reach Karangploso, where you'll see another major intersection. For most major tourist attractions, take a left turn and follow the road signs to Batu. [If you are heading to Selecta or Coban Talun Waterfall, go straight ahead instead].
Regular shuttle buses and pink public minivans ply the route, departing from Malang's Landung Sari bus terminal. The Malang-Batu bus fare for the Puspa Indah bus is Rp 3.000,00 [early 2014].
The better hotels in the area are open to arranging to collect you from Malang airport or, to a lesser extent, train station [please check the hotel's web site]. If you are not driving yourself, try to get this as part of your accommodation package.
You can also reach Batu from Kediri by bus [Puspa Indah is the main bus] or car. Please note that this route, although quite scenic, presents some potential risks. The Pare and Kandangan segments are fine but once you leave Kandangan, the road starts to make some sharp turns. Also watch out for an open valley right beside the road [near Pujon - about the last 5-10 km of the trip] possible landslides at this road segment during the rainy season, and reckless bus drivers. On a happier note however, this scenic route passes through a tropical forest, the beautiful Selorejo dam with a mountain backdrop, and a mountainous terrain up to the Batu town border. You are also rewarded by stunning views of the Coban Rondo waterfall [in the Pujon area] which is a short trip away from the main road. The waterfall is a short walk from the parking area. The dam and the waterfall are great stopovers along this route. This makes the Kediri-Batu route a good alternative pathway during the dry season, as long as you exercise extra caution.
During the rainy season however, it is better to take the Surabaya-Batu route [via Singosari-Karangploso or through Malang] which is much safer from natural hazards.
A word of warning that it does get very crowded in Batu at weekends and during school holidays with trippers from Malang and Surabaya. Avoid those periods if at all possible.
The area lends itself very well to walking. There are regular local angkot (public minivan) services and all of the better hotels offer tours and/or private transport to the main sights.
Some notable "angkot"s are:
the light green ones go to Songgoriti where a famous hot spring is located
some yellow ones go to the Jatim Park 2 (i.e. Museum Satwa and Batu Secret Zoo) as well as the Batu Night Spectacular (BNS) and Balitjestro subtropical fruit centre. These destinatons (namely BNS and Secret Zoo) are clearly marked on the angkot. Do not board a yellow angkot without this label, as it goes to Karangploso (a completely different direction!)
Orange-coloured angkots go to the flower village of Sidomulyo and orchard village of Punten. Most go onwards to Selecta (to its ticketing gate, which is a nice 10-15 minutes walk from the actual park entrance), and some proceed to the Coban Talun Waterfall parking area, then further northwards to Sumberbrantas where a lesser known Cangar hot spring, a forest and an arboretum are located. Before getting on one, ask the driver whether he goes to your intended destination. Simply say, for example, "Pak, Coban Talun?"
An average distance [e.g. Batu-Sidomulyo] costs you Rp 3.000,00, while a short distance would cost Rp 2.500,00. The farther the distance, the greater the angkot fare. For instance, Batu-Selecta and Batu-Coban Talun cost Rp 5.000,00 while the fare for Batu-Sumberbrantas is Rp 7.000,00. If you are going to Cangar, ask the driver for a return trip which will cost you Rp 15.000,00. The driver will usually give you his mobile number to be contacted when you need to be picked up, or you can ask him.
Alun Alun, Batu (the centre point of Batu town). A small park in the middle of Batu town, where locals regularly take walks and idle about. The newly re-worked Alun Alun is adorned with representations of pretty much all of Batu's specialties: apples, strawberries, milk-producing cows, rabbits, etc. as booths, lanterns and statues. There is also a decent-sized ferris wheel with Rp.3,000 entrance fee... and a drinking water tap [free of charge!] edit
Mount Panderman, Songgokerto village. You can see Mount Panderman looming large from the centre of Batu. It is a good hiking and birdwatching area. If an organised hike is of interest you should be able to find a guide at Coban Rondo Waterfall.edit
Punten, Punten village (3 km from Batu town centre). Hectare after hectare of apple & orange orchards and orchid nurseries. Pay a nominal rupiah sum and pick and eat as many apples as you can manage. A number of other villages in Batu have similar setups and include Sidomulyo [flower "centre"], Gunung Sari [rose "centre"], Pandanrejo [strawberry]. Punten also has a fish breeding centre. edit
Kusuma Agrowisata Resort [please see below].
Three waterfalls which require require a long and strenuous walk to reach: Coban Talun [north of Selecta], Coban Rais and Coban Putri [south of Batu Night Spectacular]. The latter two are actually two cascades of the same waterfall.
Songgoriti, (about 2 km west of Batu town centre). This is probably the single most attractive village in the area and a day or half day spent just wandering here will be time well spent. There are some nice hot springs to relieve tired legs and a notable Hindu temple dating from the Majapahit period in the 15th century. There is also a "water park" with a swimming pool, clean toilets [a rarity in Indonesian public places], statues of various kinds [Chinese monkey king and his "bands"; fruit; cars; sculptured trees], Chinese style pavilion. Boats can be hired to get around the pond. There are separate entry fees for the water park and hot spring [Rp 10.000 per person excluding parking fee]. edit
Taman Rekreasi Selecta, Selecta, ☎ +62 341 592379, . This landscaped park [which has lots of flowers with different colours] was established by the Dutch in 1930 and although very changed, it remains a charming place to visit outside of the school holiday seasons (when it is overrun with children). Nice swimming pool and small waterpark, interesting aquariums and water features. Opportunities for some guided walks and horse riding. There is a hotel and restaurant attached to the park.edit
Kaliwatu Rafting (rafting malang), Jalan Raya Pandan Rejo no.4. Batu (Through the town of Batu From Surabaya - Malang, fork Karanglo (Bentoel), Market Coral Ploso turn left, turn right fork Pendem, town square, BCA intersection (traffic light), selekta right direction, the second junction turn right (car wash bendo) base camp kaliwatu (approximately 20 minutes from Karanglo)), ☎ 0341 -594175, . 1.5 hour. http://baturafting.com | Kaliwatu rafting gives you the best serv from children to adults. You also offer a variety of products. like paintball, airsoft gun, flyingfox, donald boot, and many others. was fit to be an alternative your family recreation(,7.2km)edit
Balitjestro (Government-run Citrus and subtropical fruit plantation & research centre), Jalan Raya Tlekung 1 (from Jatim Park 2, go along Jalan Raya Oro Oro Ombo, past BNS but before Rumah Sakit [Hospital] Baptis. It is on the right hand side of the road.). Learn about subtropical fruit varieties grown in Indonesia, including a local tangerine cultivar named "Jeruk Keprok Batu 55". Also has a guest house. In the harvest month of August, juicy oranges are free to pick and eat inside the orchard. Expect to pay Rp 10.000 for every kilogram of oranges you take home [price is current as of August 2014]. edit
Mount Arjuna seen from the road from Malang to Batu.
Climb Mount Arjuna and Mount Welirang. This is a tough 3 day expedition for experienced trekkers only. These two mountains combine to form a volcanic massif. Dormant Arjuna is at 3,338 m and active Welirang at 3,156m and the two are joined by huge saddle ridge. There are several ways to approach the trek but the best start point is at Selecta, 4 km north of Batu. You will need a guide and these are best found in Selecta village. If you are staying in Batu your hotel may also be able to help with connecting you to a good guide. Plan for two nights on the mountains in temperatures which can approach freezing. There is no need to cart tents as there are simple hut shelters used by the local sulphur workers and all guides will know the locations. You will need a warm sleeping bag and appropriate clothing though.
The lower slopes are lush but this gives way to a high terrain which more recalls the Andes or Tibet than tropical Indonesia! The same is true of the basic shelters in which you will be sleeping. The route from Selecta tackles Arjuna first and the views from the top are stunning - the whole volcanic spine of East Java stretches before you. The following day, Welirang offers similar magnificence with the added thrill of a steaming, sulphurous active crater. Be very careful on Welirang and take no risks - this Mountain is classed as a very active A-type by geologists. This is a very rewarding trek with views as good, if not better, than from any of Java's volcanic peaks.
Climb Mt Panderman. There are two routes: through Pesanggrahan [drive along Jalan Suropati until you see a gated street with a "Gunung Panderman" sign] and through a mountain pass near Kusuma Agrowisata. The former alternative is a longer but easier trek.
Walk. The area in and around Batu and Selecta is very scenic indeed and lends itself well to casual walking as well as more strenuous treks.
Eat apples. They are everywhere and you can hardly not. Fruit picking [including apples, strawberries, oranges, guava and dragon fruit] can be done in the vast Kusuma Agrowisata Resort [Jl Abdul Gani Atas]. This resort also has a 3-star hotel-and-cottages, restaurants, cafes and a coffee shop, a swimming pool attached to one of the restaurants. Apparently a waterpark has also been built recently.
Those interested in religion, history and culture might want to visit Pura Luhur Giri Arjuno, a large active Hindu temple near the northernmost village of Sumberbrantas.
Jawa Timur [Jatim] Park 1, Jl Kartika 2 Batu, ☎ 0341-597777, . edit
Jatim Park 2 (which consists of Batu Secret Zoo and ''Museum Satwa''/Wildlife Museum), Jl Raya Oro Oro Ombo, . edit
Batu Night Spectacular (BNS), Jl. Raya Oro-Oro Ombo 200 Batu, ☎ 0341-5025111. edit
Museum Angkut+ [literally "Transport Museum Plus"], Jl Abdul Gani [at the intersection with Jl Sultan Agung]. A tourist attraction "complex" comprising a transport museum, replicas of various buildings around the world, a movie star studio and an elegant floating-market styled food court. D'Topeng Museum, a comprehensive mask museum is also located here.
While it is not exactly a shopping mecca, there are interesting souvenirs one can take away from Batu.
Toko Linda, Jl Raya Selecta no 115. A one-stop-shop on the way towards Selecta, where you can get various Batu snacks specialties. The shop also sells everything from daily needs to clothes. edit
Toko Kawi Jaya, Jl Panglima Sudirman 23A (approx. 5 minutes west of Alun Alun, on the way to Kediri. the shop is on the left hand side of the road, with a number of bikes visible). Sells Batu specialties including fruit drinks,apple cider vinegar, jenang apel and fruit chips. Also sells beer and bikes at cheaper prices. Bike spare parts are also available.edit
Apples again. This is the nation's major apple producing centre and aside from the delicious fresh produce, try:
Dried apple chips. A real speciality here which are sold in bags so you can stock up. Healthy and truly delicious. Other fruit and starchy vegetables are also made into chips [jackfruit, potato, yellow and purple sweet potato, breadfruit, snake fruit... even starfruit, papaya and strawberry!]. There are also several varieties of tempeh chips.
A local apple cake/soft candy known as Dodol Apel or Jenang Apel.
There are good quality restaurants attached to all of the main hotels.
Sate Hot Plate, Jl. Patimura No. 40, ☎ +62 341 593662, . Sate kambing (goat satay), and other sate, including beef and chicken. Steaks and many vegetable, noodle, tohu and tempe dishes are also on the menu.Rp 4,000-45,000. edit
Sego Bancakan, Jl Puskesmas - Raya Beji Batu, ☎ +623415406951, . Sego Bancakan serves in Javanese rijstafel style, with fresh and healthy ingredients. Also featured are Jangan Lombok - an original Batu hot chili soup, and Ikan Bakar Lempung - clay wrapped baked fish.edit
Pasar Senggol, (Around Alun Alun). A large array of local food and snacks, served in permanent makeshift tents that gives you truly local tastes and lifestyle. Most famous street food includes tahu brontak (deep fried stuffed tofu), pisang molen (banana wrapped in flour-based batter), pisang goreng (fried banana), ketan (sticky rice, served with ground soy bean and coconut), bakso (meatballs in soup), tahu lontong (tofu and rice cake in peanut paste), etc. edit
Depot Santai, (Opposite Metropole Hotel). Delicious local interpretations of Chinese cuisine. Generous portion with local price range. Lesehan (sitting on the floor) dining is available. Specialties include Fu Yung Hai, Koloke and Fried Rice. edit
Cart Food. Cart food are commonly sold in batu. The single-manned hand-pushed carts commonly sell food such as bakso (meatballs in soup), Mie tek tek (fried noodles), Tahu Lontong (tofu and rice cake in peanut sauce), Roti Goreng (Sweet fried bread), Putu (steamed pandanus cake served with coconut and red sugar), etc. They come with eating utensils handy, and will wait for you to finish eating before moving on. edit
Jagung Bakar, (Up the mountain roads at Pujon). afternoon to late night. A lot of the tents on the roadside on the mountains of Pujon sells Jagung Bakar (barbecue corn), where you can pick your own corn from the stack and season the corns yourself if you prefer. The sites, juts precariously out the ledge of the roads, propped with bamboo. Beautifully casual, one can see the city of Batu with the lights at night. It gets chilly, so be prepared.edit
Rumah Makan Pak Kasan, Jl Moch Sahar [behind the town park on Jl Sultan Agung & near Brantas Stadium, ask around]. tasty yet affordable cuisine to be enjoyed in a natural setting [with frontyard & backyard gardens, chirping birds...] Specialises in fried and grilled chicken and fish. Chinese food is also available. edit
My Apple restaurant, Jl A Yani (from the Alun Alun, drive westward [towards Pujon/towards Kediri] until you see an intersection with the BCA bank on your left and a Chinese temple on your right. Turn left and keep driving for about 1 minute. The restaurant is on the left side of the street, clearly signposted.). A new restaurant which opened late June 2014. Serves fried and grilled chicken & fish, excellent fried rice.edit
If you cannot miss Western food: There are two CFC [California Fried Chicken] outlets - one is located across the street from Batu Secret Zoo and the other is inside the Museum Angkut+ area [precisely in the Pasar Apung Nusantara - a large food court designed as an exotic floating market]. Entry to this luxurious floating market is free. The restaurants and/or coffee shops in star hotels also serve Western Food, Chinese Food and even [for some] Japanese food.
There are a lot of quite highly priced hotels in Batu these days which were set up to cater for the wealthy local weekend market. If you are visiting Batu on a weekday outside of the school holiday season you can very likely get a nice deal at one of these higher end hotels.
Simpler budget accommodation is also available and if you visit on weekdays without a reservation you will almost certainly find plenty of available options.
The Batu Villas, Address: Jl Sultan Agung 29, Batu, ☎ +62 341 592955 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +62 341 592955), . checkin: 14.30am; checkout: 13.00. 2* resort hotel facilities : very clean, comfort & affordable, 32 inch LED TV, complimentary drink ( mineral water, tea, coffee), kettle, towel & toiletries, deposit box, high pressure hot water, laundry, free car/bus park, restaurant, etc.From Rp 195,000 to 3,850,000. edit
Kartika Wijaya Hotel, Jl Panglima Sudirman 127, Batu,, ☎ +62 341 592600, . The most famous hotel in Batu and it is a grand old heritage building. It has seen better days though and there are many reports of disappointed visitors. Offers individual cottages as well as conventional rooms in the main building.edit
Klub Bunga, Address: Jl Kartika 1, Batu, ☎ +62 341 594777 (email@example.com). A very modern hotel set in 12 hectares of grounds. Full service facilities, spa, massage, restaurant etcFrom Rp 450,000 to 2,400,000. edit
Kampung Lumbung Boutique Hotel and Spa, JL Puskesmas Dalam 1 Raya Beji, ☎ +62 341 5025177 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A 30 room boutique style hotel all built with re-used timbers in traditional East Java style, claims to be eco-friendly. You can also find vanishing East Java buildings architecture from old teak houses that are rebuilt for several villas in this hotelFrom Rp 450,000. edit
Metropole Hotel, Jl Panglima Sudirman 93, Batu, ☎ +62 341 591759. Nice enough mid-range hotel which is popular with weekend trippers form Malang.From Rp 400,000. edit
Royal Orchid Garden, Jl. Indragiri 4, Batu, ☎ +62 341 593083, . A swanky establishment with regular hotel and condominum sections. Two restaurants, two bars and private tennis courts. A notably good in-house spa here.From Rp 1,000,000. edit
Hotel Sumber, Jl. Darsono 14, Batu 65311, ☎ +62 341 591467, . A 15 room hotel which was extensively renovated in mid-2009. Set in over 2,500 m2 of landscaped gardens. Sadly the availability of hot water is now largely inconsistent.From Rp 300,000. edit
Villa Gunung Putri, Jl. Arumdalu no. 42, Songgoriti (7°51'45S 112°29'45E), ☎ +6281916339191, . checkin: 12:00 pm; checkout: 12:00 pm. A nice and cheap little villa with a beautiful view surrounded. With its traditional architecture and well decorated with some contemporary arts it will assure that u'll have something worth remembering. It has 1 main villa (with 3 bedrooms, kitchen, hot water bathroom, living room, dining room) and 2 small pavilions (bed, TV, water dispenser, bathroom).Rp, 600,000. edit
Pondok Jatim Park. A star hotel adjacent to Jatim Park 1.edit
Pohon Inn. A star hotel located between the Museum Satwa [wildlife museum] and Batu Secret Zoo. Jl Raya Oro Oro Ombo.edit
Purnama Hotel, Jl. Raya Selecta 1-15 (on the way to Selecta), ☎ +62 341 592700. 4 star hotel.edit
The Singhasari Resort, Jl. Ir. Soekarno No. 120 (near the border entry of Batu from the Malang side), ☎ +62 341 513333. 5 star hoteledit
There have been a number of new hotels like Zalma [on Jalan Imam Bonjol], Zam Zam [near Kusuma Agrowisata], de Wahyu [on Jalan Panglima Sudirman near the post office]. They tend to be cleaner and their service better, as they are trying to attract new customers. They might also offer a promotional discount or good value package, so it is advisable to check this out.
Tourist villages [desa wisata] such as Sidomulyo and Gunungsari offer some edu-tourism, agrotourism and/or creative tourism packages. For more details please contact the following:
Desa [village] Gunungsari: Pak Azis [082 143 153 387]
Kampung Wisata [tourist hamlet] Kungkuk, Desa Punten: Pak Suwito [082 142 036 079]. Kampung Wisata Kungkuk is the first and most developed village tourist site in Batu, and probably one of the best in Indonesia.
Desa Sidomulyo: Mas Dian [085 730 335 006]
These guides are Indonesian speaking. If you are from Suriname or learning the Javanese language, you can also speak Javanese to them.
Coban Rondo Waterfall, (4km from Sebaluh village, west of Batu). A good waterfall on the slopes of Mount Panderman with a 30 metre drop. The road here from Sepalu village goes through attractive terrain with some nice views and passes a small Elephant enclosure. A nice excursion is to get dropped off at the turning at Sepalu and walk the 4 km to the falls. There many monkeys in the area as well. Entrance fee is Rp. 15,000 (Sept. 2013). For those who dislike walking too far, the waterfall is a short and relatively convenient walk from the parking lot.edit
Selorejo Dam (Waduk Selorejo), (about 20 minutes drive to the west of Batu town centre). A bit of a drive from Batu through meandering mountain roads, but the view is scenic and pleasant. Selorejo's main feature is the dam, where you can hire a boat to go around, as well as fish (fishing lines for hire available). Leisure walk around is very pleasant, with a few resting spots available. Locals frequently picnic here. Some food hawkers and a restaurant are also available in this area.edit
Both the waterfall and the dam are accessible by public transport [although a rather long walk is necessary to reach the falls from the main road]. There are two public transport alternatives:  by the Puspa Indah Bus [going towards Kediri or Jombang] and  by the BNK minivan which plies the Batu-Ngantang-Kasembon route [from which the "BNK" abbreviation was derived]. Ngantang is the site of Selorejo Dam, while Kasembon - the western terminus - has a rafting site with moderate-to-advanced level of difficulties [while the rafting sites in Batu are even more challenging].
Kediri, the tofu city, on the west [through the winding road which passes Pujon and Ngantang/Selorejo Dam]
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!