My FIRST oversea trip post here. Mt Bromo (a semi-active volcano) is a popular destination in East Java. It’s a wonderful place and very scenic.

Journey to Surabaya @ Mt.Bromo – A Mystifying Volcano

Bromo surrounded by Mt Penanjakan, Mt Batok and Mt Semeru currently is an active volcano during my visit. Authorities have deterred us from getting closer and stay from a mile away. But it didn’t stop us to continue with the risk up to the allowed distance limit.

A group of 11 of us have successfully embarked 3D2N Mt. Bromo + Ijen Crater tour. Even it’s short and pack, nothing can beat our experience of hiking, experiencing low temperature and sensationally delighted with culture of suburban area.

Knowing is incomparable until I see it myself. It was simply deserving and worthy.

The idea of visiting Mt. Bromo come about ONE year ago. We managed to book a very low fare from AirAsia, RM25 return fare, total of RM68 per pax (after included luggage, tax, bus and etc). What a good offer, for a year ahead.

We took a ground package recommended by our friend who have just back from there. Final arrangement made 2 months before departure date. We decided to take on Yoschi Hotel for accommodation and ground tour. Dealing directly with local tour is a lot cheaper.

Summary details of our tour as following:

Day 01 Juanda – Ijen Crater

  • Airport pick up from Juanda Airport (11.55am) to Ijen Crater in 8 hours drive
  • Lunch at town along the journey
  • Dinner & overnight at Arabika Hotel at 9.00pm

Day 02 Ijen Crater – Madakaripura – Mt Bromo

  • Wake up in early morning (4.30am)
  • Drive us to Pal Tuding (5.00am)
  • Start the trail up to the active beautiful crater of Ijen volcano (2.5 hours walk)
  • Watch peoples carrying and mining of sulfur
  • Proceed to coffee plantation, waterfall, hot spring
  • Check-out from Arabica Hotel and drive to Yoschi Hotel (7 hours drive)
  • Overnight at Yoschi Hotel – twin sharing (8.00pm)
  • Briefing for next day activity (sunrise and Bromo tour)

Day 03 Mt Bromo – Penanjakan – Juanda

  • Wake up very early (3.00am), drive jeep to enjoy sunrise at Penanjakan, a mountain across Mt Bromo (1 hour drive)
  • Pay entrance fees of Rp 25,000 per pax separately
  • At 6.30am, superb view of Mt Bromo – Mt Semeru and the vast sandy area
  • Trek Mt Bromo crater
  • Must back to Yoschi Hotel by 9.00am
  • Breakfast and free & easy until check-out
  • Airport transfer after check-out (4 hours drive)

Our tour is from 28-30 April 2011 where it falls on weekday cross to weekend. We pay for the ground price of Rp. 637,000 -IDR/person (~RM225) before departure.

Price includes of:

  • Return transportation to and from Surabaya Airport
  • Transport to Arabica Hotel – Ijen Crater – Waterfall – Hot Spring
  • Any ticket entrance and insurance
  • Jeep for Penanjakan Tour and Mt Bromo
  • Accommodation in Mt Bromo (Yoschi Hotel) – standard room

Price excludes of:

  • Airfares
  • Meal with B.L.D
  • Any entrance fees
  • Permit and Insurance Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
  • Permit Ijen National Park
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Additional accommodation if needed
  • Personal Expenses i.e Tips, Laundry etc
  • Airport Tax IDR 150,000
  • Tips, Phone etc

Things to carry:

  • Daypack or Backpack
  • Trekking or walking shoes
  • Raincoat
  • Easy dry clothes when it wet (top and trouser for walking)
  • Personal medicine
  • Snack or personal food
  • Camera or stuff (keep it dry and safe)
  • Head torch/torch with good durability
  • Sunhat and sunglasses
  • Personal Toiletries

Day 01 … 10.00am – From LCCT to Surabaya

We took a morning flight at 10.25am. A suitable time for departure. No delay or what-so-ever which I rate it as GOOD!

LCCT passagewayin the morning

Surabaya townfrom Air-Asia flight

Land at Juanda Airportcity of Surabaya

Surabaya is a huge city in Indonesia, and the capital of the province of East Java. It is located on the northern shore of eastern Java.

Surabaya is also a gateway city for Mount Bromo and Bali.

12.00pm … Airport pick up from Juanda Airport to Ijen Crater in 8 hours drive

We met our tour representative at Juanda Airport. We took two separate van passenger which brought us to the destination in 8 hours. The van was in bad condition, means stuffy and hot. We thought it was a temporary but in fact, it’s NOT. End up, we steamed ourselves under the hot sun in the van.

In between the ride, we stopped for our lunch break, a LATE one.

Airport transfer to destination … in 8 hours road journey

Gempol Asria quiet place to settle our lunch

Food & drinksala-carte & dishes

Food menu … leaving us a good impression

Our impression on Indonesia food was like typical Malay food in the first place. But it’s taste better and worth our compliment. Price ranging from RM5-8 per dish. When comes to settle our bill, we shocked that it was included our driver’s meal together.

It’s NOT right in the first place. They should ask us. Arghh! Nevermind!

What to do? Paid already.

Then comes to another issue where our representative try to settle the remaining outstanding with the tour guide, end up in small argument and misunderstanding. The extra calculation was due to currency exchange rate and not overcharge. What a big confusion from both parties for not able to communicate properly beforehand.

In the end, we agreed to pay the conversion differences.

Disagreement on outstanding paymentdealing session

Phew! We moved on to destination in one journey. But luck was not with us. Our van was overheating. Another delay again.

A truly unfortunate day.

6.00pm … Overheating engine and delay for replacement

Barely two hours drivestranded by road side for an hour

Land journey … un-guarded track need to be careful

We spent our free time in photo shoot around while we waiting for help.

Luckily, we have quite number of DSLR khaki, whom taking pictures non-stop in every stop. Sky turned dark when van overheating get fixed.

Dinner was planned initially at our resort, but due to extended hour, we forced to stop nearby for dinner. From this point, we were told we have 3 hours to go.

Rumah Makan SETIApoor food eatery

I didn’t capture any photo for this poor service and quality food. It was TRULY disappointed to see when the food served. The portion was so small, like enough for one people only with price tag of RM5-7 per plate. GOSH!

We felt cheated and leave the place unsatisfactory, with unfulfillable stomach. That goes my highly anticipated dinner completely.

Our van get HEATED again … again! This round, no choice, they get a replacement and send back the old one to workshop.

We reached our hotel quite late. A bad experience for breaking down TWO times a day!

11.30pm … Check-in @ Arabica Hotel at last!

Our long hour journey comes to the end at last. An extreme 2 hours bumpy ride was giving us a very good massage on our BUTT.

Our expectation to reach on time has exceeded 3 hours delay.

Yo!At check-in counter of Arabica Hotel

Process for checking in was kind of slow, one-by-one while we were so tired and sleepy.

During the briefing, we were told we have to wake up at 4.00am in the next morning. This was aligned to the trail hiking to the active beautiful crater of Ijen in 2.5 hours walk.

After given our room key, it’s time to wave goodnight for Day 1.

To be continue … Journey to Surabaya @ Mt.Bromo (Day 2)