We visited White Crater or well known as Kawah Putih as part of our Ciwidey Trip in June school holiday. Located in Southern Bandung (Bandung is the capital city of West Java, Indonesia), this place is a striking crater lake where we can spot in a volcanic crater of Mount Patuha. Although it is a volcanic crater, it is safe to visit since no records of significant activity since around 1600 (including to Wikipedia).
Without traffic jam, this place is about 1 hour car drive from Bandung. Although many said that this place was often quite chilly since it was almost 2500 meters above sea level, but we found out that the weather was just nice when we went there (maybe we came in the wrong season……………). This place is very crowded during weekends, public holidays, and school holidays, but thankfully it was relatively empty when we got there even though it was weekend (since it was still fasting month for the Moslem).
After we passed through the curvy mountain road (beautiful view by the way………..), we arrived at the entrance gate of Kawah Putih (there was a big signboard on the left side of the road so we wouldn’t miss it) and of course, we had to buy tickets before we could get in. We had to pay around Rp 230.000,- in total and the boy was free (wow, I love Ciwidey where 10 year old children can go almost anywhere for free………….). The entry ticket for car is quite expensive, so alternatively you can park the car near the entry gate and take a mini shuttle bus to the white crate for a lower charge.
After that, we still needed another 15 minutes to go up through a forestry are in a narrow and steep road. My suggestion is: turn off the car air con, open the car windows, enjoy the breathtaking view and fresh air that you are not able to get in the city. My son, who was in bad mood after lunch (because he said he didn’t want to go to this place and rather go back to the hotel so he could relax), was suddenly in high spirit again after he saw the challenging road, the green forest, and smelt the fresh air when we opened the car windows. He suddenly felt very happy, laughed a lot, and couldn’t stop looking outside the windows. See, fresh air is good for the soul…………
After 15 minutes, we parked the car (no need to pay for anything else once you’re inside), and we then we had to walk for another 5 minutes before we could finally see the crater (wow………..it was really a long way to go). According to Wikipedia, Kawah Putih is a sizable highly acid lake which changes color 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 colors through interaction with the acidic lake waters (with possible mineral precipitation as well).
We had been warned that the smell of the sulfur could be very strong inside (this could make us feel dizzy or even vomiting), and so technically we were only allowed to be near the crater for 15 minutes. There were some people selling masks too outside the crater. Alternatively, you can use a handkerchief if you don’t want to buy a mask.
After going up few stairs (but already tiring enough for my mom), we could see a small bamboo shelter named “Saung Kecapi” for those who wanted to rest and sit down (which my mom decided to do).
There were 2 ways to see the crater. Since most of us wanted to see the crater from a close distance, we had to go down through the stairs (only 2 minutes walking). There were many photographers offering their services to take pictures of the tourists. Local people also sold food and drink around the area.
And…….this was what we saw behind the trees…………..
Thankfully, the wind was going the other way around and not to us, so we didn’t smell the strong smell of the sulfur at all. The fog hadn’t come yet, and the weather was just nice and perfect. The boy was in a good mood and allowed me to take some pictures:
It was so peaceful (will not the same once this place is packed with tourists), quiet, and a bit gloomy. It was really one of the perfect place to admire God’s creation. Thankfully we visited this place on our trip to Ciwidey.
There was a big rock and the boy insisted that he wanted to go up and stand on top of the rock.
The fog would usually come and go around that time, so we just had to wait patiently if we wanted to take good pictures. By the way, the boy loved to throw rocks into the crater and saw what would happen next. Maybe we should have tried to boil eggs too…………….
We didn’t go to the whole area surrounding the crater since my mom was still waiting in the shelter. Once we were back upstairs, she showed us another easier way for elderly people to see the crater from the top. Although we couldn’t see the crater from a close distance, but the view was still breathtaking from the top.
We went all the way straight to the hotel as it was raining heavily once we stepped in into the car. This place is worth to visit. It was so beautiful and we loved it.