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Ijen Crater Tourism with Blue Fires at the Midnight

Ijen Crater or Kawah Ijen is the most acid crater in the world. It has 300 – 500 meters height of calderas and width until 5,466 hectares. The size of the crater itself approximately 20 km with the depth around 300 meters beneath of the caldera wall. Ijen view is amazing and you dont have to worry when you visit it because the spot tourism has beautiful scenery. 

Enjoying the mountain nuance is the main attraction as you visit Ijen Crater. Not only about the sunrise, but this place also offer you an incredible experience in life, i.e. the blue fire of Ijen Crater from the mid night to 04.30 morning. Moreover, you can witness the natural phenomenon of Crater Lake with turquoise color. As one of natural tourism, you demanded to have fit body before tracking to Ijen Crater because your stamina is tested if you want to explore this area. Are you ready?
Picture News.nationalgeographic

Ijen Crater transportation
Currently, the Ijen Crater accommodation and transportation are accessible and easier. If you start your journey by plane, either from Jakarta or Denpasar Bali, you can land to Juanda Surabaya Airport or choose direct flight to Blimbingsari Airport at Banyuwangi (for local flight). Here is the first route : Banyuwangi – Licin sub-district (15km) – Patulding (18km/1 hours) – Ijen Crater Gate. 

For the practical trip, you can join to Ijen Crater tour. They will arrange your journey from the beginning until you experience the blue fire at the midnight. You can rent a car or motorcycle, but you are suggested to have jeep double garden because the road toward Ijen Crater is windy and ascending. 

The second route is if you start the trip from Surabaya. You can choose Surabaya – Situbondo – you can go toward Sempol-Bondowoso sub-district from Wonosari – Patulding. This route is easier and accessible so that you can drive a standard car (not a jeep). As you arrive at Patulding, you have to walk for about 3 km toward Ijen Crater. The entrance ticket is IDR2k for local and IDR15k for foreign.

Ijen Crater Tourism
In the morning, you can welcome the exotic sunrise with the incredible panorama. The sun shine in the morning irridiating into the crater and it will be reflected while creating enchanting turquoise color on the surface. Although the water in the crater looks so calm but you have to be careful because it is extreme dangerous because the sulfur liquid in the Ijen Crater has 200 millions meter cubic with 200 degree Celcius. It doesnt only make your clothes melting, but perhaps yourself. Thus, dont try to play too close to the Ijen Crater.

At the south east of Ijen Crater, there is solfatara field that always release volcanic gas with the hight concentration of sulfur and it inflict a dreadful stench. Whereas at the west, there is water dam that is becomes upper course of Banyupait River. Actually the dam is also attractive spot to visit but only few visitors come there because it doenst accessible. It demand heavy struggle because the landslide often happen there. 

In the midnight, Ijen view will show you fantastic phenomenon. The sulfur liquid would flowing down continuously into the crater inflicting the blue fire. And you know, there is only 2 blue fire phenomenon in the world, Indonesia (Ijen Crater) and Iceland. In order to see Ijen view of blue fire, you have to climb the Ijen Mountain around 02.00 midnight from the gate (Patulding) by resisting the frozen temperature from 2 – 10 degree Celcius. But it worth to do because you will never able to find the Ijen view with a picturesque scenery in other places. 

Miners at Ijen Crater
Ijen Crater itself is a mountain crater that used as mining area of sulphur in Banyuwangi Regency and has become the biggest sulphur mining with traditional processing. Moreover, the crater has unlimited sublimit of sulphur because it comes out continuously and this have beneficial for chemical industry.

Usually, the miner carrying the burden by on foot while descending the caldera for 3 km to take the sulphur. That is not an easy work because they still have to dig it first by a very simple tools. And then they need to split the rocks and put it inside the big basket. Each miners may carry the stone for about 70 - 100 kg while wearing a mask as the breath protector. And still he has to go back again for 2 – 3 times a day.

The miners carries the sulphur on the shoulder toward Bundar Post and weigh it there. if you come there, you will see some miners sitting under the trees and stretching the body and the other miners packing the stone to the sacks and carry it to the truck. The price of the stone sulphure is IDR0.330 per kg. 

Yes, life is so hard in Ijen Crater area. It doesnt look as sweet as the blue fires for the miners. The money they get is not comparable to the risk of life they have to give it. To entertain them, dont hesitate to say hello and blend to them because they will happy to greet you. They are friendly and polite person and will always give you any answer of your question. 

Visiting Ijen Crater will make you more respect your life because there you will see how life is so difficult and have to struggle to earn the money. Watching people carrying heavy solid sulphur on shoulder should be demand strong body. In addition, the miners still have to process it traditionally. 

Ijen Crater accommodation
Outer the area of Ijen Crater Post, there is hotel that is organized by foresty department. The price is IDR100k per night. Besides that, you can stay in villa by paying IDR500k per night. If you want to get comfortable place, you can stay at guest house from PTP near Belawan and Jampir Farming start from IDR135k per night. But, you have to rent a car to take you to Paltuding Post for about 6 km.

Tips traveling to Ijen Crater
1. The right time to visit Ijen Crater is at dry season (July to September) because the access and the opportunity to see the blue fire is higher.
2. Your body must be fit because the route to the Ijen Crater is ascending and descending. Plus if you plan to surround the caldera, it takes around 10 hours by on foot. You can bring personal medicine, manset, wet tissue, water, tent, stick, boot shoes, hat, gloves, and jacket.
3. Hire local guide is also important because he/she has knowledge about this area. That is why you are suggested to join Ijen Crater tour with travel agent. 
4. If you want, you can buy souvernir from the sulphur with cute shapes from IDR5k – IDR20k.
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