Malang may not be as famous as Yogyakarta, but you still might have seen it on social media. In Malang, you’ll find one of Indonesia’s most colorful neighborhoods: Jodipan. What started as a renovation project for a rundown slum filled with tin huts turned into a tourist attraction, thanks in part to the help of Indonesia’s Air Force. Keep reading to find out more about where you can discover this vibrant gem and what it looks like.

Jodipan: from slum to rainbow village

As you roll into the city by train from Yogyakarta, Jodipan is actually the first thing you’ll see. You pass right over it as it lies beneath the railway bridge on the banks of the Bantas River. It’s a typical spot for a slum, a place where hardly anyone would choose to live. Jodipan almost disappeared, but then the students from the University of Malang came up with a paint project idea. This brought in a fresh stream of income for Jodipan. Tourists pay a small entrance fee to explore and take photos, and with that money, the locals can keep the place in order. If you are concerned about safety, do not worry. The vibe is very friendly, just like anywhere else in Indonesia.

Jodipan Malang

Jodipan can be divided into three colorful villages (kampungs):

1. Kampung Warna Warni

Literal translation: Colorful Village. Although I think the colors might have been brighter once, the weather elements have naturally affected the paint over time. It also didn’t help that it was gray and rainy during our visit. The entrance to Kampung Warna Warni begins at the stairs at the end of the car bridge on Jalan Gatot Subroto. As we walked down, someone quickly appeared to sell us entrance tickets. We paid 5000 IDR per person and received a sticker with the Warna Warni lion (one of the murals).

2. Kampung Tridi

You can reach it via the yellow pedestrian bridge from Kampung Warna Warni, or you can enter from the street side on Jalan Gatot Subroto. Again, for this village, you need to pay (5000 IDR per person). It felt a bit strange because I didn’t feel like it was a different village. Both Kampung Tridi and Kampung Warna Warni have the same rainbow colors. But then again, the amounts are small, and as proof of payment, you get to choose a small soft toy keychain.

Jodipan Malang
Jodipan Malang

3. Kampung Biru Arema

The village on the other side of the car bridge thought, “We want what the other side has, but we only like the color blue.” So, in 2018, all the houses in Kampung Biru Arema were painted blue. It is a slightly different experience, but I thought it looked really cool. The blue here also has a reason because many supporters of Arema FC, Malang’s soccer club which became national champion in 2010 under a Dutch trainer, live in this village. This team plays in blue and has the nickname Singo Edan (Mad Lion). That’s why you also see many lion paintings on the walls. We didn’t have to pay an entrance fee to enter the village, but that could change in the future.

Jodipan Malang

Where to eat and drink in Malang?

In Jodipan itself, you can find some snacks here and there, but for lunch or dinner, I recommend other places in Malang. My favorite was SaigonSan, one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever been to. Another great place is Rumah Makan Inggil, which doubles as a museum. I had a delicious tahu & tempeh oseng-oseng here. For a more local experience, I suggest having breakfast with Nasi Pecel at the Klojen market (at Nasi Pecel Mbak Sri Klojen). It’s very tasty, and you’ll be right in the middle of the action. For a cup of coffee, I recommend Mmmm Cafe (vegan-friendly with oat milk) and Java Dancer Cafe.

Where to stay in Malang?

We stayed at the fantastic Tugu Hotel. It’s located at the Alun-Alun (main square), within walking distance from Malang’s train station and Jodipan. This was perfect for us because we took the night train from Yogyakarta (I used to book the tickets) and were pretty tired when we arrived. It’s a luxurious hotel, but surprisingly affordable. And the best part: they offer daily afternoon tea with photogenic snacks, and every guest gets a welcome massage. Staying here is truly a treat!

Click here for more accommodations in Malang.

Have you already visited the color village Jodipan in Malang? What did you think of it?

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