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Bondowoso, suspended between the highlands of Tengger and Ijen, is one of the cleanest towns in Java. It is the home of some of the island’s best tape, a tasty, sweet-and-sour snack made from boiled vegetable roots. It’s merely a transit point for nearby attractions such as Ijen, but does have banks and internet facilities. Tours to Ijen can be organised here.

Tape can be found on Jl PB Sudirman, where dozens of shops sell it by the basket (15,000Rp). The ‘321’ brand is reportedly the best.

There are many (cramped) minibuses to Ijen (20,000Rp), all leaving before noon for the 2½-hour trip. Other destinations from Bondowoso include Jember (6000Rp, 45 minutes), Probolinggo (15,000Rp, two hours) and Surabaya (normal/air-con 32,000/45,0000Rp, five hours).

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