Mt. Bromo and Ijen Crater – Indonesia

 

Bali is probably the most well known destination in Indonesia but this country has other out-of-this-world places which are worth visiting, Mt. Bromo and Ijen Crater being among them.

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Mount Bromo or Gunung Bromo is an active Volcano (it last exploded in November 2015), stands at 2,329 metres and is located in East Java, Indonesia.

It’s difficult to tour this place without a tour guide as only specific jeeps with license are allowed on the mountain and you are better off with a tour guide as you have to drive on mountains in the night. Our guide picked us up at Surabaya Airport at around 10pm to drive us to Mt. Bromo which is 4 hours away. We freshened up at our hotel and left for Penanjakan Peak for the sunrise  which is a few minutes drive up the mountain. The place can get crowded but you can climb the wire railing and watch the sunrise from there. It’s probably the most stunning sunrise we’ve ever seen. The rest of our itinerary was to visit Savanah, Teletubbies Hill and Bromo Crater, all of which are equally stunning.

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The next day we left for Ijen crater which is a 5-6 hours drive. Around 2.00 am that night we trekked the steep mountain for around 2 hours to reach Kawah Ijen. You can see blue flames at night but since there was a lot of fog when we were there, we couldn’t see anything. But the place was still very beautiful. You have to wear gas masks to protect from the sulphur fumes. We saw many sulphur miners working there under dangerous conditions without masks.

Needless of the early mornings, the steep climbs, we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. We also got to taste the most expensive coffee in the world. What more could you ask for?

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We would recommend this place in a heartbeat. Some of the pictures below.


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The world's smallest escalator perhaps?

Shopping in Jakarta

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Senayan City. Credit: Rossrightangle

The world's smallest escalator perhaps?

The world’s smallest escalator perhaps?

Shopping in Jakarta is supposed to be very cheap. So we decided to ask at the hotel reception for good places to shop. The 2 giggling over excited receptionists sent us to Senayan City which was by any means not cheap. It was very similar to the high end malls in Singapore, just bigger. Needless to say we didn’t buy anything there except Crispy Kreme doughnuts and the ever reliable Chai Latte at Starbucks. 

The next day I googled for factory outlets and off we went to D’ Brasco Factory outlet, South Jakarta.

D’Brasco Mall. Credit: The Honeycombers

 

D'Brasco

D’Brasco

It was exactly the kind of place we were looking for. With 3 floors to boast, it housed brands like Burberry, Abercrombie and Fitch, Levis, Nike and others. We did some shopping there. Now I’m not sure if the clothes were authentic or not but they were definitely good quality. I wouldn’t say no to a $25 Jeans which was as soft as velvet even if it was fake. 

Another place we went to was Block M mall opposite our hotel Ambhara (opp Pasaraya Mall). Our main purpose there was to buy DVD’s and we definitely found a lot of those. Block M Mall is one of those cheap malls where they sell fake stuff. Didn’t buy anything else there as the quality was definitely not good. Nonetheless, its a huge mall where you can buy trinkets for your friends and family back home.
Our bargain treasures

Our bargain treasures

If you want to shop in Jakarta for cheap I suggest you do your research beforehand as it’s easy to get lost in one of the many high-end shiny malls which are a dime a dozen in Jakarta.
Sunda Kelapa Jakarta

Sunda Kelapa: Jakarta: A rustic port

Sunda Kelapa Jakarta

We were at Old Town when I recalled reading about a place called ‘Sunda Kelapa’ close by where one could watch the traditional boats loading and unloading cargo. After asking for directions, we set out for the harbor. The path didn’t feel very safe to me as there were truck driver stops along the way and it was almost time for sunset. But having my 6.2′ tall husband with me made me feel safe haha. After a 15 min walk and 5,000 Indonesian rupiah at the entrance, we were in.

Sunda Kelapa Jakarta
Sunda Kelapa is not a very touristy place. It’s a small harbor with a lot of boats loading/ unloading their daily cargo. It was interesting because we had never seen such a place before (I’ve been to JNPT in Mumbai but it’s a very huge port and not to be compared to this one). Here the boats were small and so close that we could see inside them.
It got some beautiful pictures if I may say so myself.

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Travel Time – Jakarta, Indonesia

indonesiaWe are off to Jakarta, Indonesia for the Good Friday long weekend. Since we can never track holidays and book in advance all the fancy places like Bali and Chiang mai are already booked or way too expensive.

Jakarta was relatively cheaper. We love traveling. We don’t mind going to the non-touristy places as well.

We’ll be there for 3 days so want to make the best of it. We are making lists. On the list are places mentioned in lonely planet, a bar and probably a disc. And shopping. We’ll see.

There are more books to be read and lists to be made.  Sometimes I feel just planning for the trip, looking up places and generally just reading up on a certain place is pretty interesting in itself.

Suggestions are always welcome!