Local tourists see Pengalengan more as a weekend-escape destination, where they can relax with friends or family. However, my last visit to the area earlier this month was intended to satisfy my appetite for great photography.
A vast clear water lake called Situ Cileunca is one of the favorite spots in the area. Travelers can rent a boat and picnic around the area, canoeing and fishing as well as rafting on the nearest river.
Feeling unsatisfied with the attractions, I went to a neighboring lake called Situ Cipanunjang.
As I sailed the lake toward one of nearby hills, I discovered a beautiful sunrise, a majestic mountain and line of trees. The view was quite surprising and it was definitely classed as “bait” for photographers.
Aside from the lakes, another favorite spot in Pengalengan was the Malabar tea plantation, a notable agro-tourism destination among many others in the province. Hikers can walk along the tea plantation while gazing at a carpet of green tea leaves lying on the horizon.
The plantation is perched at the altitude of 1,550 meters above sea level. It has a well maintained tea walking facility that is open to the public. The weather temperature there is around 16 to 26 degrees Celsius.
There, in the middle of the tea plantation, lies an old colonial era house belong to the late Dutch scientist named K.A.R Bosscha. The house remains well preserved though it was built decades ago.
Bosscha is acknowledged as an important figure in Indonesian history since he very concerned about the welfare of local residents.
During three decades in his life, Bosscha dedicated his time to building a tea plantation around the Pengalengan area, while teaching local residents that they should not only work but study. Just beside Bosscha’s historical house is a guest house for those wishing to stay around the Malabar plantation area.
How to get there:
Pengalengan is only about 45 kilometers to the south Bandung city. It takes more or less a two hour drive to reach the location. Renting a car or mini bus is the best way of reaching Situ Cileunca and the Malabar plantation area. An alternative to hiking to the top of Nini hill is to rent an opelet (traditional public transportation) to get there.
Situ Cileunca - recreational area: Do not be fooled by the modest entrance. The lake is a nice place for a variety of water activities. Continue with visiting the Malabar tea plantation and Bosscha’s house and tomb. You can also visit the tea factory or swim in the natural springs at the Camelia Natural Tirta, located about 15 minutes from the house.