Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tangkuban Parahu Mountain, Bandung

Date of visit: 20th December 2013

A photo below that I carefully selected from my photo collection is my most favorite. Though the weather was not as cold as it was portrayed, none of my children wanted to purchase the hat, rather pestering me to finish quickly so that they can go back to Dago shopping street.  

A thing that I hate most when visiting places of attraction is dealing with the guides when I don’t need any. I studied the places well before my journey and I basically knew what to expect and what to look for. Plenty of these full time guides would be there to earn your money and dealing with them were truly annoying. The same thing happened in Tangkuban Perahu Mountain spot where we were followed by a group of guides. I of them was kind enough to help taking a group photo of our family. I was compelled to give huge tips but frustrated when he instead insisted to sell an item worth 1/10 of the amount that I paid him. It surely doesn't feel good when you are expected to pay for something not communicated to you before. Nevertheless, the group photo was priceless.

It was even a worst experienced for my little boy 8 years ago when we were touring Bali. He insisted to be in a car rather came out to the tourist spot when he saw a large group of beggars (under aged kids included) approaching us with that pitiful look. Understandable that he was not exposed to that kind of environment before as there’s none of such in Malaysia. Unsure whether it's good or bad experienced for him, but it surely left a big hurt mark on Nasrul's heart.

Other than the issue with the guides, Tangkuban Perahu Mountain was a worth visit place and being ranked as no. 2 in Trip Advisor most visited site when in Bandung.  The mountain is a dormant volcano seated about 30 km north of the city of Bandung. The volcano was last erupted in 1983 but small eruption happened 2 months before our arrival, thus, it was closed for some time in the month of October 2013. Tangkuban Perahu is a popular tourist attraction where tourists can hike or ride to the edge of the crater to view the hot water springs and boiling mud up close.

Together with Mount Burangrang and Bukit Tunggul, those are remnants of the ancient Mount Sunda after the plinian eruption (by their similarity to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79) caused the Caldera (a cauldron-like volcanic feature) to collapse. A study conducted in 2001 determined that Tangkuban Perahu has erupted at least 30 times in the previous 40,750 years.

The name Tangkuban Parahu in Sudanese translates roughly to English language as "upturned boat", referring to the local legend of its creation. Story tells of "Dayang Sumbi", a beauty who lived in West Java who cast away her son "Sangkuriang" for disobedience. Her sadness was granted the power of eternal youth by the gods. After many years in exile, Sangkuriang decided to return home, long after the two had forgotten and failed to recognize each other.

Sangkuriang fell in love with Dayang Sumbi and planned to marry her, only for Dayang Sumbi to recognize his birthmark just as he was about to go hunting. In order to prevent the marriage from taking place, Dayang Sumbi asked Sangkuriang to build a dam on the river Citarum and to build a large boat to cross the river, both before the sunrise. Sangkuriang meditated and summoned mythical ogre like creatures “buto ijo”, meaning a green giant to do his bidding. Dayang Sumbi saw that the tasks were almost completed and called on her workers to spread red silk cloths east of the city, to give the impression of impending sunrise. Sangkuriang was fooled, and upon believing that he had failed, kicked the dam and the unfinished boat, resulting in severe flooding and the creation of Tangkuban Perahu from the hull of the boat.

At the actual site, the guide tried to convince me that the top of the mountain that I used as a background photo above reflected the legend of an upturned boat. I had to disagree with him as I saw none of such. What I saw (in referring to the above photo where the mountain should look like an upturned boat) is the love and affection between husband and wife. Get my jokes, anyone??? Bahahaha
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