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East Java

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Revision as of 06:12, 26 February 2011 by Felix505 (talk | contribs) (add not to info box re deceased eruptive activity - currently stable late feb 2011, however-current VAAC advisories restricted due to extensive cloud cover)

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East Java

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Travel Warning WARNING: Aircraft flight disruptions

Please see the Get in section below for details on disruptions to flights to and from airports in the region arising from the potential ongoing eruption of Tenggar caldera in the Mount Bromo volcano complex located in East Java

Mount Bromo (left) and Mount Semeru (top right) - an iconic image of Indonesia

East Java (Jawa Timur) [1] covers the eastern third of the island of Java, Indonesia, as well as the island of Madura and several small offshore islands.


The spine of East Java is dominated by a series of rugged, spectacular volcanic peaks. The most famous of these are in the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park and Semeru and Bromo together make up one of the great iconic images of Indonesia. There are four volcanic peaks higher than 3,000 metres in the region. This volcanic activity has created a largely fertile area and verdant agriculture is a prominent feature of the area.

Both the north and south coasts offer some beautiful, deep, fine sand beaches and these are another key attraction of the region.

The two large southern national parks of Alas Purwo and Meru Betiri are remote and sparsely populated and represent the nearest thing to a wilderness experience that you will find on Java. In the north-east, Baluran National Park recalls African Savannah plains.

The island of Madura sits off the north eastern coast of the region and is as off-the-beaten-track as you can get in this part of Indonesia. That may be changing though as the road bridge linking Surabaya to Madura opened in mid-2009.

Surabaya is the capital city and Indonesia's second largest. It is though largely bereft of attractions, over-crowded, polluted and supports sprawling industry. Few visitors stay in Surabaya for reasons of tourism. Malang is the second city of the region and a bigger contrast to Surabaya could not be imagined. It is a clean, airy city with an important and interesting history.

Map of East Java


  • Surabaya — capital of the region; Indonesia's second-largest city and a huge industrial sprawl
  • Banyuwangi — the Ijen Crater, famous Java arabica coffee plantations and ferries to Bali
  • Batu — charming old hill town that was formerly a Dutch colonial playground
  • Bojonegoro — teak plantations and the unique Samin culture
  • Jember — large city with verdant hills to the north and beautiful beaches to the south
  • Kediri — Mount Wilis, waterfalls and significant archeological sites
  • Madiun — verdant agriculture and Mount Lawu
  • Malang — cool, clean air and the ancient seat of the Mataram kingdom
  • Probolinggo — gateway to the Bromo-Tengger-Semuru National Park
  • Trowulan
  • Bondowoso - THE LOST ANCIENT,Prehistoric stones scattered in the region and almost forgotten.the Ijen Crater west Gateway

Other destinations


People in East Java speak Indonesian as well as Javanese which they mix together at times. A significant minority also speak Madurese. English will be understood and spoken at large city hotels and at obvious tourist destinations.

For all place names, beware that in the local East Javanese accent, "A" and "O" are largely interchangable: often the official spelling uses "A", but the locals pronounce it "O". Hence a resident of Surabaya is locally an arek Suroboyo and eg. Cemoro Lawang and Cemara Lawang are the same place.

Get in

By plane

Disruption to flights to and from airports in East Java, Bali and Lombok.

On 27 and 28 January 2011, a number of flights to and from airports in East Java and Bali were disrupted due to potential aircraft operational concerns. The volcanic ash plume arising from the recent eruptions of Tenggar caldera was reported to be drifting up to 370 km to the east of the volcano, potentially entering into the flight corridors used by aircraft approaching and departing from several Indonesian airports in the region.

The Tenggar caldera is in the Mount Bromo volcano complex 25 km (16 mi) west of Malang in East Java. The Abdul Rachman Saleh Airport (IATA:MLG) at Malang in East Java was subject to closures and operational caution was recommended for flights into and leaving Juanda International Airport (IATA:SUB) in Surabaya. Some flights to and from Ngurah Rai International Airport (IATA:DPS) in Bali and Selaparang Airport (IATA:AMI) on Lombok to the immediate east of Bali have also been effected.

Eruptive events giving rise to volcanic ash clouds continued throughout February 2011.

It should be anticipated that any significant ongoing or renewed ash producing eruptions will present the potential for further disruption to aviation services and may effect airports and flight corridors in the region.

You should monitor the media for information concerning flight disruptions if your are considering travel into or within the region, including destinations in East Java, Bali, Lombok and Sumbawa.

By late February 2001 indications were that eruptive activity had decreased and stabilised.

Surabaya's Juanda Airport (IATA: SUB) [2] is one of the busiest in Indonesia, with very frequent flights from Jakarta, Bali and other major Indonesian destinations. There are some direct international flights from destinations including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Bandar Seri Begawan.

Malang's Abdul Rachman Saleh Airport (IATA: MLG) is a small airport with a few flights everyday from Jakarta.

By train

Surabaya is connected by rail from Jakarta, Semarang and Yogyakarta with many stop points in between [3]. It is possible to travel to the region from Bali with an all-in "train" ticket that also covers the necessary bus and ferry portions.

The popular star tourist attraction of Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park is sadly not part of the Indonesian rail network.

By ferry

Ferries ply the route between Gilimanuk, Bali and Banyuwangi every 20 minutes, 24 hours a day. The crossing itself takes about 30 minutes, although embarking and disembarking can take much longer.

Surabaya is a major port city and virtually every major coastal city in Indonesia is connected in some way. Check the national passenger ship operator Pelni for detailed information [4].

By bus

Frequent buses travel across Java and this is a reliable, if not always comfortable, method of travel. All of the the major cities and towns in the region can be reached by bus.

Get around

By car

Driving anywhere is Java is a hazardous business for visitors not used to Indonesian driving habits. East Java is no exception and visitors are advised to rent a car with a driver if this is your chosen method of getting around in the region.

By train

The region is well served by the national rail network which connects all major cities and towns [5].


Sunrise at the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park

The Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park is the main attraction in East Java and accounts for a large percentage of overseas tourists who visit the region. The national park is named after its two mountains, Mount Semeru (the highest in Java at 3,676 metres), Mount Bromo (the most popular) and the Tengger people who inhabit the area. Mount Semeru also known as Mahameru (Great Mountain), is one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes. Semeru is often closed due to its highly active nature. There are many opportunities for trekking in the park to suite all levels of physical fitness. One of the most popular activities (especially for the less energetic!) is to stay in one of the simple lodges in the park, then drive up to the top of Mount Penanjakan (2,770m) in a 4 x 4 jeep pre-dawn and wait for a truly spectacular sunrise. Later in the day, a slightly more arduous 90 minute climb up to the rim of the Mount Bromo caldera to view the bubbling active crater is very worthwhile. You can also make this ascent seated atop one of the local ponies.

The Ijen Crater in East Java

The Ijen Plateau near Banyuwangi and Bondowoso is a less well known but in its own way equally spectacular area of volcanic activity. The Ijen Plateau is the centrepoint of the large mountain range west of Banyuwangi and which abutts the Baluran National Park to the north. For the adventurous traveller a visit to the Ijen Crater (Kawah Ijen) whilst in the region is a must. The crater can be approached from Bondowoso in the west or Banyuwangi in the east. The Bondowoso route is recommended as the road is relatively better (although that is not saying much) and the 90 minute foot climb much easier. When you arrive the colour of the water in the lake is scarcely believable being an extraordinary vivid aqua blue. Evidence of volcanic activity is everywhere with steaming water and brilliant yellow crystaline sulphur deposits. The Ijen Crater is one of the great natural wonders of Indonesia.

Malang is a city of great historical significance. It was a seat of major power in Java's Hindu past and the Dutch took a great liking to its relatively cool, fresh climate in the colonial period. Modern day Malang, although significantly urbanised, has retained much of its historical character and a few days looking around this lovely city and visiting nearby places of interest, will be time well spent. In the city centre a great first stop is Ijen Boulevard. This is a quite beautiful street lined with tropical trees against a backdrop of old colonial structures. The street houses a number of interesting buildings including the Brawijaya Army Museum, Immanual Catholic Church and the city library. Nearby Jalan Tugu is home of the city hall (Balai Kota Malang), the Tugu Monument, Aloon-Aloon Bunder (park) and the wonderful Tugu Hotel. The latter houses a magnificent collection of Javanese antiques and is a great place to stop by for lunch or tea.

About 30 km south of Malang there are three lovely beaches close together: Balekambang, Ngliyep and Sendangbiru. It is best to visit on weekdays as this is a very popular weekend escape and it can get get crowded. It is not safe to swim here but these are great relaxation beaches which offer some stunning coastal scenery. There is a offshore island called Pulau Simpu which can be visited by chartering a boat from Sedangbiru beach. At Balekambang beach there are three little islets just offshore which are attached to the beach by walkways. Of the three beaches, Balekambang itself is the most attractive. The beaches are easily day-tripped from Malang in a car. bondowosothe lost ancient city, the region has many ancient stones and spread in several districts, such as kenong stone, grave stones, sarkofag, and others. Alun - alun city is the main place to gather people (the crowd), to the north stood the Regent Hall, which is an old building, and there are also Dutch heritage building that is now a Junior High School 1 Bondowoso. there are many more Dutch heritage buildings in this city. about 10 kilometers east of Bondowoso no brass handicraft center (Cindogo). the food is very typical in this city is a tape, made from cassava on fermentation with a sweet taste, this meal can get almost the entire city, especially in the Chinatown shop, east of the Alun - alun City. KALIANYAR VILLAGE, 15 Kilometers south of Bondowoso. if you want to enjoy the countryside with the cool air, still quiet and feel the friendliness of its people, visiting this place is a very amazing experience. look at the lives of villagers and also interact with them, the process of rice farming can be viewed from the rainy season and dry season they started to plant tobacco (normally at the start in May or June) and the processing process is an activity that deserves to be seen(specially last August or early September). on weekends, there are performances of traditional music once a month and there are also traditional dances named Tari Aduan Sapi(Dance Bullfight)


  • Collect some sulphur crystals at the Ijen Crater near Banyuwangi.
  • Get off the beaten track and drive over the new bridge to the island of Madura.
  • Watch a turtle laying eggs at Sukamade beach. A once in a lifetime experience.
  • Experience whitewater rafting at Pekalen river, Probolinggo.


Eating is an extremely important part of life in East Java and there is an extraordinary range of options.

High quality western food is available in the large cities of Surabaya and Malang but there are so many local delights that any visitor is surely better off concentrating on these. Indonesian cuisine from all corners of this vast nation is widely available. As elsewhere in Indonesia, the best bet is often simple warungs and road-side stalls and the rule is to follow the local crowds.

Specific East Javanese specialities include:

  • Rujak cingur, a salad with spicy sauce and cingur (slices of cooked cow nose).
  • Sate kelopo, satay with coconut rasp.
  • Sate Madura, spicy goat satay.


There is a local type of fermented palm tree alcohol, called tuak.

Stay safe

When visiting any of the volcanic areas, understand and be respectful of their active nature. Never take unneccesary risks.

Temperatures in the high parts of the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park can get close to 0 °C at night - come prepared.

Get out

This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!
Bondowoso,you could direct go to Ijen Crater or Stay at Beautiful Village named Kalianyar Village around 15 kilometers southern Bondowoso