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Jember

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Jember is a city and regency district in East Java.

Understand

This is East Java's third largest city after Surabaya and Malang. Whilst not the most attractive or interesting of cities, it does have decent facilities for visitors and makes a good base for exploring the southern part of the East Java region. Reaching the remote Sukamade turtle conservation area is often tackled from here.

Jember is a big commercial centre and is almost invariably congested and crowded.

Tourism Information Offices

  • Jember Tourism Office, Jl Gajah Mada No 325, Jember. Tel +62 331 425471.
  • Meru Betiri National Park Office: Jl Sriwijaya 53, Jember 68121, East Java, Tel/Fax: +62 331 321530, E-mail: meru@telkom.net. Excellent first stop for information about visiting the turtle conservation facility at Sukamade and other parts of the national park.

Get in

By plane

  • 1 Notohadinegoro Airport (7 km from Jember City). Garuda Indonesia operates a daily flight to Notohadinegoro Airport, from Surabaya.  

By train

Jember is on the main East Java line and there are many services linking it with other cities in the region and in Central Java. Longer distance rail access from Jakarta involves a change in Jogjakarta or Surabaya. Check the PT Kereta Api (Persero) website for detailed schedules. The name of the station is Stasiun Jember (Jember Station). It takes 4 hours to travel from Surabaya.

  • 2 Jember Railway Station, Jl. Wijaya Kusuma No.5, Tegal Rejo, Jemberlor, Patrang. (updated Oct 2022)

By bus

The main long distance bus terminal is called 3 Tawang Alun Bus Terminal and is about 5 km west of the city centre. This is served by buses from Banyuwangi (about 2 hours), Surabaya (about 5 hours), Malang (about 5 hours), and many other smaller towns in East Java.

Get around

The main taxi company in Jember is called Argo and they have a telephone booking service: +62 331 424242.

Local buses and bemos are everywhere.

All of the local hotels will offer tours or help you with booking independent transport for seeing the key local sights (almost all of which are very rural and involve a lot of travelling).

See

  • 1 Watu Ulo Beach and Papuma Beach (30 km south of Jember city centre). It is strange that the not-very attractive Watu Ulo is the better-known of these two nearby beaches. Papuma is by far the nicer of the two and many regard it as the best beach in the whole of East Java. The beach at Watu Ulo is black sand and the large rock from which the beach takes its name (Watu Ulo means Snake Rock in Bahasa Java) juts impressively out of the ocean just offshore. Papuma is pristine white sand, a nicer shape, and just altogether a better experience. Both beaches border the western edge of the Meru Betiri National Park and this is a beautifully wild area. It does get crowded at weekends and during school holidays with day trippers from Jember but otherwise, it is quiet and an excellent place to get away from it all. Buses run quite regularly from Jember to Watu Ulo or you can arrange a car and driver at your hotel. Once at Watu Ulo there is no shortage of ojek and bemo transport to take you over to Papuma or to the even quieter fishing village at 2 Payangan Beach just to the east. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 3 Semboro Sugar Mill (PG. Semboro), Semboro. See the sugar cane lorry at harvest time. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 4 Mrawan Rail Tunnel, Gn. Gumitir, Sidomulyo, Silo (Near Mrawan Station). One of the oldest tunnels in Indonesia. It is established in 1910. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 5 Sukorambi Botanical Garden (Taman Botani Sukorambi), Jl. Mujahir, Krajan, Sukorambi, ☏ +62 851 007 07600. 07:00-15:30. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 6 Museum Tembakau Jember, Jl. Kalimantan No.1, Krajan Timur, Sumbersari, ☏ +62 331 338396. M-F, 08:00-16:00. A tobacco museum. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 7 Museum Huruf Jember, Jl. Bengawan Solo No.27, Tegal Boto Lor, Sumbersari, ☏ +62 822 312 65758. 12:00-22:00. A letter or font museum. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 8 Gunung Gambir Tea Plantation, Pasi, Gelang, Sumberbaru. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 9 Tancak Waterfall, Suci, Panti. (updated Oct 2022)

Do

Events

  • JFC (Jember Fashion Carnival). A spectacular event fashion carnival on the street. Usually taking place in August or September yearly, it lasts 3 days, with the peak on Sunday. Followed by around 600 participants witnessed by hundreds of thousands of spectators, it has been recorded in the MURI (Indonesia Museum Record) as a demonstration with the longest catwalk 3.6 km. 

Within Meru Betiri National Park

  • Go to Sukamade to visit the turtle conservation facility. The full details of this are covered in the 1 Sukamade article. Whilst in Jember, a visit to the national park office to obtain some advance information and purchase permits is not a bad idea.
  • 2 Bandealit Beach. Do birdwatching by camping on the beach. Forest trekking to Gua Jepang (Japanese soldier bunker). Canoeing in telaga (lake) near the beach. (updated Oct 2022)

Buy

Once you visit Jember, something that you cannot miss is buying gifts. There are various gifts from Jember. One of them is a traditional food made from fermented tapioca called Tape. It has a sweet and sour flavor and often gives a warm feel to your body. The other thing is Suwar Suwir. It is basically also made from fermented tapioca, but slightly modified to other shapes and can be grouped as sweets. It has a sweet flavor as well. A lot of shops sell that food.

One popular shop is "Primadona", next to Pasar Tanjung. Here, you can also find Brownies Tape. It is brownies cake as you usually know, with the flavor of tape. You can also go to Hardys supermarket, located in Jl. Raya Sultan Agung or Matahari Department store.

Eat

As always in Indonesian cities, there is an enormous number of street vendors and simple restaurants to choose from. Follow the local crowds is always the best advice.

  • 1 Gudeg dan Pecel Lumintu Jember, Jl. Kerta Negara No.33, Kaliwates, ☏ +62 331 488569. Su-F, 06:00-14:00. In Jember, gudeg is mixed with pecel, the combination is called gudeg pecel. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 2 Sari Utama, Jl Gajah Mada No.27, Jember, ☏ +62 331 487092. The best Chinese restaurant in Jember. Brash, bright and noisy as you would expect but excellent food. 
  • 3 Mie Sampurna Apong, Jl. Diponegoro, Tembaan, Kepatihan, Kaliwates. Daily 10:00-21:00. Serves mie ayam (chicken noodle). From Rp12,000. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 4 Depot Jawa Timur, Jl. Gatot Subroto No.8, Kampungtengah, Kepatihan, Kaliwates, ☏ +62 331 483873. 08:30-21:00. Javanese food. 
  • 5 Conato Bakery Jember, Jalan Gajah Mada, Kaliwates Kidul, Kaliwates, ☏ +62 857 330 65974. 06:15-20:00. Bread, cakes, and coffee. 

Drink

Try a local drink named wedang cor, a mixture of tape ketan (fermented sticky rice), water, condensed milk, and ginger.

  • 1 Wedhang Cor Mbah As, Jl. Singosari, Lingkungan Sadengan, Kebonsari, Sumbersari. 16:00-24:00. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 2 Wedang Cor Pak Hendrik, Jl. Semeru XII, Tegal Boto Kidul, Sumbersari. 15:00-22:00. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 3 Wedang Cor P.Dja Rawi, Jl. Letjen S.Parman, Kali Oktak, Karangrejo, Sumbersari, ☏ +62 812 168 41426. (updated Oct 2022)

Sleep

Most of the hotels in Jember city are aimed at local business travellers. This tends to mean that they are efficient and clean but not the most interesting of places. The more rural options may appeal more to overseas visitors.

  • 1 Hotel Bandung Permai, Jl Hayam Wuruk No38, ☏ +62 331 484528. A business hotel with a convenient city location and lage swimming pool. 55 rooms. From Rp220,000. 
  • 2 Cendrawasih Hotel, Jl Cendrawasih no 22, ☏ +62 331-412222. Rp50,000-350,000. (updated Oct 2022)
  • 3 Kalibaru Cottage, Jl Raya Jember, Kalibaru, Banyuwangi (on the main road from Jember to Banuwangi, 43 km east of Jember), ☏ +62 333 897333, contact@kalibarucottages.com. This hotel has a pleasant rural setting with rooms that are good value for the prices asked. Large swimming pool and restaurant. Offer a full program of East Java regional tours. From US$50. 
  • 4 Margo Utomo Eco Resort, Jalan Lapangan 10, Kajarharjo, Kalibaru (about 40 km east of Jember), ☏ +62 333 897700, info@margoutomo.com. A truly lovely place run by fine people. This started as a tiny homestay which was a huge success and the owners have expanded to the point where there are now 51 rooms. Big swimming pool and gorgeous grounds. Offer lots of rural based activities and tours including visiting Sukamade Beach. From US$45. 
  • 5 Luminor Hotel Jember (formerly Panorama Hotel), Jl KH Agus Salim No28, ☏ +62 331333666. Probably the best hotel in the city centre with a wide range of options from fairly cheap standard rooms up to luxury suites. Decent restaurant, fitness centre and .. errr.. VIP karaoke rooms. 
  • 6 Rembangan Hotel, Jl Rembangan 65, Baratan, Patrang, ☏ +62 331 420273. In a nice rural setting in the hills 12 km north of Jember city centre. From about Rp250,000. 
  • 7 Hotel Sulawesi, Jln. Letjen Suprapto no. 48, ☏ +62 331-5039555. Check-out: 12:00. A great hotel up on a large hill in central Jember with a good view. The hotel is constantly being maintained. The rooms are very clean and well maintained. The staff are very friendly and the coffee shop is open 24 hr with a full menu. Easy to get to on local Bus letter G. Rp225,000-450,000. 

Connect

The telephone area code for Jember is 0331 and 0336.

Go next

  • Banyuwangi for ferries to Bali.
  • Amazing volcanoes and scenery at the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park via Probolinggo.
  • Jogjakarta and the wonders of Borobudur and Prambanan.


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