Located at the edge of a picturesque lake flanked by lush vegetation and a kampung, Candi Cangkuang provides visitors with a brief glimpse to a time when the entire island of Java was dominated by Hinduism.
Candi Cangkuang is a fairly small-scale tourist sight, but is worth the effort to get to nonetheless. The temple itself lies across the other side of a lake, which you will be told by locals is only accessible by raft. The price of rafts is highly negotiable, but the people operating the rafts tend to see a foreigner and charge like wounded bulls.
Expect great difficulty in renting a raft for less than 50,000 rupiah for the return journey, even though it's only a five-minute paddle to the other side. Cheapskates and those otherwise not willing to pay for the journey across to the other side should be able to find a way to the temple by skirting the edge of the lake. The lake is tranquil and certainly part of the Candi Cangkuang experience, so unless the raft mafia are being particularly evil, it's probably worth paying for the journey.
Candi Cangkuang itself is small, but if the crowds are thin, it can be an eerily quiet place to sit and contemplate. To the side of the temple is a small traditional kampung with houses made from wood and chickens roaming around. It's free to look around and will add another five minutes to your excursion here.
How to get there
Getting to Candi Cangkuang by public transport requires the use of angkots and horse-drawn carts. From Cipanas, catch a Garut-bound angkot and disembark at the main Garut-Bandung road, where you can catch a Leles-bound angkot heading north (the angkot will be heading from right to left as you exit the road from Cipanas) for 4,000 rupiah. At Leles, catch a horse-drawn cart for the two kilometres journey to the lake for 5,000 rupiah per person.
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