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The name Banyuwangi is Javanese for "fragrant water". For decades, Banyuwangi has been the gateway for travellers from Java island going to Bali by public ferry. In this article, we will cover the basic information on how to go to Banyuwangi and of course, Banyuwangi points of interest.
What to see in Banyuwangi
The number 1 attraction in Banyuwangi has got to be the natural phenomenon Ijen Crater and its blue flame.
This town is also the gateway to the oldest game reserve on Java island. You could watch wild animals roam freely at Alas Purwo National Park.
Meanwhile, surfers can consider heading to the famous G-Land (Plengkung Beach) for some serious, exhilirating surfing.
For families and leisure travellers, the Sukamade beach located at the Meru Betiri National Park could provide some educational and fulfilling activities. One of it would be to observe turtles that would naturally lay eggs by the beach.
Ijen Crater (Kawah Ijen)
Ijen Crater is the biggest Crater Lake in Java. Measuring 200 meters deep, it contains around 36 million cubic meters of steaming acid water, shrouded in strong-smelling sulphur cloud.
You can find several different colours and sizes of rock formations. This setting makes the Ijen crater one beautiful & natural stone garden.
To catch the sunrise, we recommend that you start your hike early from the base of the trail along the road to Pos Paltuding from Bondowoso. It is roughly a 65 km (~90-min hike).
If you're after the mystical blue flame, then you'd need to start your journey around midnight.
Plengkung Beach (G-Land)
Plengkung Beach, also known as G-Land, is located in Alas Purwo National Park. Many international surfers have rated it as one of the best surfing sites on the planet!
The waves here roll from East to West and can reach a height of up to 6 metres. Putting it to the perspectives of non-surfers, it is HUGE! With such gigantic waves coming in at 5-minute intervals, many claim that the waves are second only to those in Hawai.
It got its nickname G-land partly due to the fact that the coast of Plengkung Beach resembles the letter G when viewed from a certain angle.
Alas Purwo National Park
The Park is made up of mangroves, savannahs, lowland forests and coral-fringed beaches. The Park is considered to have the most natural tropical rainforests and one of the oldest in Indonesia.
Alas Purwo is also the home of some rare and endangered species. They include: dhole (mountain wolf), Javan langur (old world monkey), green peafowl (peacock), red junglefowl, olive ridley (sea turtle), hawksbill turtle and green turtle.
Sukamade Beach (Meru Betiri National Park)
Sukamade beach is a quiet and beautiful part of the 50,000 hectare Meru Betiri National Park.
Almost every night, you can witness turtles laying eggs on the beach. It is a very important animal conservation site and protected 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by park rangers.
The species of the turtles there include the hawksbill turtle, olive ridley turtle and the green sea turtle.
How to go to Banyuwangi
To travel to Banyuwangi from Surabaya, the 300-km journey could take between 6-8 hours by car (depending on the traffic).
The most convenient and safest way is to go for a tour or book a vehicle with driver. Unlike in more developed destinations, navigating this route can be quite complicated.
If you are adventurous and prefer to take public transportation, consider taking the train from Surabaya’s Gubeng Station. There are 2 train options: one departs in the morning at 0900 hours and arrives Banyuwangi by 1530 hours (Mutiara Timur Siang). The other one departs at night (2200 hours) and will arrive in Banyuwangi by 0425 hours (Mutiara Timur Malam).
It will take more than 7 hours by this routing and a one-way train ticket will cost you approximately S$7/MYR21/USD5