Tahura stands for “Taman Hutan Rakyat” or “The People’s Forest Park” in Bahasa Indonesia. The name represents the vast forest area this park covers, but it certainly does not do enough justice to explain what Tahura has to offer. There are many things you can see and do in this 590-hectare (1,457.92-acre) area of nature. From hiking trails, museums, cafes, to historical caves, you will need to spend the entire day to explore its attractions.
So, what if you only have a few hours to visit? In this article, we cover Tahura’s main attractions and why you should visit them. Pick one or more and start planning your itinerary for Bandung, the Flower City of Indonesia!
Dating back to the early 1900s
Located in the northern part of Bandung, Tahura is more commonly known as “Dago Pakar” among locals. The park itself is nestled in Dago Pakar area, which has been one of the most popular spots for nature in the city of Bandung. Just a few years back, Tahura, a conservation area, was created for better upkeep and management. Some areas within Tahura has been there since before the Republic of Indonesia was formed.
Ticket and entrance
With Tahura, the caves, museum, and everything else inside is safe within a huge encampment with two main entrances. You will not miss the main entrance and its big gate! By the entrance, you will find a ticket booth. Here you need to pay the entrance fee of 15,000 IDR (1.08 USD) plus 2,000 IDR (0.14 USD) of retribution per person. If you bring a vehicle, you will also need to pay a parking fee of 5,000 IDR (0.36 USD).
For safety reasons, Tahura is closed after 5 pm when the day starts to get dark in this part of the world. However, you can also camp here overnight! Indeed, Dago Pakar has been a popular hiking and camping spot. It offers natural beauty within a short driving distance from downtown Bandung area. Interested? Let’s discuss the activities one by one!
Address: Kompleks Tahura, Jl. Ir. H. Juanda No.99, Ciburial, Kec. Cimenyan, Bandung, Jawa Barat 40198, Indonesia
Hours: 7 am - 5 pm (daily)
Phone: +62 22 2507891
Getting back to nature
Since before Tahura was built, people of Bandung visited Dago Pakar for a walk through the forest, whether a short, relaxing walk or a challenging hike up to Maribaya area, not far from Mount Tangkuban Perahu. This trail is about 5.4-km long (around 3.35 miles). Now with Tahura, they also have a safer spot to do more than just a walk. Everyone, even children and the elderly can walk around Tahura, have a picnic, or even camp overnight. If you’re interested in the latter, please call the management prior to your arrival or you can ask for more info at the ticket booth. Did I mention that you get to see wild monkeys roaming around too?
Food and drinks
To explore Tahura’s nature better, I recommend you to come early in the morning. You can bring your own food and drinks or buy them at local kiosks available along the main trail. If you plan to do the long hike, please make sure to have water with you before taking the off-beaten trail.
There are also local eateries called “warung” within Tahura. Try out some Sundanese food like Lotek, Indonesian’s take on salad with tofu and peanut sauce dressing. You can have this healthy dish for only 15,000 IDR (1.08 USD) and most eateries provide hot tea drinks for free!
Spelunking through history
Near the entrance, there is a small museum called “Museum Juanda”, built for the last Prime Minister of Indonesia. You can get inside and take a look around for free. However, this museum is rather abandoned. If you’re here for the history, don’t change your mind just yet, because the best part of Tahura is yet to come. This is the part of the park that dates back to the early 1900s. It is safe to say that this is the highlight of Tahura.
Underneath the plateau of north Bandung, there is a tunnel dug by the Dutch for military purposes during occupation. The tunnel is now empty but still well-preserved. It is still connecting the two main areas of Dago Pakar, the lower part where the entrance of Tahura is located, and the upper part that connects to the off-beaten trails. This tunnel is called “Goa Belanda”. “Goa” is “tunnel” or “cave” in Sundanese, one of the local languages in Indonesia, and “Belanda” is Indonesian for “Dutch” or “The Netherlands”.
You only need a few minutes to walk through the tunnel from one end to another, but I recommend you to walk around and see the ruins inside. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight. But if you happen to forget, you can rent one from a local guide at the tunnel’s entrance for only 5,000 IDR (0.36 USD). A guide is also available for hire if you’re interested in learning more about the history of Goa Belanda. They set their fee at 30,000 IDR (2.15 USD) per guide, but you’re always welcome to pay more, especially if you’re traveling in a big group.
Like Goa Belanda, this was also dug and built for military purposes, but not by the Dutch. This time it was the Japanese after they took over Indonesia from the Dutch around the 1940s. Instead of a tunnel, Goa Jepang is a cave with more hidden entrances. To get here, you have to find a smaller path downhill from the main trail. It is bigger than Goa Belanda, therefore you need more than just a few minutes to walk through it. While you can walk through Goa Belanda without a flashlight, you definitely need one for Goa Jepang for it is completely closed and pitch-black inside. You can also rent a flashlight and hire a guide at Goa Jepang’s entrance for the same fee. The path inside is rocky and uneven, so please watch your steps inside the cave.
The urban myth
Goa Jepang is actually closer to Tahura entrance than Goa Belanda, but the Japanese Cave is often overlooked as people prefer to walk past it all the way to the Dutch Cave. There is a reason behind it.
During their occupation in Indonesia, the Japanese were known for “romusha”, an action to force people to do hard work for them no matter what, even when they were sick, hungry, or dying. And this cave was built in the same manner. As a result, many workers died during the digging process. And today, it is believed that the cave is haunted. Many visitors, especially those who decided to camp overnight, have reported paranormal sightings. Are you ready to prove this urban myth?
Good coffee in a great ambiance
After spending hours hiking, strolling, or spelunking, complete your visit to Tahura with a stop at a coffee shop. Bandung is also known for its coffee drinking culture, so don’t miss that opportunity while you’re in town. There are three coffee shops I have tried and I highly recommend around here. One is actually located inside the Tahura itself, offering the best ambiance to enjoy a cup or two of caffeine. Find out more about these coffee shops in Top 3 Coffee Shops And Cafes In Bandung Near Taman Hutan Rakyat Dago.
Great for a short visit and full-day adventure
Bandung has been successfully maintaining its natural beauty and Tahura is one of them. For your next visit to this part of Indonesia, do not forget to include Tahura in your itinerary.
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