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Mount Tangkuban Perahu, West Java

3 May 2015 No Comment

Tangkuban Perahu

Just a while back the Travcult crew had an opportunity to visit Bandung, the capital of West Java province in Indonesia. After one full first day of factory outlet shopping we were all ready for some nature sightseeing. On our second day in Bandung, we downed a quick breakfast at hotel Gino Feruci Braga and greeted our hired driver, Pak Nandang, at the agreed timing to head to our first destination of the day, the crater of Mount Tangkuban Perahu.

Tangkuban Perahu

Kawah Ratu as seen from the crater rim

Tangkuban Perahu means “upturned boat” in the local Sundanese dialect. There is an old legend behind the name, one filled with magical creatures, tragic love story, and deceit. Wikipedia has a good article on the legend here, and below we will try to give a short summary.

Once upon a time there was a young boy called Sangkuriang. Following a tragic event during his childhood he had to grow up without a family. Sangkuriang also suffered total memory loss of his childhood, not even the look of his own mother. A scar on his forehead is the only memento that he has of his childhood. Despite having to survive by himself, Sangkuriang eventually grew into a handsome young man with great martial skills and magic.

One fateful day he met with the beautiful Dayang Sumbi, a woman gifted with eternal youth, and the two fell in love at first sight. Sadly, their love was not meant to be. While the couple was spending some private time together, Dayang Sumbi saw Sangkuriang’s scar and was convinced that this man was her own son, whom she cannot marry. Wanting to thwart Sangkuriang’s plans of marrying her, Dayang Sumbi tasked him to make a lake and boat for her before sunrise the next day as a condition to their marriage. Sangkuriang summoned spirits to speed up his progress, and just as he was about to complete the task when Dayang Sumbi tricked the spirits into thinking that the sun has risen, causing them to flee. With the spirits gone, Sangkuriang failed to complete the task. Sangkuriang later found out that he had been deceived by Dayang Sumbi, and in frustration, he kicked the unfinished boat into the air. The boat landed upside down and thus Tangkuban Perahu was created.

Tangkuban Perahu

Parking area at Tangkuban Perahu, crater is located to the right

Tangkuban Perahu is located approximately a 1.5 hours’ drive to the north of Bandung, and has an elevation of 2,084 m. Unlike most other volcanoes, we were able to drive all the way up to the crater rim. We enjoyed the cool weather (a thin sweater will do) and grand view of Kawah Ratu, the largest crater of Tangkuban Perahu. There was a smell of sulphur in the air, and parts of the crater had been bleached white and yellow.

Tangkuban Perahu

Tangkuban Perahu

The path up to a higher vantage point was flanked by stalls selling decorative items, food and souvenirs. We caved when we saw some elderly women selling Jagung Bakar Pedas – BBQ corn on the cob slathered in chili sauce. For those of you who have not tried it, you are missing out! We sat, ate our corn, and admired the crater from our vantage point. We probably spent around 30 minutes up on Tangkuban Perahu in total, before heading back to our car and driver for our next adventure!

Tangkuban Perahu

Enjoying our Jagung Bakar Pedas (spicy grilled corns) and the beautiful view

Tangkuban Perahu

Travel Info
There is a walking path available for those who would like to trek the surroundings on foot, but due to limited time we did not explore it.

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