Bandung, Indonesia, is one of the places you must visit when you are in Jakarta. Not only does this area has a cooler weather compared to lower-lying surrounding areas like Jakarta, but it is also full of both manmade and natural attractions, including De'Ranch, located in Bandung’s outskirts of the Lembang district.
De'Ranch is the perfect place for a family outing
From its name, you can guess this attraction must have something to do with a horse. Yes, it’s a green ranch where tourists,especially kids and teens, can enjoy horseback riding and many other activities in its fun park. Certainly this is not the only place around Jakarta where you can do horseback riding as you can do it too in ‘Puncak’ area as well. However, this is the only place where you can ride and dress like a 'Wild-Wild-West’ cowboy or Native American Indian while being accompanied by old country music! The entrance fee is only 10,000 IDR (0.73 USD) per person (free entrance for kids under 2), and you will also get a free coupon upon your entrance to be exchanged for a cup of milk, the local produce on De'Ranch farm!
Main attraction: ride a horse
It only costs 25,000 IDR (1.83 USD) for the 15-minute ride inside the complex area. During the ride, you will be accompanied by professional staff (unless you state yourself to be a pro). Kids as young as 2 years old can ride, though usually, young children will need to be accompanied by their parents. However, you aren’t allowed to ride together with your kid, but instead you can walk next to the horse together with the staff. One thing to note is to never stand or walk behind a horse, otherwise you will put yourself at risk of getting kicked by its rear legs!
If you come on the weekends or during public holidays you can have a 10-km horse ride through the surrounding villages for 200,000 IDR (14.66 USD); this offer is also available on Wednesdays!
What about the costumes? Costume rent is included in the price, and you can choose from either a cowboy or Native American Indian costumes. You will receive a vest and a hat for a cowboy costume, and a vest and feathery hat for that of the Native American Indian. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera as this is a great photo opportunity for you and your family!.
Unfortunately, for those over 80 kg (176 lbs), you aren’t going to be allowed to ride, as your body weight is more than a horse can carry on its back. However, you are more than welcome to watch and take photos from the side!
So, if the horseback ride is only an hour long and not all can ride, are there any other activities besides horseback riding? Well, there are many other attractions, and you and your family can spend many hours here if you try all of them. One of the other things you can do is riding a ‘delman’ (small horse carriage) for 30 minutes, for 50,000 IDR (3.66 USD). You may find some delmans in Bandung’s suburb too, but here you will ride in an environment free from loud motorcycles and the pollution from the vehicles. Moreover, not only will you ride, but you will also get a chance to drive the carriage!
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Lots of fun activities for your kids
What about for kids? There are many activities where kids and adults can participate, including the educational gold digging, and adventurous flying fox (sliding from the top by hanging on a rope), but you will need to pay for each of the activities. One of the most interesting activities is the ‘gold mining’. For this activity you need pay for 20,000 IDR (1.46 USD), and kids can learn to mine gold in the small river, where they’ll get a chance to find the tiny chunks of the 'so-called gold’ among the sand dug from the riverbed by hands. They will get to sift through the sand using a sieve, just like how gold miners did in America during the gold rush era several centuries ago. The collected chunks of 'gold’ are then brought to the counter to be measured and traded for souvenirs!
Horses are well taken care of
You may wonder where the horses are kept when they are not on duty. This is a horse ranch where they also make money from selling horses, as well as cows and milk, apart from the tourism. They know how to take very good care of their horses, and when not on duty they are not wearing their bridle or confined in stables, but instead released in a confined grassy field. Only the ranch staff can enter the area as the horses are familiar with them because everyday they bathe, feed, and put bridles on them. You won’t be allowed into this area, simply because you may startle or spook the horse by accident.
De'Ranch is definitely a fun place for a family outing, but if you want to come on the weekend, it’s better to arrive early (it opens at 8am on weekends) to avoid a long wait for the horse riding; as so many people from Bandung and Jakarta will come here for the ride. There is a canteen selling Indonesian foods, and they have delicious ‘batagor’, which are mackerel dumplings with peanut gravy. Keep in mind it does get quite crowded on the weekends, and if you come here during the wet season (October-April), it’s better to wear boots due to the muddy ground. So, are you ready for your visit to De’Ranch? You and your kids are sure to have a great time together, full of fun activities!
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