As travel lovers ourselves, we travel to different places throughout Asia not just to satisfy our hobby but to give our clients the right expectation about the destination they want to go to. We understand what our clients are wondering: “Where can I find the best travel advice and where should I stay away from? What sights should I see, and what food should I eat?” That is why Follow Our Expert blog exists, as a travel guide and inspiration to our clients.
This time, we are gonna travel with Hong Nhung (Lacey), one of our top travel experts. With the belief that traveling is one of the best ways to connect our souls and spirits, Lacey has spent 8 years working dedicatedly in tourism and is recommended to customize tours around Southeast Asian countries by many clients. Indonesia was the destination Lacey reviewed this time. This country is well-known for many attractions, including its numerous islands, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and, most remarkably, its VOLCANOES collection. With more than 130 active volcanoes, Indonesia's volcano hiking is a fantastic destination for anyone seeking adventure. “It was exhilarating and gorgeous, with a few daring parts, but overall, it was a lot of fun.” - Lacey told about her journey to Mount Batur - an ideal option for volcano hiking first-timer.
Indonesia beautiful and diverse attractions
According to Lacey, there are two options to reach Mount Batur. In this review, she will take you on a Jeep tour which is not too challenging but still adventurous when you sit in the car through the jungle.
Note: Climbing on foot is another option for those who are more active and adventurous, but was not included in Lacey’s journey.
To get to Mount Batur in time to see the dawn, Lacey’s sunrise excursion began with a very early morning pickup (about 4 AM) from Ubud. After one hour of driving, Lacey got to the meeting point for the Jeep hiking tour and the guide took her all the way to the sunrise viewpoint. Be noticed that in case you hike on foot, the time to start moving should be earlier, around 2:30.
Since Mount Batur is quite familiar, there will undoubtedly be other foreign and domestic visitors on the trail with you as you make your way up to the destination.
When you finally make it through the narrow and treacherous woodland path, the hike to the viewpoint becomes a true adventure. However, the effort is well worth it when you get to the viewpoint and see the sun rising over the mountains and clouds. Take advantage of this picture-perfect setting to take some stunning photos on the Jeep car.
Lacey enjoying sunrise with her friends
From the base of the hill to the viewpoint ( at the mountain flank) takes around 20 minutes in a Jeep. The Jeep car will stop there and if you wish to trek to the peak, it will take you another 30-45 minutes. When you reach Mount Batur top viewpoint after hiking around the volcano's rim, you'll probably be greeted by a group of sociable Balinese monkeys who are eager to share the morning sunlight with you—and your breakfast. Keep a close eye on them since they are crafty crooks!
The jeep will stop at the flank of the mountain
Once the sun has risen, it's time for breakfast. Most hiking packages arranged by tour operators include breakfast. Lacey’s breakfast has a cup of hot tea or coffee, some fruit, a banana sandwich, and a hard-boiled egg. Sounds simple, yet it's plenty to get you going again after an early move.
It's time to get back after a successful morning of sunrise hunting. Stop at Black Lava, created by Mount Batur's enormous eruption, as you make your way down through the steep jungle. You may also stand up on your jeep as it passes by the jungle trail or the onion fields to enjoy the natural breath. It is such a calm and stunning alpine scenery.
Through the jungle, vegetable crops and Black Lava
If you don’t want to go back right away, natural hot springs may be an ideal stop to relax. The Batur Natural Hot Spring is a man-made pool complex at the foot of a volcano where a mountain stream may have become superheated and deposited its mineral content. The infinity pools look out over some of the most stunning scenery in Bali, including Mount Batur and Lake Batur.
Toya Devasya is another popular Batur hot spring and was where Lacey stayed on her short visit to Mount Batur. Toya Devasya included exciting water sports such as water slides, canoeing, jet skiing, and more in addition to its four natural hot spring pools and one heated Olympic-sized pool.
Tucked away in a beautiful rainforest environment, these mineral-rich springs are the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. After a tough section of a lengthy hike, you may spend hours here in the hot tub, taking in the sights and sounds of the surrounding lake and fountains.
Lacey’s note: Bring your own swimsuit and enjoy relaxing moments in these hot springs.
Since Mount Batur is an active volcano, an eruption is always possible. But have no fear! If something out of the ordinary occurs, the hiking trail will be closed and cautions will be sent to you. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind before embarking on this journey:
At an elevation of 1,717 meters (5,633 feet) above sea level, Mount Batur can be quite chilly before sunrise, although it belongs to Indonesia - a tropical country. Even without accounting for wind chill, temperatures can drop below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit). Extreme winds are common at mountain peaks, and the dry season is usually much colder than the wet.
The early morning hours are the only time you'll feel the cold. After that, however, the sun is quite powerful at this altitude, and the temperature rises rapidly. Therefore, don’t forget to bring a thick jacket with you or rent a stole at the hotel or local service shops on the foot of the mountain before hiking up.
Batur may be hiked throughout the year, although the optimum months are May through November because of lower rainfall and improved visibility. Therefore, this is the most likely time of the year to witness a breathtaking dawn.
You can climb by yourself if you are confident with your physical status and familiar with the destination like a local. However, it is best to go with a local guide who can show you the path, share interesting stories and point out worth-to-see sights along the way. Just so you know, they're also fantastic photographers!
“This is a truly unforgettable journey that I have ever had in Bali” - Lacey said after coming back from the trip. Mount Batur is super suitable for young couples/adventurous lovers as it includes many exciting activities that you may never experience. Contact Lacey if you want her to make recommendations for your unforgettable journey in Southeast Asia.