✨ Bromo Trip – Volcanoes, Galaxy, and Shooting Stars ✨
Recently, we went on a trip to the East Java of Indonesia, a continental region that is famous for its chain of volcanic mountain. With a group of four, it’s better and cheaper if you go with a local tour guide where you will take a group bus or private van so you can avoid some hassles from taking public transport. (Provided that you could get yourself an honest and reliable tour guide!)
While searching for a local tour company through online after an itinerary (4D3N in Bromo and Ijen) was planned, we decided we would get quotation from 3 local tour companies.
The Company A that promised to provide a 4D3N accommodation with breakfast, transportation, jeep, a hiking tour guide to Ijen Crater, entrance ticket to Mt. Bromo & Ijen Crater as well as an unlimited supply of mineral water, quoted for 2,400,000 IDR (= 772 MYR = 256 SGD) per pax.
The Company B that quoted for 3,500,000 IDR (= 373 SGD) per pax excluding the entrance ticket to Mt. Bromo & Ijen Crater, which sounded as if they would overcharge tourists with some kind of hidden fees or extra charges.
The Company C didn’t give response.
So, that’s a no-brainer! The Company A was selected. No deposit required. Pay on the spot!
Day 1: Kuala Lumpur – Surabaya – Cemoro Lawang
Touching down at Surabaya Juanda at around 11 in the morning, we were welcomed by Tris, the tour guide who had already waited for us in the airport. We quickly hopped on his Toyota Innova and departed to Cemoro Lawang, a small town near the Mt. Bromo.
One good thing about joining the tour package is, it will make stops at pre-arranged eateries and rest stops, which would save your energy in a way because you will make a very little effort in the trip. It took about 4-5 hours to reach the hotel. After checking in the hotel at around 4pm, we decided we would stroll around this scenic town for a while. The sky got dark so early at 5pm. We went back to the hostel to get some sleep right after the dinner, because we knew we would have to depart to hiking at twelve midnight later.
Accommodation: Cafe Lava Hostel (Superior Double)
Day 2: Cemoro Lawang – King Kong Hill – Bromo Crater – Savanah, Teletubbies Hill and Whispering Sand – Mentigen Hill
At 12am, we boarded the jeep and got ready to climb up to the mountain, with a company of the jeep driver, Tris, as well as a tour guide trainee. At the wee hour, it was so foggy and misty on the way up to the mountain (look at the photos). The visibility is literally not more than 2 metres, that the driver could only use his sixth sense to drive his jeep. Exciting!
The ‘thrilling but not dangerous’ journey to the summit finished in about one hour. Unfortunately, the viewing platform at the lookout point was under maintenance. But it was not disappointing because Tris led us to another cliff of the mountain which required some walk in the dark.
Reminders: Be sure to prepare yourself with some cold-proof equipments! Heat-tech, jacket, beanie or cap, gloves, and torch light are a must!
Anyway, the strong cold wind up there will still make you shiver even if you are fully equipped because there seemed to have nothing there to shelter you from the wind!
Despite the freezing environment, you would know it is all worth it once you reach the top and gaze the starry sky view with your naked eyes! Sometimes you are lucky enough to see shooting stars! Don’t forget to make a wish too. Do check the timing when the Milky Way appears so you don’t miss it out!
It was just too cold for us to capture more photos so Tris and the trainee found us a bush nearby to take some rest and get some warmth together until the sunrise.
The moment the sun appeared over the horizon, we knew it was totally worth waiting there. The view was definitely breathtaking.
The next station was the Bromo Crater, Savanah, Teletubbies Hill and Whispering Sand. A picture speaks a thousand words!
Afterwards, we went back to the hostel and took some rest. After the dinner, we were told by Tris the Milky Way appeared and so Tris came over to give us a lift to Mentigen Hill. We were in luck to catch the scene of the amazing Milky way.
Accommodation: Cafe Lava Hostel (Superior Double)
Day 3: Seruni Point – Ijen
Waking up at 4am, we departed to another lookout point called Seruni Point. It was too touristy and the view there just can’t be compared with the view in Day 2.
So we decided to go back to the hostel and have breakfast. At noon, Tris brought us to his house for a visit and we got to taste some local snacks prepared by Tris. Then, we left to Ijen in a 5 hour journey by car. After dinner, we took rest in the hotel to prepare for another hike tomorrow.
Accommodation: Ijen View Hotel (Standard Double)
Day 4: Ijen Crater – Surabaya
At 1am, we commenced the journey to the Ijen Crater to witness one of the unmissable sights in Indonesia.
A 3-hour hike was required to reach the rim of the Ijen Crater to chase the stunning electric-blue flames erupted from Ijen Volcano. This incredible phenomenon is caused by the burning sulphuric gases. So, take note of the need of getting yourself a GAS MASK before you head to Ijen Crater because the burning sulphur fume there may smell disgusting.
The return trip took us about 3 hours to the hotel and we proceeded to check out of the hotel and headed to Surabaya. We had a scrumptious dinner at the Sky Bar in the hotel.
Accommodation: MaxOneHotels (Double Room)
Day 5: Surabaya – Kuala Lumpur
After a complimentary breakfast from the hotel, we went for shopping in the Tunjungan Plaza, the largest shopping mall in Surabaya.
At 4pm, it’s the afternoon high tea time! We got a taxi to a casual famous cafe called Historica Coffee & Pastry near the downtown.
At 6pm, we collected our belongings from the hotel and took the pre-booked taxi to the airport for the flight to Kuala Lumpur.
The first three nights stay were included in the tour package. Cemara Indah Hotel, Bromo Permai, Cafe Lava Hostel and Lava View Lodge Hotel are highly recommended if you are to spend few nights in Cemoro Lawang.
Initially, we wanted to have our stay in Cemara Indah Hotel because the balcony view from the room would be the Mt.Bromo. Unfortunately, it was fully booked so we had to go to Cafe Lava Hostel.
The Ijen View Hotel we stayed in the fourth night was arranged and booked by Tris, which was satisfying.
The hotel in the last night in Surabaya was MaxOneHotels. The internal design of the hotel was amazing. The hotel even has its own Sky Bar at top. It costed us only 107 MYR (= 36 SGD) a night for a Double Room.
The transportation of the first 4 days was fully provided by Tris and the tour company.
The return trip from hotel to the cafe on the last day only costed for 15 MYR (= 5 SGD) while the taxi to the airport only costed for 175,000 IDR = 56 MYR (= 19 SGD).
As for the return trip flight ticket, it costed 328.90 MYR (= 110 SGD) per pax only.
We did not buy a SIM card but my cousin brought her wireless wifi router for us in the journey.
Basically, most of the food over there are typical local Indonesian Cuisine.
- Wong Solo (while on the way to Cemoro Lawang, Ayam Penyet)
- Restaurant in Cemara Indah Hotel (food was barely satisfactory, but we enjoyed the volcanic view from the restaurant)
- Breakfast & Dinner from Cafe Lava Hotel
- Supper from Lava View Lodge
- Lestari Restaurant – Ijen (Local Indonesian Food)
- Mie Awawa – Ijen
- Lestari Restaurant – Ijen
- Warung Bebek Bu Lely – Ijen (Roasted Duck recommended by Tris)
- Loveshack Sky Bar – Surabaya (Sky Bar of the hotel)
- Daun Lada Restaurant (live seafood restaurant in Tunjungan Plaza 6)
- Historica Cafe
The breezy weather there would easily make one feel cozy. But it may get too chilly for someone at the summit of the volcanoes, so, always bring along some jackets or gloves.
The sunrise scene from the pinnacle of Mt. Bromo was stunningly glorious. Gazing the starry night sky as well as the milky way was one of the best experiences ever.
As for the hike to Ijen, it may be quite steep especially on the way to see the blue flames. Be physically and mentally prepared for some tough hiking and be reminded that Gas Mask and Torch Light are essential! Any people with respiratory issues must be aware because there will be lot of volcanoes ashes out there.
Whole Trip Cost: 1118 MYR (= 373 SGD) per pax (Not included Food & Shopping)
**Currency Rate – IDR:MYR:SGD = 9375:3:1
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