Trip to Kawah Putih – Ciwidey


In this school holiday season, we like to take our kids to play and get to know the nature. That because we live in jakarta where we mostly take our kids to play in the mall (indoor). As planned, we like to stay a week in our parent house in bandung and start to look for green places around bandung that we can go to. For our target we have the option of area around lembang and ciwidey. After some considerations and that usually during the holiday season lembang area is very crowded we decided to go to ciwidey. 

Ciwidey is located in southern part of bandung – west java. In here there are natural conservation and tourist destination area. The destinations include kawah putih (white crater), pangalengan where you can go to situ cilenca (cileunca lake), situ patenggang (patenggang lake), etc. unanimously we choose to go to kawah putih. 

That day we leave bandung city at 8 am hoping so we can avoid the traffic jam. Our route : Buah batu – soekarno hatta – cibaduyut – kopo – soreang – ciwidey. At the beginning it was a smooth ride, the traffic is bearable. when we reach ciwidey area the traffic is getting heavy and the car occusionally stop for a while because of traffic. Well its the only way there so we just have to dealt with and try to enjoy the ride. Anyway, there are something interesting on the road to ciwidey. That is you can find many strawberry farming in ciwidey. The red dotted fresh strawberry looks so tasty waiting to be pick. The visitor can either buy the the package of fresh strawberry or the best of all you can hand pick them as much as you like right from the plantation. This is interesting experience and our kids love it. 

After approximately 2 hours, finally we reach our destination “kawah putih”. Once we are there, we are waited in line to get in to the gate to buy the entrance tickets. 

The following is the ticket price list for kawah putih area.

The ticket price to kawah putih is Rp 20,000 (twenty thousand rupiah) per person for domestic tourist and Rp 50,000 (fifty thousand rupiah) per person for foreigner.
For parking, the visitor can choose whether to park near the entrance gate (below ) or park near the crater (up in the mountain). 

Parking fee to park near the entrance gate (below) is as follows :

The parking fee for motorcycle is Rp 3,000 (three thousand rupiah) per motorcycle
The parking fee for car is Rp 6,000 (six thousand rupiah) per car
The parking fee for bus is Rp 25,000 (twenty five thousand rupiah) per bus

To reach the white crater from this parking area you need to use so call “Ontang – anting”. This is a minibus use to transport visitor up the mountain to the kawah putih area. The cost of this transport is Rp 15,000 (fifteen thousand rupiah) per person. The price is included for going up to the crater area and returning to the parking area below.

The parking fee to park your car near the crater (up in the mountain) is Rp 150,000 (one hundred and fifty thousand rupiah) per car. It is expensive but we choose to pay this to park up in the mountain. 

Driving from the entrance gate to the crater is challenging. We go along small and winding road. The road itself is not so smooth and just enough for two passing car. So we must be driving carefully and watch out for the vehicle from the opposite direction. On the road side the view is pretty much a forest with no sign of houses or civilization. No lightning anywhere along the road so when the day is cloudy and gets dark its kind of creepy.

The road trip from the main entrance to the parking lot near the crater is about 5 km or 15 – 20 minutes by car. When we get there we are surprise. There are alot of car park up here, it is difficult to get the parking space. So I guess it is not that expensive after all, as a lot of people choose and willing to pay that much money for the previlege to park up in the mountain.

From here we can walk along the stair provided down to the crater. Do wear your sweater or coat because it is cold up here and can reach 0 degrees at certain times. You are also advise to wear a face mask to cover your nose and mouth. That is because the level of sulfur in the air is high so you might have difficulty to breath. You either bring the mask yourself or you can buy it. There are people selling the face mask up here.

As you go along the stair you can slowly see the crater. Once you get there you will be amaze. Imagine you are deep inside the crater where you find the lake is so green and the soil is white. It is like you go to another world because the sorrounding is suddently very different. The fog is everywhere around you and that sulfur smell create a mix feeling. The plantation there are unique as it just the tall branch with few leaves create different atmosphere.the water on the crater can change color instantly according to sulfur level inside the crater and the intensity of the sun light that shine through the the lake. The color can be white, green or even brown. 

This place is very popular, many visitor take picture here for for personal, wedding or commercial photography. Of course I take the picture here and the result is superb. The result is picture of you wearing warm cloth and sorrounding with all those mist and green color lake or just an amazing surreal lanscape photography. It is like we are not in Indonesia. It is like we are in the country where you have cold snowy climate or another world. I think that the best thing you can take from this trip to kawah putih. The fact that you been there inside the crater and experiencing completely different environment truely one of the must see places in your life time.

For health reasons, the visitor is limited to be in the crater for maximum 15 minutes. The estate management keep announcing the warning and it is true so you better obey it. If you are staying here inside the crater for too long you will feel dizzy, headeach or event vomit. Two of our family member got this sickness and sit helplessly at the car on the way down the mountain. They get better afterward.

That kawah putih (white crater) is actually inactive crater of the mount patuha. Their existance is keep secret for years. That because the people live around it says that the mountain is sacred and affraid to go up there. The kawah putih existance was reveal as Dr. Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn (1809 – 1064) is courious and decide to go to the top of the mountain and found out about this beautiful crater as we know today.

So that is our story about the trip to kawah putih – ciwidey. As much as we enjoy the experience I recommend this place for you to see. Thanks for reading the article. 

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