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Would it be dumb to do Yogya --> Bromo --> Bali independently?

Posted by HeHeLOL5 on 6/5/2013 at 20:29

Hi all,

I have about 10 days to travel in Indo. I would like to fly into Yogyakarta, then head to Bali through Mt. Bromo. I've heard that the minibus trips are uncomfortable, and I read online that it's more comfortable (and quicker) to use public transportation or executive busses, as detailed below. For someone who has never travelled in Indo and doesn't know the langauge, is the below trip recommended?

- Yogya to Bromo: Takethe morning train from Yogya to Surabaya (leaves at around 7am; gets in atabout 12pm). From there take either a local train or a bus to Probolinggo(takes about two hours), and from there a local minibus up to Cemoro Lawang,the accomodation centre for Bromo.
- Stay in Bromo, get up for the sunrise. Then leave late morning for Bali.
- Bromo to Bali: Takea local minibus back down to the Probolinggo bus station, and get on the firstbus to Bali or Banyuwangi (whichever comes first; if you get a Banyuwangi busyou'll find an onward bus to Denpasar in the ferry terminal there). 4-5 hour driving to Banyuwangi if go via north coast (situbondo-banyuwangi not jember-banyuwangi). Does the ferry to Denpasar run frequently, and how long does it take?

Also, if it is possible to do the trip independently, would I be missing out on something great if I skip Ijen?

If cost is no issue, would it be better to go to Mt. Bromo then back to Surabaya and fly to Bali? I love scenery and would be willing to sit in a bus for a few more hours if the drive is scenic.

Thank you in advance!


#1 HeHeLOL5 has been a member since 6/5/2013. Posts: 1

Posted by doyanmelancong on 7/5/2013 at 01:08

Hi Patricia, if it allowed I would like to give some respond here.
first of all, i am originally from yogyakarta, indonesia so please forgive if there are mistake in my english.
anyway, base on ur writing i assume u are not going to stay at yogyakarta isnt it ?
but whatever it is, i am personally as citizen here are prefer with plane or personal driver like u rent car then u hire the driver too.
but if u insist to take public transportation my suggest is use train.
the most disturbing things if using transport like bus is when u buy the ticket, if u buy it on terminal then get ready for bunches of ticket scalper, try not to buy from them. choose official loket and dont forget to read recent articles about ticket pricing so u will know if they markup ur ticket prices too high or not.

actually if u got guide or friend that u can trust why dont make the itinary this way :
day 1 and 2 at yogya
day 3 at bromo
day 4 at malang
day 5 fly to bali from yogya the earliest flight is 6am
day 5 - 10 in bali
take 2 days in south (airport,kuta,sanur,uluwatu etc), 1 day in north(lovina etc), 1 day in east (trunyan etc) then the left day u can choose west(national park) or back to south

if there is anything about it u need to ask just let me know.

after all, thankyou so much for planning visiting indonesia and i wish u my very best of luck!

Best regards,

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Posted by caseyprich on 7/5/2013 at 07:32

I did this trip independently last July and it wasn't too bad, if a bit hectic to try and catch connections at times - I prefer trains to minivans and buses. I took the early train from Yogya and then shared a taxi to the bus station where I caught a regular bus to Probolinggo. Once there, it was a bit dicey getting transport up the mountain and we had to wait for a minivan to fill up before we departed . . . this caused us to get to Cemoro Lawang after dark. The next morning was an early rise and up the hill to catch a crowded view of the crater - still worth it. I was told that I couldn't make it back to Probolinggo on time to catch the train (many people trying to sell me onward to Ijen and then Banyuwangi) but managed to get on an early return bus down the mountain (I jut wanted to catch the view and didn't want to stay another night) that dropped me off at the bus station downtown. There again they tried to just load me on another bus, but I caught a cab and hurried on to the train station - where I was late for the train. However, the train was late as well, so I got the ticket and it was a rather pleasant ride to Banyuwangi. In some ways a proud and others a not so proud leg of the journey as I did just kinda dash for the site. I got to Banyuwangi around dusk if I remember correct and had to catch a moto into town. That was one heck of a two days.

You can probably catch an evening ferry and boat . . . but I didn't try. Starting in the morning ferries to Gilmanuk (directly across to Bali in about 20 minutes) leave very regularly. I don't think there is a ferry to Kuta or the area around Denpasar . You can just book a bus ticket that you hop on and it takes you all the way to Denpasar though - or you can catch the ferry on your own and get a bus on Bali to take you there.

You should give yourself at minimum two full days (3 nights) in Yogyakarta, then you've got the two days of Bromo to Banyuwangi if everything goes according to plan - I recommend you just rest up in Banywangi for a night before heading over to Bali in the morning. That still gives you a few good days to find a spot to settle into and relax before you have to return home. Careful you don't get trapped in Yogya though - it is a wonderful little city.

EDIT: captain - can you please stop insinuating that people posting questions on this site are gullible and ignorant. The trolling is starting to get a little old.

#3 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by doyanmelancong on 7/5/2013 at 07:52

agree with casey. treat people the way u want to be treated. scolding isnt gonna help.

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Posted by jen_on_vl on 26/5/2013 at 21:33

Hi Patricia! When will you be in Indonesia? I'll take same route this June. If you need a travel buddy, we can go together :)

I also have a question regarding the Jogja-Surabaya-Probolinggo-Cemoro Lawang route. Is it safe for solo female travelers? Or would you advise that I take the package tours from Yogyakarta? I really hate long hours in buses and vans from tours.

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Posted by caseyprich on 27/5/2013 at 08:31

Safety really shouldn't be a concern as there are plenty of people around on all legs and you travel all but the tail end during the day . . . i guess just don't get into a sketchy minivan if you're the only passenger.

However, if you don't like a bunch of bus rides and certainly don't want a bunch of connections at stations and such - then better to plan a relaxed stay in Yogya and try and rangle a group together to join you on a 'package tour'/car&driver rental.

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Posted by con1982 on 28/5/2013 at 07:39

I'm planning on taking a similar route in late July with my girlfriend.

Spend 4/5 days in Yogya, then bus/train to Solo . A day or two in Solo, then bus/train to Surabaya. I haven't heard great things about Surabaya, so I was planning on doing a Mt. Bromo 1 day round trip then flight or boat to Bali.

Is the 1 day Mt. Bromo trip worth it? Should I stay overnight near the volcano?

Not sure about travel to Bali either. I like the idea of a bus & boat but don't want to lose a whole day.

Might skip Solo if Yogya is as amazing as i've read. I'm thinking it's the Chiang Mai of Indonesia........

#7 con1982 has been a member since 19/1/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by jen_on_vl on 2/6/2013 at 14:11

@Caseyprich, I have a rough idea now how to take that route from Surabaya. After the climb, where did you get the ride back to Probolinggo bus station? Is there a minivan station in Cemoro Lawang? Or was it an arrangement with the hostel?

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Posted by caseyprich on 2/6/2013 at 19:20

On the main street right outside my guesthouse were a number of minivans lined up. I was being hassled even by my hostle to try and book onward to Banyuwangi (but wanted to take the train). So, I stood out in the road, saw a van that was nearly loaded to head down to the Probolinggo bus station and just talked my way onto an open seat. Once I got to Probolinggo station they again tried to get me on another bus to the east - but I hit up a cab on the street and rushed over to the train station.

For your consideration: I was prepared to stay the night in Probolinggo if none of that worked out, or just see if I could catch another later bus, but was set on the train.

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Posted by cardkleener on 4/6/2013 at 11:23

I went to Yogy from Jakarta by rail. I was trying to make it to Bali. However there was some kind of holiday and I ended up being stuck in Yogy. I could of got a plane ticket to Bali IF I bribed some guy with bording passes stuffed in his shirt. I refused to do that so I just hung out in Yogy. I didn't have much of a problem with a language barrier. Since I'm a tall white man I had a lot of stares. People were very friendly to ma and would love to return there some day.

Rail is probablty the best way to go. It does stop a lot but sit next to a window as all the little kids will wave at you when they see you.

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Posted by pixie_ink on 8/6/2013 at 09:38

Hey jen_on_vl,

What are your dates for this route in June? I am planning on doing the same towards the end of the month - 22nd onwards.
I wouldn't mind pairing up so let me know if your dates coincide.


#11 pixie_ink has been a member since 8/6/2013. Posts: 1

Posted by jen_on_vl on 8/6/2013 at 14:08

Hi Pixie_ink! I'll be in Yogyakarta June 17-19, then next day, will head to Surabaya-Probolinggo-Cemoro Lawang, then off to Bali over the weekend.

@tuyul99, that's a great idea. How long is the bus ride from Yogya to Surabaya?

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Posted by tiruvalla on 7/8/2013 at 06:15

Hi..I am planning to visit Bali on 02nd September 2013 and from Bali, I wish to go to Mt. Bromo on 06 September. Anybody can please advise me the travel options..?

#13 tiruvalla has been a member since 7/8/2013. Posts: 1

Posted by adaminasia on 4/9/2013 at 04:54

Patricia - can I ask what you ended up doing? I'll be taking the same route next week, did you end up traveling on your own?


#14 adaminasia has been a member since 22/7/2013. Posts: 20

Posted by jen_on_vl on 21/9/2013 at 08:23

Hi everyone! Last June (sorry for the late update), I took the ff route;
>> Jakarta - Yogyakarta via train
>>Yogyakarta-Cemoro Lawang-Bromo via night trip booked at Yogyakarta
>>Bromo to Mengwi, Bali by bus

Jakarta to Yogyakarta morning train was comfortable and not crowded. There were only 7 of us in our part of the train [img]smileys/bigsmile.gif[/img]. Stayed for 3 days in Yogyakarta, then to save time, I booked a night trip(no overnight hotel) to Bromo. Not advisable if you have lots of spare time, however it turned out to be a comfortable drive as well. We left Yogya at 4pm and there were only 2 other passengers in the van! We arrived about an hour late after sunrise, I guess this was because of the traffic going out of Yogyakarta brought by heavy afternoon rain, but overall it was good. We switched to our 4x4 jeep in Cemoro Lawang then drove up to catch the sunrise. No crowd at Penanjakan viewpts(I guess most of the people were down at the sea of sands) and the sun was still peeking at the mountains.

Around 1pm we left Probolinggo for Bali in a tourist bus(ferry included) and arrived at Mengwi almost midnight. We were supposed to stop at Denpasar, but I found some fellow travelers who were headed to Sanur and we decided it was better to just hire a taxi from there and split the fare. Stayed at Sanur for 3 days and 2 days in Kuta.

Took 9 days to complete this solo trip, the only part I didn't like was the tourist bus to Bali. I arrived at Probolinggo at around 11am and was asked to wait for the bus at the travel agency's office. After an hour or so, more passengers/tourists arrived and we waited. I've read on some blogs that its easier to just go straight to the bus station and buy a bus ticket there. But since I'm in a budget trip and the bus to Bali was part of the package I bought in Yogyakarta, I waited and just read a book. By 1pm, the bus finally arrived and it turned out that the agency overbooked it! Two passengers had no seats and was offered full refund or half price if they still took the bus. Since everyone was tired and eager to just get to Bali, some lended blankets/malongs so the other two guys can sit at the aisle. If ever I'd get a chance to take this route again, I would really just head to Surabaya and just take the train to Bayuwanggi.

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