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For decades, Bandung has successfully maintained the good balance between being a well-developed urban area and keeping its charming natural wonders along with the much-coveted cool breezy weather. Offering the best of both worlds, the seemingly impossible mixture has lured weary urbanites and intrigued tourists alike. Whether you come tired, hungry, bored, or curious, the best things to see and do in Bandung, Indonesia will cure your soul.
The abundance of factory outlets and clothing stores has made ‘Jeans Street’ an appropriate moniker for Cihampelas, Bandung. This shopping paradise is famed for its cheap but good-quality fashion products, including but not limited to jeans of any kind. Tourists can enjoy the convenience of walking around the neighborhood, entering one adjacent store after another until reaching the end of the street, with a bulging shopping bag and a big smile.
Bandung’s crisp mountain air provides a perfect atmosphere to dip in a hot water pool, observe the beautiful surrounding jungles, be idle for a while, and just enjoy yourself. Ciater area is graced with hot springs gushing from Mount Tangkuban Perahu that are believed to have healing power, or at least a super-relaxing force. Tourists can opt to submerge in a luxe resort pool, an affordable public bath, or anything in between.
In Bandung, a plate of meal often comes with a unique creative architecture, a mighty nature view, well-decorated interiors, and an elaborate concept of service. The city has grown to be a paradise for enthusiastic foodies who yearn for good food and a distinctive dining experience. From the big ship-shaped restaurant of Pinisi Resto to the panoramic Lereng Anteng, a birdcage-like dining setting at Dusun Bambu to an actual tree house at TreeHouse Cafe, the choices are endless.
Pinisi Resto, Patengan, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, +62 821 8002 8888
Dusun Bambu, Kertawangi, West Bandung Regency, West Java, Indonesia, +62 22 82782020
Bandung’s lively art scene is best reflected through stylish and modern art galleries mushrooming in different parts of town. Bandung art galleries are never short of works to showcase, as there are always new and rising young artists to add to the senior ones. Head to Lawangwangi to enjoy contemporary paintings and installations in between tasty bites of snacks with a mesmerizing jungle view, or to Selasar Sunaryo for a wide selection of visual arts from crafts, films, and architecture.
Among its many nicknames, Bandung has also been lovingly called “Paris van Java”, or “The Paris of Java”. Reputedly, it was the Dutch colonials that first coined that endearment, due to Bandung’s advanced art and cultural scene, exquisite nature and other geographical similarities they observed. The Dutch’s obsession with Bandung has inspired them to build the town up, with European-style buildings that sustain European lifestyle. Braga Street is one of the Dutch’s charming architectural heritage, now bustling with restaurants, bars, and cafés.
The white-to-turquoise body of water, scattered skeleton of trees and soaring mist adds up to a mystical but mesmerizing natural attraction that has enthralled many. Strangely enough, the color of the crater’s surface changes with weather conditions and sulphuric contents. The otherworldly atmosphere is also intensified by the quiet surroundings and cold breeze, making a trip to the White Crater unforgettable.
Being a popular weekend destination for urbanites from Jakarta, many establishments successfully blend Bandung’s natural charms with comfort and luxury. Immersing yourself in nature shouldn’t be at all tough, thanks to glamping sites that can offer you nature’s beauty in a silver platter. For a comfortable yet adventurous stay with a gorgeous view, try the famous Legok Kondang in the exotic hills of Ciwidey or Dusun Bambu Leisure Park’s Sayang Heulang camping site.
Glamping Legok Kondang Lodge, Lebakmuncang, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, +62 857 9555 5666
Even in the middle of the raw natural magnetism of Bandung, don’t miss out on the equally beautiful cultural aspect. Saung Angklung Udjo or the Udjo’s House of Angklung is a one-stop cultural workshop to learn about the Sundanese traditional musical instrument angklung, watch cultural performances, and enjoy a traditional dining experience.
Bandung is not short of great restaurants and cafés to visit, but for a more authentic and local-like dining experience, turn to the street food scene. A trip to Bandung is not complete without a plate of siomay or batagor, traditional stewed and fried dumplings with peanut sauce. Head to Riau Street to find vendors lining up with various tempting choices of street food.