Bromo Tour away from the crowds
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Mar 17, 2012 3:53 AM Last Post By: vallausa
Feb 10, 2012 3:31 AM
Bromo Tour away from the crowdsHeading to Bromo in the mid of March. While going through all the tours that are available. I notice almost everyone does the sunrise (dept 1.30 or 4.00 depending on the night before), followed by the sea of sand, climb bromo and return to the hotel. I was wondering if there are any good tours going off the beaten path away from the crowds. Any good suggestion out there? For example doing the sea of sands in the afternoon, when it is not so busy. Or an alternative route.
I will be travelling from Malang/Surabaya to Kalibura onwards to Bali.
Feb 10, 2012 6:53 AM
1If you take a tour from Malang you'll already be somewhat "off the beaten track" as you'll be approaching through Ngadas, rather than the stadard way up from Probolinggo. It's a more interesting way up, and a good trip. If you don't have your own transport it's not really feasible to do this route independently, but I know that the travel agent based in Hotel Helios does this route on their tours...
Once you're up there, logic suggests you follow the crowds - the sunrise viewpoint needs to be visited at, well, at sunrise! And it makes sense to then go down into the crater to the sand sea...
If you came up independently to Cemoro Lawang, and got there early enough, you could go down to the sand sea yourself in the afternoon, of course.
If you wanted to try a really "off the beaten track" approach, you could approach Bromo from the back, from Lumajang...
I'm planning to try this route by bike sometime in the next few weeks myself, actually...
One more thing, I'd suggest going to Ijen rather than Kalibaru. I don't personally understand why Kalibaru even gets a listing in the guidebook. The places to stay there are pleasant but overpriced, and the place is of absolutely no consequence whatsoever - a one-horse pit-stop on a through road, and there are many other places to visit plantations...
Feb 10, 2012 3:43 PM
2Full moon walk around 1am out into the valley and then climb Bromo. Your will see the large group of Jeepneys and walkers heading out around 5am. By the time they arrive to where you are climb back down and walk back to your accommodation. No ticket, no tourists, and a special evening alone with the moon. Even more special if no flashlight.
Feb 11, 2012 7:08 AM
3Thanks for the good tips. Kalibura is off the list ;-)
I liked the idea of going by bicycle to the back of Bromo. Just contacted fietseninoostjava.com to see what they have on this time of year. They seem to be doing a combined jeep-bicycle trip including Bromo and IJen. Via Lebang.
Tim based on your website you are quite enthousiastic about Surabaya. I think I will include this in my travel plan as well. Have you ever been to Trowulan? According to Unesco the site made it to the tentative list. You think it is worth going there.
Feb 11, 2012 8:22 AM
Well, I am kind of enthusiastic about Surabaya, as it's where I'm based!
The place generally gets bad reviews from guidebooks, and travellers, most of who (including guidebook writers!) see nothing more than the bus terminal and the train station...
It is a rewarding place to explore if you have time - the old quarters are full of little hidden surprises and old buildings, and the food is great.
All that said, for the average travellers, there are places that will probably be more rewarding for a short visit. If Surabaya lies on your route it's certainly worth spending a day there, but don't change your route or schedule specifically to go there.
I have indeed been Trowulan; it's interesting if you're a real history buff, but not, to be honest, massively inspiring when compared to the various other temples in East Java. I think it's potential UNESCO listing is more for its significance, than it's current impressiveness.
Again, if you're in the area it's worth stopping by; but don't go out of your way.
The various temples of the Singosari realm scattered around Malang are much more rewarding, as is the marvellous Penataran near Blitar...
Feb 11, 2012 4:22 PM
5Is there anything that prevents you from walking across the sea of sand at any time of day you please, by yourself?
I remember doing it alone, in the afternoon, and it was very relaxing and enjoyable. I mean, you can't miss the trail, and always meet people on the way.
I agree with timdogs comment about Surabaya. Very friendly people, easy to move around the city, and no tourists at all. My favourite outing in Surabaya was getting lost, after taking the wrong bus to Sunan Ampel mosque, and walking through some random neighbourhoods while looking for the next large avenue where I could get some sense of orientation again.
Some locals told me that I should not worry, the mosque was near, and just to keep walking... and something in Indonesian which the closest word I knew was "ferry", and indeed I had to cross a canal on a wooden ferry that was pulled on a rope by an old man:-)
Feb 11, 2012 6:14 PM
6We found Melang over-rated.OIt was trtying to be a very mimi-Disney. I would do the sunset and sunrise at Mt. Bromo plus a jeep in the sands though our guide did not take us to ihan mmany find the walks through the sulpfur sprimgs and other sights worth the trip from Mt. Bromo. Our guide, based in Yogja, took us to Mt. Bromo and knows the area very well. His wife comes from Melang so he visits it 4-5 times a year and discouraged from going.
He might meet you in the Bromo area and with his excellent knowledge of Central, East and West java hemay be what youwant. He is a bit expensive running about $80-$85 USD for a 10 hour day using his van and he pays the gas as well. If going to Yogja to see the 3 magnificant temples can do those in one 10 hour day but then the car trip to Mt. Bromo is 8 hours that we broke up by making him stop at interesting markets and we broke it up with a hotel stop. I remember $50/$70 for 2 including breakfast and then he took us to the Subabaya Airport, 2.5-3 hours from Bromo.
If you want to reach him email him at borobudurtourand travel.com or his home office firstname.lastname@example.org.
He is one of the few UNESCO representatives for Borobudur Temple..
Feb 11, 2012 6:44 PM
7No matter how good your individual guide was, visiting Bromo as a tour from Yogya is not generally recommended. This is a trip that routinely attracts complaints on here from people feeling that they've been "scammed". The journey in a tourist minibus from Yogya is longer and less comfortable than the journey by public transport.
Also, regardless of the skills of your particular guide, Yogya is obviously not the best place to find a guide for the hinterlands of East Java: would you engage a guide in London to show you around the sights of Edinburgh?
By the "disney-fied" part of Malang, I can only assume you mean the nearby hill-resort of Batu, which, despite is fabulous setting, is the very vision of the unchained Asian domestic tourism monster on the rampage. Not quite sure how you could call Malang itself "mini-Disney".
It's not the most exciting town on earth, but as a base for exploring the surrounding area it's great; it has a pleasant atmosphere and nice people, and most visitors seem to enjoy it...
Feb 21, 2012 9:33 PM
8Travelfish just posted a nice article on getting to Bromo:
Feb 29, 2012 7:38 PM
9Not is the guide lived in the Bromo area for several years as well as having a business in Bali for 5 years before settling in Yogja. Further he became familar with Melang which he did not recommend based on visiting his wife's family 4-5 times a year. Friend just flew from Solo to Surabaya, a 40 minute flight and then the car trip to Bromo is 2.5 hours amd by leaving in the morning you can tour the afternoon around Bromo and then see the sunsut and the next mornig the sunrise about 4-4:30 depending and at 5:30 walk or with a jeep go on the sands for 2-3 hours and be back at a hotel for a late breakfast by 11:00 AM and baxck at the airport for a 3:30-4:30 flight.
A bit expensive but quite a way to really enjoy it all if your budget allows. Again our guide knows what it is to make it rel. But why not listen to others who have never done it that way. We save on big meals and hotels to make seeing the natural wonders a special thing.
Mar 17, 2012 3:53 AM
I will be visiting Indonesia next June and of the highlights of the trip would be visiting the Bromo. I will enter Java through Surabaya and the plan is to reach Gunung Bromo, enjoy the sunrise and the crater and then head to Yogyakarta.
Unfortunately, I have a very tight schedule and won't be able to spend as many days in the area as I would have wanted.
Initially, I looked for an organized tour but found 2 problems:
1. Extremely high price.
2. Tours did return trips to Surabaya and I wanted to avoid extra hours on the road.
Then I thought on doing it on my own (ie. Surabaya, Probolinggo, Cemoro Lawang, Probolinggo, Yogyakarta) and I have scheduled one entire day per transfer...
... Until I read the article @putriduyung mentions (http://www.travelfish.org/blogs/bali/2012/02/20/alternative-route-gunung-bromo) and discovered there's an alternative way to reach Cemoro Lawang.
Since there is so little information about this route on the internet, I was wondering if you could give me some tips/advice:
1. I understand that on day 1 I would have to travel from Surabaya to Ngadas. How long will it take me (approx of course)?
2. From there, how hard it is to get to the Bromo? I mean, will I easily find an ojek that can drive me there?
3. Then, I would have to stay in Cemoro Lawang until the next morning. I've read somewhere that instead of a jeep, an ojek can drive me to Penanjakan lookout and then the crater. Do you have an idea of what would be a fair price for this?
4. Instead of this, I was considering lolobu's tip (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2082149) but I'm afraid to get lost and miss the track. After all, I will only have one chance to see the sunrise & panorama. Should I go for it?
5. Finally, should I go to Yogyakarta through Probolinggo, get to Surabaya and catch a train or should I go through Malang?
Thanks for your help.
Edited by: vallausa
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