Monday, September 5, 2016

Bandung | Kawah Putih Crater

Kawah Putih; noted as one of Bandung  famous tourist spot. A volcanic crater just 50 km south of the city or a 2 hours journey will take you here - Kawah Putih or Putih/White Crater; a dormant an andesitic stratovolcano (a "composite" volcano) volcano since 1600 that is now managed by Perhutani Unit III Jawa Barat dan Banten (Forestry Unit No III for West Java and Banten).

What unique is that it changes colours from bluish to whitish green, or brown, depending on the concentration of sulfur and the temperature or the oxidation state. Even the rocks around the crater has been leached into whitish colours due to the interaction with the acidic lake waters.

#TravelTips 1 : To get good pictures a d avoid tourist crowd, try to arrive by 9am.
#TravelTips 2 : To avoid morning fog, arrive by 9am too, which means ideally one is to depart Bandung by 7am.
#TravelTips 3 : You can park at the lower hill parking area and take the 'angkot' up.

Since the last volcanic activity some 1600 years ago, Kawah Putih is known to be relatively stable, hence it has become a popular tourist spot for locals, however less known to the foreigner. Due to the popularity amongst the locals, an estimated of 300,000 tourist has visited this awesome place despite the strong sulphur smell. As it has developed into a commercial and large tourist destination, facilities such as shops, parkings, snack stalls, toilets are made available. You can also do an easy hike to Mount Patuha from Kawah Putih; if you are up for it that is.

#TravelTips 4 : Bring a face mask. Alternatively, you can buy one at the shops there.
#TravelTips 5 : You might get dizzy due to the sulphuric smell – at any/all sulphur crater
#TravelTips 6 : Bring a bottle of water as your throat gets dry.

Indonesian state-owned forestry firm starts to develop the site as a tourist spot in 1991, over a hundred years after it was first documented by Dr Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn in 1837, a German botanist. I find it remarkable that plants still grows beautifully here and if you are lucky enough, you can see species of animals and birds including eagles, owls, monkeys and mouse deer.  And if you are unlucky, you will bump into wild boar, panthers, leopards and pythons. Ahaks...

As there are 2 craters in Bandung, located at the opposite of one another, you might be curious on the differences. Well, there is a huge difference between Tangkuban Perahu Crater and Kawah Putih, namely :

Kawah Putih
Located at south of Bandung
Fewer touts to bother you
Offers a more unique sulphuric  landscape
Accessible till the crater lake

Tangkuban Perahu
Located at north of Bandung
Touts haunt you everywhere
Offers a more unique mountainous landscape
A short hike is required to reach the crater lake

#TravelTips 7 : Use sunblock when you visit to Kawah Putih, don’t be fooled by the Bandung cool temperatures.
#TravelTips 8 : Do not stay too long at the crater as you might find difficulties in breathing.

Hopefully, this should assist you in decision making when traveling to Bandung.

Entrance Fees
Foreigners : IDR 30,000 (USD2)
Locals : IDR 15,000
(If you are doing a self-drive, you can parked at the gate and then continued using ontang to proceed to the crater (cheaper option)

Trip of Wonders– Indonesia Social Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Indonesia.

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