The overturned boat shape of Mount Tangkuban Perahu also inspired the legend of Sangkuriang. Sangkuriang is a famous Sundanese folklore, a legend on the origin of Mount Tangkuban Perahu. Read the story of Sangkuriang here.
The largest of the craters in Mount Tangkuban Perahu is Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater in English). This crater is extraordinary because it is easily accessible to visitors of all ages. Why? Because in 1928, a Dutch organization called Bandung Vooruit built an asphalt road through the mountain. This road starts from the main road that connects Bandung and Subang directly to the Queen crater, which is approximately five kilometers uphill through the forest.
Since then, visitors may drive their vehicles uphill. The bus parking area is a bit far from the crater. Hence, the passengers must walk or take a shuttle to reach the Queen crater. On the other hand, small passenger cars and motorcycles are allowed to park in the upper parking lot, which means you will park right in front of the crater! You only need to step out of the car, walk several steps to the fence, and look right into the Queen crater below.
Upper parking lot of Mount Tangkuban Perahu, which is only steps away from Kawah Ratu.
Since Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater) is an active crater, everybody can only see it from the fence. It is very unsafe to go down and walk inside the caldera. How do we know Kawah Ratu is still active? The constant puff of smoke from the crater is a sure sign that it is still active. Sometimes you will distinctively smell sulfur, but other times the wind carries it away. If the smell bothers you, you might want to cover your nose with a handkerchief or wear a medical mask, which you can easily buy from the peddlers.
The Queen Crater (Kawah Ratu) at Mount Tangkuban Perahu.
Visitors are walking on the perimeters of Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater).
The closest crater to Kawah Ratu is Kawah Upas. It is smaller than the Queen crater, but visitors used to be allowed to go down to Upas Crater. However, during the last eruption in 2013, some toxic gasses whirled from this crater. Since then, people can not walk in the Upas Crater anymore.
Do you like hiking? There is a trail from Upas Crater to Domas Crater. Mind you, it is not light hiking. The dirt path has many stairs made of dirt, bamboo, wood, and tree roots. Plus, it is very slippery after rain. The trail goes down from Upas to Domas Crater. Hence, if you park your car near Queen Crater, please remember the return trip will be uphill through hundreds of dirt stairs! You might like the challenge if you enjoy hiking through a tropical rainforest. But actually, this is a back route to Domas Crater.
You will pass the front entrance to Domas Crater on your way from the ticket booth to Queen Crater. There is a small parking lot and restrooms here. You still have to hike from the parking lot to reach the crater, but the hiking is much lighter.