Exploring Tangkuban Perahu, A Semi-Dormant Volcano

Indonesia has no shortage of mountains to climb and volcanoes to explore. Many require long hikes to reach but others are also accessible by car or motorcycle via road. This one happens to be one of latter. Plus after my last rather depressing post on Kebun Binatang Bandung it was time to highlight the city’s better side: Tangkuban Perahu volcano!

Located about 30 km north of Bandung, Tangkuban Perahu volcano is easily accessible and makes for a great day-trip. In fact the 2,084 metre (6,837 feet) high mountain is one of Java’s more popular tourist attractions, both among locals and tourists.

Tangkuban Perahu
Panoramic shot of Tangkuban Perahu

The Sudanese name translates as “upturned boat” and is based upon a local legend. Unfortunately I do not remember this legend well enough to try and explain it myself, sorry.

Tangkuban Perahu
View of the crater from up top

Tangkuban Perahu
View of the crater from up top

The last eruption was less than six months ago!  

Back in February and March of 2013 Tangkuban Perahu once again began spewing ash 500 meters (1,640 feet) into the air. For several weeks the entire area within 1.5km was cordoned off. Luckily no lava hit the surface then, and has not since 1983. But ever since March visitors are no longer able to hike down to view the boiling mud up close and buy eggs cooked on the hot surface.

Tangkuban Perahu
View of the crater from up top

Dessy & I at Tangkuban Perahu
My Twitter friend @DessySpartan and I at Tangkuban Perahu


Tangkuban Perahu
Panoramic shot of Tangkuban Perahu

Nowadays there is a cluster of small shops up at the top of the crater. They sell a variety of souvenirs and food, including corn on the cob and cooked eggs — only now they are cooked on charcoal fires and not the hot ground of the volcano, is in previous years.

Shops at Tangkuban Perahu
To the left is the crater and to the right the volcano shops selling food and souvenirs

Shops at Tangkuban Perahu
Traditional Indonesian musical instruments and other wooden souvenirs

Shops at Tangkuban Perahu
Trinkets galore!

Shops at Tangkuban Perahu
If you decide to buy anything, don’t do it without haggling first!

If you have time you can even hike all the way around the top of the crater!

Tangkuban Perahu hiking traill
The hiking trail around the top of Tangkuban Perahu crater

Lava eruptions at Tangkuban Perahu have occurred in 1896, 1910, 1926, 1929, 1952, 1957, 1961, 1965, 1967, 1969, and most recently 1983. Judging by that trend and the ash clouds that were released a few months back, it sounds as if the volcano may be nearing another eruption. Go visit it while you still can!

  Be sure to check out my other posts on Indonesia for more great sights and activities!

What is your favorite volcano?

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

5 thoughts on “Exploring Tangkuban Perahu, A Semi-Dormant Volcano”

  1. With that kind of track record the volcano seems overdue for another explosion! Visiting a volcano is definitely on my bucket list of things to do, so apparently I’ll have to make this trip fast if it’s going to be to this one!

    Reply
  2. My favorite volcano in Indonesia is still Ijen, East Java with its acid crater lake and the liquid sulfur that comes out of the volcano turns solid within seconds. Amazing view!

    Reply
  3. if you get chance go to bandung again, try to visit ciwidey at South Bandung. It’s more like Tangkuban Prahu but more beautiful scene and great view acid lake. Anyway, thanks a lot to come to my country and give great review

    Reply

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