Reviewed September 21, 2015
Visited August 2015
First how to get to this oldest observatory in Indonesia. It's best if you drive yourself to the location, since it is not located in the main road and when you want to go home in the evening the road is dark. Or at least you ride with motor bike / bicycle with front light. Because most of the activities of observing the sky you'll doing it outdoor, it will get colder and windy as the sun disappear, so don't forget to dress warm.
The activities will not started before 5 PM, but I suggest you arrive in the location 1 hour earlier to take some pictures of beautiful scenery around the complex. Don't forget to take the pictures of all antennae they have.
At 5 PM all the visitor is asked to enter the main telescope building, where the famous Zeiss telescope built by the Dutch is located. We are not allowed to take a peek with Zeiss telescope since it is so delicate and connected only to the computer. Even through computer screen you can only see millions of small dots like sands on the beach, since this Zeiss telescope was made only to count the stars and see how they are move and behave. But don't worry, because you will get the knowledge-full-presentation by the expert explaining about Zeiss telescope, and other activities in the complex. The session on this telescope building take place about 20 minutes.
From there, you will be asked to enter the multimedia room. It is actually the class room with projector in front of the class where a student of the ITB (Bandung Institute of Technology) explaining about Cosmos. Much like the tiny version of Grasse Tyson does in the TV series titled 'The Cosmos'. But it was quite interesting if you like astronomy. The session in this room take place about another 20 minutes or until the sun sets.
After the sun sets, all the activities would be observing the sky using 2 telescopes. One inside another building which they can open the roof and extend the length of the telescope further up. Another one is the smaller telescope set on the ground. Every now and then, the students from ITB who in charge of the activities change the object to view from the telescope.
Depending on what time of the year you visit the observatory, different object in the sky available to see. Just hope that the sky is clear enough without cloud or you will not be able to see anything. When I went there, I can see clearly the planet Saturn and several star constellations. Because there were only two telescope and 40 plus people eager wanted to see the sky, we had to stand in line every time the object changes and only given about 15 seconds to see it.
Though you are not allowed to eat and drink during activities, but I suggest you bring snack and drink with you. Because the windy and chill surroundings will make you hungry and no food available in the complex. Just don't eat and drink close to the telescope, because in this complex you can easily find some place to sit and relax.
The one set back of this complex is this activities are not yet organized professionally. The public services are very minim, the two rest rooms are in very poor condition, if you are Muslim the prayer room is too small, and no souvenir shops available. It was pity, because imagine how much revenue they can make if they have souvenir shops. I would by something, that's for sure.