Travel Diary: October 2017, Tebing Keraton
So, on the second day of our trip to Bandung, we woke up pretty late. Around 8 in the morning, right? We were planning to stay up to go to Bukit Bintang in Dago, but the tattooing actually took about 3 hours and was only finished at 1 in the morning. By then we were absolutely pooped so we kind of just...fell asleep. Oops.
The Way There
Anyways, after some quick Googling, we decided to go to Tebing Keraton, which is apparently really beautiful. It's a cliff from which you can see miles and miles of trees. We left by car from our hotel to the car park at Tebing Keraton, and let me warn you: the road is super, duper bumpy. Also it's kind of scary, because if you look to the left or right of you you'll notice that there's an insanely steep incline. So basically, if you aren't a pro driver, you might just... fall off.
Fortunately, Erik is a really amazing driver (he's been driving since he was 14 or so?) and we got to the car park safely. It did start raining on the way, and that was cause for alarm since we didn't want Baby getting wet or catching a cold.
The Hike Up
So you can't actually get all the way up to Tebing Keraton unless you ride a motorcycle or hike up the rest of the way. This is because it's way too steep and the traffic that would result due to a bunch of cars trying to make it up the hill would probably cause accidents. So you have two options:
1. Ride an ojek.
There are plenty of ojek who can ferry you up the hill on their motorbikes. It usually costs about Rp. 30.000 per person for a round trip (so up and then back down). Just make sure to haggle because if you look white or don't speak Indonesian they'll probably try to finagle you out of extra money.
2. Hike up.
Yes--you CAN hike up the hill. This is a Google Maps image that shows the distance from the car parking lot to the hill. By foot it takes about 29 minutes and you'll have to hike 1.7 kilometers of steep inclines, but is it doable? Hell yes. I was so angry when the ojek kept trying to offer to bring us up the hill. When I was in high school, I used to walk 1.3 miles to school everyday--that's 2 kilometers to school. That means every day I walked at least 4 kilometers! I was so annoyed that the ojek kept talking about how far and difficult it was. And they kept bothering us about it!
Honestly, 1.7 kilometers is a bit tiring, but it's definitely doable. And if I, a tiny little Asian girl with a baby, can do it, then I bet a hell of a lot of other people can too.
Keep in mind that if you do choose to hike and you're a woman, they'll probably hassle you for at least half of the way there..
Anyways! I promise, the view is definitely worth the hike! Sometimes the journey really is half of the battle. When your destination to Point A is too easy, it's easy to feel underwhelmed once you've arrived. But because of that grueling hike up, I was really able to appreciate the cliff.
The grumpy husband after I insisted that we just walk instead of going on the ojek.
When you get to the top you'll see that there's a small village there. There are a lot of chickens roaming around and children, too. I wonder what it's like to live in the mountains. Walk past these small houses and then go to the ticket booth.
You'll pay Rp. 12.000 per person, which gives you admission into Tebing Keraton and a lot of other local attractions.
Isn't it beautiful? Look at all those trees. I was so happy to come visit here! It looks like the mountains from those old Chinese paintings.
Now, once you actually get to the cliff, you'll see that there's a fence. There are a few rocks scattered on the platform, presumably for people to sit down on or lean on. But if you want to get the really pretty photos, you'll need to sneak out the fence...
So, that's exactly what we did! Erik and I took turns so that the other could stay within the fence and hold Baby. It was scary!
It's beautiful! You can see farms and rice terraces down below, and the fog between the treetops is just so breathtaking. It was a really peaceful place, so different from the steel indifference of Jakarta. It made me so happy.
Tebing Keraton is located within a larger park. If you want to go back down the hill you have to exit the park (it's about 30 seconds away from the ticket booth) and either hike back down or ride an ojek.
We decided to ride ojek on our way down. It started raining! We had to cover Baby in her breastfeeding cover and hope for the best. Fortunately, by the time we got to the car, the rain had mostly stopped. If you get hungry, you can grab snacks, eat instant noodles, or order meatball soup here.
This cliff is a beautiful sight that you definitely shouldn't miss! If you've been hating the Indonesian heat, going to the higher elevations in Bandung is definitely a good decision. I wish we had spent more time here, but Baby was getting fussy and I had to go breastfeed her in a really dirty bathroom and then it started raining. So we decided to head back. I'd love to come back here. I'd love to live here, too.
Adventurers should try sneaking out of the fence and climbing down the rocks, but do be careful, please. It wasn't that crowded there, which I really liked. I always feel sad when pleasant tourist destinations get really crowded because then no one has a good experience. If I had to rate it, I'd probably give it a 6/10. For native Indonesians or those who don't get to see forests often, it's amazing. I think it would've been even better if we had come for the sunrise--apparently that's the best time to visit. Seeing the sun rise above the tree tops is apparently very moving and humbling.