Category

Indonesia

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wonderful Indonesia Day 3 – Penanjakan, Mt. Bromo Sunrise, Whispering Sands & Malang

By | Asia, Indonesia, Travel | No Comments

Picking up from where I left off in Part 1 (Day 1 & 2, hiking up Kawah Ijen!), we were housed in the 4-star Jiwa Jawa Resort (also previously known as Java Banana Lodge) which was a really nice place to stay at! I literally had no complaint about this place, except that the internet connection was pretty poor at some parts of the resort (primarily our residential area, reception/cafe was fine).

Temperatures at night hovered around 10 degrees or so since it was 2000m above sea level. If you were to drive up in the day, the view would impress you for sure (and also be quite scary as the bus made its way up). Make sure you bring warm clothes for this part!

Since it was so cold, waking up at 2am and getting ready by 2.30 was no easy feat. *mock horror emoji* Thankfully I brought along warm clothing items to tide me by!

We boarded the bus and left for Mt. Penanjakan, from where we would be able to view the beautiful sunrise over the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru district.

Erh, but I thought you were going to Mt. Bromo? 

Common sense would tell us that we wouldn’t be able to view Bromo from Bromo, lah.

So instead, we had to go up to Penanjakan, which was a super popular spot for tourists and even the locals when they wanted to go somewhere romantic!

The sun started appearing at about 4.30am – 5am, but we had to be there by 3.30am latest (bus ride from Jiwa Jawa was about 45 minutes) to “chope” better viewing spots and avoid the traffic jam up the mountain! If you get there too late, your jeep or bus might have to park really far away and that would mean walking a longer distance up. Ack.

I saw some people walking up the mountain instead of taking a jeep actually – My muscles would be crying murder should I have to go on yet another mountain hike, so thank god for the jeeps, and that the viewing point was a mere few steps away from the warung which we stopped by for some refreshments!

What is a warung? "is a type of small family-owned business — often a casual shop, a modest small restaurant or café — in Indonesia."

What is a warung?
“is a type of small family-owned business — often a casual shop, a modest small restaurant or café — in Indonesia.”

Check out my "not enough sleep" face, haha. We all sat down and enjoyed some hot milo (it was really coldddd!) and also had some pop mie, goreng pisangs and other indonesian snacks! Yummy and really good place to sit down and spend time while waiting for the sun to rise. Would be awesome if I had brought some card games along!

Check out my “not enough sleep” face, haha. We all sat down and enjoyed some hot milo (it was really coldddd!) and also had some pop mie, goreng pisangs and other indonesian snacks! Yummy and really good place to sit down and spend time while waiting for the sun to rise. Would be awesome if I had brought some card games along!

While the rest of them waited in the cafe, I was determined to capture some stars no matter what so I grabbed my tripod and was surprised to find that it took me all of 50 steps to get to the viewing point, which was EXTREMELY OCCUPIED even at just 4am! Like, what?! All of you don’t need to sleep ah!?!

Found a spot, set up my tripod in the cold (it was seriously freezing!) and snapped away in the dark atop the viewing point at Gunung Penanjakan.

Gunung Penanjakan

“Mount Penanjakan (2,770m), its peak also called Viewpoint #1, located just north of the caldera, is a mountain-top viewpoint accessible by paved road from Tosari and hence popular with jeeps and even tour buses. It’s the highest point easily accessible, so many visit here to get a good look around. The most popular sight is the sunrise: most of the crowd comes to see the dawn at 05:00 and you will likely have the large concrete observation post to yourself if you arrive later in the day. Ancient Javanese Hindu texts tell of how Bromo-Penanjakan-Semeru (or Mahameru as it was then) was the spiritual axis of the universe and the point of all creation. The view from Penanjakan will explain why – it is truly breathtaking. This is where most of those iconic picture postcard views are taken from.” – Wikitravel

overlooking the city.... not in the right conditions to get the milky way, but definitely captured the stars : D

overlooking the city…. not in the right conditions to get the milky way, but definitely captured the stars : D

sun was slowly rising

sun was slowly rising

I also tried out the star trail function (aka Live Composite) of the Olympus OMD EM5MK2, which is also present in the newer olympus cameras like my E-PL7! I didn't have enough time to finish the shots, so here's a partial. Given the right place and time, I would love to try again!

I also tried out the star trail function (aka Live Composite) of the Olympus OMD EM5MK2, which is also present in the newer olympus cameras like my E-PL7! I didn’t have enough time to finish the shots, so here’s a partial. Given the right place and time, I would love to try again!

Since the sun was rising already, my guide/planner tried to bring me to another spot to catch the sunrise. On the way there, I passed by the viewing pavilion and… IT WAS FULLY PACKED! It was so full of people standing that you would have mistaken it for an ongoing mega sale! I now know why they make people come a whole 2 hours before the sun rose. If you don’t, you wouldn’t be able to get any spot at all, let alone good spots.

So the guide took us to a secret place which was so amazing that I thanked them profusely 10 times (at least), and I quickly set up my tripod only to realize that I lost my mount! WTF. Good grief! And I just used it about 5 minutes prior! Sigh. Still it was wide enough for my other camera – I took a time lapse video on the HTC RE camera, while shooting stills with the OMD E-M5 MKII!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was utterly breathtaking. And also very cold. But anything for this!!!

So cold, but so worth the wait! 🌞🌄 Much grander in person, but here you go – the sunrise as viewed from #Penanjakan, #WonderfulIndonesia (captured with my #HTCRe camera) We were all onboard keeps by 230am, and reached Penanjakan by 3.30am to avoid the crowd. There are little warungs (cafes) for you to warm up and satiate your hunger at since it was a chilly 10-12 degrees before the break of dawn (pop mie! milo!) Sunrise began at 5:20am approximately, but we were there much earlier to get a good seat, as were everyone (since this was easy to get to, hence the crowd), and all you need is good company (and good wind proof clothes) while you wait! Thankful for the wonderful guides and planners #GarudaIndonesiaSG had planned for us because if not there would be about a thousand heads in this video! 💖 #evonnzinIndonesia #NuffnangSGxGarudaxVITO #NuffnangSG

A video posted by Evonne Ng ★ 琳 (@evonnz) on

Another one, after the sun came up!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thank you, Adi (guide) & Senna (planner)!

Thank you, Adi (guide) & Senna (planner)!

On the other side; the view was extremely gorgeous too! Cotton candy colored skies!

On the other side; the view was extremely gorgeous too! Cotton candy colored skies!

And of course, the view of the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru caldera from the secret spot! I'm so glad I brought the 12-40mm with me, because it allowed for better framing and also gave me this beautiful postcard shot!! I was like, ready to go home already after this shot hahaha. It's extremely beautiful!

And of course, the view of the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru caldera from the secret spot! I’m so glad I brought the 12-40mm with me, because it allowed for better framing and also gave me this beautiful postcard shot!! I was like, ready to go home already after this shot hahaha. It’s extremely beautiful!

At the very back - that's Mt Semeru, which is the highest point at 3676m. In the very front, that's Mt Batok - which is dormant and inactive - and between Semeru & Batok lies Mt Bromo, which is smoking!

At the very back – that’s Mt Semeru, which is the highest point at 3676m. In the very front, that’s Mt Batok – which is dormant and inactive – and between Semeru & Batok lies Mt Bromo, which is smoking!

The nuffies later came over to join me at my secret spot hehehe. This was actually also pretty popular a location with the tourists. You might have to ask them to get out of your picture politely, but it's not as packed as the viewing pavilion for sure!

The nuffies later came over to join me at my secret spot hehehe. This was actually also pretty popular a location with the tourists. You might have to ask them to get out of your picture politely, but it’s not as packed as the viewing pavilion for sure!

And with our sunrise captures done, we were off to part 2 of our adventure around this mountainous area... Horseback riding and hiking up the actual Mt Bromo!

And with our sunrise captures done, we were off  on our jeep again for part 2 of our adventure around this mountainous area… Pony riding and hiking up the actual Mt Bromo!

 Mount Bromo

“Mount Bromo (Gunung Bromo), is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. At 2,329 metres (7,641 ft) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the most well known. The massif area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. The name of Bromo derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god. Mount Bromo sits in the middle of a vast plain called the “Sea of Sand” (Javanese: Segara Wedi or Indonesian: Lautan Pasir), a protected nature reserve since 1919.” – Wikipedia

P.S. It might be interesting to note that Mount Bromo is active, and the most recent eruption was in 2011. 

The Nuffnang Bloggeratis with the Indonesian bloggers, after arriving near Bromo!

The Nuffnang Bloggeratis with the Indonesian bloggers, after arriving near Bromo!

The jeep stops everyone a distance away from the crater at this place they refer to as Sea of Sands, and you can have two options – walk, OR get a pony ride to the base of Mt Bromo’s crater!

Well with our muscles aching, there’s no way we’re gonna walk. Anyway it wasn’t in our plans as our wonderful guides and planners have already arranged it for us! Hehehe. By the way, the horses and their owners will literally shove a piece of paper with the horses’ name written on it in your face.

Hi. Meet my horse, Mail.

Hi. Meet my camera shy pony, Mail.

Mail and his handler. The pony has a handler, who will walk it to the crater base on foot while you sit on the pony! After getting a pony ride I've realized how hard it is to keep my ass on the pony. I mean okay, it wasn't exactly rocket science but wow this requires some good balance - I didn't even dare to release my grip on the handles to use my camera!

Mail and his handler. The pony has a handler, who will walk it to the crater base on foot while you sit on the pony!
After getting a pony ride I’ve realized how hard it is to keep my ass on the pony. I mean okay, it wasn’t exactly rocket science but wow this requires some good balance – I didn’t even dare to release my grip on the handles to use my camera!

Tips on the pony ride: Bring a mask. You don’t need a gas mask, but an N95 particle mask would be good, because (as you can see) there were extremely fine volcanic sand and soil particles everywhere at Sea of Sands, being kicked up by ponies and humans alike. And also a pair of good sunnies as it’s pretty bright.

The ponies will bring you to a resting point just right at the foot of the crater to disembark and go up the volcano by foot. You were passed a tag before you got up the pony - you have to keep it, and then when you're done with climbing up bromo, you'll use this tag to identify which pony will take you back. Note that the ponies may head back to fetch more people, so sometimes you'll be assigned to a different horse if you're done too quickly or too slowly.

The ponies will bring you to a resting point just right at the foot of the crater to disembark and go up the volcano by foot. (I’m taking this picture from beyond the fence, not outside) 
You were passed a tag before you got up the pony – you have to keep it, and then when you’re done with climbing up bromo, you’ll use this tag to identify which pony will take you back. Note that the ponies may head back to fetch more people, so sometimes you’ll be assigned to a different horse if you’re done too quickly or too slowly.

Along the ride to the base, you can see a few huts serving drinks and food - and you'll also see people selling offerings.

Along the ride to the base, you can see a few huts serving drinks and food – and you’ll also see people selling offerings to throw into the crater.

“On the fourteenth day of the Hindu festival of Yadnya Kasada, the Tenggerese people of Probolinggo, East Java, travel up the mountain in order to make offerings of fruit, rice, vegetables, flowers and sacrifices of livestock to the mountain gods by throwing them into the caldera of the volcano.” – Wikipedia

Meet Mount Bromo. It's 300 steps up this thing to Mount Bromo's crater rim, where you can... view the sulfur lake / steam / throw offerings in! I did not go up (my aching muscles) so my view of Mount Bromo ends here, haha.

Meet Mount Bromo. It’s 300 steps up this thing to Mount Bromo’s crater rim, where you can… view the sulfur lake / steam / throw offerings in! I did not go up (my aching muscles) so my view of Mount Bromo ends here, haha.

Randy's horse with its handler. The ponies are just so adorable!

Randy’s horse with its handler. The ponies are just so adorable!

Randy said his horse is quite temperamental though.

Randy said his horse is quite temperamental though.

Me, Jess & Randy on our ponies!

Me, Jess & Randy on our ponies!

After everyone had gathered back, we were off on the jeep again to the next destination: Teletubbies Hill & Whispering Sands!

 Teletubbies Hill

When we were told that we’re headed to Teletubbies Hill we got reactions like “huh? does it look like a teletubby? or did it inspire the backdrop for teletubbies (the tv show)?”

As it turns out, nah. It’s a savannah with green hills that remind people of the teletubbies backdrop. Heh. It’s not too far away from Bromo ; )

Teletubbies hill behind us!

Teletubbies hill behind us!

Everyone got a shot with the jeeps so.. here. hahahaha. I loved our jeep's decalas though, and our driver's pretty awesome!

Everyone got a shot with the jeeps so.. here. hahahaha. I loved our jeep’s decals, and our driver’s pretty awesome!

 Whispering Sands (Pasir Berbisik)

Just a little further up, you’ll reach Whispering Sands – a vast sea of sand with nothing obstructing the blue skies above it – it’s such a refreshing sight from the city skylines we’ve been accustomed to!

Our awesome jeep driver drove us a distance away from where the jeeps were all parked for a better view, and indeed it was!

Our awesome jeep driver drove us a distance away from where the jeeps were all parked for a better view, and indeed it was!

evonnz-indonesia-whispering-sands-1

OOTD taking in progress... XD

Bloggers at work – OOTD taking in progress! XD

We were supposed to go to a waterfall attraction, but we decided to swop that out for some snacks shopping and a massage for our aching muscles instead! Headed back to Jiwa Jawa Resort, packed our stuff and checked out for the next part of our adventure.

But first, lunch!

Not a fan of brinjal, but I think I've grown to love indonesian food quite a bit!

Not a fan of brinjal, but I think I’ve grown to love indonesian food quite a bit!

Then it was off to shop for Indonesian / Malang snacks at Goedang Oleh Oleh

Goedang is a huge souvenir shop - mostly snacks, and I've heard that apple chips are really popular in Malang!

Goedang is a huge souvenir shop – mostly snacks, and I’ve heard that apple chips are really popular in Malang!

It was such worth it to get snacks here due to the reasonable price, and also as we had 30kg of luggage allowance aboard Garuda Airlines (since it’s not a low cost carrier!) and they package your items into boxes if you need them to!

So yeah we went a bit overboard...

So yeah we all went a bit overboard… whoops.

 Malang City

“Malang is the second largest city in East Java. The city was capital city of Singhasari in 1222, then transferred to Dutch colony. Malang was modernized under the Dutch; its mild climate which results from its elevation, along with its proximity to the major port of Surabaya, made it a popular destination for the Dutch and other Europeans. People in East Java sometimes call it “Paris of East Java.” In 2013, 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.”

Malang's pretty beautiful during sunset, isn't it?

Malang’s pretty beautiful during sunset, isn’t it?

We were brought to the Martha Tilaar Spa, which is quite a popular chain of spas all over Indonesia!

Arriving at the Martha Tilaar Salon Day Spa in Malang!

Arriving at the Martha Tilaar Salon Day Spa in Malang!

All the girls waiting for our massages to begin! We were all assigned to a room each, except for Sheila and Zoe who opted for the couple's room.

All the girls waiting for our massages to begin! We were all assigned to a room each, except for Sheila and Zoe who opted for the couple’s room.

The spa was really spacious, and every room has a bathtub for you to wash yourself post massage. It was most refershing! They even have ionizers in each room to maintain a better air quality. (I was impressed as I have the exact same ionizer at home!)

The spa was really spacious, and every room has a bathtub for you to wash yourself post massage. It was most refershing! They even have ionizers in each room to maintain a better air quality. (I was impressed as I have the exact same ionizer at home!)

Each massage was about 90 minutes long and really relaxing – I fell asleep and that really rejuvenated me! Indonesia’s known for their hair spas too, which was what the guys went through as we had our massages. I would really recommend slotting a massage session in if you’re in Indonesia!

Nothing better than a good dinner after a relaxing massage, right? Unless it’s a good dinner… with a view! The planners and guides had a treat in store for us – dinner with a view!

Taman Indie River View, Resto, Malang

Taman Indie River View, Resto, Malang

The entrance was grand, but it did not depict how big and grand it was inside! As it turns out, Taman Indie River View Resto was 2nd on the list for top restaurants in Malang on tripadvisor! One thing I realized about dinner places in Indonesia – they’re sprawling! And really, really cozy. It’s like every corner’s different and just super inviting with their comfortable seats!

They even have souvenirs for purchase!

Dinner by the river! We had buffet and our tables were joined up below the beautiful lights - if you want to dine here for good, it's best that you make reservations for a good seat!

Dinner by the river! We had buffet and our tables were joined up below the beautiful lights – if you want to dine here for good, it’s best that you make reservations for a good seat!

We enjoyed good Indonesian cuisine (buffet style cos there’s too many of us) and great conversation at this place! Malang’s fairly comfortable – ranges from 28 in the day to 22 at night, so you actually don’t get too hot or sweaty here.

We’ve had a long day so we were really all looking forward to a good night’s rest – at Singhasari Resort, Malang!

The resort was so huge that I didn't have any way to capture everything in its entirety! You can view the website here!

The resort was so huge that I didn’t have any way to capture everything in its entirety! You can view the website here!

I was so tired that I fell asleep really early after a hot shower! After all, we’ve been out since 2.30am. We were bound for Batu the next day – Batu Secret Zoo, Museum Angkut and a bus ride to Surabaya awaits us!

Promos, Discounts & Info!

Useful information should you be interested! If you have any more questions, please ask away in the comments section!

Garuda x Nuffnang Promotion

Special promo price: SGD 350 (all inclusive)
Booking period: From now till 31 Oct 15
Travel period: From now till Mar 16

Destinations featured
Departure: Singapore -> Denpasar (Bali) –> Banyuwangi
Return: Surabaya –> Singapore

Booking details: Tickets are available for purchase at Garuda ticketing office
(101 Thomson Road #12-03 United Square)
or via the reservation hotline +65 6250 2888.

Promo code: Please quote ‘GANuffnang’ when booking

Trisno from Diorama Travel Management
Please email trisno@dioramagroup.net for information

Mt Bromo Info
Entrance Ticket:
Weekday : IDR 207500/pax‎
Weekend : IDR 307500/pax‎
Rent a horse : start from IDR 125000 – 150000

Local Transport (Jeep Hardtop 4×4):
From Malang: IDR 1500000/jeep
From Pasuruan: IDR 800000/jeep (4 attractions) | IDR 600000/jeep (2 attractions)
From Probolinggo: IDR 750000/jeep (4 attractions) | IDR 500000/jeep ( 2 attractions)

Local Transport (jeep, trooper): IDR 75.000

20% off Single Trip Plan* OR 10% off Annual Plan

Visit http://www.acetravelinsurance.com.sg/nuffnang!
*Not applicable to Basic Plan for Malaysia/Batam/Bintan

Use code “VDSGEVONNZ” for 20% OFF at VisonData!
www.visondata.com.sg

 

All images in this post shot with an Olympus OMD EM5 MKII + 12-40mm.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: