Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bandung Trip - Falling in Love with Turquoise Kawah Putih

The next morning we got ready and left the hotel at about 9:00 a.m. We headed to our first destination, Kawah Putih!

Kawah Putih (or White Crater) is located about 50km southwest of Bandung. Kawah Putih was formed long long time ago by the eruption of Gunung Patuha (Mount Patuha). People did not dare to step nearer to this mountain because they believed that the mountain was haunted. They could not even see any birds flying around this mountain.

However, in 1837, Dr. Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, with all his bravery, took a journey towards this haunted mountain. And to his surprise, he found a gigantic beauty by looking at the crater. He then explained that the high sulphur content of the crater caused bad smell and shooed all the birds around.

Since then, people knew that Kawah Putih was not haunted. Kawah Putih was gifted!

With the aid of pretty voice of Google Map, we drove towards Ciwidey. The journey felt like forever, not only because of the distance.
1. Google Map directed us via small road. Yes it was jam-free but I felt like riding a horse rather than a car. The road was so bumpy and full of holes.
2. The car that we got was so dirty at the third row. There were six of us and being the youngest and the useless (I couldn't drive), I took my rightful place.

While entering Ciwidey, a lot of restaurants could be seen along the way. After consulting Mr. Google, we decided to turn into Sindang Reret Restaurant.

The sign board. Sindang Reret in Sundanese means "Look Here".
We were given a gazebo and we ate at the floor. No table, no chair, just like Indonesians!
The green field at the back of the restaurant. Oh la la!
These were what we ate

We ordered Ayam Sindang Reret (Sindang Reret Special Grilled Chicken), Sate Ayam (Chicken Satay), Ikan Gurame Cabe Hijau (Green Chilli Gouramy), Tahu Goreng (Fried Tofu), Gado-Gado (Indonesian Vegetable Salad with Peanut Sauce), and pete (petai), and of course with various chilli sauces and a big bucket of rice.

We waited forever for our food to be served!

The chicken was not marinated properly therefore only certain part of it was tasty and the marination did not seep through the flesh. The chicken was a bit old so the flesh was a bit hard to chew. The rest were okay.

Having our lunch here cost us IDR 321300 (SGD 35). With the food and service provided and comparing it with Alas Daun, I think it was not worth to spend your time here.

But it was still an experience for us!

We continued our journey. When we reached there, we were given options.

Option 1 was to park our car at the foot of the mountain, take the public transport called 'Ontang Anting' to the top, spend about 15 to 30 minutes in Kawah Putih, and take Ontang Anting back to the parking area. It would cost us IDR 15000 (SGD 1.6) per person for the entrance fee, IDR 13000 (SGD 1.4) per person for Ontang Anting, and IDR 16000 (SGD 1.7) for the parking fee. In total for 7 people, it would cost us IDR 174000 (SGD 19).

Option two was to drive up to the top, spend time in Kawah Putih to your heart's content, and drive back. It would cost us IDR 15000 (SGD 1.6) per person for the entrance fee and IDR 150000 (SGD 16) for the parking fee. In total, we would need to pay IDR 240000 (SGD 25.6).

We thought it would be easier to follow Ontang Anting and it would be cheaper too! Therefore, we chose Option 1.

Dad and Bro at the station platform. The orange colour thingy is the Ontang Anting

There was supposed to be street sellers but because it was fasting month, we only saw one

Ontang Anting would only operate when the car was full. The driver drove full speed on a very rough machine. Since it was a mountain, so we climbed and turned and climbed and turned. Everytime the car turned, I felt like I was going to fly out of the car. Fyi, Ontang Anting has no door!

When we reached the top, we breathed different air already. It was cool and breezy.

The front porch of Kawah Putih. We took a lot of photos here!

The front door 

Hello, anybody's home?
Advisory note to stay not more than 15 minutes and to leave the crater if you are feeling unwell
After walking down these steps, you are at Kawah Putih already

The smell of sulphur could be felt when you enter the area. If you are not strong enough, it is suggested that you wear a face mask. However, none of us wore face mask and we were pretty okay. One thing I noticed was that my breath turned fast and short after sometime there. So, when you want to visit this area, prepare yourself.

Reaching the crater, I felt so wow-ed by this place. I didn't feel like I was in Indonesia. The air was cooling, the water was turqoise, the surrounding trees gave a very autumn feeling. I was falling in love.

Can you resist not to praise this place?
And the trees, like seriously? This is not autumn?
And of course spending the time with the ones you love!

We walked around and took quite a number of photos. About 15 to 20 minutes, we walked back to the Ontang Anting because we did not want the other people to wait for us.

Bye Kawah Putih. Till we meet again.

When we reached the car, nobody was there. We just chit chatted while waiting. After a moment, the driver came and told us that he was helping someone with flat tyre so it would take some time. We were unhappy because we had other place to go and it was already quite late in the afternoon.

This is the Ontang Anting. No door!

We waited and chased the driver for more than 30 minutes. Only after that he brought us down. We could sense that he was a bit unhappy that we chased him, but it was his problem! He was paid to drive us up and down.

Thank God we arrived safely to the parking area. We then continued our journey further south. To a place called Situ Patengan.

Next Post - A Wasted Journey to Situ Patengan

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

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