East Java

Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Java East Java

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Introduction

East Java is one of the Indonesian provinces on the island of Java. It covers the eastern third of the island, as well as the island of Madura and several small offshore islands.

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Geography

Located in eastern Java, it includes the islands of Madura, which is connected to Java by the longest bridge in Indonesia, Suramadu Bridge, as well as the Kangean and Masalembu archipelagos located further east and north, respectively. Its capital is Surabaya, the second largest city in Indonesia and a major industrial center. Banyuwangi is the largest regency in East java and also in Java Island. It has a land border only with the province of Central Java to the west; Java Sea and Indian Ocean border its northern and southern coasts, respectively, while the narrow Bali Strait to the east separates Java from Bali.

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Cities

  • Malang - cool, clean air and the ancient seat of the Mataram kingdom.
  • Surabaya - the capital; Indonesia's second-largest city and a huge industrial sprawl.

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Towns

  • Banyuwangi - Where the ferries connect Java with Bali. Also the base for visiting East-Java's national parks.
  • Blitar - Birth and burial place of Indonesia's first president.

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National Parks

Mount Bromo

Bromo

Bromo

© HETTYHETTY

Mount Bromo in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park ranks high among the must-see volcanoes of Java. It is an active volcano (latest eruption in January 2011) in the Tengger Massif in the east of the island of Java. It's not the highest mountain in the chain, but at 2,329 metres it's one of the most famous and easiest to excess. It's a very popular hike and although usually without problems, it is not entirely safe. The usual way to visit Mount Bromo is from the nearby mountain village of Cemoro Lawang. From there it is possible to walk to the volcano in about 45 minutes, but it is also possible to take an organized jeep tour, which includes a stop at the viewpoint on Mount Penanjakan at 2,770 metres (this mountain can be reached on foot in about 2 hours if you fancy walking). The best views from Mount Bromo to the sandy areas below and the surrounding volcanoes are at sunrise.

Ijen Plateau

The Ijen Plateau or known as “Kawah Ijen” is highly recommended to mountain buffs and hikers. The Plateau was at one time a huge active crater, 134 square kilometres in area. Today, Ijen is an active volcano, and the landscape is dominated by the volcanic cones of Ijen (2,368 metres high) and Merapi (2,800 metres high) on the northeastern edge of the Plateau, and Raung (3,332 metres high) on the southwest corner. The magnificent turquoise sulfur lake of Kawah Ijen lies at 2,148 metres above sea level and is surrounded by the volcanos sheer crater walls. The vent is a source of sulfur and collectors work here, making the trek up to the crater and down to the lake every day. Sulfur collectors hike up in the morning and return around 1 pm when the clouds roll in. They carry shoulder basket of pure sulfur from a quarry on the lakes edge under the shadow of the sheer walls of the crater. The mineral at Kawah Ijen is purer and is worth commercial exploitation despite the horrendous labor involved: Javas homegrown sulfur is a natural source of sulfuric acid, in great demand in the oil-refining business and in the production of fertilizers.

Sukamade Turtle Beach

Sukamade Beach in Meru Betiri National Park is the location of Java’s foremost turtle conservation project. Although the site can only be reached by motorbike, 4WD or truck, Sukamade attracts a regular stream of foreign visitors. For a typical visit one arrives before nightfall in order to after dark witness a mother turtle lay her eggs and help the park rangers to collect them. Early the next morning one can release new hatchlings on the beach with one’s own hands. If one allocates more than one night for Sukamade, there is the possibility of jungle trekking in the park. The best chances for seeing the turtles is when it has been raining, but jungle trekking is more feasible in the dry season.

Alas Purwo National Park

Alas Purwo National Park covers the Blambangan peninsula and adjacent wetlands. It is arguably Java’s most important park from an ecological viewpoint. The name Alas Purwo can be translated as ‘First Forest’ or ‘Original Forest’ and expresses the belief that here the island Java started emerging form the primeval ocean. In other words, the forest of Alas Purwo is held sacred, and that is a good thing for its conservation. Except for the G-land surf camps at the southern tip of Blambangan, there are no amenities for tourists and none are planned. So this is your park for a wildlife and bird spotting expediton.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Trowulan - The site of the former capital of Majapahit kingdom, 13th and 14th century AD. With four restored brick buildings, several excavation sites and more.
  • Malang is a city of great historical significance. It was a seat of major power in Java's Hindu past and the Dutch took a great liking to its relatively cool, fresh climate in the colonial period. Modern day Malang, although significantly urbanised, has retained much of its historical character and a few days looking around this lovely city and visiting nearby places of interest, will be time well spent. In the city centre a great first stop is Ijen Boulevard. This is a quite beautiful street lined with tropical trees against a backdrop of old colonial structures. The street houses a number of interesting buildings including the Brawijaya Army Museum, Immanual Catholic Church and the city library. Nearby Jalan Tugu is home of the city hall (Balai Kota Malang), the Tugu Monument, Aloon-Aloon Bunder (park) and the Tugu Hotel. The latter houses a magnificent collection of Javanese antiques and serves lunch or tea.
  • About 30 kilometres south of Malang there are three lovely beaches close together: Balekambang, Ngliyep and Sendangbiru. It is best to visit on weekdays as this is a very popular weekend escape and it can get get crowded. It is not safe to swim here but these are great relaxation beaches which offer some stunning coastal scenery. There is an offshore island called Pulau Simpu which can be visited by chartering a boat from Sedangbiru beach. At Balekambang beach there are three little islets just offshore which are attached to the beach by walkways. Of the three beaches, Balekambang itself is the most attractive. The beaches are easily day-tripped from Malang in a car.
  • The Bondowoso region has many ancient stones spread across several districts including kenong stone, grave stones, sarkofag, and others. Alun - alun city is the main place to gather people (the crowd), to the north stood the Regent Hall, which is an old building, and there are also Dutch heritage building that is now a Junior High School 1 Bondowoso. There are many more Dutch heritage buildings in this city. About 10 kilometres east of Bondowoso no brass handicraft centre (Cindogo). Kalianyar village (sub-district Tamanan), 15 kilometres south of Bondowoso is a good destination if you want to enjoy the countryside with cool air.

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Weather

Warm and humid tropical conditions apply to most of East Java, though the higher areas can be chilly, especially at night.

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Getting There

By Plane

Juanda International Airport (SUB) serves as the main gateway with almost 20 airlines flying to/from Surabaya. Destinations include Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore, Johor Bahru, Yogyakarta, Taipei, Hong Kong, Bali, Bandung and Bandar Seri Begawan.

DAMRI Buses are available to transport passengers from the airport to Purabaya Terminal, a bus terminal located not far from the airport. Taxis are widebly available outside the terminal building and can bring you anywhere in and around Surabaya.

By Train

Surabaya is connected by rail from Jakarta, Semarang and Yogyakarta with many stops in between. With new double tracks (as of 2014), the train now is faster, with travel time from Jakarta to Surabaya cut by around 3 hours in the new schedule. It is possible to travel to the region from Bali with an all-in "train" ticket that also covers the necessary bus and ferry portions. Using the train for Surabaya, Sidoarjo and surroundings is more convenient than using other ground transportation, because of 'Sidoarjo mudflow'.

By Bus

Frequent buses travel across Java and this is a reliable, if not always comfortable, method of travel. All of the major cities and towns in the region can be reached by bus.

By Boat

Ferries ply the route between Gilimanuk, Bali and Banyuwangi every 20 minutes, 24 hours a day. The crossing itself takes about 30 minutes, although embarking and disembarking can take much longer.

As from 28 December 2017 the Marina Srikandi company that already connected Bal with Lombok, provides a fast boat service between Jimbaran on Bali and Banyuwangi. The crossing takes two hours, considerably less than the journey by road and ferry.

Surabaya is a major national and international port city and virtually every major coastal city in Indonesia is connected to it in some way.

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Getting Around

By Train

The region is well served by the national rail network which connects all major cities and towns.

By Car

Driving anywhere is Java is a hazardous business for visitors not used to Indonesian driving habits. East Java is no exception and visitors are advised to rent a car with a driver if this is your chosen method of getting around in the region.

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Eat

Eating is an extremely important part of life in East Java and there is an extraordinary range of options.

High quality western food is available in the large cities of Surabaya and Malang but there are so many local delights that any visitor is surely better off concentrating on these. Indonesian cuisine from all corners of this vast nation is widely available. As elsewhere in Indonesia, the best bet is often simple warungs and road-side stalls and the rule is to follow the local crowds.

The food of East Java is similar to that of Central Java. East Java foods tend to be less sweet and spicier compared to the Central Java ones. Fish and fish/seafood products are quite extensive, and terasi (dried shrimp paste) and petis udang (shrimp paste) are used a great deal. Specific East Javanese specialities include:

  • Rujak cingur - a salad with spicy sauce and cingur (slices of cooked cow nose).
  • Sate kelopo - satay with coconut rasp.
  • Sate Madura - spicy goat satay.
  • Lontong Kupang - Tiny clam soup with rice cakes
  • Lontong Balap - Bean sprouts and tofu with rice cakes
  • Semanggi Surabaya - Marsilea leaves with spicy sweet potato sauce
  • Pecel Lele - Deep fried catfish served with rice and sambal
  • Rawon - Dark beef soup
  • Bakwan Malang - Meatball soup with won tons and noodles
  • Arem aream - Pressed rice, tempe, sprouts, soy sauce, coconut, and peanuts.

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Drink

There is a local type of fermented palm tree alcohol, called tuak. Other popular drinks in East Java include:

  • Legen - a drink made from palm tree flower shaped female flower tendrils. These flower tendrils are cut little by little so that their sap which can be collected in a tube that is usually made from a single piece of bamboo rod segment. Old tapping is usually overnight, on the afternoon of the bamboo tube (called a tube) is placed as a container, then in the morning had a full load of the tube. One manggar flower usually produce about three to six tubes of legen.
  • Degan - a drink made from young coconut usually served in a glass or in the young coconut itself. Degan (usually called "es degan" by the folk found along the side of the road and restaurants) is usually affordably priced. Some of the sellers mix it with a "Beras Kencur", wine and honey to be an energy drink.

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Contributors

as well as Sam I Am (4%)

East Java Travel Helpers

  • Darma

    I live in Banyuwangi, East Java Province and I've been working as a travel guide till present. I'm not the expert but i'm sure that i'm the best for you for discussion about East Java.

    Ask Darma a question about East Java

This is version 31. Last edited at 15:27 on Mar 7, 19 by Utrecht. 14 articles link to this page.

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