Bondowoso is a town in East Java, Indonesia.
Bondowoso is a lost ancient city, heart of East Javanese culture, and is most convenient western gateway to one of the most famous and extraordinary of the world's volcanoes – Ijen Crater. This is one of the most convenient starting point to climb both Ijen and Bromovolcanos. Don’t stop only at this point because this place has many ancient stones scattered in various districts and almost forgotten. It is the pearl of images of Java as such, lush with green rice fields, combined with coconut trees tall and proud, rivers and streams like the veins of the jungle areas, hidden villages of ancient tribes and agricultural folk each and every conversing with their own particular language, having their own specific rituals, beliefs, and food characteristics. In Bondowoso and around one can find various ancient produces, family factories, like tofu and tempeh production, such as villages which main concern is tile production. People of the Bondowoso region are friendly and smiling, always helpful, and are happy to have you in their home as most welcoming guests. As all places in this region, it is also Alun - Alun town, which is the gathering place of society, city square-like green area of the place. In the north of Alun – Alun there is an old building of Dutch heritage that now has become Bondowoso SMP 1 and also there is a building called Hall Regents.In the city to the south there is Tourist Office where one can gather all the necessary information. Very soon there will be bycicles and motorbikes to rent. One has to visit the traditional morning market, very close to the bus station of the city. Have a nice breakfast, drink refreshing teh manis (sweet hot tea) and enjoy the busy market mornings with the warm local smiles. Leave yourself at least 4 days of exploring this place and around. The impression is stronger when you plunge yourself in talks with the locals, get a bike and get lost in the rice fields chatting with the farmers with straw hats and big smiles, get amused with the live music you will be hearing along every time you jump into a public bus squeezing your place for at least half a seat. .
Main languages are Madurase – language of the region, and Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian standard language). One can always meet people who speak basics of English as well. Conversations are easy going with locals, due to their open hearts and warmth to meet and help the tourists
There is only one transport to get to the city, using public buses from Probolinggo, Jember or Situbondo. Arriving from Jember, one has to change the minibus in Arjasa. There is no time schedual for buses, they leave when they are full. The cost of a minibus from Jember to Arjasa is 5000 Rp, and from Arjasa to Bondowoso 6000 Rp (2016). the cost of bus from Probolinggo is 20.000 Rp, ( you could find Bus Direction to Bondowoso from Probolinggo bus station ).
note : never pay the bus ticket before you have seat on bus ( pay to the bus crew when the bus moving from bus station / bus stop )
Get becak (a bycicle rikshaw) from the station which will take you to a hotel or around city, or just walk around the town (30 minutes to go all around the place). Start from the town center Alun- Alun, visiting the main Masjid (mosque), going south of Alun- Alun there is a famous monument named Monumen Gerbong Maut. going further the sout of Alun - Alun there is tourist office building ( 30 minute by walk ) and also there is FLODISTA souvenir shop just front of Palm Hotel, directing towards east of Alun- Alun in around 20 minutes there is the traditional morning market, very close to it there is a bus station, police station and the old train station.
- • The main town Bondowoso itself has to offer amazingly beautiful small side-streets. There is a local Muslim school, private houses and local grocery shops. Also there is a nice
labyrinth of tiny narrow streets around the traditional morning market. Alun- Alun is the center of social life in the early and late evening hours.
- Ijen and Bromo volcanos. Bondowoso is just in between of the two major Java's attractions- most mesmerizing gigantic volcanos. Visiting and climbing can all be arranged from your accommodation or through touristic office. Usually tourist start the journey late evening (at around 11pm) to reach the most spectacular viewpoints at the sunrise.
- Around Bondowoso, south from Alun- Alun in the direction of Jember, after the roundabout (known as Nangkaan) turn the small street on your right side and soon you will find a house with the sign in front Tape 31 (on your left hand). You can go inside and have a look at the whole process of making fermented food made of cassava, their favorite rooted vegetable. Tape is the name of this favorite food. They broadcast their products on the local market, to add they have their own shop in the direction north-east from Alun-Alun towards the morning market.
- Very close to this place, there is another interesting souvenir- workshop place worth visiting. From Bondowoso go to the big roundabout and walk towards Jember (south) – turn left, then turn second street right. The workshop place is named Bale Roso. It is artistically decorated beautiful coffee shop with handmade wooden and bamboo structures, original Indonesian souvenirs. You can have a drink and eat at the place, and try some handicraft on your own. Don't forget to enjoy the welcoming of always smiling hosts.
- Kalianyar Village, beautiful cool place away from the bustle of the city (15 kilometers south of Bondowoso). Catch a local minibus from the public bus station driving towards Tamanan. From Bondowoso you can reach this village by motorbike and bycicle, via amazingly green and lush rice fields, stop in a coffee shop for a drink and chit chat with the locals. Kalianyar is very famous for tile production. In and around the village you can enjoy the process of rice farming in the rainy season, usually starting in November until April. In the dry season, farmers begin to plant tobacco (around May) and the processing is a unique activity to be seen (late August or early September). There are performances of traditional music which can be seen every Saturday night. There are various prehistoric stones such as Kenong Stone, sarkofag,grave stone and others,that will be find scattered at several sub-districts like Grujugan,Maesan,Wringin,and Cerme.
- Around Kalianyar village and Tamanan there are various families producing fresh tofu and fermented soy bean (Tempe), as their favorite food. You can enter houses and see or ask about the whole process.
- It is therefore a great place and opportunity to meet and see the locals who have been living there for centuries, get to know their culture, delicious village food, houses, or get a chance to talk to a village chairman.
- Check the traditional Batik workshop in Tamanan. It is placed 500m from Alun- Alun in Tamanan, direction south, close to the local Police station. It's name is Magenda Batik. Over there you can watch the whole process of batik making, you can buy some of it's original products, and also take some time to do your own batik handcraft project. It's worthed fun experience and you can make your own little original souvenir!
- there is also one nice place to visit "Prajekan cultural tourism village" 25 Km northern ( direction to Situbondo )of Bondowoso, in this village you could see traditional performance art such as Gamelan, Tari ( dance ) Topeng Konah, Singo Ulung, Pojien dan Ojung
- do the trip cycling around the Kalianyar village, is a very interesting activity, we can see the villager activity and feel the culture as well . Kalianyar village besides having beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere, is also famous for two objects of interest are: the process of making tofu and tile for roof, so we could visit the place of manufacture of tiles, as well as learn to keep up. see the process of making tofu, too exciting. If you are interested in a genuine spiritual experience you could make visit to an authentic dukun (holy man and spiritual healer and counselor) Pak Hasan living in a nearest village that he will resolve your anxieties and cure your ailments. Moreover if u
are vegetarian he will may amazing you with a great nasi JAMU campur (rice boiled with fresh or cooked vegetables) embellished with ten or more rare herbs grown organically in his garden and picked up and cooked personally with his own hands. Delicious!
- go to Sempol, there are many destination beside the amazing Ijen. you could go Puncak Megasari (take off Paragliding ) to see beautiful sunrise spot, camping ground and also to see Paragliding. Kawah Wurung one's of the old and not active crater close with Ijen Crater. if you like to do natural therapy just go inside of Hot Spring in Belawan Sempol. Coffee Plantation is covered almost all Sempol area, you could see the coffee bean and also picking process from July to September.
- if you are coffee lover : just go to Sukosari district
Explore all the small side streets of the town, and with the sounds of the Masjids calling, try out various Indonesian food, such as nasi goreng (fried rice), nasi lalapan (plain rice with boiled vegetables), mi goreng (fried yellow noodles), ikan goreng (fried fish), nasi pecal (plain rice with vegetable curries, with egg, fried tempeh, bean sprouts garnished with spiced peanut sauce), soto (various soups with meat balls). If one is brave enough, there are places to eat for as much as 4000 Rp per as much as you can have (which basically means after you finish your plate, you can always ask for more). Sweet tea (teh manis), cold or iced is the favorite drink in any time of the day. Coffee is also usual, of course very much sweetened with white sugar.
One of the special drinks one must try is avocado shake with ice, condensed milk and chocolate. Don't forget the favorite among the locals: sweet cassava drink Tape
- Palm Hotel, near Alun-Alun / Citysquare
- Anugerah Hotel, near Alun-Alun / Citysquare
- Baru Hotel, near Alun-Alun / Citysquare
- Ijen View Hotel, around 500 meter south of Bus station
- Home Stay at Kalianyar Village, 15 Kilometers south of the City.
If you interested visit the area near Bondowoso you can email to this address: email@example.com
- Kalianyar Village 15 Kilometers south from the town.
- Jember for Meru Betiri National Park and Watu Ulo.
- Baluran National Park.
- To catch a train you need to go by bus to Jember or Probolinggo. To travel further west go to either Probolinggo or Jember. Jember might be your easier option for either trains or buses any direction to east or west if you are traveling on your own organization. Probolinggo has a bad reputation for mafia controlling the traffic. Beware that Jember has 3 different and distant bus stations, chech before which one you are heading at.