We found out of the Batur Volcano Museum from an Indonesian travel mailing list. “I have passed it for several time, yet never know that there are a museum right at the corner of Kintamani”, I told Grace. Indeed, if you are unassuming traveler driving from Ubud to Kintamani, the complex at the corner of the final turn of Kintamani looks more than just ordinary building, or market, instead of museum.
We stopped by on our way back from Kintamani to Ubud. The Batur Volcano Museum main building is located to the north of the complex. The complex is yet to be finished, with the main building planned subject to fund availability. Being a research facility in Indonesia, extremely limited fund has somehow become a norm. The museum can’t hope too much from the entrance fee with the low number of visitor.
In the situation of limited fund, Batur Volcano Museum looks extremely clean to any standard. We were greeted by 2 reception. After paying our entrance fee of Rp. 10.000 (Slightly more thanUS$ 1), we walked inside. We met one of the staff, which gladly took us around as we explore the 1st floor. “The exhibit room is in 1st and 2nd floor. And don’t forget to go to the 3rd floor. It has telescopes for a view of Lake Batur”, his advice to us.
The first floor has a lot of interactive display that unfortunately no longer works. There are models of Lake Batur, together with the Volcano peaks. “It is too humid. The models won’t last long even after we fix it”, our guide staff told us. To compensate for the broken model, some computers provide an interactive way for those who want to learn more about history of the lake and about volcanic eruption.
The big interactive world map and map of Indonesia that fill one of the wall is pretty cool, and among the exhibit that still works. The map, has a small light, which is controlled by a console in front of each map. The button in the console is marked with name of the volcano. When you push the button, the light of the mountain will lit up. The world map even have several categories of volcano which will trigger several mountain under the category.
The rest of the wall is filled with the story of Mount Batur, the eruption, and the village surrounding the lake. A massive volcanic eruption blast the mountain in the prehistoric time. Soon, a new peak emerge, and another massive blast forms the lake and the current 2 active peaks. Mount Batur still from time to time become active to a lesser degree.
Aside from the models, Batur Volcano Museum also features various volcano rocks. Most of the rocks come from Mount Batur, and Mount Agung nearby, although there are some few who come from other part of Indonesia and the world. On the 2nd floor, it is explained that the volcano rock is carved into statue, something that Balinese are fond of.
We ended our journey at the telescope on the 3rd floor. This floor is part of the research station that is also monitoring the volcanic activity of Mount Batur. The telescope view to Lake Batur and the volcanic part of the mountain. We can see smoke coming from the shoulder of Mount Batur, clearly showing that the mountain is still active. Time will tell if Mount Batur will ever show its might once again.
More photos of the museum can be found here