Blogs from Ijen Plateau, Java, Indonesia, Asia


Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau September 30th 2020

Ijen crater had been on my wish list but prior to 2017, it was not easily accessible. Thanks to the local government who renovated and expanded the green, international airport, today, Banyuwangi is easily accessible from Jakarta. Unlike any other volcano craters in Indonesia, the 722 meter diameter crater is the largest one in Indonesia; it also well known for the blue fire. Ijen crater got popular after it was being featured in BBC's documentary film, Human Planet, due to its rare blue sulfur flame or blue fire. The thought of climbing 2,799 meter crater was daunting as I was not a mountain person, and the best time to start the climb is slightly after midnight after the gate is open in order to reach bluefire before sunrise. I and friends, Kiko and Candy, were surprise ... read more
Ijen Crater
The high sulphur content smoke coming out from the crater
The sight of crowds at 5 am

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau November 17th 2016

My plan, or lack thereof, to meet Fahmi’s friend Risti did not work out. I showed up at the Malang train station at 4am after an eight hour ride from Yogyakarta. Never a good time to call someone for a pick up. So after little or no sleep on the train I decided to sleep on a bench in the train station. Not my finest moment of travel but not my worst either. Three hours later I was woken up by security and was told without a ticket I would have to leave the building. Shoving the taxi mafia aside outside the gates I found a payphone and for the next hour was unsuccessful in getting an answer from Risti. Without a plan or any options I cut ties with Malang and took the local minibus ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau October 13th 2016

Day 7+ Still technically Day 7, the alarm is set for 2300 to wake up for the overnight trek to Kawah Ijen. We have a 2 hr drive to get to the trail head. It's a winding, poorly sealed road that leads us up the mountain. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Some background- Kawah Ijen is a volcano complex in East Java, situated within it is an active sulphur mine at the base of the crater. It is also the location of the famous blue fire - the largest of only 2 blue flame sites in the world. The electric blue flame is ignited sulphuric acid that vents out of the crater and can reach heights of 5m (temperatures reach up to 600 C). Sulphur clouds are frequent. A ... read more
Sulphur for Sale
Closer To The Base
Sulphur Miner

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau May 20th 2015

The name may not ring any bells but many people may have seen documentaries on Mt Ijen on TV. This active volcano is mined for its sulphur. Day in day out miners trek deep in the crater amongst the towering noxious fumes. Like most visitors to the volcano we ventured inside it at night to get a view of the hypnotic blue flames. Getting here was no easy feat. The infrastructure for doing such tours is geared towards tour packages that move tourists from east to west of Java eventually ending in Bali. We arrived in the transition town of Probolingo with our mini bus dropping us off outside of a tour agency (typical!). Our plan was to catch the local bus from Probolingo to get to the small town of Sempol where we would arrange ... read more
A neighbouring volcano
Sunrise on the ridge we unbeknowingly walked across in the dark
The blue flames of Hell

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau March 14th 2014

9 mars (...a Lovina, Bali) ... Je reussit heureusement a me lever a 6h00AM ce matin. J'aurais certainement dormi plus longtemps, mais le depart en mini-van pour le traversier vers Java se fera a 7h00AM. Daan le Dutch se joint a l'aventure... et c'est Putu, notre chauffeur de l'excursion d'hier qui prendra le volant. "Sorry. I have to drive fast. Sorry" que Putu nous dira. "Today not like yesterday". Quand Putu joue au taxi, il n'a pas la meme latitude que dans un tour. "Ok. Drive fast but safe" que je l'obligerai a me confirmer. Et c'est ainsi, apres un dejeuner creve-la-faim aux nouilles Ramen sur le coin d'une courte table Rubbermade, que nous decollons comme un boulet sur la longue route cotiere du Nord de Bali. Putu a effectivement le pied pesant. Slalom entre les ... read more
Night Snack
Blue Fire
Cratere Ijen

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau October 31st 2013

Today I left Bali for Java. A local bus and a ferry journey. How happy was I to meet Nate and Benny. Two guys from New Zealand rock up in the tour shop I was in and wanted to do the same tour. Ijen Crater, Mount Bromo and Yogyakarta. Yes, this really made my day. The guys are film makers, who were filming their travels in Indonesia to make a short documentary. We had a vehicle drive us to a hotel close by Ijen, with a stop off on route to check out the coffee plantation and the rubber trees. After our rooms were allocated, we walked through the village to a big crazy waterfall, then stopped off at some hot spring baths where we took time to relax our muscles ready for the volcano climb ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau October 24th 2013

It's a 1am start for a 1 hour drive up in a Jeep with MrYono to Kawah Ijen. The walk trail is steep, slippery and it's dark. Fortunately there is a nice moon and its not too cold. The says sign says it's only 3kms, but I doubt that. There are no porters on the trail as yet, and we just a few tourists. We reach the crater rim about 1000mt climb about 3:30am. From here its a straight drop 300mts into the crater floor and where they mine....or more correctly hack out the sulphur with picks. The sulphur deposit glows bright blue as if it's on fire - hence the name fire and brimstone! Lake Ijen is turquoise and very acidic, but in the moonlight of 4am it also glows eerily. It's an amazing It's ... read more
Ijen Crater Lake

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau May 10th 2013

After another long journey in a mini van, we arrived at our accommodation for that night, which was a cute family run, compound type lodge with...a hot tub! This was more than welcome after being stuck in the van all day and we wasted no time in getting in. We had met a couple of really nice Dutch guys (Jos & Wout) on the bus and enjoyed a few beers with them in the tub whilst swapping the usual traveller stories before having quick shower and bite to eat, so that we could get an early night in preparation for our (now regular) 3.30am wake up call. Ijen volcano is a stratovolcano which has a 1km wide turquoise coloured acid crater lake which lies at 2,148m above sea level. The volcano itself produces huge amounts of ... read more
Fresh sulphur from the mine
Amazing sunrise at surrounding volcano's

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau March 20th 2013

This was a real adventure… and quite dangerous one. We set out from Pemuteran early in the morning: half an hour drive to the ferry, an hour by ferry to Java and then 1,5 hour jeep drive to the crater. The ferry trip took a bit of courage. It was full of locals and almost all of them were smoking. The only place with fresh air was the upper deck. The ferry itself was going by some strange route. It would actually take about 15 minutes to get from Bali to Java if go straight. But this was not the case. The ferry was drawing zigzag and circle patterns on water, sometimes turning back to Bali. We thought the ferry captain was drunk. But our driver explained that the ferry was just waiting for a free ... read more
Kawah Ijen infernal landscape
sulphur mine on the lake shore
boiling sulphur

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Ijen Plateau July 29th 2012

Nogmaals een guestpost: Rosas ecolodge in Baluran , dorpswandeling en nationaal park safari In dit dorp, Kampong, is er geen gebrek aan moskeeen, ik denk zo'n 10 tal. ieder godshuis is uitgerust met een versterker en luidsprekers . Tijdens de Ramadan schallen niet alleen de oproepen tot gebed over de daken, maar wordt ook nog eens bijna en continu ,de Koran in't arabisch gereciteerd. sommige moskeeen slagen erin om 3 tot 4 keer na mekaar de Koran op te zingen. Volgens ons de ene moskee tegen de andere op, wat een geweldige kakafonie geeft omdat ook iedereen op een a,dere vers zit. Bijna niemand verstaat er iets van vermoeden we, zoals latijn in onze streken , maar de duty moet uitgevoerd worden. Sommige stemmen zijn blijkbaar van tiener-muezzins , want lijken bijna op vrouwen stemmen, wat ... read more

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