In the world population that is divided by morning risers and night owls, I am definitely NOT a morning riser. I hate morning and I admire those who don’t, I have no idea how they do it. Everyday’s sunrise is really not a big deal for me, I am asleep in most of it. So, to be awake at 3 AM to climb a hill to watch sunrise in Mt. Bromo, was a really big effort for me. But it was worthy.
I did it on the morning of January 22nd, and to do that, I traveled to Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park from Surabaya the night before. Together with a group of 6 people, organized by an open trip, we climbed to the hill called Penanjakan-1 by using a Jeep. It was not on the jeep all the way, we had to hike for about 10 minutes or so to the sunrise-watching spot, where at 3 AM was already packed by people.
And after standing in the cold for almost 2 hours, the sun came up. It was cloudy, so it was not as magnificent as I thought before. But I was really amazed by the dark-to-light transformation, it was really beautiful indeed.
In addition to the sunrise, there are 3 other places that are popular around Mt. Bromo. These are: Padang Savanah, Pasir Berbisik and Mt. Bromo’s crater itself. I was again amazed about how different these places are, it was actually hard for me to believe that these places are located in one area. So close to each other, yet so different.
Padang Savanah is a huge field and hills covered with green grass, which also known as Bukit Teletubbies for its similarity with the kids TV show Teletubbies scene.
Pasir berbisik is actually a wide sand-field surrounding Mt. Bromo and Mt. Batok, it got its name from an Indonesia movie which used it as one of its set. I love this place the most because it was such a contrast with the previous place, and it did make a great photo background.
The last place, which was also the most challenging to reach, is Mt. Bromo’s crater. Mt. Bromo is an active volcano, and just recently it was closed for visitor because of increase of volcanic activity. So I felt lucky that I went there on the right time. To get to the crater, we had to walk and hike for 3KM from Jeep parking area, then continued to hike the 250 stairs up to edge of the crater. If walking and hiking is not your thing, you can ride horse up to the start of the stairs. The horse ride cost is around IDR 30K-120K depend on your starting point to ride, and the horse owner will be very persistent to offer you the ride.
To be honest I was quite shocked when I reached the top of the stairs, because the edge of the crater was right there and nothing between me and the crater other than an old concrete fence. The fence did not seem strong enough, moreover with so many people leaned on it. Also it has wide gaps on the bottom, I could easily slip and free fall through the gap!
I spent only 5 minutes up in the crater’s edge, mostly because of the fear and also because of the sulfur smell, then I rushed to go down the stairs.
Trip to Mt. Bromo can be very expensive if you go alone. The cost will be heavily spent in transportation from the city to Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park and also the Jeep rental to explore the area. Note that national park covers the area of 50,000 hectares, so it is impossible to walk around it in one day. It is better to go in a group of 6-7 people, it will cost around IDR 2 million in total. But if you can’t gather enough people to join you, another option is to join an open trip just like I did, which was only cost IDR 350K. The trip cost covers everything from pick-up (at 11.30 PM) at selected point in Malang city (in my case is Malang Train Station) to drop-off (at 1 PM) also in Malang City. As I was staying in Surabaya at that time, I went from to Surabaya to Malang by Tumapel Train (IDR 10K at 8 PM) then go back to Surabaya by Penataran Train (IDR 12K at 5 PM).
The open trip information can be found below:
Travelling alone is not always bad. in my experience if I always wait for friends to go somewhere, at the end I will not go at all. After all, we can always find new friends along the way, just like I met in Mt. Bromo here.