Jember is East Java’s third largest city after Surabaya and Malang, and is located about 150 kilometers from Surabaya. Once just a humble district, most famous for its coffee and tobacco plantations, Jember is now known for its glamorous and glitzy annual parade, known as “The Jember Fashion Carnival.” Attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators each year, Jember has now developed into a neat and complete city, and has become a popular holiday destination for foreign and domestic tourists alike.
The Jember Fashion Carnival exhibits elaborate creations by local fashion designers, combining traditional Indonesian styles with the latest international trends. Hundreds of participants spend the entire year in preparation for this 3-day extravaganza of color, costumes and creativity. The parade runs through the city center, along a 3.6 kilometer catwalk—the longest catwalk in the world. The Jember Fashion Carnival has now been recognized as the fourth largest carnival in the world, and definitely the biggest party in Indonesia.
The streets of Jember are well kept with good quality roads and clean sidewalks. Trishaws are a common form of transport around the city, as a means of preserving its cultural heritage. Jember is one of the cities that it is sometimes considered “The Gateway to East Java.” East Java is home to many amazing nature parks, such as Mount Bromo, the Meru Betiri National Park and Kawah Ijen, the largest acid lake on Earth, the Baluran National Park, and a host more.
Though not yet as prominent on the “tourist map” as Bali or Jogjakarta, Jember’s historical richness, vast plantations, natural wonders and fashion culture are quickly putting it on the list of must-visit places in Indonesia.
One of the famous, traditional dishes from Jember is Tape, or fermented cassava. A variety of dishes are made with this ingredient, including cakes, pies, and ‘dodol.’ These can be tried almost anywhere throughout the city, or purchased to bring home from souvenir stores.
Panorama Hotel & Resort provides an excellent location for both business and leisure travellers, located less than a kilometer from the central business district and shopping centers. Panorama offers a range of 75 rooms and suites to suit your needs and budget. All rooms are air-conditioned and come equipped with bathrooms with hot water and the usual amenities.
Address: Jalan KH Agus Salim No. 28, Jember, Jawa Timur
Aston Jember Hotel is a modern hotel, and the first 4 star hotel in the city. Located less than 20 minutes from Jember train station, Jember is ideal for business travellers, and leisure travellers who want to be close to the action. Aston Jember provides 147 Superior & Deluxe Rooms, 5 Suite rooms with Living Room, Wellness Center and Spa, VIP Karaoke, an international menu restaurant, café, and pool bar. Free WiFi access is available in all areas of the hotel, including rooms.
Address: Jl. Sentot Prawirodirjo No. 88 Jember, Jawa Timur
Istana Hotel Jember offers air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi access and sweeping views of the city. Istana is conveniently located in the city center and offers many services including 24-hour reception, beauty center, a restaurant with Indonesian and Chinese cuisine, laundry services, and free parking for those travelling by car. Each room includes a bathroom, satellite TV, and minibar.
Address: Jl. Diponegoro 43, Jember, Indonesia
Most famous for its annual festival, the Jember Fashion Carnival, it would be best to plan your visit around this time, so as not to miss out on this unequaled event. You can monitor the official JFC website, www.jemberfashioncarnaval.com, for latest news, updates, and of course the schedule for the dates of the next parade.
The city center of Jember itself is one that has existed since colonial times. Dutch buildings line the cozy streets, refurbished and repainted to give them a modern twist. An ancient Tobacco Trading Center can still be found as well.
The nearby Meru Betiri National park has all the goodness of outdoor activities found in one place. In Meru Betiri, hiking through the forest and sunbathing on the beach can both be done on one exciting trip.
Kawah Ijen is one of Indonesia’s hundreds of natural wonders, attracting world-class travelers from across the globe. A seemingly glowing turquoise lake within an active crater, Kawah Ijen contains 36 million cubic meters of sulfuric acid and hydrogen chloride, the most powerful acids known to man. The lake has a radius of 360 meters, and reaches depths of over 200 meters, making it by far the largest acid lake on the planet.
Getting to Jember is not too difficult. The closest airport is in Surabaya which has available international flights from Hong Kong, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Singapore. Domestic flights are available from most cities around Indonesia. From Surabaya, Jember is 4-5 hours away from by bus or Train. Both the bus terminal and train station are fairly easy to reach from the airport. Alternatively, you can find transport direct from the airport to Jember.