Trip to Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo is an active volcano located around an hour drive from Malang, East Java. It is part of Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park. Bromo is not the highest peak of Tengger massif (~ 2.3k metres), but is the most well known, as it's one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java province. Mount Bromo sits in the middle of a vast plain called "Sea of Sand" (Segara Wedi). You can also find a Hindu temple (Pura Luhur Poten) in the sandy plain, as the name of Bromo is actually derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the creator god in Hinduism.

Mt. Bromo in the Morning

Last November I had a chance to visit (Malang and) Bromo with some good friends. We got the open trip info from a travelling daily deals site. You can also find other open trips from other backpacking forums, such as Backpacker Indonesia. We departed from Pasar Senen Station on Friday afternoon by train to Malang. It took more than 16 hours to get there! Anyway, our train, Matarmaja, was the best-valued public transportation, cost Rp 130,000 ($11) only for Jakarta - Malang roundtrip!! Other trains would cost $100. If you want to have more comfortable trip, you can take 90-minutes direct flight to Malang for $130-$200 (roundtrip).

Jakarta - Malang : more than 16 hours by train

Our agenda for the first day was going around Malang city. As soon as we arrived at Malang, we had Bakso Bakar (roasted meatballs) and Bakso Malang for our late breakfast. We also stopped at the town hall to take some pictures before we continued our trip to Museum Brawijaya.

Museum Brawijaya, Malang

You can find artifacts about General Sudirman, the first commander-in-chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces, at the museum. One thing that surprised me – as a geek – was that I found an IBM 519 and IBM 024 there, classic machines that used to be told by my lecturers in Computer Organization course years ago :)

IBM 519 & IBM 024

After visiting museum, we went to the west side of the city to Coban Rondo waterfall, near Batu, around 40-minutes drive from Malang downtown. Actually there are several waterfall resorts around Malang, but too bad we couldn't visit all of them.

At Coban Rondo, Batu, Malang

We then had lunch back in the city hall of Batu and took a look around. As you probably know, Malang (and Batu) is famous for its apple, Apel Malang, so we decided to go to an apple orchard in Batu. The best thing in the orchard was you could pick and eat the apples as many as you want for free! However, if you want to grab some and take away for home you must pay around Rp 10,000 ($ 0.80) per kg. Not bad price for the apples and the experience. Definitely it's one of things-to-do in Batu.

All you can pick and eat (for free).

From there, we drove to the east side of Malang around an hour by bus, to stay at a guesthouse nearby Mount Bromo. We took a rest and had a quick sleep for 2-3 hours. We left the guesthouse around 2am, and went to Mount Bromo by jeep car.

Jeep to Bromo – © Renny

There are three (or maybe four) climbings (penanjakan) to Bromo. The first and second climbings are probably the most popular ones - as you usually see the pictures in the Internet. However, the traffic to get there is always terrific during weekend and holiday seasons. To avoid the traffic, we decided to go to the third climbing, and we got there at 3.30am. We waited until 4.45am to get enough lighting to take some nice pictures. The view was magnificent. We could see the cloudy mountain in front of us, and sunrise view behind us.

Good morning, Bromo! ^^ – pic taken from Xiaomi Mi3 camera (HDR mode, no editing)

After enjoying the sunrise, we went down to the segara wedi of Bromo. Apparently the area is huge, much bigger than we thought when we saw before. We could see Mount Batok (the one that obviously in the center of above picture), Mount Bromo (left-side in above picture), and Mount Semeru (far behind). From the parking area, we walked to Mount Bromo, and climbed it up. You can also rent and ride a horse there for around $5, and they will usher you until the valley. Mount Bromo is not that high (only 2,329 m), so you can climb it with ease. Once you get to the top, you'll realize that the view is marvelous! It looks like a surface in other planet in the Interstellar movie.

Segara Wedi view from the top of Bromo

Once you get to the top of Bromo, you can see the crater in the other side. Technically you can walk around the top of Bromo, but the path narrows in the end, so you must be careful.

At the top of Bromo

We left the mountain around 8am and went to area called The Whispering Sand (Pasir Berbisik) and Teletubbies Hills (Bukit Teletubies). Pasir Berbisik is basically like Segara Wedi, while Bukit Teletubies is green hills that looks like Teletubbyland.

After going around the hills, we went back to the guesthouse and packed our things. We decided to leave the guesthouse early, so we had enough time to went around Malang once again. At that time, we decided to visit Toko "OEN", one of historical restaurants in the city. I ordered a glace de grand marnier, looks fancy but taste so-so.

So that's how I spent a weekend in November, a quick escape to Malang and Bromo. Malang is a nice city, indeed. I love being in the city with cold weather. So as our train departed at 5pm, I quietly whispered to the city.. till we meet again!

With travel buddies from Suitmedia group

"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." – St. Augustine


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