Mount Tangkuban Perahu must be in tourists’ bucket list to complete their West Java’s experience. Roughly 30 kilometers away from Bandung, this stratovolcano draws thousands of visitors every day. The number can rocket to at least 10,000 people on national holidays or long weekends.
No wonder as it has everything in one package: sky-high elevation, craters, and green outdoors. Since it is an active volcano, the geothermal heat makes everything in its way hot. Thus, it results in the existence of hot water springs around Tangkuban Perahu.
One of the nine craters, Kawah (crater) Domas, has sulfuric hot water ponds. People of all ages have traveled here to wash their feet at the ponds. They believe that the pure sulfur can cure rheumatics and skin diseases. Towering at 2,084 meters above sea level, it gives a full aerial view of Bandung-Subang.
The lush valleys, slopes, and tea plantations of the surrounding areas are also in sight. Grayish white mist hovers above the trees and the craters like dots of clouds. Sometimes, hawks and falcons tear the sunny blue sky with their high-pitched shriek.
Tangkuban Perahu The Legendary “Capsized Boat”
Just like most places in Indonesia, it has its own myths and legends. Ages ago, there was a family of two, mother Dayang Sumbi and son Sangkuriang. They lived together with a faithful dog named Tumang in the middle of a forest. Tumang had been living with Sumbi for years long before Sangkuriang was born.
One day, they had a quarrel and Sumbi hit Sangkuriang so hard in his head. The ten-year-old boy ran out of the house, bleeding, and did not return. Feeling guilty, Sumbi prayed to the gods to be reunited with her son again. Never did she know that Sangkuriang was suffering from amnesia due to his mother’s assault.
He forgot everything about his childhood, including about Sumbi, Tumang, and their home. They were living their own lives ever since the incident, apart from each other. Sumbi stayed at her home without getting any older thanks to the gods’ will. She remained ageless and beautiful, still attracting many men who saw her in the forest.
Sangkuriang lived on his own out there, growing into a strong handsome man. About 12 years later, the two unexpectedly met but without recognizing each other. The more time they spent together, the more they were in love. One day before their wedding, Sumbi noticed a scar on Sangkuriang’s head.
She realized it was the same spot on which she hit her child long ago. She told Sangkuriang that he was her son but he did not believe it. Sumbi, therefore, gave Sangkuriang an impossible task: made her a massive lake and a boat. He had to finish before dawn and if he failed, the wedding would be canceled.
Sangkuriang took the challenge, even almost completed the job—making Sumbi anxious. She waved her magic scarf in the air which looked like the morning sun. Sangkuriang got mad, kicked the boat upside down which later turned into Mount Tangkuban Perahu.
The trio of Volcano Craters
This active volcano has erupted at least 30 times for the last 40,750 years. As a result, it has nine craters scattered around the area with three top craters. They are Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater), Kawah Upas (Upas Crater), and Kawah Domas (Domas Crater). Kawah Ratu is the queen of the trio as it is the biggest one.
Kawah Ratu looks like a giant bowl with pale gray sandy sides. The water-like liquid at the bottom changes colors from blue, green, to gray. White steam blows out of the gaps on the crater’s walls, creating a dramatic aura. The more it bursts, the more sulfuric the surrounding air will smell.
Despite lines of bamboos fence the upper edges, travelers must not lean on them. Its neighbor, Kawah Upas, may be smaller in size but it has the same charm. It takes about 30 minutes of trekking from Kawah Ratu to Kawah Upas. The sandy slippery terrain can be a challenge—that is why it lacks explorers.
They miss a lot though as every step of the grueling hike does pay off. The crater’s cracked bottom, black dead trees, chalky white slopes make it a worthy panorama. Lastly, Kawah Domas lures many beauty seekers to smother their bodies with its sulfuric mud.
It is much closer to the main gate than Kawah Ratu, about one kilometer. Tourists need to climb up and down hundreds of staircases just to get here. They might be hungry and craving for some munchies by the time they have arrived. In that case, just go boil some eggs right in Domas’ natural hot water ponds.
Traditional West Javanese Grubs
Other than its tourism potentials, West Java is also famous for its broad culinary heritage. From spicy and savory, to sweet and sticky, it definitely satisfies all palates. At Tangkuban Perahu complex, visitors can sink their teeth in almost every local dish. The food stalls sell roasted rabbit skewers in peanut sauce with rice.
Sundanese complete rice package with chicken, raw vegetables, and chili condiment sambal is available too. Grilled sticky rice “uli bakar” topped with salty grated coconut makes a perfect light snack. It is tastier if it is dipped in a fermented soybean condiment sambal “oncom”.
Locals also sell the highland’s commodities such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries in plastic boxes. Have a cup of bajigur, a warm coconut milk-based drink, to end the day. Feasting on the comfort food under Tangkuban Perahu’s tall pines makes everything even more memorable.
Tangkuban Perahu Opening Hours
Nature lovers can seep into this gorgeous site every day from 7 AM. It is closed every 5 PM, even before the day turns dark. Although vacationers cannot see the sunset, this natural tourism park is too good to miss. As for those wanting to experience the three craters, they should come early. Remember that Kawah Upas and Domas require a trek for 30 minutes to an hour.
|Tangkuban Perahu Opening Hours|
|Monday – Sunday including public holidays||07:00 – 17:00 WIB|
Tangkuban Perahu Entrance Fee
Just like other tourist attractions in Indonesia. Foreign visitors will have to pay extra for the entrance fee. Tangkuban Perahu entrance fee cost IDR 200k for weekday and IDR 300k for the weekend.
|Tangkuban Perahu Entrance Fee|
|Foreign Weekday||Rp 200.000|
|Parking Fee Motorcycle||Rp 12.000|
|Weekend Entrance Fee||Rp 300.000|
|Ontang Anting Shuttle Bus Jayagiri – Kawah Ratu – Jayagiri||Rp7.000|
Tangkuban Perahu Facilities
It has restrooms, little mosque, big parking lots, and dozens of small eateries. Guides are ready to lead travelers who want to go to Kawah Domas and Upas. No-one can explore these two craters without a guide concerning its difficult paths.
One guide costs Rp 100,000–Rp 150,000, make sure to have a deal before going.
How To Get To Tangkuban Perahu
From Bandung’s Leuwi Panjang Bus Terminal, take a Bandung-Indramayu bus via Subang. Stop near the main gate of Tangkuban Perahu, before the border of West Bandung-Subang. People traveling by train to Bandung should stop at Bandung Train Station.
Take public transportation “angkot” serving Stasiun Bandung-Lembang and stop at an intersection of Lembang-Maribaya-Tangkuban Perahu. Take another angkot bound for Lembang-Cikole and stop near Tangkuban Perahu’s entrance.
Tangkuban Perahu Address & Location
The stratovolcano crater located in Jl. Tangkuban Perahu
Cikole Lembang, Bandung Barat district 40391.