In the past 5-6 years, Bromo Ijen is a name that I see quite frequently in reviews. I am not surprised that this place is very famous and popular as it has an extraordinary view and the travel fees are not expensive. Because of these reasons, it wasn't difficult to make a decision to go there. Also, I wanted to see it with my own eyes!
To get to Bromo Ijen, renting a car and a driver seems to be the easiest and most convenient choice and you can plan to get the most of your trip. However, it may not be suitable for those who want to travel alone. So I decided to bring along two friends to come with me. The trip can finally happen!
I booked an Air Asia flight from Bangkok - Suramaya (Stop in Malaysia first).
For the return flight, I booked a direct flight from Bali - Bangkok.
The date of our trip is 26-31, May 2018!
After booking the ticket, I started making reservations for the trip in February. The first thing I did was contact a guide and rent a car by sending an email to Arif (there is only one company). They responded back quickly and the price was good so I happily accepted the offer.
This is the plan that Arif sent me:
"26 may 2018
08.00 pm : Arrive at Surabaya Airport
09.00 pm : go to Bromo
27 may 2018
02.00 am : Midnite and not stay hotel
03.00 am : Bromo Tour 4 location, Pananjakan 1, Bromo Crater, Savana, and Wispering sand
10.00 am : go to Madakaripura waterfall
01.00 pm. : go to hotel at bromo
03.00 pm : Chek in hotel near bromo
28 may 2018
04.00 am : Sun Rise at Seruni Point
07.00 am : back to Hotels and breakfast
09.00 am : check out and go to Ijen
03.00 pm : Chek in hotel at ijen
29 may 2018
01.00 am : trecking to ijen crater
08.00 am : back to my car and go to ketapang ferry port
10.00 am : ketapang ferry port
The price is 8,500,000 rupiahs for 3 people. I also had to pay a deposit of 1,000,000 rupiahs first by transferring the sum through Western Union which wasn't difficult. You can do it in Krungthai bank where there is a Western Union logo in front.
The package includes a 2 night accommodation, gas for the car, jeep fee entrance fee and local guide fee. Only the meals are not included.
Something made me pick a night flight. Unfortunately, the flight was delayed later in the night so we arrived in Surabaya on the 26th at around 11 PM. We already informed Arif about the delay.
Because the flight was late at night, there were very few foreigners so we got through the immigration process very quickly. At the terminal, we found our driver holding a sign with our names on it. His name was Udin and he was from Arif. He spoke English quite well and was a little quiet, but he took good care of us during the whole trip.
He also liked to take photos for us which we appreciated a lot.
The man in red is Udin.
We went straight to Bromo from the airport. I was dozing off but I felt the car going up the mountain and I could see the bright moon in the sky. It was so pretty that I didn't want to go back to sleep.
We reached the resort where we would stay at around 3 AM but we didn't check in yet. We just used the toilet and went on a jeep to the viewpoint. Many jeeps followed us. Going up the steep hill, I was very nervous! What I didn't expect the weather to be so cold as well. We didn't do much research on the weather so we only brought a light coat each. Luckily, I had an extra windbreaker or else I wouldn't have survived. It was so windy and cold!
The sky was clear and you could see stars everywhere. You can even see the milky way with your own eyes!
Udin recommended us some nice sports to take photos so we waited for the sun to come up. Even though it was very cold, we were doing quite fine. There weren't many people. While we were waiting, it was so dark that we couldn't see Mount Bromo at all! So we just took some photos of the stars with our small camera.
The view was so beautiful we knew that the photos that we took would never do it justice. It was really a wonder of nature!
After taking selfies to our heart's content, it was time to go down the mountain then go up Mount Bromo's crater!
The distance is around a kilometer and a half. At this point, you can either walk or ride a horse. (But the horse can only take you to the point before the stairs).
The smell of sulfur was quite strong so let's quickly leave after taking photos!
Then we took a jeep to the savanna plains:
Then we went to the Whispering Sand which I really liked.
The last destination for today is the Madakaripura Waterfall!
We went back to the resort to get into our old car and Udin drove for an hour and a half. I slept during the whole ride because I was getting tired. To get to the waterfall, you have to ride a motorcycle. Udin has already contacted a local guide and a motorcycle for us.
At this point, many children are selling raincoats. I thought that it wasn't necessary, but I changed my mind after walking in for around 2 kilometers because I was worried about my camera getting wet(The waterfall was like a rain shower, so how could I not worry about getting wet!?).
The waterfall here is more beautiful than I expected!
Even though I was tired and exhausted from the lack of sleep and the heat(but Mount Bromo was freezing.. so confusing!), this waterfall is worth the visit! Now it's time to get some rest. YAY!
We stayed at the Cemara Indah Resort. The view here was amazing! It made me wonder why I went through the trouble of going up the mountain for!
For dinner, I wanted to try some satay before going to bed..
We went to bed at 7 PM because of fatigue and we had to meet Udin at 4 AM to see the sunrise.
It is one of the viewpoints to see Mount Bromo but it is quite tiring to go to. Of course, there are horses for rent. You can go further up but the trail is not good. I almost rolled down!
But the view was good and you couldn't get bored!
And now, it is time to say goodbye.
After checking out and eating breakfast, we went on a long drive to Ijen View which is another place we will stay in.
It is a day to relax with no plans because we have to leave at 1 AM on the next day to go to Kawah Ijen.
Note - When we went on our trip, it was during the Ramadan season so finding lunch was very difficult. Warung shops open in the late evening so if you come during this season you should stock up on food to eat!
On the next day, we had some problems due to miscommunication between the tourists so the journey was delayed by 45 minutes which caused many annoying problems afterwards.
To go up Ijen, Udin hired a guide named Harry for us. I couldn't remember the distance to Ijen; only that it was around 3 kilometers to reach the crater.
We got there quite late because we started our walk late so we had to hurry while in reality we walked very slowly and it was very tiring. There are no horses here but there are taxi carts available (the prices are very high). The cart taxis must have known that we would be very tired on our walk so they walked with us from the beginning of our walk. Because we walked slowly, the guide recommended us to take a taxi cart or else we wouldn't have time to do some sightseeing. I could walk but due to the time limit I decided to take his advice. Harry ran ahead of us to take a photo of the Blue Flame as it would disappear if the sun rises.
We reached the crater near morning.
We could only admire the blue lake for a short time when the white fog from the crater covered it telling us that it was time to go back.
After coming down from Ijen, it was the last day on Java Island.
Udin drove us to Ketapang Port to take a ferry to Bali. We would spend two more days in Bali before going back to Bangkok, but I will talk about Bali in the next review. Bye bye, Java Island!
This was my first time traveling in Indonesia, and I found that Indonesia is a very interesting country. The nature there is amazing and there are so many places left to explore. One trip in Indonesia is not enough! See you again with our stories from Bali!