Amid rolling hills carpeted with picturesque tea plantations, Situ Patenggang is a pretty lake in one of several volcanic craters south of Bandung.
Situ Patenggang (situ is Sundanese for lake) may be “just a lake”, but the stunning landscape is worth the detour between the spectacular coloured volcanic crater lake Kawah Putih seven kilometres to the north and the natural hotsprings at Kawah Rengganis, a further five kilometres east.
Adding to—or distracting from—the scene (depending on your point of view), is a massive landlubbing pinisi ship-cum-restaurant-cum-selfie spot perched on the lakeside, jutting over the waters. The ship is part of a resort which includes “glamping” facilities—fixed tents along the water’s edge which although is a lovely location, we thought very overpriced for what is little more than a tent on a wooden platform with an attached bathroom (from 2,000,000 per night).
The pinsi ship itself, although somewhat cheesy does offer a magnificent view of the surrounds from the upper deck as well as a good selection of local point and pick Sundanese food or a Padang option, not to mention the opportunity to follow the crowds for the “Titanic-style” bow photo opp. The ship is entered via a wobbly rope suspension bridge, fun if you have kids in tow for a bit of pirate play. Not far from the ship is a local attraction, Batu Cinta (Love Rock), known for the legend of separated lovers who were reunited, visiting couples are said to be granted everlasting love.
Down on the lake it’s possible to hire a perahu for a short boat trip including a stop on the small wooded island if you wish. You’ll have to wait for the boat to fill up with 18 passengers at 30,000 rupiah per person, which may take some time on a weekday or you can charter the vessel for 500,000 rupiah. Although we’re sure it would be an enjoyable trip, we thought 18 was a few too many bods for the small craft and given there didn’t seem to be lifejackets provided, we were content to wander amongst the lakeside tea plantations instead.
The lake sits around 1,600 metres above sea level and can be cool and misty, adding to the atmospheric nature, but with very little visibility on a rainy day. Admission excluding parking (parking cost depends on vehicle size) is 20,000 rupiah from the booth north of Kawah Putih. Our ticket seemed to be valid for the pinisi ship, although a signboard with a price list near the ship listed separate fees for each activity which added up to a higher fee.
Buton Backpackers: 14A Jalan Buton, Bandung; T: (0224) 238 958; (0877) 1474 2756; http://butonbackpackerlodge.com
Pinisi Backpacker: 84 Jalan Pasirkaliki, 92/6A Gang Musaen, Bandung; T: (0228) 686 8610; (0817) 502 0123; http://pinisibackpacker.com
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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