Friday, August 23, 2019

Magnificent Blue Fire at Kawah Ijen

I always like to go for hiking and adventurous activity, and one of my bucket checklist for hiking is Ijen Crater or Kawah Ijen in Banyuwangi, Indonesia. It's quite famous with its caldera with beautiful emerald green water, and it has other main attraction which is the "Blue Fire". "Blue Fire" is the natural blue flame on the crater that ignited by sulfuric gas from the cracks with temperature up to 600 degree Celcius. There are only 2 locations in the world that has blue flame phenomenon, it's in Indonesia and Iceland. The one in Ijen Crater is the largest blue flame in the world. Since it's in my country, so there's no way that I don't visit it.

Actually I went there on last 2016, but I wasn't lucky enough because the mountain guide didn't allow us to climb up due to sulfur gas that too strong. They only allow to start hiking around 4PM, when I reached the peak, the sun has risen so it's too late to go down to the crater to catch the blue fire. So I only enjoyed the sunrise and the caldera view.

In this second attempt, I was quite nervous that it will happened like before. So as preparation, I did some research (e.g. check the weather, the crowd, and other things) and also contact the mountain guides there to ask the current situation before decide to go, I also allocate to have couple days to stay there just in case the first day I get unlucky situation, just to make sure I have bigger chance to catch the blue fire.

After get all information, I booked with one of the tour guide there
I asked my school friend to join me as well, and we decided to go on Thursday 15 August 2019, it's on weekdays so the crowd will be lesser. After took morning flight from Kuala Lumpur to Surabaya, we continue the journey by taking Sri Tanjung train from Surabaya to Banyuwangi, the train took 6 hours 30 minutes. We reached there around 9PM, took rest and find dinner while waiting the tour guide to pick up us.

The guide pick us at 12:30AM, and we reach to the hiking starting point around 1:30AM, after had short briefing we start hiking at 2AM. The track is consider as easy to medium, with lot of ascent tracks. I was so excited, so I maintain my pace, keep walking and not to stop that often. I managed to reach the peak in 2 hours, then decide to take short break. When I was there, it's quite bright from the full moon light, and it's so beautiful. From far can see small lights from hikers that still on the way up.

Then I continue my journey by climbing down to the crater area to go to blue fire spot, I need to start wearing the mask because the sulfur smell is getting stronger. The path is quite narrow, so I need to queue or ask "permission" from other hikers to go pass them by. It took around 30 to 40 mins to reach there. The moment of truth, I feel so amazed when first time reached the blue fire spot, it's so breathtaking and so beautiful view. I got my phone to record videos and snap pictures. Sadly can't really stay here for too long, because the sulfur gas is so strong and the space is not that big, need to give chance for others as well, so I just spent there for around 20 mins. Here's the video and picture of it:

Going up is another challenge due to the narrow path, because need to queue again to give priority for others that start to go down. I was quite lucky because I can reach top of crater again just in time before the sunrise. Here's my most favorite spot to take the picture, from behind can see the caldera with the emerald green water, plus the full moon that still can be seen clearly. Meanwhile in front of me, can see the sun that rising. 

And since the day after it is Indonesia's Independence Day (17 August), I purposely bring flag to snap picture with it, to show how proud I am as Indonesian :)

It's really fulfilling hiking trip and I feel so happy that finally can experience and witness the magnificent blue fire at Kawah Ijen. 

Whatsapp Button works on Mobile Device only

Start typing and press Enter to search