Indonesia
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Tangkuban Perahu vulcano

Tangkuban Perahu “The upside down boat”

Tangkuban Perahu vulkaanThis volcano is about 2000 meters high.
The volcano’s name, Tangkuban Perahu, means “the  boat that lies upside-down” in Sundanese.


A sad love story

The story goes, that a long long time ago, the beautiful Dayang Sumbi lived here. She sent her son Sangkuriang away because he was not obedient. The gods took pity on her and gave her eternal youth.

After many years, her son decided to return. He met his mother, but did not recognize her (because of her youthful appearance). They fell in love and even had wedding plans. Then Dayang Sumbi recognizes her son by a scar. Dayang tries to stop the marriage and therefore asks her son, who still does not know that she is his mother, to complete what she considers an impossible task. She asks him to pick her up on the wedding day at her house, in a boat.
Since her house is on a hill, Sangkuriang has to build a dam in the river to allow the water to rise from the river up to Dayang’s house. He also has to build a big boat before the sun rises.
Sangkuriang is so eager to get married that he invokes mythical powers to help him. He cuts down a large tree and turns it into a beautiful ornate wedding boat. (The stump of this tree can still be seen. This is Mount Bukit Tunggul). Construction progresses quickly and Dayang Sumbi, fearful that her son will succeed in fulfilling her order, arranges for red cloths to be laid in the east, giving the impression that the sun is already rising. Her son, who indeed thinks that the sun is already rising and that he has failed, kicks the dam out of frustration. There is great flooding and the boat is left upside down.
The boat can still be seen today: the boat is upside down, on top of the volcano. And if you look down over the edge of the crater, you can still see the wedding fire glowing.


Visit the volcano

The volcano has three craters:

  • The Ratu crater is easy to reach. You can drive up to the top (1830 meters) by car.
  • The Domas crater is further down, after about an hour of walking you will reach this crater. You can take this walk (until 2 p.m.) with a local guide. This crater has a sulfur smell. With the guide you can get close to the crater and even boil an egg in the hot water.
  • Kawah Upas is the oldest crater. Poisonous gases come out of this crater and can therefore not be visited.

The Tangkuban Perahu volcano is popular and can be visited between 07:00 and 17:00. The view is best in the morning and it is still relatively quiet. You will also find many tenacious salesmen and self-proclaimed “guides” walking along unsolicited. It is good to know this in advance, so that you can pass this calmly.

Close to the mounain in the village Ciater you will find hotsprings and resorts.