indonesia travel

A Short Getaway to Ciwidey

Originally from Bandung, I feel the need to post something about some place(s) that are worth to see around my hometown. I suppose Bandung itself has been quite known as a city that is visit-worthy in Indonesia.

Being the host of Afro-Asian Conference, Bandung might be historical for some people. But beyond that, Bandung is also popular for its beautiful nature and delicious dishes. Spiced up with the beauty of Sundanese people, it is only understandable that back in Dutch colonial, this city is called ‘Parijs van Java’ or so to speak, Paris in Java Island.

But then again, the classic of being a local is that I rarely get a chance to explore my own town.

So in one fine, sunny day, my friend Irma and I decided to go to Ciwidey as both tourist and local. If we usually go around the town by driving, then this time we chose public transportation to get to Ciwidey with two main destinations: Ranca Upas and Kawah Putih.

We took a mini-bus (known as ‘Elf’ for the local) from Leuwipanjang Bus Terminal. It costs only IDR 12,000 to take us to Ciwidey Bus Terminal. My suggestion is, if you choose convenient over everything then this mini-bus is not an option.

It was packed with probably almost 20 passengers in one mini-bus. Choose the front seat beside the driver to avoid the hassle, but even if you do, you may still have to struggle with the waiting time until the mini-bus is full with the passengers. It could take time from 15 minutes to 2 hours, you’ll never know. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t my friend!

From Ciwidey Bus Terminal, we took another mini-bus to Situ Patenggang as it would pass both Ranca Upas and Kawah Putih, our main destinations. We paid IDR 15,000 for this mini bus and being two crazy (but pretty) local travelers, we got so surprised to the fact that Ranca Upas is located exactly across Kawah Putih’s entry.

Ranca Upas itself is well-known as a campsite in the south of Bandung. But other than that, our purpose to visit Ranca Upas is to visit the deer conservation park there. The location of the conservation park is inside the campsite, and to enter the campsite you need to pay for only IDR 10,000.

The deer conservation park is located around 200 meters from the entry of the campsite, and you could buy a bag of carrots there for only IDR 5,000. Unfortunately, when we went there we were running out of carrots so although we didn’t have anything to feed them, we could enter the park and hang out with the deer for free.

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So after hanging out with the deer in the conservation park, we just had to cross the street to get to the entry gate of Kawah Putih.

Kawah Putih, which literally means White Crater in Indonesian, is a crater of Mount Patuha that contains a striking lake. The location of Kawah Putih from the entry gate itself is around 2 km.

The entry ticket to Kawah Putih is only IDR 18,000 for domestic tourists. For international tourists, the ticket is IDR 50,000 unless you have KITAS to prove your residence permit in Indonesia.

From the entry gate to the crater, it took around 20 minutes by ontang-anting, a public transportation used for visitors to get to the crater with the price of IDR 15,000 per pax.

As Kawah Putih is one of must-visit destinations in Bandung, don’t be surprised when you come there to find a lot of people packed around the crater. I suppose if you could visit it around weekdays, then do it. Because I guarantee you, if you go there on the weekend or during public holiday, then the site will be crowded with a lot of visitors. Just like when we went there.

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It was so crowded to the point we kinda felt like we lost the mood to have fun and relax. But it was worth the price and the effort, to be honest.

Everything is better than having to work around the office, right? So, we had nothing to complain either. :p

Traveling Tips to Ranca Upas and Kawah Putih: 

  • If you plan to visit Ranca Upas and Kawah Putih in a group of 8 or more people, you better rent a car to get there. It will be more convenient for all of you and cheaper too! 
  • If you have plenty of time, you can also continue your trip to Situ Patenggang, a lake located around 8 km from Kawah Putih. This trip to Ranca Putih and Kawah Putih alone can be done for half a day (from 10 AM to 3PM), so Situ Patenggang is indeed recommended for those who have never been there. 
  • You could also take some carrots with you for the deer, just in case the carrots are sold out on the site. 
  • The deer in the conservation park are so friendly. It is suitable for those animal lovers! 
  • You could also buy fresh strawberries from the street vendors around Kawah Putih for the price range of IDR 25,000  to IDR 35,000.
  • Do not litter!

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So far, it was fun to explore Ciwidey as a local tourist. The only disappointment that we’ve found was the fact that a lot of people littered around the conservation park. There were at least 3 (three) plastic bags around the park, and I found it really annoying because I am a practitioner of traveling responsibly.

For those of you who live in Bandung, this can be the option for you to flee from the traffic jam of the city center. But again, this is a friendly reminder for you to be a responsible traveler.

So, what kind of place that you enjoy visiting in your hometown? Do you have any experience of being a tourist in your hometown?

Have fun and cheerio! 😀

-Marya The BeauTraveler-

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