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Inspirations >> Photos & People

Cukul, Find the Hidden Gem of Bandung, Indonesia


When you’re in Bandung, head over to Southern Part of Bandung, where you can find the area of Pangalengan. Located 1,600m above the sea level and 1.5-2 hours drive from Bandung, Pangalengan will pampers your eyes with enchanting landscape.

landscape photography

EOS 5D Mark II; EF17-40mm f/4L USM; 30mm; f/20; 6 sec; ISO 100  (Cukul)

Head over to Cukul region, as it is best at sunrise as you can witness the beauty of the hilly terrain. I had only been there three times and instantly fell in love with its scenery. Where is Cukul? If you may have heard of Situ Cileunca, Cukul is not far from it. Head over to German house (a white-painted villa) and enter the path before the villa. Walk roughly about 400 - 500 metres and you will find the best location to shoot the sunrise.

cukul bandung indonesia

The impressive part of Cukul is the hilly terrain covered by the morning fog. It creates a mystical atmosphere from the fog overlay the trees. This site also provides many perfect locations if you are into nature fine art. When the bright sun illuminates Cukul, we can play with the shadow and the highlights emitted from the hills.

landscape photography

EOS 5D Mark II + ND 6 Stop; EF300mm f/4L IS USM + Extender EF1.4x Mark III; 420mm; f/22; 1/160sec; ISO 100 (Misty Morning)

landscape photography

EOS 5D Mark II + ND 6 Stop; EF300mm f/4L IS USM; 300mm; f/9; 1/13 sec; ISO 100 (Silent Morning)

Wide angle lens and telephoto lens are perfect to capture the magnificence of Cukul. Carry along a tele converter if you have one. From where we shoot, Cukul could be pretty far, a telephoto lens will be helpful in this situation. I used my reliable friend, Canon EOS 5D Mark II with wide lens Canon EF17-40mm f/4 IS USM, and telephoto lens Canon EF300mm f/4 IS USM plus tele converter Canon Extender EF 1.4X Mark III. Tripod and a box of ND and GND filters are absolute necessities when accompanying us to capture the beauty of Cukul hills. ND filter will support us when harsh light from the sun appears.

landscape photography

EOS 5D Mark II + ND 6 Stop; EF300mm f/4L IS USM; 300mm; f/9; 1/4 sec; ISO 100 (Goldie)

landscape photography

EOS 5D Mark II; EF300mm f/4L IS USM + Extender EF 1.4x III; 300mm; f/4; 1/500 sec; ISO 100 (Blessing)

The ideal time to photograph a sunrise in Cukul is before dawn at 7 or 8 in the morning. Otherwise, the sun rays will be too contrasting later that time. Since it takes 1 - 2 hours travel to reach the photo shoot point, I recommend to do the preparation prior to the shoot and leave at midnight. But what if you need to stay overnight? Don’t worry, there are three small hotels at Pangalengan. I suggest reserving the room before the trip especially during high season because of the limited rooms.

landscape photography

EOS 5D Mark II + ND 10 Stop; EF17-40mm f/4L USM; 40mm; f/9; 36 sec; ISO 100 (Silentio)

landscape photography

EOS 5D Mark II; EF300mm f/4L IS USM; 300mm; f/4; 1/80 sec; ISO 100 (Bikers)

Which Canon Lenses are best used for landscape photography? Read our guide of Canon's Best Lenses for Landscape Photography

For more tips on landscape photography, read:

Camera Settings for Capturing Fleeting Moments in Landscape Photography

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Tedy Narsiskus

Tedy Narsiskus

A person whose hobby is photography. Lives in Bandung, West Java. Specialized in architectural photography. Also likes landscape, stage photography, and animal photography. He has written several books published by Elexmedia and is now active in giving workshops of architectural photography in some cities of Indonesia