Our second trip to Malang was quite different than the first one. This time no away supporters were allowed or spotted nearby the stadium. Persib and Arema supporters are less friendly towards each other as the brotherhood atmosphere we experienced in our first trip to Malang between Persija and Arema.
Arema FC vs Persib Bandung
Nevertheless, Arema vs Persib is a big game in Indonesia and the “Lion Cage” was packed very well. We decided to pick a different spot at the economy class tribune than our first trip. From our spot across the halfway line, we were able to enjoy the atmosphere and follow the game closely as well.
Persib Bandung arrived at the stadium escorted by the army that day to protect the players. It’s quite impressive to see and it also tells us that the rivalry between the clubs is quite big. Something that we found out earlier that season when we travelled to Bandung to see Persib vs Arema.
Persib Bandung won their first three games of the season including a 1-2 win over Arema that day. Losing against a big rival at home isn’t easy to accept and the atmosphere around the stadium was quite tense after the game. A few fights and disturbances were seen after the game and we decided to head back to our hotel as well.
We loved to see that Arema supporters come from everywhere to support their football club. Supporters come down from the mountains, nearby cities and travel miles to see the club at the Kanjuruhan Stadium. It tells us that the club has a huge supporters community in Indonesia. The Kanjuruhan stadium is about 45 minutes outside the city of Malang but all the way from the city towards the stadium you will find Arema supporters singing and cheering. For at least 10 miles there are small shops with Arema shirts and souvenirs which makes the journey towards the stadium extra special. The game-day experience starts already when you are out of your hotel and heading towards the stadium.
An extra bonus when visiting Arema FC is the city of Malang and its surrounding nature. Gunung Bromo and the enormous Tumpang Sewu Waterfall are not that far from the city. So whenever you visit Arema FC make sure to visit the Bromo volcano and the Tumpang Sewu waterfall as well. In the city of Malang, you will find the famous colored city (Kampung Warna Warni) and we also recommend one Italian restaurant named Signora Pasta Malang.
We are looking forward to coming back to Malang and hopefully one day we can witness the Super Derby Jawa Timur between Persebaya and Arema FC with away supporters.
A special thanks to the Arema supporters next to us on the tribune for making this day extra special and sharing the Tofu with us.