In my last post, I wrote about the Sundanese legend that explains the existence of the volcano Josh and I visited on our trip to Bandung. We did not yet know Tangkuban Perahu’s creation story at the point that we arrived, but I was nonetheless expecting our volcano expedition to be mystical.
At about 9:30 in the morning, we arrived to crowded parking lots and swarms of Indonesian tourists flocking to the main paths. The air was much clearer and slightly cooler than we were used to in the Jakarta region, so it already felt different from anywhere else we’d been in Indonesia.
Our first order of business was to climb up a nearby platform so we could get an idea of the surrounding area. This view alone was enough to impress us, with rolling hills and tea plantations in the distance.
As we got closer to the crater lake, the sulfuric steam engulfed us, but we quickly became accustomed to the stench of rotten eggs and continued along a pedestrian road lined with vendors.
Though the sky directly overhead was bright blue, thick patches of clouds and sulfur covered many lower areas, and as we walked downhill along the market street, I imagined that this place was a village in the clouds.
As we made our way farther from the visitor hub, we encountered many natural wonders, including a closer look at the crater lakes . . .
. . . enclosures full of gnarly trees with roots and branches that jut out in every direction . . .
. . . and beautiful volcanic rock formations with amazing textures that I couldn’t stop admiring.
Eventually, the quiet path that we had taken ended abruptly, with the warning that the area contained poisonous gases. (Can you spot the sign’s English oopsy?)
So we turned around and headed back to civilization. But not before staging some photos at the creepy gurgling cave where the volcano zombies live.
After being stuck in the city for the past several months, I was so happy to be surrounded by trees again, especially in such a remarkable setting. Tangkuban Perahu completely fulfilled my expectations, and I would recommend it to anybody traveling to Bandung.
*All the lovely photos above were taken by Josh.
If you would like to visit this volcano, your hotel can tell you specifically how to get there by public transport.
I personally recommend renting a car for the day, which saves a lot of time and effort and will allow you to see much more of the area at your own (air-conditioned) pace. I hired our car from Mulia Car Rental for 650,000 IDR (about 54 USD), which included the car, gas, parking, tolls, and a local driver.
Tangkuban Perahu’s entrance fee is 50,000 IDR (~4.15 USD) per person as well as a 15,000 IDR (~1.25 USD) fee per vehicle. While there are many stalls selling various souvenirs, our driver warned us not to buy anything, as the prices are insanely inflated compared to anything you can buy back in Bandung. There is, however, some reasonably priced local food available.
The volcano is dormant now, but it doesn’t hurt to do some research before your visit to make sure conditions will be safe.