Journey to Kawah Ijen

From Surabaya Gubeng, we aboard on Sri Tanjung train with economic ticket and expect our self to arrive at Karangasem station at around 9:00pm. The journey took us around 6 ½ hours and cost rupiah 94000 each. Although economic seats is not really comfortable (in fact, quite suffering seating posture) but we have our chance to really interact with all the other local folks in the same cabin. It really nice to see that everyone interact politely and peacefully with each other regardless of religious and race, sharing their foods, playing around with others kiddo on board, letting go of seat for elders able to lay down for a nap, that is all our simple thing yet culture that we need to adopt seriously to make our country better!

We also having our dinner in the train with some local Nasi Goreng Bakso kind of stuff. Taste is so so but the experience is worth it, eating while squeezing in a small area between cabins.

Me and John with our dinner treat.

Kim with his dinner treat.

Finally, we reach Karangasem station at 9:00pm sharp, and as agreed, our home stay owner had come to pick us up (damn, I just forget his name). After settling down and took a bath, we quickly went to bed as we only have less than 3 hours to rest before the night hike to Kawah Ijen begin.

Karangasem train station.

The walk from Paltuding Post to reach the top of Kawah Ijen (~2799 meters) is around 3km++. Stay away from slippers, you will definitely need a sports shoes or hiking shoes in order to make this hike. Torch light/head torch is a must as well as you are going to perform the hike in the dark. Our home stay is considerate enough to prepare a mask for each of us as the sulfur toxic air near the mining area is very poisonous.

After around 90 minutes of walks, we finally reach the crater lake of Kawah Ijen. As it is still very dark in the midnight, we could not see the view at all. We are being instruct by home stay owner to put on our mask as we going walking down towards the sulfur mining area, hoping to see the magnificent blue flame. The walk took us around 30 minutes down hill, luckily, we really saw the natural phenomenon with our bare eyes, and have opportunity to be at the sulfur mining area with the fellow workers. However, this could only last around 10 minutes for us, as the wind is blowing in opposite direction, and all of us near the mine area are expose to the toxic sulfur air, no where to hide to. Everyone is calming down themselves, try to breathe slowly by tighten up the mask, and closing their eyes as it is so painful to keep the eyes open! We continue to suffer in this situation for around 10 minutes, and once situation getting slightly better, our team quickly make our ways back to the top of crater. I just really need to salute all the fellow workers that have to earn their living here everyday, it is not easy and make us realize there is no reason to complain our own life anymore.

Fresh hot piece of sulfur, shining like a diamond!

Workers earning their living mining the sulfur.

Blue flames scenery, photo credited to Puchong Panoi.

We make our ways back to the top of crater lake, and there are starting to have some bright sun light exposing the sky. Home stay owner now direct us to another direction uphill, for sunrise view. This was another probably 30 minutes walk from the crater lake, and we manage to reach the area to catch the 1st ray of sunrise of the day! Turn around myself and the whole crater lake is now visible with the help from the sunlight, and it is really a magnificent view!

Gunung Baluran from afar and first sunrise sighting.

Good morning from top of Ijen!

Just sit and enjoy the scenery!

First peek towards Kawah Ijen lake in a brief sunlight.

Panorama view towards Bali Sea direction.

Panorama view towards Kawah Ijen.

Group pic is a must!

Thanks for the capture Kim!

Kim flying!

John flying!

Above the clouds, and many peoples are walking around.

Errrr... Flower boy?

World most acidic lake.

Dead tree by the lake.

Great view towards the lake.

Amazing landscape.

We spend around an hour enjoying the scenery around, then continue our jouney back to Paltuding Post to catch our jeep back to the homestay. We manage to make ourself back to Kampung Osing Inn at around 8am in the morning. We rush our packing, have a wonderful homecook breakfast in the homestay, and getting the owner to send us back to Karangasem station to catch Mutiara Timur train, for our next journey to Mount Bromo. This round, we choose executive seats. :)

Start our walk back to Paltuding Post.

Now we are able to see the scenery along the way.

The road is kind of slippery, but it is not so tough.

Scenery along the walk path.

Finally, we reach to Paltuding Post. The gate mark the start of the trekking.

This round, we took executive seats to have a better rest in the train.


We just stay at Kampung Osing Inn for a brief 3-4 hours and join a half day tour towards Kawah Ijen, but we really amazed on how well the owner cater with all our needs and service provided. He is also very friendly and knowledgeable throughout our tour there as he himself worked there before. Kampung Osing Inn offer a very basic accommodation but trust me, it really worth every penny we spend here throughout our short journey here. Definitely I will have to recommend strongly to anyone that wish to have backpacking journey here, this is the home for you to stay.

Thanks again Kampung Osing Inn, hope to return here soon for next sight seeing around Banyuwangi!

Photo with the home stay owner.

Home stay address and contact information.

Bye for now and hope to see you again!

Banyu Wangi - Kawah ijen

September 2016

You Might Also Like:
About Me

I born as ordinary person in a ordinary place, doesn't mean that I want to live an ordinary life as well. Dream big, and take small steps a time to achieve each dreams in my bucket list.

"Walter Mitty: To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life."

© 2023 by Going Places. Proudly created with