We need a short getaway from Jakarta after the Ied Holiday. I just went to Solo before Ramadhan, and to Bandung after Ied. Getting tickets to Bali was already too expensive when we haven't plan months before. So, I wanted to check out this Kampung Sampireun in Garut, which said to be exotic. However, many relatives who have come there, said it was exotic for foreigners (read: bule), but not really for Indonesian, especially if we wanted to find one of Garut's main attraction, hot water spring. They don't really have one. So I browsed the internet and found several places offering hot bath and spa with beautiful places in their pictures. They are:
Tirtagangga Hotel : I was interested in its spa and therapy pool since I was having a hydrotherapy in Jeddah for my broken wrist and might wanted to try the spa as well. Also the place looked nice and it had family room so the whole family could gather together in one room.
Kampung Sumber Alam : The website was so beautiful that my hubby decided to pick this hotel based on the view and the romantic place. It also claimed to have some activities and playground for kids. The price is quite high though. But it looked so beautiful and serene.
|Breakfast by the pool|
Sabda Alam Hotel: it doesn't have any website but a facebook page and a link from Tourism dept of Garut. Many reviews in the net said that it has a Waterboom Park. And that was why we chose it, that was to satisfy both children's and parents' wishes. We were happy with our decision because the kids couldn't get enough with the hotel' swimming pools and the water park. Yep, the hotel itself had 4 pools in different sizes and one big water slide. It has one nice cafe where we can have breakfast by the pool. All the pool has natural warm water. The hotel was also pretty and better than what we had imagined before (since we actually wanted to go to Kampung Sumber Alam). It had no air conditioner, but the air was fresh and cold. Just open the room door and let the air comes inside. It was quite cool. A light sweater was needed when we go out at night.
The water park namely Sabda Alam Water park, itself was not a part of the hotel. It was a public water park just behind the hotel. Took a 2 minute walk and we arrived at its gate. The park has big shallow pool by the entrance gate and large drifting pool (Kolam Arus) on the other side. Too bad the Kolam Arus was repaired when we visited. As guest of the hotel, we got free passes for one day. We needed to pay because we only got 3 passes. But it's not too expensive, only Rp 30,000 on weekday. But somehow, my little girl didn't have to pay because she looked so tiny :p. Asides of the many slides they have there, that is for almost all ages, big and small people, I loved the beautiful scenery as the park background. Beautiful mountains lined with palm trees.
|The kids enjoying the pool|
My kids loved it there. The little one was so excited that she could walk in the pool without having to worry about drowning. The water was warm and the fountain was hot. Be careful when trying to sit under it. It had also an attraction called "Nampan Tumpah" (falling water tray?) which was a giant rocking bucket filled with warm water and then spilled all its content after it was full. The water fell on my shoulder and I felt like getting a massage in a flash. Very cool. The water are all from natural hot water spring. Garut is said to have a geothermal source but it is not fully utilized yet, and that was the source of the hot water. So it doesn't have sulfuric smell like the hot water spring in Ciater, near Bandung.
|Water bike in Situ Bagendit|
Garut has not only hot water spring as its attraction. It has Situ Bagendit, a small lake (situ means lake in Sundanese) where you can water bike around it or take a ride on 'getek' (small bamboo boat). The lake itself is famed for its folklore where you can read in the link above. Although the place is not really well preserved, the view was quite pretty after all. Actually the view in Garut (from my car window) was beautiful indeed. It has also Candi and Situ Cangkuang, which we hadn't visited yet. Also beaches and many more which you can check at the website of Tourism Dept of Garut.
|man on a getek|
More to that, Garut was also a place to shop for leather products made from sheep/ram skin. They are centralized in a district called Sukaregang. And you can find lots of store with leather home indsutry in it main street, a small street called Gagak Lumayung. Aaaw...it hit my soft spot real hard. I touched and felt the soft leather and the price wasn't really that costly. Around 650-700 thousand rupiah. Too bad the style was not too varied. The bags were also sooo enticing. For only around 400 thousand rupiahs you can have the soft supple leather bag. The model came from various high-end brand, but what I like is that many of the store (owned by the maker themselves) didn't put those brands on those bags (which make it as merely a replica of the brands) but instead their own or just white brand (no brand). They also accept credit cards (with additional 3%) and shipment to other cities. Got to snap out of it!!! Too bad I didn't take any pictures of this area, since I was too busy looking at the merchandise :p
The food in Garut was not really special so, I couldn't give any comment about it.
Well, to complete the journey, of course we have to take something out of Garut specialty with us, DODOL GARUT, a sweet sticky cake made from glutinous rice. Now they even have chocolate made from dodol, and not only dodol with cocoa flavour. Some are pricey and many are much cheaper than the one sold in supermarket. It comes in many flavour, mostly milk, sesame, cocoa, and fruits.
Overall, I really loved the journey to Garut. I might come back the next time to try other resorts and bring more cash and my own style picture to Sukaregang LOL!