Indonesia is home to a number of active volcanoes. One such volcano is the ‘Kawah Ijen’ also known as the Ijen Plateau. Trekkers hike up this volcano because of the stunning sight that it is. It waits for you in East Java’s volcano complex. The location is inside a crater as a result of an eruption that occurred centuries ago. The vent of the volcano contains sulphur which is credited for its unique turquoise blue colour. This makes for the largest acidic lake cross the world.
The hike to the site is a steep one and takes a couple of hours but it is definitely worth it. You don’t necessarily need a guide along, however, if you are inexperienced and scared, you can get one.
Go past midnight to have a shot at catching its famous “Blue Fire” phenomenon. They will tell you that at night the crater comes alive and cascades around like molten lava. The reality is that it is at that hour that the combustion of sulphur occurs. Due to its high pressure and temperature, the gases get released from the cracks of the rocks. The gases react with the air around and get condensed into liquid sulphur, thus, giving a lava flowing effect (emphasis on the word effect here!).
The resulting phenomenon resembles an electric blue fire. Sometimes these flames can be even as high as 16 feet in height! Amidst, the darkness, these striking electric lights droop around the mountain along with the gas brimming around the area. The sight is not something that one can even begin to compare with anything else.
Gradually, one should sit down to then wait to catch the sunrise. Because as if this was not enough already, the sunrise here is pretty spectacular too!
The sunrise has the sky turning pink and purple in the backdrop even as the lake in front of you starts to visibly show you its delicious shade of blue.
Doesn’t the sunset simply look dreamy? I am already dreaming about this one and cannot wait till I actually get to b here. To sit down quietly, to just stare into the sky, its changing colours, the flowing effect atop the volcano and its oh so beautiful turquoise lake.
As you start your descend in the daytime, you can have a look at the landscape all around, of volcanic cones surrounding you, of the presence of mine workers who do this day in and day out and of the massive crater complex that you would be standing in.
This one is the absolute mountain buffs because a steep climb at night can get a little challenging and it is only the genuine nature lovers that will be able to muster up the keenness to see it through. Though, I would personally hope and recommend that every individual visiting the area ought to complete the hike because experiences like these, well, they come once in a lifetime.