HELLOOO GUYS! It’s been some time since the last update.
The highlight for this post is —— MOUNT BROMO & MOUNT IJEN !
How to go?
Take a flight to the nearest airport – Surubaya in Java island of Indonesia. Then transfer by bus/van to Mount Bromo then Mount Ijen. People will usually continue their holiday to Bali Island. You may also plan it in reserve way to make the last stop to Yogyakarta then back from Surubaya International Airport.
When to go?
Both Mount Bromo & Mount Ijen National Park opens to visitors all year round. However, the best time to visit is during the dry seasons which are from April to October. Incidence of rain will be higher during the wet season from November to March.
DAY 1 – Landing, Transfer & Check In
Nothing much on day 1 to share. After 2 hours of flight, we touched down at 10:40AM local time. (FYI, Indonesia time is exactly 1 hour slower than Malaysia time). The tour agent had assigned a driver to pick up us. His name is BangBang. He will be our driver & tour guide for the following days.
Most of the local restaurants serves beef. This is our first meal in Indonesia.One is not enough, best thing always comes in two! HAHA Second meal at the roadside.
Most of the time we were spent inside the van and being transfer to the homestay in Malang. Malang city is about 5 hours driving distance away from Surabaya International Airport.
Tips : Plan for early flight as it will takes you a long hours transfer from the airport to Malang city. Get enough of rest at the night & catch the sunset on the next morning!
DAY 2 – Mount Bromo & Sea Sand
Morning wakeup call at 3:30am to get ready for Mount Bromo sunrise tour. Jeep is ready outside of homestay to fetch us to Mount Penanjakan. There is another viewpoint is King Kong Hill which located half way to Mount Penanjakan.
Parking spaces is limited but visitors are more. Most of the jeeps parked at roadside making the road became narrower. We go down from the jeep and take a short walk for about 15 minutes (up hill walk)to KingKong Hill to watch the sunrise. However, we missed the junction and reach at the Penanjakan View Point. If you are lazy to walk, take the motorcycle services!
The sun rise usually at 530am.
Tips: Headlight is a must! Also, don’t forget a mask/bandana! You definitely need all these things when you walk to the top of Mount Penanjakan. The motorbikes are exhaling all the carbons and dust onto your face make you hardly breath.
From the top of Mount Penanjakan, you will see a panoramic bird eye sunrise view of the gigantic Tengger Caldera, Mount Bromo, Mount Semeru and other lesser but equally impressive volcanic cones. There are several mountains inside the caldera: Mt Watangan (2,661 m asl), Mt Batok (2,470 m asl), Mt Kursi (2,581 asl), Mt Watangan (2,661 m asl), and Mt Widadaren (2,650 m asl).
We are a bit late, the place is crowded with people. (Picture on right) Its crazy man! If you want to get a spot for good photos, you will have to find your way to squeeze to the front! Squeeze like sardine!
(I guess it is because it is Sunday, that’s why a lot of locals coming to this place as well.)
After this, we are board to the jeep again and driven down to the bed of the caldera. It is about 10 minutes drive from sunrise viewpoint.
Getting down from the jeep and you will come across with seas of Sands! The Tenggerese Hindu temple – The Poten is in the middle of sea sands. Walk across it, we are here at the base of Mount Bromo. You can stop a horse any time along the trail if you prefer to ride rather than walk.
A concrete flight of about 240 steps will lead you from the base of Mount Bromo to its crater rim, where you can peep down into its crater. (As close to a live volcano as you can get!) After taking in the scenery, you will head back to board the jeep.
Morning tour is end at about 1030am and being transferred back to Homestay. We are served with breakfast (Fried rice with eggs & coffee) before checkout.
About 1.5h drive from homestay, we are finally here Madakalipura Waterfall! You will need to take a motorbike transfer for a 5 mins ride from parking lot to the entrance of waterfall which charged you 10k per pax per trip. Then, do a short trek (abou 15-25mins) to reach the waterfalls. (p/s : motocycle transfer last call at 4pm, else you will have to walk, it is about 2km distance!) Don’t have much photos for waterfall because our phone was kept in waterproof bag.
Tips: Bring phone waterproof cover and raincoat! To reach to the waterfalls, you will need to pass through some area which water drops will falls like rain on you.
DAY 3 – Mount Ijen
At 1am in the midnight, we are already in the van for a 45 minutes transfer from Catimor Homestay to the trailhead at Paltuding. Here is where we start the hike to the Ijen crater. It is a 3km hike (approximately 1.5 to 2 hrs) from the trailhead to the crater rim. This section of the trail is basically a wide dirt road but sloping upwards all the way to the rim. It can be quite taxing to hike up the slope if you do not exercise regularly. It’s okay, take your time, steps by steps.
Tips : You can hire a “taxi” if you are physically weak and unable to hike. One important note! Bring warmer and windbreaker! The weather is windy and cold along the hike to crater rim of Mount Ijen. (weather can drops to 5 degree celsius in the midnight)
Blue flames is only visible before daybreak. It is better to get a tour guide to bring you down to the crater floor where you can take a clearer look at the blue flames and the lake. This section of the trail is steep, rocky and can be precarious if you are not careful. The hike is approximately 1km (one way), and will take you about 45 mins.
P/S: While you hike, priority the way to the miners who carry up to 70kg of the sulphur weight.
NIGHT TIME – WINE / BEER TIME!
Somehow Indonesia is a Muslim country, it is uncommon to get the alcohol drinks selling in the shops and restaurants. We had been searching for almost an hour that we almost fall asleep in the car! When we were about to give up, BangBang told us that we should not give up so easily. And FINALLY, we got the grape wine (does not taste good) and beers to chill our night in the hotel.
DAY 4 – Fruit Farms
Sad to say the weather is not good (too windy), we are forced to cancel paragliding in Gunung Banyak.
Mount Ijen is 8 hours away from Surabaya city. We feel pity that BangBang for the long hour drive. So we are suggested to have one night in Probolinggo city. On the next day, Bang Bang bring us for a visit to fruit farms. The owner are friendly and bring us for a tour. He patiently explain every single details like types of fruits, seasons of ripe and how to pick the fruits.
P/S : We had a bad experience with the tour agent. Feel like being cheated. This is why I did not recommend the tour agent in the post. He quote us for IDR200K per pax for the trip which includes hiking Mount Bromo, Ijen and paragliding. A week before the departure date, we were being informed that the weather is windy & paragliding will be cancel and got refund on that. So we arrived in airport, the driver told us that the trip schedule was changed to 3D2N trip. BUT we booked air ticket for 4D3N! We contacted the agent but he was pushing away from the problem. He said that he had already inform us on the cancellation of paragliding, hence it should be understand that the last day schedule is cancel and the trip is shorten! BUT HE DID NOT SAY IT EARLY! Besides, he request us to pay the remaining 50% deposits early whereby we had agreed to pay when we arrived in airport later. His reasons said that national parks entrance tickets fare will be increased soon, otherwise we will need to pay extras. LIER. Anyway, lesson learned. REVIEWS is important! Always check the REVIEW of the agent! 🙁