So I wanted to do Mount ljen but I didn’t want to pay for the expensive tour. Therefore I thought it would be good for me to try and do My ljen on my own. I decided to make an event on Couchsurfing to see if anyone would join me and I managed to get a little group together. The trip itself took roughly around a day, we didn’t sleep over night anywhere we just climbed the volcano straight away. So prepare to be buggered by the end of it, but rest assure you will be thankful that you did it, it was one of my most favourite things I did in Indonesia.
However, if you’re an adventure junkie and you love to scoot around. Hire a scooter from Bali and drive yourself to Gillimanuk, get yourself on the ferry to Banyuwangi and then scoot up to the crater. I am not so much of a dare devil so I took the bus route.
Bali to Mt ljen
Ubung bus station
Right, this is an adventure on it’s own. We arrived at 5pm which gave us enough time to book a bus ticket. Most people recommend not to go to this station but it’s an experience in itself. As soon as you arrive you will get swamped by people trying to sell you a bus ticket. The trick is to not purchase a ticket at the counters because they will be extremely over priced. Purchase the ticket with the driver or on the bus. You need to get to Banyuwangi and the ticket price includes the bus and the ferry over. We paid $6.00 for an air-conditioned bus it’s cheaper for no air con. The trip took longer than expected so it was roughly 6hrs to get there, when it should have been 4. Which worked out fine for us because we arrived in Banyuwangi for 11pm.
Right, we kind of had to take a detour because one of the travellers booked a hotel for the night in Banyuwangi. Once we got to the hotel, we organised for some jeeps to take us up to the crater. The jeep to get there and back was $10 each. Basically it was $60 per jeep, luckily we fit an extra person in so it was a tad cheaper for us. We also hired gas masks there as well which cost us $2.50.
The drive to the crater takes about an hour and a half, from there you just purchase your ticket which should cost you $10 and then you start hiking! It was around 2am when we started hiking. From there that is where your journey begins, it starts off pretty steep going up, but nothing too exhausting. We literally had no sleep so this may have affected my mobility, or that’s what I am telling everyone anyway because I was a bit slow. It’s takes an hour and a half to climb up the volcano, and then once you are up you can go see the amazing blue fire which is probably another 30 minute hike down.
Mt ljen back to Bali
The jeep should take you back to your hotel, we got back at around 8am. They gave us some free breakfast and then we decided to head back to Bali not long after. We got one of those Bemo buses which cost us each $1.50 to get to the ferry. We definitely over-paid but it seems like everyone was not budging that day! We then jumped onto the ferry to Gillimanuk is only 60 cents.
Gillimanuk to Bali
From Gillimanuk we got to the bus station, there wasn’t much buses around so we found ourselves in quite of a pickle. They wanted to charge us $5 for a non air conditioned bus. We managed to get them to drop it to $3.50 so for a good 5 hours we were sweating on a bus heading to Ubung station. Once at Ubung station I just go jek it back to Seminyak which cost $2.50.
Whilst getting the bus and ferry takes longer than anticipated I really enjoyed it as I prefer to travel this way. It’s all part of the journey and all up it cost less than $40.00 which is a big difference to the $250.00 tours they provide in Bali.