Java is the largest island in Indonesia and is split into West, Central, and East. You have many developed cities in West Java, like Bandung. There are also hot springs, beaches and mountain resorts there. Central Java is where you find the capital, Jakarta. It is also home to the cultural hub – Yogyakarta. Moving east, you have east Java. Here are 10 Things To Do In East Java.
Bucket List for East Java
East Java is known for their Javanese coffee, mountains, and volcanos. The area is populated with mountains and volcanos, as well as national parks. Here are 10 things to add in your bucket list when you are in East Java!
East Java Bucket List
1. Shop at the countless malls in Surabaya – Check out Plaza Tunjungan.
It is so huge, you will need 3 days to finish walking the entire mall. In fact, it is the largest mall in East Java! Established in 1986, the mall is one of the most famous landmarks in Surabaya. There are a total of 5 blocks in the entire mall. Happy shopping!
Name: Tanjungan Plaza
Address: Jl. General Basuki Rachmat No. 8-12, Surabaya (TP I-III), Jalan Embong Malang No. 7-21, Surabaya (TP IV)
2. Drink Javanese coffee in Banyuwangi
Coffee is one of the most important drink in Indonesia. I have never met an Indonesian that does not drink coffee! Javanese coffee is called Jawa Kopi, made from Arabica coffee beans in Java. The distinct taste lies in the strong, black and very sweet flavor.
Do also try out Kopi Luwak when you are in Indonesia! Kopi Luwak is also known as the “poo coffee”. Civet cats digest these coffee seeds and then it is processed to make one of the most expensive coffees in the world.
You can find them in many tourist cafes. They sell for quite an affordable price too. Make sure it is civet cat coffee and not weasel coffee. The latter is cheaper and usually sold as the former to cheat tourists.
3. Witness the rainbow waterfall (Coban Pelangi) in Malang
Coban Pelangi is 30km away from Gubukklakah, Malang in East Java. You can visit this waterfall after Mount Bromo or Mount Semeru. The entrance to the waterfall is not far from the roadside, with many cars parked on the roadside. You have to walk for 1 hour before arriving. After crossing the bridge (known as “love bridge”), you will arrive with the gorgeous waterfall. Be careful when approaching the waterfall because it is slippery and there are visible marks of an avalanche.
To witness the gorgeous rainbow at the waterfall, visit Coban Pelangi waterfall on a sunny day between 10:00 to 12:00. The rainbow is why this waterfall is so exotic.
While you are checking out waterfalls, also check out Mangunharjo waterfall near Bromo. This waterfall consists of 5 other waterfalls falling into a pool below. It is a short journey from Mount Bromo, so it is a great refreshing destination after a dirty hike!
4. Witness blue flames from Ijen Plateau
Remember to check out the world’s largest acidic volcanic crater lake! Mount Ijen is a volcanic mountain with the gorgeous blue flame at the crater. Hike down at dawn to see the blue flames and the sunrise. Also, met the locals there, as they share with you about mining sulfur in the area.
5. Catch wild deer running freely in Baluran National Park
Known as the Savannah of Indonesia, the Baluran National Park is a huge area where animals can run about freely. We saw a herd of water buffalos, deer, and other animals. If you are lucky, you can even see huge cats like Javan leopards.
My favourite is to chill by Bama beach, which in the park. My friend brought a hammock and I fell asleep while chilling with the sea breeze! On the way back, we stopped to check out the skeletons of animals, and was attacked by a bunch of monkeys for food!
6. Whitewater rafting at Pekalen river, Probolinggo
The Pekalen River is located 26km away from Probolinggo. There are 3 grades of water rafting with 30 rapids rafting. You will need an afternoon or a morning to enjoy this activity. The area is divided into 3 segments: top Pekelan, middle Pekalen and bottom Pekelan, each 12km, 7km and 10km respectively. During your rafting journey, you can also visit caves with hundreds of wild bats. From normal trip to extreme or expedition, you can be sure to find an adventure package suitable for you.
7. Enjoy the sun in Teluk Hijau, Green Bay
Green Bay is a hidden emerald gem in Banyuwangi. Emerald clear waters, soft white sand and an 8 meter high waterfall, decorated with colorful corals! Isn’t heaven just a place on earth, albeit it is a little tough to reach?
It is located in Meru National Park Betiri. The trail is steep and rocky; you will have to go down the hill and through the woods to reach an area. The area is called Stone Coast. The once sandy beach became a rocky stone coast after the tsumani in 1994.
From the beach, Green Bay is located 300m away. It is hidden behind a small cliff on the west of Stone Coast. Keep following the path into the woods, until you have past the water flow and cliff. When you see 2 rocks, you have found the hidden gem!
8. Discover the hidden treasure of Teluk Biru, Blue Bay
The water is so clear that it gives off the turquoise blue, hence the name, Blue Bay. Not many know about this hidden paradise. Blue Bay is great for diving with the gorgeous natural coral reeds. You can also canoe in the area.
Blue bay is located in Alas Purwo National Park, behind Sembulungan peninsula. To ask the locals, ask them where “Senggrong” is.
9. Snorkel in Nusa Barung Island
Another natural charm, this island is as beautiful as phi-phi island in Phuket. Located in East Java, is it part of the Jember regency. The island is a natural reserve since 1920, and no one lives there. Hence, you can only image how beautiful the area is. The underwater is populated with marine fishes and beautiful coral reefs in blue sparkling water. A great destination for snorkeling and diving!
10. Ride the horse across the sea of sand
When visiting Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, you can ride the horse across the sea of sand to get to the foot of the mountain. It makes one feel like you are back in the olden Korean or Chinese times, where the royal families ride horses to meet each other. Or maybe I watch too much drama. But be sure to also watch sunrise when you visit Mount Bromo too!
Getaway from East Java
Finished playing and exploring in East Java, where’s next? East Java has so much to offer. After completing the 10 items in East Java bucket list, head no more to explore the other destinations.
If you are at Banyuwangi, take the boat or bus to Bali. Bali is the hotspot for travellers, looking for the “authentic” Indonesian experience; however you want to define authentic. It is also a great party place, if you are up for any partying, or simply just to chill by the beach or the luxurious villas.
Take the train or long distance bus to Yogyakarta after your adventures in East Java. Visit the ruins of the ancient temples. Also visit the Jomblang cave when you have time!
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.