After descending Mount Penanjakan, our 4×4 driver took us to Mount Bromo. Our Jeep should stop on the parking lot somewhere quite far from Mount Bromo. To cross over what the local calls the ‘sea of sands‘ several options were available. The first and cheapest option is to use your own two feet and walk across the mini desert. Walking from the Parking Area to Mount Bromo would take around 30 to 45 minutes depending on how fast your walking speed is; which means that a round trip would take us around 90 minutes to complete. Since me and my friends were still planning to visit another scenic spot, we decided to conserve our time and energy and use the second option.
As I mentioned previously there are other ways to get through the sea of sands: by horse or motorcycle. I personally suggest you to ride a horse. My reasoning here is quite simple: riding a horse gives a feel of being in a western movie. Imagine: riding a horse with desert and sand as your background. Pretty cool, no? Some of the foreigners around me were asking around if the horses local people in Bromo used to carry us were being treated poorly. I believe that those foreigners would opt not to ride those horses when those horses were being treated poorly. Personally, I don’t think that the horses were treated poorly – at least the one that me and my other friend rode. Our horses were fit enough to walk pass the sands and even do quite a challenging climb on some parts ascending to Mount Bromo.
Now even riding the horse will not take you all the way up to the topmost part of Mount Bromo. After around 20 minutes of walking (with a short 5 minutes ascending section) your guide will ask you to dismount and continue your journey by walking up the stairs of Bromo. The stairs ascending to the top of Mount Bromo reminds me of two other steep stairs I climbed before: the stairs of Batu Caves in Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur and the stairs of the Giant Buddha in Hongkong’s Lantau Island. All three stairs are quite taxing and I am not ashamed to admit that even I am a very fit person, I was a bit out of breath when I reach the top of Mount Bromo.
To be completely honest with you, the view from the top of Mount Bromo is breathtaking – but it couldn’t compare with the view from Mount Penanjakan. Whereas in Mount Penanjakan you are able to see Mount Bromo and some other Mountains as well, all you can see from the top of Mount Bromo is just the Hindu Temple Pura Luhur Poten and the Sea of Sands that you just crossed (also the Mount Batok which is just located beside Mount Bromo). Even the active caldera of Mount Bromo is incomparable to the much more beautiful caldera of other Indonesia’s mountain such as the Kelimutu Mountain in Flores. Once again, I am not saying that the view from the top of Mount Bromo is bad, but it might be best to set your expectations in check. The most beautiful view of Mount Bromo comes from when I view Mount Bromo from Mount Penanjakan – not from when I view the surroundings of Mount Bromo when I’m on top of it.
If you ever decided to hike to the top of Mount Bromo, please also be very careful to walk around the caldera, many parts of the guard rail has been damaged that it is certainly possible for an accident to happen when you are not careful. In fact in the past some tourists were too eager taking selfies and pictures that they fell down to the still active caldera of Bromo. Needless to say those selfies they took were their last. I really advise you not to take children below 12 years old to ascend to the peak of Mount Bromo – it is too dangerous.
Done taking pictures on the top of Mount Bromo we decided to descend and meet back with our guide and horse who help us mount and return back to the parking lot.
Our next two destination on the Mount Bromo Region is called: Bukit Teletubbies (Teletubbies Hill) and Pasir Berbisik (Whispering Sands). The reason why these places have such strange names is because Indonesian people are really creative in naming their touristy places. Teletubbies was a very popular children show in Indonesia back then in the 1990s. As many people might recall, the most iconic shot of Teletubbies was when the four alien monsters came out of the hill and play together. There is one hill on the Bromo region that invoked the same feeling which is why the local then name it Teletubbies Hill. While the Hill is undoubtedly green and quite scenic, I don’t think there’s anything special with this place. There are far more beautiful hills in New Zealand or Australia with more vibrant and different colors. In fact I would suggest you to visit the Wairinding Hill of Sumba Island for a better view of Indonesian’s hill. Therefore try thinking of this hill as more of a bonus rather than the main attraction spot.
Pasir Berbisik or Whispering Sand is another name for what is actually the Sea of Sands in Bromo. This spot became popular several years back because an Indonesian movie called Pasir Berbisik (now you know where the name came from) was filmed here. That movie featured young Dian Sastrowardoyo who is one of Indonesia’s most respected and beloved actress. Again, treat this spot as a bonus spot instead of the main attraction of the Bromo area. The Sea of Sands is quite unique since it is such a different scenery from Teletubbies Hill, however there isn’t really much to see here once I absorbed the beauty of the view.
Since me and my friends still wanted to continue our journey to Taman Nasional Baluran – the Savannah of Indonesia, we decided to not spend too much time anymore here in the Mount Bromo region. Our trip back to the hotel took us nearly 45 minutes where we all just sat in silence. One of my friends fell asleep because he was too tired of waking up this morning while my other friends was chatting with our tour guide. Me? I was still trying to put into words how amazing the whole Mount Bromo region is while checking all the beautiful pictures I took during my trip.
Oh yes Mount Bromo, I will come back again in the future. You can bet on it.