The Best Cave System in South East Asia : Buniayu, Let’s Go Under Guys!

On January 24, 2016 by Novita Karana

Caving BuniayuSpent your weekend with 4 hours caving inside the best cave system, in South East Asia? Hmm, i bet you will think twice. What’s the poin of caving? Nowadays, people gets visualize caving is wet, dark, stink, gross, and nothing to see.
What’s bring the fun of walking in the dark?
After give myself a try, i’m sure caving in Buniayu would be something awesome for every adventure seekers.

6 Reasons Why You Have to Try Vertical Caving

1. Duration.
If you stay in Jakarta, or Bandung, it can be done on weekend, with duration 2 days 1 night. So it won’t reduce your leave.

2. The Challenging Trek.
The trek will pump your adrenalin to the top. From walking, climbing, crawling on the rock, walking inside the mud, climbing with mud. At some spots, you will get your jaw dropped. When you still young, wild and free, you should try at least once.

3. Feel the Eternal Darkness.
In the middle of the journey, the guide will ask us to shut down our head lamp.
You will feel the eternal darkness inside.
The darkest from the dark.
I see nothing. Just black color everywhere.
At this poin, i knew, the essential factor when caving is a light. Food and water can be wait.
You can’t go anywhere without light. You can’t find a way out without light.
Mr. Ferry also said, he had experienced the eternal darknest moment for proposing event. One of his guest proposed his girlfriend inside the cave, in 54 meters depth. After the head lamp turn on, the guy proposed his girlfriend. Is this bring idea to you?

4. Play with Water and Mud. 
You will walk with water surrond you in knee level. Next, you will find yourself walking in the mud, in thigh level.
A minute after that, you will find all your cover up decorated by mud. We find a little hard to walk because of the mud. It was fun for us :))

5. Meet the Blind Animals.
There’s a life inside the cave. You can see some animals, they survive to live inside. Every alive animals inside the cave is blind. We found some animals like insect, spider, and bats. At bats area, you will smell stink smell. It comes from bats’ poop.

6. Meet Some Magic of Nature
We will see karst, glitter and sparkling stones, underground river, underground lakes, and waterfalls in the cave.
As well as to see the cave with water to form fossil halls and millions ornaments.

What’s the best time to visit Buniayu?
Luckily, we met Mr. Ferry in person. So we asked questions about caving as much as we can. Mr Ferry is Chief Master Instructor of FINSPAC and UIS.

“Basically caving is good all the time. I suggest to do caving in early rainy season and rainy season. The rain makes the colour of the stone become more bright and mature. There’s a process from the water drop into the upper layer, and absorption tot he karst and stone. The process makes the stone change colours to bright and it’s very nice to see” said Mr. Ferry.

” You can see the vegetation and ornaments in Buniayu Cave is more richer than in Jomblang Cave”, he added.

welcome

Buniayu

The name Buniayu was taken from the name of an area located at Kerta Angsana village, Nyalindung, Sukabumi – West Java. Buniayu means perfectly covered beauty, and once held a title as the best cave system in South East Asia.
And the fun fact is, “Buniayu” is given by Dutch. Buniayu offers a new experience that combines elements of adventure and speleotourism.

WEST-JAVA-MAP

So, will we go caving? Is it safe? Absolutely YES. I chose BAT as our partner. They will give you insurance, certificate, and they have international standard for cave rescue and equipment.  They are very concern for safety factors with applying the Standard Operating Procedure according to the standard of HIKESPI/FINSPAC and UIS. I never imagine that caving succesfully left impression in my heart. And the important thing is choose the safetiest operator to do the caving activities. Think safety for your life.

If i have asthma, could i do vertical caving for 3-4 hours? I have asthma, and i challenged myself to pass the vertical caving without relapse it. The air level inside the cave is good, especially around the waterfall, and even we reached 54 meters down the earth. At least, one time in your life you should try vertical caving. You will hang on one rope and get down to 18 meters depth to do 1500 meters trekking. The trek was full of adventures, challenge yourself at some poins, and inside the cave was beyond my imaginations.

Buniayu Area has 80 caves, most of all is horizontal caves. And 1 vertical cave. We chose K2 packages, which include horizontal cave at Cipicung Cave and vertical cave at Kerek Cave.

Cipicung Cave is a shooting place for Si Buta dari Goa Hantu Movie. Horizontal caving usually has trek back route, it means we will trek back on the same path. We just walking down with simple trek on horizontal cave.

Vertical caving has its own charms. The track doesn’t lead you back. The trek will make your adrenalin pumping. My suggestion is you should do horizontal caving first, and follow by vertical caving to get maximum satisfaction.

After booked the packaged and sent our personal data, 7 of us were driving to Buniayu Camp Area. Unfortunately, we went there at long weekend periode. It takes 8 hours (usually 4 hours) to visit Buniayu from Jakarta. So, at first day, we didn’t do any activities.

How’s the itinerary?
The standard itinerary will be like written below, but sometimes the itinerary can be changed depends on weather or anything.
We did horizontal and vertical cave in one day and at the afternoon we continued driving to Ujunggenteng :D

Day 1  HORIZONTAL CAVING
13:00-14:00 Arrive at Buniayu Camp. Check in and enjoy welcome drink
14:00-15:00 Presentation and briefing by guide
15:00-16:00 Relax and enjoy the camp
16:00-18:00 Start Horizontal Caving, visit cave where becoma shooting place for Si Buta dari Goa Hantu Movie.
18:00-19:00 Back to cave, refreshment
19:00-21:00 Dinner

Day 2 VERTICAL CAVING
06:15-07:30 Morning Call
07:30-08:15 Breakfast, grouping, and stretching
08:15-12:00 Vertical Caving
12:00-13:00 Refreshment inside the cave, have a cup of tea or coffee.
13:00-14:00 Out from the cave, refreshment, pick up for washing at Bibijilan waterfall
14:00-15:00 Wash up at Bibijilan waterfall
15:00-15:15  Transfer from Bibijilan Waterfall to homestay
15:15-16:00 Late Lunch
16:00 Packing and Check out

Buniayu-HomestayHow’s the Homestay?
Basically, the homestay is a clean simple house without air conditioner and TV. The weather at Buniayu is cold, so you don’t need air conditioner.
The homestay can fit for maximum 15 people with 2 bed room and 1 big public room. I chose to sleep together in public room. Bring your sleeping bag also a good idea, since the weather pretty cold.
It has 1 shared bathroom without shower and seat toilet. The bathroom is located underground, so we take stairs down to the bathroom. And they provide WIFI, extention cable, and nice blanket. The water is very cold and fresh.
The Signal. The signal for all operator was pretty bad, except Indosat. So the wifi used Indosat connection. The food that served was good. The local made the food for us. We order chicken and lamb satay also.

HorizontalCaveHorizontal Caving at Cipicung Cave. (pictures above)
The horizontal cave is good for introduction to well maintained nature cave. After briefing, we walked around 5 minutes to the cave. There’re stairs and the route was easy. It takes 30 minutes to walk to the river at the end of the cave. And we trekked back to get ready for vertical cave. At horizontal cave, you can take pictures as much as you can, since there’s no mud.

“In 1992 – 1995, this cave is well known as Invisible Cave, or Gua Siluman in Indonesia Language. Most people came here not for tourism. They came here for the lucky number for gambling, asking for soulmate, asking for rich. And in 1996, the name is changed to Buniayu Cave, means hidden beauty”

EntranceVerticalCavingVertical Caving Entrance. (pictures above)
After we had fun in horizontal cave, the journey continued to the main course: vertical caving!
After we got equipped, we walked 5 minutes to the vertical cave.
The adventure begins with a rope.
You will hang in a rope, the guide will work with the rope and you slowly go down to 18 meters, from very small hole to enter the cave.  Don’t forget to pose in the middle of the journey for photograph. The guide will caught you when you near the ground. He will take everything the rope and property off.

“ROPE FREE!”
You will hear the guide inside the cave shout.
It means: the participant already arrive at the bottom, safe, and the property was taken out.
So the guide upstairs will pull the rope for next participant.

“The minimum weight of the participant is 35kg. If a kid (minimum 8 years old) want to join with weight under 35kg, it will be a tandem ride, the kid will go together with the guide. Ok, let’s explore the cave”

And we continued walking.

vertical-cavingVertical Caving at Kerek Cave. (pictures above)
One fun fact is: horizontal cave and vertical cave is connected each other with a little hole and a river.
You will meet the river that connect the caves.
The first 20 minutes, we were busy to hold the camera, taking pictures for every karst and stone.
Mr. Ferry said, there’re 3 zones that we will pass: Bright Zone – Dark Zone – and Eternal Dark Zone.

“Basically the vertical cave can be trekked for 1,5 hours direct, without photos. The photo session inside makes the duration longer”
*we nodded and laughed together* :)))

Before enter the adventurous and challenging zone, we took a rest, enjoy chocolate bar, hot tea, and hot coffee.
They always bring stove, so we can cook some hot water inside. What a cool experience, sip the coffee in 54 meters depth!
And we had calendar photo session here. We’re sweat, wet, messy, and happy!
Thanks Rizqi for the pictures!
photo calender

And we continue the journey. Before entering the mud zone, the guide said to keep our camera inside the dry bag for the safety. So we only have a little photograph at mud zone.
The guides really made us feel safety, they lead us and be patience everytime we kept asking in challenging zone, “where’s to step?”.  And for safety, they will search first in every area, and after everything safe, they let us to follow them.

Animal-at-Buniayu-CaveAnimals that we met (picture above)
They will not bother us, since they’re blind.
The poor lost snake will be dead soon, since there’s no light inside the cave and the snake can’t get food.

 

celebration-and-transfer-to-BibijilanIt’s a Good Tour and Let’s Celebrate
We got refreshment after climb out the cave. A cold isotonic drink restored our energy. The guide said we broke the record. It the longest tour ever. We did the vertical caving around 4,5 hours. It took long time for us, because we want to take pictures in every corners. EVERY CORNERS. HAHAHA.
After 10 minutes spent in one spot:
Guide: “Hey, come on guys. We will see another more beautiful stones in front of us”
Us: “…” Still take pictures. Everyone want to have single photo, since the place is so amazing.
And, thank you Mr Dedi for your patience :))

 

wash-up-time-Bibijilan-Waterfall copyWash up at Bibijilan Waterfall
With pick up car and messy condition, we transfered to Bibijilan Waterfal, to clean up. The waterfall area surrounded by pine trees while feel the fresh air. What a peace atmosphere. This “wash up part” made us forget the time. After all cover up get clean from mud, we still swim and play water.
“Come on guys, let’s have a lunch”
“LUNCH?” Ah, of course. We cleaned up everything and walk to the pick up car and heading to homestay.
And after that, we checked out, say good bye to Mr. Ferry and Belang the dog.
Belang accompanied us walking from homestay to parking area (around 700 meters). What a sweet loyal dog.
Mr Ferry said that Belang always accompany the guests who walked to parking area, so Belang gets tons of fans!

You can contact me for arrangement Buniayu trip. I can arrange transportation also from Jakarta.

So, thank you for the splendid long weekend, guys @rivermoa @hismamaz @rizqme @sasmier Ocha, Umzi :D
Mr. Ferry, thank you for your time and discussion. It was an honour to us to meet you in person.

GroupPhotoBuniayuKapanlibur

10 Responses to “The Best Cave System in South East Asia : Buniayu, Let’s Go Under Guys!”

  • Huda Khoirul

    Spertinya seru bgt… jalan2 di dalam goa…

  • Rahma Amalia

    Kalau transportasinya untuk menuju kesana pakai apa y ka.. Saya dari jakarta

  • Whaaa.. Pino rambut panjangnya bagus banget! :D
    Ini beneran kamu bisa arrange trip buat ke Buniayu? Aku mau dong, kalo lagi ada trip yang anggotanya kurang 1, aku mau gabung, hehe…

    • Titiiiii hihihihi, sudah aku potong Titi, soale ribet kalau jalan berkibar kibar dan kusut, jadinya dikepang terus, dan aku bosan dikepang :)) Iyap, aku kemarin bertemu Pak Ferrynya. Sepertinya Maret nih mau ada, nanti akuh info ya tanggal pastinya. Nanti aku ikut juga, kita caving bareeng :D

  • Wow, girl. That is definitely something me and Cez would like to do soon. Wait for it! :) I hope you enjoyed it a lot.

    • Hi Agness, thank you for dropped by. Yes, vertical caving is something awesome. You should try when you visit Indonesia and i would love to accompany you to do caving :D Cheers

  • Waktu itu gw caving di bulan puasa, 6 jam di dalam gua dan seru2an gila teriak2 ngak jelas tp ujung2 nya gempor jalan kaki ke curug nya jauh banget dan ngak ada ojek #lelah

    • Kak Cumi hebat banget, pas puasa dan 6 jam pula wow :D Tiap ada medan ekstrim pasti teriak teriak ya hihihihi.
      Aku kmaren ini dari pintu keluar gua ke curugnya naik pick up. Tapii, dari parkiran pick up ke curugnya turun lumayan jauh ya kak *pijitin Kak Cumi*

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