Must See Before You Die: Sunrise @ Bromo

Want to go on a memorable 3 night holiday & spend less than RM1500 in total covering meals, accommodation, transportation & souvenirs?
You don't have to look any further than our good ol' neighbour, Indonesia.

I was in Indonesia with my girlfriend, to view the sunrise at a lookout point overlooking the plains & 3 mountains including the world famous active volcano, Mt Bromo.

Dear friends, let me share with you that the sunrise at the Bromo Highlands is something you MUST SEE BEFORE YOU DIE.
It is breathtakingly picturesque & probably something you will never be able to experience anywhere else!
No photo will be unable to capture the beauty of the experience.
I took a lot of time just standing there taking in the beauty & praising God for his creation.
Furthermore, there's nothing more romantic than holding your girlfriend in your arms while the both of you watch the whole world light up before you.

How did I get to the Bromo Highlands?
I took a flight to Surabaya (the nearest airport) & took a 2-3hr train ride (75k rp) to Probolinggo (the stopover town).
At Probolinggo, a private air-conditioned transport (200k rp) arranged with my hotel took me to the Bromo Highlands (about 1.5hrs).

Actually, the air-conditioned transport is unnecessary because soon you'll be high enough to enjoy the cool mountain air. Non air-conditioned transport costs only 150k rp.
There is also public transportation you can take. It's significantly cheaper but it will cost you time.
You will have to hire a "becha" (bicycle taxi) from the train station to the bus station & hop on any of the green minibuses which will stop at every hotel in the highlands.
Bear in mind that the minibus will wait until it is full before departing so find one that is almost full.
Take the minibus only if you have plenty of time & minimal baggage.

Where did I stay?
I stayed at Yoschi's Guest House.
It's a charming hotel with remarkably friendly & helpful staff.
They speak English too.

I arranged my transportation to & from the Probolinggo train station with the hotel.
I also arranged for my trip to Mt Bromo with the hotel.
They were helpful and willing to explain all our options.

I took a room with an en suite which costs 200k rp per night.
The hotel experience is like staying in a traditional Indonesian rattan/wooden house!
I loved it!
Do remember to bring along some repellent because there are lots of mosquitoes at night.

The restaurant serves very elaborate & delicious Indonesian as well as Western fare.
They serve the same menu for lunch & dinner but they have a special menu for breakfast.
I recommend the Nasi Campur Yoschi, Sup Soto-Ayam, the potato breakfast dishes & the Indonesian pancakes.
Our 3 meals (for two) costed us around 250k rp.

The Journey To the Lookout Point
To get to the lookout point, we had to leave the hotel at 3am in a jeep.
You could charter a jeep for private use for 300k rp or you could do what I did, share a jeep with ppl from other hotels for 100k rp per person.

The jeep took us through extremely steep climbs, sandy plains & snakey mountain roads for about 1.5hrs before we arrived at the lookout point.
At one point there is an entrance fee to pay. It is 25k rp per foreigner. Indonesians pay a cheaper fee.
It was very cold at the lookout point so remember to bring some warm clothing or hire some from any hotel for around 30k rp.

There were many local & foreign visitors that day.

The Trek To Mt Bromo
On our way back to the hotel, we stopped for a trek to the top of Mt Bromo.
I've never seen an active volcano up close so I was very curious.
But it was a veeeeeeeery long walk.
The picture above was taken at the top of the mountain. But to get there is a tiresome 30 min walk on sand from way before the Hindu temple at the base of the mountain.

There are horses you can take for 20k-50k rp depending on how far away you are from the top.
And because of these horses, those of you who decide to go by foot like the strong & adventurous me, will have to watch our steps because there are loads and loads of horse sheet &, at some areas, the concentration of horse urine is so thick that it makes my eyes tear.

Ahh~~ So this is what the crater of a collapsed volcano looks like...

Other Things I Learned
Here are some things I've learned from travelling to Indonesia.

**The Value of Indonesian Money**
Not looking at the conversion rate, I was surprised to find that the value of Indonesian money is high.
The cost of living must be so high because the value of 1k rupiah is roughly 70% of RM1 and it is not easy for them to make 1k rp.
You will find that the prices of certain things in Indonesia are not too much different from those back home.
However, thanks to the generous conversion rate, you can experience premium items at a hefty discount!

**Tipping in Indonesia**
There is a tipping culture in Indonesia.
Taxi drivers will be extra friendly, porters will be extra helpful & waiters will be extra hospitable.
When they are, give them a few thousand rp as a tip to express your appreciation.

**Taking the Train**
There are 3 types of tickets: First Class, Business Class & Economy Class.
First Class tickets place you in quiet airtight air-conditioned 2 seater carriages.
Business Class tickets place you in stuffy & piercingly noisy fan-cooled 2 seater carriages. (Noisy because of friction between the train's wheels & the tracks.)
Economy Class tickets place you in carriages that are overcrowded & never to be considered by weary travellers!

**Be On Alert & Trust Nobody**
Indonesia is a country with a high crime rate & harsh living conditions.
Make sure that your valuables are secure & be aware of pickpockets in crowded areas.
Foreigners should never wander the streets at night or, in some places, even during the day.
Be aware that people who want your business will follow you & pester you to hire them or buy their products.
Be safe & be wise when you are in the cities.
Finally, do try to enjoy yourself! =)


  1. The view from Mt Bromo is so breathtaking!

    The 1st pic reminds me of the view from Mt Kinabalu^^

    BTW is it me or the egg memang blue colour?

  2. Thats helpful!
    You've enticed me enough to consider it. Heh.

    ps: I thought the egg looked blue too but I figured it was due to the lighting. xx

  3. Ok...I've seen it! See photo also the same, can die liao! Hahahahahahaha!!!

  4. great holiday....hope nxt yr will be my turn =)

  5. enjoyed reading this entry. thanks for the tips, jarod! -atiqah

  6. your picture...looks pretty diff from your previous post! lol

  7. Ooooh the geologist in me is totally turned on.. and jealous. i'll need to make my way there one day :D

  8. we should go on a trip to places like this with the brothers dude...

  9. Connie: YES IT IS!! You need to be there to 'feel' it!
    p/s: Egg is blue because the canvas over our heads was blue.

    Sarah: GO GO GO! It wud be even cheaper for someone who makes POUNDS!

    Arthur: What la... So fast wan die liao meh?

    Alice: Make it happen, Alice!

    Atiqah: No worries!

    Fiona: Mine is better right? haha~~
    There was a thick layer of mist due to the wet season so most of the land below was veiled with cottony fluff.

    Epal: Yes, I did!

    June: Are you going to make love to the rocks? haha~~

    Hafiz: We should! But not everyone got the budget la~~ haha~~

    ShinYi: Awesome leh! Next time go Indon instead of Singapore!

  10. It was awesome, wasnt it? You finally got to see me in sneakers, panting all the way to the top of the crater. Wasnt my most fabulous self, but to be there with you was worth it!

  11. You did manage to look good while you were panting & sweating. hehe~~
    Yeah, it was a truly memorable trip!

  12. I enjoy reading this Yong, though I've been there. I paid more for the jeep, of course after 2 years, there's always increasing cost we spend, right? : D yeah, ure totally correct, we neeed warm clothing, it's really coooold there especially at the view point area before sunrise.

    1. Yeah... Inflation is a horrible thing. But it's worth the money.
      Bromo is a very beautiful place!!

  13. Jarod, thank you for useful advices on travelling to Mount Bromo. I'm actually planning to go there as my next destination but I don't think I want to stay there for 3 nights. Are 2 nights enough for us?

    1. 5 years ago, there was only an evening flight to Surabaya so we had to spend 1 night there first before making our way to Probolinggo the next day.

      I think that 2 nights would be possible depending on when your flight arrives in Surabaya & when it departs. That would be your major consideration. If you could get to Probolinggo & the highlands on Day 1, it's possible to cut 1 night off your trip.

      Have a good one! The views were magnificent!

  14. its very usefull post to be a guide to visit Mount Bromo


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