Jember is a city and regency district in East Java.
This is East Java's third largest city after Surabaya and Malang. Whilst not the most attractive or interesting of cities, it does have decent facilities for visitors and makes a good base for exploring the southern part of the East Java region. Any visitors should note though that Jember is a big commercial centre and is almost invariably congested and crowded.
Jember is on the main East Java line and there are many services linking it with other cities in the region and in Central Java. Longer distance rail access from Jakarta involves a change in Jogjakarta or Surabaya. Check the PT Kereta Api (Persero) website for detailed schedules.
The main long distance bus terminal is called Tawang Alun and is about 5km west of the city centre. This is serviced by buses from Banyuwangi (about 2 hours), Surabaya (about 5 hours), Malang (about 5 hours) and many other smaller towns in East Java.
The main taxi company in Jember is called Argo and they have a telephone booking service: +62 331 424242.
Local buses and bemos are everywhere.
All of the local hotels will offer tours or help you with booking independent transport for seeing the key local sights (almost all of which are very rural and involve a lot of travelling).
- Watu Ulo Beach and Papuma Beach, (30 km south of Jember city centre). It is strange that the not very attractive Watu Ulo is the better known of these two nearby beaches. Papuma is by far the nicer of the two and many regard it as the best beach in the whole of East Java. The beach at Watu Ulo is black sand and the large rock from which the beach takes it name (Watu Ulo means Snake Rock in Bahasa Java) juts impressively out of the ocean just offshore. Papuma is pristine white sand, a nicer shape and just altogether a better experience. Both beaches border the western edge of the Meru Betiri National Park and this is a beautifully wild area. It does get crowded at weekends and during school holidays with day trippers from Jember but otherwise it is quiet and an excellent place to get away from it all. Buses run quite regularly from Jember to Watu Ulo or you can arange a car and driver at your hotel. Once at Watu Ulo there is no shortage of ojek and bemo transport to take you over to Papuma or to the even quieter fishing village at Mayangan Beach just to the east.
- Go to Sukamade to visit the turtle conservation facility. The full details of this are covered in the Sukamade article. Whilst in Jember, a visit to the national park office to obtain some advance information and purchase permits is not a bad idea. Contact details below.
As always in Indonesian cities, there is an enormous number of street vendors and simple restaurants to choose from. Follow the local crowds is always the best advice.
- Mulyasari Restaurant, Jl Sultan Agung, Jember. Simple eatery that offers the Central Java speciality of nasi gudeg (stewed young jackfruit)
- Sari Utama, Jl Gajah Mada No27, Jember, ☎ +62 331 487092. The best Chinese retaurant in Jember. Brash, bright and noisy as you would expect but excellent food.
Most of the hotels in Jember city are aimed at local business travellers. This tends to mean that they are efficient and clean but not the most interesting of places. The more rural options may appeal more to overseas visitors.
- Hotel Bandung Permai, Jl Hayam Wuruk No38 Jember., ☎ +62 331 484528. A business hotel with a convenient city location and lage swimming pool. 55 rooms. From Rp 220,000.
- Kalibaru Hotel, Jl Raya Jember, Kalibaru, Banyuwangi (on the main road from Jember to Banuwangi, 43 km east of Jember), ☎ +62 333 897333 ([email protected]), . This hotel has a pleasant rural setting with rooms that are good value for the prices asked. Large swimming pool and restaurant. Offer a full program of East Java regional tours. From US$ 50.
- Margo Utomo Agro Resort, Jalan Lapangan 10, Kajarharjo, Kalibaru, East Java, Indonesia (about 40 km east of Jember), ☎ +62 333 897700 ([email protected]), . A truly lovely place run by fine people. This started as a tiny homestay which was a huge success and the owners have expanded to the point where there are now 51 rooms. Big swimming pool and gorgeous grounds. Offer lots of rural based activities and tours including visiting Sukamade Beach. From US$ 45.
- Panorama Hotel, Jl KH Agus Salim No28, Jember, ☎ +62 331333666 ([email protected]), . Probably the best hotel in the city centre with a wide range of options from fairly cheap standard rooms up to luxury suites. Decent restaurant, fitness centre and .. errr.. VIP karaoke rooms.
- Rembangan Hotel, Jl Rembangan 65, Baratan, Patrang, Jember 68112, ☎ +62 331 420273. In a nice rural setting in the hills 12 km north of Jember city centre. From about Rp 250,000.
The telephone area code for Jember is 0331
- Jember Tourism Office, Jl Gajah Mada No 325, Jember. Tel +62 331 425471.
- Meru Betiri National Park Office: Jl Sriwijaya 53, Jember 68121, East Java, Tel/Fax: +62 331 321530, E-mail: [email protected] Excellent first stop for information about visiting the turtle conservation facility at Sukamade and other parts of the national park.
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