Stay another day

Probolinggo, a historic port city on East Java’s north coast, gets a bad rap in most guidebooks with the traveller set (very undeservedly we think), billed as a place to avoid or quickly whizz past on your way to nearby Gunung Bromo barely stopping for a breath.

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Our experience was far different, we found friendly folk, interesting sites, great food, some decent accommodation and ghosts! So, (as Public Enemy say) don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t believe the hype—we think the town has enough interest to warrant at least an extra day or two.

Colourful. : Sally Arnold.
Colourful. Photo: Sally Arnold

Located along the main northern coastal route between Surabaya and Banyuwangi, Probolinggo is around 100 kilometres from the former and 200 kilometres from the latter with the Madura Strait to the north and to the south, the spectacular (and highly touristed) Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, the reason most travellers visit Probolinggo.

The fertile hinterland grows sugar and tobacco along with the more usual rice crops and several large sugar mills are major employers in the region. Every guide book we picked up mentions Probolinggo’s famously delicious mangoes, however we visited out of mango season, so can’t confirm if reports of this ambrosia are accurate. Besides tourists passing through on their way to Bromo, Probolinggo sees its fair share of cruise ships ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,400 words.)

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