Malang Airport (MLG) is called Abdul Rachman Saleh, an airforce base located around 10 km northeast of the city. Airlines serving Malang are Garuda Indonesia (2 flights/day from CGK), Batik Air (2 flights/day from HLP), Citilink (1 flight/day from HLP), Sriwijaya Air (2 flights/day from CGK), and Wings Air (1 flight/day from DPS). To get to Malang from the airport, your choice is limited between chartered vehicles and airport taxi. Taxi counter is available near the arrival hall, and the fare is already fixed depending on your destination. You need to arrange chartered vehicle before departing to Malang, because due to the taxi monopoly, there will not be any other choice but taxi when you arrive at the airport. The fare from the airport to the city center is around IDR 70,000.
Other option to get to Malang is through Juanda Airport Surabaya and then take taxi, train, shuttle car or bus to Malang. Flight from Jakarta to Malang is approximately 1.5 hours while Jakarta to Surabaya is around 1 hour. It is recommended to take the shuttle service from Surabaya to Malang, using minivans shared with other passengers.
In Indonesia, train is divided into three classes: economy, business and executive class. Economy trains are often packed, very slow but now with air conditioning. Business trains are almost the same with economy trains, with the difference in the seating position (not reclinable, however) . Executive trains are the most comfortable, with AC, TV and reclining seat. Executive train serving Malang is Gajayana train from Malang to Jakarta via Blitar, Kediri, Kertosono, Madiun, Solo, Yogyakarta, and Purwokerto, Bima train from Malang to Jakarta via Surabaya, Malabar from Malang to Bandung and Malioboro Express from Malang to Yogyakarta. Economy train is available from Jakarta, Surabaya, Probolinggo and Banyuwangi. Train tickets can be purchased in the train station or through travel agents.It is advisable to buy the ticket in advance, as trains can be fully booked at peak seasons. Travel time from Jakarta is around 15 hours and from Surabaya is around 2.5 - 3 hours.
There are three bus terminal in Malang: Arjosari Terminal, Landungsari Terminal and Gadang Terminal. Arjosari Terminal serves long distance buses to Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo, Semarang, and Denpasar and short to medium distance buses to Surabaya, Probolinggo, Jember and Banyuwangi. Landungsari Terminal serves short distance buses to Batu, Kediri and Jombang, while Gadang Terminal serves short distance buses to Lumajang and Blitar.
In general, there are also several classes for bus: economy, patas and executive. Economy buses is using 2-3 seat configuration (2 on the left and 3 on the right), some are using AC. Mostly has 60 seats in total. Patas bus is using 2-2 seat configuration with total around 43-48 seats with AC and sometimes TV. Executive bus is using 2-2 seats configuration with less seats to provide better leg room, AC and Toilet, sometimes with extra addition such as as blanket, pillow and free dinner. Total seat is around 32 - 40 seats. There is also Super Executive bus which is like executive bus, only that the seat configuration is 2-1 seats with total seat around 21 seats. There are several bus companies operating from Jakarta to Malang using executive buses, such as Pahala Kencana, Lorena, Kramat Djati, Safari Dharma Raya, Gunung Harta and Malino Putra. The only company using Super Executive bus from Jakarta is Karina. From Denpasar, there are several executive bus companies such as Gunung Harta and Restu Mulya. Executive and super executive classes are only available for long distance bus. For short or medium distance, your option is only between economy or patas bus. Patas bus is easily recognized in Malang due to the large yellow sticker in the front of the bus.
However, speaking about overland public transportation, in general it is more convenient for foreigners to take train instead of bus, because of the problem with ticket touts and scams in bus terminals. To avoid this risk, always book bus tickets in advance in the ticketing office. Ticket can only be booked for long distance travel such as to Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Solo, Semarang, Bandung and Denpasar. For short and medium distance, there is no choice but to buy the ticket on board. For short and medium distance, always refuse any offer that require you to pay before you board the bus.
Public transportation in Malang is called Mikrolet, a blue minivan that can carry up to 11 people. The route is written on the windshield and on the side of the van. The route is rather easy to study, because mikrolet in Malang is using abbreviation for the route. For example, the route from Arjosari Terminal to Landungsari Terminal is abbreviated as AL (Arjosari-Landungsari). The route from Arjosari to Landungsari via Dinoyo is abbreviated as ADL (Arjosari-Landungsari-Dinoyo).
Other means of transportation is taxi. Always insist on using meter, and be careful to the tricks used by the driver to get extra money from you. The common trick is covering the meter with something (usually a card). You will not realize that the meter is already running before you enter the taxi, and you will end up paying more than you should. So always look at the meter first before you sit in. If the meter is covered with something, ask the driver to remove the cover and reset the meter to zero. If they refuse, do not hesitate to find another taxi.