Ijen Crater – Foot in Hell, Eye in Heaven – Indonesia Travel Diary Day 7 (13.09.16)

Ijen is a special in Java.Highest point 2,799 meter. is cold . Incredible view with toxic environment. Is an adventure Tour for sure. You need to have good stamina and health to trek. You need to start the hike at midnight in order to witness the blue fire. Is not easy to get there by ourselves. there no public transport to get there midnight.

After exhausted several days, The best way for us is join a tour. We took the tour at Ceramah Indah hotel in bromo.  800,000IDR include transport, ticket, stay, gas mask and packed breakfast, transport to ketapang.


Depart from Midnight 1.00 AM

Super early Morning at 1am . Took 2 cups of coffee and we departed from Arabica homestay to ijen.

2.15am : Sulfur smell were on the nose when arrived to the camping ground of ijen. Felt like …full of chemical . Feel dangerous. in my mind asking …Is it safe ?

Our Guide Briefing and distributed the gas mask . the gas mask look not very good, little bit hard. feel pain on nose when wearing it. i didn’t wear at the beginning. use it when reach to the crater where the sulfur smell is stronger.

We started the trek in the dark with Steep road at begining.  feel is tiring …. huh…the sky still dark only saw a lot of touch light‘s light that Lining up in front show the path flow of the route.  “still need to hike so far!!! ” because the light line up so far.

ftom the map, can know there still have 3km trekking distance . haha

Because of darkness, we also not able to see the environment clearly, need extra to be careful.  The trek a lot just beside the cliff .

Beside that, there standby lot of trolley taxi that can be hire, they will pull you up to ijen crater. Something like taxi service but is at Trolley type, pull by man. This is the first time saw this kind of service.


Blue Fire

After 1 and half hour trekking, we reach to the entrance of the crater. To witness the blue fire, we need to hike down to the crater. It Wasn’t easy to hike. But we are regular hiker, so still can handle it. our guide and tour member all separated, don’t where are they. we depend on ourselves now.

The route condition is really rocky and dangerous, trail also not very clear, we just follow people step. But is fun hiking.

Is really a waste cannot took picture because still dark. The view was very tuning with messy rocky trail. There Is really not enough time for whole tour. We not have time to see the view down here with day light. Feel that was regret.

One step one step we were hiking down, the sulfur smell is very strong. Suddenly the gas blow to our side. We were surrounded by smoke. Felt cant breath and eye was irritating, tear was dropping.  quite suffering at the moment , people rounding coughed very badly.  Some people started climbing up. There no way to escape. I was thinking: “die lo if continue like this.”

we wait the smoke gone away, we stopped and calm down our breath,the moment , I really got felt  Want to give up , but lastly I still decided to continue. There Just a little bit to reach. I am hoping the smoke don’t come second round.

It took 30 min to arrive to the blue fire point. Little blue fire , I not dare to go too near, worried the smoke fly over. blue fire flame is very hot, the temperature can be up to 600 degrees Celsius. But the place we stand 5-6meter away is still cold. Took some pictures. The time was around 4 am

Witness the blue fire. The blue fire are created by the burning sulfur. it burn naturally. We can see the fire only at night. Under the day light, we only able to see the gases released. The gas released is sulfur dioxide which is toxic.

The blue fire getting more in slight. is beautiful and stunning.

Incredible Sunrise

After that we want to the lake area, I taught the acidic lake located at the sunrise view point, so we made that is our next target and hiking up. When we reached to the top , the environment is start to bright.

Can see the real face of ijen crater. The green acidic lake actually located near blue fire point down there.

Close to the sunrise time, We heading to the sunrise view point. Saw Amazing view from the far. I  Speed up and run thought the trail. Run !!!!  till the end of the edge.

The beautiful view , worth it !!! Orangery pink sky before the sun coming up. got sea and mountain. The most beautiful sunrise I ever seen. Is stunning than the sunrise I saw at Old Bagan. Is really satisfying my eye.

Is great & awesome!!

5.30am The golden sunlight shoot from behind of the mountain, the shadow of the people. Everything become alive . Everything is beautiful and peace.

Is lucky enough to saw the sunrise, nice sunrise sometime need some luck, not every time can be met .

I wish I have more time to stay here.


Stunning View of Mountain and cloud sea

after saw view here no wonder people call here heaven on the eye but foot on the hell. View are beautiful, but the environment are toxic !

My armor, head lamp tie on my hand became iron man light.

People sit at the edge of crater . Do you dare ? Down there is the acid lake

Full of sulfur gas

Ijen Crater Lake

Again we come back to point of hiking down to crater. But we have not enough time to hike down to crater to see the turquoise-blue acidic lake and yellow sulfur on the ground.

We saw from the far, a lot of gases released. The green lake not clearly seen due to thick gases.

Ijen crater is a very wide carter . is about 20 meter wide, is  the world largest acidic lake. The acidic lake cause by the sulfur gases emitted surrounding and reacted with the lake water. The sulfuric acid form and make the lake water became turquoise-blue .the pH rate measure are 0.5 due to the high concentrate acid. Is very strong and corrosive acid. No not touch the water.

The miners are really risking their life for mining, working under unsafe condition. They need to carry the heavy sulfur (60-80kg ) in basket trekking from the crater to village to get paid. Image the route we went through, is very tough job. One day miner can earn about 5.50-8.00 dollar source from Wikipedia. The miner have average life about 47years , is expected that have shorter life in extreme toxic environment. So we also cannot stay long here.

They also turned the sulfur into art peace, they able form sulfur into different shape for souvenir. The doing it by cooling the liquid sulfur into the water.


6.00am is time to hike down, one of the same tour member need to rush to airport to catch the flight , so we can’t be late.

With the day light , actually the view is amazing. The sea cloud with mountain. Is very beautiful.

Descending speed is much faster than hike up. ear felt buzzing .

Going down also not easy , we tried walk in reverse way when is tired. just play around.

Journey to the East – Bali


7.00am finally reach to the bottom . met at car,all member are inside the car ready to go.  .We had our pack breakfast. And heading to Ketapang to take ferry. the van Stopped at bus stop to wait for another bus. Is sleepy.

Hoped on a bus, the bus look very local. Full of passengers. Nearly no place to sit. Also A lot of rubbish. an angry bird uncle sit next to me near to window ,he occupied 2 seats, not precedence to other people to sit. cause a tourist sit half butt on the seat . Angry bird uncle keep smoking in the bus. really unhealthy !

Bus drove in to ferry. said will take 40 min on the ferry . so passenger went down for rest.

Is very windy and comfortable sitting here. Across the sea is Bali island . is a nice experience . After the ferry, there long journey to go , been slept on the bus. 2.30pm only reach to Mengwi station.

at this station, we all been ask to go down by a uncle with white long Hair . look very style . he shout: here is the last station , all go down , all go down.

we a group of tourist also followed what he said, get down from the bus. ya that time the uncle offer his taxi service , 200,000IDR per pax to the City. that is very expensive . then some people argue that the tiket supposed cover untill Ubung Station , which the bus station in Denpasa. we had an long argument. one of tourists also try to call urber.get a price only 175,000IDR  per taxi to legain /Kuta

the mafia taxi start worried and said : this not good , this not good ! ok ok ! he reduced his price to 200,000IDR 3 people. then finally we took the taxi. one person paid roughly 70,000IDR.

the route to from Menwi to Kuta took more an hour to reach , with traffic jam . with the money. i think still very worth it.

Function on the road .

we reached to hostel about 4.30pm.is a dorm type. i settled down and have late dinner at legian street.  may be should be call late lunch , because we dint take lunch.


finally we in Bali .

Bali is very different from Java, here is total tourists area. all tourist waking around. is very happening .

no doubt , is a tired journey , didn’t have proper sleep for more 24 hours. that night, i fall down to bed very early , left my friend shopping outside alone.


to be continue …





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