Category Archives: Indonesia Blog

Accessing Bromo and Ijen and Where to Stay

Mount Bromo can be accessed from 4 regions, Probolinggo, Malang, Pasuruan and Lumajang. And most common is via Probolinggo and Malang and Pasuruan. The tourism has growth well in those regions and they already provide hotels, 4WD, and local guide. This short descriptiion will give you clear picture which access you can choose for your next visit to Bromo and Ijen.

Cemoro Lawang Vilage has been well-known as the place to stay overnight when visiting Mount Bromo. It is located about 3 hours drive from Surabaya and since the new toll road, it can be faster from Surabaya to reach Probolinggo. Cemoro Lawang is the closest village to Mount Bromo, some hotels and also homestays can be found here easily. And to reach to Mount Bromo you can just walk some 1 hour. Seruni View Point is located as wel nearby this village. There are some other villages located a little bit down, such as Sukapura, Sapikerep, Jetak, which also has some hotels available. If you stay in this area, you can just go to the caldera area for sunset time and seeing Mount Bromo, Mount Batok and Mount Semeru. For Sunrise to Mount Penanjakan/ Kingkong Hill, it takes about 1 hour by 4WD from the area. If you stay in Surabaya and would like to do Bromo Midnight Tour, accessing via Probolinggo is the best option. And you can also visit the exotic Madakaripura Waterfall, a 200 meters high horsetail waterfall can be accessed after Bromo.

Tosari is the village where hotels grow. There is a big hotels located here: Bromo Cottage and lately there are new hotels also built in the area. The Village is located about 45 minutes to Mount Penanjakan. Even the location is far from Tengger Caldera, still, you can enjoy walking and seeing local farms and also seeing sunset with Mount Arjuno. If you want to do Bromo Midnight Tour from Surabaya, this access is also available, located slightly closer from Surabaya than Pasuruan.

Tumpang is the closest village to Mount Bromo located nearby Bromo tengger Semeru National Park. There are homestays available in this area, and located about 45 minutes drive from Malang and about 3 hours from Surabaya Airport. Malang is best option if you visit Malang and Batu and also would like to do Bromo Midnight Tour. If you access via this region, you will be passing also whispering Savannah and also Coban Pelangi Waterfall. And for your information, if you into adventure and waterfalls, Tumpak Sewu Waterfall can be accessed via Malang, that if you have limited time to visit Tumpak Sewu and Bromo, you can access via this region.

Accessing Bromo via Lumajang is not very popular, as it is located a little far from Surabaya Airport. From Surabaya to Lumajang is about 4 hours and from Lumajang to Bromo Tengger National Park is about 3 hours and must use 4WD. You will be passing Ranu Pani and forest and then pass by the sea of sand. If you want to visit Tumpak Sewu Waterfall, the most beautiful tiered waterfall in Java, you maybe can stay one night in Lumajang for exploring the waterfall next day and stay overnight in Probolinggo for Bromo.

This acid crater can be accessed via Banyuwangi and Bondowoso. Both regions have already accommodations available.

Bondowoso is located about 6 hours drive from Surabaya and about 8 hours drive from Bali (Kuta/Seminyak) and about 3-4 Hours from Ketapang Harbor or Banyuwangi. Bondowoso is best option to stay if you start and finish Bromo Ijen Tour in Surabaya as it is more time efficient. Bondowoso city to Paltuding, the basecamp to start hiking Ijen is about 2 hours drive, that it is recommended to depart at 00.00 from hotel for Ijen Blue Fire. There are homestays located closer to Ijen, nearby the pantation, more basic, just one hour drive. When driving back, you can stop by at hotspring, waterfall and coffee plantation. If you go with group and using BUS, not recommended via Bondowoso.

Banyuwangi is located about 7 hours drive from Surabaya and about 4 hours from Bali. Due to the rich of nature and tourism potentials in Banyuwangi, the accomodations in this regions evolves very fast these years. You can find homestays to fancy -villa style hotels here. Banyuwangi to Paltuding camp is about 1 hour drive, you can depart at 01.00 AM from hotel for Ijen Blue Fire. Banyuwangi is a good option if you want to finish your trip in Ketapang Harbor or Bali and not returning to Surabaya. Also if you start your trip in Bali and would finish in Surabaya or If you also want to visit other destinations in Banyuwangi such as: Meru Betiri National Park, Alas Purwo National Park and others. Banyuwangi has also airport with some direct flights available from Surabaya and Jakarta. Banyuwangi can also be accessed by train from Probolinggo (Bromo).

PICTURES; Kenjeran Area, Eastern Coast of Surabaya, Indonesia

As one of metropolitan cities in Indonesia, the city evolves. The eastern part is also developed overtime. Though Kenjeran beach is not swim-able, yet there are still things to discover here and some activities to do. In day time you can explore the beach area, and maybe cross to Sand Island by boat, and then browse for handmade souvenirs made on shells. The view of Surabaya Bridge can be seen curving from above the bridge at Kenjeran Park, which can be a good spot to watch the dancing fountain which can be seen every Saturday Night and Sunday Night. The fountain can also be seen from the Surabaya Bridge which closes for cars on those evening. Fountain starts at 08.00 PM for about 1 hour. From far away can be seen Suramadu Bridge which connects Surabaya city to Madura Island. Not far from the beach area there are shops selling seafood chips/fish chips.

Late afternoon we can see sunsets, but not as good as sunrise from Kenjeran.

Bridge over Suramadu Bridge, also a good spot to overlook Surabaya Bridge and see the fountain on weekend.
Surabaya Bridge seen from bridge connects Kenjeran Park.
The dancing fountain which can be seen on Saturday Night and Sunday Night
Suramadu Bridge seen from Kenjeran Beach area.

PICTURES: Lempur Village, Kerinci, Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia

Lempur Village is located on the border of Kerinci Seblat National Park. It has secondary forest which has 5 beautiful lakes. Given the remote location, the village and the lakes are off the beaten track for foreign travelers. From Padang, which is the easiest and closest to reach the village takes about 8 hours drive.  Yes along the ride you wil not get bored as it will be passing enchanting view such as Lakes, Tea Plantations, Hills, Lush Forest.

Lake Lingkat

I have to say that Lake Lingkat is very beautiful and my favourite one, from the bank of the lake we can enjoy the lush green forest. It is very peaceful to drink tea or coffee and chit chat with one or two friends, especially when the weather is good. The lake can be accessed by car or motorcycle or you can walk from Lempur to reach this.There is a house located at the lake which offer drinks and foods. In the morning there will be many Dendrocygna in the lake.

Lake Nyalo

This lake can be accessed by walking about 1 hour from Lake Lingkat. The lake is not accessible to the lake edge as surrounded by swamp. It can be enjoyed from about 200 meters radius.

Lake Kaco

This lake is located deeper in the forest, recommended to start trekking in the morning as it takes about 3 hours hike from the street to the lake location. You will be passing secondary forest and on rainy season there will be many leches. To reach the lake please be prepared with comfy shoes with socks, raincoat and snacks and water. As the path is not so easy, recommended to be accompanied by local guide from Lempur Village. You can also camp at the lake ans it says that the lake is beautiful to be seen under the shimmering moonlight. Kaco in local language means mirror, as the water is crystal clear resembles mirror. There are two other lakes located in the village area,yet both can only be accessed by trekking: Lake Kecik and Lake Duo.

Cinnamon and Coffee

Lempur has wide area of cinnamon plantation, owned by locals. Not to mention that Kerinci has 85% of the world cinnamon. The cinnamon tree is very easy to be acknowledge  as it has red color on the young leaves. Cinnamon tree takes about 10 years until the bark is ready to be harvested. Along the street of the village you can see this activities of drying the cinnamon bark.  ANd sure the village smells very nice. Another commodity of this village is coffee bean, usually while waiting until the cinnamon ready to harvest they plant other commodities, such as coffee, tobacco and vegetables.

Payo Rice

This kind of rice is very unique as it can be cultivated once a year. And before planting the rice paddy the whole village will make a party which is called Kenduri Sko. The taste of the special rice from this village is very nice and the price is higher than normal rice. The village plant the rice concurrently. The endemic rice species is currently on research to make the planting time shorter and can be harvested 3 times a year. Due to the rarity and long harvesting time, the rice can not be easily found in market. Visiting Lempur village, you must walk at the vast payo rice field.

Friday Traditional Market

Every Friday, there will be a traditional market in Lempur Village, sellers gather and sells various goods along the street, from vegetable, local food, chicken, clothing and any daily needs.

Cylindrical Rock

There are cylindrical stones with similar shape found in Kerinci. In Lempur there is one located in the middle of rice field. All those stones assumed to be made by ancestors who lived in Kerinci to worship gods, and spirits. the one in Lempur has the shame of big phallus with perfect circles on its end. This remain shows that the area has been resided since ancient period.

Lempur Mosque

There are two old wooden mosque located in the village. Each is decorated beautifully with colorful carvings. Now both mosques are not used anymore for praying but for studying the Holy Qoran. The roof has two levels and in the past the roof was made of leaves.

Lemang Pitcher Plant

The food is made of sticky rice which is stuffed into pitcher plant.  The sticky rice might be not so special, but the pitcher plan wrap makes the food strangely unique. This food is not easily found everyday.  You will find many on Kendury Sko party.

Bandung City Excursion

Bandung is an interesting mountain city. As the weather is very mild, the city is unique and a heaven for culinary enthusiasts. Located not far from Jakarta, only about 3 hours car drive, Bandung is one of favorite destinations for Jakartan weekend getaway. Bandung has existed since colonial period that it has many beautiful old buildings and it is growing to be a creative city and popular destination for shopping. Below some places of interest you can be visited.


This Building was built in the 1920 by architect: Ir.J.Gerber, Ir. Eh. De Roo and Ir. G. Hendriks. The building is a mixed of Eropean and Indonesian style. Local call it as Sate building because of the satay-like decoration above the building which shows that it required 6 million guldens to complete the building. 



This museum displays information and some samples of geodes, minerals, fossils and also facts about geological research and exploration in Indonesia. The building itself was built in 1928 and and finishes in 1929> The museum has been renovated. 


The mosque was  initially constructed in 1812 made on wood. However it has been renovated periodically, in 1930 by the design of Henry Maclaine Pont, in 1955 for Asian African Conference and so on. The major renovation was in 2001. The mosque has 99 meters high minarets. 



Located not far from the Great Mosque of Bandung, located Jalan Banceuy. There was a prison located here which was used to imprison Soekarno in 1929. He wrote “Indonesia Menggugat” when he was imprisoned here. In 1980s the prison was dismantled completely. Now the site is a business site with  Soekarno statue can be found here. Banceuy derives from Sundanese which means place to take care of horse. Banceuy name seems to be originated from the history of the building of The Great Post Road in the 19th Century by Daendels. The horses carrying the goods and materials fro the road were exhausted and they rest in Banceuy village and changed with new horses.


Located at Asia Afrika Street, this monument has countries participated in the Asian African Conference in 1955. 



Located at Asia Afrika Street. In 1810, Bandung regent and Daendels walked in a forest  which was going to be The Great Pos Road and Daendels sticked his cane and said that when he came again later, he hoped that a city had been built there. That was where the zero KM Bandung designated. In this site also located roadrollers (Dutch : Stoomwals) monument dedicated to people who were forced to work for The Great Pos Road.  And we can also see the bust statue of Daendels, Bupati Wiranatakusumah, Soekarno, and West Java Governor in 1945 :Mas Soetardjo Kertohadikusumo.


If you visit Bandung, you may want to have a look or have a photostop at this mosque. This mosque has Chinese architecture mixed with Indonesian architecture.


You can explore Bandung on these vibrant color bus for IDR 20,000. The bus will take you to some places of interests. There are some stops, one of them is at Bandung Geological Museum. The tour is guided


This street is famous promenade since the colonial period. And now the street has cafes and restaurants. If you love old buildings, it might be a must for you to enjoy time in here sipping coffee or just walk about the street. The street is located nor far from Asia Afrika street



There are some factories outlets where we can browse for clothing in Bandung. We can find good quality stuff in very reasonable price. People from other cities flocks to the factory outlets for shopping. The most popular ourlet is Rumah Mode located in Jalan Setiabudi. But if you still want to shop more, you can go to RE Martadinata st where some factory outlets located such as :  Heritage Factory Outlets, Passion Factory Outlet, The Secret, The Outfit, and some others. 


Lembah Harau

Harau valley is located in Payakumbuh, about 2 hours from Bukittinggi. The area is settled and there are some village and it is surrounded by canyon with height ranges from 80 meters to 300 meters.  Once you enter the area, you will be amazed by the view of the canyon, especially the waterfall which creates the view like in Lord of the Ring movie. 

There is a monument nearby Sarasah Bunta Waterfall, which proves that Harau Canyon has been visited by visitors due its beauty in 1926, in the Dutch Indies period.  SInce 1993, Harau has become nature and wildlife reserve. Harau is home for some species of Sumatra endemic animals such as monkeys and birds .

Geologically, the rocks in Harau is 30-40 million years old. The rocks contains organic carbon, which was formed from organisms.  According to a research in 1980, the rocks in the area is Brassierea and  Conglomerate which are usually found in the ocean.  

Harau is beautiful especially if seen from above the canyon. We can see the villages, waterfalls and also another canyons caging the valley. 

PICTURES: Tenganan Traditional Village, Bali, Indonesia

Tenganan, is the Bali Aga village. Unlike other tradition in Bali, they have different architecture, religion, traditional dress and even the whole village is different.  The women dress is locally made, tartan weaving.  The houses are located around the edge of the village, while in the middle are some small bale for the community. Locals make some weaving, making basket, drawing on a palm tree with burnt nutmeg as ink.

Asia Africa Museum, Bandung, Indonesia

Asian-African Conference Museum is located nearby Braga street, at Jalan Asia Africa. This was the venue of the Asian-African Conference Museum in 1955. According to Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India at that time “Bandung has been the focal centre- perhaps i might say the capital of Asia and Africa during this period.

There are displayed pictures from the conference event and also Asian African leaders statues. The Ten Principles of Bandung in 11 different languages are also displayed.

The museum is educative and informative to be visited by students or public. Guides are provided by the museum for no charge, that visitors will gain more information. Even though the museum has good interpretation for self exploring. Following the sign, visitors will reach the conference rooms which where the leaders have the conference. (Leena)

Pictures : Kawah Putih (The White Crater), Ciwedey, Indonesia

Kawah Putih, is one of a must visit place if you visit Bandung. It is administratively located in Ciwedey about 2 hours drive from Bandung city. Enroute to Ciwedey, we will be passing some villages located on a hilly area, strawberry farms and rice field.

The entrance ticket to Kawah Putih includes shuttle form the parking area to the location. Best time to visit is on May–September, when it is relatively dry. Kawah Putih is located on a high altitude and sometimes it is very windy that it is recommended to wear warm clothing.

To reach the crater it takes only few minutes walk through steps. The crater is surrounded by cantigi (Vaccinium sp) which makes the crater more enchanting, especially when the wind blows and the fog or smoke of the crater covering the trees.

The sulfur smell is very strong that t is recommended to wear mask.