I took my parents to stay in the mountainous area south of my hometown for my Birthday. So, I’d like to share a little bit about the town of Ciwidey.
Firstly, since I love geography, here’s the place on the map so you can find out where it is in relation to any large cities or wherever you are.
Secondly, I included some of the photos I took to give you visuals. So make sure you can see them :).
Ciwidey is roughly a 2-hour drive away from Bandung city area. Of course it all depends on traffic, which can be really bad. So if you’re ever interested in visiting, I strongly suggest to go on weekdays. Plus, the town and the tourist attractions get really crowded in the weekends with tourists (mostly locals, Malaysians, and Singaporeans).
Here are some gorgeous sites you can visit in Ciwidey.
(Note: Since all of these sites are tourist attractions, you would have to pay entrance fee and parking fees. Any costs I mention below does not include these 2 fees).
Situ Patenggang (also spelled Patengan) is a gorgeous lake surrounded by tea plantations. The banner that I use above (that features my lovely father), is also a photo of the lake.
Like any other beautiful natural attraction in Indonesia, there’s a legend attached to it. A Prince separated from his Princess. Both searched for each other for a very very long time (The name Patengan is derived from Sundanese word Teang-teangan, which means searching for each other). They finally found each other on a rock, which evolved to be the island in the middle of this lake.
So because of that, any couple that goes around this little island, called Pulau Cinta, or Island of love, and visits it, will be blessed with an everlasting love.
You can rent a small Swan pedal boat for IDR 30,000 (Bout 3 SGD and 2.20 USD) to go round and round the lake in an hour.
Or if you have a large party, you can rent one of the larger boat. Unfortunately, I didn’t ask how much was the cost for that.
The area that you can visit is not very large. But you can find many bamboo huts where you can sit down and enjoy the scenery.
I suggest bringing a nice little picnic and spend some time in nature, surrounded by gorgeous trees.
THE most famous attraction in the area that has brought millions of people to visit. 90% of people from Bandung has probably visited this place. But this was my first time (and my parents’ first time as well).
Kawah Putih literally means White Crater. It is really only a crater filled with water. But it is beautiful. I just looove the color of the water. Not quite sure what gives it the color.
But let’s come back to the fact that it’s a crater of an active volcano. There’s health hazard signs around the crater that reminds you to stay there for only 15 minutes. And everyone is asked to purchase a mask before getting into the crater area. If you’re only spending like 5-10 minutes there, you’d be fine. I personally started getting a headache after 10 minutes. Probably from the sulphuric gas I was inhaling. So really, it’s beautiful, but take care, and don’t spend too much time there.
The crater is located on the mountain. So the temperature is colder. And to get up there from the parking lot, there are 2 options: 1) to drive your own car up, which costs IDR 150,000. 2) Pay for a ride in a shared, no door-no window, Ontang Anting (literally translated to “being swung around”) with 10-11 other people that costs IDR 15,000 per person. My choice, no 2 by far. Why? It’s adventurous and fun. :D. And you don’t ruin your own car driving up the road to the crater, which has lots of pot holes, and sharp turns.
If you want to read more about Kawah Putih, here’s its Wikipedia.
I love love love tea plantations. In my opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful sights on earth: seeing the rolling hills covered with lush green tea plants.
So, I got really excited when I saw the tea plantations. In my mind I would find a place to sit down and drink a cup of hot tea. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a nice place to do that. So, sorry, not much recommendation here.
But I did talk to a friend of mine, who told me that when she goes to the tea plantation with her family, she would do a picnic. Her family would bring a mat and all the food and have a picnic in the middle of all the greens! What a great idea!
So if that interests you, that’s something you can explore.
HOT SPRINGS, ROOMS, STRAWBERRIES, AND OTHER NOTES
Ciwidey also have tons of sites where you can soak yourself in hot springs water. Unfortunately, I only visited one in the form of a public pool that was really crowded. So I’m not going to recommend that here. Will let you know if I find a nice one.
There are also lots of pretty-looking accommodations in the form of villas and bungalows. But you gotta know which ones are the nice ones cause sometimes they are not well-maintained.
The river is just right outside our room. That’s what the view looks like from inside the room. There’s a giant window overlooking lush greenery.
The rooms are modern western rooms. Clean and generally new. Not bad at all. Staffs are nice. But I’d still suggest to not expect so much :).
Another favorite activity in Ciwidey is to go and pick Strawberries. I think it costs IDR 100,000 for 1 kg of strawberries. I personally had never done it. Not very interested in it. Maybe one day.
In summary, if you’re looking for a getaway to nature, Ciwidey is beautiful. I got to breathe clean mountain air, which was awesome. I slept to the sound of crickets outside (super awesome too).
It’s an alternative you can consider when you’re traveling to Indonesia.
And with that, I hope I have inspired you to go out and get yourself some nature :).