Tangkuban Perahu

Two very accessible volcanic craters you can visit in Bandung

Bandung has so much surprises for the traveler and if you want something out of the ordinary, why not visit two volcanic craters? Kawah Putih and Tangkuban Perahu are two of the very accessible volcanoes in this city. Kawah Putih stuns with its white to bluish to greenish crater lake while Tangkuban Perahu, the drive up volcano, so to speak, gives you that raw feel.

Kawah Putih

I got excited when we were already heading to Ciwidey, passing through villages and fields as the temperature started to drop. It was morning and the rising sun gave the mountain landscape a beautiful sheen, mist just starting to rise and the nippy cold weather kissing my cheeks. I’ve seen photos of Kawah Putih before and the two hour drive/50 kilometer distance is made bearable with the beautiful scenery as our bus slowly made the ascent to the starting point for the crater lake.

Kawah Putih is a stunning crater lake that can turn white, greenish to bluish, depending on the concentration of sulfur or the temperature and is one of two craters of Gunung Patuha at 2,430 meters in elevation. It’s a very alien landscape with its acidic lake giving a very surreal scenery. Sulfuric vents emanate gases at the edge while trees, mostly devoid of leaves at one area grow at the edge.

You can’t go directly to Kawah Putih. One has to ride the many red shuttle angkut after paying the entrance fee. These vehicles then ferry visitors to the drop off point and is just less than a hundred meters from the crater lake itself. What I do love about the place is the cool weather but the smell of sulfur as one goes down the steps to the lake can be hard on the nose, thus you have the option to use a mask. However, unlike in Kawah Ijen, where a gas mask is a must, the smell is actually bearable. Weekends can get crowded with several visitors from Jakarta descending on the capital and to Kawah Putih. If you want to skip the crowds, weekdays are better.

READ MORE: Fear and loathing climbing to the crater of Kawah Ijen

Kawaha Putih is a popular volcanic crater lake that is very much accessible to visitors

Kawaha Putih is a popular volcanic crater lake that is very much accessible to visitors

Fumaroles at one side of the crater lake with sulfuric gases emanating from the vents

Fumaroles at one side of the crater lake with sulfuric gases emanating from the vents

The place is popular for selfies and visitor photos

The place is popular for selfies and visitor photos

Panoramic spread of Kawah Putih

Panoramic spread of Kawah Putih. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Clockwise from top right: Trees at the edge of the crater lake, family picnic at a wooded area between the crater lake and the parking area, the well paved road leading to the crater lake cuts through this forest, and several angkuts, a type of vehicle popular in Bandung are parked, waiting for their turn to bring visitors to the crater lake

Clockwise from top right: Trees at the edge of the crater lake, family picnic at a wooded area between the crater lake and the parking area, the well paved road leading to the crater lake cuts through this forest, and several angkuts, a type of vehicle popular in Bandung are parked, waiting for their turn to bring visitors to the crater lake

Kawah Putih
Ciwidey, Bandung
West Java, Indonesia

Tangkuban Perahu

It’s a very pleasant drive up Gunung Tangkuban Perahu, around 32 kilometers and about an hour and fifteen minutes from the capital city of Bandung, passing modern buildings, towns, fields and forests, with the temperature dropping to a comfortable cool the farther you go up. Unlike going to Kawah Putih, you can drive all the way to the edge of the crater where there is ample parking space, canteens and just about every tout selling you souvenir items.

Gunung Tangkuban Perahu is so called because it looks like an upturned boat from a distance and is 2,084 meters above sea level with the last known eruption just last year. There are actually three craters of which Kawah Tangkuban Peraho is the most prominent and directly viewable from the top. It can be daunting to look down as the fenced off area/viewdecks around the crater is mostly within or even less than a meter from the edge. The crater is barren and dreary. Grayish and sad with a few fumaroles.

A panoramic spread of Tangkuban Perahu's crater

A panoramic spread of Tangkuban Perahu’s crater. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Close up of a portion of the crater below

Close up of a portion of the crater below

Viewing decks, paths and tourist shops

Viewing decks, paths and tourist shops

The other side of the trail rises up this portion of the crater

The other side of the trail rises up this portion of the crater

The crater of Tangkuban Perahu is another popular tourist spot that is accessible to vehicles and visitors

The crater of Tangkuban Perahu is another popular tourist spot that is accessible to vehicles and visitors

Gunung Tangkuban Perahu
Cikole, Lembang, Bandung
West Java, Indonesia

This trip made possible through the Wonderful Indonesia program of the Ministry of Tourism. Check out the official website, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But don’t forget to Like my Langyaw Media Facebook page for updates.

For stories during my WONDERFUL INDONESIA trip, click on the TRIP OF WONDERS tag.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

4 Comments

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    October 12, 2016 @ 22:41

    Bandung has so many surprises, u can even visit 2 volcanic craters!
    https://t.co/FFPHHxd0aZ #tripofwonders… https://t.co/vTxFP46l9p

  2. Estan, Ang Langyaw (@LangyawMedia)
    October 12, 2016 @ 22:41

    Bandung has so many surprises, u can even visit 2 volcanic craters!
    https://t.co/Kpp9HnQaZr #tripofwonders… https://t.co/YFzkWzIUSo

  3. Estan, Ang Langyaw (@LangyawMedia)
    October 13, 2016 @ 7:35

    Have you been to this alienlike crater lake in Bandung?
    https://t.co/Kpp9HnyA7T #tripofwonders #wonderfulindonesia… https://t.co/ybbzF1yJNP

  4. Estan, Ang Langyaw (@LangyawMedia)
    October 13, 2016 @ 12:15

    Have u looked down the crater of this active volcano?
    https://t.co/Kpp9HnQaZr #tripofwonders #wonderfulindonesia… https://t.co/wQH7Geq3gZ

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