Welcome to Ciwidey

It's initially a struggle to get here through the endless Bandung suburbs and traffic, even on weekdays. On weekends, when Jakartans descend en masse – well, you've been warned.

Ciwidey itself has few attractions, but does have minimarts and hotels. About 3km south of town you can drop by Kawi Wulung, a bamboo workshop where room dividers and chairs are made by hand. Next door, Tahu Sumedang is a traditional tofu factory where tofu is fried in coconut oil (and is for sale).

South of Ciwidey the road winds north through hills to the turn-off to Kawah Putih (admission 65,000Rp), an undeniably beautiful turquoise crater lake that's become something of an overdeveloped tourist attraction.

It's better to push on through the stunning scenery around Rancabali, 42km from Bandung, which is basically one big tea estate surrounded by lush green hills. Just south of Rancabali, Situ Patengan is a pretty lake with tearooms and boats catering to the Sunday crowds, while 3km south of here is lovely Kawah Rengganis (also known as Kawah Cibuni), a pretty, isolated river fed by hot springs and surrounded by billowing steam from volcanic vents. It's yet to be discovered by the tourist hordes and is wonderful for bathing. You have to park by the road and walk for a few minutes up to the pools; villagers here ask visitors for a 50,000Rp donation to visit their land.

If you want to visit a tea plantation, head for the Malabar Tea Estate, on the other side of Gunung Patuha, where you can tour the grounds and stay at the wonderful guesthouse, the Malabar Mess.

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Ciwidey in detail