The view from the car’s windows shifted from lines of pine trees to slowly reveal a vast green carpet of tea plantations dominating the horizon. Lowering the car windows results in a gust of fresh air filling the interior.
During especially cold days, the mountainous areas behind the tea plantation is usually covered by mist.
The scene is typical of the road spanning from the area near the entrance to the Tangkuban Perahu Mountain in North Bandung toward the city of Subang.
Should the opportunity to travel on that road arise be sure to stop along the side of the road once the tea plantations are visible, because walking through them is one of the most popular activities for local tourists.
During a recent visit, The Jakarta Post Travel explored two spots right on the side of the road that offer quick access to the famed “tea walk”.
Warung stalls mark these two spots, their back doors leading straight into the plantations.
The first one is located near the road between the Ciater Resort Spa and a famed ascent dubbed by locals as Tanjakan Emen.
Other landmarks to help locate this spot is PT Perkebunan, the national plantation company, and nearby stalls offering items such as instant noodles, coffee, tea and grilled and steamed corn.
The other location is easier to find.
When traveling from Bandung, take a right turn after passing the sign for Gracia Spa on Jl. Ciater Blok Dawuan. Then go straight ahead to find stalls offering a set menu such as fried or grilled fish with rice cooked in the Sundanese style for around Rp 30,000 (US$3.06) per person.
According to a stall vendor, tea farmers usually start working in the fields at around 7 a.m. until around 2 p.m.; visit the farm at around that time if you want to interact with them. The best time to visit the place is in the morning before 10 a.m. since it tends to get too hot around mid-day and to rain in the afternoon.
It is advisable to dab some insect repellent, as well as sunscreen, before heading off for your walk among the green shrubs.