When in doubt, of where to visit in Java, just head to East Java. East Java has the famous volcano hikes and the famous island of Bali. Bali is an island on its own, just to the east of Java island. Here are the off the tourist tracks in East Java.
East Java is known for their Javanese coffee, mountains, and volcanoes. The area is populated with mountains and volcanoes, as well as national parks.
Hiking a Crater: Mt Bromo
Mt Bromo is a famous spot in East Java, Indonesia. If you are there, you MUST hike Mt Bromo. It’s an active volcano crater, so read the news to make sure it is not active then. I recommend you to stay near Mt Bromo.
If the volcano is erupted and Mr Bromo is closed, you can hike up Pananjakan instead. It has a good view of the area. Consider a hike up Mt. Batur for sunrise photography. It’s a lovely view during that time.
Guides for Mt Bromo:
See Blue Flames: Mt Ijen
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.
It is only one of the few places in the world, where you can witness this amazing phenomenon of blue flames.
Also see: 10 Bucket List of East Java
When you are in Indonesia, you must visit the waterfalls! It is off the tourist tracks in East Java. You almost never see tourists. It is usually just locals.
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.
Also do check out: 10 Bucket List Items in Indonesia
Madakaripura Waterfall is usually included in the day trip after watching sunrise from Mt Bromo and hike the crater. About 30min drive away from Bromo (national park), the waterfall is only accessible by private vehicle.
If you are on your own:
- Hire an ojek (motor-taxi) for a day and tell them that you are going to Mt Bromo and Madakaripura Waterfall.
- Maybe you manage to hitch a ride, hike or find your way to Mt Bromo. After that, you can call an ojek or ask your crater guide in Mt Bromo to get an ojek, and make your way down to Madakaripura Waterfall.
- If you know how to ride a motorcycle, rent one for a day and visit Madakaripura Waterfall after Mt Bromo. Open the location in google maps and it will guide you.
After arriving at the main square, where you will see food and parking facilities, continue walking inwards for about 20-25min till you see the waterfalls. There is only one path leading to the waterfall.
Check out my detailed experience here. With prices.
City Life: Surabaya
Surabaya is the largest city in East Java. It is a really busy city with quite a big expat life, outside of Jakarta. One place you have to check out is the largest mall in East Java: 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.
Ps: You must try the Apeng Kwetiaw dish in Surabaya!
Beach and Chill: Bali and Lombok
Bali is the other destination. Bali and Lombok are 2 islands just off the coast of East Java. We will create a new post just for Bali and Lombok! Stay tuned.
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.