Monday, August 23, 2010

Alt programme

While heading out for the Candi Sukuh temple complex in Central Java (see photo above), my eye caught hold of a signpost announcing Jumog waterfall. After a quick discussion with that day’s guide and we were pulling up into the small car-park precariously located on the edge of the ravine.

It being early morning, life still had to kick in, but at least the ticket officer was open. We paid the fee (3,000 INR apparently community run), made a U-turn and walked down the steep stairway leading into the ravine until we reached the valley floor.

Here there was a kiddies water park normally river fed, but now (still?) empty.
Across the river the well-cemented paths continued. Everything was still in the process of getting cleaned, though it was very apparent that almost all cleaning work had taken place, the area being nearly spotless. Past some stalls still in the process of opening up, one comes to the cliff face where the approximately 30m high waterfall thunders down. Swimming possibilities are available under the waterfall as well as further downstream. even a kiddies pool is available.
Air Terjun Jumog made a great impression, one of the better managed sites in Southeast Asia.

As said we continued on to the top of the ridge to the Candi Sukuh temple (entrance fee 10,000 INRs, nearly a $US) and then walked two hours along fields and through cloves plantations to another waterfall, named Grojogan Sewu.

All are best accessed through Tawangmangu, a town reknown for it’s cool climate as it sits between the Lawu and Kukusan mountains. Tawangmangu sits on the road from Solo to Magetan and can be best accessed from Solo.

Visiting the 15th century Candi Sukuh temple is certainly worthwhile; it’s not so big, nor overrun (as say Bororbodur). A Hindu-Buddist temple, it seems to include various animism elements. Further away (nearly 10 km from Candi Sukuh) is the Candi Celo temple from the same era.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Sometimes there are waterfalls right in the middle of a heavily touristed area where nobody seems to come. Batu district, already characterized as 'Small Switzerland' by the Dutch, sees many national tourists, none seemingly missing out the chance to visit Selecta's swimming pool.

But only a km or 2 upstream from this Dutch era swimming pool is the waterfall of Air Terjun Coban Talun. Getting here involves continuing up the mountain for about 2 km (following the main road) and then taking a well-signposted left for another 1,5 km. There is a small ticket office which doesn’t seem to be at all attached to the falls themselves, but it's simply the end of the road. Entrance fee is something like 3,100 INR (~3,50$US).

View along the way, after crossing the river. Far away one can see the town of Batu.

The track starts again off to your left and you gradually descend to the river level, above the falls. Here the track goes through the river and continues on the opposite bank. For another 750m the track hugs the mountain side as the valley drops away. Then a steep descent and after a total walk of 30 minutes one is at the foot of the 50m+ high falls.

Underneath (and probably above) the quite clean surrounded waterfall are some nice pools to cool off in. Do note that the climate here is already a lot cooler ... The lack of refuse may well indicate that there was lack of visitors ...., all the better for others to enjoy!

Nearby are other attractions such as a cave used during the Japanese occupation. This according to

In the Batu region other significant natural attractions are Cangar hot springs (about 8 km up road) as well as further away the hot springs in Songgoriti and Cubanrondo waterfall. Coban Rais is another local waterfall.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Poor widow

Prior experience with Indonesia’s waterfalls gives a mixed picture. Some are well-known and despite the natural beauty they are often trashed beyond recognition. Others, less well-known, are pristine and exude the expected beauty.

Air Terjun Cubanrondo (or Cuban Rondo / Coban Rondo) lies on the well-trodden route surrounding Batu town, located just over 30 km west of Malang. Located above Malang and squished between 2 volcanoes, the landscape and cooler climate lead to a great many tourists coming here, though mostly Indonesian nationals.
As said very few foreigners make it here, most stick to the big attractions on Java: Bromo volcano and Borobodur.

That does not imply the rest of the island is not interesting. Quite the opposite. And having an extremely dense population rate, combined with increasing prosperity discovering Java is quite easy.

However that easiness might not apply here. Eventually we made it to this waterfall on the backs of motorcycles for a hefty sum. Best accessed from the main Malang to Kediri highway, Cuban Rondo is found by taking the first turn left once over the pass beyond Batu.

After 1 km on this road, one is required to pay the entrance fee of 10,000 INR (~ 1,10$US) and one continues for another 5 km through park like surroundings. Camping grounds, possibilities to hike and cycle are all possible. The car park is definitely geared to swarms of visitors though even on a Saturday there are only 20 plus vehicles.

From the car park it’s a short stroll along the stream to the waterfall proper, which drops about 60m (source), though a wikitravel entry cuts that height by 50%. No pool underneath, though the stream has a couple. Water is very cold though. Alas, due to the influx of tourists the direct surroundings from the car park to waterfall are in desperate need of a clean up.

From internet are many blog entries, some though come with some additional info.
‘In the past, there was a beautiful princess who were married to an ordinary man. Their marriage was not blessed by the princess' parents and they run away. On the way of their trip, they met a man who also fell in love to this princess. The princess' husband and that man fought for days and nights. The princess was hidden by her husband behind a waterfall and he asked her to stay there and wait for him. However, her husband and the man were both killed on their battle. The princess did not know. She stayed and sat on a rock behind the waterfall. She waited for her husband faithfully until she died. That is why the locals named the waterfall as 'Cuban Rondo'. Cuban (in Javanese) means waterfall and Rondo (in Javanese) means Widow. So this waterfall is not recommended for couple who are not married yet. There is a belief that you will break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend after the visit’.
That explains the naming of the falls.
Worthwhile destinations in the area are Songgoriti hot springs and a outlook point from which one can view Batu valley and take a tandem dive down.

Video's from internet. Cobanrundo from
Related Posts with Thumbnails