Ijen Crater Banyuwangi; My first hiking experience
Ijen Crater or local people call it Kawah Ijen is the most popular Crater Lake in East Java. It is the largest highly acidic lake in the world and also one of the only two in the world which has unusual phenomenon “blue fire”.
It was my very first time hiking and I was very interested. I read some blogs related to hiking Kawah Ijen and then prepare everything I need just to make sure that my first hiking experience would be perfect.
For me as first timer, hiking Kawah Ijen was actually not that difficult. I think everyone even with the normal fitness level like me is able to do it as long as her or his body is in a good condition. The point is just making sure you are fine and everything is going to be alright.
Well, my very first time hiking the phenomenal Kawah Ijen was few months ago on May 2016 with my cousins. We start our journey from Genteng (which is the city where our grand parents was living) at about 10:00 PM by motorcycle. We purposely traveled at night because we really want to witness the “blue fire” phenomenon which is can only be seen before sunrise.
From Genteng, our first destination is Licin. It takes us about an hour. And we have to wait there about an hour as well before it was allowed to continue our journey at 12:00 PM to Paltuding(the starting point to Kawah Ijen). At Licin, we felt the temperature changed. It was cold and we just need to wear our jacket and gloves.
Right at 12:00 PM we continued our journey and arrived at Paltuding at about 01:00 AM, we took a break and then had super early breakfast before hiking the 3 km uneasy track to Kawah Ijen.
The track was actually not that difficult but I think you could not say it was an easy track either. It has various types of track and you would finally found the easy mostly flat track at 500 m before summit.
We finally got to the summit right before 05:00 AM. So, still there was a time actually for witnessing the phenomenal blue fire from close. But unfortunately I could not make it. I suddenly felt hard to breath because of the sulphur fumes and we finally decided to just enjoy the blue fire from afar. And… SUBHANALLAH! The blue fire was so incredible. I promise to myself that I must get up close to it next time insyaAllah.
It was subh time so then we decided to find nice place to perform subh prayer before it’s late. We take wudhu using the water we brought from Paltuding. And you know what, it was very cold. But it was fine by the way. We have no problem at all.
After Subh prayer we had so much time to enjoy the most incredible sunrise and scenery around us. We just took our time, took some photos, made a small conversation with new people and enjoy the moment.
Well, it was the most beautiful unforgettable moment of my life so far. Performing my morning prayer from the ±2386 m/dpl, witnessing the incredible phenomenal blue fire, viewing the truly stunning sunrise and scenery at the same time was damn great. I never even imagine this would really happen before.
So, based on my experience above I would like to share some basic information that I think it is important for you to know before you plan to explore Kawah Ijen.
And here we go!!
What you need to know
1. Musholla (prayer room), toilet, warung (stall) and homestay are available at Paltuding
2. There is also warung (stall) located 1 km before summit selling drinks and instant noodles which is open in the morning
3. Public toilet is only available at Paltuding, there is none along the hiking track
4. The hiking track is open from 01:AM to 02:00 PM
5. The hiking track is quite steep and sandy. There is only about 500 m of the track which is quite flat and easy.
6. There is no public transportation from Banyuwangi to Paltuding. The simple way is renting motorcycle or taxibike(ojek).
Locals :Rp. 5.000/ person – weekdays
Rp. 7.500/ person – holidays
Foreigners :Rp. 100.000/ person – weekdays
Rp. 150.000/ person – holidays
Toilet : Rp. 2.000/ person
Parking: Rp. 5.000/ motorcycle
What you need to prepare and bring
1. First of all, do not forget to bring some mineral waters and snacks
2. Preparing your body by doing a simple exercise before going on a hike
3. Gloves and jacket, especially if you plan to hike at night
4. Mask/ gas mask if you plan to get closer to the blue fire.
5. Headlamp/ flashlight
6. Walking stick (i think it would really help)
8. Water for wudhu (you could bring it from public toilet at Paltuding using drinking bottle)
So guys dear hijab travelers! What are you waiting for??
I really hope this post is worthwhile. Happy travels and have a great day. Salam.