With barely four hours of sleep, we left Jakarta at seven in the morning. It takes at least two hours to reach Bandung, traffic and toll permitting. Good thing, the traffic at the expressway wasn't really bad that we managed to arrive in Bandung around half past nine in the morning. Since our hotel in Bandung didn't have an early check-in option, my aunt decided to take us to the highlands. I was so prepared that I only wore a shirt, shorts, and flipflops.
Little did I know that we were going to visit a dormant volcano.
Like the Philippines, Indonesia sits right at the center of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a geological hotspot for large scale volcanic and seismologic activities. There are some notable volcanic eruptions and earthquakes recorded in this country alone, one of which was the infamous eruption of Krakatoa volcano. On August 1883, it had a violent eruption. It was so violent that the main volcano collapsed after a chain of titanic explosions and created a caldera (hence the name Anak Krakatoa, which literally translates to 'the child of Krakatoa'). Its explosion was heard as far as the western coast of Australia, at least 3,000 kilometers away from the volcano. And not only that, the global average temperature dropped to at least 1.2C. It had also generated a hundred foot tsunamis, wreaking havoc in nearby coastal towns and regions, and as far as South Africa. Intense, noh? #Ediwow
Mt. Tangkuban Perahu (spelled as Parahu in Sundanese dialect) is just 30 kilometers north of Bandung. It is one of the tourist attractions in Java Island as it is the only volcanic crater in Indonesia that you can drive up to its very rim. With an elevation of 6,837 ft (2,084 meters), the average day temperature is 17C while it plunges to only 2C at night. Armed with only a thin layer of clothing, I braved the cold and took some photos of the crater. It literally took my breath away because of the pungent smell of the sulfur, reeking from the crevices around the crater.
|On our way to the rim of the crater.|
There are three craters in Tangkuban Perahu - Ratu (main crater), Upas, and Domas. The Ratu crater is very accessible since you can just drive up to its rim. The other two, on the other hand, requires you to hike at least 20 minutes. Knowing me, I didn't hike since I can no longer stand the biting cold and the pungent smell of rotten eggs aka sulfur.
The Ratu Crater has this distinct shape that looked like an overturned boat. Legend has it that a beautiful maiden named Dayang Sumbi (follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hotmama_sumbilicious HAHA JK) discovered that her lover, Sangkuriang, was actually her son (MILF alert). Sangkuriang wanted to marry her thus, she challenged him to make a huge boat and finish it before sunrise. If he is successful, she will marry him. Seeing it as an impossible task, Dayang Sumbi didn't mind at all, until she realized that her son was really determined to finish the huge boat before dawn. Since the idea of marrying her own son is really absurd, she waved her magic shawl and the eastern horizon suddenly lit up. The cocks crowed and the farmers got up for a new day. Sangkuriang didn't beat the deadline because her mother manipulated the planet's rotation and he got really, really furious. Rumor has it that he knew nothing about her mom's magical shawl. LOL. He kicked the huge boat that he had built, turning it upside down. Later, it grew into what it is today, a dormant volcano. In the Sundanese language, Tangkuban Parahu literally translates to 'overturned boat'. Isn't it amazing?
|Another view of the Ratu crater.|
The crowd was quite big when we went there since it was a weekend. I do remember paying Rp. 30,000 (Php 90) for the entrance fee and it came with a free brochure which I found useless because it was written in Bahasa Indonesia. There were lots of souvenir shops and local vendors at the rim of the crater. Some sell strawberries at a low price and mind you, their strawberries taste sweet, just like in Baguio and La Trinidad, Benguet.
|Deep fried tofu.|
|Eating with your bare hands? So primitive.|
I also tried some of their local street foods. I forgot their names but I am pretty sure I ate a deep fried tofu and a deep fried tempeh. It comes with a sweet and spicy sauce. Tastes great but I had a hard time chewing it because of these damn braces.
My trip to Mt. Tangkuban Parahu was short but sweet. Just don't mind the outfit I wore during that day because it was a total disaster.