Travel Cukul Tea Plantation, Pangalengan, West Java
Cukul Tea Plantation, Pangalengan, West Java
23 - 24 Aug 2017
Private Photography Trip
Travel Day By Day
Day 1 (23-Aug-2017)
My trip to Cukul Tea Plantation was actually unplanned. One of photographer friend who also went together with me to Pantai Gigi Hiu, Lampung, plan to go to Cukul as well, so I decided on the spot to join him. Together with one more friend in Jakarta, three of us went to Cukul with schedule to capture sunset at Situ Cileunca and then milkyway at Situ Cukul on the first day, spend one night near Situ Cileunca area, then capture sunrise at the Cukul Tea Plantation on the next day.
The journey starts at mid day from Rest Area Km 19 of Cikampek Toll Road as our meeting point. It was heavy traffic up to Cikarang since there are projects going on which takes at least one lane of the toll road, so it creates bottleneck at some part of the road. The rest of the journey was through 3 parts of toll road: Jakarta-Cikampek, Cipularang (Cikampek-Purwakarta-Padalarang), and Panci (Padalarang-Cileunyi). The journey until the exit at Kopo of Panci toll road was smooth with no traffic jam.
Our first stop was at Rumah Makan Tangek at Jalan Raya Pengalengan to have our late lunch. It serves sundanese food. We ordered fried chicken, sayur asem (vegetable in tamarind soup), and satay. The food is taste great, recommended.
After rest for a while after our late lunch, we continue our journey to Situ Cileunca. We arrived at Situ Cileunca around one hour before sunset time. We met out local photographer friend (IG: @rdie_photography) there, he will assist us during this trip. We took short break after quite distance journey. Situ Cileunca is one of the favourite local tourism spots in West Java, it will be very crowded during weekend. We were there during weekday and in the afternoon, so not many visitors. Situ Cileunca is more favourite as sunrise spot, but it is too mainstream already. Our main target for this trip is sunrise at Cukul Tea Plantation which is trending at the moment.
About half an hour before sunset we took a short boat ride to accross the lake, so we have enough time to explore the spot. The weather and sky looks promising, it is windy and started getting cold. Besides the sunset scenery, is you bring your telephoto lens, you be able to also shoot the local fisherman thrown the net to catch fish.
Eventhough it looks promising, the expected sunset scenery with those colorful colors was not happening since the horizon was very cloudy. It just created orange color disperse at east sky instead. Anyway, we managed to get some nice pictures of pre-sunset sky with generous rays of light.
It is getting dark, we accrossed back and continue our journey. We checked in hotel first at Hotel Puri, a small decent hotel there, took a short rest before continue our photography journey to capture milkyway. We explored new spot for this milkyway, an area near the geothermal power station there, the place was dark, but the sky was not clear so it was not possible to capture milkyway there. Then our local photographer friend got info that sky at Cukul area is clear, so we quickly go there. When we arrived at Situ Cukul, we were so happy because the sky completely clear. We quickly prepared our camera, we got some nice pictures of milkyway there. The milkyway position was just nice and it already start slanted to the east. Happy with our captures, we went back to hotel and took our late dinner near the hotel. It is getting colder. We called the day and rest. We need to wake up very early morning to be able to reach sunrise spot on time.
Day 2 (24-Aug-2017)
We woke up very early at around 3am, did some preparation then we continue our journey to Cukul sunrise spot. We reached Situ Cukul roughly around 5am, we wait at the parking area there for a while before start walk to the sunrise spot, it is around 15 minutes walk. It is very cold there, so be prepared with thick jacket to keep you warm.
It was a very nice sunrise that day. I considered myself very lucky on my first travel to this spot. The pictures we managed to capture from pre-sunrise until the sun rises are so good. We are so happy.
The best moment was when the sun rises from behind the hills and the light was blocked by some trees and it creates gorgeous view of rays of light at the hillside to the valley, there are some glowing light when it reached the thin fog at the valley. What a scenery!
The scenery still nice in the early morning with its blue sky. Before walked back to the parking area, I managed to capture some selfies and also selfie-video.
360 degree view of Cukul Tea Plantation sunrise spot...
The walk to the parking area through the tea plantation in the morning is so nice. It is so refreshing seeing the greeneries and breathing in the fresh and unpolluted air.
Situ Cukul and the Villa Jerman (or Villa Cukul or Villa Merah) is another point of interest for photography at this place. There is scarry local story about the villa which has been built there quite long but not sure whether it is right or not. It was named Villa Jerman because of its shape like typical german village house. The villa has been restored after serious damage caused by the earthquake in 2009. Now the villa is owned by the Sosro tea company.
At the parking area, there is a small food stalls, it serves some tidbits and hot instant noodle. We had our breakfast there. Eating hot instant noodle with egg in cold morning is so shocking and it tastes great.
We took sometimes there before ride back to Situ Cileunca to take some morning pictures there and then back to hotel to clean up, re-packing out things, and check out.
After check out, we had our lunch first at Pengalengan, a recommended resto to eat satay there. We took some times after lunch to look through the photos we took and editing couple of photos. I learn some editing skill from my photographer friend who has much more experience in photography and digital art editing.
We started our journey back to Jakarta around 2pm, it was not much traffic from Pengalengan, but the traffic was quite bad on the way to enter the Kopo entry gate of Panci toll road. Then it is smooth journey along the Panci and Cipularang toll road. We stop for a while at rest area after around three hours driving, before the heavy traffic at Cikampek-Jakarta toll road. After the heavy traffic at the Cikampek-Jakarta toll road, especially after reach Cikarang, we arrived safely in Jakarta at almost 8pm, almost 6 hours travel from Pengalengan.
That's my journey to capture Cukul Tea Plantation sunrise. The photos can be seen here in the Gallery.