The Story of Ijen Sunset Tour

In the last few months we’ve got quite a lot of inquiry of Ijen Sunset Tour. Recently, FB reminds me a memory of my wall 2 years ago, on the 6th of September 2015. It was the last time we offered Ijen Sunset Tour.

In October 2010 the local authority of Ijen recorded 899 international visitors and 226 domestic visitors. Back then, the blue flame (some prefer to say it blue fire) wasn’t as famous as nowadays. In October 2013 (Trip N Treat was born, hurray!!!), it’s recorded 1,105 international and 5,195 domestic visitors to Ijen. This positive trend started crawling since 2011 when people began aware of the existence of blue flame, said an officer of Ijen authority.

Early on people came to Ijen only to see the beautiful landscape and mighty sulphur miners. They departed early morning to catch the first sunrise over Java. The power of marketing and social media did influence public awareness and interest to visit Ijen and to see the legendary blue flame of Ijen.

The blue flame is always there. However, we can only see it when it gets dark. The flame can’t beat the sunlight during the day. Refering to the explanation of Bambang Heru Purwanto, the Head of Ijen Volcano Monitoring Office, as interviewed by Kompas, the blue flame is a result of methane gas under the crater and sufficient geothermal. The gas come through cracks on Earth’s surface. When the heat of geothermal (it could reach 600 Celcius degree) meets this kind of gas, it ignites the magnificent blue flame. This amazing natural phenomenon is pretty the same to a simple daily thing when you’re switching on your gas stove at home.

There was a myth that the blue flame appears after 1 am only. That’s why many tourists leave for Ijen after midnight. This myth, however, was just a myth. We can see the blue flame of Ijen, theoretically and actually, when it gets dark because it’s always there. We can’t see it during daylight because of the sun.

Based on this theory, Trip N Treat offered Ijen Sunset Tour. We leaved for Ijen from Banyuwangi in the afternoon. Stayed there a couple of hours. After sunset, the blue flame revealed herself gradually. It would be a memorable moment as some of our guests said so. They would love to visit Ijen in the afternoon and to see the blue flame after sunset rather than after midnight. There were two reasons behind. There’s not too much people around, so the landscape is more enjoyable. And, they can have a proper rest all night long.

Recently, FB reminded me a status of 2 years ago. It was when I visited Ijen with my wife in the afternoon. We just got married in May 2015. A visit to Ijen would be one of our honeymoon trips. We rode our bike and set off to Ijen around 12 am. The entrance of Ijen opened until 2 pm back then. We were late when we got there. It’s closed already! The officers said we’re not allowed to get in. Luckily, we’re patient to wait for a gold opportunity shining.

There was a group of tourists with their local guide came few minutes later. The guide talked to the officer and negotiated smoothly. After few minutes his group simply walked in to Kawah Ijen.
I was there and saw it. I approached the officer and negotiated once again. My wife and I were lucky this time. We’re allowed to get in eventually. Our luck was doubled by nice weather, so we could see the beautiful blue flame of Ijen after sunset.

It happened in September 2015. In the same month we’ve had a German couple taking Ijen Sunset Tour as you can read his review on Trip Advisor. It was, unfortunately, the last time we arranged Ijen Sunset Tour. The local authority of Ijen recently opened the gate from 1 am to 12 pm. In addition, the crater must be cleared from visitors at 4 pm.

The only way to see the blue flame of Ijen is by taking after midnight tour. Trip N Treat can organise either private or sharing tour to Ijen from Banyuwangi.

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