I visited Mount Bromo in Indonesia with my family for christmas break last year. This is a collection of photos I neglected to put up.
Indonesia, sitting right on top of the Pacific Ring of Fire, is home to 129 active volcanoes. These volcanoes play a big part in our culture. I grew up listening to fairytales involving mountains and volcanoes, as well as real life stories from my parents about escaping an eruption which brought down rain of volcanic ashes down to their hometown.
One of these volcanoes is Mount Bromo – an active volcano in the eastern part of Java Island in Indonesia with a very recent eruption in 2015. However, when it’s not spewing lava, Mount Bromo is very beautiful with mild climate. This is why over the years it has become a very popular destination among locals and foreigners alike, especially for family vacation. I was told by my parents that I had actually been here when I was much younger, but I barely have any recollection of the experience… I just remembered bits and pieces about having to wake up way too early to catch the sunrise.
We were picked up from our hotel in Malang early in the morning at 2AM so that we would be on time to catch the sunrise. We drove a regular van for about 2 hours to Cemoro village, where we transferred into a Jeep 4×4 car and continued the drive up to Bromo. As I mentioned before, Bromo is a very popular local tourist destination so there was a lot of traffic going up… that’s why we had to leave so early! And just to set your expectation – the ride up in the Jeep was not a comfortable one. It was super bumpy and cramped. I think I hit my head on the roof of the car several times.
We got to the sunrise view point at Mount Penanjakan about 30 minutes before sunrise. We then made our way up in pitch dark to get a good spot for the sunrise. The “trek” up was actually very easy – it’s not so much of a trek, more like a walk up. The path is nicely paved and there were stair steps you can climb. It’s still a long way up though, my parents could not make it up so my siblings and I went up on our own.
After the sun has fully risen, we walked back down and drove into the volcano. In the picture above it’s the part in the middle of the sea of sand (known locally as Segara Wedi) with smoke billowing out of it. Our Jeep driver parked at the designated parking space and we had to walk the rest of the way to the foot of the volcano through a flat sandy area.
If you are the type that gets hungry easily, you’ll be pleased to know there are some food stalls at the foot of the volcano. I was hungry, so I zero-ed in on the Bakso stall.
Bakso is meatball noodle dish that is very popular in Indonesia and can be found throughout the country. This one specifically is called Bakso Malang, which includes deep fried crispy wontons and tofu instead of just meatballs and yellow noodles. Just add chili and kecap and I’m in heaven. This bowl only cost $1 but the portion is quite small, so of course I had seconds.
If you don’t want to walk up to the volcano, you can hire horses for $15 per person. The walk itself is actually very easy and doable on foot, but I wanted to ride a horse so we hired one for the way up. The horse will not take you all the way up to the summit but it will take you close enough. You still have to walk up a staircase where you would move very slowly as it was narrow and there was quite a bit of human traffic going up and down.
As we get into the late morning, the wind would pick up periodically and the “Sea of Sand” area gets hit with a mini volcanic ash sand storm that goes on for a few minutes. It makes for a beautiful set of photos, but extremely uncomfortable experience when the sand gets into your eyes, mouth and every orifice of your body. I suggest bringing a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes and some scarves to cover up.
Overall, I enjoyed the trip to Bromo. Some parts of it (like the volcanic ash storm) makes me feel like we were not in Indonesia anymore. It’s also easy enough to reach and does not require much physical exertion for a young person.
And that’s all from us for Bromo! Next time, I would like to come back and go to Mount Ijen as well, for the blue flames and lake.