Friday, October 8, 2010

GUNUNG MAS- Puncak, Bogor – a beautiful tea plantation

Gunung Mas means Mount Gold, and Puncak means peak of highland. Gunung Mas is a tea plantation that has beautiful view. It is located about 87 km South of Jakarta, or about 2 to 3 h traveling. The coordinate of the tea factory is -6.7078757° latitude and 106.9671822° longitude. The tea plantation covers 2,500 ha and run by about 1,500 employees. The tea plantation is owned by government (PT. Perkebunan Nusantara VIII).



The tea plantation was cultivated in the era of the Dutch colonial at the hills of West Java. Row after row of well-kept tea is part of the scenic landscape of the highlands in Puncak region of West Java. This area is an ideal area for cultivating tea, because the high is between 700 and 1,400 m above sea level, it offers refreshingly cool temperatures of between 18 and 25°C. The tea plantation now has important function of preventing soil erosion and recharging the ground water supply to the nearby flowing river leading to the Bogor and Jakarta city, while the green of tea plants has an aesthetic value and beautiful scenery.




Gunung Mas tea plantation can be found along the Puncak Pass on the road from Bogor to Bandung. Visiting to Gunung Mas can also provide an addition enjoyable on the way from Jakarta to Bandung. If you visit to Gunung Mas tea plantation, visitor must pay entrance ticket of IDR 4,500 or about US$ 0.5. At Gunung Mas one can take a tour of the tea factory. Factory tour cost is IDR 7,500 or about US$ 0.8, a guide tour cost IDR 40,000 or about US$ 4.4 for a group up to 15. You can see how tea is processed, or visit to the plantation before going to see the factory in operation.

Alternatively, before you walk through the tea fields or driving around the tracks to view the tea growing with the mountains as a backdrop, you can sit in the cafe and enjoy a cup of tea or try the food which is provided by mini restaurant. Visitors can also observe the tea-pickers at work, buy some leaves to take home. Those who enjoy hiking, can join to the team who walks in the tea plantation. A guide will accompany your trip. You can choose your desire route is 4, 6, 8 or 10 km. Your journey will take place between 1 to 2.5 h.

Schools, corporations, film production houses and others take advantage of this green environment for training, increasing the awareness and affection for nature, film production, video clips, and sports competitions. The tea plantation and its surroundings are often used as a film shooting location, or take picture for pre-wedding. Do not forget to bring a camera, if you come here, because this place is quite romantic.

Other facility
• Two tennis court.
• Campground and outbound facility.
• Child swimming pool. There are 2 children swimming pool available. The water source is from the mountain; therefore the water is fresh and cool.

Activity

Visit tea factory

In Gunung Mas tea factory you can see how tea is processed from the leaves to become the kind of tea you've known, namely in the form of bulk tea and tea bags. You can visit the tea factory individually or in group. As a knowledge, this visit would be useful for you, especially student from yunior school to university level.

Pony ride

If you do not want to take a walk, you can also rent a pony from a local who is offering pony rides. The cost is about IDR 6,000 to 10,000 or about US$ 0.75 to US$ 1.1. You can choose the route while enjoying the unique natural beauty of the mountains that you might not find at your residence.

Hang gliding

If you enjoy flying by hang gliding, you can try here. Take off area is near Gunung Mas, called Bukit Gantole or Hang Gliding Hill. This area is above tea plantation area, it has a beautiful view. Landing area is about 1 km from take off area, but the point of landing is still located at the tea plantation.

A person who is not proficient with hang gliding must be accompanied by a tandem master. The cost of the hang gliding activity is IDR 300,000 or about US$ 33 for one person, for an up to 5 persons group, the cost is IDR 275,000 or US$ 30.5 per person, while for a more than 5 persons group, the cost is IDR 250,000 or about US$ 28.

Bicycle Ride

You can take a mountain bike in this area. The long distance route is about 37 km from Riung Gunung, through Gunung Mas tea plantation, Cilember, Megamendung, Gunung Geulis and Bogor, or you can choose your own route.

Home-stay

In the area of Gunung Mas tea plantation, there are 2 Wisma with VIP rooms available. Rent price per night :
• Weekdays IDR 440,000 or about US$ 49.
• Weekend IDR 550,000 or about US$ 61.
• Holiday Rp.715,000 or about US$ 79.5.

Here is also a coconut house available. Rent price per night:
• Weekdays IDR 715,000 or about US$ 79.5.
• Weekend IDR 825,000 or about US$ 91.6.
• Holiday IDR 880,000 or about US$ 98.

There are also 3 bungalows and 21 units home stay available. A unique and newly developed tourism feature is a home stay with one of the families that live in the middle of tea plantation.

You can also stay at the hotel. There are many star hotel and jasmine class available around the Gunung Mas tea plantation.

How to get there?

If you have been in Jakarta, the transportation to this site is by using a public transportation such as a bus or train to Bogor. If you catch a train to Bogor, from Bogor train station, you can ride the public transportation to Baranangsiang bus station. Train journey from Jakarta to Bogor is about an hour and from the train station to the bus station is about 15 minutes. If you ride a bus from Jakarta, the bus trip from Jakarta (Kampung Rambutan bus terminal) takes approximately 45 minutes through Jagorawi toll road. When passing the Jagorawi toll road, you will see the beautiful landscape with mountain background, if the weather is clear.

After arriving in Bogor, your must ride a public transportation form Baranangsiang bus station to Puncak. In a long weekend or holiday, the traffic is usually crowded. Jakarta to Puncak highland distant is about 87 km, but it can be taken two to three hours drive.

Other interesting area nearby

• Taman Bunga Nusantara (Indonesian Flower Garden), in Jalan Cipanas, is a public park, with flower gardens, maze, giant clock and a tower. It has been created over 23 ha with flora from around the world that grows well in tropical situation.
• Puncak pass is one of interesting destination in the West Java Province. It is located about 1 to 2 km from Gunung Mas tea plantation. Puncak is an ideal place for weekend, as well as a good location to find a fresh mountain air. Besides, many attractions can be found nearby, such as the Bogor and Cibodas Botanical Gardens; the Gede Pangrango National Park; and the Safari Park.
• Taman Safari Indonesia (Safari Park), Jalan Raya Puncak, is zoo that allows cars and tourist buses to see and to feed elephants, zebras, goats, hippos and more.
• Kebun Raya Cibodas (Cibodas Botanical Garden and National Park). This place has plenty of wonderful hiking trails, where some of them leading to waterfalls and a few to hotsprings. One of the longest path lead to the top of Mount Gede with its wide spanning desert.
• Kebun Raya Bogor (Bogor Botanical Garden). What things that you can see at the Bogor Botanical Gardens? When you enter the south gate, you will see too many big trees of hundreds years old, and then you will see the monument of Olivia Raffles. If you continue, you will see across of the lake, there is a white building called the Palace of Bogor. Now the Palace of Bogor is used as one of the Presidential Palace.