Tree Houses of The Pines

Tour East Java : Tree House Of  The Pines

Of  Taman Dayu – Pandaan – Pasuruan

Tree Houses Of “The Pines” Of The Outbound & Camping Ground At Taman Dayu – Pandaan – Pasuruan :

The 7 Tree Houses was built 2004 in The Pines Forest up hill of The Taman Dayu Estate & Golf Course., the high from the ground floor 3 – 4 and 5 meters.

No nails, screws or bolts to the trees, the tree house use the Clamp system, and hang it self to the two trees by the clamps with the distance 3 meteres length.Both trees goes through the floor and the roof, so inside the room size 4 m x 4 m  you will see the 2 trees, with some branches.6 peoples could sleep comfortable in every tree house, and after 6 years still strong enough.

I remember before it was launching, the storm stroke around the hill, some trees fell dawn… but the Tree Houses stand still.

I knew all the details of the Tree Houses because I was the one who pointed by The General Manager when I worked there for 7 years as Maintenance/Service Manager (1997 – 2004) to build it.

During The Meeting The General Manager asked the Managers to give  ideas what should be built specific in The Out Bound/ camping ground area in the Pines Forest of The Taman Dayu Estate & Golf Course (350 Ha) Pandaan _ Pasuruan – East Java, and I mentioned why don’t we build Tree Houses ?

End of the meeting The General Manager said : because you the one gave the idea of the Tree House… so you will be the one should build it.

Please go to for more detail about TAMAN DAYU

That is the story of the 7 Tree Houses.

(Written by Rama Yappy Kawitarka)

Many thank to Wandos Lapendos who took the Beautiful Picture of Tree house and tagged on Face Book :

Purwodadi Botanical Garden

History of and Guide to
Purwodadi Botanic Garden

Purwodadi Botanic Garden is located at Purwodadi, in the countryside of Pasuruan, East Java and is situated on the main road which connects three cities in East Java; Malang, Surabaya and Pasuruan. It is about 24 km from Malang, 30 km from Pasuruan and 70 km from the capital Surabaya. It covers an area of 85 ha which is at an altitude of about 300 m above sea level. The average annual rainfall is 2366 mm.

Purwodadi Botanic Garden was established in 1939 by Dr D.F. van Slooten, as one of three branches of the Indonesian Botanic Gardens.

Tasks and Functions
The main task of Purwodadi Botanic Garden is to inventory, explore and conserve semi arid lowland plant species of scientific value.

In conducting this task, Purwodadi Botanic Garden has functions such as :

  1. To inventory, explore and conserve species which have scientific value, especially the Indonesian flora requiring a relatively dry climate and growing in lowland areas;
  2. To provide guidance, research and education facilities;
  3. To make the garden available as a place for recreation.

Collections and Facilities
Purwodadi Botanic Garden is used as a place for conservation and research on semi arid lowland plant species. In December 1995, the garden had a collection of 3,323 species, from 940 genera in 149 families. This collection consists of Orchids 525 species, Zingiberaceae 40 species, Dioscoreaceae tuber crops 6 species, Fabaceae 160 species, Moraceae 133 species, ferns 80 species, bananas 3 species and 150 cultivars, and medicinal herbs 300 species. The facilities in the garden include a library, seed collections, nurseries and glass houses.

Besides being a place for conservation and research, the garden is also a place for public recreation. Recreational facilities provided include lawns, seats and shelters which all encourage visitors to sit, relax and enjoy the serene surroundings. Visitors can also jog on the roads while enjoying the fresh air and admiring the diversity of flora in the garden.

A small guest house is available especially for researchers and colleagues. Bookings can be made through the office during work hours at least two days in advance.

Introducing the Garden
The main gate of Purwodadi Botanic Garden was built using the architecture of a Penataran Temple and is specific to East Java. After entering the gate, we are on the main road of the garden. The road divides the garden into two regions, namely Region I (on the right) and Region II (on the left). Species such as Jacaranda obtusifolia H.B.K.,Cassia fistula Linn., Ficus lyrata Warb., Bombax ceiba Linn. and Carmona retusa (Vahl.) Mas have been planted as wayside trees and fence plants. From the main road Mt Baung can be seen in the distance.

Palm Area
The Palm Area lies near the main gate, just some metres from the main gate on the right hand side (in Region I). There are 40 genera and 80 species of palms planted in this area. They have potential uses as carbohydrate, oil, sugar and fruit producing plants. Metroxylon saguRottb. is a source of carbohydrate which is a food staple in Irian Jaya and the Maluccan Islands. Arenga pinnata (Wurmb) Merr. can be used for many purposes such as flour (from the inner stem), brushes/brooms (from the leaf rachis and fibres), palm sugar (made from the juice from male flowers), and fruit from the female flowers is called “kolang-kaling” commonly eaten in a sweet syrup. Elaeis guineensis Jacq. os one of oil-producing species which is widely cultivated in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Salacca zalacca (Gaertn.) Voss & Vilm., which is native to Java, produces edible fruits. The are also some ornamental palms such as Licuala grandis H.A.Wendl., Veitchia merrillii(Becc.) H.E. Moore and Raphis excelsa (Thunb.) Henry ex Rehd.

Adjacent to the palm area, the are some interesting plants such as the medicinal plant Altonia scholaris (L.) R.Br. or “pule” the bark of which is used as a tonicum; Musa ferrea L. of which the seed oil is used to treat scabies; and the Sapindus rarak DC. or “Klerak” from which the fruit are used to wash batic clothes.

In this area is also the largest flower in the world, Amorphophallus titanum Becc. which reaches1.8-2.0 metres high and about 30-40 cm in diameter. Flowers smell like carrion. Unfortunately this species produces flowers only once every 3-4 years.

On the southern edge of the palm area are planted Syzygium cuminii(L.) Skeels, also known as “Juwet” or “jemblang”. The fruit are edible, but not as popular as other species. There are many “juwet cultivars in the garden including “juwet daging”, “juwet gentong”, “juwet kerikil”, “juwet hitan” and “juwet putih”. The fruit, particularly of “juwet putih” is used to treat diabetes.

Mexican Park

The Mexican Park is in Region II. The park is not far from the main gate, walk a few metres then turn left and pass the sealed road lined with the rare tree species Aegle marmelos (l.) Corr., Limonia acidissima L.,Santalum album L. and Manilkara kauki (L.) Dubard. Santalum album L., commonly known as “sandalwood” or “cendana”, is native to Timor and the eastern islands of Indonesia. The oil produced from this species is commercially valuable.

Most species planted in the Mexican Park originate from Mexico, such as cacti and agave. Other genera found in the park include Sansevieria,OphiopogonCereusEuphorbiaJatropha and Plumeria. Next to the park there is the “Giant Sengon” (Enterolobium cyclocarpum (Jacq.) Griseb.) which is the biggest tree in the garden with a trunk diameter of 2.60 metre. The wood of this species is used for pulp and the seeds are edible after frying.

Fern Collection
The Fern Collection lies next to the ponds, about 200 metres from the main gate. Here is a shady place created by a mixture of canopy-forming trees such as Terminalia ivorensis A. Chev., Oroxylum indicum(L.) Vent, Spathodea campanulata Beauv. and Elaeocarpus grandiflorusJ.E. Smith. Beneath the canopy are growing about 80 species of ferns, belonging to 18 families. Asplenium nidus Linn. is well known as the “Bird’s Nest Fern” and grows as an epiphyte. The leaves form a shape similar to a bird’s nest which collects leaf-litter that is used by the plant as a source of nourishment. Cyathea contaminans (Hook.) Copel is a tree fern often used as an ornemental plant, for building materials and media for growing orchids. Because of the high demand for this species it is becoming endangered. Lygodium circinnatum (Burm.f.) Sw. or “string fern” is a climbing fern used for making handicrafts.

Fabaceae Collection
After entering the main gate, pass the Mexican Park and walk to the north side of the garden where the legume (Fabaceae) collection is. Here are planted native and exotic legumes such as Adenanthera pavonina Linn. or “segawe” which produces a red seed often used for decoration; Parkia javanica (Lmk.) Merr. or “kedawung” which is a medicinal plant; Parkia speciosa Hassk. or “pete” the seed of which is eaten as a vegetable; Cynometra cauliflora Linn. or “nam-nam” which is a rare species and has an edible fruit. There are also some climbing legumes such as Derris elliptica (Roxb.) Benth., Lysiphyllum binatum(Blanco) De Wit. and Phanera lingua (DC.) Miq.

Bamboo Collection
The Bamboo Area is not far from the Mexican Park. Some of the species in the collection come from Java, such as Gigantochloa manggong Wijaya (endemic to East Java); G. atroviolaceae Wijaya or “black bamboo”;Dendrocalamus asper (Schult.f.) Backer ex Heyne or “pring petung” the young shoots of which can be eaten as a vegetable; Schizostachyum blumii Ness or “pring wuluh” which is used for making handicrafts and “seruling”, a kind of musical instrument.

Garcinia Lawn
The Garcinia Lawn lies about 300 metres from the main gate. SomeFeroniella lucida (Scheff.) Swingle which are well known as “kawisto kerikil”, are planted along the western edge of the lawn. The growth habit of this species is suitable for bonsai. Some interesting trees on the southern edge of the lawn are “mundu” (Garcinia dulcis (Roxb.) Kurz.), a rare species which produces sweet fruit; “jati belanda” (Guazuma ulmifolia Lmk.) which is used to assist weight loss (slimming). On the northern edge of lawn can be seen Crescentia cujete Linn. or “majapahit” which has an historical account in the Majapahit period (an important Kingdom in the past), and it’s wood can be used for making handicrafts. There are also Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Swartz,Hydnocarpus sumatrana (Miq.) Kds., Cerbera manghas Linn. and Acacia leucophloea (Roxb.) Willd. that the Javanese call “pilang” and is a well-known semi-arid lowland species.

Across this lawn there is a stand of teak (Tectona grandis Linn.f.) which lose their leaves during the dry season and grow again during the rain season. Teak wood is high quality, hard and strong, and is very good for construction and furniture.

Bungur Avenue
In the rain season, the Bungur Avenue is very beautiful when the Bungur trees (Lagerstroemia thorelii Garnep.) are flowering. However, in the dry season the leaves fall and the trees are bare. This avenue is about 500 metres from the main gate, on the left side. The avenue also functions as the border between the Lauraceae and Annonaceae collections. Passing the avenue, in the northern part of the garden there are a number of collections from families such as Simaroubaceae, Burseraceae, Rutaceae, Sapindaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Malvaceae, Clusiaceae, Myristicaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Malpighiaceae and Sterculiaceae.

Orchid Collection and Nurseries
The Orchid Collection is located in three glass houses which are located to the south of the garden’s office. There are 525 species of orchids in the collection, such as Paphiopedilum glaucophyllum J.J.S. which is endemic to East Java and has beautiful flowers in the shape of women’s slippers; Dendrobium phalaenopsis Fitzg.; Ascocentrum miniatum Lindl. which is becoming rare in nature; Phalaenopsis amabilis(L.) Bl. which is the floral symbol “puspa pesona” of Indonesia because of its beautiful flowers; Dendobium rumphianum T. & B. which is often used for breeding stock because of the long-lived flowers (up to 49 days).

There are 2 nurseries in the garden. The first nursery is next to the Orchid Collection and consists of 3 glass houses. If we walk 100 metres to the east from this nursery we will arrive at the Gymnosperm Collection. This collection consists of 11 genera, belonging to 7 families: JuniperusCupressusAraucariaAgathisTaxodiumThuja,GnetumCycasPodocarpusZamia and Dioon. The second nursery is in this area. Around the nursery can be seen the Bromeliad and Agave collection. In this area the Yam Collection of Dioscorea alata L., D. esculenta (Lour.) Burk., D. hispida Dennst., D. pentaphylla L., D. nummularia Lamk and D. bulbifera can also be seen.

If we walk along the main road about 800 metres from the main gate, on the right side we will find an arboretum. We can also reach the arboretum from the second nursery by following the sealed road (in front of the nursery), turn right into the Kenitu Avenue (Chrysophyllum cainito Linn.) and pass a square lawn. Some seeldings from the nurseries are planted in the garden as collections, but the rest are planted in the arboretum. The arboretum is dominated by Swietenia macrophylla King, Piptadenia peregrina Benth., Dalbergia latifolia Roxb.,Schleichera oleosa (Lour.) Oken, Millettia xylocarpa Miq. andLagerstroemia spp. One of the aims of the arboretum is to display natural forest succession.

Just after the arboretum is the Mango Collection. In this collection are 4 species and 37 cultivars of mangoes, Mangifera indica Linn., M. foetidaLour., M. odorata Griff., and M. minor.

To the east of the Mango Collection, is a pond surrounded by species such as Canarium indicum Linn. which produces wood used in construction; Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour. a medicinal species;Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) Back. which produces tannin; and the ornamental species Stifftia chrysantha Mikan, Canna sp., Gardenia jasminoides Ellis and Firmiana malayana Kosterm. The pond is also used to irrigate plants in this area. After enjoying the scenery around the pond, we walk past the Diospyros Avenue. Near this avenue is a collection of Ixora showing the variety of habit, leaf size and flower colour.

Banana Collection
The Banana Collection lies in the north-eastern corner of the garden. To reach the collection, walk along the main road for about 1 km, turn left, and walk past the Acanthaceae, Bignoniaceae and Verbenaceae collections. There are 150 cultivars of banana planted in this collection. Some are native to Java while others have been collected from other islands in Indonesia. Musa acuminata x balbisiana or “pisang kates” is one of the rare and threatened cultivars in the collection.

Opening Times
Purwodadi Botanic Garden is open to the public from 7:00 am until 4:00 pm, Monday – Sunday. The office is open Monday-Thursday from 6:00 am until 3:00 pm and Friday 6:00 am until 10:00 am. Visitors wanting information about the garden, the collections, seed or plant sales, and botanical research are welcome to visit the office during work hours.

There is a small admission charge. Parking is available for motorbikes, cars and buses. Cars are permitted to enter the garden with a special admission fee with the exception of Sunday and public holidays.

Visitor Code
Please help us to take care of the garden during your visit by following the rules.

We request visitors to remember to:

  1. Take out all rubbish with you and throw it into the litter bins available.
  2. Park only on sealed areas or in parking areas.
  3. Drive only on sealed roads.
  4. Leave pets and fire arms at home

Please do not:

  1. Pick, damage or remove plants.
  2. Bring or drink alcoholic beverages.
  3. Hunt any animals in the garden.
  4. Conduct amoral activities in the garden.
  5. Paint or write on stones, plants, seats and other parts of the garden

Ngliyep Beach

Tour East Java: Malang Area – Ngliyep Beach

The Legend of Nyi Roro Kidul…. Hundreds of Years Javanese Peoples believe that She a Queen… a Mighty Ruler of South Ocean … in Bahasa Indonesia : Ratu (Queen) Nyi Roro Kidul (= South) Penguasa Laut Selatan

Nyi Roro Kidul : The Legend of A Mighty Ruler Of South Ocean

Ngliyep Beach Tourism – Donomulyo

Ngliyep beach has beautiful rocky beach at the southern part of Malang Regency, where gigantic waves meet coral reef. In addition, it has an island with a lush green tropical shore-forest giving more enchantment to the beach. This beach is provided with some facilities such as: stalls, souvenir shop, inns, etc.Annually the traditional ceremony Labuhan Mulud (offering ceremony) is held here. Labuhan Mulud is the traditional ceremony that always held in the beach at Malang regency.

Ngliyep beach lies at Kedungsalam village, Donomulyo district, about 62 km a way to the south from Malang. Visit Ngliyep beach and enjoy its wonderful waves. The visitors can swimming, sun banthing, or fishing here

Sempu Island & Sendang Biru Beach

Tour East Java : Sempu Island & Sendang Biru Beach

Sendang Biru Beach is located on Sumbermanjing Wetan distric, about 69 km from the south of Malang, East Java. It is well known for the biggest fish auction in Malang and a place for fishing harbour. It is called Sendang Biru because it has a blue water.(Sendang in Javanesse language means source of water).

In special occasion such as Syawalan (it is the 7th or 8th day in the month of Syawal) many people take a boats to the Pulau Sempu to take the water from its spring water. It is believed just like “Widodaren water” in Wendit which can bring many advantages for health.

The beach that facing Pulau Sempu only separated by a narrow strait which is often used for sailing or other water sports. Pulau Sempu is a nature reserve with freshwater lake full of catfish spread in the forest and lakes around the island.

Sempu Island is technically a natural conservation area, 60 km from malang, east java with no population except the wildlife. It’s only a 5 minutes boat trip from a fisherman’s village called sendang biru. the boat will stop at teluk semut (ant’s bay) in sempu island.

My destination at sempu island is a lagoon located inside the island called segara anakan. from teluk semut we have to walk about 2 hours to reach segara anakan in normal condition. unlucky for me, the rain pour hard the night before i came. so the track is slippery and muddy and we need about 3 hours to reach segara anakan.

But it’s all worth it. I was welcomed by a beautiful white beach with calm clear water with high rock on the other side. As if it is my own swimming pool. The first instinct after a muddy walk is to dive in to the water. There’s water splashing inside from the ocean through a hole from the rock. It’s getting dark, I look above and after years living in a big city I realize it’s been a while since I a clear starry night sky.

I lie down on the beach. Looking at the sky hearing the ocean waves splashing the island’s rocks then fell asleep. the next day I climb the rock on the side of the island. on top you can sit and enjoy the view of the Indian ocean. hope one day you’ll be here, trust me, in sempu you’ll realize how small you are in this world.

Malang City Tour

Malang City My Beautiful Hometown (Above : Ijen Street)

Malang is one of clean and cool cities in East Java has, without any doubt, been famous since long time ago. Historical remmants scattered around Malang Showing that it hat played important roles in may eras and stretching out from 112° 17′ 10,90° up to 112° 57′ 0,00° east Longitude and extending from 7° 44′ 55,11° up to 8° 26′ 35,45° South Latitude.

Malang regency is bordered by Blitar and Kediri Regencies on the West; JombangMojokerto and Pasuruan Regencies on the North; Probolinggo and Lumajang Regencies on the East and Indian Ocean on the South.

Malang is known with its beautiful beaches. There are many tourists who always visit Malang’s beaches in holiday. The beaches are Ngliyep beachBalekambang beach, and Sendang Biru beach.
Then the foreign tourists are commonly interesting to Malang’s temples that save the historical value of the past Kingdom in Malang regency, they are; Singosari templeJago templeKidal temple, etc. Beside that, Malang still has a lot of tourism objects that will attract you to visit it.Coban Rondo waterfallWonosari tea plantationWendit poolmount Kawimount Bromo panorama, Coban Pelangi waterfallKarangkates recreation park, and the others, are Malang’s interesting places that presents their nature scenery.

Also visit Malang City Tour that offers its interesting places such as;City HallMonument Juang’45bird and flowers marketsenaputra parkkayu tangan complexCity SquareSenaputra Park, etc.

Alun Alun Tempo Dulu/ City Central Square Old Time & At Present :

Round Square & City Hall Old Time and At Present :

The Beautiful Masjid Jammi – Alun Alun Malang

Pict. Above : Crossing Road Of Semeru, Kayutangan and Kahuripan Street.

JL. Ijen :


Jl. Basuki Rahmat/ Dulu Jl. Kayutangan

Pictures Below No. 1, 2 Catholic Church At Ijen Street, No. 3,4 and  an old Picture at Kayutangan Street.



Gunung Semeru, also referred to as Mahameru (= “Great Mountain”), is the highest mountain on Java and one of the highest in Indonesia. It is a stratovolcano. It lies in Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, in the province of East Java. Semeru is one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes. What stands out most about this mountain is the fact that it erupts periodically (and very reliably so). Every 20 minutes (August 2003) the volcano belches out a huge cloud of steam and smoke, sometimes interspersed with ash and stones. The scenery on the way is beautiful (the erupting volcano, the mountain savannah, the lake), and the views from the top are spectacular. You see the vast Sandsea caldera with other volcanoes, among them Bromo and Batok, and the sea. Semeru is a must for all mountaineers, hikers and nature lovers who happen to be in Indonesia. If you are flying from Denpasar to Surabaya, you can see Semeru, and you may see a horizontal chain of clouds stretching away from the peak. These clouds all have the same distance to each other due to the volcano’s periodic activity. Many people climb this mountain, tourists and Indonesians alike.
The steep-sided volcano rises abruptly to 3,676 m above coastal plains to the south. It is located at the southern end of a volcanic massif extending north to the 16-km-wide Tengger caldera. The Tengger caldera actually consists of five calderas, the most recent being the 9-km-wide Sandsea caldera, with its cluster of post-caldera cones. The youngest of these cones is Bromo, another of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, and the country’s most frequently visited.


The trailhead is just outside Ranupane. You don’t need a guide to find the way up the mountain: once you have left the village behind and are on the track, you can’t miss the summit.

Section 1: Ranupane – Lake Kumbolo (Ranu Kumbolo)

There are two tracks leading from Ranupane to Lake Kumbolo. From the eastern track you get a spectacular view of Semeru (see signature photo).

Eastern approach (via Watu Rejeng): Leaving the village of Ranupane (about 2,000 m), walk up the road to Lumajang for a few hundred meters and turn right just before the road starts going down. There is a signpost and also the rangers are very helpful to put you on the track. Follow the path up through mountain forest to Lake Kumbolo (2,390 m). It will take you about 3 hours to get there.

Western approach: Info about the western track will be greatly appreciated.

Section 2: Lake Kumbolo – Kalimati (base camp)

This is an easy and beautiful hike through tussock savannah. It will take you another 3 hours. You can even walk up to Kalimati at night if, for instance, you chose to do Bromo in the morning, set out from Ranupane in the afternoon, and want to reach the base camp on the same day. In a moonlit night, this can be a rewarding experience.

Section 3: Kalimati (base camp) – summit

From Kalimati a path leads up through mountain forest to the treeline (about 2 hours). The final ascent, above the treeline, is a steep and somewhat strenuous walk over volcanic scree and sand, which will take you another 1 to 2 hours. The top is a rather big, flat area. The present-day crater is a bit further on, below the summit, to the south. From the top, you cannot look inside the crater. For your own safety, stay clear of the crater rim.

You can do the hike from Ranupane and back in 2 days / 1 night.


There are four camping areas. First, at Ranukumbolo, a beautiful lake, where you can find the last water resources on the route. Second, at Kalimati, which is situated at the borderline between a tussock savannah plain and the steep ascent through mountain forest up the actual volcano cone. There is a spring at a distance away from Kalimati. Third and fourth, at Arcopodo and Killik further up in the forest, where you will find several flat areas.



Mount Lawu, or Gunung Lawu, is a massive compound stratovolcano in Central Java, Indonesia. The north side is deeply eroded and the eastern side contains parasitic crater lakes and parasitic cones. A fumarolic area is located on the south flank at 2,550 m. The only reported activity of Lawu took place in 1885, when rumblings and light volcanic ash falls were reported. Mount Lawu is One of the most famous hiking / tracking destination to local people.
It is 3,245 m high and the vegetations are thick.

It has the most beautiful Edelweiss field on the island of Java. there are several kind of Edelweiss, mostly Red and White.
The sun rise are often fantastic, with blue and Red sprakling around.
It has several good tracks for hiking.

Local people usually start to hike at around 9 pm, and with moderate speed can reach the last post by dawn.
On Saturday afternoon till Sunday afternoon, there will be many of hikers enjoys it’s beautiful Rain forest.

Lawu, which straddles the southern border of East and Central Java, is the volcano for beginners.

At 3,265 meters above sea level, temperatures at the summit can drop to freezing, so bring warm clothes to change into and lighter clothes, which will end up being drenched in sweat, for the climbing. Enough water and energy boosting food is essential, as well as decent boots. With common sense to keep you to the path, you do not need a guide.

A well-maintained track, laid with roughly hewn stones that are reasonably secure, leads right up to the summit. Do not stray off the track as there are many gorges and ravines, covered with vegetation and almost invisible. A crater sometimes spews out toxic gases, so it is wise to check the condition of the mountain with the ranger or the locals at the last village before the trek.

In ancient Javanese mythology, Lawu is called Mahendra and legend has it that the gods who created the first kingdom in Java descended from heaven here. In later history, Lawu was the retreat of the last king of Majapahit, Brawijaya V. On the eve of the Javanese New Year, thousands of adherents of the indigenous Javanese belief – kebatinan – climb to the summit to meditate.


As in other sacred places in Java, names that dot the landscape often echo the ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata. The crater, for instance, is called Candradimuka, believed to be the place where the gods boiled Bhima’s son Gatotkaca in molten metal to make him invincible. Bhima is the second of the five Pandawa brothers, who are the main protagonists in the Mahabharata.

A cave called Sigolo-golo recalls the name of the cave that the Pandawa brothers, led by the brave Bhima, escaped through when their palace apartment was burned down by their evil cousins the Kurawa.

Brawijaya V had a fascination with honest Bhima, for in the Karanganyar regency (in Central Java), on the Surakarta side of Lawu, he built two fascinating temples dedicated to him; Candi Sukuh which looks almost Mayan and Candi Cetho.

Candi Sukuh

The largest and most complex of these mountain sanctuaries is Candi Sukuh, situated at an elevation of 910 meters (2,960 ft); reached  by taking a turn-off to the left at Karangpandan on the road up to Tawangmangu. A number of inscriptions dating from the period A.D. 1416-1459 have been found here.

The main structure at Sukuli is shaped  like no other building in ancient Indonesia – a flat-topped pyramid much resembling a  Mayan monument. A stone stairway conducts the visitor through the side of the pyramid to its summit. We do not know what this unique shape was meant to symbolize. If it represents a mountain, as seems likely, we  are still left with the question of why this shape replaced preexisting forms of ancient Javanese temple design.

The main building gives no indication of having supported any wooden structure.  The only object recovered from its summit was a tall lingga bearing an inscription, which is now in the Jakarta museum.  This may once have stood on the platform over the stairway on the , side of the temple.  Stone altars, three in the form of enormous turtles, stand around the pyramid’s western foot.

The central pyramid is set at the rear of the highest of three terraces.  Originally worshippers would have gained access to the site through a gateway at the edge of the western or lowest terrace.  To the left side of the gate’s exterior is a carving of a monster devouring a man, birds in a tree, and a dog. This can be interpreted as a chronogram representing A.D. 1437, the probable date of the temple’s consecration.

On the floor of this entrance is a realistic relief of male and female genitals.  Genetalia are also graphically portrayed on several statues from the site, another respect in which Candi Sukuh is unique among classical Javanese monuments.

Pictures by Tan Wee ChengThe most erotic statue at Candi Sukuh – one of a headless figure holding his fully erect phallus.


The shortest route to the summit of Lawu begins in the Cemara Sewu village, between the resorts of Tawangmangu and Sarangan. You can also begin from Cemara Kandang, but the trek is longer and the path is not paved. The distance between Cemara Sewu and the summit called Hargo Dumilah is 7 kilometers. The average time needed to climb to the summit is 7 to 9 hours, but if you are fit, you can do it in 4 to 5 hours. Super fit mountaineers fly up in 3 hours.

For the first two kilometers or so you walk through agricultural land, where the locals plant vegetables amongst charred skeletons of trees that stand as a reminder that this area is prone to forest fires. As you go higher the vegetation changes and if you are climbing in daylight, you will begin to notice that inquisitive, orange beaked, brown birds are following you. These are Jalak Gading (Acridotheres javanicus) and are endemic to Lawu. Unlike other wild birds in Java, these guardians of Lawu are protected by the belief that whoever attempts to harm them will get lost and perish. The birds do not have the fear of humans that animals in Java have (except for city rats).

To reach the summit for sunrise, begin climbing in evening. The advantage of hiking in the night is that the sight of the dauntingly steep hills will not deflate your spirits. It is best to chose a time close to full moon in the dry season. You will enjoy the millions of stars in the sky, twinkling, falling, and shooting. There are five resting places on the way to the summit where you can light a campfire if you need to keep warm while you rest but be sure to extinguish the fire properly before you leave and remember that the best way to stay warm is to keep moving. It is dangerous to wander off the track looking for firewood.

At the fifth resting post, you will find a shack by a shallow well that has a tiny spring at the bottom of it. This is the sacred Sendang Drajat and the freezing cold water from this spring is believed to have the power to make the person who bathes in it attain high achievements in life.


Kelud mountain, the growing lava dome

Kelud mountain is in border line of Kediri and Blitar, East Java. It is still one of the active volcano, the last big eruption was on 1990′s where it blew volcanic ashes to surrounding area.
Before 2007 Kelud has crater lake on the top which later after October 2007, there were tremor shock-wave and Kelud become “AWAS” status and people were prepare for the eruption. But they did not have the explosion in Kelud at that time, instead the lake have increasing temperature rapidly with white smoke came out of it. Later Kelud grow its lava dome in the crater ,and getting bigger trough time until the lake dissappear and was replaced by the lava dome.

The crater lake on Kelud before October 2007 (picture courtesy by

The picture taken Jan 2009, the crater lake was replaced by the active growing lava dome:

The lava dome on closer look :

There’s stairs to go to the peak of Kelud :

In rainy season the fog come earlier. Better to visit in the morning or in the dry season / summer. To go to lava dome we have to go trough the tunnel.The entrance of the tunnel, no light inside. It’s short tunnel tough.

The view inside the tunnel. Picture’s taken with flash :


Arjuna/ Welirang mountain chain in East Java consists of 4 peaks over 3,000m from the active Welirang in the west to the long dormant Arjuna in the East. This mountain is set in the ancient Mojopahit heartland and is dotted with temples, graves and other historical sites which are still visited by local folk today. The lower slopes are forested and the upper slopes are covered with tussock and a type of local alpine pine tree. The lalijiwo plateau between the twin peaks of Kembar and Arjuna is noted for deer and wild pigs. Most tracks start off in good condition but as one gets higher the tracks frequently dissappear or turn into a multitude of trails left by animals and lost hikers!

Getting There
The mountain is located about 50km south East of Surabaya and it is easy to rent a taxi from Juanda (Surabaya) airport to take you to Tretes. (or anywhere else for that matter!)
Tretes is a mountain resort town with lots of hotels and guesthouses to suit any budget. A good place to spend a few days chilling out. Guides, porters and supplies can be got here.
There are three main routes on the mountain.
The most popular starts from the village of Tretes and follows a wide trail to the Sulphur carriers camp located at a water source between Arjuna and Welirang. From here, one can turn left and head for Lalijiwo Plateau and Arjuna or continue on to the active Welirang.
Another route starts above Selecta above Batu to the South.
A further route climbs directly to Arjuna from Lawang in the East.

The Routes
From Tretes.

. The trail, (which is surfaced with rocks painstakingly handplaced) winds on steadily upwards towards Welirang and the sulphur camp.
In someplaces the trail has been severely damged by the carts the men are hauling down full of sulphur and they have formed several dusty shortcuts as well. Stick to the rock path or follow up the dusty shotcut as there are no turnoffs and the trails soon rejoin. Takes 4-5 hours at a relaxed pace to reach the Pondok.

From the Pondok to Welirang should not take more than 3 hours and a further 2 hours to scale the Kembar twins and descend into the saddle campsite.