Photo: The gorgeous fields of Kampung Naga.


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Cipanas is a small atmospheric mountain resort town famed for its volcanic hot springs that seep from nearby active volcano, Gunung Guntur.

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The town lies on the outskirts of Garut, 75 kilometres southeast of Bandung, and the area was a favoured hill retreat of the Dutch colonial elite. It’s still popular with local tourists, but the resort itself has a somewhat tawdry, downmarket vibe.

Smokin. Photo taken in or around Cipanas, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Smokin. Photo: Sally Arnold

The surrounding area however, offers beautiful mountain scenery, active volcanos, ancient ruins, traditional villages and some good hiking opportunities and thus makes a worthwhile stopover between Bandung and Pangandaran or a slight detour from Bandung to Yogyakarta.

Cipanas literally translates as hot water or hot river in the local Sudanese language, and hot water is everywhere—you can sometimes even see it steaming in the drains in the street although it’s a little disconcerting to have hot steaming water in the toilet bowl.

Steaming! Photo taken in or around Cipanas, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Steaming! Photo: Sally Arnold

In Cipanas, it is the hot water that entices the punters into the rather ordinary resorts and hotels, as most pump the therapeutic spring water directly into their bathrooms and some have swimming pools filled with the restorative waters. The warm water is very relaxing and hard to resist, which makes it easy to forgive some of the below average facilities, and offers the perfect antidote to ease weary muscles after hiking one of the nearby volcanoes.

If you don’t plan on staying somewhere with your own private spring bath, it’s possible to use the facilities at some of the larger resorts where, for a meagre entry fee, one gets to hang out with the locals in the lukewarm waters of the pools. Public baths are a cheaper option, but the ones we checked out were pretty scruffy and lacking in ... Travelfish members only (Around 600 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Cipanas.
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 Read up on where to eat on Cipanas.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Cipanas.
 Read up on how to get to Cipanas.
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