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Indonesia’s Kawah Ijen Volcano, located in between Bondowoso and Banyuwangi, East Java, is a very unique places that can’t be found in any other places. It has two of the most unusual occurrences on Earth. The solfatara gases and big caldera with acid water in the same places. Kawah Ijen produces more than 36 million square cubic of sulfur and hydrogen chloride.
What can we do in Kawah Ijen?
1. See the famous blue fire
Blue Fire phenomenom is very famous among the tourists. This happens in the Ijen Crater in the nights (just after the midnight 02.00-04.00), just like a blue flame fire in our stoves. Bus, after several investigation, the blue fire actually is not fire. One of the researchers from the University of Geneva, Switzerland who is doing research in Ijen around 2010 found that blue sparks in the crater is the result of the reaction of natural gas with oxygen and molten sulfur to meet at the high temperature around 600 degree of celcius.
The blue fames at Kawah Ijen
2. See the most acidic Lake in the world
Kawah Ijen has the largest acidic lake in the world. This water filled up the one-kilometer crater (around 5.466 hectares) near the top of Ijen. Kawah Ijen also become the largest acid lake in the world. Great abundance sulfur combines with hot water reacted and turned into sulfulric acid with the pH (acidity ratio) 0.5. Even, in the 200 meters deep, the pH already reach 0. Please be careful around the lake, because its high acidity, your clothes even your finger can be hurt.
Kawah Ijen Crater Lake
3. Learn more about traditional sulfur mining
Local people go to Kawah Ijen sulfur mining. Kawah Ijen in Banyuwangi is the largest sulfur mine in Indonesia. People cut sulfur stone, put it in the basket, and bring it to the city. They can bring up to sixty kilograms of sulfur in their shoulder. Amazing strong people! Sulfur then can be used for various purposes in sugar purification and also chemical industry.
The suphur mining worker in Kawah Ijen
4. Enjoy local Banyuwangi culinary
Culinary specialties of Banyuwangi that we can enjoy here is Rojuk Soto, a combination of salad cingur and soto babat. Besides that, we can try Sego (rice) Tempong. It was a plate of rice with several sauce that has very spicy taste. While eating Sego Tempong, the spicy is like slapped (Tempong) our face.
How to get there?
Arrived at Paltuding, we can start hiking to the Mountain Ijen for 3 kilometers. The majority tourist start climbing in the evening to see the natural phenomenon Ijen blue fire. First 1,5 kilometers uphill climb, continue with of 1.5 km slightly sloping climb. The best time to start climbing is around 00.00-01.00, while at 02.00-03.00 we already reach the top and can see the blue fire phenomenom. Hiking trail to the mountain Ijen is easy to access because it also used by local people who do sulfur mining.
The best time to visit Kawah Ijen is during the dry season because the roads are in relatively dry and easy for hiking. Contrary, if we visit during the rainy season, the road will be slippery and frequent landslides and often covered in fog.
Recommended Hotels in Kawah Ijen Banyuwangi [More Hotels]
No booking fee and pay at hotel
Kampoeng Joglo Ijen
Hotel Santika Banyuwangi
Jiwa Jawa Resort Ijen
(sponsored by Booking.com)
Images credit: Flickr Hak Liang, James Bayly, James Bayly, Hak Liang