3 May 2014
My train from Gambir Train Station to Bandung was at 5:30am. I booked it (www.tiket.com) as such, so I’d still be able to have almost a day in Bandung. Anyway, I only wanted to see one crater, Kawah Putih (White Crater), my adventure part of this trip. Bandung is actually a popular city for all its branded stuff outlets but I wasn’t there to shop!
I arrived at Bandung train station past 9am. Train ride was 3hours. I decided to take their famous traditional bike ride, becak. Despite knowing that they will charge me more, I still did it. The uncle charged me Rs30,000 for a ride from the station to Hotel Unik (when I asked the reception, how much would it usually cost, he said $10,000). He actually wanted to ask Rs40,000, but I said no.
I left my stuff at the hotel and decided not to hire a car or a cab because it’s way too expensive. This is actually a downside of going solo. If with friends, we could just easily split up the cost and it would still end up cheap. So, there I was following instructions I searched from the internet:
Based on how I experienced it:
to Kawah Putih, South Bandung DIY:
– head to Leuwi Panjang Bus Terminal…no need to go into the main terminal gate.
-just outside the main bus terminal, you’ll find vans and buses parked. Look for the mini-van heading to Ciwidey.
-Last stop is Ciwidey. Payment of Rs10,000 will be given to the driver after you alight at the destination (unlike using jeepneys in the Philippines) Travel time was about 2hrs++
-At Ciwidey, look for a shared mini-van to Kawah Putih. When I went there, there were only 3 of us using this mode of going to Kawah Putih. So, instead of waiting for a 2 more pax (driver said, he’d go if he has 5passengers) to share the cost, the three of us just decided to cover the 2pax. Each we paid Rs150,000 (meaning if minimum number of pax is reached, it should be Rs90,000 per person) for transport to Kawah Puti, Patenggan Lake and the tea plantation and back to Ciwidey terminal.
-Entrance to the Kawah Putih was Rs30,000 when I went there. Lake and Tea plantation was free.
**If you don’t know Bahasa, just try to tell people your destination like “Ciwidey?” “Kawah Putih?”, and they would usually be helpful to point where’s the right place to take.
Well, on the road to Kawah Putih, I met an Indonesian couple who actually allowed me to tag along with them. The driver wanted us to explore together so we could come back at the same time for the next place to visit.
Ayu, the girl, tried to talk to me in Bahasa + occasional English and she also exerted much efforts to translate for me especially when the driver explained the fare to us, while I tried to make use of my sikit sikit Bahasa (Melayu) to communicate with her. We managed to understand each other quite well (there was divine intervention!).
They were angels! With them, I didn’t need to take a lot of selfies. Same way for them, they had me to disturb their date and to take snaps for them like pre-nup (they said, Kawah Putih is a popular location for pre-wedding pictorials)
After reaching the crater, everything else that followed were just bonuses, including all the streetfood I tried (I hadn’t eaten lunch yet, ok?). Going back, I made use of the same mode with the couple again and bid them goodbye when we reached Leuwi Panjang.
I went back to my hotel area, looked for a place to eat and headed back to the hotel. I had to rest early because the next day would be my early flight back to Singapore.