Lebong is one of regencies in Bengkulu Province with Muara Aman as its capital whose territory is 1,924.24 km square. Apart from tourist resorts such as natural lake and wildlife reserve, Lebong has also a unique destination called Lobang Kacamata which, to some people, sounds fairly peculiar to those who never heard before.
Lobang Kacamata used to be a gold mining area during the Dutch colonialism in Indonesia. This hole was resulted from former mining activities and shaped like an irregularly circular cave on cliff wall. Why, then, is it called ‘Kacamata’ or spectacles? The reason is that there are 2 holes of some 2 diameter in width located side by side to shape like a pair of eyes. Lobang Kacamata is situated in Lebong Tambang village, the District of Lebong Utara, some 2 kilometers away from the capital of Lebong Regency, Muara Aman.
It is easy to reach the site since it is just 65 km from Bengkulu and can be covered by car or motorbike. It takes you some 4 hours if you will travel by your own or rent car, and 3 hours on your motorbike. You need Rp 50,000.00 to spend for the fare. From Bengkulu City, you take the route through Central Bengkulu, North Bengkulu, and finally arrive at Lebong.
On the arrival at Lobang Kacamata, you will find an amazingly beautiful panorama right in your sight. If you want to enter the location of Lobang Kaca, you will have to use an out of charge ladder provided. Being in the cave, you will soon feel the sense of a low temperature area since only a little sun shine manages to penetrate through it. Inside, there look grayish white cliff walls giving you a cold touch on hands. Some water drips from the walls. Crackers of 1 m in diameter as the mining activities remainders of the past time are found on the cave.
Likewise, Lobang Kacamata provides you with inlets through which you view the amazing scenery. As far as eyes may catch, there seen a range of mountain with an unexploited forests. Having been satisfied with sightseeing, you will then be allowed to take a ladder down to see traditional miners working in groups of 10. Those miners are partly Lebong Tambang residents, and some are Javanese comers. Upon being interviewed, they show their deep empathy and let you have a look and learn their traditional mining equipments.
Interview with Gold Miners
A group of mining workers may consist of 7 to 8 peole. While working, they are only equipped with minimally standardized protecting equipments which certainly do not guarantee their full safety. There is equipment called Gelundung which functions to separate gold from rocks. Gelundung is cylindrical in shape and is made from wood and steel plate. Around Lobang Kacamata there stand food stalls offering delicious meals at affordable cost.
If you wish to spend the night, there are several cottages one of which is Sukma Jaya with 12 bedrooms which is located at Jalan Muara Aman, District of Lebong.The best recommended time to visit Lobang Kacamata is between 9 am and mid day time since it is bright enough though only a little sun shine manages to penetrate the cave. However, it is very suitable for interior photographing.
Do you now that the gold on the firmly-standing Monas column in Jakarta was taken from Lebong? Lebong is really rich and well-known for its gold mining. Also, in accordance with history, during the Dutch colonialism the gold mining done managed to produce 40.421 ton of gold, and 291.421 ton of silver. Fantastic figure, isn’t it?
Tourism object of Lobang Kacamata is a historical remainder of the Dutch colonialism in Indonesia especially at Lebong regency in 1899. It also means as an evidence of their conduct in exploiting Lebong’s natural resources. We cannot simply let it be gone in the wind since historical events definitely color the process of nation building of the Indonesian. That is why we have to keep and take care of this countless valuable resources.
Can you imagine how attractive Lubang Kacamata in Lebong is now? Apart from an inside cave atmosphere, you can enjoy learning the history and knowledge of traditional gold miner which function as a special tourist attraction of Lobang Kacamata. Just add Lobang Kacamta at your destination directory.