My eyes were still heavy when we drove a 4×4 SUV to mount Pananjakan. I checked my watch and it was around 3:30 am. The SUV was driven in the middle of the land of sand, a cloud of dust rose in the air as the car roared past. The sand gradually changed to a hilly road and we climbed up to the Pananjakan. After a while, we arrived at Pananjakan and there were already many travelers, both international and domestic. They sit on stages, some stood on the fences bordering the stage and the ravine. All was waiting for something magnificent and spectacular called the Bromo’s sunrise.
There was nothing I could comment on when I saw myself the very beautiful sunrise coming slowly. The fogs was also seen like a blanket covering the village of Cemoro Lawang, and gradually faded away as the sun ray touching the earth. I felt like in heaven (maybe) for this view. The incredible view pictured Bromo with a foreground of mount Semeru. The nature was so wonderful and indescribable as you may see in the pictures below, even the camera could not capture all beauty here.
The sunrise at Bromo is best seen from mount Pananjakan I (there are two Pananjakans, best spot is from Pananjakan I). It is the vantage point that travelers from around the world would enjoy the spectacular sunrise. Having the 2700 meters above the sea level height, Pananjakan is the best spot to see the sun bathing the three beautiful mountains named Batok, Bromo and Semeru. Pananjakan is higher than Bromo of which height is only around 2300 meters. The Bromo area, in addition, is different than any other sunrise spots because there is not only the sunrise, travelers can also enjoy the three mountain scenery, and a bonus for the view of land of sand. Bromo and Batok are located in the middle of a vast plain called the “Segoro Wedi”, Javanese words for the sea of sand. This panoramic view makes Bromo worldly well known for its “stunning sunrise” among the international travelers from all over the world.
One advantage of this sunrise tourism here is the access to Pananjakan I. Travelers do not need to climb the mountain by their selves because here, the SUV will carry travelers to the tip of Pananjakan 😀 What a comfortable way! For those who like to hike, there is also choice to track to the tip of Pananjakan. Sunrise can be enjoyed between 4:30 am – 5:30 pm.
After watching the sunrise, travelers must enjoy Bromo closer. With the same SUV, travelers will be taken to the parking area near mount Batok. It is around 400 meters to Bromo. There are two choices to reach Bromo, one is on foot and another is on a horse! Yes, there are a lot of horses offered by the locals for those who do not want to walk to Bromo. The tariff must be bargained; however the normal price is around IDR50.000 to IDR60.000 one way. I prefer to walk and enjoying each step on the sand.
Not far from the parking area, in the middle of the dessert, there is a Hindus Temple where the locals, called Tengger people, pray and prepare the Kasada ceremony. By the way, name of Bromo is derived from the word Brahma which is taken from Sanskrit, meaning the highest God in Hindu. The Tengger people believe that mount Bromo is the Holy Mountain, therefore there is ceremony held every year in Yadnya Kasada or well known as Kasada ceremony as the symbol of gratitude to God for the bless in life. This ceremony is held during the full moon, between dates of 14-16 in the tenth month of java lunar calendar.
Reaching the Bromo, I encountered the long stairs to the top of Bromo. There are around 150 stairs which will help travelers to see the crater from the top. And… after a small effort to climb the stairs, finally I reached the top of Bromo. There is a crater, active one, producing smokes and smell of sulfur. The diameter of the crater is around 800 meters (north – south) and around 600 meters (east – west).
Not only was the crater, the view behind me also another spectacular. The scenery of the land of sand and the temple, also mount Batok was also amazing.
After visiting the Bromo, my step continued to the savanna named hill of the Teletubbies. The name comes from the famous serial for children called the Teletubbies since the view of the savanna is so green and hilly like the Teletubbies’ land. I came here with the same SUV since I paid for the package to see three spots: Pananjakan I, Bromo and Teletubbies savanna.
Overall, everything in Bromo is so wonderful, the sunrise, scenery, Bromo and savanna. It was so memorable and it was like recharging and meditating my soul.
Bromo is located in the area of Bromo-Tengger-Semeru Natioanal Park and administratively lays on four regencies named Probolinggo, Pasuruhan, Lumajang and Malang, East Java Province, Indonesia. Bromo is commonly accessed from Malang and Probolinggo.
Things to remember:
- Bromo is cold during morning and it is usually around 3 degrees Celsius. Please be well prepared to bring good jacket, gloves or other warm clothes.
- Accommodation is varying here, from a homestay to a hotel. If budget is limited, staying in local people’s house, called homestay, is a good choice.
- Please also consider the peak season of Indonesia during June – July when all children have their school holiday. Bromo will be crowded in which accommodation and SUV could have higher rate. Also, Pananjakan and Bromo will be full of people which make you difficult to enjoy the place.
- The SUV or Jeep rental is easily found in front of the national park’s gate during afternoon. You may bargain here or join other travelers to rent a jeep together. Ordering a jeep in advance will be beneficial for you in the morning because the jeep will pick you up at your accommodation.
- Food vendors and restaurants are not rare here. You may see the price list before buying.
- Bromo is accessible from Malang and Probolinggo. I came from Probolinggo bus station by a minibus called Bison to the last village of Cemoro Lawang, and it cost IDR 25.000. Please be informed that the Bison will not run after 2 pm.
- Last but not least, prepare your camera batteries and memory card, otherwise you will miss the scenes 😀
A bonus for you guys, a stunning video from Mr. Justin Ng (This is the coolest Bromo time-lapse video I have ever watched):