Malang, Java, Indonesia

Trip Start Dec 25, 2008
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Where I stayed
Helios Hotel

Flag of Indonesia  , East Java,
Monday, September 28, 2009

Today I went to another travel agengy to check out tours again. I decided to go with the one recommended by Lonely Planet - Sunrise Holiday ( Just like the tourist office and Bromo Sunrise Tours, the lady was very helpful and informative. Although there seems to be some interesting day trips outside of Malang I decided not to go on any and just opted to take a tour to Mount Bromo.  After asking many questions I am told that there is no one signed up for the tour to Mount Bromo but they can provide me with a car and driver who would pick me up at Helios Hotel at 1:30 am  and we would arrive at the viewpoint at 4 am where I would wait to view the sunrise and then we would proceed to Mount Bromo Crater and then he would drop me off at Cimero Lawang like I want.  (Basically this is the tour everyone offers but the tours with a group offer a guide, coffee and breakfast.)  They would charge me 500,000 IR which is 50$.  This is definitely a tour that I do not want to miss so I think I will pay the 50$ and if I factor in that I don't have to pay a room tonight that means that the tour basically is costing me 30$ for 8 to 9 hours. Before I confirm I need to get to an ATM machine. Instead I decide to go for breakfast (Helios forgot to serve me breakfast this morning!!!!)   I decide to go have breakfast at Toko Oen which is a restaurant recommended by everyone which I didn't find great but their ice-cream sure looks good!! As I am sitting there with the Sunrise Brochure the owner of the Agency who also works out of this restaurant comes over and starts talking and repeats the same thing as the lady had but insists that if anyone else joins the tour he will refund me the difference.  I organize everything with him and pay him the 500, get my receipt  go to the ATM and then go check out  at the hotel but ask to leave my baggage there and also to kind of hang around in the evening until 1:30 when I am to leave.  They agree so I can know go walking again on Jl. Kahuripan where I notice that Hotel Montana is offering massages and reflexology!!  I cannot resist and walk in to see how it looks and to find out the cost. $5 for 1 hour of foot reflexology with a short back and neck massage which seems to be the norm all over Asia.  How can I refuse this deal!!  So I sit down to a great hour with this young man doing foot reflexology but really the most amazing is the few minutes of back and neck massage.  This guy was great.  I kind of regretted not just having a back and neck massage but I did find out in Asia that you never know if the guy/gal actually know what he/she is doing so I am always a little hesitant . . . but this time this fellow really was great and if I would have stayed another day I would defnitely had come back here. The hotel also looks good but I did not check the prices nor the rooms.

The evening goes by quite quickly I kind of fall asleep in my chair for maybe 1/2 an hour or so but I mostly read this novel I just picked up at the hotel  (exchanged the one I had just finished for this one).  It actually is quite interesting and keeps me reading until my ride arrives on time at 1:25 a.m.  Van is a little on the "aged" side but to my suprise there are three other travellers in the van so we will be 4 doing the tour. Again, I consider myself lucky and am happy to have reserved with Sunrise. They could very easily had sent me off on my own paying 500,000 and the three others in a separate van which would have been more money in their pockets!!  So I recommend this tour agency  on all counts.
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