I had 4 days in Bandung, which was way too long if you’re not too fond of shopping like me.Initially I wanted to make a stop in Surabaya, to hike Mount Bromo but the price tag for that hike was just unjustifiable. It’s too much for foreign visitors. Last time I checked, it was 320,000 rupiah for foreigners and 20,000 for locals just for the entrance fees. That’s a 700% hike in price from 2013, just ridiculous. So I thought I”ll do that one day together with Bali.
Because I wanted to get some rough rides and good nature, I decided to go to this newly opened crater, which was famous among locals, but not so among tourists, hence the low fee of 20,000 rupiah. The next challenge was getting there. Hardly anyone from the hotel knew a direct way to get to Kawah Putih, but with a map and a little bravery, I got there.
Here’s how I did it from my hotel in Bandung (I’m so so sorry I forgot the name of the place I stayed). But it was good, and we paid 200,000 per night for an deluxe bed with air conditioning (I was travelling with my mother, so yeap). Plus they had a really big dining table at the common area so I could study. If you’re interested in how I study for exams while backpacking then get yourself here.
From the hotel, go to the bus station in front of the National Bank (a big white building). Then wait for the bus that says Damri, the shabby looking one is the one you should board. The newer one unfortunately, heads somewhere else.
The bus comes very frequently, about every 5 minutes! The ‘Damri’ then drops you at Lewi Panjang for 4000 rupiah, which is an interchange. You then hop on to a van (Angkutan) which will be in line to pick up passengers at the direction of your 2 o’clock.Just ask for the Angkutan that leaves to Kawah Putih, it should be 15000 rupiah per person.
Now, I’m gonna let you in about something first. They squeeze 18 people in a van excluding the driver!
It was nothing short of HELL.
Which is why I’ve came up with this brilliant solution while having someone’s head literally drop onto my lap when he was sleeping.
Pay for the 3 seats in front and sit in a pair with someone, this works even better if you’re already in a couple. Trust me, it’s worth paying the extra money. You don’t want to be a dead sardine by the time you finish the impossibly long, bumpy and arduous journey. Also, you’ll get a bigger window with unobstructed view, so thumbs up to all photographers out there.
After the first Angkutan ride, you will then have to transfer to YET another Angkutan, this time a smaller, yellow one. Again, there will be plenty of them waiting where you will be dropped off. But there’s a huge tendency for foreigners to be scammed and you’ll end up having to pay a lot extra. The normal price is 50000 rupiah per person for both ways, not inclusive of entrance fees. This includes the ride to Kawah Putih, a lake and a strawberry farm. I skipped the last two. My driver however did mention that we were ‘smuggled’ in as a local, so the entrance fee was 30,000 rupiah instead of the 50,000 for foreigners.
So get friendly with a local in the first Angkutan and check about the price with them first. Also, the local at this part of Jakarta do seem to be a little nicer. Be friendly, and you’ll be taken care of and all.
This is the absolute last ride you must take I promise, and you’ll be dropped off in Kawah Putih.
When I reached, I got nothing but disappointment. If you’ve been reading for a while, you’d know that I absolutely hate crowds. I don’t like them on beaches, on mountains and certainly not on volcanoes. It wasn’t just a little over crowded, it was a weekday and there were drones of vans coming in. Add that to the heat and boy, it wasn’t my thing.
The crater itself was beautiful, not quite comparable to Pinatubo in the Philippines , but quite an experience nonetheless. The smell of the sulphur was really strong and stings your nose sometimes, but there are masks sold, at an expensive price I assume. I didn’t wear any solely on the principle that I came to see a crater, so I might as well see, hear and smell one.
You don’t get the chance to inhale puffs of sulphur all the time, might as well take advantage of it!
An umbrella is a good idea, because the sun get harsh and there’s no shade at all. In fact, umbrellas are good for Indonesia in general. Mine had a situation, but I took appropriate actions to get it out of the water with out breaking rules. Without breaking too many rules.