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Located on the eastern-most edge of the island of Java, just across the island of Bali, lies the town of Banyuwangi. Its busy port, Ketapang, serves regular ferries that ply daily between Bali and Java carrying passengers, cars and buses, as well as trucks laden with all sorts of goods to and from Java.
Being the east-most city on Java, this is where the dawn first rises in the morning throwing its welcoming rays over Java, this lush green but also most densely populated island. Not yet quite popular as a tourist destination, the regency of Banyuwangi, in fact, hides many secret gems, from looming mountains, natural game reserves to rolling surge of waves, that are the dream of surfers all over the world. Here also live the Osing ethnic sub-group, believed to speak the oldest Javanese language from which evolved Java’s most sophisticated civilization over the centuries.
Banyuwangi Regency extends over an area of 5,800 sq. km, comprising southern beaches brushed by the Indian Ocean, to impressive Mt. Raung that stands at 3,282 m and Mt. Merapi at 2,800 m above sea level. To its north is the Regency of Situbondo, while the Regencies of Jember and Bondowoso lie to its west, and to its east is the island of Bali.
Besides being the largest regency on Java, Banyuwangi is also the largest fish producer of the province of East Java, with the town of Muncar by the Bali Strait, its main fishing wharf. Banyuwangi is also known for its banana crops. Almost all gardens in this district boast trees that produce luscious bananas.
Because of the close proximity here between the islands Bali and Java and for centuries being a busy trading port, the exchange of many cultural influences in Banyuwangi is unavoidable. Here the kingdom of Blambangan was once its most greatest kingdom, showing a fusion between the cultures of Java and Bali, mixed with that of the island of Madura, as well as absorbing Malay, Eropean, Chinese influences and traces of ancient roots from the ancient Osing Jawa people. Some typical Banyuwangi dances that are infused with these multi-cultural influences are: the gandrung dance, barong kemiren, seblang, janger, rengganis, hadrah kunthulan, patrol, mocopatan pacul goang, jaranan butho, barong, kebo-keboan, angklung caruk, and gedhogan. These are shown during the annual Banyuwangi Etno Carnival where most of the ethnic dances are performed for locals and visitors to enjoy.
Banyuwangi literally means Aromatic Water, which is associated with the local legend, The story goes that once upon a time a king abducted the wife of his own prime minister. When the minister came to know about it he went into a rage and stabbed his wife. But before she died, she vowed that as proof that she had always remained faithful to her husband the water of the river where her blood flowed would exude an aromatic perfume, which indeed it did. The prime minister, who dearly loved his wife, regretted the murder for the rest of his life.
The town of Banyuwangi is the gateway to your explorations to watch wild animals roam freely in the reserve of Alas Purwo, the oldest game reserve on Java, go trekking through the savannahs of Baluran, or find secluded and untouched beaches at Pulau Merah or G-Land, and travel to Sukamade Beach where turtles come to hatch their eggs. Mountain climbers can hike up from Banyuwangi to the stunning Ijen Crater and be amazed by blue flames that spring out among the yellow sulphurous rocks, cut and gathered manually by traditional miners.
The Tourist Office of Banyuwangi now provides Information that you can access through your Android mobile phone @ “Banyuwangi Tourism”. Alternatively, you can visit the Tourist Information Center at the following address:
Banyuwangi Government Culture and Tourism Service
Jalan A. Yani 78 Banyuwangi
Phone : +62 0333-424172
Or at the:
Katapang Harbour (ASDP)
Jalan Brawijaya Subroto
Following are usesful addresses of Travel Agents you may wish to contact:
Jalan Benesari. No 77, Poppies Lane 2, Kuta 80361, Bali.
Phone: +62 (361) 763166; +62 (361) 7462838; +62 812380 5899
Jalan Yos Sudarso 68, Banyuwangi
Phone : +62 333-410149
G-Land, Plengkung Beach
Phone : +62 333-593799
G-Land, Plengkung Beach, Banyuwangi
Phone : +62 333-755690
Jalan Yos Sudarso 235 Jajag
Phone: +62 333 396323
Jalan Raya Rogojampi 97
Phone : +62 333-630201
Jalan A. Yani 93A, Banyuwangi
Phone: +62 333-417799
The city of Banyuwangi is located around 239 km east of Surabaya, capital of the province of East Java. You can travel to Banyuwangi by car or by train.
Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya is connected directly from abroad by a number of international airlines. You can then connect on Garuda Indonesia or Lion Air flights from Surabaya to Banyuwangi’s Blimbingsari airport. There are also daily flights from Bali to Banyuwangi.
If you wish to travel overland from Bali, catch the ferry at Gilimanuk port, on the western tip of Bali which sails to the port of Ketapang at Banyuwangi. You can of course, also travel by car from Surabaya or any other large city in East Java to Banyuwangi.
To visit the many attractions around Banyuwangi it is best to rent a car at the airport or through your hotel or travel agent. Best make sure to have a sturdy amd comfortable vehicle especially when you plan to visit mountain regions or savannahs, although generally speaking, roads around here are good.
Jalan Brawijaya No. 4, Banyuwangi, Phone :.+62 0333-418362
Terminal Sritanjung, Katapang, Phone : . +62 333-510396
Terminal Brawijaya, Banyuwangi, Phone. +62 333-424438
Banyuwangi Baru, Katapang, Phone:. +62 33510635
Karang Asem, Banyuwangi, Phone : 3+62 333-424306