The volcanic hills around Bandung are laced with natural hot springs. Strolling through the grounds, and lounging in the natural hot springs of one of the resorts makes for a very enjoyable day. We made our way 32 km north of Bandung to Sari Ater Hot Spring Resort, near the village of Ciater.
Part of the fun for me is the signs – they help me to learn the language. This sign is near the entrance in a little shopping/food court area.
Kolam Mayang Sari – kolam is swimming pool, sari is essence, and mayang is just a name with no meaning. In this case sari goes with mayang as the name of the swimming pool, so there is no essence involved. It simply means Mayang Sari Swimming Pool. It’s the general belief that swimming in the pool cures many diseases.
This swimming pool has a superstition attached to it – if you swim in this pool, you’ll find your soul mate faster. In Bahasa Indonesian it’s gampang jodoh – gampang (easy), and jodoh (soulmate).
Kamar Rendam – kamar is room, and rendam is soaking in the water, so it’s a room where you soak in the water. It’s actually a traditional village community Jacuzzi.
Kolam Wangsa Dipa – kolam is swimming pool, wangsa is dynasty, and dipa is just a name, so it’s the Dynasty of Dipa Swimming Pool.
Kolam Pulosari – kolam is swimming pool, and pulo is island, so it’s Island Swimming Pool. It’s a swimming pool with an island in the center.
Kolam Leuwi Sari – Leuwi is not a Bahasa Indonesian, or Sundanese word, but the best guess is that it either means “River” or “Forest” Swimming Pool because it is a river at the bottom of a waterfall that runs through the forest.
Wahana Anak-Anak – wahana is recreational site, and anak-anak is children, so it’s a children’s recreation park that has some playground equipment, small pool, and some amusement rides.
Sepeda Air – sepeda is bicycle, and air is water so, it’s a water bicycle, or pedal boats.
Perahu Dayung – perahu is boat, and dayung is paddle – paddle boats.
Kuda Tunggang – kuda is horse, and tunggang is riding – horseback riding.
As you can see from the rest of the sign, they have a variety of off road vehicles for rent.
And, finally Lokasi Piknik is the picnic area.
Many people are afraid to talk to women wearing the Burka, but there is no need to be. These ladies were very friendly, and eager to have a chat.
The water has a heavy concentration of sulfur – you will want to keep it out of your eyes.
The water here at Sari Ater Hot Spring Resort is comfortably warm, but in other areas around Bandung it can be dangerously hot, so caution is advisable.
These hot springs get credit for curing lots of ailments. I can vouch for the benefits to the Organs of Locomotion. Mine were a bit sore when I arrived, and felt very good after my swim. I’m not too sure I want to share a pool with anyone with Gynecological Disturbances though.
Getting to Sari Ater Hot Spring Resort
We got to Sari Ater Hot Spring Resort by Putra Taxi, using the meter. We started out at 1:00 pm, asked the driver to wait two hours with the meter running, and stopped for another hour and a half for dinner with the meter running, and got dropped off at 7:30 pm. So, the meter was running for 6.5 hours and the fare was Rp.300,000 ($30.00), including a nice tip for the driver.
There are no taxis at Sari Ater Hot Spring Resort, so you’ll be stuck if you don’t ask your taxi to wait. The driver won’t be happy, but that’s part of their job. When you arrive anywhere you need the taxi to wait, don’t pay the meter. If you do, the driver is likely to leave. Just leave the meter running, and pay at the end. Putra Taxi meter rate for waiting is Rp.25,000 ($2.50) per hour.
Staying in one of their hotel rooms or bungalows is another option. Prices start at Rp.425,000 ($42.50). Check their website for more information.