Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mt Bromo, East Java Indonesia

Mt Bromo, one of the top travel destinations in East Java Indonesia, is an active volcano situated in a surreal but spectacular massive caldera. While very busy with tourists, almost to the point of being a put-off at the sunrise viewpoints, it is definitely still worth a visit.

The case in point is that from night till sunrise, tourist jeeps are already plying the Sea of Sand - the name given to the flat ashy ground of the Tengger caldera where Mt Bromo is. Some head towards the Mt Bromo crater itself, while most others, towards Mt Pananjakan, where "Viewpoint 1", the most popular sunrise viewpoint stands.

Light trails of the jeeps heading towards the smoking Bromo crater and Mt Pananjakan
The view from Cemoro Lawang, the access town on the edge of the Tengger caldera is already quite something, but from the higher viewpoint at Mt Pananjakan, it is even more spectacular. And hence, even when we set off at 3.30am, we were almost deprived of viewing space at the viewpoint. With the number of people increasing as the hours go by, and with locals and tourists alike smoking while waiting, it is perhaps not the best of my "sunrise moments". But all is forgotten when the light touches the volcanos! Not to forget too, the light on the mists, as well as the views of the town of Cemoro Lawang itself!

Beautiful morning light on the volcanoes and the swirling mists
Cemoro Lawang on the edge of the caldera, as morning mists float within

After the sunrise viewing, most would then proceed to the Bromo crater itself, to peek into the smoking crevice. For first-timers to a volcano, it is indeed an interesting experience, sans the crowds of course.

The line of tourists going up to the crater of Mt Bromo

However, for those who have an extra day, the areas around Cemoro Lawang is worth a walk. The contrast of the barren caldera and the lush green around Cemoro Lawang is stark and definitely yields different photographic opportunities. Moreover, it seems that many of the locals have their own viewpoint for sunrise, just behind the famous Lava View Lodge! And if you are lucky, perhaps you could also catch a 'Glory' cast onto the mists on the Sea of Sand. I had just blogged about seeing one on a flight in my previous post, and then, I managed to see yet another one! And the best part is, you can actually enjoy the sunrise with alot more space!

Lush green around Cemoro Lawang, a stark contrast to the caldera
Morning light on Mt Bromo and Mr Batok, as well as a 'glory' on the mists

For Singaporeans or those in Singapore, there are quite a few lowcost airlines flying to Yogyakarta and Surabaya, the common access cities to Bromo, at really low prices. On Jetstar Asia, it could go as low as us$80 for a return flight!! And there's plenty of agencies in these cities to arrange for a weekender the trip. So, check it out!

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