Our weekend trip this time is to explore Garut and Tasikmalaya a city located 75 km from Bandung, I’ve visited Bandung several times as it’s the most popular weekend getaway for Jakartans! We had friends coming from abroad to visit Jakarta, and my other Indonesian friend arranged this trip. Since I never been to Garut myself and always wanted to go, this sounds like a great trip to attend. We have many options travelling to Bandung and majority of people would probably travel by car and shuttle, since its a Friday and Jakarta crazy traffic is the worse at that time, we decided train is much more convenient. Travelling to Bandung by train from Jakarta train station (Gambir) we took a nice executive train called Argo Paragyanghan that cost rp 90,000/pax and the journey only takes 3 hours. Since we are leaving late afternoon we arrived at night and rent a car taxi (fixed price) for all 5 of us, we headed for dinner at famous Sundanese restaurant “Ampera” and continued to my friends home near Dago area. Our plan was to leave early morning the next day to Garut around 5am. We were all excited since we came the weather was really good and clean air as his home is near the hills, the water was very cold. With little sleep we had too continued our journey to Garut by car and this takes around 3 hours drive. Heading to Garut we we’re surrounded by amazing scenery such as rice terrace, and volcanic mountains we knew that Garut had a very fertile soil the mountains we’re Mount Cikuray, Mount Papandayan, Mount Guntur, Mount Galunggung, Mount Talaga Bodas, Kandangwesi and Mount Karacak.
If we only we had more time I would really like to go hiking Mount Papandayan, it is very well known with its great mountain trails for beginners, but since we only had 1 full day trip we had to skip it. There is also another famous attraction in Garut which we passed by is called Candi Cakuang is a small 8th-century Shivaist candi (Hindu temple) located in Kampung Pulo village, Cangkuang. The temple is one among the few Hindu-Buddhist temples ever discovered in West Javan region, other temples includes Batujaya and Bojongmenje temple. Getting to Mount Gallungung, we passed through very bumpy road as we arrived, there were many other local people travelling there as well, not many tourist from abroad knows much about this particular area as Garut is still not known for tourist destination but, after visiting Garut and saw all those beautiful scenery and mountains I believe Garut will become the next tourist destination in Indonesia specially in West Java area. Mount Gallungung is a very easy trek to reach, basically it has stairs all the way up to the top of the mountain where you can basically see the huge green crater. There are entry fees of around 10,000rp/pax by the time you entered the gate by car. They provide toilet as well (not free) alot of food stalls in the parking area. You might need to bring some water as you have to climb up a total of 620 stairs to reach Mount Gallungung which is 2,168 m. What I like about this place is the amazing view on top, its very relaxing, quiet and peaceful alot of young students seems to come here often especially students from school. After reaching top and the final stairs we took picture all together with the great view behind us the mount crater. After reaching top you can still continue walking either to your left or right because as I told we can walk down to see the crater thats probably another 2,168 m down, Me and a few of my friends decided to walk down through the stairs that reached straight to the mount crater and we did not regret it, it was stunning view not alot people we’re there most of them are at the top of food stalls having some snacks and drinks, the walked down the big stairs and found a perfect view for picture panorama. We sat on the stairs for some time enjoying the moment and take some great photos.
After enjoying the full moment in Mount Gallungung, we continued our journey to Tasikmalaya to visit the Naga Village it takes around 30-40 min by car. Arriving in Naga village we were approached by a local guide there to bring us around, there were no entrance fee for us and you can find a souvenir shops at the car park. The local guide couldn’t speak English fluently unfortunately so I had to translate his word to my friends. He was very detail in explaining everything about his place about the past history and what the local village are during, he tells us what the men and women do in their daily activities. Reaching the Naga Village we have to go down around 400 stairs, it was abit tiring as we just climb the Mount Gallungung stairs, but the view and village looks so interested we just kept going, it wasn’t that though at all! J well from a far distance we stopped and the local guide took us to a spot where we can actually see the Kampung Naga, incredible it’s like finding a smurf village said one of my friend, you can tell from the way the house looked its very interested and traditional. Kampung Naga is a village which is inhabited by a community in a very strong tradition of holding the remainder ancestors
When we walk towards the entrance of the village, we can the forest is which are known to be sacred because it is located in the ancestral cemetery. In the south you can see the rice fields, and in the north and east are surrounded by river Ciwulan a very beaituful river I must admit, which the source of water comes from Mount Cikuray in Garut, the local guide showed us the house and explained its architecture, we had the chance to enter to one of the local house and have a quick idea of how its like living inside the Naga houses, it is very interesting for me as the people there live life so simple yet they have what they needed, they don’t need electricity, they can grow anything on their grass field its wonderful to witness their amazing eco friendly life. You can also find men and women making great traditional handicrafts as well. The people welcome us with a friendly smile and we were delighted to be there with them, there are many children playing around it was a lovely day and we really enjoyed this village J after visiting the Kampung Naga, again we have to climb up 400 stairs hahaa to make things better we stopped and had a nice fresh coconut while enjoying the view.