Indonesia: Surabaya

[Recent Trip] Mountainous Paragliding in Batu, Malang

Sunday, May 22, 2016

I have been thinking of doing paragliding at the top of mountain hill since long time ago after I have done my first experience of paragliding in Baru Ferringgi Beach, Penang on 2015 January (Click here to further read my travel blog in Penang, Malaysia). After I have made a volcano trip descending down from the top, there is a place called Wisata Paralayang located in Batu, about 1 hour drive from Malang city in West Java Indonesia, but I never made it here for my lifetime mountainous paragliding.

Wisata Paralayang is a very scenic mountainous area not far from Batu and also home to backpackers for Paragliding. A paraglider is a free-flying, foot-launched aircraft. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing, like a parachute, whose shape is formed by its suspension lines and the pressure of air entering vents in the front of the wing.

 Wisata Paralayang is one of the exciting outdoor paragliding place for tourism located in Batu, Malang here which has its own beauty cannot be find elsewhere.

So, on 28th April 2016, one fine Thursday afternoon, after reaching the Malang city, I took a local blue "Angkot" with ADL symbol heading to Landungsari Bus Terminal. From here, I was looking for a pink colour van to Paragliding destination, Batu. The Batu is about 1 hour 10 minutes driving from Malang city center. It was very cheap the transport fare only charges you IDR 15,000 per one way.

 This local Landungsari bus terminal serves short distance buses to Batu, Kediri and Jombang from Malang city here.

 Pink Colour Angkot can easily get from Malang city to Batu.

It was a late afternoon after I was arriving at the Batu Bus Terminal at around 2pm. Then I was busy looking for a low cost budget accommodation to stay a while I was keep walking and visiting this small town. I was just passed by a local road stall selling these traditional and good-looking pan cakes and apong balik. I bought fews of apong balik to fill up my hungry stomach and the taste is not bad with reasonable price.

 This Van (Angkot) Terminal located in this cool, fresh hill town of Batu was a retreat for the Dutch in colonial days.

 Apong balik is a type of griddle pancake common in Southeast Asia. It is usually sold at specialist roadside stalls thoughout Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. The pancake's skin is made from a mixture of flours, eggs, sugars, baking soda, coconut milks and water.

For dinner, I had contented local chicken fried rice served with crackers and veggies. The staying accommodation in Batu I did not booked online earlier on, after I made a hard effort searching it online and lastly I was managed to get this villas stay within my travel budget.

 Traditonal stall restaurant serve a very nice dinner food.

This stall food, Nasi Goreng Keropok is a great value comes with local food cooking taste.

 This Batu Villas where I only stayed for one night, breakfast of bread and coffee are chargeable and the staffs are good and helpful in their service.

On that night, I was very lucky to get to know one of the solo backpacker from Singapore and we were planning go together to explore the paragliding sport on top of mountain. The next morning on 29th April 2016, after we had our breakfast, we went to Wisata Paralayang and get ready for the paragliding sport.

 This roasted bread comes with sweet corn, butter and fried eggs was my yummy breakfast in Batu Villas here.

This paragliding point is located on the hill top of Wisata Paralayang at Gunung Banyak. Even though it is called Gunung Banyak, it is more like a hill top on the highland, not too high. It has magnificent view from the top of its surrounding ancient old building and its resident houses in the town. On the way to this paragliding site as picking up by our villas tourist car, we thought we were a bit worry due to appearance of the unforeseen direction because the road is mountainous, rocky and bumpy. 

This cool and fresh hill town of Batu where looking from Wisata Paralayang here was a retreat for the Dutch in colonial days. These days this town becomes a major agricultural center with apple orchards and wealthy local businessman from Surabaya and Malang have weekend houses up here.

The weather in this morning was very warm by the time we reached there at around 9.30am. We were very lucky that there was no strong wind and we started to see some of the paragliders who flying from this hill became excited due to fear of flying. There is only one toilet facility available for public use and we have to pay for the entrance fee of IDR 5,000 to this Gunung Banyak.

Visitor entrance ticket to Wisata Paralayang hill.

 Only one free use of public toilet.

 The public toilet is located behind this food stall.

We select a Tandem flying package which cost us IDR 350,000 per pax where a professional licenced paraglider will be coming along with us during the fly and I can get the international standard equipments, a free selfie stick for taking picture, a participating certificate and the crew who provide me the safety first operations. They also offers courses for those who wants to fly on their own but you have to stay for 2 weeks to learn how to fly on your own but we did not make it due to short holidays. One of the pilot guide there explained about the section before we take off and asked other attendant to prepare the hardness and safety items for tandem fly.

 One of this pilot guide was explaining the safety procedure to us at this booth.

Paragliding is a weather dependent which means you can only fly when the wind are blowing from the correct direction. Before we were moving on, the paragliding instructor kept checking the wind direction. During that time of beginning, the wind was not really took cooperation with us so we waited for it to blow at the right direction. Finally after about 30 minutes, the windsock was flying happily in the wind and we were told by the pilot that we were lucky because this morning weather was great. We quickly gathered at the edge where the instructors had stand by the equipment for us.

I was strapped in a harness which is  attached together with the passenger in front and the pilot right behind, a backpack bag and a helmet and at the same time where the paragliding parachute was ready and the pilot was suited up himself. Once I strapped in with my pilot and the silk spread out behind us with a million strings, we were ready to take off. My pilot asked me to run along with him and treat me as a guard as my feet ran ahead of him. When the wind is right and we built energy by running together as the wing came overhead into the flying position we were lifted off the ground, up, up and away!

 I was off for this mountainous paragliding on this top hill of Gunung Banyak, Wisatat Paralayang Station located in Batu, Malang here.

Have you ever found yourself following birds in the sky skimming effortlessly on the currents of the wind and wondered what it would be like?

What's a beautiful Batu city view from the top sky!

I was enjoying now with "sharing the air" with the birds and soaring like an eagle in which one of my travel bucket list had finally come true.

When I was in the sky, I felt my backpack became weightless and I was comfortably seated on it after my pilot had helped me to sit in a proper and convenience way. I forgot all about my pilot guide and overwhelmed by the feeling of freedom and the silence. I started to take some picture and record some video using their provided selfie stick during the fly. We did it smoothly and I was lucky that the wind changed direction and brought is to a longer route before we landed at a pre-designated spot in the middle of a grass greenland. The whole section took us about 8 minutes and landed at the other site very smoothly.

I was lucky to meet this travel buddy with common interest along my way to Batu city.

 Group photo was taken together with our friendly and easygoing pilot guides.

 It was fun to have a jumping shot after a safe landing on this green grass land.

 Attendant was packing the Tandem Flight parachute in which it use a wing large enough to hold for two peoples, a pilot and a passenger.

At around 10.30am, we then came back up to the hill on a motorcycle riding. There are food stalls here selling chicken noodle, hot and cold drinks and also the refreshing fresh coconut juice. They are also selling fried bananas and few other local snacks. I was hungry after the paragliding sport and ordered a hot drink and cup noodle to fill up my stomach.

 Motorbike ride back to the Top Hill of Wisata Paralayang where we are coming from.

 This food stall here is selling various kinds of snack foods and drinks.

It was a great experience hanging up in the sky and soaring with the grace of wind. The whole view of surrounding area was just so magnificent with town building and paddy fields looked so much beautiful from above. The peaceful quietness erased all my nervousness which I experienced this first time of mountainous paragliding.
 A good weather in this morning filled with bright sun and mild wind.

 Certificate of Accomplishment will be given to those who are paragliding participant to complete the whole flying activities.

Later that at around 11am, we asked our villas driver going to drop by us back to Malang city so that I could continue to explore my next rocky path trekking trip to Ijen Crater. We added and shared the rental car of IDR 80,000 for the ride to Malang city to save our travelling time by changing the public transports. At last, I would recommend that once in a lifetime one should do paragliding and then decide whether you like it or not. It is on your choice but just give a try first to yourself. Do it at this beautiful mountain place of Wisata Paralayang, Batu and it so much worth it.

Please continue to read my next travel blog and check out my shared experience on the Trekking to Sulphur Mining Area: Ijen Crater.

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