Photo: Java’s very own Trojan Horse.


Our rating:

Probolinggo, a historic port city on East Java’s north coast, gets a bad rap in most guidebooks with the traveller set (very undeservedly we think), billed as a place to avoid or quickly whizz past on your way to nearby Gunung Bromo barely stopping for a breath.

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Our experience was far different, we found friendly folk, interesting sites, great food, some decent accommodation and ghosts! So, (as Public Enemy say) don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t believe the hype—we think the town has enough interest to warrant at least an extra day or two.

Colourful. Photo taken in or around Probolinggo, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Colourful. Photo: Sally Arnold

Located along the main northern coastal route between Surabaya and Banyuwangi, Probolinggo is around 100 kilometres from the former and 200 kilometres from the latter with the Madura Strait to the north and to the south, the spectacular (and highly touristed) Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, the reason most travellers visit Probolinggo.

The fertile hinterland grows sugar and tobacco along with the more usual rice crops and several large sugar mills are major employers in the region. Every guide book we picked up mentions Probolinggo’s famously delicious mangoes, however we visited out of mango season, so can’t confirm if reports of this ambrosia are accurate. Besides tourists passing through on their way to Bromo, Probolinggo sees its fair share of cruise ships in the port.

The colonial master is still in residence ... in spirit at least. Photo taken in or around Probolinggo, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

The colonial master is still in residence ... in spirit at least. Photo: Sally Arnold

Historically Probolinggo was in existence during Majapahit rule in the 14th century (although not necessarily with that appellation), bordering the eastern Blambangan Kingdom centred around Banyuwangi. In the early 15th century a civil war known as the Paregreg War between these factions led to the beginning of the decline of the Majahpahit Kingdom. There is little historical record of the later period post Majapahit when the Demak Sultanate to the west influenced the spread of Islam until when the Dutch VOC gained control of trade in the region the mid ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,400 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Probolinggo.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda
 Read up on where to eat on Probolinggo.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Probolinggo.
 Read up on how to get to Probolinggo.
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