Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
During the Asian African Conference Commemoration 2015, I had the privilege to accompany international travel bloggers to see Bandung. Having it my hometown, I would think I’d cover most of the area but apparently I’m far off of it. We traveled to the northwest and south outskirts to the elevated borders of the city. It occurred to me that Bandung has the making of a teacup, and us being tea bags. It had the cold air perfect for drinking tea, plantations, hot water, and us dipping into it. By the end of it I realized, the trip was about becoming tea bags and how the city is a giant teapot, amongst more interesting places around Bandung. May I elaborate?
This accommodation is a huge water spring resort located northwest of Bandung. It has a hotel, bungalows, glamcamps, and numerous activities within the complex. The hotel has a hot water pool beside its restaurant. It might not look different to the usual pool, but the water is a warm-bath temperature. It felt so good to dip into the pool even though it was a bit late that night. After working and making the trip up that mountain area for about 5 hours from Jakarta, the warm water was just right to start relaxing a body that had been lifting a backpack the whole day. It’s not just one the interesting places around Bandung, it is also a relaxing place.
Because the water wasn’t hot enough, we decided to move to the public area of Sari Ater hot spring. It has numerous hotter pools and is free for the Sari Ater hotel guests. The temperature of the water was awesome, the right boiling point for this gal! I think it opened and cleansed out some of my pores. Ooh…
The area has been popular for as long as I can remember, so you’re bound to find a large crowd at the pools, probably like a Japanese onsen. However, what is traveling if not bathing with the locals? And that sounded wrong.
It’s odd to see a hot waterfall. The resort area had small waterfalls and flowing water that seemed cool but turned out to be pretty hot.
Showering back at the hotel wasn’t much different to the pool. Showers were flowed by hot spring water, hence had a salty taste to it.
For more information of the resort click on this Sari Ater link.
Not going to elaborate too much on this mountain aside to that it’s the stove of the surrounding hot water springs. We’ve visited this mountain before and you can read about it here.
I need to add that the surrounding area is filled with tea plantation. So green, orderly, and fresh.
This resort is located south of Bandung, close to the main attractions within the area, Kawah Putih. Patuha Resort consists of several wooden bungalows that are known since the 80s . It has a nice cabin-in-the-woods feel to it and a warm water pool but not as clear as that in Sari Ater as it seemed they didn’t apply any water treatment to it, which can only mean it’s all natural. I particularly love where we had breakfast, a terrace just on the other side of the bungalows. It had a platform overlooking plantations and hills. The open terrace gave the morning that perfect chill as it was windy, but the good kind of wind. We had a ball taking pictures and enjoying flashes sunlight coming through the mist. Meh to the breakfast. Mediocre toast and fried… something (rice or noodles) that I can’t even remember.
More of the resort, you could check out this Patuha Resort information page.
There is actually another hot water spring recreation 5 km from the resort, called Cimanggu. It’s open 24 hours and is a much nicer hot water spring because it’s hotter than the one , we would have dipped ourselves in it to complete the process of being tea bags.
Finally visiting Kawah Putih, it filled my mediocre expectations. I always knew it was beautiful but it didn’t mean more than that. Luckily, we had Pak Juju that explained a few interesting things about it, like Kawah Putih is considered one of the oldest craters for the local Sundanese and according to legend, the crater is said to be the origin of the Sunda people.
The sulphuric lake was as eerie and misty as the photos, no matter how bright that day was. Maybe the idea that the water is acid and can burn your face off underneath its beauty, was what made that extra chill knowing that it can kill you in an instant. The mist can be pretty strong and cause coughing. Any type of mask can help reduce the particulars and a bottle of water can help clear a dry throat. For me, Kawah Putih and its visitors was just one of those odd Indonesian things, where people would visit a deadly threatening crater for the sake of vacation.
And again, this was one of the outburst of the volcanic heat around the area, heating the waters and acting as the local stove. Vira had the chance to visit this crater before and you can read about it here.
We made a pit stop at Ranca Bali Tea Plantation. Just from the sight of it, I’m sure you’d agree that it’s one of the interesting places around Bandung.
I’m told it belonged to the Walini Company, but we didn’t visit any center or establishment at all. We didn’t have to. For some reason, the vast landscape was quite a sight that we could enjoy just as it was. For me, it was one of the tidiest plantations I’ve seen, with nice obvious-and-walk-able alleys amongst the tea trees. In the distance was a green hill and cinnamon trees with leaves turning red. It kinda had that autumn feel to it and we had so much fun just taking pictures and running amongst the plantation.
And what do the Sundanese usually drink after having each meal? Why, local tea, of course! The local distributed tea is said to be the second or third class tea the surround plantations produce. The first class tea is exported for a good amount of money. Although this might sound as a sad fact, we’ve never really protested much about it. However, lately tea has been gaining popularity, with high end teashops popping up serving high premium tea. That could be a great sign. What do these new tea connoisseurs think of the fact that good tea are sold for export? Where do these high end teashops get their premium tea? That’s to be answered one day.
And that’s how we became tea bags.