The mountainous region to the north of Bandung is the heart of the Parahyangan Highlands – the “Home of the Gods” – a highly volcanic area considered by the Sundanese to be the nucleus of their spiritual world. A very pleasant day out from Bandung on public transport takes you first to the 1830-metre-high Tangkuban Prahu volcano, the most visited volcano in West Java, 29km north of Bandung. Although it hasn’t had a serious eruption for many years, the volcano still spews out vast quantities of sulphurous gases and at least one of its ten craters is still considered to be active. To get there from Bandung, take a Subang minibus from the train station and ask to be put down at the turn-off for the volcano, where there’s an entrance fee to pay. From here you can either charter an ojek or minibus up the asphalt road to the summit or walk up – it’s about 5km up the road, or take the good footpath via the Domas Crater, which starts just over 1km up the road from the guard post, to the right by the first car park. The information booth at the summit car park has details about crater walks; guides will offer their services, but it’s pretty obvious where you should and shouldn’t go – just be sure to wear strong hiking boots. The main crater, Kawah Ratu, is the one you can see down into from the end of the summit road, a huge, dull, grey cauldron with a few coloured lakes. From the summit you can trek down to Domas Crater, site of a small working sulphur mine.
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