Scenic East Java – Surabaya To Mount Bromo

Posted by
Silhouette of the Mountains under the Stars

Silhouette of the Mountains under the Stars

 

I have always wanted to visit the spectacular Mount Bromo. I was able to finally see and capture the beauty of Mount Bromo personally flying from Singapore to Surabaya on Garuda Indonesia’s inaugural flight between the two cities.  Mount Bromo is an active volcano located in the middle of a vast plain called the “Sea of Sand“, with a breathtaking surreal landscape, making it the most visited attraction in East Java, Indonesia.

To get to Mount Bromo, we will have to travel down from Surabaya where the international airport is located.  Garuda Indonesia offers round trip airfares from as low as S$300 including taxes. Just a mere 2.5 hours flight away on Garuda’s Executive class, I managed to enjoy a nice dinner with “Nicole Kidman” and get well rested before my long trip to Mount Bromo.

Surabaya via Garuda Business Class

Surabaya via Garuda Indonesia’s Executive Class

 

Heading down south from Surabaya City, it will take a good three to four hours drive to reach Mount Bromo. So we made a stopover at KaliandraSejati Eco Resort (see map below point A) for one night before heading out to the Bromo Cottages Hotel. It took us one and half hours to reach Kaliandra Sejati Eco Resort near Mount Arjuno in Pandaan. It was a slight detour from our journey to Mount Bromo but its a lovely stay that is worth the effort.

Map from Surabaya to Mount Bromo captured from Google Maps

Map from Surabaya to Mount Bromo captured from Google Maps

 

Kaliandra Sejati Eco Resort is a huge property with accommodation ranging from dormitories to pool villas, beautifully built in the midst of lush greenery. We stayed in a two storey wooden lodge which can accommodate a group of four comfortably with one bed room on each floor with romantically placed mosquito nets around the beds.

Because its an eco resort, there is no fan or air conditioning in the wooden lodge.  The cooling weather in this region may even require you to wear a pullover to sleep. But fear not, there is still a hot water heater for a nice hot shower.

Kaliandra Eco Resort in East Java

Kaliandra Sejati Eco Resort – Wooden Lodge

Kaliandra Eco Resort in East Java

Kaliandra Sejati Eco Resort – Room

 

A cozy & crowd-free breakfast venue was just a couple minutes stroll away from our wooden lodge. No huge international buffet spread here but just some traditional savoury porridge served with chicken and vegetables that still tickle my tastebuds when I think about it.

Kaliandra Eco Resort in East Java

Breakfast at Kaliandra Sejati Eco Resort

 

Before heading out to Mount Bromo, we took a short tour around the rice padi field near our resort. The locals are mainly simple farmer folks who are photo friendly when we sought their permission to take pictures.

Rice padi fields around Kaliandra Eco Reosrt

Rice padi fields around Kaliandra Sejati Eco Reosrt

Villagers at the padi field

Villagers at the padi field

 

A wellness sanctuary and a huge garden with statue pillars and bush maze gives an Alice in Wonderland feel. The wellness sanctuary sits in a colonial house with multiple rooms dedicated to Enzyme Bath treatment. The Enzyme Bath is a dry & hot bath that buries you in a bed of heated finely cut wood shavings mixed with rice bran, fruit and vegetable enzymes. Originated from Japan, the Enzyme Bath benefits includes:

  • Cleansing & beautification of the skin
  • Relief from joint and muscle aches and pains
  • Reduced tension and fatigue
  • Stress reduction & calming of the nerves
  • Improved digestion
  • Detoxification
  • Improved circulation & mobility

 

Exploring the colonial side of Kaliandra Eco Resort

Exploring the colonial side of Kaliandra Sejati Eco Resort

Enzyme Bath Therapy at Kaliandra Eco Resort

Enzyme Bath Therapy at Kaliandra Sejati Eco Resort

 

The Enzyme Bath treatment takes about 15 minutes, the therapist will be around to monitor our condition and attend to our needs like wiping the sweat off my face with a cold towel and feeding drinks with a straw. We rewarded ourselves with a healthy & delicious wellness lunch before carrying on our journey to Mount Bromo.

Wellness lunch after the enzyme bath therapy

Wellness lunch after the enzyme bath therapy

 

It was a three hour journey going up and down hills and mountains, passing by apple and corn fields and towns. The ride may be bumpy and long, but looking out through the window there were many moments where I was tempted to hop off the car to take pictures of the magnificent scenic mountains.

Journey to Mount Bromo

Journey to Mount Bromo

 

We put up at Bromo Cottages Hotel which is located at Pasuruan on the slopes of the mountain at approximately 1700 metres above sea level. The view from the cottages are cloud level with a panoramic view of the valley from just outside our rooms. Even with such a good location and view, the rooms are only functional with minimum facilities and cleanliness of the rooms are only in the exceptable range. If you do not mind those, you can get a room for two from as low as 1 million IDR (around S$109) a night.

Bromo Cottage at Mount Bromo

Bromo Cottage at Mount Bromo

 

At 3.30am, we had to set out to Mount Penanjakan viewpoint to catch the sunrise view of Mount Bromo. Remember to bring a thick coat for this trip as the wind is chilling and you will have to stand for hours to secure your photography spot way before sunrise. Only half an hour away from Bromo Cottages, when I reached the viewpoint at 4am it was already crowded with tourists and tripods all set up at the barricade to wait for the sun to rise. I managed to squeeze through and secure a spot to set up my camera gear to accomplish the mission I set for this trip.

Nice enough, I managed to spot a shooting star – the first in my life to see one. After waiting for one under the freezing wind, the sun rises with the shadows cast on the slopes of the mountains and those silky clouds floating just above the mountain foot, it will be a sight that I will remember forever.  

Scenic view of Mount Bromo from Mount Penanjakan Viewpoint

Scenic view of Mount Bromo with the stars from Mount Penanjakan Viewpoint

 

There are so many mountains here. So which is Mount Bromo? Is it that green mountain in front or the tallest one at the back?  To my surprise… Mount Bromo is the least attractive one from the lot. Scroll down for the answer.

Scenic view of Mount Bromo from Mount Penanjakan Viewpoint

Scenic view of Mount Bromo from Mount Penanjakan Viewpoint

Which is Mount Bromo?

Which is Mount Bromo?

The crowd at Mount Penanjakan viewpoint

The crowd at Mount Penanjakan viewpoint

 

If Mount Penanjakan viewpoint is too crowded for you, on the way down to the Mount Bromo, we drove pass a second view point by a cliff. From here we viewed the valley from another angle and as the cloud thins, we spotted the only architecture that sits on the “Sea of Sand”, a Hindu Temple called Pura Luhur Poten.

Pura Luhur Poten temple belongs to the Tengerese people, one of the last remnants of the Hindu Majapahit Kingdom which was destroyed by rampaging Muslim armies in the 16th century. Every year at the Yadnya Kasada Festival, shamans & village elders dressed in colourful clothes will come to the temple to perform spells & chants while throwing down offerings & live animal sacrifices into the volcanic crater to appease their gods.

Scenic view of Mount Bromo

Scenic view of Mount Semeru from viewpoint down Mount Penanjakan

Scenic view of Mount Bromo

Scenic view of Mount Bromo from viewpoint down Mount Penanjakan

Poten Temple at Mount Bromo

Poten Temple at Mount Bromo

 

Finally arriving at the “Sea of Sands”, we have to choose either travel on foot or by a horse ride to Mount Bromo before climbing up the stairs to view the volcanic crater up close. I strongly suggest taking the horse ride as the sand are thick and fine so it will not be an easy walk going up the slopes and the horse ride costs only 100K IDR (about S$11) for one way or 150K IDR (about S$16) for a round trip.

Horse riding to foot of Mount Bromo

Horse riding to Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo Horse

Is that Silver from Lone Ranger?

Drinks Store at foot of Mount Bromo

Drinks Store at foot of Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo

It’s just as crowded here

 

The walk up the flight of stairs up to Mount Bromo crater is not an easy one. But luckily they have rest stops in between so you can rest without blocking others from climbing up. Mount Bromo is active with smoke emerging out of the crater. It can be quite scary considering the last eruption only happened in 2011.

Mount Bromo Crater

Mount Bromo Crater

The Stairway to Mount Bromo's peak

The Stairway to Mount Bromo’s peak

Another view of Poten Temple from Mount Bromo

Another view of Poten Temple from Mount Bromo

A snapshot from Mount Bromo's Peak with Mount Batok as backdrop

A snapshot from Mount Bromo’s Peak with Mount Batok as backdrop

 

The breathtaking view of Mount Bromo and witnessing the one of nature’s most beautiful creations, makes this long journey worthwhile and memorable one. I am so gonna go back to East Java to visit Mount Bromo and also the other natural wonder of East Java, Madakaripura Waterfall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

superadrianme.com Webutation
Google+