The blue fire at Mount Ijen, East Java, is often sought by tourists and backpackers who love photography. As the sulfuric gas is vented out of the mountain known for its sulfur mining, it mixes with oxygen and ignites into a vibrant, neon blue flame.
Unfortunately, the blue fire phenomenon, which only occurs in two places in the world, Indonesia and Iceland, does not always appear at any time of day.
Here are some tips for hunting Mt Ijen’s blue flames to ensure that you have a satisfying trip as compiled by KompasTravel.
1. START AT MIDNIGHT
The best time to see the blue fire is at midnight because when the sky is dark, the blue colour will appear more clearly.
Depart at around 1 a.m. It may take around two hours to reach where the blue fire is most frequent.
The blue flames will decrease in size at around 5 a.m., so don’t leave too late.
2. OPT FOR DRY SEASON
During the rainy season, Mt Ijen’s blue flames are weaker, while in the dry season they are bigger.
The dry season, between July and September, is the best time to climb Mt Ijen. The sandy mountain path will be dry, hence it will not be slippery and be safer for visitors.
3. PREPARE PHYSICALLY
To pursue the blue fire at Mt Ijen, hikers must be sufficiently fit. Although it is famous as a mountain for tourists, the height of Mount Ijen is not to be underestimated.
Climbing this mountain is quite exhausting, hence good physical preparation by exercising and hydrating is important.
4. PREPARE THE BEST EQUIPMENT
The spectacle of Mt Ijen’s blue fire demands tourists to use the best equipment possible. Do not forget your camera and accompanying equipment such as a tripod.
Because the climb is done very early in the morning, don’t forget to bring a flashlight. It’s even better to use a flashlight mounted on a helmet to allow easier movement and keep your hands free.
Additionally, the air on Mt Ijen is quite cold, so wearing warm clothes, jackets, socks and gloves is a good idea. The sandy terrain must also be tackled by choosing comfortable footwear with grip.
Finally, don’t forget to carry a mask because the dust of Mt Ijen is scattered in the air and the sulfur gases get stronger when approaching the peak. You can moisten the mask with a little water to reduce inhaled dust and sulfur odours.
5. AVOID HOLIDAY SEASON
Do not be surprised if Mt Ijen is crowded with tourists both local and foreign as its name is famous around the world.
This place during most days is crowded, especially during the holiday season. It is best to reserve the date of your visit for when most people are not on holiday to ensure a more enjoyable experience.
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