In the past, only Jakartans understood Bandung Indonesia, its hilly, volcanic terrain; its cool breezes; along with its improbably inexpensive clothing outlet stores. Now the rest of the planet is in on it as well. Not that there’s anything wrong with that: the hills and craters surrounding this serene Indonesian city hold a few surprises, from a Sundanese culture series to two steaming volcanic craters into some romantic dining destination overlooking the slopes.
To the Dutch colonizers, Bandung offered exactly what stuffy, Jalan Braga became Bandung’s high road, it is Art Deco buildings and tree-shaded sidewalks helping make the town new nickname: “the Paris of Java”. It’s a joy to research, though: artists exhibit their works on the sidewalk, and you’re able to pop into one of several visual thrift storefronts to see anything from authentic Sundanese food to artisanal souvenirs.
Saung Angklung Udjo
Saung Angklung Udjo (SAU) places on a show every afternoon that focuses on West Java Sundanese culture, expressed most musically from the musical instrument called the angklung. Children and teens sporting Sundanese and other Indonesian conventional attire lead SAU’s series, performing angklung versions of pop tunes such as Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World” and Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, then moving to a whirlwind introduction of Indonesia’s numerous cultures through dance.
Dusun Bambu Park
The Sundanese do magical things with bamboo, and the bamboo statue of a spiked hedgehog outside Dusun Bambu Family Leisure Park merely signals in the locals’ masterful touch with indigenous materials. This 15-hectare park is a sprawling park inspired by the interplay involving Sundanese and Western cultures. The gardens operate together with the hilly Burangrang Mountain landscape, gently descending down a slope to some yearlong lake with a point in the centre. You’ll find contemporary and traditional artists shooting turns before performing their collections.
The Lodge Maribaya
The very ideal way to determine Bandung’s highlands is by even higher up – such as, for example, on a bicycle suspended to a high-wire, involving Lembang’s green forest cover along with the blue skies. The Lodge Maribaya creates the most from the forested, mountainous terrain, with skies swings and trekking trails. Admission into the Lodge Maribaya prices IDR 15,000 (US$1) per person on weekdays, and IDR 25,000 (US$1.80) on weekends. Added ticket purchases required for your Lodge Maribaya’s distinct pursuits.
The slopes of Bandung were once part of a 13,000-foot-high mega volcano called Mount Sunda. Scientists think that a gigantic eruption about 55,000 years past collapsed Mount Sunda’s caldera – small is left of that volcano now, except for some few simmering outlets like Tangkuban Perahu, located about 15 kilometres north of the Bandung city centre. The largest crater in the Tangkuban Perahu area – Kawah Ratu – looks like a large bowl rimmed with a pathway along with scrubby, undernourished vegetation.
The ash around the shallow crater lake is hardly white, actually more of a pale colour of blue-green. And the acidic water is hardly conducive to swimming: you’re not working on firm sand, after all, however earth that gives way to the green mud as you get closer to the shore. Luckily the rest of Ciwidey close Kawah Putih provides a more pleasant highland encounter, with glamping, deer feeding, lake cruising and a waterpark to your pleasure.
Do not overlook the mountain perspectives on Bandung, especially in the evenings. Drop by the Peak, a posh restaurant which stands at the crest of a mountain in Karyawangi Village close to Bandung, overlooking the city and nearby mountains. The magnificent mountain breezes go perfectly well with the Peak’s Western-inspired menu along with its nearly bottomless wine record. They claim to have the very best wine collection in Bandung.
Bandung’s Outlet Stores
Bandung’s outlet stores are clustered around three important roads: Jalan Setiabudi, Jalan Riau and Jalan Juanda. You will need to hunt through the heaps of stores in these locations for just the ideal deal, but you’ll find it nonetheless given the large inventory. Fakes abound, though, so caveat emptor: the 80 percent markdown on this Ralph Lauren shirt may be too good to be true.
Ready to start your getaway to Bandung? Visit Wonderful Indonesia, and don’t miss out on the magic!