Mount Bromo Sunrise
After less than an hour of sleep, we had to wake up and get ready to go to Mount Bromo. Despite our great enthusiasm of seeing the famed Mount Bromo sunrise, the reality was our eyes refused to open and we really wanted to stay in bed just for a little while more.
It took us about half an hour to get ready (including hair-do and make up :p) and then off we went!
(Fast forward.. As most of the time we were asleep in the car)
We arrived at the first checkpoint, just before entering the Bromo national park area. We had to get off our car and find our 4WD driver. It was really very cold; we had a few layers of clothing on and we were still freezing. The area was also quite chaotic. Loads of people were already there, getting ready to go up the mountain, and there were a lot of pedlars trying to shove their wares at us.
“Scarves! Beanies! Jackets! It’s going to be super cold up in the mountain! Trust us! Buy this!”
We just ignored them politely and kept walking. It was a good time to have a toilet break as well, and as was the case at every famous Indonesian tourist attraction, we had to pay some IDR 3,000 (~SGD 0.30) to use the washroom. Girls, remember to bring your own toilet paper!
After 30 minutes in the 4WD jeep going past winding narrow (and very poorly-lit!) roads, the driver finally parked the 4WD a few hundred meters away from the viewpoint. We were supposed to get down and walk to the viewpoint on our own as it was impossible for the 4WD to squeeze through the narrow road (many drivers had parked their 4WDs by the road as well).
It was pitch dark and we were about 3,000m above sea level, so the air was really thin. I remember the moment we came out from the Jeep, we had slight difficulty in breathing. But it was nothing to be worried about, we just walked slowly and took really deep breaths, and after a few minutes our body had started to adapt to the environment.
It was also really crowded. There were a few hundred others trying to go up to the viewpoint, but we braced ourselves and squeezed our way through people and motorbikes and parked jeeps.
On the way to the viewpoint there were a number of places selling food and refreshments. They were all packed with people who were drinking hot tea and eating steaming cup noodles, trying to warm themselves up. Our advice is to just make your way straight to the viewpoint and get a really good spot. If you are travelling in a party (which we highly recommend!), you can send one or two of your friends to go back and get food afterwards 😀 Their fried bananas were very, very good, by the way. Make sure you have some!
We FINALLY reached the viewpoint! The sky was just amazing – far from any light pollution, we could totally see the stars and it was BEAUTIFUL.
It wasn’t very crowded yet when we first got there (because most people were still eating cup noodles), and we got complacent and thought that we could just sit around first. But within 10 minutes the whole place started to fill up and before we knew it there was no more good spot!
So please just be kiasu and head straight to the edges of the viewpoint by the railing, and park yourself there. It can get quite brutal at times, so be ready to tell people to get off your spot. There were people who actually physically blocked and shoved us to protect their spot! It was madness.
If you want to get this view (pictured above) that has become the subject of EVERY Bromo sunrise photograph, you need to stand by the right-side of the viewpoint. So when you enter the viewpoint and walk down the stairs, head to your right-hand side. The sun will rise from the left-hand side, though, but it’s fine. As long as you secure a spot by the railing, you’ll get quite a good 180-degree view!
After spending almost an hour trying to entertain ourselves, eating cup noodles and fried bananas, shoving people to make sure nobody stole our spot by the benches, finally we started to see hints of colours in the sky. Everybody started to stand up, cameras and selfie sticks jutting out everywhere. It was truly pretty, so enjoy it! 😉
The sun was truly rising by then, and a few people have started to leave the viewpoint. If you want to visit the Bromo crater as well, our advice is not to stay too long at the sunrise viewpoint. Because EVERYBODY would be going to the crater next, so you’d want to be first to avoid another crowd and skip the long queues.
Share your Bromo sunrise experience with us, and throw any tips you have in the comments box below!
Wondering how to plan for your Mount Bromo trip? Read our other articles here: