If watching the sunrise on, or rather near, an active volcano is on your bucket list then consider travelling Mount Bromo in Eastern Java, Indonesia a visit – this is THE destination if you’re wickedly crazy about nature! A gentle warning: you will be expected to leg it pretty hard, and perspiring (quite a bit) is almost a per-requisite.
As dangerous and uncomfortable as it may sound, be assured as it is a popular tourist spot – thousands travel to this location yearly to catch a glimpse of the mountains’ magnificence. Residing in the “Sea of Sand” or Laut Pasir as the locals would say, the spread of grey volcanic sand, constant passage of smoke clouds emitted by more volcanoes surrounding Mount Bromo, it is a true sight to behold. Part of the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, a protected area, and visitors can ride on ponies across the sand too! Trekking is also one of the popular to-do things over here.
Roughly a four-hour drive from Surabaya, Mount Bromo’s active state will keep your eyes occupied as you follow the movements of clouds and perhaps find peace within. The sea of grey contrasts with the spots of green flora around it poses an unearthly combination of colours.
Like many Southeast Asian tourists spots, there are bound to be some sort of myth and legends surround encircling it. It was said that this very place was where a prince sacrificed himself for his family to keep them alive due the promise they made to the gods. Hence offerings of poultry, vegetables or even money are thrown into the crater during an annual festival of Yadnya Kasada, or Upacara Kasodo, the 12th month of the Tenggerese calendar (held during July last year). You can be assured of quite a spectacle if you’re planning to travel to Mount Bromo during this period.
Most of inhabitants are Tenggerese, a subdivision of the remaining Hindu villagers. The villagers can get quite anti-tourists sometimes, as there have been cases of them chasing tourists away from their vicinities. Do proceed with caution and remain close to your guide.
To get there:
Daily Flights from Changi Airport to Juanda International Airport Surabaya
Duration: 2 hours
Must Catch: The Sunrise from Mount Bromo