Friday, August 30, 2013

Destinations of Earth's Elements in East Java

Do you know american cartoon, Avatar Aang, a character who is able to control four elements of earth which are fire, water, air, earth? Or perhaps, have you ever read Dan Brown's novel, Angels and Demons, that is related to those four elements, too? Well, I'm not going to tell you further about them but I'd like to say that I have traveling experience that probably can be related to them.

As an engineer, I had a mobile work. When I was on East Java, the opportunity to take a look around  was pretty high. From mountain to sea, from big city to small village. And, there are some destinations that I think they represent the four elements (if they don't, just let me think so :D). Here are the four destinations, maybe someday you can try while visiting East Java:

1. Bromo, Malang - Element of fire

Okay, I know that it's not closely related to fire. However, as an active mountain, let's say Bromo has correlation to fire, doesn't it? Just admit it! :p

Sunrise at Penanjakan
Let's continue.. As we know that Bromo is one of the most well-known destination in Indonesia, not only for local tourists but also for the foreign ones. Chasing sunrise at Penanjakan is one of the things that can't be missed. And indeed, when I was there, I was surprised to see that the number of foreigners were quite a lot. I mean I didn't expect that many of them were willing to wake up very early in order to see the sun rose. Moreover, they surely came from far away abroad, didn’t they?

After enjoying sunrise, next thing that can be seen is the Bromo crater. It's pretty far from Penanjakan that is why we need Jeep-type car to deliver us. Don’t even think that it will carry us onto top of mountain. The car will only deliver us until certain point, in front of shrine. And from that point, we need to walk to reach top of mountain. Or,  horse rental can be considered as an alternative. Once we get the top, the crater is just right in front of us.

The next two places that we may to visit are savana and Pasir Berbisik (Whispering Dessert). They are probably not as popular as the previous ones because I didn’t see tourists as many as before. The savana is a vast green area which is only covered by grass. There are also hills in distance. Simply, for me, it's like in New Zealand. In contrast, Pasir Berbisik is a large grey dessert as if a monochrome world. Some says that whenever wind blows on it, it sounds like people whispering. Thus, it's called Pasir Berbisik (Wisphering Dessert).
2. Pantai Pasir Putih, Situbondo - Element of Water

Quiet beach with traditional boat
So, what's closely related to water? If you're thinking of sea or beach, you tend to be correct. It was Pantai Pasir Putih which is located in Situbondo that I have visited. To be more specific, it was not an usual visit to get relaxing by its view but I did extra-activity there, snorkeling. 

The beach is not as wonderful as other Indonesian beaches that we usually see. We may not find white sand or crystal water there. Nevertheless, it's a quiet beach. When I was there, it was only few people who visited the beach. So, it's pretty suitable if we want to have lonely getaway.

There are also several local restaurants that provide fresh seafood. I think they obtain fish, crab, squid, etc directly from the fisherman. Enjoying our dish right in front of the beach is perfect, isn't it?

And about the snorkeling, yeah it's possible for us to have snorkeling. Taman Laut is the spot for snorkeling. It has been found just recently, few years ago. We can't find motor boat to bring us there. It's sailed-traditional boat instead. You must try this kind of boat for sure. You will experience different feeling compare to usual boat.
3. Paragliding, Batu - Element of Air

Malang is very attractive destination for tourist. And, there is Batu City that seemed to be deliberately intended as tourist city. I was surprised when I had opportunity to pump out my adrenaline by paragliding in there. Of course, I did not want to miss it.
Flying above in the sky

If you want more information about paragliding in Batu, Malang you can just google about. The base is located in Songgoriti. Perhaps, we  will be requested to meet up at this base. However, it's possible to go directly to the hill, the take off point, like I did. It's easy to find just follow the road that heading to Kediri. Besides, there are direction marks that guides to the hill.

About the sensation of riding paragliding. It was truly amazing. My flying was only around 30 minutes, though. Eventhough it was quite pricey because its cost 350k rupiah, for me I was satisfied enough. And don't worry if we never fly with it before or unable operate it, because there is tandem package with licensed-professional pilot. One more important thing is the view of Malang City can be seen from above.  What a view!
4. Gua Gong, Pacitan - Element of Earth

Last but not least, this is the element of earth. I take Gua Gong Cave as representation of this element. You know, once we inside the cave, we are surely covered by the earth, aren't we?
Gong stalactite that can produce sound of gong

This destination is located in our current president's hometown, Pacitan. Some says that Pacitan is City of thousand cave. And one of the most popular cave is Gua Gong. Literally, Gua Gong means cave of "gong". 

Meanwhile,  gong itself is one of traditional musical instruments which also belongs to gamelan. So, how are they related? Well, some stalactites inside the cave can produce sound similar to sound of gong. Pretty unique, isn't it?

The discovery of this cave also has its own history. It has been found by "sesepuh" , elder-respected person, who searched for water supply spring for villages nearby. Finally, he found some inside the cave. 

Tourist guide will gladly explain about the history, gong-stalactites position, and even the each spring that surprisingly has its own special name. 

And, to take a tour inside the cave, it's no need to worry about the safety. Local government has reconstructed it to be more safe for tourist. The path is well-constructed and is also made in one way direction. There's also a handgrip along the path. For the lighting, there are already some bulbs that is positioned in certain places so we may see the beauty of the cave's view. Very convenient!

They are four destinations that I have experienced. If you don't agree about the correlation that I have made, simply just forget about it :D. But, don't ever forget about the destinations. Once you visit East Java, I truly recommend you to visit them. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Enjoy traveling!