Monday, September 1, 2014

Bandung : Land of Unique Volcanoes

Bandung is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia, the country's third largest city by population.

Friends at work decided to have a weekend overseas trip, this time we book from, which has on going promo that time : 3D2N Hotel + roundtrip airfare = 147 SGD

Arriving on a Saturday, at 10 in the morning in this small airport of Bandung - Bandara Husein Sastranegara.  We were met by the driver we hired for 2 days who fetched us from airport.

Due to the traffic condition, we decided to check-in to the hotel at night on the way back. So we first had our lunch stop, mid way to Tangkuban Perahu volcano.

As recommended by our Indonesian friends, we had our lunch at Kampung Daun

The place is a small valley that are surrounded by a solid rock cliff that serves as a natural walls of the entire dining area which is compose of individual private huts / cottages. 

While inside the private huts, one will hear the sound formed by the strain of gurgling water, mountain breeze that plays bamboo leaves which become a supreme natural orchestral.


After having lunch at this beautiful dining place, we drove up to Tangkuban Perahu (volcano).  It was almost 3 pm when we reach this unique volcano. Fogs are all around the park, thus the view of the volcanic crater was slightly covered.

Walking towards the middle section, the pathway is rocky and almost at the edge of the crater's cliff,

Our couch-surfing friends explained to us the legend of this volcano,

The name "Tangkuban" is translated as "upturned boat" in Sundanese, referring to the local legend of its creation. The story tells of "Dayang Sumbi", a beauty who lived in West Java. She cast away her son "Sangkuriang" for disobedience, and in her sadness was granted the power of eternal youth by the gods.

After many years in exile, Sangkuriang decided to return to his home, long after the two had forgotten and failed to recognize each other. Sangkuriang fell in love with Dayang Sumbi and planned to marry her, only for Dayang Sumbi to recognize his birthmark just as he was about to go hunting. In order to prevent the marriage from taking place, Dayang Sumbi asked Sangkuriang to build a dam on the river Citarum and to build a large boat to cross the river, both before the sunrise. Sangkuriang meditated and summoned mythical ogre-like creatures -buto ijo or green giant(s)- to do his bidding.

Dayang Sumbi saw that the tasks were almost completed and called on her workers to spread red silk cloths east of the city, to give the impression of impending sunrise. Sangkuriang was fooled, and upon believing that he had failed, kicked the dam and the unfinished boat, resulting in severe flooding and the creation of Tangkuban Perahu from the hull of the boat.

We left Tangkuban at almost 5 pm, on our way back we met a slow moving traffic jam, and finally arrived and checked-in to our hotel - Amaris-Cimanuk, at almost 7pm,

After check-in, we just went to one of the native restaurant along the main road - Kedai Belacan

While walking back to our hotel, along main road there where series of Outlet shops that are lined up.  This is another tourist spot in Bandung, the good priced branded apparel direct from Outlet shops.

On our 2nd day in Bandung, we had morning trip to Kawah Putih (3 hrs drive) another magnificent volcano, and we consider this day as the highlight of the trip.

Arriving the site, we have to leave the rented vehicles in a parking area, and we entered to the site and by a regular mini shuttle buses (leaving every five minutes or so) for the 5 km to the crater. 

For Indonesian citizens, the cost of entry to the site (October 2011) is Rp 15,000 plus Rp 5,000 for the return minibus ride (total of Rp 20,000, around $US 2.20). Charges for foreign visitors are slightly higher.

The surrounding area is heavily forested. There is a pathway down to the lake which is surrounded by the high walls of the crater nestling into the side of Mt Patuha.

The smell of sulfur is strong because there is a good deal of steam and sulfurous gas bubbling from the lake. There are tracks around the lake and through the nearby forest including to the peak of Mt Patuha.

After a sulfuric experience! Next, we drove to Situ Patenggang (Lake) for a quick look, then pass by the Tea Plantation.

We had our late lunch at Strawberry farm, and followed by Strawberry Picking.  The area of Ciwidey, being a part of Southern Bandung's tourism spot, it has many strawberry garden which is a perfect location to visit if you like picking fruits. The place has a very cool temperature and also have an awesome green sight all along the road. 

With a price less than Rp.50.000 - you can get one kilogram of strawberries here. In fact, if you want to grow these strawberries at your own garden, you can buy the seedlings here.


Bandung is also known among locals to be the place where the artists lives, this is evident along the main roads of the city; there are several street performers that will entertain you while you are struck in a bad jam,

Jalan Braga is one of the historic streets of Bandung. Nicknamed Pedatiweg from the Indonesian word 'pedati' meaning 'cart' because of its narrow width, it was built by the Dutch to link Jalan Raya Pos to a coffee warehouse.

We return to hotel at night, and had dinner at an Indonesian Cinema inspired food court - Warung Misbar - Pesta Rakyat

Food here are self service, like mix veggie rice stalls in Singapore, but you spoon your food into your plate, and at end the counter staff will compute your total food bill,

This conclude our Bandung trip, the place i
s not so famous among foreign travelers, but because of budget airlines, its slowly being discovered and becoming more and more popular to international tourists.

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