Garut is located in a beautiful rural area. The climate is relatively cool and the pace of life is relaxed. Citrus fruits, apples, tobacco, and tea grow well in this area. Farmers often use small plots of land on the slope of the mountains, and often still plow their land with the help of their buffalo. During the colonial period Garut was known as “Swiss on Java”, because it is located between the mountains.
Many people love to visit Garut. Charlie Chaplin was said to be one of them.
Cipanas springs and spa
Cipanas is located near Garut and is known for its springs and mineral water, that have a healing effect. The village has several resorts where you can spend the night close to the water. Some resorts provide a great experience for children and have, for example, a water park. Other resorts have a more romantic style with waterfront huts.
Talaga Bodas is a sulfur lake near a crater. It is a simple and peaceful place. There are several pools heated by natural hot springs in which you can bathe. The water is said to have healing effect.
Mount Papandayan is a volcano in pristine surroundings in which you can take great hikes. To climb the mountain is a not too difficult hike that will take several hours. The climb will take you through a kind of lunar landscape, between bursting geysers, bubbling mud pools and quicksand pools.
A volcano is made up of different plains. Due to the colour of the sulfur deposits, the largest crater is also called the “Golden Crater”. After tpassing the mysterious moon landscape, you will be rewarded on the top of the volcano by fields with Edelweiss, a symbol of love, long life and happiness.
At the Kamojang Crater energy is extracted from the heat of the earth (geothermil energy).
The crater has the nicknam “Kawah Kereta Api” because the sound and smoke are like the sound and smoke emitted by a steam train.
The use of geothermal energy began here in 1918. In 1964, the power plant was put back into operation and various companies and universities worked together to further develop this form of energy production.
Cangkuang used to be an island. Now it’s a peninsula. Still, it’s nice to to visit Cangkuang with a bamboo raft. The small Cangkuang Temple is located in the middle of the island. It is one of the few Hindu temples ever found in West Java. The temple was built in the eighth century. There is a small statue of Shiva in the temple.
The temple was described in 1893 by Mr. Vorderman of the Batavian Society. Based on this description, a research team went looking for the temple in 1966 and the temple was found and restored.
Eyang Arif Muhammad’s grave is also located on the island. Arif Muhammad was a soldier from the Mataram Kingdom who fought against the VOC in Batavia in the 17th century. After the fight Eyang Arif Muhammad settled in Cangkuang, in the village of Pulo where he converted the local population to Islam.
The descendants of these converts are still living in Pulo village. Only six families are allowed to live in the village. These families are Muslim but also maintain a tradition rooted in Hinduism. There are also rules specifically introduced by Arif Muhammad. For example, there are no four-legged animals kept in the village. Wednesday is a day of rest and on this day no gong or gamelan is played.
Kampung Naga (“dragon village”) is an authentic village consisting of 111 traditional houses on a river surrounded by rice fields. In this traditional village, people still live without electricity, internet or motorized vehicles. About 400 inhabitants live as their ancestors who always lived in harmony with nature.
The village has a wooden mosque. The call for prayer is not done through loudspeakers but through traditional drums. Home building materials come from nature. The houses must face North or South and should not be painted. The houses are built on stilts and the chickens that roam under the house are fed through a hole in the kitchen floor.
Kampung Naga is an independent village. The villagers can meet their own needs. There are fish ponds, they raise goats, sheep and chickens and they grow rice.
Souvenirs are sold by the villagers and tourists are only allowed to be guided through the village by the villagers.