The adventures of Uju in Indonesia – #2 Muddy Trails

I took up my friend, Ana’s suggestion of visiting Sempu Island, south of Malang in East Java, wanting to take Uju on some off-the-beaten-path tours.

Uju & I took a morning flight to Malang, and wandered around the city in the afternoon/evening. We’d heard good things about Hotel Tugu and their afternoon tea, but when we got there we realized everyone was very busy preparing for Valentine’s Day dinner. Still, they were sweet enough to get us some tea and snacks, while continuing with their decoration.

Malang on Valentine's day Malang on Valentine's day

Malang on Valentine's day Malang on Valentine's day

Early next morning, we set out on our excursion. A 2-hour drive south got us to Sendang Biru. I had read a few blogs about this route, so we knew to ask for the permit and boat+guide to take us to Sempu Island. One of the most useful tips we got was to rent rubber hiking shoes (for Rp 20,000 each). They have all possible sizes, and we were able to get the right fits. Friendly folks all around, who repeatedly asked us to carry enough drinking water. We had about 4 litres for the three of us, and some food too, as there are absolutely no facilities on the island.

(Hiking photos courtesy Uju)

Hike on Sempu Island Hike on Sempu Island Hike on Sempu Island

A short boat ride later we arrived at Sempu, and started our hike. Right away, we were thankful for those rubber shoes, having to step over thick roots and plenty of muddy puddles.

Souvik loves hikes, and Uju is a natural, while I was holding everyone back with my speed and terrible sense of balance. We took 2 & a half hours to get to our destination, and gosh, it was worth every ache and pain. The lagoon at Sempu was everything we had imagined, and more. We were speechless, and not just from the effort of getting there.

Hike on Sempu Island Hike on Sempu Island Hike on Sempu Island Hike on Sempu Island Hike on Sempu Island Hike on Sempu Island

We rested our tired feet, then clambered over some rocks to take in the view of the Indian Ocean just beyond.

Hike on Sempu Island

Too soon, it was time to trudge back. How happy were we to see the boat again! We met quite a few groups of people heading out to the lagoon in the late afternoon/evening with the intention of camping out. Good for them!

As for us, the meal of soup and rosti at Bunga Bali in Malang had to be one of the most satisfying in a very long time!

Categories: Island-hopping in Indonesia, Travel


  1. Loved the new look and am enjoying reading Uju’s adventures. Aarti you can pen them in a form of book “Uju’s Indonesian Adventures”..


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