Have you ever heard Bandung, a city in Indonesia located about 120km away from Jakarta? Known for its fresh air, here some info about the Flower City.
When I stepped my foot for the first time in Bandung it was in 2007. This city presented a more developed infrastructure, marked by modern buildings, traffic, and big roads, along with its very clean air, and with such a friendly and welcoming locals.
That was my first impression about Kota Kembang or City of Flowers, another popular name of Bandung.
As a person who was grown up in a small town with a less developed infrastructure, far away from Java Island, the experience quite amazed me at that time.
Particularly on how this city introduced me to the culture of creativity, intellectual, and technology during my freshman year.
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The city has been an escaping place for those who want to do away with the nosy and frenzy activities in Jakarta during the weekend or holidays.
The fresh-clean air (had the cleanest air among ASEAN cities in 2017), and recreational sites are simply reenergized.
If you look for way to be refreshed again, getting enough retreat, or entertainment, City of Flower is where you should head to. Even there are more beyond of what meets the eye Bandung can offer you.
Bandung is truly an artistic city. Whether you make a short or longer visit, you won’t catch any boredom during the stay.
The city is located in West Java and in the southeast of Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. The weather cooler compare to other cities in Indonesia and that’s what most people love about Bandung.
The city is also a home for more than 50 universities and notable for its creative culture and vibrant intellectual community. It also becomes the vocal point of cultural development in Indonesia.
It stands 768 meters high above the sea level. The topographies are dominated by volcanic mountains which was why Dutch colonial government saw it as a good natural system of defense.
The inhabitants are made up of Islam as majority and followed by Christian, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and others beliefs of a small numbers.
Sudanese is the native people of Bandung. You can hear most of the locals speak Sundanese in everyday occasion. You can see other ethnic that reside in this city such as Javanese, Chinese, Indian, and Arab.
Bandung was a part of the world’s important historical event in 1955 better known as Asia Africa (AA) Conference.
The conference was hosted by President Soekarno and attended by 29 countries newly independent of Asia and Africa.
This meeting took place during the Cold War era where geopolitical tension between U.S.-Soviet with their respective allies affected many of Asian-African nations.
The AA members together aimed to oppose the practice of racism, colonialism, and neocolonialism of the Western power, and to promote cooperation.
Bandung also is notable for Bandung Lautan Api or Bandung Sea of Fire, an event in 1946 where fire was set by Indonesian military to burn down building, and warehouse of supplies as a resistance act against British and Dutch authorities during the period of Indonesian national revolution.
A popular song Halo-Halo Bandung was created soon after the event by Ismail Marzuki. And the largest stadium in West Java was named after the event, the Gelora Bandung Lautan Api Stadium.
When Dutch established its municipality in Bandung in 1906, tea, and coffee plantation, luxurious hotels, restaurants, cafés, and European boutiques were established since then.
It is the reason why Bandung was dubbed Paris Van Java or Paris of Java.
The legacy and reproduction of the city growth during the colonial period are repeated in Bandung’ urban planning nowadays as more entertainment and tourism industries were opened in the last 5 years, along with the government several projects in transportation to improve the mobility.
How to Explore Bandung
Below are some places that provide you with not only historical touch, but also cultural and relaxing activities to enjoy individually or together.
#1 The Neoclassical Touch of Dutch Colonial Architecture
Bandung stores the heritage of Dutch colonial architecture ranging from the old landmarks to buildings.
It was a site of experiments for many Dutch architects. The design blended the modern and native history styles.
The best way you can revel in these historical sites is either by strolling down the road near the location or a small tour inside the buildings.
#1 Gedung Sate
The building today serves as a central office of the West Java government, and a museum. Before it was the central government building of the Dutch completed in 1920.
The Dutch government meant to move the capital city from Batavia to Bandung at that time. However, the plan was suspended because of World War II.
Gedung Sate is named after satay, a traditional food consisting of small pieces of meat cooked on a stick and served with a peanut sauce.
Its roof resembles a satay-shaped structure, embodied West and East culture architectural design, a combination of local and modern style that is unique in its own way.
The structure in the wings was formed in Italian Renaissance arch style. While its middle section presented pendopo-like structures mostly found in Java.
The collection of its museum are digital information, 4D projection, augmented reality, and a theater.
#2 Gedung Merdeka
Gedung Merdeka is a witness of the historical event of Asia Africa Conference in 1955. The conference formed a Non-Alignment Movement that stated to not take a side on any major power block.
This conference created a movement of decolonialization and supported the independence of the colonized countries.
In the colonial era, the site was a Concordia Society, a venue used by the wealthy people to gather and enjoy art, dances performances, and dinner.
The designers were famous architects and professors at ITB at that time, Van Galen and C.P. Wolff Schoemaker.
The Concordia Society was constructed in art-deco style that incorporated a ballroom, a theatre, a saloon, rooms, and Italian marble floors.
Now Gedung Merdeka serves as a venue for officials meeting and a museum.
The museum of Asian-African Conference has a permanent exhibition room displaying collection of Tugu Meeting, Colombo Conference, and Asian-African Conference 1955.
It also comprises of library, audiovisual, research, and communities that focus on history, international politics, and nationalism. Activities of the community are film discussion, festivals, cultural club, and exhibition.
#3 Kota Tua, Braga Street
If you walk up a little further northward from Gedung Merdeka, you will arrive at Braga, the iconic spot to hang out in Bandung.
The location is strategically located near Asia Afrika, Naripan, and Merdeka Streets, where many colonial building-style are found.
In 1920s it was renowned as a long open, level area that allowed people to walk.
The street was filled with European-fashioned cafés, boutiques, and restaurants that made the Dutch called Bandung as Paris Van Java or Paris of Java.
In the early century, the street had gone through several changes, along with the industrialization, and urban planning of the Dutch government.
Still, Braga doesn’t lose its popularity today.
It has been a place where you can appreciate the vibrant life of the street that combines modern living, and locals’ value without losing its historical heritage that appears from its stone-paved road, and art-deco buildings.
You can come by early to enjoy your morning-cup of coffee. For a dose of mood-booster come in the weekend to blend with the night-life vibe outside, or inside the modern mini bars, and cafés.
#2 A Great Spot for Shopaholic
Shopaholic group especially those from Jakarta should visit Indonesia fashion-leading city, Bandung.
It’s no wonder a ritual for people to flock around factory outlets during the weekend which causing the traffic jams particularly in the main street of Dago.
Textiles and fashion industries have been one of the main attractions of Bandung.
Most stores that sell out textile are spread throughout Jl. Otto Iskandar Dinata, inside Pasar Baru Trade Centre, and outside the area.
In the morning, the location will be full of vendors who sell jeans, clothes, and accessories with affordable prices. Some sell traditional food, fruits, and even toys.
Especially if you go with buying in bulk, usually the vendors give a pretty good discount.
Try to come earlier to make bargain. Usually the vendors agree to the price you mention. Wear a casual and thin clothe as the area get crowded before and after lunch time.
Each place has its own unique products to offer in Bandung. If textiles are what mostly seen in Pasar Baru, in the main Dago avenue you’ll find factory outlets (F.O) or distro line up in the sides of the road.
They provide fancy, up-to-date man, woman, and children wears. Another place where F.O dotted along with a supermarket, small cafés, and restaurants is in Riau Street (Street RE Martadinata).
In Cihampelas Street, visitors can find clothes, some tidbits of Bandung to take home, a mall, and hotels. It is one of favorite places for people in the city to hang around since the skywalk was built.
The suburb of Cibaduyut is well-known area which sell leather goods from affordable price to branded goods made originally from Bandung.
This area is also an active center for bags and shoes productions in Bandung. The business range from small-medium to large ones, become the livelihood for the vendors and the producers.
Most popular brands are Diaz, and Elizabeth. What’s exciting is you can show the design of your shoes, and the vendor will gladly make one. It’s definitely worth your try.
#3 Cultural Sites to Enjoy
There are several cultural sites to appreciate in Bandung. Among them are; China Town, built in 2017; and Selasar Sunaryo that was founded in 1998 by Sunaryo.
#1 China Town
China Town is a tourist-attraction that officially operated in 2017. It is located in Kelenteng Street where the oldest, and largest Chinese Temple in Bandung, Satya Budhi, resides.
The temple was established in 1896.
The front view of China Town embodies an old oriental style of a Chinese classical gate, and ticket-lobby. As you take a tour inside you are brought into the old time of Chinese settlement setting.
It emphasizes the classical ornaments of Chinese decoration and old-style design such as its unplastered brick walls, traditional rolling roof tiles, distinct Chinese roof decorations, antique wooden windows, and door frames, lanterns of various shape, and color, Chinese calligraphies, and buildings resemble small traditional ancient Chinese houses.
The hall is decorated with lampions and hanging lights with bamboo frames with small dining tables, accentuating the calmness for the visitors to enjoy the culinary around the area.
It reflects the harmonious interaction between the old and new, the locals and the modern.
The site also includes a museum placed next to the entrance gate that displays various unique vintage items used by the grandparents or even great-great grandparents of today’s Chinese descendants.
The building expresses and honoring the way of life of the early generations of Chinese descendants in Bandung.
You can also find Kung-Fu novels and info graphics that display history of Chinese descendants in Bandung, Chinese culinary delights, and Chinese celebration day and tradition.
Go shopping around the area for some takeaways such as clothing, accessories, house decorations, and unique souvenirs.
All the transactions here using cashless payments, meaning that you can only use debit or credit cards, or e-money cards which you can top-up.
#2 Selasar Sunaryo Art Space
Another cultural site that worth your visit is Selasar Sunaryo, located in Pakar Timur Street No.100, still in the center area of Bandung.
This art space was officially opened in 1998 when the social political situation of Indonesia was in crisis during the last moments of totalitarian regime of Soeharto.
The site adopts the concept of an open space to connect one space with another and acts as a bridge between buildings.
The purpose of the gallery is to bring and connect audience with different cultures through the artwork.
Selasar Surnayo exhibits collection of contemporary arts from local artists and works by Sunaryo himself. His collections include sculpture, painting, and installation.
Some of his stunning works can be enjoyed in paintings such as Bumi Semakin Panas/There Is No Greenland Anymore (or ‘Earth is Becoming Hotter), Tiada Lagi Tempat Berkicau (or ‘No More Place to Chirping), and Antara Yang Hidup dan Yang Mati/Absurdity of the Land (or ‘Between the Living and the Death’).
The visitors will also find 1,500 items in Pustaka Selasar range from arts, photography, catalog exhibition, catalog files of Selasar Sunaryo, books, monographs, magazines, journals, scrapbook media, photos and negative, slides, films in DVD, VCD/VHS/miniDVD format, poster, paper, to transcript of interview with artists about technique and process.
This library serves as an open-accessed data center, research, and documentation of art in Indonesia. This is an attempt to promote arts, and literature to general people.
You can come by at Kopi Selasar which is part of the gallery to appreciate the natural view and the amphitheater building right in front the café.
The design is really down to earth where the wooden tables and chairs are arranged beneath the shady tree. The café also installed more than 10 lights hanging on its ceiling which create a tranquil ambiance of the site.
Some souvenirs to bring home can be purchased in Cinderamata Selasar. The art shop sells items such as reproduction of arts, cards, exhibition posters, and crafts.
#4 Recreational Sites in Lembang
People flock in recreational sites to pause for a while from the routine, escaping the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life that often create tension and stress.
Lembang, a suburb surrounded by hilly lands serves as a great spot for rejuvenating and relaxation.
The clean fresh air with plantation and Pinus forests are a dominant view of this lovely suburb and off course with plenty of recreational appeal to indulge in.
#1 Rumah Guguk
Built in 2012, Rumah Guguk or Doggy House is a destination particularly for dog lovers.
Playing with dog sometimes can be a good therapy for tension or stress relieve. You can find types of dog here from Siberian Husky to Golden Retriever.
There is shop that sells dog’ needs. You can also interact with other animals such as sheep, cat, bird, and rabbit.
If you bring your dog, grooming, and playing arena services that equipped with yard and pools for dog are available. The site also comprises of small houses where you can take picture with the cute dogs.
#2 Bird & Bromelia Pavilion
This is an attraction that presents eco-tourism concept which is fit for a family vacation. There are 5 zones available that make up 600 birds.
The zones are parakeet zone, parrot zone, pigeon or land birds zone, waterfowl zone, and chirping bird zone. You’ll also meet swan, turkey, peacock, and rabbit.
#3 Dusun Bambu
Another family spot for leisure activity is Dusun Bambu or Bamboo Village. This draw creatively combines education, economy, ethnology, ethics, aesthetics, and entertainment aspects.
The site includes lodging with bamboo and wooden furniture. A beautiful lake is found right in front of its lodging which is best enjoyed using a small boat.
It also provides outing area or campsite complete with tents for kids, and parents. Besides playground for kids, the resort also serves culinary of Sundanese which you can enjoy from the side of the lake.
How to Get to Bandung
Here are several likely routes to get to Bandung.
Trip using plane can take 30 minutes from Jakarta. Bandung international airport, Husein Sastranegara, is regularly operated and can be accessed by Air Asia, Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Silk Air, and Wings Air.
The location is very close to Bandung’ downtown. Transportation available are taxi operated around the airportand online car (Gojek/Grab).
As taking taxi from the airport is very expensive, choose to walk down to the entrance and order online car for a reasonable price.
If you want to experience a scenic view along your trip to Bandung, bus is a good option.
Bus services from small to major big cities are available. Pick up a bus with air-conditioned facility for your convenient.
Bus service can be accessed from Bogor, Jakarta, Tangerang, Depok, Bekasi, and as far as Medan, and Bali. In normal day the trip can take up to 4 hours from Jakarta.
There are train frequent services of government from Jakarta or Surabaya to Bandung.
You can enjoy the scenery along the way to Bandung from Jakarta which is just awesome. It passes railroad, mountain, and rice terraces.
By Bandung Shuttle Providers
Another convenient option for public transportation is shuttle buses. The minivans include 6-12 seats and leave every 15 minutes up to 1 or 2 hours depends on the providers.
Some of them are 4848, DayTrans, Cipaganti, Star Shuttle, Baraya, Jackal Holiday, Silver Bird Van, X-Trans, and CitiTrans.
Since Cipularang toll road is built to connect Jakarta and Bandung, the travel is faster using car rather than train.
Unfortunately, in rainy season parts of this road is closed due to the landslides and traffic jams usually happen during the weekend near the exit in Terusan Pasteur.
Though is slower, alternative route from Jakarta that is enjoyable is via Puncak. You can stop by for a while to take picture or enjoy the view of tea plantation and high hills.
Restaurants and hotels are available around the area. Try to travel late at night from Jakarta so you’ll be able to see the breathtaking view of fogs presence among the highlands and sunrise.
Where to Stay in Bandung
Now here are some options of affordable yet delightful places to stay during your visit.
#1 Green Forest Resort
Set in the highland area of Lembang, the hotel offers a picturesque landscape.
The property consists of 6 deluxe suite cottages, and 16 new deluxe, and 16 superior rooms all of which made out of wood materials and equipped with private balconies.
It offers amenities such as a pool, kid’s playground, and outdoor activity such as horse riding, and hiking.
The chants of river, and singing birds can be enjoyed in the morning, make your stay more than just comfortable.
#2 Concordia Hotel
Built in a greenery area of Ciumbeluit, Concordia hotel offers its guest the serene comfort and convenience.
Its huge area features cozy rooms with a minibar, air-conditioning, and a refrigerator. The hotel also provides a fitness center, tennis court, game room, and playground for kids.
The outdoor-pool and on-site restaurant are other amenities you can enjoy. It is also located strategically near Bandung attractions such as Keraton Cliff and Bandung Institute of Technology/ITB.
#3 Art-Deco Luxury Hotel & Residence
Art-deco is located in the green area of Bandung with a luxury art deco model. The building offers 65 exclusive rooms in 9 stories comprise of air-conditioning and a minibar.
Revel in the sheer joy and relaxation of this lavish property that features rooftop-pool overlooking the beautiful mountains and Bandung scenery from above.
The hotel also offers fitness center, outdoor pool, massage, and bar/lounge.
Traveling to Bandung is like going back to the past with a time machine.
Its parts still narrate the legacy of the powerful, the unity of struggle in the past, the relations between locals and modern values, as well as the sheer delights its nature can offer to you.
Hopefully this article ignites your interest to travel to the City of Flower, where its beauty leaves you special memories. Tag those who also love enjoying Bandung with you.
To prepare for the budget, download Finansialku apps below to calculate easily.
- Admin. Bandung. Traveloka.com – https://bit.ly/2BvWhXr
- Admin. Bandung. Indonesia.travel – https://bit.ly/2Nt8tuR
- Cover – https://bit.ly/2NnDKiI
- Bandung 01 – https://bit.ly/31c5K0T
- Bandung 02 – https://bit.ly/3hROjbX
- Gedung Sate – https://bit.ly/3fUjFNf
- Gedung Merdeka – https://bit.ly/2BF3Xqc
- Braga – https://bit.ly/2BASsjI
- Pasar Baru – https://bit.ly/2NrtFRP
- Dago Cihampelas – https://bit.ly/3fLXFnI
- China Town – https://bit.ly/31dJEeA
- Selasar Sunaryo – https://bit.ly/3i1EUPc
- Rumah Guguk – https://bit.ly/2A0FUBV
- Bird and Bromelia Pavilion – https://bit.ly/3dvCeWc
- Dusun Bambu – https://bit.ly/31eb97E
- Green Forest Resort – https://bit.ly/2VgcSFF
- Concordia Hotel – https://bit.ly/3dvDTLq
- Art-Deco Luxury Hotel and Residence – https://bit.ly/2Vcrk1o