Malang is known to be the gateway city to Mount Bromo, but it also has a few of its own unique places to visit, most notably being Kampung Tridi.
Kampung Tridi is the newest tourist spot in this old Dutch city. This “3D City” is a mosaic neighborhood full of colorfully painted houses and graffiti decorated streets. Currently a hidden gem from foreign tourists, Kampung Tridi started as an offshoot of the popular and wildly painted Jodipan Hamlet, located just opposite of the river.
The painting of Jodipan stemmed from a group of university students in Malang. They wanted to raise awareness about local slums polluting the river, which flows through the city. Most houses in this area, and similar neighborhoods, do not have toilets or running water. Unfortunately almost all of the waste and trash that gets produced is sent directly into the river. The university students selected the Jodipan area because of its highly trafficked location. They hoped to create a large example that could be seen by most people in the city. This project has raised awareness to the effects of trash pollution and has improve local behavior.
Along with raising awareness, this school project has helped this struggling area of Malang. Small shops and vendors now sit around the painted houses and the income from tourists goes towards the local community. With this increased awareness, the government of Malang has also provided funding to different areas in the city to help improve sanitation, drainage and provide fresh drinking water to the local population.
Kampung Tridi is located just across the river from Jodipan, it was in a similar state until a local painter, Eddy Supriyanto, saw how well the vibrant buildings across the river not only increased income to the residents but it also gave them a sense of pride. Most residents are continually improving their homes and neighborhood. Eddy wanted to do the same for his neighborhood and imagined a place with 3-D paintings that people could interact with. He presented his idea to the local chairman and received approval along with a generous donation of paint from Decofresh, a local paint company.
The entry fee for Kampung Tridi is 2.5k Rupiah. This entry fee goes to support the local community. Inside the Kampung Tridi neighborhood you can see the city bridge, streets, alleys and houses covered with bright paintings and graffiti art. Most of the murals depict famous people or characters and a few are quite lifelike.
Even though the river separates Jodipan and Kampung Tridi you can cross between the two via the main road or by a makeshift bamboo bridge. Right away it felt a little weird wandering around someone’s house, down the small alleyways, but that is what Jodiapan and Kampung Tridi are designed for. The paintings are hidden everywhere and it is a fun challenge to see what you can find.
Still very unknown to foreign tourist, I did not encounter any during my stroll through here. But I was greeted with a constant string of “Hello mister” from the young children and I was frequently asked to take selfies with other visitors.
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