Ijen Volcano: Foedsie to the Top!
If you are going to climb the Ijen Volcano or via Java with the ferry to Bali, then you will pass Banyuwangi anyway. What a great place name. We came here especially for the Ijen trek, but were very surprised by our stay at Bangsri Breeze and the beautiful surroundings around it. The center of Banyuwangi itself is one that you prefer to skip. The city is very dirty and unfortunately has little to offer. If you want to see something more of Banyuwangi, go to Bangsri Breeze. A beautiful resort in a beautiful green area.
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How to get to Banyuwangsi
In Java it is always best to take the train. This may cost you a little more, but you will spend nearly half as much on traveling. From Surabaya you can easily catch a train to Banyuwangi which takes about 5 hours. A train also goes from Yogyakarta, only it takes a little longer. If you travel on a tight budget, you can always take a bus.
We are a big fan of Uber and Grab and have used this a lot in Java. Unfortunately this stopped at Banyuwangi. Once you have arrived at Banyuwangi you will have to arrange a taxi somewhere and they will know how to charge you nice prices.
Bangsri Breeze, the place to sleep in Banyuwangi
Do you want to start the Ijen trek rested or just relax after the trek then this is definitely the best place to go. How wonderful this was. It sincerely felt a bit like home, only a lot more luxurious. The people are so sweet and friendly, the surroundings are beautiful and the villa is wonderful. I cannot think of a negative point about this stay.
The Bangsri Breeze villas have everything (even HBO). A lovely sitting area, a super nice bed, a spacious terrace with a fantastic view and a bathroom that looks more like a ballroom. What is this enjoyment say. Recharge your batteries in this beautiful villa.
After unpacking our things, we drink our drink on our terrace and enjoy the view. We decide not to do much anymore for the rest of the day. Lying nicely at the pool, enjoying good food in the restaurant and as icing on the cake we also book a massage. Read more about Bangsri Breeze.
One of our highlights of our trip the Ijen Trekking. However, it started badly. The tour that we had booked was terrible. The homestay, which had been arranged by the organization, was incredibly filthy and the guide could not speak a word of English and tried to push ahead. However, once you reach the top you forget everything.
We both underestimated the hike
We had both underestimated the trip to the top. We do a lot of sports and every now and then I even put on my running shoes and I run relatively easily for 10 km. The Ijen draw can even be done by children I was told, so this would be a breeze. Not so. This is completely different. We people from the low countries, are not used to high altitudes and steep parts walk up in pitch darkness. In the beginning it went relatively well, but after an hour of walking steeply up the sweat pearls started to appear on my forehead.
I had dressed like an Eskimo because everyone knew that it would be sooooo cold. Well if your guide wants to get to the top as quickly as possible and everyone runs past, you will soon feel very warm. After stopping a few times and walking for about 2 hours we reach the top and then another trip is waiting down.
The trip to the crater was my least favorite piece. What a terrible crowd. With hundreds at the same time, everyone tries to come down a narrow road. Dangerous and quite frustrating. Because of course there are always people who try to push in or can’t wait.
Once downstairs we could admire the magical bluefire. And it certainly was magical. Very special and well worth the trip down. Not only the bluefire, but also the miners who still work there every day in the terrible sulfur stench were special to see. And while we walk around with gas masks, they work here without any protection. Then they walk with large baskets up through the crowd (which is already difficult for us without baskets). Very handsome.
A magical view
The sun appears slowly behind the mountains and we decide to go up again. Again along the crowd, a lot of waiting and after quite a climb we reach the top. Because we left at 1 AM, we have not seen anything of the area. But here we are at 5 o’clock in the morning with a beautiful sunrise and the most magical environment. This is without a doubt the most beautiful view I have ever seen.
Daar staan we dan op 2800 meter hoogte. Wanneer je van de top in de krater kijkt, is de bluefire bijna niet meer zichtbaar, maar verschijnt het blauwe meer in de krater. Samen met de mist en de opkomende zon een bijzonder gezicht. Maar het uitzicht om de vulkaan heen is misschien wel het meest indrukwekkend. Wat is dit mooi zeg. Overal zie je prachtige bergen verschijnen uit de wolken. Een geweldige ervaring.
Ijen draw books
Many people book an Ijen draw together with the Bromo. However, these are pretty tough days. You leave at the Bromo in the middle of the night and the next day you continue straight after the Ijen where you have to get up again at 1 AM. We therefore chose to do only the Ijen and go to Banyuwangi ourselves (this is very easy to do). But we have heard very nice stories about the Bromo volcano. You can easily book a tour in Banyuwangi yourself. We booked a trek with Pepe tour but found this very disappointing. It is best to arrange a tour in the city and specifically ask for an English speaking guide.