We were initially unsure how to go about seeing the outskirts of Bandung. We had assumed that it’d be like Thailand, where dozens of competing tour agencies fought to offer tourists day tours but it wasn’t the case. Day tours were far, few and expensive, and we surmised, with the hotel’s assistance, that the best way was to hire a car and a driver plus it was quite a fair deal too. Joining us also on our adventure is Kevin, who, from what I could gather, is Titus’ secondary school friend. A scholar and a bit of an eccentric and a genius, he’s stationed on the far-flung reaches of the globe for months on end as part of his work (he’s a water treatment engineer or somethin’ for one of the world’s biggest breweries) and his most recent assignment placed him on the western outskirts of the capital.
Our first stop of the day was Kawah Putih atop Mount Patuha. The more famous of the natural sights in the region, Kawah Putih, meaning white lake in Indonesian, is well-known for the greenish white hue of the crater lake created by the exceedingly high acid content of sulfur and the ensuing oxidation which bleaches the volcanic soil white (giving it an impression of a beach), which makes it look like a deceptive doppelgänger of Maya Bay in Thailand. At 2,430 metres high, it was pretty cooling despite the fact that we had arrived at noon, where the sun’s heat was the strongest but we’re told that the temperature drops rapidly to 10 degree Celsius averages – something we had no time to wait for, and we had other things to see, like Situ Patenggang.
By most accounts, Situ Patengan or Patengan Lake is not the star attraction. The region’s cool temperate air has turned the area into a vast plantation perfect for growing produce that’d be typically found along the Tropic of Cancer, such as tea leaves and strawberries. The lake, which is not volcanic or anything, is bordered by a forest whose average temperature hovers around 10 degrees Celsius, and tea plantations stretching for as far as the eye can see. I must tell you, I didn’t enjoy it as much as Titus did, mostly because I thought it was pretty lame.
Then on to lunch.
And a look at another shopping mall, Paris Von Java’s tenants.
And a final one, Rumah Mode.