Do you want away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city but not so that you have to take some time off from the office? These places can be a great escape during your weekend.
An Outer Baduy woman selects coffee beans. —JP/Triwik
The Baduy community, which lives around 165 kilometers west of Jakarta, have long been known as a tribe that persistently preserves their traditional way of life, imposing strict obedience of their customs.
Keen on taking a closer look at the life of Baduy people? A trip to the Baduy territory would make your weekend.
The Baduy area is divided into Baduy Dalam (inner Baduy) and Baduy Luar (outer Baduy). Those wishing to travel to the Inner Baduy have to go through some villages in the Outer Baduy, starting from the gateway of the Baduy tribe in Ciboleger.
Make sure you wear shoes or sandals designed for trekking to hike the hilly terrain and rocky tracks. Along the way, your eyes will feast on breathtaking scenery; mountainous areas as well as farmland, woods and rivers.
The trip offers two different paths – 12 and 16-kilometer tracks – and it might take around three to five hours walking, depending on how fast you walk.
Along the way, you will cross a 10-meter bamboo bridge spanning Ciujung River, which separates inner and outer Baduy.
After traversing the long and winding roads, you can spend one night at a local modest house, made of wooden pillars and woven bamboo walls, to observe the Baduy communal life.
Among the Baduy people’s activities are weaving cloth, cultivating fruit, vegetables and rice, breeding chicken and turning the skin of wood into traditional bags, which are unique souvenirs.
Live the life of the Baduy people by taking a bath in the river, dipping yourself into the crystal-clear water.
Make sure you purchase Baduy’s very own honey, cultivated directly from the trees in the forest, which costs only Rp 60,000 (US$6) per bottle.
Houses in Outer Baduy. —JP/Triwik Kurniasari» From Jakarta, you can go by car or public transport. Backpackers might opt for taking a train from Jakarta Kota to Rangkasbitung station, where minibuses take passengers from the terminal to Simpang Koranji or Ciboleger, the gateways to outer Baduy.
» Follow the local rules once you enter Baduy territory. Visitors, for instance, are denied entry to inner Baduy during the fasting period and are not allowed to use soap, shampoo and tooth paste. Taking pictures is also forbidden in inner Baduy. Moreover, international visitors, including Asian, ethnic African and Caucasian people, are also not allowed to enter the inner Baduy.
» Wear sweat-absorbing shoes and cotton T-shirts. Other gear includes rain coats or water-proof jackets, flashlights and hats.
Rafting on Palayangan River (Bandung, West Java)
Rafting participants struggle to tame the wild Palayangan River. Courtesy of Lintaswisata OrganizerIf you are looking for something to pump up your adrenaline, you may consider a rafting vacation adventure, attempting to tame the wild river of Palayangan in West Java.
Pangalengan itself is widely recognized as a favorite tourism destination that offers stunning landscapes, especially through its tea plantations.
This is an ideal day trip for those who do not intend to do a sleepover. The one-way trip only takes around 2.5 hours by car, and depends on the traffic.
The rafting session runs for 5-kilometers for around two hours along the Palayangan River, which is five to ten meters wide and has clean, cool water.
Right after donning your rafting gear, such as like life jackets and helmets, you will be debriefed by the local guides on the dos and don’ts while doing rafting.
Before getting into the rubber boat, which can accommodate five to six people, you will have a chance to test your rowing ability across the Situ Cileunca, an artificial lake mostly used for rafting participants to learn how to row, before getting into the real river to experience an adventurous rafting session.
A rafting session along Palayangan River provides a real challenge, enjoyable moments and adrenaline-filled escapes as the river has lots of thrilling currents and chilling drops.
» Not a good swimmer or can’t swim? That’s not a big deal because the key is following the safety instructions procured by the guides.
» Using trip an organizer or operator is recommended since they offer various rafting packages, which include meals, transportation, guides, insurance and certificates.
Ujung Genteng (Sukabumi, West Java)
Pangumbuhan Beach. —JP/Triwik Kurniasari
If you are a beach lover and don’t mind spending around seven hours on the road, why not let Ujung Genteng fulfill your needs?
Located on the south coast of West Java, Ujung Genteng offers sandy beaches like Pangumbahan beach and Amanda Ratu beach, the latter of which has a Balinese Tanah Lot like isle; and waterfalls like Curug Cigangsa and Curug Luhur Cikaso.
Pangumbahan beach is most famous for its turtle conservation center and the nesting ground for the green sea turtle.
The conservation team regulates visitors to help reserve the marine turtles by allowing them to experience the turtle nesting ritual and releasing young turtles back into the sea after they have hatched. Walk along the shore of Pangumbahan and you will enter the Cipanarikan estuary.
To get to Cigangsa waterfall, you need to do some light trekking, passing through rice fields and stony steps, while to reach Cikaso waterfall, which is 80-meters high and comprises three main waterfalls, you can either walk along the rice fields or simply take a motor boat, which will take you to the waterfall for around five minutes.
Curug Cikaso» Joining in a trip organizer would be more convenient. If you want a more adventurous trip, you can take public transport to get to Ujung Genteng. From Jakarta, take a bus to Sukabumi, stop at Degung terminal then take public minivan to Ciwangi market before taking another minivan to Lembursitu, followed by a bus to Surade.
» Check the schedule of the turtle nesting ritual and turtle release. The first activity is usually held around midnight, while the latter is held at 6 p.m.
» You can bath or swim in Cikaso waterfall, but make sure not to get close to the waterfall due to the strong underwater current.