Yogyakarta to Bromo train

Jun 6th, 2015, 08:33 PM
  #1  
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Yogyakarta to Bromo train

I want to travel by train from Yogyakarta to Mount Bromo but I have read so many things online that I am confused on how to do that. Do I take a train from Yogyakarta to Surabuya or Malang or Probolinggo???

From what I've gathered I would take the train from Yogyakarta to Surabuya then hire a car from Surabuya to Bromo. I wonder if I could just take a train to Malang instead of Surabuya then hire a car into Bromo. We aren't concerned about the price so that isn't an issue. I just need some clarification on what route on the train to book.

I looked at the train website and it's semi easy to understand. I just don't know what stations to inquire about.
We love taking trains across countries on our trips and hope this will be a nice journey.

Also, is the view from the train ride scenic? Maybe we should just fly from Yogyakarta to Surabuya... Any thoughts and advice would be sincerely appreciated.
europe2011 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2015, 04:20 AM
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Take a look at www.seat61.com. Usually very good for this sort of info.

We start on our travels through Java tomorrow. We plan on travelling mostly by train and Bromo is on the agenda so I may well be able to provide dome first hand info later this month. Already have our tickets for Jakarta-Bandung and Bandung - Yogyakarta and will see how we go from there.
crellston is offline  
Jun 7th, 2015, 08:42 AM
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There are plenty of tour agencies that arrange tours to Bromo from Surabaya.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 7th, 2015, 08:58 AM
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Oops - posted too soon.

I'm sure there are also agencies in Malang that can arrange a trip for you. What is your plan? Do you plan to spend the night on the mountain or are you going as a day trip? If you are going as a day trip, you need to look at how long it takes to get to Bromo from the place you are spending the night, as most people want to see the sunrise at Bromo.

What is your next step after Bromor? If you want to fly out after that, I'd recommend taking the train to Malang, then going out via Surabaya (lots of flights out of Surabaya).

Are you sold on Bromo as the volcano you want to see? We talked about going to Bromo, but after looking at photos in guidebooks, which show people lined up walking across the caldera as if they were waiting for Starbucks, we said no. There are other spectacular volcanoes in the region if you want to go to one that is as accessible, but less visited.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 7th, 2015, 07:14 PM
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Surabaya, Malang and Probolinggo are all good access points to Bromo, but they are very different destinations. Surabaya is a modern Asian city of about 3 million. Malang is a mid-sized town (under a million) with a lot of charm. Probolinggo is a much smaller, less developed coastal town, somewhat farther west.

The choice would depend on how much time you have and how comfortable you are with do-it-yourself travel.

A lot of people will make the early morning "commute" from one of those towns, catch the sunrise, see the caldera and head back. The whole journey takes about 10 hours. This route is well supported by tour agencies in all three places and can, especially on weekends and Indonesian holidays, be overwhelmed with sightseers.

If you have the time and energy try to stay in the Bromo are for a night or two. Bromo is just one volcanic peak among several in Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park. Aside from the Bromo caldera, the area is profoundly beautiful, both starkly as in the sea of sand and lushly as in the forested mountainsides. Wonderful for day hikes and photography.

My inclination would be to fly to Surabaya from Yogya and stay at Java Banana on Bromo. Java Banana will arrange to meet your flight at Surabaya airport and will set up guides for you around Bromo.

The train from Yogya to Surabaya or Malang is okay but eats up a lot of time that, I think, could be better spent doing day trips around Yogya or Bromo. Transferring to Probolinggo might be a bit more complicated. I've not done it myself.

I think the easiest approach whether you stay on Bromo or afar, is to ask your hotel to arrange transport and guides for you. Bear in mind that it can get very cold at altitude, especially at night.

What time of year are you traveling? What's your next stop?
marmot is offline  
Jun 10th, 2015, 02:36 AM
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We went to Mt Bromo from Malang while travelling around Java by train. Very early (1.30am) start by bus/4wd for sunrise. I believe it's a longer trip still from Surabaya.

Malang is a lovely small city, traditional Indo/colonial, and the rail station is nicely located. It is worth spending time there, and getting out to the surrounding parts.

Surabaya is also interesting in a coastal way. It's one of the main navy bases (unfortunately off limits) but a day around the coast to some of the fishing villages is brilliant. Get a driver who knows the fishing areas and you will see a part of Java that most tourists never do.
mareeS55 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2015, 04:03 PM
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We are currently in Borobodur about to return to Yogyakarta. Trying to decide whether to visit Bromo from Surabaya or Malang. Either way we will probably get the train as we have the time. There seem to be a lot of tours from Yogyakarta but would really prefer to DIY as we are not great tour people.

Any thoughts on which might be the better choice? Malang seems the nicer town but Surabaya seems to have better transport links..Planning to stay a couple of nights at Bromo - any accommodation recommendations?

We are also planning on visiting The Ijen Plateau for some hiking in my knee recovers in time (managed to trip and damage it crossing the road in Jakarta!). Not sure whether this would be better reached from Malang or Surabaya. Any thoughts? Thanks for your help guys, my LP guidebook for Indonesia is somewhat confusing/next to useless!
crellston is offline  
Jun 17th, 2015, 04:57 PM
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I'd say, start your excursion to Bromo in Malang (that is, train from Yogya to Malang), go to Bromo and stay at the Java Banana (that is the place that was recommended to us by marmot - we haven't stayed there) then go from Bromo to Surabaya for your flight out. Surabaya does have the best transport connections.

Sorry to hear of your injury. I hope you are having a fine time!
Kathie is offline  
Jun 17th, 2015, 09:54 PM
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Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park is accessible from Surabaya, Probolinggo and Malang. I'd say Malang's a nicest town to spend time in, but I believe Probolinggo is the closest.

Java Banana is in Wonotoro, halfway between Surabaya and Probolinggo. Their Jazz Gunung (Mountain Jazz) festival is July 12/13 if that fits with your dates. I haven't stayed at Java Banana either, but it's generally thought to be the most (only?) upscale choice on Bromo. I just looked at the rates on their website, though, and they seem extraordinarily high. Maybe they're just being optimistic.

The Lava View Lodge in Cemoro Lawang is very popular. My son stayed there about 10 years ago. He said it was a bit gritty but well located. Hard to guess whether it would have got better or worse.

This site will give you a few other choices: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Bromo..._National_Park

Wherever you stay, I would ask your hotel in Surabaya or Malang to arrange transport for you to your hotel on Bromo. It will be expensive, but buses and other public choices are difficult.

I haven't been to Ijen so I hesitate to give you advice, but I believe you can get to the Ijen plateau by surface from Bromo without backtracking to Surabaya. I'm not sure of the best route, probably through Probolinggo to Bondowoso which is on the western side of the Ijen plateau or from Probolinggo to Banyuwangi on the east. Again, I would ask your Bromo resort to arrange transport for you.

The area is quite rugged and the distances greater and driving times longer than they look because of the terrain. If your driver is fasting, be sure to be somewhere where he can eat at sunset.

Or you can fly or take the train from Surabaya to Banyuwangi. The Ijen Resort which is near Banyuwangi looks spectacular, but their rates also seem crazy high. .

From Ijen you can continue east to Banyuwangi where you get the Ketapang ferry to north Bali. There's also an airport in Banyuwangi with flights to Denpasar and I think Surabaya.
marmot is offline  
Jun 20th, 2015, 03:51 AM
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Marmot, many thanks for the fantastic info which really is a great help and much appreciated.
We have decided to go via Malang, spending a few days there sorting out the tours to Bromo and Ijen and some other stuff we need to sort out. Found a couple of agents in Malang who seem to be charging the earth for tours but hope to do some negotiating when there. I agree re asking the hotels to arrange transport, it seem to be a real nighmare of convoluted journeys and rip off merchants to DIY!

Sadly we won't be around for the Jazz festival (my second favourite music genre after the blues!) - we are heading back to Vietnam for some beach time just before that to avoid mayhem of the end of Ramadan. We were in Borobodur for a few days at the start of Ramadan this week. Managed to book a place betwixt 3 or 4 mosques. Prayers over the loudspeakers as 3, 4 and 5 am did not make for restful nights!

Kathie, thanks for the good wishes. The Jakarta incident comes hard on the heels of me going over the handlebars of a bike in the Mekong delta! Must start to pay more attention!! We are having a great time thanks. Really like Java, especially travelling by train - cheap, amazingly easy, comfortable and punctual. British railways could take a few tips from them!
crellston is offline  
Jun 20th, 2015, 04:24 AM
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Crellston, as marmot suggested above, Ramadan fasting has begun this weekend, driving over long distances can require a certain amount of vigilance if your driver is an observant Muslim and may have effects from day-long fasting. Many aren't, and in East Java there are also Hindu and Buddhist drivers who do not have to observe Ramadan. It's a point worth considering.
mareeS55 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2015, 01:56 PM
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We want to take the train from Yogyakarta. I can only find an early morning train from YOG to Surabuya. Unless I missed something, I only see overnight trains from YOG to Malang or Prob which we don't want to go on.

Are there any trains from Surabuya to Bromo? Or, do we need to take a taxi from? Our hotel near Bromo quoted us a price but we would offer to save money and find a driver at the train station.

We will spend 1 night in Bromo and then head towards Bali.

Should we stop at Ijen on the way? Take a bus/ferry to Bali? How long does the bus/ferry take? Fly from Surabuya?
europe2011 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2015, 03:11 PM
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We are getting the 07.30 train from Yogyakarta to Malang which takes about 10 hours. Bought th stickers at the station yesterday ( very easy!) . See http://seat61.com/Indonesia.htm#.VYXukXBXerU for info on Yogyakarta - Surabaya trains . I see a number of daytime options to Surabaya not sure about the onward connection to Probolingo. Probolingo seems to be the closest and most popular route to Bromo but from what I have read, is rife with scam artists selling overpriced tours, tickets etc. of course, this is hearsay as I haven't been.

I am pretty sure a taxi or succession of buses is the only option from Surabaya to Bromo as there are no trains.

We are heading down to Bali too and the cheapest, most straightforward option seems to be to get a tour from here in Yogyakarta. Plenty of options ranging from 700k to 1.2m could leave tommorrow if we wanted. They all tend to be the same Yogyakarta - I night bromo -1 night Ijen and a drop off at the ferry terminal for Bali.

We prefer to take our time as we are not in a rush so are hoping to be able to negotiate a bit of a deal when we get to Malang.,
PS the trains are a wonderful way to travel. Much better than in Vietnam or Thailand.
crellston is offline  
Jun 20th, 2015, 04:34 PM
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I would love to be able to take a day train from YOG to Malang. It does leave at 7:30 am, right?
europe2011 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2015, 07:08 PM
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europe2011, Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park covers a vast area. Terrain is quite rugged and the roads mixed -- some good, some terrible.

You can make your way to Probolinggo by train or bus, then take a mini-bus from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang which is the point from which many people watch the sunrise. This is also the most congested part of the otherwise unpopulated park.

I haven't been to Ijen but I think it would be worth the effort. To get there from Bromo you need to go back to Probolinggo. From there you can get a bus or train to Bodowoso or to Banyuwangi and from there make your way to Ijen. Like Bromo, roads in the area are quite rugged and travel time is longer than it may appear on a map.

The ferry from Ketapang port (which is near Banyuwangi) to Bali is a short trip, about half and hour. However, be aware that it lands in Gilimanuk which is in the extreme northwest corner of Bali. To get from there to Ubud or to the southern beaches is about 3 to 4 hours and you'll have to arrange additional transport. There are buses and bemos to all parts of the island, but schedules are irregular.
marmot is offline  
Jun 20th, 2015, 07:15 PM
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crellston, It sounds like you got the full Ramadan loudspeaker treatment. Quite the cross-cultural experience! East Java is lovely too, but something about the volcanic craters seems to bring out the worst in people. Considering that Java is home to 140 million souls, it's always surprising how rugged and desolate Bromo and Ijen actually are (except for the sunrise viewing spots which seem to attract at least half of the population every morning).
marmot is offline  
Jun 21st, 2015, 12:46 AM
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Europe2011 - yes it does leave at 07.30. Bought the tickets yesterday. We depart on Tuesday. There were plenty of tickets available for most days 210k rupiah fro executif and 140k standard class.

Marmot - yes we did get the full loudspeaker treatment. I have been to quieter rock concerts!

I have been reading up on the crowds and the cons at the viewing spots on Bromo. I am hoping, probably vainly, that being Ramadan it may be a little quieter. A couple of travel agents I have spoken with said that they felt there weren't too many tourists around at the moment that is probably just the usual agent BS.
crellston is offline  
Jun 21st, 2015, 07:06 AM
  #18  
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Can you buy train tickets from the U.S. Ahead of time? I've looked and can't find a website in English. Would prefer to book ahead of time to ensure 1st class seats and all.
europe2011 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2015, 07:25 AM
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I was unable to find any way to book ahead from the US. I did use a local agent in Yogyakarta who bought our tickets for us.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 21st, 2015, 07:51 AM
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I booked tickets for Jakarta - Bandung and Bandung - Yogyakarta online in advance using this website http://flights.indonesiamatters.com/train-tickets/ . Took a few days to respond and needed a reminder but the process was very straightforward.

Pay using PayPal and you get a confirmation with allocated seats with a reference number. Input that number at the machines in the station and out pops the tickets. All very easy. A very good service, but they do charge a commission.
crellston is offline  

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