Exploring Baluran & Kawah Putih

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To conitue our Banyuwangi adventure, after climbing down Mount Ijen, we drove back to the hotel to rest. After lunch, we hopped on a bus and made our way to Baluran National Park. I was pretty excited to visit this place because I mentioned it to a friend and he showed me a photo of the place. (plus, I've never been to a savanna before!)

Baluran National Park

I was asleep during the whole bus ride going to Baluran (probably because I ate a lot during lunch lol!) I woke up when we were finally inside Baluran National Park. (There is an entrance fee to get inside the park, by the way. 150,000 IDR during the week and 225,000 IDR on week-ends per person) It took us a while to actually get to the vast field (the one in the photo below). Definitely shows how big the place is.

(Baluran National Park, located in Situbondo Regency, East Java, Indonesia is about 250 square kilometers. It is home to 196 bird species, 444 species of plants, and 26 species of mammals including a few endangered ones. The park has been protected since 1928 and was declared a national park in 1980.) 

Our bus finally stopped and we were finally allowed to go down and explore the field!  I couldn't help but smile upon seeing the view. I mean, if you were greeted by this view, wouldn't you smile too? 

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I guess everyone was pretty excited to explore the field (and take photos of course!) 

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We tried our best to get closer to the animals but I think they were just too far. (Be cautious when running around the savanna though. We were informed that there are snakes in the area so better watch where you're stepping.)

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It's not everyday we get to go to a place like this so we took the opportunity to take lots and lots of photos!

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Jeremy and Kama caught taking photos during our stay in the park. 

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Closest I got to some water buffalos in the park.

We were hoping to see more animals but the sun was about to set and we had to leave to go to our next hotel. Our next hotel was a bit far so we had to pack up before the sun totally set so we can have dinner on time and have enough rest for our early flight to Bandung the next day.

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Bandung

Saying hello to Bandung from above. We landed around lunch time in Bandung and we were greeted by the huge volume of cars in the city. 

Bandung is the capital city of West Java and is the fourth largest city in Indonesia. It is also the third largest city by population. My favorite part about Bandung is the slightly cooler weather it has. It got pretty chilly during our first night (note that I easily get cold and temperatures around 17-18c is already cold for me. Haha). On our second day in Bandung (and sadly our last in Indonesia), we headed to Kawah Putih.

Kawah Putih

Kawah Putih is located 50km south of Bandung which makes it a must see when you're in the area. It usually takes 2 hours to get to Kawah Putih from Bandung but it may vary depending on the traffic. If you got to see my post about Kawah Ijen, you'd notice that Ijen has a lake. To get down Ijen's lake, you'd have to traverse 700m down from the summit. So if you're like me and you're not really up for something like that, you get a chance to see a similar lake up close in Kawah Putih. 

When going to Kawah Putih, it is recommended to wear a jacket since it tends to get chilly (10c) in the area. Wearing a gas mask is also advised since the smell of sulfur is present in the area.

We left our bus in the main parking area and got on a mini shuttle bus to the crater itself. The ride going to the crater was actually quite fun (since the driver quite drives pretty fast lol!). We dropped off by the giant Kawah Putih sign and had to walk a bit to get to the crater. 

We finally got to the crater and we were greeted by this gorgeous turquoise colored lake. It was definitely my first time to see a lake with this color. Now I understand why you should go to this place when you're in Bandung. 

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We arrived pretty late so there were quite a number of people already in the area. If ever you'd want to take pictures of the place with fewer people, I suggest you get there before the place opens (8AM).

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Even with a ton of people in the photo, this place still looks amazing. I'm glad that our last stop for our Indonesia trip was Kawah Putih. (Well, it wasn't supposed to be but we had to leave Bandung early and skip the next day to avoid traffic from Bandung to Jakarta).

This concludes my 11-day adventure around Indonesia. It was definitely one of the most memorable trips I've ever gone to. Before I joined this trip, the only thing that came to mind when Indonesia was mentioned was Bali. But now, I know that there is more to Indonesia than just Bali. Honestly, I've been itching to go back ever since I got home from our trip. Writing all these entries actually made me miss Indonesia more. I have my fingers crossed that I get to visit again in the near future.

That's it for all my Indonesia posts for now. Hopefully you guys enjoyed following along my adventures in this wonderful country. :)

Disclosure: I was invited by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia to be part of their blogger tour #TripOfWonders