What comes in mind when you hear ‘Bandung’? I don’t recall knowing anything about Bandung before travelling there myself. The common travel destinations in Indonesia known to tourist are Bali, Gili Islands and Lombok. Bandung is located in the Java Island approximately 4 hours train ride from Jakarta, the second largest metropolitan area in Indonesia, and the third largest city by population. There are many ways to get into Bandung but I decided to fly in to Husein Sastranegara International Airport (Bandung Airport) directly from Kuala Lumpur.
Unlike places like Bali which are populated by tourists, Bandung is not a well-known tourists destination in Indonesia. Thus, you do not see tourists flooding the place which is an ideal place to experience the authenticity of Indonesia.
If you are travelling down to Bandung, here is a list of places you must visit:
Kawah Putih (White Crater)
Kawah Putih is located near a town called Ciwidey which is situated approximately 50 kilometres south of Bandung. It is located 2430 metres above sea level making the place slightly chilly. The journey from Bandung to Ciwidey town itself is pretty chilly so be sure to bring your sweater along. The view of Kawah Putih is just amazing with lots of soon to be married couple heading there for a lovely photo shoot.
What makes the lake amazing is the colour of the lake which changes depending on the sulphur concentration and temperature of the surrounding. Depending on those factors, the highly acidic lake changes colour from bluish, whitish green or brown. Most of the time, you would probably witness the lake in its whitish green state. Thus, the name ‘White Crater’.
The place itself is pretty dormant with nothing much to do but the view is amazing making it a must go destination. Photos, photos and photos!!! That itself justify why you must visit Kawah Putih. I stayed there for 30 minutes taking countless shots of the amazing place.
The entrance fee was IDR65,000 (USD4.87/RM21.70) at the time when I was there inclusive of the 10-15 minutes jeep ride up to the crater.
I would say this is more of a hot spring destination. Not the best hot spring you can find but a pretty decent one. It is located nearby Kawah Putih so it will be worth a quick stop by. I would say the view is great but the water was almost dried up when I was there. But nevertheless, it was still worth a quick visit.
Even if you do not plan to get into the water for a dip, a quick leg dip is good especially when the weather is so cooling. I paid IDR30,000 (USD 2.25/RM10) for the entrance ticket.
Along your way to Kawah Putih, you will be surrounded by tea plantations with a magnificent scenery. The lush green terrace plantation complement by the cold weather is just breathtaking, pretty similar to Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.
Dine at Sate Maulana Yusuf
Unlike other blog that would recommend overly priced cafe in Bandung or fine dining spot, Maulana Yusuf is a place you MUST go. It was a place recommended by a friend I met in Bandung and believe me, the food is so good.
They serve lots of other food like Gado Gado, and other local cuisine but they have the best chicken sate in town. They do serve beef and lamb sate too but I would say the chicken is their best. Okay, it would be unfair for me to judge since i am not a huge fan of beef and lamb. The peanut sauce which is a perfect combination to the sate. Awesome flavor to the sate. As the place is not a touristy place, the food is reasonably priced as well.
Address: Jl. Maulana Yusuf No.21, Citarum, Bandung Wetan, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40116, Indonesia
Explore Bandung City
Bandung was formerly a Dutch colony and the amazing thing to witness is the architecture which were previously constructed. You may want to plan a day just exploring the city. The best way to travel around the city is by foot, Go-jek (taxi bike), Uber or Angkot (mini van that operates like a bus). Here are things you need to see when you are there:
- Gedung Sate (Bandung Governor’s Building)
- Pasar Baru
A must go place to buy batik and other local products
- Grand Mosque of Bandung
- Gedung Merdeka
This is an art-deco building in Asian African Street which serves as a museum displaying collections and photographs of the Asian–African Conference that was held in 1955. The entrance is free and there is a free guide which will be more than happy to bring you around the museum.
- Alun Alun Bandung
- Braga Street
- Asia Africa Street
You will most likely walked pass this street as most of the historic building is located here. As Bandung was formerly a Dutch colony, there is a European style vibe along the street.
- Bandung Institute of Technology
If you are interested in checking out the university in Bandung, this is a good place you can visit. The campus architecture is amazing and definitely a good place to check out Indonesia’s local university life.
Shop till you drop
Bandung is the shopping heaven of Indonesia, so be sure to check out these few shopping spot while you are there. They are not located close to each other (not too far apart as well) but you can easily get there.
- Cihampelas Walk
Cihampelas walk is a shopping mall in Bandung, a good place to chill after a long walk. There are lots of mini stalls along the road to Cihampelas walk so be sure to check it out while you are there.
- The Secret (Jalan Riau)
- Heritage & Cascade(Jalan Riau)
Heritage & Cascade is located along Jalan Riau, along with The Secret factory outlet. Cascade has a well-organized layout with floor segregation for guys and ladies clothing. They sell basically everything from household product, at & craft, local products and many more.
How long should you stay in Bandung
Bandung is an interesting place to travel but most of the attractions are located out of Bandung City itself, which can be costly to visit (transport cost). Don’t expect anything much from the city itself apart from shopping and visiting historical buildings.
I would recommend a 3 days trip (packed itinerary) to 4 days trip (slightly chill itinerary). You can spend 1 day exploring the city and another day heading to Ciwidey visiting Kawah Putih, Kawah Rengganis, Situ Pattengang & etc. If you have some extra time, you might want to consider visiting Tangkuban Perahu which is a lovely place but expect to pay a very high markup entrance ticket of IDR 200k (USD15 or RM67).
I stayed at Pinisi Backpackers while traveling Banding. You can read my review of the place here.
How to get around Bandung:
Short distance travel:
Here are some of the alternatives to get around on a short distance journey:
- Gojek: Gojek is an app for the taxi bike in Indonesia. You will need to install the app before. If you are wondering how it works, think Uber for motorcycle. One of the easiest way to travel. All you need to do is download the app. The cool part about Gojek is that you are able to see the estimated fare in advance.
- Walk by foot.
- Uber. Uber works exactly the same as Gojek. The only difference is you will be transported in a car instead of a bike. Here is a referral link to sign up. You will get free credits upon signing up if you sign up with this link: Uber
- Angkot, which is a short form of Angkutan Kota. Angkot is a mini van like public transport which is commonly used to move around in Bandung. There are lots of Angkot around but bear in mind that each angkot has a different travel route, so check with the driver if they are heading to your destination. Price range from IDR3000 (USD0.22/RM1) to IDR10000 (USD0.75/RM3.33) depending on your travel distance.
Long Distance Travel
Long distance travel involves the journey to attractions located away from the city centre. Places like Kawah Putih and Tangkuban Perahu. Here are some alternatives of travelling there:
- Expensive Way: Hire a personal driver for the entire day which will cost you around IDR450k (USD33.70/RM150). Do check if the petrol and the food for the driver are inclusive as well. Most of the time, you will have to pay for their meals.
- Reasonable Way: Get a taxi-bike which is a personal motorbike driver for the whole day that will drive you everywhere you go. I paid IDR210k (USD15.73/RM70) as I would want to avoid the hectic traffic. The driver literally serve as your intermediary between you and the people around, ensuring that you do not get conned.
- Cheap Way: Rent a motorbike for IDR50,000 to IDR60,000 for the entire day but bear in mind that the traffic is crazy in Bandung so be sure that you can drive well before renting a bike. Although it is slightly better compare to Jakarta, it is indeed still a crazy place. If i were to travel there again, I would probably rent a motorbike.
- Cheapest Way: Travel there by public transport. I did a lot of research and was planning to travel there by public transport initially but I would not recommend this as the journey there itself is pretty far and it gets inconvenient to travel from one place to another. You would only spend about IDR20k to get there but again, very inconvenient.