Home

Search This Blog

Surabaya Itinerary, Indonesia



Hike to Indonesia’s Most Famous Volcano


My last trip this year with my travel buddy. I thought it would just be a plain goodbye with a sumptuous dinner and a bottle of beer. Who am I kidding?! We've known each other as travel addicts why not do it the travelers way. Another trip abroad. Another mountain to climb. This time around we've decided to go to Surabaya in Indonesia. It is formerly known in Dutch as Soerabaja/Soerabaia, now its using the Javanese term as Surabaya. Located on the north eastern part of Java and considered as the second largest city in Indonesia. Let's go!

Budget: 200 SGD / 1,800,000 Rupiah 
DIY (Do it yourself) Trip. Easy and Breezy


Surabaya 4 days itinerary
Mt. Bromo - Hike to Indonesia’s Most Famous Volcano
Day 1, 27 October, Thursday  : Surabaya Airport to Bromo Area

8:15-9:35 - Flight Tiger Airways TR2260 Changi Airport, Singapore to Juanda Airport Surabaya International Airport

1. Just outside the vicinity of Surabaya airport , take bus to Bungurasih bus terminal. Purchase ticket at the exit door. 
2. Take public bus to Probolinggo.  
3. Hop into another Bus to Cemoro Lawang (small mini bus seating 15 pax) 

Check in Yoschi Hotel
1 night: 210,000 Rupiah  
Bromo Sunrise Hike. Early morning drive to Mt Penanjakan.
Jeep Sharing, 4x4 WD to Mt. Bromo: 150,000 Rupiah (Booked with Yoschi Hotel)

Wake up call: 3:00 Am - 3:30 Am
Travel time: 1 hour
Mt. Bromo Entrance Fee: 220,000 Rupiah (tourist) and 27,000 Rupiah (locals) , Check out the big difference. 


Day 2 :  28 October, Friday : Cemoro Lawang to Banyuwangi (Ijen Crater) 
Travel time: 7 hrs drive from Bromo to Ijen Area

1. Cemorolawang to Probolingo
Van sharing: 75,000 Rupiah
Call time: 10:00 Am
Drop off at Bus terminal to Banyuwangi

2. Two options: Train/ Bus from Probolingo to Banyuwangi
a. Train has two timings 11 am and 4 pm. Then take minibus to Hotel. 
b. Bus from Probolingo to Banyuwangi. Then take minibus to Hotel. 

Check in Kampung Osing Inn 
1 night stay : 125,000 Rupiah / 13 SGD for two pax ( 1 room, with towel and breakfast) 
Staff is great however far from Ijen crater, no nearby restaurants and difficult to find mode of transportation. The only great thing about the location is that it's 10 minutes away from Karangacem Train Station.


Day 3 : 29 October, Saturday : Karangacem Train Station (Banyuwangi) to Gubeng Station (Surabaya)

Ijen Crater Hike - The Blue Flame Volcano of Surabaya
Jeep Sharing: 150,000 Rupiah per pax
Motorcycle to Ijen Crater (2 way): 200,000 Rupiah per pax
Ijen Crater Entrance Fee: 100,000 Rupiah per pax

Ready by 01:00 am. 1 hour drive to the parking area of Mount Ijen, passing Village of Licin, plantations and rainforest by private car or motorcycle. 
Approximately 1-1.5 hours to ascend slope of mount Ijen to reach peak of Ijen Crater. 

Train from Karangacem Train Station (Banyuwangi) to  Gubeng Station (Surabaya)
Business class: 145,000 Rupiah
Train Schedule: 9:15 Am
Travel time: 7 hrs
Make sure to check the train timing, as they only have several train rides per day.

Walk 5 minutes to Hotel from Gubeng station.

Check in My Studio Hotel
1 night: 180,000 Rupiah for two pax (room sharing dormitory, with breakfast)
Great location, walking distance from Matahari Mall and Gubeng Train shuttle.


Day 4 : 30 October, Sunday : Souvenir Shopping, Gubeng Station (Surabaya) to Juanda Airport Surabaya International Airport

Walk less than 10 minutes to nearby mall to buy souvenirs and goodies. Goodies were cheap yet no souvenirs available. Manage to buy some in the airport but its all plain I love Surabaya keychains no image of Bromo or Ijen Crater. 

Reminders: Purchase your souvenirs in Mt. Bromo, great design at an affordable price. Price range: 25,000-50,000 Rupiah

Indonesia snacks bought at Indo Market at Matahari Mall. Price range from 4,000- 12,000 Rupiah

Drive back to the airport. Booked online by Hotel Receptionist. 
Taxi Fare: 55,000 Rupiah
Travel time: 45 minutes
Jetstar 3K248 2:05- 5:30 Surabaya Airport Terminal 2 to Singapore

Booking.com

What to do in Surabaya



Day 1, 27 October, Thursday  : Surabaya Airport  - Mount Bromo
8:15-9:35 Flight Tiger Airways TR2260 to Juanda Airport Surabaya International Airport

How to get there: Airport to Mt. Bromo Area
1.Surabaya Airport to Bungurasih (Surabaya Intercity Bus Station) , located just outside the airport. Purchase your ticket before heading out to the exit door. 
Travel time: 30 minutes
Bus Fare: 25,000 Rupiah per pax

It's a public transport expect some waiting time. Pick-up transport from the hotel usually cost around 500,000 Rupiah. After half an hour of filling all the seats we were heading to the bus station. 

2. Alight at Bayuangga Bus Station. 
Take Bus to Probolinggo (Bayuangga Bus Station) 
Travel time: 2.5 - 3 hrs
Bus Fare: 30,000 Rupiah per pax 

3. Alight at Bayuangga Bus Station.
Take minibus to Cemorolawang, the minibus station is located at the back of the bus terminal. 
Travel time: 1-2 hrs
Bus Fare: 35,000 Rupiah per pax 

The minibus waits for 15 passengers before leaving, it was a weekday and we were the only passengers that afternoon. So we paid 150,000 per pax to head off to Cemorolawang and drop-off at our booked hotel. 

Check in Yoschi Hotel
1 night: 210,000 Rupiah for two pax (1 room, bathroom sharing, free bar soap and with breakfast)
Staff is helpful. Pretty garden to hangout. However, location is far from Mt. Bromo and food stores while mode of transportation is via booking with hotel. 


Our transport to Mt. Bromo was book with Yoschi hotel. I've read from a few blogs that its possible to go hiking on your own. Make sure to check on your routes or maybe get a guide. If you stay in Cafe Lava Guesthouse its just walking distance from the sunset viewing point.


Day 2 :  28 October, Friday : Bromo Sunrise Hike – Ijen Crater Tour (7 hours driving from Bromo to Ijen Crater)

Jeep Sharing (4x4 WD) to Mt. Bromo: 150,000 Rupiah (Booked with Yoschi Hotel)
Wake up call: 3:00 Am - 3:30 Am
Travel time: 1 hour
Mt. Bromo Entrance Fee: 220,000 Rupiah (tourist) and 27,000 Rupiah (locals) Check out the big difference. 

We took a bath the night before to save our body heat for the next day hike to the mountain. As early as 3 in the morning we were up and ready to start a great day. Our jeepney sharing buddies were 30 minutes late, it got us a little bit worried. Good thing, we manage to get to the sunrise viewing point at 4:00 Am. The viewing point is located in front of Mt. Bromo to get a better picture of the sunrise. The jeepney parks at the base, make sure to take note of the license plate number and the color of your vehicle. Hike less than 20 minutes to the sunrise viewing point. There are food shops at the top, you can have some banana fritters and coffee while waiting for the sunrise. (Banana fritters: 5,000-10,000 Rupiah)


It was crowded. People were in all corners. The whole place was flooded with tourist of different nationalities. I felt bad for the locals who went there to pray and are disturbed by endless footsteps and laughter. We tried to keep our voices low, stationed ourselves on top of the pillars to get a better view of the sunrise. Be mindful where you step your foot as you might step on one of the worship pillars. Everyone waited patiently for the sun to rise. The second I saw the first light of day it gave out this warmth feeling, like being reborn, like you can do whatever you want and in whatever you want it to be. Look far beyond everyones head, let nature entertain you with its magical beauty. The moment I detach myself from the unwavering crowd below I saw the spectacular view of the mountains. I'm glad we were brave enough to climb the pillars but be careful with your footing, keep your balance and find your grip. 



As time passes by in the viewing deck we realized that we were on a schedule, I don't like call time. One disadvantage of booking tours, even thou its a jeepney sharing is that it still feels like a tour group. Some has less fascination with mountains so they tend to head back to the jeepney earlier that the expected time. Thou we kept track of time, one of the passengers thought otherwise. What do you in this situation? Kill them with Kindness! Ahahaa. Keep laughing and just let it go. I'm glad we stayed longer as the mountain view got clearer, even less crowded which meant more fresh air for us. While everyone is busy getting warmed with hot coffee, others bargaining for souvenir items we were actually having the time of our lives. I stared at the beautiful horizon. It reminded me of the movie "Avatar" by James Cameron. The fog, the clouds, the mountains, the valley was mesmerizing. The tourist who came there were just looking, no one bothered to stare and see intently the captivating view. I can imagine now why some ethnic tribes chose to live in the wild. Even in the movie Tarzan he chose to stay and Jane, his partner, insist to stay as the jungle felt like her home too. It might be just a movie but I believe it says a lot about the small communities in the mountains like how they feel about the outside world. Now don't get me started with the Pocahontas animated movie ahahaa. I'll stop sharing my silly thoughts before it gets out of hand. 



Reminders: By the way it gets cold at the viewing point, I wore a fleece jacket with inner heatech top, wool leggings, plus my travel size windbreaker jacket and top it off with a cute bonnet. Don't forget to remove your fleece jacket when climbing the summit, as you wont need that anymore. 

Call time back to the Jeepney: 6:00 Am
Drive to Mt. Bromo for 20 minutes.
Jeepney parks a few metres away from the starting point. 
Remember your jeepney's plate number, color and drivers face.
2 Kilometres hike to Mt. Bromo Summit, estimate time: 1 hour (back and forth)
Take the horse ride for comfort but I don't recommend it. A few minutes walk is good exercise for everybody. It's a good mountain exercise for beginners, young and old. 
Call time back to the Jeepney at 8:00 Am.


At first we really thought that was it after the sunrise viewing point, no more hiking at all. We got really worried. We've heard from some bloggers that they might close the summit hike to Mt. Bromo due to bad weather. It was raining for the past few days but luckily the heavens was all to our favor. Our next stop was to climb Mt. Bromo, see the crater and be showered with ashes at the summit. The sun has shone brightly on that Friday morning, the crowd has double in numbers. I strongly believe Mount Bromo is a friendly and lovable mountain. Young and Old came to see her, lets just put it as a her. She sometimes has her moments of menstrual cramps which is the smoke coming from the crater yet she manages to control her temper. Mt. Bromo's eruption are not that massive and destructive. Locals would say they try to keep her calm through prayers and offerings. 


I saw two guys made their way down the crater, they looked absolutely cool, crazy and hilariously brave. Well, I guess it's the only way to throw something at the mouth of the crater, or maybe they should try a safer approach like a slingshot or catapult, just kidding. When I had my solo trip last time in Kintamani, Bali, the Balinese people does the same thing, they shower the active volcano with offerings and prayers too. At least they show a great sign of respect for mother nature. 

Drive back to Yoschi Hotel. Breakfast 3 choices: Toast bread with egg and orange juice, Fried rice with squid cracker and Fried Noodles, all served with coffee or tea. We asked the receptionist tips, travel routes and estimated fares for our next day journey. They offer a van sharing all the way to Ijen Crater at a great price, so we settle for transport to Probolingo and decided to catch the bus from there to Ijen area.


How to get there: Yoschi Hotel, Cemorolawang to Probolingo
Call time for Van to Probolingo: 10 Am
Van sharing: 75,000 Rupiah (Booked with Yoschi Hotel) Inform driver drop off point for bus to Banyuwangi.

Alight in Probolingo then you have 2 options: Train/Bus 
1. Train from Probolingo to Banyuwangi has two timings 11 am and 4 pm. Check tiket dot com for any changes. 

2. Bus from Probolingo to Banyuwangi. Option 2 was favorable for us as the train timings does not match our scheduled arrival. We didn't alight in the bus terminal instead at a bus agency named Kantorpos. 
Economy bus: 70,000 Rupiah (6-7 hrs), Business/Express bus: 125,000 Rupiah (4-5 hrs)


Scam Alert. The guy offered us the student price for the Business/Express bus for 100,000 Rupiah if we showed him a student id, the bus will then pick us up at 12 noon he said. We laughed and honestly told him it had been centuries since we've graduated. I guess we have to thank our baby face for our good luck charm, little did we know. We saw a sticker inside the bus that shows the fare rates for different stops. It clearly shows that bus ticket should be around 75,000 Rupiah to Banyuwangi. That's just how it is, we got to taste their rubbish deception for tourist. It reminded of another scam alert. This happened while were in Bromo while we were hanging out in Yoschi's hotel lobby. Two American ladies came in asking for help from the receptionist. I can see that they're tired and angry. It turns out that their taxi driver suddenly just stop driving and told them he won't drop them off to their booked hotel, just like that. They took the taxi from the airport terminal which is suppose to be reliable. I'm not sure if it was all a part of their plan to stop at our hotel, thou the staff were confused and helpful but everything seemed suspicious. Anyways, it was a long bus ride to Banyuwanggi, good thing we had a bladder break for 20 minutes at Damri Bus Station. Get your snacks here as the journey ahead will have no pit stops from other stations. Admire another beautiful countryside of Surabaya for the next 7 hours. 

Alight at Banyuwangi Minibus Station
Take minibus to booked guesthouse for 20 minutes
Minibus fare: 15,000-25,000 Rupiah


The Blue Flame Volcano of Surabaya



Ijen Crater Hike, Surabaya , Indonesia

Our next stop is the Ijen Volacano. It's one of the two rare volcanoes in the world that produces blue flames, the other one is in Iceland. The blue flame is produce when the sulphur from the crater gets expose to air molecules which creates the blue light effect. The Ijen crater is located in Banyuwangi Regency of East Java, Indonesia.

How to get there: Bromo Area to Banyuwangi
1. The previous day we took a Van Sharing from Bromo Area to Probolingo at 10:00 Am.
Van Sharing: 75,000 Rupiah (Booked with Yoschi Hotel) Inform driver drop off point for bus to Banyuwangi.

2. Two options from Probolingo to Ijen Area: Train/ Bus 
a. Train from Probolingo to Banyuwangi has two timings 11 am and 4 pm. 
b. Bus from Probolingo to Banyuwangi. 
We didn't alight in the bus terminal instead at a bus agency named Kantorpos. Economy bus: 70,000 Rupiah (6-7 hrs), Business/Express bus: 125,000 Rupiah (4-5 hrs)

3. Alight at Banyuwangi Minibus Station
Take minibus to booked guesthouse for 20 minutes
Minibus fare: 15,000-25,000 Rupiah

Check in Kampung Osing Inn 
1 night stay : 125,000 Rupiah / 13 SGD for two pax (1 room, with towel and breakfast) 
Staff is great however far from Ijen crater, no nearby restaurants and difficult to find mode of transportation. The only great thing about the location is that it's around 10 minutes away from Karangacem Train Station. Other than that theres nothing more I can say. One more thing it turns out the hostel's website has not been updated. Our booked jeepney sharing for the crater and transport to red island was all for nothing. We decided to get a motorcyle transport instead to Ijen crater and forget about the red island. There's no other guesthouse around the area and no travel agencies too. You got to find a solution when you're face with this kind of travel challenge. Bookings with guesthouse was never a problem in our past travels. However, I do hope nobody gets the motorcycle ride to Ijen crater, backpack traveling it's not always about the money. Please learn from our mistake.


Day 3 : 29 October, Saturday : Ijen Crater 
Motorcycle to Ijen Crater (2 way): 200,000 Rupiah per pax
Ijen Crater Entrance Fee: 100,000 per pax
Ready by 01:00 am. 1 hour drive by private car or motorcycle to the parking area of Mount Ijen, passing by Licin village ,plantations and rainforest. 
Approximately 1-1.5 hours to ascend slope of mount Ijen to reach the crater. 

We slept for a few hours, got ready by 12 midnight, ate a snack and off to meet our drivers outside the guesthouse. They were on time to pick us up, one motorcycle driver for one passenger. Be reminded to ask your driver ahead of time to provide helmets. Don't ever ride without wearing a helmet, even your driver has to wear it. If possible, get the jeepney or van sharing to the crater. The road ahead is treacherous. Always think of your safety. Aside from that wear proper clothing. I wore a heatech top and bottom, a fleece jacket with hood, a lightweight windbreaker jacket and a cute bonnet. Don't forget to bring along a mask as the sulphur smoke gets really strong around the crater (gas mask rental is around 25,000 Rupiah). We were equiped with a N95 mask and a headlamp as there will be no light on the way to the summit and down the crater. Please be advised to wear hiking boots as it is more appropriate for the hike. Wearing the right kind of shoes will prevent accidents and saves a lot of time for your footing. I've relied my safety to my shoes. Hiking up and down the crater means passing through big boulders, loose rocks, slippery stones and risk of acquiring acrophobia, thats fear of heights.


This blogpost is entirely my own opinion, just sharing my experience. I wasn't really impressed with what I saw when we've reached the crater. The reason could be the weather, the season or the position of the moon. The blue flame was something different of course. Maybe it's the crowd, the tourist were just all over place. Maybe its not really the crowd, it's more about the miners.  I saw a few sulphur miners working industriously in the area. They pass by us carrying heavy rocks of sulphurs on their shoulders without proper clothing, mask and safety shoes. Everyone literally disturbed and blocked their way. An accident happened during our hike due to one selfish tourist who ignored to give way to one miner, when the miner got closer, he panicked as the road is not intended for two people. He stood in one loose big rock that could not handle his weight which eventually fell on the miner's foot. The miner shouted. I'm not sure if the tourist even tried to apologize. It really mentally tripped me off. The queue behind me was intently waiting for me to move ahead. I hate the fact that I can't do much for him. He can't communicate in English as well. Just a tap on his back and a smile was all I can give him. I do pray his foot is ok. I don't mean to discourage people to visit the crater but I can site a lot of reasons not to go there. Let's not focus on that. Anyways, we only stayed their for a few minutes then we made our way back to the starting point where our drivers were patiently waiting for us. 


On the brighter side I would advised everyone to go instead on a morning hike. When the sun was up, everything looked magnificent. The view of the mountains was spectacular. I bet the crater must have looked more friendlier at that time of the day too. My mood was rejuvenated, my thoughts for the miners was masked for awhile as my eye feast for the beautiful surroundings. The mountains were all in view, the sky was clear with  streak of clouds and soft lighting from the sun. I stood there for awhile without a word. When you see something good you have to breathe it all in, capture all the details in your memory. Even now I can still picture myself standing on that rock looking at the great mountain view. We took our sweet time hiking back to base as the descend down the mountain was a lot easier. All smiles and laughter. We were like kids playing with the tree branches and sliding down the slopes. Don't forget to remove your jacket, windbreaker and bonnet. You don't want to miss the fresh air. 

We decided not to stay anymore more longer in Banyuwangi. The guesthouse offered to drop us off at Karangacem Train Station, however, no one was there to do the good deed. Independent ladies like us just have to do things in our own ways. We walked not knowing where the train station is located. A few locals pointed us to the right direction, two little girls sang in unison to guide us where to go. But if you're equip with heavy bags walking to the train station will seem like miles away. Good thing as we walked down the street our designated driver found us which gave us ample of time to buy the train ticket and have some lunch before the trip. 


9:15 Am Train to Gubeng Station, Surabaya. Buy your tickets in the counter, when you're to ready to go have your boarding pass printed at the ticket machine then proceed to the entrance where the security officer will scan your tickets. 

Train from Karangacem Train Station to Gubeng Station

Business class: 145,000 Rupiah
Train Schedule: 9:15 Am
Travel time: 7 hrs
Make sure to check the train timing, as they only have several train rides per day.

I love waiting for the train or bus during my travels. It's where time stood still, you get a chance to think about your day and all the wonderful things that happened. You get to see different kinds of travelers in the train station. There's the youngsters group singing in the corner, a lone traveler trying to figure out the map to his next location, lovers looking at pictures in their camera, locals trying to get to work and two girls sheepishly teasing each other. I'm glad my travel buddy doesn't mind what other people say or think because I can be an embarrassment sometimes with all my foolishness. The train arrived on time yet the seats were not that comfortable compared to the bus. But the view of the countryside was great. Our booked hotel was just 5 minutes away  from Gubeng station.

Check in My Studio Hotel (booked via booking.com)
1 night: 180,000 Rupiah for 2 pax (with breakfast and superb location)

Walking distance from Matahari Mall and Gubeng Train station.


Day 4 : 30 October, Sunday : Surabaya - Airport

Goodies Shopping in Surabaya City. Purchase some Indonesian snacks at Indo Market at Matahari Mall. Price range from 4,000- 12,000 Rupiah

Goodies were cheap yet no souvenirs available. Manage to buy some in the airport but its all plain I love Surabaya keychains no image of Bromo or Ijen Crater. Better yet buy your souvenirs in the tourist spot locations.

Drive back to the airport. Booked online by Hotel Receptionist. 
Taxi Fare: 55,000 Rupiah
Travel time: 45 minutes

Jetstar 3K248 2:05- 5:30 Surabaya Airport Terminal 2 to Changi Aiport, Singapore

Have fun and be safe ^__^



Booking.com


Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/bnb booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation
List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for: meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks adds up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city / food tours).


Do you want more adventure?
If you still have a few more days why not go Paragliding in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is to explore a few Cheap Places in Singapore and have an exciting weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment