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November 30, 2012

Sunrise & Crossing the Sand Sea to Mt Bromo


It was one of those rare days that I had to ‘force’ myself to sleep before 9pm and struggle out of bed, breaking my own record of setting off at 3:30am to see sunrise over Mt Bromo. From Java Banana Lodge, we took the jeep to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and arrived in less than half an hour.

All were wrapped up in winter clothes, braving the cold (3~4 DegC) in the dark and hiking up Mount Penanjakan with hordes of tourists. Undoubtedly, Bromo is one of the top attractions in Indonesia. The path to the vantage point is moderate slope and not difficult to tread. Take your time but be there to wait for sunrise!

Photos of sunrise taken from Mt Penanjakan do little justice to the spectacular vista that it offers at the vantage point. Everyone was excited to see the first glimpse of sun rays breaking through the clouds, illuminating the enchanting landscapes of the national park.

The golden sun rays passing through trees at the park.

It was at this moment the unworldly landscape of craggy volcanic peaks appeared and totally blew us away.

Does it look like some satellite imagery of other planets?? Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is named after the two active volcanoes – Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru, and the Tengger locals.

The most prominent mountain in the middle as seen from Mount Penanjakan is Mount Batok, a dormant volcano. Mt Bromo is next to Mount Batok and constantly belching thick white smoke. The tallest mountain from afar is Mount Semeru – one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia.

The charming landscape of the famous national park is one of the most photographed sites in Indonesia.

We were all busy clicking away while appreciating the beauty of nature.

Friendly vendors at Mt Penanjakan.

The path that leads us up to Mt Penanjakan.

Horse ride for tourist.

We went back to the jeep that would take us to the Sea of Sand. From there, we rode on horses and climbed up Mt Bromo.

A lovely view of the volcanic landscape of Mt Batok, Mt Bromo and Mt Semeru.

Our jeep driving towards Mt Bromo…

When we reached the Sea of Sand, many came to us with their horses, offering a horse ride at a price to Mt Bromo. Some of us walked across the sand sea while I rode on this beautiful tall horse.

Took these photos while I was riding the horse across the sand sea. The area is very dusty and you definitely need to wear a mask. Also store your belongings in a dust proof bag. I only brought a disposable bag on that trip and it did help to keep away the dust and ash in the volcanic area.

Mind you, after I took many photos with my DSLR, it was filled with very fine dust that could spoil the system. I had to clean it thoroughly after the Bromo trip. Take note!

All well and heading to Mt Bromo, passing by Poten temple in the middle of Bromo caldera.

I truly enjoyed the riding experience across the sand sea. My horse was trotting pretty fast!

Time to get off the horse and some morning exercise again to climb up Mt Bromo.

It is a moderate climb on a rather steep slope. What is disturbing is the winds that throw up volcanic ash and dust in the sand sea.

On Mt Bromo, the scenic panorama of the surroundings is simply jaw-dropping stunning.

The crater of Mt Bromo, belching white sulphurous smoke.

I find it dangerous to walk near the edge of the crater. Be careful. The slope is steep and a mishap could land you into the crater!

Hordes of tourists climbing Mt Bromo, a top attraction in East Java. Look at the wind of dust!

The moonscape of Mt Bromo! Now I need a flag …

A vendor selling drinks on the slope of Mt Bromo.

The dormant Mt Batok.

The Sea of Sand.

I was trying so hard to smile and open my eyes when the wind kept throwing up dust. Simply put, you will be ‘sandwashed’ and covered with lot of volcanic dust.

You can walk across the sand sea but I prefer riding a horse quickly across the dusty area.

The picturesque backdrop of the Sea of Sand.

We left the national park at around 8 am and went back to our lodge.

How to get to Bromo?

From Surabaya airport, it takes about 4 hours drive to Bromo. Malang is the nearest city and it takes 2.5 hr drive to Bromo.

For more information on Bromo, visit Indonesia’s official tourism website: Indonesia.Travel
Bromo: Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park
Mount Bromo: Witnessing the Fascinating Sunrise
My travel article published on Indonesia.Travel website: Moonwalking on Mt Bromo

Read all posts on Travel2Indonesia project.

5 Comments Leave your comment

  • SengkangBabies said on November 30, 2012 9:59 am

    Loved the last few black and white photos, I can feel the dust! and wow, so many tourists! !

    I guess Bromo is not suitable for kids?
    The volcano fumes, the horse rides, would be so spectacular and memorable.

  • eunice said on November 30, 2012 2:21 pm

    Hey babies, it’s really dusty but scenic and unique! Yes it’s a tourist hotspot for people who like to take photos and little adventures. I didn’t see any kids around. It’s safe, just very dusty. I’m not sure if it’s suitable for kids at the sea of sand and climbing Mt Bromo. But watching sunrise over Mt Bromo at Mount Penanjakan should be fine? Java Banana Lodge has awesome views in the cold mountain air.

  • nazirah said on December 1, 2012 1:46 pm

    can’t wait to go there next year! thanks for the info eunice :)

  • Roger said on June 17, 2013 3:04 pm

    Do you reckon Java Banana was worth the money if you were paying for yourself? I heard its the best lodge in the area.

  • yons said on December 8, 2013 2:31 am


    Beautiful pictures taken~

    Just wondering, is mount bromo the only attraction in bromo area?

    Is the other things to see or do in Bromo?


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