In the cold air of its highlands, Mount Kerinci, in the province of Jambi, hides a natural wonder that was created by the earth’s volcanic activity. This is a sulfuric hot spring known as the Semurup Hot Spring, located at the Baru Air Hangat Village, Air Hangat Sub District, Kerinci Regency.
In the mountain chain of Bukit Barisan, dominated here by the active Mount Kerinci are a large number of hot springs spread around the Kerinci Regency. Among these, the Semurup Hot Spring is considered the most prominent.
The Semurup Hot Spring is a large pool of natural boiling hot water that covers a total area of 15 square meters and is 5 meters deep. Its calm water is bluish, while steam constantly rises from its surface. The pool’s water temperature measures a hot 80 degrees Centigrade, although according to locals, its temperature used to reach 100 degrees. This is truly a marvel considering that the site is located 800 meters above sea level.
Sulfur concentration in a hot spring is generally known to give medical benefits to cure various skin diseases, rheumatism, and other ailments. However, swimming or plunging right into the Semurup pool is strictly forbidden. The pool is closed in with a steel fence and locked doors, while those who wish to enter, must first contact the officer in charge.
There are several bathing rooms in the Semurup Hot Spring area for those who wish to enjoy, its rejuvenating waters. The bathing rooms were first built during the Dutch colonial era as a facility for Dutch troops.
A rather mysterious and eerie myth shrouds the hot spring which is believed to be the reason behind the construction of the high steel fence around the natural pool. Locals say, that if a vistor has suicidal thoughts, he or she will seem like getting into a trance, where he or she is lured and feels attracted to jump into the hot boiling water.
Considering the proximity of Jambi with West Sumatra, there are plenty Minangkabau or Padang Restaurants in the Kerinci Regency. However, if you wish to taste the distinct flavors of Kerinci you can try the Rumah Makan Ikan Semah (Ikan Semah Restaurant) at R.E Martadinata Street, in the Sungai Penuh area, or the Al Restaurant at Pidung village.
As for Semurup’s specialty, you may want to try the Soto Semurup that is served by the Semurup Traditional market.
There are a number of simple hotels and modest inns in the town od Sungai penuh. Among these are the Hotel Jaya Wisata, Hotel Aroma and Hotel Busana whith prices starting from about IDR100,000. However if you want a fully facilitated hotel, you may want to try the Hotel Kerinci with room rates starting from IDR250,000.
Semurup Hot Spring is a favorite spot for family vacation in the Kerinci Regency. Although access to the actual hot pool is limited, there are other facilities available including bathrooms and a swimming pool where you can still enjoy the spring’s waters.
There are also many stalls selling instant noodles, eggs, bananas, coffee, and other food. Visitors may boil these right in the hot spring and experience the sensation of eating food having actually been boiled in natural steaming water.
The Baru Air Hangat Village is located about 11Km from the town of Sungai penuh. While, Sungai penuh Town itself is about 8-10 hours drive from Jambi City, capital of Jambi Province. It is best to rent a car to get there, since the roads are relatively in good condition. Your long trip will also be accompanied by some of the most fascinating views of Jambi’s natural landscape.
The bit of mystery and eeriness surrounding this hot spring, is that among the locals it is known as a “popular” site for suicides. Locals say that there have been a number of suicides committed here, when people simply jump right into the boiling pool. This is the main reason why the hot water pool is strictly guarded and surrounded by a high steel fenc. That is why one should be cautious when near this natural pool.