11/07/2018 – 12/07/2018
Kawah Ijen in a few words
Ijen is another active volcano of the Java island, located in the far east. This volcano is different because of its sulfur mined crater. Minors transport two to three loads of 70-100kg a day and they can earn 1k IDR/kg at basecamp. Each load gets them at least 70k-100k IDR (4-6€) and a salary of 140k IDR/day (8€). Does not seem much, but it is actually a very good salary in Indonesia. This explains why locals keep on mining it generations after generations.
As a comparison, people cutting grass to feed their cows earn 20k IDR/day (1,20€) from their milk.
How to get there?
- From the West (Surabaya, Probolinggo, Bondowoso, ..)
- Whatever you starting point, you will have to make a stop at Sempol village and book a jeep through a tour
- From the East (Bali, Banyuwangi, …)
- Whatever you starting point, you will have to make a stop at Banyuwangi town and book a jeep through a tour
Coming from Probolinggo, we took a local bus « Bémo » to Banyuwangi, 60k IDR/pp(3,6€), 8 hours. Do not trust any tout, as they will say whatever they can to make you buy a ticket! They promised us a direct, non-stop bu of 4 hours that will drop us off at the southern bus station in Banyuwangi… We got dropped off at the northern one (called Katangan), north of the ferry terminal to Bali at night. We managed to get on a yellow minibus to the city centre that we paid 10.000 IDR/pp (0,6€) (twice the local price).
Tired and upset about the bus trip from Probolinggo, we just stayed at the first hotel we passed by in the city centre. We rent a room at the « Anda Hotel » for 65.000 IDR/night (4€). We had a comfortable small twin room, fan and shared bathroom. Only problem was that people smoked everywhere and it smelled through the door… Nice place only for a couple of nights.
Most cheap accommodations (less than 10€/night) are located in the south-west of town, all around the train station.
Most people come here only as a starting point to a night trekking to Ijen. There is no public transport to Ijen, especially at night… The only way to get there is by jeep, through a tour booked in any hotel in town. Usually, they ask 150.000 IDR/pp (9€) (excluding the entrance ticket, 100.000 IDR/pp – 6€). Are included:
- Jeep to Ijen and back (starting around 12AM usually)
- Stop at the coffee and cloves plantations
- Stop at the Jagir waterfall
Tips: Ask beforehand to your hotel to switch the Jagir waterfalls to the « Kalipait » sulfur waterfalls if you can. Kalipait waterfalls are located only 3km up the road to Ijen. Usually, tours will take you only to Jagir because it is on the way back, but it is not worth it (especially if you went to Laos…). Ask at your hotel first and confirm beforehand. Although we did and confirmed again with our driver, we did not manage to change his agenda…
Kawah Ijen pics
How to leave Banyuwangi?
- Northern Bus station
- Ferry to Bali (6.500 IDR/pp – 0,40€)
- Southern Bus Station