Mount Bromo is the most famous active volcano in my home province, East Java. With the name adopted from the name of Hindu’s God, Brahma, Bromo is said to be a sacred mountain for the local tribe, Tengger, to hold the Kasada ceremony. Next to Mount Bromo, there are 3 other mountains (Mount Batok, Watangan & Widodaren). The land part is consisting of Hindu’s temple, Savannah and whispering sands (sea sands).
1. Getting Here
I prefer to reach Bromo from Probolinggo even if it is reachable too from Malang. The reason is that from Malang, there is no public transportation that would force you to rent a car, which is inconvenient for economical reason. As I came from Jakarta, I took the first flight to my hometown, Surabaya. From Surabaya Airport (A), you will find Damri bus with destination to Terminal Purabaya Bungurasih (B). Terminal Purabaya is the center of bus terminal in Surabaya, it will not be difficult for you to spot the line for the bus to Probolinggo, either its Patas (with AC) or non-Patas (without AC). The trip from Surabaya to Probolinggo takes less than 2.5 hours. Then you have to stop in Terminal Bayuangga (C) and walk to the road outside the terminal. In your left side, there will be some guys shouting to offer the transport to the Bromo village named Cemoro Lawang (D) by Elf. This is a collective transport, means you need to wait until the Elf is completely full with 15 passengers to depart for Cemoro Lawang. The up and down, fast and furious journey with Elf is taking about 1 hour.
2. Getting Around and Attractions
Most local people will hesitate to come to Bromo without renting jeep or car, but actually getting around in Bromo is possible to be done without such transportation. I, myself, really like to enjoy my trip as much as possible on feet and that’s what I did in Bromo. I stayed in Losmen Setia Kawan which is located right inside the Bromo complex and this really helped me to explore the region just by walking or trekking.
- Bromo National Park
Right after checking-in in the hotel, the good thing about arriving early in Bromo is that you could put Bromo National Park in your first agenda. You can follow the direction signs or ask to locals, they will be happily point you to the direction with a chance that you would be offered to take a jeep (but you could always say no nicely). There is an entrance fee to pay, during national holiday, the ticket price for local is IDR 32,500 and for foreigner is IDR 317,500. For foreigner with KITAS, you could try to negotiate with smile just to see whether it is possible to pay the local price. For some cases negotiation really works.
Entering Bromo National Park, you will be welcome with the overlay of whispering sands (sea sands). The vision will include the array of Mount Batok and Mount Bromo itself. The air is fresh with some fogs bringing the mystical look to the scenery. Some guys with their horses are rather insisting to get you some ride, some others offering buckets of eternal flowers, Edelweiss, to be sacrificed into Bromo crater. Small warung are built in the valley to serve a cup of hot chocolate to warm up your soul. Not to forget the Hindu’s temple standing strong indicating the sacredness of Bromo.
Walking through the sea sand towards Bromo is a unique sensation. It looks near as the mountains are so much visible but in fact it is not as near as it seems. However, you really have to take this opportunity to trekking up 2,329 meters above sea level to the summit of Bromo. Once you are on the summit, you can look down to the crater. What a huge machine that God puts inside this mountain. The vibration and noise are unavoidable but those are what you came for. In some occasions, the crater may produce too much sulphuric gas that it is unsafe for visitors to climb above.
When you look back from the summit, you will realize how far you had gone and that feeling is priceless.
- Sunrise Hunting
The most popular things to do in Bromo is Sunrise hunting. The sun is generally rising at 5:30 am. Depending on your choice to do this activity, you need to calculate what time you should depart from the hotel. There are some spots for catching the sunrise in Bromo: Penanjakan 1, Penanjakan 2 (Seruni Point) and King Kong Hill. Penanjakan 1 and King Kong Hill are too tough to be reached only by trekking so you need to rent a jeep for that. But if you prefer not to involve renting a jeep, you can choose Seruni Point.
To get to Seruni Point, it is recommended to depart from the hotel at 3 am. You will do the 5 km trekking that more or less will take around 2 hours maximum. Some people even take a jeep, ojek or horse to reach Seruni Point but if you are in a good condition and are used to trekking, it is not necessary.
All the way to Seruni Point, there will be some guys trying to break your spirit saying that it is too far to just go by walk in hoping that you will give up and hire their ojek, horse or jeep. If you are confident with your physical condition, feel free to ignore them. In fact, with the jeep, you would not reach the highest point and it would still require you to trekking the hardest part. So, if you feel unwell, it is better to take ojek or horse than jeep.
After touching down in Seruni Point, you still have to fight for a spot for the best sunrise view. I was climbing on the roof of the post. When you get your spot, all you need to do is just sit and watch.
At 5:15 am, the sky was starting to be saturated with orange color of the sun. It was a strong color of orange that it formed beautiful pink lines on the sky. Under those pink lines, the mist looked like a blanket for Bromo along with the other three mountains that were still sleeping.
Minutes after minutes, the sun was making it way to appear behind the hill. The bright yellow shine was dominating the part from where it came. The upper sky was still maintaining its bluish charm. Degradation of the color could clearly be seen. I took some minutes to adore this phenomenon.
Apparition of the sun made the surrounded to be visible; on the way back to hotel, I saw the land over the sky. The land that was only a darkness when I did the trekking to the top, suddenly seemed evidently quite, calm, empty and peaceful on the way back.
3. Travel Tips & Cautions
Unlike in Krakatoa, the weather in Bromo is cold, it could reach below 10 deg C during the night, bring your warm clothes along with comfortable shoes for trekking and light rain coat. If you plan to catch the sunrise, bring your flashlight with you. As there is only a small clinic in Bromo area, bringing your own medicine would be helpful. Common medicines like paracetamol and pills for diarrhoea could be a good start.
If you don’t like to walk, you can always take horse or ojek. Taking jeep is also a choice if you are in a group or joining another group as the price is quite high (± IDR 600,000 per jeep for 6 persons).
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