First Timer's Guide To Bandung, Indonesia
22 Jun 2018
As Indonesia’s third largest metropolitan area, your choice of sightseeing spots is abundant. Set amid massive volcanoes and stunning tea plantations, Bandung not only boasts a vibrant culture but also a treasure trove of natural wonders.
Nicknamed the Paris of Java, you’ll understand why as you walk down the streets of Bandung city. With unique colonial architecture reminiscent of old Europe, you will also find a mix of local festivities from bustling night markets to up-and-coming cafes. Find out more about what Bandung has to offer and hopefully inspire your next getaway!
Approximate 150km away from each other, many visitors make their way to Bandung from Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. There are several ways you can get to Bandung, namely by train, bus, or flight.
The train ride is said to be quite scenic and takes about 3 to 4 hours. The bus ride to Bandung, surprisingly, also takes the same amount of time as the train ride if traffic is smooth!
For those on a tight schedule, flying would be the least time consuming with a 35-minute flight duration. Make sure to book your private transfer to Jakarta airport and a transfer from the airport in Bandung for maximum convenience.
There are many attractions spread across Bandung, including some of the major tourist spots that lie on the outskirts of the city. Getting around nearby places in Bandung can easily be done with local taxis (Bluebird being one of the most reliable) and ride-hailing apps like Grab and Go-Jek.
However, for places that are further away, it’s worth to look into getting a private car charter on Klook. You can plan your own personalised 10-hour itinerary and be transported to the different destinations by a professional English-speaking driver.
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What to do in Bandung
Making a visit to Tangkuban Perahu is a must when in Bandung. This active volcano is one of the city’s most famous spots where you can look into the massive crater, hike down into it, take a stroll in the surrounding forest or simply enjoying the view.
You can also visit the natural hot springs in the area, with healing waters heated by the volcano. The hot springs also make for a great place to boil some eggs, which you can purchase there for a small fee as well!
Bandung is not short of excitement and you can have fun together with your friends and family at Trans Studio Bandung. With an area of 4.2 hectares, you can find all sorts of attractions in this indoor theme park from roller-casters to adventure rides.
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You can also find a shopping malls, Trans Studio Mall, luxury hotel, Trans Studio Hotel, and other points of interest nearby the amusement park as well. Everything you need is within an accessible distance!
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Dusun Bambu, which translates to ‘bamboo village’, is a leisure park set in a nature-rich environment. This eco-tourism spot has a park, shops, restaurants and apartments around the area. Great to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life, Dusun Bambu is perfect for a relaxing fun day with the family.
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Known as Bandung’s cultural hub, Braga Street or Jalan Braga, is home to a stretch of well-preserved colonial buildings, busy cafes, and chic boutiques. The old-time European influence on Braga Street is one of the main reasons why Bandung is regarded as the Paris of Java.
Kawah Putih, which translates to ‘white crater’ is a natural wonder located about 50km south of Bandung. It’s one of the two craters that make up Mount Patuha, a twin stratovolcano. Amongst the lush green forests of Ciwidey, you know you’re close to the volcanic crater lake by smell of the pungent sulphur-rich water. Although you can’t swim in the water of Kawah Putih, it’s still an incredible location that’s worth a visit and photographing.
Wander around the greener side of Bandung in Rancabali Tea Plantation, one of Bandung’s most beautiful tea plantations. The rolling green hills of the plantation is a stunning sight where you can also take a look at the day-to-day processes of harvesting tea plants.
For an even more immersive experience, you can also take park in glamping by the lakeside in the tea plantation area. Otherwise, you can choose to enjoy the view with a meal at Pinisi Resto, a ship-shaped restaurant at the top of the plantation.
Also known as Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Juanda, the Djuanda Forest Park is located at the outskirts of Bandung. Home to the majestic Maribaya Waterfall, a scenic walk trail, and the mysterious Japanese Cave and Dutch Cave, this forest park is a nature treasure trove.
With so much to explore in this forest park, one spot that must not be missed is the Keraton Cliff, or better known as Tebing Keraton. With a stunning view of Bandung from the the top of the cliff, it’s no wonder that it’s become famous on social media in the recent years.
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Known for its hot springs, the waterfall in Maribaya is a 25-metre spectacle with a steep mountain cliff as its backdrop. The temperature of the sulphur-laden water ranges between 38 to 47-degrees Celsius.
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Besides dipping into the water of Maribaya Waterfall, you can also go exploring in the 2 nearby caves. If you’re feeling peckish after a day of adventure, you can indulge in some local treats in the area like grilled corn on the cob and sticky rice.
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Immerse yourself in Bandung’s culture and history in the Bandung Geology Museum. With history dated back to the 1850, you can take a look at fascination artifacts, a collection of meteorites and minerals with gems like amethyst and quartz.
The museum also lets you take a look into the history of Indonesia’s volcanoes, the animals and creatures that used to roam the country and more. It’s especially exciting if you’re a geology and astronomy buff!
A 3-hectare recreational park filled with lush greenery, vibrant blooms and exciting outdoor activities, your time at The Lodge Maribaya will leave you with unforgettable memories. Perhaps the most exciting activity in The Lodge Maribaya is the Zip Bike where you get to cycle on the zip wire high above all the trees. Just imagine the view!
There are also other fun and interesting spots like the Sky Tree, Mountain Swings, Bamboo Sky and the High Hammocks. Aside from the fun memories, you’ll definitely have the coolest photos to show for it!
Must-eat food in Bandung
Unlike the usual Indonesian noodles dishes, Mie Kocok uses flat yellow noodles that are served in beef broth. Typically, you can find beef tendon, tripe and meatballs in the noodle dish, topped with celery leaves and bean sprouts. Garnished with fried onions and a squeeze of lime juice, this is a dish commonly found in hawker stalls and restaurants across Bandung.
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Similar to Gado-Gado, a popular Indonesian salad dish, Lotek and Karedok can be found in Bandung. Made with a variety of boiled vegetables and thick peanut sauce, Lotek is usually served with crackers and lontong as well.
Karedok, on the other hand, omits the potatoes and is made with a mix of raw vegetables and served cold with a generous helping of peanut sauce and basil. You can find these 2 dishes all over Bandung and it’s hard to go wrong with them!
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Serabi, or Surabi, are Indonesia’s version of pancakes. With a rice flour batter, they’re poured into special clay moulds and cooked over charcoal. You can find them plain or sometimes flavoured with pandan.
Slightly denser than a normal pancake, they’re typically served with a drizzle of palm sugar syrup and coconut milk. You can find other toppings as well like cheese, chocolate sprinkles, or sliced bananas. Some of the best places to get Surabi are Surabi Enhaii, Surabi Cihapit and Surabi Kinca Eka Rasa!
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