Lake Patenggang + Rancabali Tea Plantation

In my first week in Indonesia, I ended up covering a lot of ground and spending a fair bit of time exploring the mountainous regions surrounding Bandung. In my last travel post I outlined a sunny morning spent at Kawah Putih. Afterwards, we explored a bit more of the region and headed to Lake Patenggang (the hot springs would just have to wait). The drive to Lake Patenggang is a picturesque one as the area is surrounded by lush tea plantations. On the way we pulled over on the side of the road and got snap happy. By this time in the afternoon the climate had cooled dramatically and an eerie fog was descending over the mountain. It only got heavier as we arrived at the lake. At the lake there’s a small market and you can head out on one of the many boats. We opted not to and instead explored the shores of the lake. Which were covered in rubbish. I had forgotten just how prevalent rubbish is in Asia, even at scenic tourist destinations like this. Aside from that, there was something calming about the being by the water and watching the fog roll in and I can only imagine what a hive of activity the place must be on a bright, sunny day.






What: Lake Patenggang and Rancabali Tea Plantation
Where: Ciwidey, around a two hour drive south of Bandung, Indonesia.
Entry cost: I can’t remember the exact cost but it was basically loose change. However, the international tourists in my group did get charged a higher entry fee (even me, and here I was thinking I could fool them all).

Tips:
– Time your trip wisely. We ended up travelling back to Bandung during peak hour and ended up in a hellish 3+ hour traffic jam.
– The roads around the mountain are winding, narrow, and quite hectic. There was quite a bit of swearing coming from us girls in the back seats. Make sure you have an experienced driver, or at least someone who is familiar with the area and Indonesian traffic.

Kawah Putih, Indonesia

Kawah Putih is a crater lake situated on Mount Patuha, south of Bandung, Indonesia. The last time I visited Kawah Putih I was about seven years old and I had vivid memories of this huge, almost unreal landscape. So I was pretty keen to revisit it. Like most childhood memories, the lake seemed much smaller upon revisiting and it was also much more populated with tourists. Where we once had the entire lake to ourselves there were now bus loads of crowds and even a film crew. That’s not to say it’s not worth a visit though. The defining character of the lake is its striking greenish-blue colour. The name of the lake translates to “white crater” and the colour of the water varies depending on the sulphur concentration and temperature. Because of the acidic nature of the lake the surrounding rocks and sand are bleached white, at times creating an almost moonscape-ish appearance. As you probably already would have guessed, the sulphuric nature of the lake means any contact with the water is a huge no-no. If you ever find yourself in Bandung/West Java then a trip to Kawah Putih is definitely worth a look in.






My Gorman leopard tee matches the lake. How’s that for coordination?
What: Kawah Putih
Where: Mount Patuha, about a two hour drive south of Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
Entry cost: IDR 15k per person (around AUD $1) although tourists sometimes get charged a slightly higher fee (I went with three Dutch girls and we were charged the same as our Indo friends so sometimes it’s just luck of the draw) + IDR 150k if you want to drive your own vehicle up to the crater. 
Tips: 
– If you’re departing from Bandung, depending on traffic, the drive can be a looooong one. Leave early, pack snacks, take a break if need be (there are plenty of scenic places to stop off and explore along the way).
– Because of the sulphuric nature of the lake, the smell can be quite strong. Bring a mask or something to cover your face with in case the smell becomes too much.
– If you drive your vehicle up to the crater, make sure you hold onto your ticket/receipt as it will be checked upon exit. 
– Alternatively you can leave your vehicle at the entry and take one of the allocated buses up to the crater at a cost of IDR 5k per person. However, the buses look quite rickety and the 5km drive up the mountain is quite winding so, personally, I would avoid this option.
– Being over 2000 metres above sea level, it can be quite cool at the top so pack a lightweight jacket just in case. That said, I went during the middle of the day and got slightly sunburnt. So you might want to pack some sunscreen too.
– Make a day of it and visit other popular tourist destinations in the area while you’re at it (which I’ll cover in upcoming travel posts).



Go: Dusun Bambu, Bandung

Since I went to Indonesia to visit family, I hadn’t planned on doing many touristy things while I was there. I was in that position of not being a tourist but not quite being a local either. While I did end up doing a few touristy things, most of the time I was just hanging out with family, going to cafes, and going shopping. So pretty much what I do back home in Australia. One of the first places I trekked out to was Dusun Bambu, which is a leisure park located in north Bandung. As the name suggests, there are a lot of bamboo-related things around. There’s also a restaurant, gardens, villas, and a marketplace of sorts. I went on a weekday afternoon when it was relatively quiet, but I heard it can get pretty busy on weekends. I had drinks on the deck at the Burangrang Cafe and explored the grounds before heading back into the city (in peak hour – not fun). After a few days of adjusting to the smog and pollution, the trip up to Dusun Bambu was a welcome respite from the nitty gritty of city living.





What: Dusun Bambu Family Leisure Park
Where: Jl. Kolonel Matsuri KM 11, Cisarua, Bandung
When: open from 7am – 10pm daily
How much: IDR 15k per car and IDR 10k per person


Shoot: Indonesian Instagram Diary








Hello again! I mentioned in my last post – some 3 weeks ago – that I was off to Indonesia for a holiday of sorts. I was visiting family so was largely based in Bandung. While I had intended to update the blog with travel posts while overseas, the internet situation was much worse than I had anticipated. I was mainly limited to mobile internet – namely Instagram and Snapchat. Plus, who really wants to be sitting at a computer when on holiday? Now I’ve just got to sort through and edit a tonne of photos while also recovering from a stupid post-holiday cold. I’ll be back with photo diaries and travelling tidbits in the coming days but in them meantime these are just a few of my favourite shots that you may or may not have already seen over on my Instagram



because bastille day

When I visited Paris two years ago, our trip was timed so that we left France two days before Bastille Day. You could say this was a bit of an oversight on our part. The apartment we were staying in was just around the corner from Place de la Bastille so we would have been smack bang in the middle of Bastille Day celebrations. Anyway, I took tonnes of photos on my trip but only shared a few on this blog in the immediate post-trip blogging aftermath. Because it’s Bastille Day, and in keeping with the theme of all things French, I thought I’d share a few more random snaps from my time in the French capital.

1. I see you, Eiffel Tower.
2. The Notre-Dame Cathedral in the midst of summer visitor crowds.
3. Staring out onto the Seine.
4. Looking out over Paris from the second viewing platform of the Eiffel Tower.
5. Saint-Sulpice church. I mainly remember there being dead pigeons around the fountain.
6. Stumbling upon the Luxembourg Gardens.
7. Despite staying just around the corner, I didn’t actually take any photos of the Place de la Bastille. The closest I got was this shot of the Génie de la Liberté’s behind, which I took from our apartment window while testing the zoom on my camera.

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