The Lake in the Mountains – Situ Patenggang, Bandung

With Mother Nature, nothing’s impossible.

You have places like the ‘Door to Hell’, a natural gas crater in Turkmenistan which  looks like a cavern into a fiery abyss; and The Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, where the natural rock formations are so geometric they seem to be carved out of machinery.

So it’s not that surprising to find a lake in the mountains of Indonesia, at 1,600m above sea level! Welcome to Situ Patenggang, or the Lake of Love.

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Located at the foot of Mount Patuha, the lake and its surroundings offer breathtaking views of its exotic landscape. The still lake, broken only by ripples from the wind, looked like a giant mirror of deep sapphire blue.

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Visitors can rent motorized or paddle boats for a spin around the lake. There is a small island in the middle called Pulau Asmara or Passion Island. Legend has it that two lovers, Raden Indrajaya and Dewi Rengganis,  got separated for a long time. Their tears of grief became the waters of the lake, and they finally met again at a rock called Batu Cinta, or Love Stone. The story goes that lovers who visit the stone will have everlasting love. Aw…

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Paddling wasn’t our thing, so we took a stroll around the area. Tall, shady pine trees provided shade, while low shrubs and soft grass gave the place an almost European countryside look. It didn’t feel like we were in tropical Asia at all !

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There were many bamboo gazebos with leaf roofing scattered around the area, where visitors can just chill and soak in the sights. Some of the pathways are not paved and can be rocky, so kids and the elderly should watch their steps.

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A smaller lake next to the main lake. The gentle, sloping hills reminded me of the Lord of the Rings Hobbiton movie set !

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If you love nature, Situ Patenggang is a must visit while in Bandung. It’s a two-hour drive from the city, but worth the time especially if you’re coming back from Kawah Putih Volcano. It is best accessed by car, since public transport is a little unreliable in Bandung.

The entrance fees for foreigners is high, like 180,000IDR or something. Our driver was a lifesaver – he told us to ‘pretend to sleep’ while the car rolled up to the counter, and he told them we were from Jakarta (lol? coz many Indonesian Chinese Jakartans come here over the weekend). So we got the local rate !

Felt a little bad, but hey, whatever it takes to save money…

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Also not to be missed in the Ciwidey district around the lake are the beautiful tea plantations, which stretch on for miles as far as the eyes can see. Our guide explained that there were no ‘private tea companies’, so all these estates are owned and run by the government. Members of the public are free to walk down among the plants and take some amazing pictures.

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More of Bandung to come! 🙂

 

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Author: Luna

Bibliophile/foodie. Drop me a line at erisgoesto@gmail.com

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