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!
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.
“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
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!
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
Another one, after the sun came up!
“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 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.
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.“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
After everyone had gathered back, we were off on the jeep again to the next destination: Teletubbies Hill & Whispering Sands!
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 ; )
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!
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!
Then it was off to shop for Indonesian / Malang snacks at Goedang Oleh Oleh!
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!
“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.”
We were brought to the Martha Tilaar Spa, which is quite a popular chain of spas all over Indonesia!
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!
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!
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!
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!
Special promo price: SGD 350 (all inclusive)
Booking period: From now till 31 Oct 15
Travel period: From now till Mar 16
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
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information
Mt Bromo Info
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
*Not applicable to Basic Plan for Malaysia/Batam/Bintan
All images in this post shot with an Olympus OMD EM5 MKII + 12-40mm.