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» Wisata Tangkuban Perahu
Wisata Tangkuban Perahu
by: Emma Kwee

The 1830 meter high Tangkuban Prahu volcano is one of Bandung 's main tourist attractions. With its 5 craters of which at least three are still active, it makes for a spectacular sight. Unfortunately, the s mel l is equally spectacular, the sulphur mostly resembling rotten eggs. The volcano can be reached in less than one and a half hours from Bandung and is approximately 30 minutes from the scruffy horticultural town of Lembang . To get there, take an angkot (minivan) to Lembang and change to another angkot that says Tangkuban Prahu.

The area of which the Tangkuban Prahu volcano forms the heart has been given the name Parahyangan , which translates to ‘home of the spirits' and is considered the spiritual origin of the Sundanese. Legend tells that in the past, a young boy by the name of Sang Kuriang fell in love with his own mother who he hadn't seen for many years (because he'd allegedly killed his father and was kicked out of the house). The mother, upon finding out the awkward family ties between her and ‘her lover', tries to get rid of his affection by giving him the impossible task of building 1000 boats in 1 night. If that wasn't hard enough, she also undermined his attempt by making the roosters cry too early. The son fails and will never be able to marry the love of his life. In anger and frustration, he kicks one of his newly built boats which turns upside down and grows into a mountain. That explains the name Tangkuban Prahu, which means ‘upside down boat'.

The park is a huge area with forests that make for great hikes to the craters. The main crater, kawah ratu , is lined with a selection of tacky tourist shops selling miniature ninja puppets, bonsai trees and hats made out of rabbit fur. This is also where most of the street/mountain vendors hold office with their strawberries and raspberries so be prepared to be followed around with those relentlessly.

The small information centre has a model of the volcanic area and some brochures, but the best way to enjoy the Tangkuban Prahu is to take a walk around the crater. There, the tourist traps are absent and the views of the bubbling mud and steam are quite impressive.

It is possible to walk down to the main kawah ratu crater in record speed of two hours, but make sure you wear appropriate shoes since the ‘road' is rocky and slippery. An alternative route would take you to kawah domas , a crater with a small sulphur mine that can be reached in about 30 minutes and where the main attraction is boiling eggs in the 94-98 degree water.

Admittance to the park is Rp.35,000 for foreigners and Rp. 12,000 for locals, the underlying assumption being that most foreigners are loaded. So unless you look distinctly Indonesian, expect to pay up. Sometimes ‘negotiating' with the staff will bring the price down a bit.

 
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Address : Tangkuban Perahu,
Jalan - , Lembang, Bandung

About The Author

Emma Kwee

Emma is a Dutch born and bred Indonesia lover who after years of traveling stranded and lost her heart to the same country her father was born in.

Emma writes for Streetdirectory Indonesia. Robert J Steiner manages Streetdirectory.co.id & FlowerAdvisor.co.id, well known for for online Flowers & Gifts in Indonesia.

She is currently living the good life in Bandung, writing for streetdirectory.com while sipping fresh coconut juice under a palmtree, she's planning on staying put for a while.

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