Since an eruption in the 10th century. Locals believed that Mount Patuha where Kawah Putih lies is haunted. Birds would fall when they fly across the mysterious forests. It’s the dark spirits, claimed the fearful villagers. For centuries, no one dared to venture far into the mountain.
It was not until 1837 when Dr. Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, a geologist and botanist from Germany, took an interest in this area. A rational man, the scientist could not just believe the telltales. He made a thorough investigation, and one of his discoveries is a white sulfuric lake at a crater of Mount Patuha.
Kawah Putih, translated as White Crater, has a high concentration of sulfur. So dangerous that birds would collapse after inhaling its steam. After the myth busted, the quiet mountain became crowded with curious tourists. The haunted area now is a natural wonder, the one and only on Java Island.
Kawah Putih’s beauty features a snowy white shore and milky green water. The color of the water changes constantly depending on the mineral concentration, the weather, and the temperature.
The White Crater Kawah Putih
From the entrance gate to the lake itself, there is still 5 km to go. A winding road divides the thick forest, going up to the crater site. Hop into the Ontang-Anting, an open car transport that will bring visitors from the entrance to the lake point. Sit comfortably in the back, and enjoy the clean, fresh air, all while it lasts.
Kawah Putih will literally take visitors’ breath away. This is because Kawah Putih lake, well, stinks. Due to its high content in sulfur, the lake’s stench would go as far as hundreds of meters away, reminding anyone of rotten eggs. To help with breathing, guides will hand masks as soon as tourists get off from the car.
It helps only a little, but it’s better than nothing. At the white crater, the lake’s haunted story might have gotten proven wrong. But the atmosphere remains. The lake is stunning, but around, there’s a certain uncanny feeling radiating from its environment. Blackened trees nearby struggle to live, they can’t grow leaves.
No fish, no animals, no birds in sight. An unlivable ecosystem, beautiful in its eeriness. The lake is an untouched beauty in the literal sense. All visitors can do is admire the mint-colored water from the white sandy shore. Everyone can only dream to dip or swim since it’s dangerous to do so.
And the visit has to be short since the poor air quality will cause breathing problem on a longer visit. Overall it’s like meeting a celebrity – can’t do anything more than a selfie and the meeting will be brief, but nonetheless, a remarkable experience.
Kawah Putih Trekking Activity
Join a trekking group after taking moments at Kawah Putih. Unbeknownst to many, tourists can go for a hike to the summit of Mount Patuha. There are several trekking routes available, one of them accessible from the lake entrance. The journey to the top usually takes two to three hours.
The name Patuha, or ‘elder’, clearly resonates the ancient feeling when walking through Patuha forest. Trees have been standing for centuries, undisturbed by loggers partly thanks to the scary stories. At the top, stand in awe over the view of the surrounding Cidiwey mountainous region.
The lake Kawah Putih sits elegantly below. But here visitors can enjoy the sight of the lake a bit longer, away from the sulfuric smell and the toxic air.
There is a strawberry garden located just the opposite of Kawah Putih entrance gate. Pluck and taste the fresh strawberry. Its red color looks refreshing and hard to resist. For an affordable IDR 100,000, fill a small basket with fresh strawberries. It’s quite a deal, not to mention the fun. Picking fruits with own hands does more satisfying than buying them directly from a supermarket.
Kawah Putih Opening Hours
The white crater or Kawah Putih open for visitor every day including on national holiday. From 7 am to 5 pm. To capture the scenic landscape of the crater. Go early in the morning or come during weekdays. As every other destination in Bandung will be flooded by the locals on weekend.
|Kawah Putih Opening Hours|
|Monday – Sunday||07:00 – 17:00|
Kawah Putih Entrance Fee
Tickets are Rp75.000 not including parking and transportation to the lake. Parking fee is Rp6.000 for private car entrance fee will cost Rp150.000. If visitors coming with a rental car and drive into the lake entrance. The ‘Ontang Anting’ car transports cost IDR 15,000 per person for one way.
|Kawah Putih Entrance Fee|
|Shuttle Van||Rp15.000/1 way|
Nearby Attraction: Patenggang Lake, Ciwidey, tea plantation & lush green forest all in one.
Kawah Putih Facilities
Facilities at Kawah Putih are mostly located near the entrance gate. There are restaurants and food stalls, toilets, and information center at the entrance area. The parking lot is spacious for buses, cars and, motorcycles. Visitors seeking an accommodation will find plenty of choice along Cidiwey-Patengan Road.
How To Get To Kawah Putih
The best and fastest way to go to Kawah Putih by rented cars. A 7-seated van typically costs IDR 600,000/ 12 hours including the driver. From Bandung downtown area, the route will be Buah Batu—Banjaran—Soreang—Cidiwey—Kawah Putih. The journey takes one and a half hour without traffic.
Visitors can also opt for Indonesian public transportation ‘Angkot’. From Leuwi Panjang Terminal Bandung to Cidiwey Terminal. Take an Angkot with code number L300. At Cidiwey Terminal, change into the public van heading toward Patenggang Area. The fare is only Rp6.000 per person.
The journey can take longer and it typically takes 1,5 hour alone. From Bandung downtown bus terminal to Ciwidey. Add another hour to finally reach Kawah Putih. It doesn’t include the waiting time. Most of the van will only depart when its full.