Batu: Sulphur Hot Springs and Waterfalls in Batu, Indonesia
We are spending the next two full days in a vacation town called Batu. I would compare this town to places like Lake Tahoe or Priest Lake in Idaho – a lot of people have second homes up here, but there are fewer who live here full time. Batu is a town up in the East Java mountains. It’s a popular place to visit because of it’s beautiful waterfalls, many attractions, and cooler temperatures. Because the weather is colder, it’s easy to forget you are in Indonesia! The temperature stays in the high 60s/low 70s most of the time. (Berty thought it was cold, but my family found it rather nice!)
It took us about 2.5 hours to drive from Surabaya to Batu. Berty’s aunt owns a vacation home up here, so we were able to stay like kings and queens! The yard was so beautiful and pristine, and it had multiple balconies for us to watch sunrises and sunsets. We even set up our hammocks and spent most of our down time up in them!
After a good night’s sleep, our first stop of the day was a place called Songgoriti. It had natural sulphur springs that people could relax in. The water was both pumped up from the hot springs below temple ruins and fed by the waterfalls in the mountains. Berty’s mom said that it was good for people with sore bodies – that was us! Traveling takes a lot out of you! Admission was super duper cheap, about $2.00 per person. That included “drink and snack service” too, which was tea, coffee, and basically Indonesia’s version of ramen noodles. (which we got to eat while in the pool!)
After a couple hours of resetting from the springs, we made a quick drive up the mountain to a place called Coban Rondo. There are many waterfalls to see on the island of Java, but most had sketchy roads. Conan Rondo has a nice, paved road so we went there for its accesibility. When we arrived, we quickly saw many signs warning us about aggressive monkeys. You can’t bring any food to the waterfall because they would snatch it from your hands! We saw that first hand when another tourist had some bottled tea in her possession. A monkey chased her down the trail and trying to fight her for the bottle! Eeek!
After a short trail, we arrived at the waterfall. It was super duper tall! This was my second time here, but my family’s first. I remember it being much fuller, but that was because I visited during rainy season. Now, we are in dry season! Berty spent lots of time taking portraits of my family. He is really good at it!
Berty and I have been very thankful to show our family around this part of the Island. Since being here, my favorite part has been seeing our moms become friends! Despite the language barrier, they both are very successful in communicating! My mom sits down every morning with Berty’s mom and she learns new words and phrases. They are both curious about one another and sometimes I find them in the kitchen just sharing little bits of life together. It warms my heart so much! I am impressed that knowing one another goes beyond just language. We can connect with people in so many different ways.
I want to know from you – have you ever had an opportunity to learn about someone else’s culture? What did you learn? How did it make you see the world differently? Berty and I both married into a cross-cultural family so the journey of learning will never end for us!
I hope you have a wonderful day! Take time to learn something new about the people around you. Everyone has a unique story to share!
Also, we’ve still got a lot of pictures to share with you from Batu, but we’re going to have it for another post. Come back soon and check them out!
Thanks for reading!
Love, The Mandagies
Photos by: Berty Mandagie