The enchanting land of Sunda stretches from the Sunda Strait in the western most tip of Java Island to the borders of Central Java in the east. The region is primarily mountainous, with green valleys hugging lofty volcanic peaks, many of which surround the capital of the province, Bandung. The history of West Java is a story of trade, spices, and the rise and fall of powerful kingdoms. In the late 1500’s the region was ruled from mighty Cirebon, which still survives as a Sultanate today, although but a shadow of its former glory. West Java was one of the first contact points in Indonesia for Indian traders and their cultural influences and it was here, through Banten, that the Dutch and British first set foot in the archipelago.
Bandung is the capital of West Java. It is situated 768 meters above sea level and about 180 kilometers southeast of Jakarta. It is called the "Paris van Java" because of its tree-lined boulevards and artistry of its people. The city gained international status through the first Asia-Africa Conferences in 1955, which brought together the leaders of 29 Asians and African Nations with the aim of promoting economic and cultural relations and taking a common stand against colonialism. Bandung is popular for its wide range of culinary treats, bargain clothing stores and cool highland air. A wide variety of shopping and eating places, from those in exuberant malls to simple street side stalls. Bandung is a 2.5 hour’s drive through the Cipularang toll road, or if one prefers the longer but more scenic route across Puncak (mountain pass), Lembang and the Bosscha Planet Observatory. Climb higher on the mountain to the volcanic crater of Tangkuban Perahu, the only ‘drive-up’ volcano on the island! Visit the nearby Ciater Hot Springs Resort for a swim in warm mineral water pools, or Lake Patenggang in the south, surrounded by tea plantations. Kawah Putih (White Crater), near the vegetable-producing town of Ciwidey, is about one hour drive south from Bandung.
The Beauty, Nature and Culture in West Java
Kawah Putih or White Crater is a striking crater lake and tourist spot in a volcanic crater about 50 km south of Bandung in West Java in Indonesia.
Kawah Putih lake is one of the two craters which make up Mount Patuha, an andesitic stratovolcano (a "composite" volcano). Mt Patuha is one of numerous volcanoes in Java. Kawah Putih crater lake itself represents a relatively stable volcanic system with no records of significant activity since around 1600.
The Kawah Putih site was opened to visitors in 1987. The lake is 2,430 meters above sea level so the local climate is often quite chilly (temperatures are frequently around 10 degrees Celsius). This makes a brisk change from the humidity of the north Java plain and the capital city of Jakarta. Kawah Putih is a sizeable highly acid lake (pH 0.5-1.3) which changes colour from bluish to whitish green, or brown, depending on the concentration of sulfur and the temperature or the oxidation state. The sand and rocks surrounding the lake have been also leached into whitish colours through interaction with the acidic lake waters (with possible mineral precipitation as well).
Saung Angklung Pak Ujo
Bandung is one of the tourism destinations frequently visited by tourists. Not only the natural tourism, in Bandung many tourists can also visit a number of cultural tourism. One of them is the “Saung Angklung Udjo-The House of Udjo’s Bamboo Instruments”. For those who are so interested in local culture, this place is highly recommended.
This house of angklung is a cultural workshop where performances are held, the center of bamboo hand craft and workshop for musical instruments made of bamboo. This house has for its objective to become the center of educational laboratory and the learning center to nurture the Sundanese art and culture, especially the angklung instrument.
The Udjo’s House of Angklung is a complete cultural tourist site because it has performance arena, center of bamboo craft and workshop for bamboo musical instruments. With a ticket worth Rp 50,000, tourists will be entertained with fascinating attraction presented by the angklung players which are mostly teenagers and even small children.
Tourists will go home with an angklung which will be played together with the home orchestra of the House. There are several parts that will be presented starting from Angklung Orchestra, dance performances, playing angklung together and dance together.
Bogor Botanical Garden
Bogor Botanical Garden is a huge botanical garden located in the city of rain, Bogor, West Java. This garden extends in a 87-hectare plot of land and boasts some 15,000 trees and plants collection. Today, Bogor Botanical Garden is packed both with local and foreign tourists, mostly on Saturdays and Sundays. Around the garden tourists can find agriculture-related scientific centers such as Herbarium Bogoriense, Bogor Zoological Museum and so on.
One of the main attractions of Bogor Botanical Garden is the widely known Amorphophallus titanium with its notorious awful smell. This plant can reach two meters height and is the biggest kind of the inflorescent plant. You can also find this oldest palm tree in Southeast Asia that still stand in this huge botanical garden.
Bogor Botanical Garden is so easy to access. It only takes about an hour or two with a car from Jakarta. This garden opens daily from 8 am to 5 pm.
Animals from all continents roam freely in this 35 hectare mountain park in Cisarua, 75 kilometers southeast of Jakarta along the Jakarta Bandung route. The park is a recreational ground with a swimming pool, tennis courts, an artificial lake, waterfall, children’s playground and amusement park, restaurants and caravans.
Mt. Gede Pangrango National Park
Mt. Gede Pangrango National Park is a stunningly wild and beautiful landscape filled with exotic tropical flora such as the Javanese edelweiss.
Garut is a characteristic Sundanese town in the highlands and surrounded by volcanic mountains and vast plantations. The hot springs resort of Cipanas has comfortable accommodations. Nearby Mt. Papandayan crater is probably one of the most spectacular mountain scenes in Java. The Cangkuang temple was the first of its kind found in West Java, dating back to the 8th century Hindu era.
Kampung Naga or Dragon Village
Kampung Naga is a traditional village situated in Tasikmalaya on an area of approximately 4 hectares. Kampung Naga is inhabited by a community who strongly hold on their ancestor’s tradition passing down from generation to generation. The community of Kampung Naga lives in a conditioned social order in a humble circumstance and an environment of such strong traditional wisdom.
The attraction of this tourist site is on the unique lifestyle of its community. They can live with the outsider and go along well with modern community, people with different religion such as the Moslems. They just still hold on firmly to their ancestor custom and tradition, for example the Moslem holidays like the Maulud or Alif they also perform certain ceremony like Pedaran (the recital of their ancestor history). This process starts with bathing in Ciwulan River and tourists are allowed to participate in the ceremony on condition that they respect and abide by the rules required by the local custom and tradition.
All the constructions in Kampung Naga take the same shape, the houses, mosques, meeting venues locally called patemon and rice granary. For the roof, the ceiling is covered either with palm leaves-thatched roof, coconut leaves-thatched. The walls of the houses or other constructions are made of bamboo.
And for the door they use rattan fiber and all constructions must face north or south. Other than that, stones that orderly piled up with certain lay out and specific natural materials are the characteristic of the architecture of the Naga Village.
This tourism site is one of the cultural tourism sites in Tasikmalaya. Tourists usually have special interest to have further knowledge and directly experience the life of the people in Kampung Naga.
When they feel like to experience the actual atmosphere and daily life of the people in this special village, the tourists can spend a night there. The distance to Tasikmalaya city is more than 30 kilometers while from Garut city it is about 26 kilometers. Or from Jakarta it takes about 7 hour-drive to arrive at this interesting traditional site.
In Kampung Naga, tourists are allowed to experience a “half-open air” (no roof) toilet, sleeping in the house of the local people with only oil lamp as its lighting, and tasting local food. This can be done, of course, only with the permission granted by the village keeper or locally called Kuncen.
When you want to visit this village, remind yourself that you are not come on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday because on these days the people of Kampung Naga are performing rituals of silence and they are not allowed to talk about their custom and tradition and the history of their village.
Traveling northeast from Bandung towards the coast, the seaport of Cirebon offers a wealth of culture and history. Situated on the border of West and Central Java, it is a cultural mix of the two. The ancient palace (kraton) of the Kesepuhan and Kanoman now serve as museums which are open to the public. The museums exhibit household ornaments, paintings, calligraphy and other art treasures of the courts. The royal carriages are splendidly designed, one of which is a gilded coach in the form of a winged elephant. Cirebon is also known for its typical megamendung (cloud) batik motif, now a flourishing industry in the village of Trusmi.
Pangandaran is one of Java’s best-kept secrets as far as international tourism is concerned, but has long been extremely popular with locals. A small fishing town, it possesses one of Java’s finest beaches. Nearby, the Pangandaran Nature Reserve teems with wild buffalo, barking deer and monkeys, as well as protected tree species. It can be reached by bus about 7 hours from Bandung and 9 hours from Jakarta.
Cukang Taneuh or Green Canyon
Cukang Taneuh or Green Canyon is a tourism object in West Java found in the Kertayasa Village, Cijulang district, Ciamis Regency. This tourism object is close to a stream of Cijulang River that goes through a cave containing remarkable stalactite and stalagmite and it sits in between of the two rocky hills with lines and lines of shady trees that promise unique and challenging natural attraction.
The name of Green Canyon is made popular by a French citizen in 1993 whilst ‘Cukang Taneuh’ means earthen bridge as over the valley and canyon in this location we can find a bridge made of earthen material. This bridge helps the farmers to go to their fields in the other side of the bridge.
This beautiful tourist site is actually a stream of Cijulang River that passes through the cave with such incomparable view of the stalactites and stalagmites. This area sits between two rocky hills and the abundance of shady trees. This is like a painting of nature which is so unique and at the same time very challenging to explore. This site offers rock climbing, swimming, canoeing and fishing.
To find this location, tourists have to depart from Ciseureuh wharf and then continue their journey by motorboats or rowing boats are available there. The distant between the wharf to the Green Canyon location is about 3 kilometers which can be reached in about 30 to 45 minutes. Along the road tourists will pass through a river with a kind of green color.
Those who really want to enjoy the beauty of Green Canyon should have some knowledge about the seasons because the best moment to enjoy this beautiful scenery is sometime before the dry season starts. In rainy season, the concern is that the stream will be overflowed and its color turns brown.
Before you decide to go to Green Canyon, you should first prepare some cash as in this isolated location you are not to find any bank or ATM. You will find ATM at place to spend the night and other accommodations only in Pangandaran.
For boats, you can find quite a lot of boats. There are 100 units of boat that are ready to bring us to explore this tourism site. In every boat you will accompany by a guide.