[Banyuwangi] Gunung Ijen

2:34 PM

What was the first thing you do in 2017? Mine was hike a mountain. Crazy, I know.

I’m not a fit person or whatsoever for my whole life. Yet when my friends planning to hike a mountain for New Year holiday, somehow I agreed. I wasn’t sure I could make it at first, but seeing those beautiful pictures of Gunung Ijen on the internet make me go ‘nah! It won’t be that hard’. And turns out I was wrong.

Disclaimer : most of the pictures on this post is belong to a dear friend of mine, Khalista D. Irmaputri.
Kindly check her instagram @khalistas for more pictures from her.

It was hard, it was freaking hard. The track was just probably about 3 km, but the mountain’s slope was insane. From what I read in Wikipedia, Gunung Ijen has around 25 to 35 slope degree. Seems small? That was what I thought. Believe me, it wasn’t as easy as it looks. Other than the insane slope, the track was covered with dirt (probably because of the rain) and sand in some area, which made it even more slippery.

The ticket entrance to the Gunung Ijen is IDR 7.500. This price is not included a guide. You can hike without a guide since the track is a single lane track and you just need to follow the track until the top. However, if you are planning to catch the blue fire near the main crater, I recommend you to hire one. Since the track from the top part to the bottom part (vice versa) is a bit tricky.

My friends and I started the hike around 1 AM in the morning. We walk together for the first 300 meters. After that, I cried and whine like a baby who lost her candy walk slower than the rest of the group. They finish their track around 3.50 AM while I (and another friend who decided to join me much later) finish around 4.40 AM. Sadly I didn’t catch the blue fire, but still I felt very happy about it. I was so surprise that I somehow managed to climb to the very top even though I need to rest every 5 minutes or so. Yay me!

Funny thing about this mountain. Some of the nearby residents, make a living out of renting a small carriage to take the lazy unfit hiker to the top of the mountain. I’m not judging you if you took this but please beware since most of them try to charge you as high as possible.

I think I came at the wrong season. It was windy and cold on the top of the mountain. Also it was very hazy because of the sulfur gas. You can borrow a gas mask from the tour guide with around IDR 25.000. He will collect it once you get down the mountain. I couldn’t see anything at the top of the mountain. But my friends who finished their track earlier, got the chance to see the blue fire down near the crater. They show me the pictures of the crater, and it was amazing!

My friends also met some of the sulfur miners. They were kind to show them the new fresh from the mine sulfur. Sometimes they carved it into other shape such as airplane, statue, etc. You can buy them if you want but I don’t think they allowed it on the airplane. Because I had a friend who bought this sulfur as a souvenir, and the airport officer took it away.

Getting down from the mountain is much easier. However since it was raining hard the day before, the track become very slippery. Please be careful. Take time as much as you needed and enjoy the beautiful morning sun and view.

I kinda sad, about missing the blue fire and not getting closer to the crater. I was thinking to come again anytime soon. Well not very soon though. I still can imagine how hard it was and I think some parts of my feet still hurts (making excuses lol).


Top tips for Gunung Ijen:
  1. Wear a thick clothing. It was windy and cold at the top of the crater. I remember, my fingers barely can move when the wind hits me. Bring some hat and gloves along if you have.
  2. Use a proper gas mask. If you are planning to get closer to the crater, use a proper gas mask since the smell and gas can make you hard to breathe. You can rent the mask for IDR 25.000 each on the spot.
  3. Don’t bring too much things. It will make you move a lot easier. And since you’re not going to stay the night up there, just bring the important things such as mask, wallet, camera, medicine, phone (not getting any signals though) and some water if you want.
  4. Do your business before you hike the mountain. Toilets, I mean. There is no toilet along the way to the top. You do not want to end up peeing in the middle of the dark jungle do you?
  5. Take it easy. If you are a first timer like me, you really should take this hiking easily. Take a good rest every time you feel tired. I remember I took a rest every 10 meter or so. Don’t worry about your friend and everyone who is passing you. The aim is to get to the top and enjoy the view. If you are too tired, you will not enjoy what you have achieved.


Gunung Ijen
East Java, Indonesia

Opening hours: 11 PM – 4 PM

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