Things to do in Bandung, Indonesia
Indonesia – the mere mention of this country transports me to Bali’s wonderful beaches and villas, but that was all I knew about it then. Luckily, Trip of Wonders (a media familiarization trip composed of social media influencers organized by Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism) sent an invite to a nearly 2-week trip around their archipelago. Naturally, yes was an immediate response! After all, what better way is there to experience a country than through the eyes of its passionate and welcoming locals?
In this series, here are 5 select destinations you should consider for your visit, especially when traveling to this country for the first time.
First off is Bandung, the capital of West Java province, which happens to be the country’s 4th largest city. When you fly in from Manila, chances are that your port of entry would be its capital – Jakarta. From there, you can opt to take a connecting flight. But if time is on your side, why not take a train ride through its scenic countryside? That’s what we did.
What To Do in Bandung
Nuart Sculpture Park
Address: Jl. Setraduta Raya No L 6, Bandung, Jawa Barat 40151, Indonesia
Phone: +62 22 2017812
It’s 3-hectare sculpture park housing the collection of old and new under-construction artwork by celebrated artist Nyoman Nuarta, who is best known for works such as Garuda Wisnu Kencana in Bali. Some of them are placed outdoors, surrounded by all these towering trees, making up for a scenic sculpture park. Most works are made of copper, brass, and molten metal.
Nuarta’s journey with this craft was very inspiring. In fact, we were lucky to have him join us in the middle of our tour. He got to share his insights with us, including the many challenges he and his team encountered whilst creating art amidst conflicting ideals. When asked what his main inspiration is behind his passion, he quipped that his country’s problems are. And he hopes that his works of art can contribute to finding a solution to all that. When we got to his workshop for works that are currently under construction, I was blown away by their great attention to detail!
Book via Agoda
Address: Jl. Ir. H.Djuanda No.390, Dago, Coblong, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40135, Indonesia
Phone: +62 22 2500303
Modern, comfortable, and stylish would best capture this hotel where we stayed for 2 nights. A beautifully landscaped resort close to the main spots we were to visit the following day. Once you get out of your room, the fresh air and a view of the main pool at the center will greet you. The rooms are so spacious, their beds massive! Its interiors are both chic and refreshing with a good choice of turquoise palette, making it impossible not to want to take those extra few minutes to laze around, absorbing all the positive energy of the sunshine. You’re going to need more than just 2 nights during your stay.
Address: Taman Hutan Raya Juanda, Jalan Pakar Barat No.99, Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Djuanda, Ciburial, Cimenyan, Bandung, Jawa Barat 40135, Indonesia
Phone: +62 878-2414-0408
Making our way to this coffee shop, I was amazed to see how present its western influences are. Indonesia is, after all, a colony of the Dutch East Indies. Owing to its topography, Bandung has cooler temperatures year-round than most other Indonesian cities. So getting here actually reminds me of Baguio – the pine trees, the chilly weather, and even its lodges. Set in an intimate and charming log cabin with only a few coveted tables, cues started piling up shortly after we arrived mid-morning for some snacks.
Here I got to try out some of their famous snacks– cireng – fried flour dip with a sauce that is made of brown sugar, tamarind, and chili. Then there’s the banana fritters with cheese, sort of reminiscent of banana q in the Philippines.
Address: Jalan Kolonel Masturi KM. 11, Situ Lembang, Cisarua, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40551, Indonesia
Phone: +62 22 82782020
Here is where we had lunch that day. Rightly named “Bamboo Forest,” this eco-tourism leisure park has available its famous bird nest pods for rent on an hourly basis where you can dine in. Though more ideal for families with kids, you can still enjoy a leisurely walk through its bamboo-laden trail, lake, rice fields, and some flower gardens.
Saung Angklung Udjo
Address: Jl. Padasuka No.118, Pasirlayung, Cibeunying Kidul, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40192, Indonesia
Phone: +62 22 7271714
Built with the purpose of preserving Sundanese art and culture, the show truly knows how to capture its audience. What I thought was a typical folk show was more than just dance performances and musical instruments being played.
In the middle of the show, we were each given an angklung, a piece of musical instrument made out of bamboo. Each one of these produces a certain cord or tone, which, when shaken, produces varying sounds. When several players come together, they produce an orchestra of sounds. Led by the conductor’s varying hand signals, the hall was filled with sounds of a musical production made by no other than us, the audience. The final part of the show came in the form of an Angklung Orchestra that played an unexpected semi-jazz piece using these Angklung instruments. This was quite an experience. Definitely a cultural immersion and one of the main highlights for me!
Rumah Mode Factory Outlet
Address: Jl. Setiabudhi No.41, Pasteur, Sukajadi, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40143, Indonesia
Phone: +62 22 2035498
While I’m not so big on shopping, I was pleasantly delighted that this was part of our itinerary. Dropping by factory outlets doesn’t hurt so much if you could score some good finds on the side, specifically fashion wear, bags, and shoes. While you won’t find branded items here, you will be treated to cheap but quality items which you could use during your trip. I got a pair of colorful patterned skirts and a black maxi dress to add some feminine touch to my list of wardrobes (hehe)!
Vanilla Kitchen Restaurant
Address: Jl. Cimanuk No.11, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40115, Indonesia
Phone: +62 22 7276652
Being an artisan’s haven, Bandung does not fall short on its artsy vibes. Before leaving this place, we had lunch at Vanilla Kitchen Restaurant and got to check out its hip boutique store underneath. This place is a good hangout for the young people of Bandung, which fits right into our itinerary. Its interiors are dominated by bricked walls, and some graffiti is painted onto it, making it a perfect spot for Instagram photo-ops. Plus, they serve western dishes like pasta, steak, salad, pizza, and more!