Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tangkuban perahu Crater Park

The Tangkuban Perahu crater park is a popular tourist attraction where tourists can hike or ride to the edge of the crater to view the hot geysers and boiling mud up close. The park located at the highland just at the outskirt of Bandung and is surely a perfect place to enjoy cool air and relaxing scenery. The huge crater is an astonishing view and you can walk around and explore this for around two hours. Here you will be greeted by sulfur fumes which the crater continues to emit although the volcano is not active.

pic credit to Tangkuban Perahu
Tangkuban Perahu is a dormant volcano 30 km north of the city of Bandung, the provincial capital of West Java, Indonesia. It last erupted in 1959. However, on February 2013, The Tangkuban Parahu park was closed due to a rise in volcanic activity. Vendors and visitors should not go up to the crater at that moment. During the second half of August, there had been increased seismic activity and elevated gas emissions. On September, seismic gradually decreased and no more tremors appeared since then.

Tangkuban Perahu is a volcano with three craters into which areas tourists can walk through. These three craters are:
  • Kawah Ratu - the huge ‘Queen Crater’ located at the top with the spectacular panoramic view of this large and deep crater. It’s the only one crater that can be reached easily by car to its rim. It is today just a big gray hole, which sometimes has a pool of water at its center. Poisonous gases sometimes accumulate in Kawah Ratu, thus making it somewhat of a risk to descend to the crater floor. You may also imagine that you hear a man sighing as if carrying a heavy burden. This wheezing sound actually comes from the sulfur steam that comes out deep from the bowels of the earth.
  • Kawah Upas  - walk around the rim of the main Kawah Ratu crater and in around 20 minutes you will come to the this second crater. The trail is steep and slippery in some parts; however, your special efforts wil be well rewarded when you notice the shade trees and breathtaking views on either side of the muddy land. This is the best time to freeze the moment through your camera
  • Kawah Domas – the most unique ceater with the extreme heat. There are many hot geysers in which you can boil eggs there. Going down to the crater was ok but going up again it will be a bit of a struggle ;)

overturned boat
Mount Tangkuban Perahu has a distinctive shape, and looks like an “overturned boat”. The name of “Tangkuban Perahu” translates roughly to "upturning of a boat" in Sundanese, referring to the local legend of its creation.

The legend of Sangkuriang is an old story passed on through generations in West Java, with varying regional accounts and detailed interpretations, though the main premise remains the same. Sangkuriang is a man descended from the gods who accidentally falls in love with his own mother, Dayang Sumbi.

Sangkuriang was separated from his mother since childhood. Yet, through God’s will he came to meet her again. On the way home, he stopped by a small village where he met and fell in love with a beautiful girl, without realizing that the girl he loved was in fact his own mother, Dayang Sumbi, who had remained youthful through the years. . The two fall in love immediately, and the heavily smitten Sangkuriang asks for her hand in marriage.

One day she finds a scar on his forehead and discovered the terrible truth of her lover was her own son, she was horrified. In order to dodge the marriage proposal, Dayang Sumbi suggests some prerequisites for marriage that she thinks will be impossible to meet.  She, therefore, challenged him to build a dam and a huge boat during one single night before she would agree to marry him.

Seeing that her son was about to complete this impossible wish, she called on God to bring up the sun early. With a wave of her magic shawl, Dayang Sumbi lit up the eastern horizon with flashes of light. Deceived by what looked like dawn, the cocks crowed and farmers rose for a new day. When Sangkuriang realized that his endeavor was lost, in his rage he kicked the boat that he had built turning it upside down, which was transformed into Mount Tangkuban Perahu, the name that in the local Sundanese language translates roughly to "overturned boat".

  • It is quite long drive from Bandung town and sometimes heavily jammed at weekend. Approaching the destination, the road is quite bumpy and steep. Best to travel at early morning to reach place before noon.
  • Beware of the villagers trying to sell something and anything from souvenirs to snacks and drinks but if you don't need to then just ignore them.
  • Take the chance to chill at the side of the hill with the view of Tea plantations while eating Jagung Bakar (corn BBQ) and Satay when you going back to town or on the way to Ciater. It was beautiful back ground for taking pictures too.
  • There are also tea plantations right next to the entrance where you can take pictures at.
  • As with all mountain tops, the air can be chilling, so prepare your jackets.
  • Just ignore the touts; hang-on to your kids and bags. 
  • go strawberry-picking on the way back to Bandung

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