The trolley train starts from Kalibaru Station and its final stop is at the Mrawan Station after passing through a 700-meter-long Gumitir tunnel, where passengers could make a brief stop and enjoy the surroundings.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Banyuwangi is the right choice for families looking for a tourist destination that offers a fun trolley train ride that will take them to picturesque mountainous areas, lush green plantation areas, and a historical tunnel.

The trolley train starts from Kalibaru Station and its final stop is at the Mrawan Station after passing through a 700-meter-long Gumitir tunnel, where passengers could make a brief stop and enjoy the surroundings.

During the ride, the train passes through cacao and coffee plantation areas located more than 400 meters above sea level and surrounded by several mountains such as Mount Raung and Mount Gumitir.

The region enjoys moderate temperature, usually lying between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. The trip takes some 50 minutes and costs Rp100 thousand per passenger.

On March 20, Banyuwangi District Head Abdullah Azwar Anas inaugurated the operation of the trolley train ride in a ceremony also attended by PT KAIs Finance Director, Didiek Hartantyo.

He recommends parents to bring along their children, who usually spend a large amount of time on games and gadgets, to be part of the ride that will take them on an adventure through plantations offering scenic views.

The touristic ride is suitable for a family trip to introduce the children to nature, he said.

During the journey, the passengers will be able to enjoy the aromas of cacao and coffee and enjoy the scenery.

The tour will also cover educative and historical sites and offer a unique experience when the trolley passes the Gumitir underground tunnel which was built during the Dutch colonial era.

In addition to the trolley tour, Banyuwangi has also developed the Sidodadi Dam into a tourism attraction.

A local state-owned plantation company will also help renovate the dam area.

"In May, a cocoa plantation tourism concept will be started. Last Thursday (March 17), I met Deputy of the State Enterprise Ministry in charge of Agroindustry Wahyu Kuncoro. He supports the state plantation company to intensify its role in developing tourism in Banyuwangi," he remarked.

Foreign tourists, particularly the Dutch, have known Glenmore and Kalibaru since long, the district head noted.

Hartantyo said PT KAI, in cooperation with the regional administrations, has developed plantation-based tourist attractions as well as culinary and transportation services.

"I see that Banyuwangi is one of the regions that is always ready to collaborate for the development of new tourist destinations," he affirmed.

On the same day, PT KAIs finance director also inaugurated the 17-kilometer-long Banyuwangi-Jember trolley train ride that mostly passes along coffee and cacao plantation and mountainous areas.

"Touristic trolley tours are new, innovative, and a creative collaboration between PT KAI and the regional governments, such as the district administrations of Jember and Banyuwangi, to boost the tourism industry in the regions," Didiek Hartantyo explained.

The route includes a coffee plantation and a coffee processing factory run by state plantation company PTPTN XII, two tunnels, and seven bridges built during the Dutch colonial era.

The tunnels located in Mrawan and Garahan are among Indonesias longest railway tunnels.

The 690-meter-long Mrawan tunnel, located in the border of Jember and Banyuwangi, was built by the Dutch in 1910.

One of the bridges located between Kalibaru and Garahan is 43 meters high and 178 meters long.

Banyuwangi, which is located in the eastern tip of Java Island, has diverse culture and arts and is also blessed with scenic beaches and mountains.

Ijen Crater located in the western part of Banyuwangi is famous for its beautiful crater lake, the traditional sulfur miners who amazingly climb up and down the slope of Mount Merapi, and the plantations that cover the Craters slope.

The National Park of Meru Betiri is famous for its Java Tiger and turtles.

This year, Banyuwangi has planned to organize at least 58 festivals, including 20 new attractions.

The 20 new events will include a Canal Rafting Festival, Sailing Ship Festival, Underwater Festival, and Badeng River Tubing Festival, in addition to Paddy Planting Festival, and Fishery Festival, District Head Abdullah Azwar Anas said.

"So, in total, Banyuwangi will have 58 festivals this year, compared to 38 last year," he said.

Banyuwangi will continue to hold old festivals such as the Internasional Tour de Banyuwangi Ijen (ITDBI), Gandrung Sewu Festival, Banyuwangi Ethno Carnival (BEC), and the Batik Festival, in addition to the Beach Jazz Festival.

Banyuwangi has abundant cultural and art potential that is waiting to be exploited, he noted.

"We keep on promoting these and give them the stage in order to preserve and sustain them," Anas, a former legislator, said.

Dubbed as "the Sunrise of Java," Banyuwangi won an award from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) at a ceremony held in Madrid, Spain, early this year.

The Banyuwangi administration with its "Re-inventing the Government in Tourism" project, emerged as the first winner for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance category of the 12th UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism, according to a district government spokesman.(*)

Reporter: Fardah
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2016