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Jember is a large city and service centre for the surrounding coffee, cacao, rubber, cotton and tobacco plantations. It’s a relatively clean city, with a futuristic mosque (it looks like a flying saucer) by its alun-alun, but there’s no reason to linger here. If you plan to go to Meru Betiri, you could drop by the Meru Betiri National Park Office, which has accommodation details and background information on the park.
Jember has an excess of transport terminals. The main one, Tawung Alun (or Terminal Jember), 6km west of town, has buses to Banyuwangi (23,000Rp, three hours) and Kalibaru (8000Rp, one hour), and economy buses to Denpasar, Solo and Yogyakarta. Angkot run from here to Terminal Arjesa, which serves Bondowoso (7000Rp, 45 minutes). There are also subterminals to the east (for Banyuwangi) and south (for Watu Ulo).
Jember is also located on the Surabaya–Banyuwangi train line; the station is in the town centre.