Sunday, March 12, 2017

Kawah Rengganis - The Lesser Known Crater That's Definitely Worth a Visit @ Southern Bandung [Indonesia]

It's a waiting game as there's no clear notification on when the road leading to Kawah Putih would be reopen (it was closed due to fallen trees) and as the time dragged on towards past lunch; even Mr Askan, our guide and chauffeur, got impatient and suggested we checked out Kawah Rengganis. 

Now, i don't remember reading about Kawah Rengganis in my research and Mr Askan managed our expectations by telling us the place was relatively underdeveloped and hence, didn't attract the attention of visitors. Since we had ample time and it's always fun to check out new places, we took up the challenge! 

As seen from the first photograph, i think i should be forgiven for thinking it was just a pebble path leading up to the entrance of a village! From the signboard, there appeared to be more than just the crater; i know air panas means hot water which means there's a hot spring too!

Entrance ticket was just 30,000 rupiah per person! Honestly, we don't need grand entrances, numerous commercial entities to jack up the prices. 

The downside to undeveloped natural attractions is that convenience is usually not a given and that means we have to make full use of our pair of legs to walk all the way in! On a positive note, it's good exercise and it helped that the weather was cooling.

View next to us - surrounded by lush greenery and tea plantations, strolling in was invigorating to both the body and soul. Dad would have loved to be here with us! 

Upward climb - as i am travelling with my mom who is already past 60 years old (though she sure doesn't look like it), my major concern is whether she can endure the walking.

A mongrel, likely considered as a stray in Singapore, was accompanying its owner to the entrance. As someone who has had encounters with many dogs in the past as a pet shop employee, i can tell you mongrels are easily the smartest dog species and they can be very adorable, just like any toy dogs.

A motorbike coming up our way - the operator should consider having a transport service using the motorbike for the elderly! I wouldn't mind paying even though my stubborn mum would likely tell me she can still walk and it's better to save the money.

The rain earlier that morning had resulted in puddles of water which i would have skipped without a second thought; except that i noticed movement in the water. 

Tadpoles! The last time i chanced upon something like this was in the kampong (village) and to think it has been so long since then! Maybe i should explore the nature reserves in Singapore more often in future.


Mr Askan didn't accompany us so we didn't know how long this would take us! He did mention a walk of about one kilometer and i think we had taken about 15 minutes at this juncture.  


This was the shot i was trying to compose when i heard the now-memorable whirring follows by a sharp paint on my head! Yes, i got stung by a hornet when standing in the middle of an open path! 

I called for my family members and hearing no response; i quickened my pace as i couldn't get the bloody flying ass out of my hair and it even had the audacity to sting my finger! Oh, i did manage to take the above picture; the pain can wait. 

Rescue was near when civilization was finally ahead of me! I screamed for my mom although the ones who responded were the villagers who popped out their heads out of curiosity! To read more (with pictures of the hornet), click here

Once the hornet was out (like finally) of my head and i had taken a pill to reduce the swelling, it's time for the norm to return, albeit with a swollen finger on my right hand that's hindering fast and rapid photo taking.

Slippery footpath - don't think we can afford another incident that day! Luckily, mum was prepared for the journey and had worn a pair of good-grip sports shoes.

With the area opening up in front of us and smoke / steam / mist rising from the back, i guess we must have reached the Kawah Rengganis, the lesser known crater. 

When i saw the above sight, the one word that came to mind was paradise; that word stayed only momentarily as the nasty smell of sulphur intensified as we neared the crater. 

Hot spring - regretted not bringing along an extra set of clothing as Kawah Putih didn't have the option for visitors to soak in hot spring! 

Zinc roofed bamboo huts were available for rental for those who wish to have a shelter reserved for their family. p.s. limited quantity although you don't really need it unless your intention is to spend the whole day there. 

Whole place was literally shrouded in smoke and those who are nose sensitive should consider bringing along a surgical mask or N95 face mask. 

My family didn't have much of an issue even though we had to pinch our nose on quite a few occasions. Anyway, the intention was to walk a full circle and then go off. Unlike my dad and i, the ladies didn't have much patience when it comes to nature. 

Panorama of the place - the full circle would entail crossing the stream of water to the other side and then crossing it again back to where we started.

Steam was coming out from the holes on the ground and the yellowish greenish tinge surrounding them was evidence of its high sulphuric concentration. 

As you can see, there's minimal barrier and there isn't any safety briefing; visitors can be seen stepping everywhere without a care for protection.

Photo time! 

The fence here acted as a barrier in case anyone falls over but i would still caution anyone against putting their entire weight on it as it's made up of just tree branches. I initially thought they were still steel bars! 

Smoke / steam from underneath the rocks - the curious me couldn't resist putting my hand over it just to have a feel on the temperature and it was scalding hot! 

I persuaded the ladies to go all the way to the end which would serve as a half-mark for our loop back to the start. They didn't grumble much and to them, to say now is better than going around like an aimless chicken.

Notice the bubbling water?! I was just wondering if the soles on my shoes would melt if i would to stand in the inch high water. Well, i wouldn't bother trying out since i didn't bring along an extra pair of shoes.

Kawah Rengganis was quite deserted and we didn't see many visitors. Advantages were that we didn't have to jostle for space and there's no hard selling of massages / souvenirs.  


Furthermore, the environment was quieter and much more peaceful compared to the exorbitantly priced Tangkuban Perahu crater. There's always a disadvantage - the lack of noise and bustle may be deemed as boring by some. 


Oh, and the continuous inhaling of rotten egg smell can result in a headache! The stench was in fact worse than Tangkuban Perahu which actually had a sign telling visitors to don a mask if they were to feel uncomfortable.

Drains made of eco-friendly materials! 

Photo time for the three ladies. At least they were game to appear on this blog; Alex had basically banned me from publishing photos of him in my blog! :( 

Any Indonesian can share what the above sign means? The font style was quite hard to read and what i gathered from google translate didn't make sense.

Bamboo bridge with a roof! 

For those wondering if there's any fish in the water, i doubt so. Don't believe me? Just look at all the dead plants at the sides of the stream. 

Mum opened up her umbrella as it started drizzling at this point. As expected, i didn't bring along a brolly and the only poncho i had was in the car as i used it earlier that morning at Situ Patenggang!

Just now i showed a picture filled with bubbling water; this was essentially boiling water! However, common sense tells me not to touch it! 

This photo didn't accurately show the intensity of the rain as the entire area just got mistier! In truth, everyone was scrambling for shelter and as our family was the furthest away, we only had one option.

Back to the bridge! 

Monkeying time as we couldn't do anything except to wait for the rain to stop! It would have included me monkeying around too if not for my painful and by then, swollen finger! 

The rain finally lightened up and although there's still a light drizzle, my impatient mum decided to just continue the journey, forgetting that her dear son me didn't carry a brolly! 

Anyway, a little rain wouldn't harm me and those who know me well would know i love to walk in the rain! So long the rain doesn't damage the many electronic appliances i have with me. 

It looked as if we were the only group there! Where did the people go to!? Guess they didn't want to risk getting drenched and prefer to stay dry under shelter. I have a weird family.

No idea what the statue was for but i assume it had to do with some legends in that area; maybe this tiger statue was placed there to protect the place from evil. *shrugs*

Panoramic view here would give you a better view of the village we walked through earlier. Now, kawah actually means craters and thus far, i couldn't really pinpoint the location of the crater per se unless the area we are looking at in the above photo was essentially one LARGE crater by itself. 

Conquering slippery, muddy paths; i am impressed that none of us got hurt! 

As i was too busy with taking photos, mum took over the lead and got to this point where she wondered if she had taken the wrong route. Hahaha. 

Got to the correct path - they were like in a hurry to go off and knowing my mom pretty well, i think she was tired and would prefer to get back to the car where she wouldn't have to do more walking! Sometimes as children, we tend to forget our parents are ageing and no longer have the "superpowers" they once had.

I noted the side path and wanted to explore more; the wet and muddy path stopped me from venturing further and if there's one thing i hate, it's to have my shoes caked in mud! 

Pipes made of natural materials - very nice! I can see myself having the water gushing against my tired back; so therapeutic right?! Why didn't i bring extra clothing!? 

They liked this place yet they were gunning to go off too! This is contradiction that's understandable from the view point of some urbanites who prefer to go shopping in air conditioned malls. 

Cascading falls beautified by this nifty little function on DSLRs known as shutter speed. Usually, i am too lazy to use the function as i need to lug around a tripod! 

Rain had trickled to almost no rain and visitors started coming out of their shelter. Thanks to the downpour; the entire place appeared even more mysterious with a lingering fog that didn't seem to be in a hurry to get out. 

Bridge that's fenced up only on one side! 

Mom was the first to reach the hut (red arrow in the above picture) and her expression said it all; come and let's go! I wasn't done yet and i gave her a sign to wait as there's a final section that i had yet to cover. 

"Buanglah sampah pada tempatnya" - according to google translate, it means to throw rubbish in its correct place. I forgot to install google translate and i would strongly recommend all of you to do so as it can be extremely helpful in a country where you don't understand their language. 

Black panthers - again, i don't know their significance. 

The hot spring that i couldn't indulge in due to a lack of extra clothing plus the fact that my sisters and mom were waiting for me to finish up so that they could finally rest their feet! 

I should have asked them to dip their feet in the thermal water instead even though i am sure they would have seen it at where they were standing.

A bigger dipping pool and you can also find toilets and changing rooms. Don't ask me about the conditions as i didn't go any further. Not when i can feel my mom's eyes boring through me. 

Misty view of Kawah Regganis from the other end where the hot spring was.

Taking our leave and in my case with regret as i still couldn't believe i didn't bring extra clothing (this would be third time i am mentioning it in my blog)! I felt extremely regretful because i was deliberating on bringing a change of clothes that very morning, before breakfast.

Going up the long, stone path. 

I didn't realise until here that we were on a different path; earlier on, i remember walking past the green topped building.

Duck in our way! At times like this, i always hope i have my niece and nephew with me; unlike my siblings and i who had lived in villages where chickens and ducks would roam freely, their contact with poultry is limited to screens and food. 

See how they make the steps for the path using commonly found natural materials. I think i am too comfortable in the city and wouldn't survive if i were thrown to the countryside. 

Village centre where the kind villagers, who helped me with the hornet, bought the pill from! Those who are hungry would have dining options here. 

My benefactors' house was located here. I would love to return again; aside from having a longer stay at Kawah Rengganis, i would also want to show my gratitude to the family who helped me! 

Again, my family members were charging ahead without a care for me! The last time they did that and left me all alone, i was stung by a hornet!

One of my benefactors was standing outside; i waved goodbye to her and shouted "thank you"! Like what some people have said, village people are actually more helpful and expressed more kindness towards strangers than city folks. 

On our way out! 

Joyce's brolly wasn't much of a look anymore but this didn't stop her from striking a pose with it! It's still usable anyway and would help protect her from water dropping down the rain-soaked trees.

From the village centre to the main road, please factor in about fifteen minutes of walk. The way out would be easier as the route is mostly going down. 

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Entry Fees
30,000 Rupiah Per Person

Points to Note:
(1) Wear good quality trekking shoes.
(2) Bring extra set of clothing.
(3) Be mindful of hornets!


4 comments:

  1. The sign means that visitors aren't allowed to take mud without the assistance of the staff. Thank you so much for covering this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for helping to translate!! Haha

      Delete
  2. jane_who10:18 AM

    'Dilarang keras mengambil lumpur tanpa izin petugas' translated as taking mud is strictly prohibited without the permission of the officer/ staff-on-duty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jane!! Hm.... treasured, miraculous mud i guess. haha

      Delete

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