Baduy: Conservation between Culture and Nature

When my colleague told me they wanted to have a trip to Baduy, I’m not directly decided to join them. I love traveling to a new place, to gain a new experience, but due to a very packed schedule weekend Of mine, I couldn’t make the decision yet. However, on Monday morning that week I told them I wanted to join if there is an empty spot for me. Luckily they have.

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We joined Rani Journey who provide an open Trip to Baduy Dalam. You just need to pay for 250K IDR for 2D1N Trip. Baduy or Kanekes are a traditional Sundanese community living in Banten. The community is divided into two sub-groups, the Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy), and the Baduy Luar (Outer Baduy). You’ll be amazed to see how they live in this modernization era. The Baduy people, especially Baduy Dalam resist foreign influences and vigorously preserve their ancient way of life. Baduy Dalam could be distinguish by the cloths they wear, only black and white traditional clothing and they wear no shoe at all. While the trademark of Baduy Luar is a blue batik which mostly wear as a bandana.

To access the Baduy Dalam, we took a train from Tanah Abang Station to Rangkas Bitung. The ticket is 5K IDR which already covered by our tour. You need to ride on the train for 1 hours and 20 minutes, but that okay because the train is facilitated with Air Conditioning in every carriage and there’s an officer that would sell cup noodle or chips during your journey. The custodian will check your ticket and remember not to discard it before you leave the station, or else you need to pay the fine for losing your ticket.


After we arrived at Rangkas Bitung, we ride on an elf to Ciboleger Village, the entrance to Baduy Village. We decided to had a late breakfast at one of the Warung Tegal before we start tracking. They served fried chicken, fish, and lalap as a buffet. So you need to take by yourself and after you finished, just told them what you had eaten. The dish cost 20K IDR for any 1 meat. Anyway I preferred the instant noodle that only cost you 5K IDR and taste so delicious in moment like this.

I also suggest to buy drinks or snacks at the AlfaMart – the last mart that you’ll be seeing during the trip, but anyway you could buy drinks from the local people who will accompany you along the journey. In Ciboleger, a local might approach you to sell a wooden stick, buy it, it is very useful if the tracking condition was muddy like mine that day. There is also a porter sevices by Baduy Dalam people that will helps you to carry your stuffs until you reached your destination. I tried to carried my stuff alone but halfway through I’m just give up and asked them to carried it for me. 

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The tracking is not that hard in my opinion, but when you walking through a muddy soil condition and many pit stop along, your mind might just give up on you. After all, it was raining when we reached the Baduy Luar Village and yes, the road becoming more slipper than before. Wear your mountain slipper or boots is so preferable to protect you from slugs. To reach Baduy Dalam you need to cross several bridges, be careful with your steps as the bamboo might not that strong – I did broke one while crossing it, luckily it only a small one that connected a small stream near Baduy Dalam. Along the tracks, you could see many Leuits, the granary that use to store the paddy. It use to measures the Baduy’s wealth and as their saving in old age. During the tracking you could ask many things to your local porter and they will told you many stories about how the live their lives, Do and don’t things to do for tourist in Baduy Dalam. Did you know that their tradition prohibit them to wear footwear? They could not use any transportation during their trip? They could not use color except black and white for clothing? They could not use any chemical residue to clean up inside Baduy Dalam? There’s a lot of things that will amaze you when you heard their stories.


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Entering the Baduy Dalam area, the porter would told you not to use your camera again. No more taking pictures although the view is so beautiful. Don’t try to violate the rule as we need to respect their traditions.

Back to my journey, we arrived at the Baduy Dalam around six o’clock. It took about 4 to 5 hours for us, some of our friends already arrived there before. We’re the second last group that arrived.  The sky was getting dark and our foot was full of mud. Before the trip was started, I had decided not to that bath the whole trip until I reach my home again, but I could resist it, I need to clean up. You could choose to take a bath in the river or in a dedicated area, which has a shower from the mountain water that has a cover. We chose the one with cover of course. It was already dark when we clean up, luckily my friends bring a flashlight. 

 

The women of our group had a chance to sleepover in our porter house, it is a Rumah Panggung style, build from Bamboo. The house doesn’t use any nail to connected each angle, they just tie it or stick it to the bamboo. The roof was made using a leave called sulah nyanda. During the night the rain poured heavily. however, no rainwater goes inside the house. Dinner were served by the owner, we ate friend chicken and sayur asam with rice. The dishes was delicious although it kinda plain and no salty taste after all. After the dinner, the owner tried to introduce us with their local handicrafts. They sold kain tenun for 50-250K IDR depend on the size, root bracelets (3 for 10K IDR), bamboo rings (2K IDR), and many mores. I did buy their local honey for 50K IDR.


In the morning, due to the rainy all night, our group decided to pass the Jembatan Akar and head back earlier to the city. We used a short cut road and we arrived at Cijahe, where we continued our journey to Rangkas Bitung Station using an elf and there is the end of my trip to Baduy. My friends plan to visit it again someday using Jembatan Akar track because we miss our chance this time.

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