30 October 2010, Bandung, Indonesia – Day 2 of our Indonesia trip with Garuda Indonesia, we set off in a van from Jakarta to the provincial capital of West Java, Bandung at 7 in the morning to avoid the bad Jakarta traffic. Since we were heading south from Jakarta to Bandung, our local guide Abdul from BMW Travel suggested we make a detour to and Mount Tangkuban Perahu before proceeding to the Sheraton Resort Bandung hotel.
After three hours, we stopped over at Mount Tangkuban Perahu. We thought that Sari Ater is going to be like other hot spring resorts – just about hot spring baths with a pretty much rest and relax experience. But we were surprised to find out that Sari Ater also has many recreational and sports activities catered to the people of all ages. And here’s some of it:a hotel and recreation park located on the slope of
• Thermal Bathing Pool
• Thermal Lake & Water Fall
• Rowing Boat & Water Tricyle
• Picnic Park & Tea Walk
• Camping Ground
• Fishing Pond
• Weekly Cultural Performance : Every Sunday at Recreation Area Ram Fighting, Gotong Sisingaan (Lion Pop Dance).
• GoKart Offroad
• ATV Riding
• Paint Pall Battle
• Flying Fox and other Outward Bound programs
Sari Ater will be a great stop over station for families with kids or youth travellers before heading to Mount Tankuban Perahu enroute to Bandung. However, we had a tight schedule to keep, we have to give Sari Ater Hotel a miss after a quick tour of the facilities and proceed to our next stop, Tangkuban Perahu’s volcano crater.
Mount Tangkuban Perahu is an active volcano, about 30km away from the city of Bandung. Tangkuban Perahu comprises three craters, Kawah Ratu (“Queen Crater”), Kawah Domas (“Domas Crater”), and Kawah Upas (“Upas Crater”). We only have time to visit the Queen Crater, which is the main crater of Tangkuban Perahu.
It was a bumpy journey to the volcano, but we got to see the farming and rural side of Indonesia, with beautiful padi fields and houses built on the steep slopes of the mountains. I have to apologize that there were no good pictures as the ride was really bumpy and I was trying not to feel nauseous.
As we were reaching the volcano, the weather was getting cool and breezy compared to the heat in Jakarta. That is because Tangkuban Perahu is situated 1830 metres above sea level.
At 12pm we reached the Queen Crater, we were surprised by the thick clouds you see everywhere. I felt like I was in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. As a contrast to the warm hot springs at Sari Ater, many people were spotted in winter coats. If you were not equipped for the cold weather, you could purchase winter hats, shawls and scarves from the street stalls.
We were fortunate. When we got off the bus, the weather was just nice. It felt like a 16 degree aircon room, so I guess without any strong winds, the weather was still manageable in jeans and tee shirt.
The sight of the Queen Crater is breath taking, but DO NOT take a big breath as he smell of sulphur is very strong, so you can fart all you want and no one going to noticed it. For a Saturday afternoon, the place is packed with tourists, students and families, so you have to stay close together with your group so you do not get lost in the crowd. If you are hungry from the road trip, you may get some street food here but I doubt you can tell if they smell good due to the sulphur in the air.
The best place with a view would be at the lookout shed (located at the highest point of Queen’s Crater). This is perfect for group shots with the view of the crater as the backdrop. If you are challenging enough, you can choose to climb over the fence and ask someone to stand at the lookout shed to take a picture for you.
With the help of Sony Alpha NEX 5 panaromic sweep feature, we managed to take a beautiful group shot from the shed.
You must visit Tangkuban Perahu if you are in Bandung, it’s a place that you can enjoy the natural beauty that our mother earth have created and the nice breezy weather makes you wanna take hundred of pictures of yourself with the Queen Crater as the backdrop.
Here’s a video on the Legend of Mount Tangkuban Perahu which means “upturned boat” in Sudanese.
This post was contributed by Dennis Seow
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