Malang is the second largest city in East Java province, Indonesia and will be established as the fourth largest city in Indonesia in 2008. It has an ancient history dating back to the Mataram Kingdom. The city population at the present time is around 1.5 million, and the population of the urban area is 2 million. The total population is therefore around 3.5 million. During the period of Dutch colonization, it was a popular destination for European residents. The city is famous for its cool air and the surrounding country regions of Tumpang, Batu, Singosari, and Turen. People in East Java sometimes call it "Paris van East Java." Malang was spared many of the effects of the Asian financial crisis, and since that time it has been marked by steady economic and population growth.
The history of Malang Regency could be revealed through the Dinoyo inscription 760 AD as the primary official document to support the birth of Malang before a new inscription was discovered in 1986, which is so far not yet revealed. According to the inscription, it was concluded that the 8th century was the beginning of the existence of Malang Regency's government due to the birth of King Gajayana's ruling of his kingdom in Malang. From the Dinoyo inscriptions, it is noted that the inscription used the "Candra Sengkala" or "Cronogram" Calendar, and stated that the birth date of Malang Regency was on Jum'at Legi (sweet Friday) November 28, 760 AD. (L. Damaes: "Studed' Epigraphy d'Indonesia IV. 1952").
The city was incorporated into Mataram in 1614, then transferred to Dutch colonial rule. Malang was transformed under the Dutch; its cool climate which results from its elevation, along with its proximity to the major port of Surabaya, made it a popular destination for Dutch and other Europeans. In 1879, Malang was connected to Java's railroad network, further increasing development and leading to increased industrialization.
Along with growth came urbanization. The government could not satisfy the population’s needs for affordable housing, which lead to the building of shanty towns along the rivers and rail tracks. Up until today, the shanty towns still exist; although some have been transformed into “better” housing.
Malang has a total area of 252,136 km². It shares its borders with Pasuruan (North), Lumajang (East), and Batu (West). Mount Bromo, one of Java's largest volcanoes and a major tourist attraction, is located just to the east of the city.
The racial makeup of the city is mainly of Javanese and Madura, with a small percentage of the Arabic and Chinese descendants. The people of Malang are known for their spirituality, dynamism, hard-work and particularly proud to be Arek Malang (AREMA).
Malang is also home to a thriving transgender (waria) community headed by Miss Waria Indonesia 2006, Merlyn Sopjan.
Temporary residents to Malang are mostly for educational reasons. They come from other islands especially from East of Indonesia, which includes Bali, Nusa Tenggara, East Timor, Papua, Maluku, Sulawesi and Kalimantan.