Malang, Road Trip

A FUN DAY IN THE NATIONAL BROMO TENGGER PARK

I woke up at 9:45 a.m. and could not sleep anymore.

I was impatient waiting until 12 o’clock at night. Tomorrow we would enjoy the sunrise at Bromo. We already planned it for several months. Ten minutes after 12 o’clock the person we were waiting came.

Even though my sister superb driver, she did not know the route to Mount Bromo. Therefore we hired a driver who familiar with the route to the national park. We carried bread, snacks and drinking water. Not to forget warm clothes such as hats, gloves, jackets, and neck warmers.

Long story to short, we passed the Pasuruan route from Malang with a travel time of 2 hours. Beside this route there are still another route from Malang through Tumpang. According to our driver this route the easiet and safest one.

Mount Bromo is the most well-known tourist attraction in East Java. This active volcano is part of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park surrounded by Sea of Sand. In Javanese called Segara Wedi or Lautan Berbisik.

Private car is not allowed to go to the area of Mount Bromo. Every visitor with a car requires to rent a jeep. Only motorcyclists allow entering into Mount Bromo Tengger National Park. Toyota Hardtop jeep 4×4 is the only vehicle available for tour around Bromo. The vehicle is the best option to drive up and down of Bromo hilly side and sand dunes.

The best time to visit Mount Bromo is during the school year and weekdays. National holidays are a bad time for a vacation to Mount Bromo.It’s not a fun thing to jostle with other visitors. Moreover, just seeing the head of the person in front of me instead of the view of the morning light. More annoying stuck in traffic on this narrow and winding road.

Mount Bromo came from the name of the god in the teachings of Hinduism, namely Lord Brahma. The height of Mount Bromo is 2,392 meters above sea level and surrounded by a caldera or sea of sand.

KING KONG HILL

We started ascended around 4am to the lookout of Mount Bromo. Our skilled drivers passed through villages with narrow winding roads.The 4×4 jeep crawled, roaring and swerving towards King Kong Hill in the darkness of the morning.

There are several lookouts to see sunrise and peak of Mount Bromo. Besides Penanjakan, there are also King Kong Hill and Cinta Hill. Penanjakan is the highest with complete facilities such as cafes, toilets and comfortable seating.

Our driver suggested us to go to King Kong Hill. It was not too far but still could see a sunrise and Mount Bromo crater.

He dropped us at the foot of the King Kong lookout and we took a short walk to the best side. The lookout or hill was already full of visitors. We squeezed ourselves to already crowded place.

It was freezing.

I had four layers of clothing such as neck wrap, hat, and gloves. It was still freezing. The wait was not in vain. The sun rose beautifully. Camera flash everywhere, people cheering and screaming. When the sun almost on the horizon more light to the ground, people flew their drone.

 

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Cinta Hill from King Kong Hill.

 

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DECISION, DECISION

As far as I remember I visited Mount Bromo twice. On the way to Mount Bromo, I asked our driver how was Mount Bromo crater now. He told me that the only change was the fence around the crater. Since we had limited time, we decided to skip crater to visit the new spots around Mount Bromo.

In the sand sea, there is a Hindu temple called Pura Luhur Poten. The temple holds an important meaning for the Tengger communities. The communities live in the villages around the mountain. They are Argosari, Ngadisari, Ngadas, Wonokitri, Ranu Prani, Ledok Ombo and Wonokerso.

This temple is the main place in the annual Yadnya Kasada ceremony lasts more or less within one month. On the 14th day, usually, the Tengger people will gather at Luhur Poten Temple.  They are asking for blessings from Ida Sang Hyang Widi Wasa and the ruler of Mahameru (Mount Semeru).

Decades ago we had to walk or ride a horse to the mount Bromo crater from the lookout. Now, jeep able to stop in front of stairs up to the crater.

 

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Bump to bump.

 

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Sometimes our jeep driver took sharp turn. Scary!!. I had to close my eyes.

 

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SEGARA WEDI OR PASIR BERBISIK

Even though we planned our timing carefully, we still trapped on the way down. Once the sun up, we walked back to the parking lot and met our driver. Unfortunately, many visitors had the same mind as us. There were hundreds of hardtop jeeps bump to bump.

It took us more than 2 hours to finally reached Pasir Berbisik. The sand whisper when the wind blows.

Pasir Berbisik in the morning was fantastic.

Beside jeep, motorbikes were criss-cross the area. Motorbikes allow passing the sea sand with their own risk. I saw many of them trapped in the sand. The passenger and driver had to push it to the hard area. Besides that, they also expose themselves to the sand, either get to their mouth, eyes or clothing. Even so, the motorbikes were everywhere.

We drove and stopped several times around sand dunes at Pasir Berbisik.

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I was not sure if the vehicle had enough seat or not. But I know for sure the passengers on top definitely eat and inhale sands.

 

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TELETUBBIES SAVANNA

At first, I thought there would be several mini Teletubbies’ homes around the hill. Yet the name came from the contour of the hill. It looks like Teletubbies hill on one of those children education series.

We enjoyed the view for a while there. Crossing green and tall grasslands. So happy to step my feet on this beautiful and lovely place. Especially with the blue sky and green land. As soon as the sun was high and the place became crowded we returned to Tosari Village. The decision was right because we saw in the distance a thick fog descending and enveloping Pasir Berbisik and the crater of Bromo.

 

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Before we returned to the Tosari Village, we stopped at the lookout on top of the hill. Overlook Mount Batok (front) Mount Bromo (middle and smoky) and Mount Merapi (far back).

 

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Itsy bits tiny jeep’s roof from far.

 

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See that fog??.

 

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Time to go!!.

 

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Note:

We visited Mount Bromo in July 2018. Two months later I read from the news that there was a big fire on Teletubbies Hill. This meadow burned from 1 – 3 September 2018. The condition of dry grass, strong winds and hilly land causes it to be difficult to extinguish the fire.

 

 

 

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