Thermal Hot Pools in Ciater, Bandung

The hilly town of Bandung, not more than 3 hours away from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta, is a popular weekend getaway for city dwellers looking for a breath of fresh air and clean, uncluttered scenery. Unfortunately, this town has lost most of its old world charm and village life beauty thanks to the ever present development toiling away in all parts of town. Come during the weekend and you’ll find yourself jostling and queuing for space along with other tourists local and international. I was certainly glad I came during a non-holiday weekday, and even then it was still crowded!

hotpools5hotpools4

My personal highlight of the trip however, was not the town of Bandung itself, but of a nearby mountain side area called Ciater, near Mount Tangkuban Perahu. We arrived in the darkness of night, but braved the chilly mountain breeze to wade in the natural thermal hot-pools that they have in Sari Ater.

First impression? Fear. Java is a place filled with spirituality and magic, where old tales of witches and ghosts are traded daily. The hot-pools resort is open late, but unfortunately we seemed like the only people present there. The resort looked like a ghost town, there wasn’t even any sign of the staff!

hotpools2

Once I got through that however, I was impressed with the park and the natural setting of their hot pools. A slight confusion came over us, as we weren’t quite sure if these natural spa are meant for display or for us to dip into. There was really nobody else but us! There was a small pool right by a large waterfall that’s totally enclosed in steam. We weren’t sure how deep, nor how hot it was. We’re not even sure if there are fishes or other animals there.

So instead, we went back further up and waded into a different pool. The water was hot, the smell was definitely thermal (reminded me of Rotorua) and the minerals salty. As we we sat in the shallow pool streams of water fell upon our backs, giving a sort of therapeutical massage to our aching body. A great way to end a tiring day of driving and exploration, and an experience I would very much recommend!

This post is part of Photo Friday, a Blog Carnival held by Delicious Baby. Check them out for photo-sharing goodness, or take part in the carnival yourself!

About the Author. Nikolas Tjhin. A graphic and web designer in its previous incarnation, Nik’s journeyman career has seen him do work for various creative studios in Wisconsin, Minneapolis, Singapore and Jakarta. Now, he’s settled down for the time being and focusing his efforts on Unearthing Asia.

Comments

14 Comments on "Thermal Hot Pools in Ciater, Bandung"

  1. globalgal on Fri, 17th Apr 2009 8:18 am 

    Oh, I would love to have those hot pools to myself, although at night I can see how it might be a little spooky. I’ve yet to travel to Indonesia and I think of it as being all hot & humid with no need for hot springs! I’ve got a lot to see!

  2. Lucia on Fri, 17th Apr 2009 12:55 pm 

    Eerily, beautiful. I love hot springs/onsens…would love to visit this spot. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Wanderluster on Fri, 17th Apr 2009 1:00 pm 

    Thanks for the wonderful story about these. And the “hot” tip. Would love to visit them on my next visit to the island!

  4. marina villatoro on Fri, 17th Apr 2009 6:14 pm 

    i loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee thermal pools. there’s a great one in costa rica and guatemala, due to the volcanoes has them all over the place. nothign as gorgeous as your pictures. but it’s kind of cool as you float on a river and see steam coming out from a little corner.

    Photo Friday – Behind the Scenes

  5. Nik on Sat, 18th Apr 2009 5:32 am 

    @globalgal: Jakarta is always hot n humid, but Indonesia is a mountainous region, we’ve got lots of places high n cold! :)

    @Lucia: My pleasure. Thanks for the kind words!

    @Wanderluster: You’ve been to Java before?

    @marina: Sounds like you go to thermal pools quite often! This one I visited was a good 2 hours drive away (not counting traffic), so not something I can frequent all the time. Great fun tho :)

  6. Dominique on Sun, 19th Apr 2009 3:55 am 

    Beautifully spooky photos!

  7. qt on Fri, 21st Aug 2009 1:58 am 

    is ciater and sari ater one and same place? or are they different resorts?

  8. Nik on Fri, 21st Aug 2009 2:07 am 

    Apologies for that confusion. Ciater is the name of the area, while Sari Ater is the name of this particular resort which has the natural hot pools. Visiting soon qt?

  9. Travel Indonesia: 8 Amazing Dive Spots in Indonesia | Unearthing Asia on Tue, 23rd Mar 2010 7:21 am 

    […] that, we also have travel tales from bargain shopping in Seminyak, Bali, and visiting the thermal hot pools at Bandung, […]

  10. ngeTrip.com - 6 Uniquely Indonesian Festivals on Fri, 24th Sep 2010 3:21 am 

    […] to Indonesia? You may want to check out our other Indonesian-related content, such as the Thermal Hot Pools in Bandung, Seminyak Shopping Guide and Sunset in Tanah Lot, […]

  11. 6 Uniquely Indonesian Festivals « Forum OJT/Magang PT ARUN LNG on Mon, 31st Jan 2011 8:02 am 

    […] to Indonesia? You may want to check out our other Indonesian-related content, such as the Thermal Hot Pools in Bandung, Seminyak Shopping Guide and Sunset in Tanah Lot, […]

  12. 6 Uniquely Indonesian Festivals « Tanggulangsi Serayu View on Mon, 7th Mar 2011 2:49 am 

    […] to Indonesia? You may want to check out our other Indonesian-related content, such as the Thermal Hot Pools in Bandung, Seminyak Shopping Guide and Sunset in Tanah Lot, […]

  13. yesh on Mon, 28th Mar 2011 8:27 am 

    in Ciater, you can find lots of thermal pool but as far as I know Sari Ater provides better facilities among others. Night is the best time to enjoy a relaxing hot spring water. Fewer people in pool, louder natural voices, and the traffic will be a lot nicer.

  14. 6 Uniquely Indonesian Festivals « debbinrhda on Wed, 29th Feb 2012 3:59 am 

    […] to Indonesia? You may want to check out our other Indonesian-related content, such as theThermal Hot Pools in Bandung, Seminyak Shopping Guide and Sunset in Tanah Lot, Bali Share this:TwitterFacebookLike […]

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!