The white Kawah Putih crater in Ciwidey, West Java, is often the choice location for brides and grooms to be for shooting their “pre-wedding” photos. It’s easy to see why this crater, with its turquoise water, is considered a good pick for photo shoots by future husbands and wives in Indonesia. When mist envelopes the stunning lake, the atmosphere surrounding the crater becomes romantic, magical and slightly mysterious, perhaps a bit like love itself. Yet, long before the days of smiling, hand-holding snaps, people living nearby believed the crater was ruled by a powerful and evil kingdom of ghosts, because so many deaths occurred there. Even birds flying past, the story goes, fell victim to the strange powers of the crater, until no more flew there. Then a Dutch scientist named Dr. Franz Wilhem Jungjuhn discovered that the lava and sulfur, which caused the terrible smell, were the culprits. According to information found on the site, the Kawah Putih crater was created from the Mount Patuha explosion in 10th or 12th AC. The sloping part of the land, which contains sulfur, retained rainwater and eventually formed a pool similar to a lake. Signs warning and preventing visitors from swimming in the crater and eating, or getting too close to its muddy parts, are present in many corners of the site. Wisata Kawah Putih opens daily from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tips The temperature at Kawah Putih is reported to range from 8-22 degrees Celsius, so choose your outfit accordingly. It’s advisable to bring and wear a facemask during the visit to avoid inhaling too much sulfur steam. Don’t forget to enjoy the scenery along the way. The southern hillside of Bandung is also a mesmerizing sight. How to get here From Bandung, drive to Soreang and then to Ciwidey. If you drive from Jakarta, from Cipularang Highway, exit Kopo and go to Soreang and then Ciwidey. You can opt to use public transportation or angkot (public minivans), but you will need to change several times before reaching the location. Since public transportation is not allowed to enter the site, visitors must alight at the main gate and take designated public transportation for another 10-15 minutes before reaching Kawah Putih. A good idea is to rent the whole angkot from Ciwidey terminal for your return trip. Make sure you bargain for the best deal.