Bandung is a city in West Java, Indonesia. Bandung is a highland city (altitude 768m) knowns for its many universities, textile industry and many roadside cafes. Called Parijs van Java (Paris of Java) by the Dutch, its high altitude location makes the weather pleasantly cool. Bandung has a nickname as kota kembang, literally means the flower city, since the colonial era. However the flower city name is a misinterpreted by many, as the flower is actually meant to be a girl, because of beautiful girls from Bandung. The food in Bandung are also well known for their wide varieties and taste. Many tourists from Jakarta visit Bandung during weekend and national holidays, when it can get quite crowded.
The head of government in the city of Bandung is a major ("walikota"). There are 26 districts in Bandung.
'Bandung Regency"/"Kabupaten Bandung" is the suburbs of Bandung. The head of government in Bandung Regency is a regent ("Bupati"). There are 45 districts in Bandung Regency.
The population of the city of Bandung in 2005 is 2,771,138 people. The area is 168 sq. km. The population density is 16,494 people/sq. km.
Map of Bandung. Click for larger version.
Gedung Sate in 1950, a landmark of Bandung since 1930.
Although the oldest reference to the city dates back to 1488 , there are numerous archaeological findings of Australopithecus or Java Man that had lived in the banks of Cikapundung river and at the shore of The Great Lake of Bandung. In the 17th-18th century, the Dutch East Indies company (VOC), ruler of the Dutch East Indies colonies made small plantation area in the fertile and prosperous Bandung area. A road between Batavia, former name of Jakarta, to Bandung was built in 1786.
In 1809, Louis Napoleon, the ruler of the Netherlands and its colonies, ordered the Dutch Indies Governor H.W. Daendels to increase the defense system of Java island against British from the Malaysian peninsula. Daendels built the great post road, stretch about 1000km from the west coast to the east cost of Java. Since the northern part of West Java at that time was only swamp and marsh, the road was diverted through Bandung. The Great Postweg (now Jalan Asia-Afrika) was built in Bandung and because Bandung lowland, that is surrounded by mountains, is strategically advantegous for military defense, Daendels ordered the capital to move from Batavia to Bandung.
Military barracks were built and Bupati Wiranatakusumah II, the chief administrator of that area, built his dalem (palace), Masjid Agung (the grand mosque) and pendopo (meeting place) in the usual orientation of classical alun-alun (city square) orientation near a pair of holy city wells (Sumur Bandung). The pendopo has an interesting position that faces mystical Tangkuban Perahu mountain. Now, alun-alun has changed dramatically into a major shopping center area.
By the influence of major plantations (cinchona or kina, grown for its malaria-treating quinine, as well as tea and coffee) in the highland areas surrounding Bandung in the 19th century, Bandung has developed itself into an exclusive European resort style with hotels, cafes and shops. The Preanger Hotel and Savoy Homann are the two major art-deco style hotels. Jalan Braga was famous with European exclusive shops and cafes and became the famous promenade street in Bandung. The Concordia Society, now Gedung Merdeka, was built with a large ball room as a club for rich Europeans at the weekends.
Pasopati bridge flyover, a new landmark of Bandung.
In 1880, the first major railroad between Jakarta to Bandung was developed. It gave a high boost of light industry in Bandung. Chinese who had never lived in that area before flocked in to help run the facilities, services and vendor machines. Small old chinatown district in Bandung can still be recognized in the vicinity of the railroad station.
"Technische Hogeschool" (TH) was established on July 3, 1920. One of the alumni of TH is Ir. Soekarno, who became the first president of Indonesia. Later TH was renamed as "Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB)".
In 1942, after Japanese soldiers landed in coastal areas of Java, Dutch retreated from Jakarta to Bandung. Because of bombing by Japanese planes, Dutch retreated to Subang and Bandung was declared an open city. Finally Dutch surrender to Japan at Kalijati airport (Subang) on March 8, 1942.
On March 24, 1946, during the struggle for Indonesian Independence, the city of Bandung was burned down by its own residence ("Bandung Lautan Api"). More than 200 thousand people left the city. The famous "Halo halo Bandung" song is inspired by this heroic event.
In 1955, "Asia Pacific Summit" ("Konperensi Asia Afrika") was held in Bandung. The meeting was a preparation for the establishment of "Non Alignment movement" on September 1961.
From 1955 to 1959, Indonesian parliament was moved to Bandung. In 1966, the parliament moved back to Jakarta.
Now, Bandung has growth more than its city core with the Bandung Raya plan. Traffic in Bandung is infamous with its complex, congested and chaotic nature. The city core is practically uprooted, old faces are torn down, lot sizes regrouped, and what was idyllic residence is now bustling chain supermarkets and rich banks. However, Bandung still has its charm to attract people, esp. from Jakarta, to come during the weekends. From various and unique food to eat while watching the cityview from the hillside to the hip youngsters pack in the major Jalan Dago area during the Saturday night fiesta, Bandung becomes the major tourist destination in Indonesia.
Map of Bandung in detail.
Bandung is not a major hub city. The easiest way to go to Bandung is via Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. Unlike most cities in Indonesia that lie on the sea shore, Bandung is practically a basin in the middle of the island, surrounded by a ring of mountains. However, getting to Bandung is easy and it can be quite a rewarding experience to see the beautiful view of Parahyangan mountains.
Though it is the fastest way to go to Bandung, it is not always the most convenient way. Since the Bandung valley is really surrounded by mountains, landing and take-off from the small and only airport, Hussein Sastranegara (BDO), is quite challenging for most pilots. When the weather is bad, it is sometime difficult to make landing or take-off. Also because of this unique area, the airport can only serve medium size airplanes (up to 40 passengers). There is an airforce base next to the airport. The airport is also used by PT Dirgantara Indonesia (DI), an airplane manufacturer. If you charter helicopters/small planes from Jakarta, you can request (in advance) permission to land at Hussein Sastranegara airport. Hussein Sastranegara airport is located at the end of Pajajaran Street, 4 km from the centre of the city. A taxi costs approximately $US1. Use the safe "Airforce Cooperative" taxi from Hussein Sastranegara Airport to the hotels/centre of the city (fixed price). Most hotels provide free airport transfer service. Tell them about your flight number, time and date of arrival.
Deraya Air Service: daily flights from Jakarta (Halim Perdanakusuma airport) to Bandung.
Bandung is two hours away from Jakarta by car, thanks to the new Cipularang Toll road that completes the inter-city highway between Jakarta and Bandung. It is now faster to travel to Bandung by car than by train from Jakarta.
Silver Bird Van, (Blue Bird Group), Jl. Mampang Prapatan Raya 60, South Jakarta. Tel.: (62)(21) 798 1234. Price: Rp750.000, plus toll fee Rp40.000.
4848. Jl Prapatan 34, Jakarta 10410. Tel.: (62)(21) 381 4488, (62)(21) 386 4848. The service is great, reliable and safe. Price: approx. US$ 25/car (4 persons).
X-Trans, Jl. Blora 1 AB, Central Jakarta, Tel.: (62)(21) 315 0555. Price: approx. US$ 55/car (10 persons).
During rainy season, parts of Cipularang Toll road may be closed because of landslides. On weekend, traffic jam occured near the toll gates in Djunjunan / terusan Pasteur area (Bandung).
One alternative route is by the slower, but enjoyable, route from Jakarta - Puncak - Cianjur - Bandung. If you travel by car using this route, then make sure to stop at the Puncak Pass, the tip of the highland just on the outskirts of Jakarta. From here, the view of tea plantation with fresh air can be enjoyed. There are plenty of good restaurants and hotels out there.
There is also a beautiful safari park/zoo in Puncak: Taman Safari Indonesia, Jl. Raya Puncak No.601, Cisarua, Bogor 16750. Tel.: (62)(251) 250 000, Fax.: (62)(251) 250 555. Website: Taman Safari.
Bus services connect Bandung and smaller surrounding cities. Several long-route buses are also available from major big cities. The most convenient way is the air-conditioned bus with the express or non-stop tag. The main bus terminals in Bandung are Leuwipanjang, serving buses from the west (Bogor, Jakarta, etc.) and Cicaheum, serving buses from the east (Cirebon and eastern Java cities).
There is a Primajasa shuttle bus service from Soekarno Hatta International airport to Bandung Super Mall (Jl. Gatot Soebroto 289). The trip will take approx. 3 hours and the cost is approx. US$ 6.50/person. Schedule: every hour from 08.00 AM to 09.00 PM. PT Primajasa Perdayana Utama. Jl Mayjen Sutoyo 32, Jakarta 13630. Tel.: (62)(21) 8009545. Jl Soekarno Hatta Psr Caringin 62. Bandung. Tel.: (62)(22)6073992.
PT Kereta Api Indonesia , a state-owned company, is the only company who manages railways and train services in Indonesia. The scenery between Jakarta and Bandung is beautiful. The railroad passes mountains and padi terraces. Don't miss this view when traveling by train. Use the AC (air-conditioned) coach if you cannot cope with the tropical heat. Most hotels in Bandung provide free transportation from train station to the hotel. Tell them about the schedule.
Duration is total duration from end to end station.
Some tips on using angkot:
There is no uniform color, but each route has the same color, even the same model of minibus.
Usually an angkot is a modified ordinary minibus. The 10 seat minibus becomes 18 seats. This is possible by lining passengers side by side. It might be a bit awkward for the first-time users.
Don't be nervous about touching other passengers,; the cramped seating often makes it unavoidable.
To stop, just shout 'kiri !!' (pron: kee-ree), translated left in English. It is a request for the driver to pull aside to the left.
Payment is by direct cash only, but preferably in small denominations. An average single trip fare costs Rp2.000 ~ Rp5.000
The door is typically removed, so don't be scared if it is missing.
Request an angkot to stop.
Travelling around in Bandung is quite complex and frustrating, especially to newcomers. There is no mass rapid transit system, metro nor tram in Bandung. Locals travel using small public minibuses, known as angkot from angkutan=transport and kota=city.
This city transport has only origin and destination names on top. Sometimes with via description if there are more than one angkot route for a certain origin-destination route. There is no route description anywhere. For locals, it is somewhat amazing that they only memorize where and how the route of each angkot route.
Although there is an official price for angkot from organda (the local organization of these private city transport), sometimes price is based on how far you travel. It's better that you ask the driver or kernet (driver assistance) about the price to go to a location. To ask for an angkot to stop, just raise your hand and they will stop. When you're inside and want to stop, just ask the kernet to stop. Occasionally there is a bell that you can press to stop.
If you don't know which angkot routes to take, then you can take a taxi. Taxis use meters, officially, but some taxi drivers may refuse to use meters and will charge you a fixed price instead. Even metered cabbies may take you the long way to get more money. So be careful when travelling by taxi. The best taxi in Bandung is Blue Bird.
List of taxi companies in Bandung:
4848, Jl Suniaraja Tmr 39, Bndung 40111. Tel.: (62)(22) 4234848. Reliable, good service on Bandung to Jakarta route.
Bandung Raya, Jl Dr Setiabudi 177, Bandung 40153. Tel.: (62)(22) 201 4018.
Blue Bird, Jl Ters Buah Batu 194, Bandung 40286, Tel.: (62)(22) 7561234. Good reputation and reliable.
Centris Taxi, Jl Soekarno Hatta 606-A, Bandung 40235. Tel.: (62)(22) 7512100. Branch of Centris Taxi company in Jakarta.
Gemah Ripah, Tel.: (62)(22) 4217070. Second choice after Blue Bird.
Kota Kembang, Jl Kiaracondong 338, Bandung 40275. Tel.: (62)(22) 7312312.
There are also some bus lines, but they don't cover the whole city. City buses usually cover long routes across the city from end-to-end; for example, from the north to the south and from the west to the east. The city bus is called DAMRI.
Using your own car or renting a car is probabably the easiest and the most convenient way to travel around Bandung and surrounds. If you don't have a valid driving licence, then you can also rent a car with a chauffeur, which is very common for western travellers. Perhaps it is even better to rent a car from Jakarta. You can stop for one night in Puncak, Bogor or Sukabumi.
World-wide Car Rental companies are now available in major cities in Indonesia:
EuropCar Rental in Bandung (also in Jakarta and Semarang) Location: Bandung Airport (Hussein Sastranegara Airport). Tel: +62 (22) 6015871
Dirgantara, Jl Lamping 7, Bandung 40131. Tel.: (62)(22) 2035050.
Lysan, Kompl Mitra Dago Parahyangan Bl I/11, Bandung. Tel.: (62)(22) 7217070.
Note that traffic in Bandung is so complex and the city administration likes to make experiments about the traffic. There are lack of traffic signs and directions. Most major roads are one-way, which makes it difficult to turn around if you are lost. Becareful to enter a street that it might be a one-way street from the opposite direction and there is no no-entry sign. Then, there is a police hiding somewhere and at once he will pop up instantly to stop you, which finally you will have to pay him some money.
In the late 18th and early 19th century, as locals called it the bandoeng tempoe doeloe (old Bandung) era, there were many buildings built with an art-deco style. The city that had served as a weekend resort for European richmen has made these type of buildings possible. Unfortunately the city administration has a tendency to create a modern look of the city with suspension bridge, banks, malls and commercial areas, instead of preserving old historical buildings. The non-profit organization Bandung Heritage Society has been formed recently to save these jewels forever.
Who is C.P.W. Schoemaker?
Born in Ambarawa (Central Java) in 1882, Schoemaker has been renowned as the father of Bandung Art-Deco architectural style. He is famous for blending modern European architecture, but closely related to the tropical surroundings. This blending of ancient decorative elements and modern architectural features has made him the best Indonesian architect at that time. He later became a professor at the Institute Technology Bandung. Among of his student is ir. Soekarno, the first president of the Republic of Indonesia. He died in 1949 in the city that he loved and buried at the Pandu cemetery, Bandung.
When visiting Bandung, don't forget to visit his residence at Jl. Sawunggaling 2, where its heroic renovation has been awarded by UNESCO.
His artworks include: Gedung Merdeka, Villa Isola, facade of the Grand Preanger Hotel, Cipaganti mosque, Cathedral at Jl. Merdeka, Church at Jl. Wastukencana, the Majestic theater, Gedung PLN, Landmark building at Jl. Braga, etc.
Make sure you see these buildings before they're gone.
Villa Isola, Jl. Dr. Setiabudhi 229. Architect: C.P.W. Schoemaker. Built in 1932 for an Italian millioner D.W. Berretty as a villa. It lies in the northern part of Bandung, overlooking the city to south and the Tangkuban Perahu mountain to the north. Villa Isola and its 2 gardens have a magnificent design by its architect, combining the unique landscape and the Indo-European architectural style. This monumental art was later used for a hotel, named Hotel de Luxe. Now it serves as UPI's (University of Education Indonesia) headmastership building.
Gedung Merdeka, Jl. Asia-Afrika 65 (near alun-alun or city square). Architect: Van Gallen Last and C.P.W Schoemaker. Built in 1895 for a club house for rich people, named the Concordia Society. In 1955, this building was famous as the first Asian-African conference venue. Now it is a museum for that conference.
Savoy Homann Hotel, Jl. Asia-Afrika 112, (+62)-22-4232244. it was built in 1880, renovated in 1938 by a Dutch architect A.F. Aabers with an art-deco style as it is seen today. It still serves a hotel until now. The King and Queen of Siam, The Prince and Queen of Belgium, The Governor General of Indo-China, The Duchess of Westminster and even Charles Chaplin had stayed there three times. You can also still stay in this hotel and enjoying the old colonial time.
Grand Hotel Preanger, Jl. Asia-Afrika 81. It has two sides: the old facade and the modern wing side. The old facade has an interesting story, as C.P.W. Schoemaker designed the art-deco style that is blended with local culture. It was a controversial issue at that time, but that gives a unique style.
Gedung Sate, Bandung.
Gedung Sate, Jl. Diponegoro. Architect: J. Gerber, built in 1921. It was used as the head of the Dutch Indies Government Companies. The roof has a decoration of a popular satay food as now it is famous for the name, though it was not meant to be like that. In fact, it is a 6 ornaments, symbolizing 6 million guldens, the cost of the building. Now, the complex is the office of West Java governor and the local provincial house of representatives. Interesingly, this building mixes different architectural styles: Spanish moorish style for the windows, Italian reinaissance for the overal building, and between Balinese pura & Thai's pagoda for the roof. The facade faces directly to the Mt. Tangkubanperahu. The building is open for public, and at the end of the journey inside, you can sip a nice hot bajigur drink while watching the city view from the top floor.
Cipaganti Mosque, Jl. Cipaganti. Architect: C.P.W. Schoemaker, built in 1933. It was the only mosque that was built in the European residential area in the northern part of Bandung. The central facade still has the original design, but the mosque has been expanded to both of its side.
ITB West and East Hall (Aula Barat & Timur ITB), Jl. Ganesha 10. ITB is Institute Technology Bandung, the oldest institute of technology in Indonesia. It was built in 1918 by the architect Maclaine Pont. The most prominent Dutch East Indian architecture is the West and East Hall of this insitute, where a West Sumatran style of architecture was used.
Art & Science
Bandung has been the melting point between the local Sundanese culture with the high-end technology developed at the Institute Technology Bandung. There are some interesting places to visit:
Saung Angklung Udjo. Angklung is a traditional South-East Asian musical instrument, made by bamboo. Udjo Nalagena, a famous angklung artist, created an Angklung House in the outskirt of Bandung, where angklung is made, learned and played. You can enjoy an angklung orchestra played by 12 year old or less children or even be a part of this orchestra, holding one of the angklung instrument. The place is in the middle of padi terrace and bamboo field, a perfect location to feel the relaxness of a small village. It is one of the famous travel destination among westerners and is highly recommended. Location: Jl. Padasuka 118, around 7km from Bandung. How to get there: The easiest way is to rent a car to go there or ask your travel agent if there is a program to visit this place.
Bosscha Observatorium, built in 1923 by Nederlandsch-Indische Sterrekundige Vereeniging (Assoc. of Dutch-Indies Astronomers) is the only observatorium in Indonesia. It lies in Lembang, a small suburb city in the northern part of Bandung. It is now part of the Dept. of Astronomy, Institute Technology Bandung. Location: Jl. Peneropongan Bintang, Lembang 40391. Tel: (+62) 22-2786001. E-mail: administration[at]as.itb.ac.id To visit there, ask the department administration first for a reservation. Some visiting notes:
Reservation must be made 1 month before.
Bosscha is closed on national holidays, Sunday and Monday.
Day visit at 9:00, 12:00 (except Friday at 13:00) and 15:00.
Public night (17:00-19:30), between April-October, with some presentations and demos. Ask there for a specific date as this public night is open at the 7th & 8th of the lunar month.
Special visit can be arranged and subject to their avaibility.
Bandung Geological Museum.
Geological Museum, houses 250.000 rocks and mineral collection, and 60.000 fossils. There are 3 major rooms in the museums: the geology of Indonesia, the history of life and the geology of human life. The building itself has an art-deco style, built in 1928 by a Dutch architect Wnalda van Scholtwenburg. Location: Jl. Diponegoro 57, Bandung. (near Gedung Sate complex). Tel: (+62)-22-7203205. Visiting time: every day 09:00-15:00 except Friday.
There are many activities that you can do in the city or outside the city. As Bandung highland is surrounded by a string of mountains, activities in the outskirt of the city are mainly mountain resorts, adventures and outdoor sports. In the city, you can have culinary activities (see the Eat section) as there are so many food varieties, shoppings with many clothing outlets and distros (see the Buy section) or just hanging around.
Saturday Night at Jalan Dago. Every saturday night, teenagers and youngsters are hanging around at Jalan Dago. The street stretches from Holiday Inn Hotel in the south and a few blocks to the north until Simpang Dago. The street is crowded with modified cars with loud music. Don't bring your own car if you don't want to get stuck in a traffic jam. Just walk and watch these hip-hop youngsters. There are some cafes and chic restaurants in the street that you can sit in. Don't forget to buy some grilled sweet or hot-chili corn that is sold at the street stalls. The party usually lasts until midnight.
Sunday Morning at Gasibu Park. After having a party on saturday night, wake up very early in the morning around 5-7am. Go to Gasibu park at the front of the Gedung Sate complex and wear your sportswear. At the park, you can go jogging and do some stretching, and after you finish, food stalls are already waiting for you with a lot of food varieties. My favourites are dim sum ceker (a chicken foot cooked like a dim sum) and nasi liwet (a rice cooked with coconut milk and served with chicken and other vegetables). Very yummy. In the walking distance, there is a famous yoghurt drink cafe with a nice and relaxing setting at Jl Cisangkuy.
Lembang trip. A trip to the north of Bandung cannot be missed. Rent a car and start to go at the very early in the morning to Lembang, an uphill resort city.
On the way to Lembang, you can make a sidetrip to Bosscha, the only observatorium in Indonesia. Please make sure you have made a reservation and take a note on its opening hours.
Continue your journey to Lembang and stop at one of the food stall that sells fresh milk. You can drink fresh milk with many flavours. The milk is really fresh.
Go to the Mt. Tangkuban Perahu. Go circling around Kawah Ratu (Queen's crater) to see the volcanic activity closely. There are other craters: Kawah Upas and Kawah Domas. Beware of the tourist hawkers who sell many things at unreasonably expensive prices.
Continue the journey to Sari Ater, a hot water spring complex. On the way, there is a good Sundanese restaurant, named Sindang Reret, that you can stop by for your lunch.
Sari Ater is a resort with natural hot water spring pools, some recreation parks and healthy spas. Stay overnight and have a good dinner at their restaurant.
On the way back to Bandung, take a stop at a street food stall and have some grilled 'sweet corns or grilled ketan (sticky rice) while enjoying the view of the tea plantation.
Alun-alun Bandung or city square. Alun-alun is the classical central core of the democratic city in Indonesia, since the 15th century. It is typically a square of grass field with 4 sides are the city major residence, pendopo (a place to meet between citizens and the government), a mosque and a prison. The grand mosque is still visible, though it has been renovated 7 times. Now, it has undergone a major renovation and expansion with two 81 m high minarets and a Taj Mahal interior design. The pendopo is also still there, behind a high wall. The prison has been transformed into a mall with one block is preserved as a museum, a cell block where Soekarno, the first president of Indonesia, spent some time in there. The major transition is that now alun-alun serves as an entertainment park, where shopping mall buildings are surrounding the square.
Bandung Zoo, built in 1930. Location: Jalan Kebun Binatang No. 6 Bandung 40132. Tel: (+62)-22-2502770.
Mt. Tangkuban Perahu.
Tangkuban Perahu main crater
Tracking in Tangkuban Perahu area
Mt. Tangkuban Perahu. You can see it at almost anywhere in Bandung, but it is not complete before you see its crater. If you're in Bandung, take a look at the north side and find an unusual shape of mountain. Tangkuban = flipped and perahu = boat mean the shape of the mountain looks like a flipped boat. It's still an active volcanic mountain. The crater is reachable by car, though it is fun to do hiking to the top by foot from Lembang. Its elevation is 2084 m above the sea level and the path from Lembang is not too steep. At the crater, it is a touristic spot. You can smell the sulfur, watch the hot water springs very closely or even buy a boiled egg from the hot surface. Location: northern side of Bandung, the closest city is Lembang. Angkot route: St. Hall-Lembang.
Juanda Forest Park or Dago Pakar. The official name is Taman Hutan Raya ir. H. Juanda. It is a forest park, serves as a water reservoir for the city. There are some interesting parks for children or to have a picnic there. There are also some old WW II caves during the Japanese era. Some people walk through the forest to reach Maribaya park in Lembang. Location: at the end of Jalan Dago. Angkot routes: Abd. Muis-Dago and followed by walking or take a ride by motorcycle.
Punclut-Lembang Hiking trail. Started from Punclut, Jalan Kiputih, North Bandung.
Fashion shopping and its accesories is the main reason for many weekend travellers from Jakarta, because those items are expensive in Jakarta. Starting with denim (jeans) stores along Jln. Cihampelas in the 90s with unique facades to attract people, fashion stores grow rapidly into sisa exports (rejected export products), then factory outlets, now with the new trend is the distro (distribution outlets). Don't expect luxury labels, because you can find them in Jakarta.
Local Handicraft and Souvenirs
Wayang Golek is a Sundanese puppet show. Unlike Javanese wayang puppet, wayang golek is made from wood. Find wayang golek at Galeri Cupumanik, Jl. Haji Umar.
Angklung is a Sundanese ethnical music instrument (see at See section).
Leather handicraft, that includes shoes, bags and other accessories. A well-known local shoe handicrafts are centered in Cibaduyut area. The Elizabeth bag maker is famous and it is located at Jl. Otto Iskandar Dinata 520, Tel. (+62)-022-5201125.
Jean street, which is Jl. Cihampelas. A lot of denim shops decorated with funky designs. Do not be surprised to see giant models of Superman, Goku, Rambo and others, standing guard over the shops.
Alun-alun/Centre of the city. In the alun-alun area there are many shopping malls, but they are rather old.
Cihampelas Walk (Ciwalk), Jl. Cihampelas. Website: Cihampelas Walk. Shopping, dining and hanging out in a cozy and relaxing atmosphere.
Bandung Electronic Center (BEC), Jl. Purnawarman 13-15. Specializing in computers and cellphone.
Bandung Indah Plaza (BIP), Jl. Merdeka 56. Food court, cinema.
Bandung Supermall (BSM), Jl. Gatot Subroto 289. Food court, cinema.
Bandung Trade Center, Jl. Terusan Pasteur 143. Food Court.
Braga City Walk, Jl. Braga. Website: Braga City Walk. Shopping complex at the heart of the famous Braga street.
Setrasari Mal, Jl. Surya Sumantri 120. Food court. Near universities.
In the textile industry, it is very common for a textile product made in, for example Indonesia, exported to other countries, such as Singapore, South Korea, etc., and re-labelled by their own label and change the made-in tag into their country. Some branded names, such as GAP, have their factories in Indonesia. Since the production costs in Indonesia are very low, they can gain a big profit by this way.
During the quality inspection, some of the products might be rejected, or they may overrun the production quota. These residual products are sold with sisa export tags, because they were made for export, but couldn't pass through. Some of these items have Grade A (best quality, but overrun product) or Grade B (export quality, but do not pass QC) qualities. Don't be surprised to see made in Korea or made in Singapore in their tags. Sometimes you will see the original price, such as USD$65, but they sell it for Rp. 45.000,00 (US$ 4.50).
Enjoy bargain hunting! Take a careful inspection yourself. Beware also for the fake products with branded name.
It was originally meant for export garment (textile) factories that open a store directly in their area so that they can sell with bargain prices. Since it was a big success, many factory outlets without the factory itself were opening in many places in the city, also with bargain price tags. To attract people, they decorated the store with many styles: the colonial style, an old chinese dynasty, etc. Some stores even have a small food court.
Most of factory outlets are concentrated in Jl. Riau, Jl. Dago (Jl. Ir. H. Juanda) and around Jl.Sukajadi-Jl.Setiabudi area. Some of them are listed below:
Factory outlets in Jl. Riau: Heritage (inside an old historical building, nice to see also the building), China Emporium (with an old Chinese dynasty setting), Summit, Oasis, Metropolitan, Renarity, Emirates, Terminal Tas, Edward Forrer.
Factory outlets in Jl. Dago: Rich & Famous, Coconel, Glamour, Blossom, Uptown (with a small kiosk selling a strawberry juice), Dago Stock Centre, M&M, Justine.
Around Jl.Sukajadi-Jl.Setiabudi: Mooi (Jl. Cemara 83), FOS Clothing Gallery (Jl. Setiabudi 73), XO (Jl. Sukajadi 212), Rumah Mode (Jl. Setiabudi 41F), Otten One (Jl. Otten 1), BOS (Jl. Otten), Diaz (Jl. Sederhana mostly shoes), Cat 17 (Jl. Eijkman).
Other places: Batian (Jl. Otto Iskandardinata 535, you can find used and new items)
Distros (Distribution Outlets)
Distros are a new phenomenon in Bandung where a shop sells stylish products that were made by local designers. They are served as a distribution store, because these local designers do not have their own marketing label yet. The products that are sold are books, indie label records, magazines and also other fashion products and accessories. After their products receive large attention, then they make their own clothing company. Now, there are more than 200 local brand names in Bandung. One thing that makes distros stand out from factory outlet is that distros come from individual designers and young entrepeneurs, while factory outlet products come from a garment factory.
Note that now distros are getting famous in Indonesia. The local branded name with free and independent motivation has been shifted. Be careful when buying in distros as the prices are increasing to a level almost the same as at boutique shops.
Some of Bandung distros: EAT, Jl. Trunojoyo 4, Invictus, Ouval Research, Jl. Buah Batu 64, No Label, Jl. Sumatra 24, etc.
Bandung is a heaven for food lovers who enjoy new experiences. There are a lot of varieties, not only local cuisine but international ones. You can find any food you want for any kind of taste. Do note, that most eateries in Bandung focus on creating new variations, not making sure it tastes good.
Everybody has their own favourites. One page is not enough to list all food stalls, food courts, restaurants and cafes in Bandung. Here are some lists that are popular or have a long history.
Bakso Tahu & Siomay is a steamed meat with/without tofu. It is served with peanut paste, sweet soy sauce and a lime. It is suitable for a snack, eat at anytime. In almost all streets you can find somebody selling this food with a wheeled stall (gerobak). The popular place is called Siomay Pak Lili at Jl. Geger Kalong Girang that has sold this food for 15 years.
Batagor is similar to bakso tahu/siomay but it is fried instead of being steamed. It is served similar with peanut paste and sweet soy sauce. Served also as a snack. Legends are Kingsley at Jl. Veteran, selling this food already for 28 years, and Batagor Riri at Jl. Burarangrang 41 (in front of the BCA building).
Martabak is a fried stuffed pancake. There are two types: sweet and salty. Sweet martabak is a thick pancake stuffed with chocolate/cheese/banana/sugar. The salty martabak is a thin fried pancake stuffed with eggs, some vegetables, mushrooms, chicken/beef. The most popular ones are Martabak Lodaya and Martabak San Fransisco at Jln. Lodaya.
Soto Bandung is a soup with beef meat, soy beans and some vegetables. The old food stalls selling this food is at Soto Ojolali, Jl. Cibadak (near alun-alun), since 1940s.
Lotek is a mixed boiled vegetables, served with peanut paste and some chillies. The hotter the better. The famous place is Lotek Kalipah Apo, Jl. Kalipah Apo, every day 9AM-16PM. Have been selling this food for already 48 years. One plate is about Rp. 4500, very cheap.
Mie Kocok is a noodle soup, served with beef foot, beef skin and tauge. If you don't fancy with these parts of beef, then you can ask not to have it and you can still taste its appetite. The famous place is a street vendor, Mie Kocok SKM, at Jl. Sunda.
Mie Ayam is a noodle soup served with chicken and it comes with a variety of topings. The famous place is at Mie Naripan, they serve varieties of good noodles there. Another good place is at Bakmi Mangkok Mas in Jl. Setiabudhi.
Nasi Timbel is the famous Sundanese dish. It is a tube-shaped rice that has a distinguish flavour, because it is cooked inside a banana leaf. It is usually served with lalapan (raw vegetables), fried tofu & tempe, fried chicken and chili paste. You can find this type of dish in most of Sundanese restaurants. The well-known timbel food stall is located nearby Istiqomah mosque.
Have been around for years and still famous for their delicious food:
Sate Kardjan, Jl. Pasirkaliki, every day 24h. Lamb satay speciality, since 1970. Try sate buntel (a grilled minced lamb meat), tongseng (lamb meat in a coconut milk soup), nasi goreng kambing (fried rice with lamb) or sate cempe (satay from 10 month old lamb).
Bubur Ayam Mang Oyo, Jl. Sulanjana (near Gasibu) and several branches. It's a chicken porridge. Nice for starting your day.
Kedai Ma' Uneh, Jl. Terasana I No. 132 Pajajaran. It's in an alley in front of Pajajaran sport complex. Delicious Sundanese food.
Baso Lela, Jl. Awiligar, everyday open until 9 PM. It's new but getting popular. It's in the hill side of Bandung with a nice view to the city. Try yamien, a dried boiled noodle, mixed with soy sauce. There are sweet yamien and salt yamien. Try also chicken noodle and the strawberry juice as a dessert.
For those who want a breathtaking view, eat in a local Sundanese village or have romantic international cuisine. Don't expect the taste to be half as good as the view and experience though.
Kampung Daun, Jl Sersan Bajuri Km 4.7 No 88 Villa Trinity Complex (you need to drive with your own car there). Sundanese food. Designed with natural elements as you eat at a hut in the middle of padi field, small waterfall and river. At night it's really amazing to walk along candlelit pathways. Eating out really means eating out here.
Sierra Cafe & Lounge, Jl. Bukit Pakar no 33. Located on the hill of Dago Pakar in Bandung, Sierra delivers a relaxing and indulging ambience with a breathtaking view of Bandung's city light. International cuisines (Western, Japanese and Thailand).
Kedai Nyonya Rumah, Jl. Naripan 92. Indonesian cuisines. The interior design is very relaxing, giving a nice eating experience.
Tizis Restaurant, Jl. Kidang Pananjung 3. European dishes with homemade bread & pastries A well-known expats place to dine.
Coca Suki, Jl. Ir. H. Juanda (Dago) 173. A branch of Thailand restaurant Coca .
Sunda is the ethnic name of the local people living in West Java. Sundanese food has some distinctive features than other ethnics. It mainly consists of fried fish, pepes ikan (steamed fish in a banana leaf), raw vegetables and chili pastes. To try these type of foods, there are numerous Sundanese restaurants. Some with famous name has many branches in Bandung and the vicinity. Some of the popular ones are:
Sindang Reret, Jl. Surapati No. 53, Tel. (+62)-22-2501474. The other branche is outside the city in the north: Jl. Raya Cikole Km.22 Lembang, Tel. (+62)-22-2786500. The good one is the branch restaurant (see the Lembang Trip).
Ponyo, Jl. Malabar 60, Tel. (+62)-22-7301477. There are many branches outside the city.
AA Laksana, Jl. Soekarno Hatta 494, Tel. (+62)-22-7509303. There are 2 other branches: Jl. Jakarta 21 and Jl. Cihampelas 30. A big self-service eatery with long tables already filled with plates of food. Take what you want and ask the server to count the plates when finished.
Canary. Jl. Ir. H. Juanda 28, Bandung. Tel.: (62)(22) 423 8928. International Restaurant. Menu: hamburger, steak, fried chicken, sate, soup, salad. Opening hours: 07.00 - 21.00. Price: approx. US$ 7/person.
Ice Cream and Pastry
Food in Bandung does not stop at the restaurants/cafes. There are plenties of bakeries in the city that you can buy some pastries. Some of them have high popularities that you must take a queue even before the shop is open in the morning.
Kartika Sari, try the famous cake: pisang molen, a cake stuffed with banana. Very delicious. There are 6 stores: Jl. Kebon Jukut 3C, Jl. Buah Batu 165A, Jl. H. Akbar, Jl. Kopo Sayati 111A, Jl. Terusan Jakarta 77E, Jl. Ir. H. Juanda (Dago).
Brownies Kukus Amanda, Jl. Rancabolang 29, Jl. Lodaya 8, Jl. Purwakarta. Try brownies kukus, a steamed brownies with melted chocolate inside. Soft and very delicious. It's very popular that you might have to queue before it opens.
Brownies Primarasa, Jl. Kemuning 20, Jl. Buah Batu 169A, and Jl. Peta 169. It's speciality is the chocolate brownies.
Sus Merdeka, Jl. Merdeka (in front of Bandung Indah Plaza). Famous for its Choux/Puff pastry with rum butter filling.
Braga Permai (formerly Maison Bogerijn), Jl Braga 58, Bandung 40111, Tel.: (62)(22)420 1831. Famous ice cream parlor in Bandung.
Baskin and Robbins, Jl Sukajadi 232, Bandung 40153. Tel.: (62)(22) 203 8457. JL. RE Martadinata No. 225, Tel.: (62)(22) 720 8122. Jl. Gatot Subroto No. 289, Bandung 40273. Tel.: (62)(22) 910 1404. Istana Plaza, Jl. Pasir Kaliki 121-123 Bandung, Tel.: (62)(22) 6000403. Website: Baskin Robbins. Ice cream parlor.
As the sale of alcoholic drinks is to be banned at public restaurants (although you can find them in upscale public restaurants), it will be difficult to find liquor, except at bars, night clubs, hotels and 24-hour mini markets. However, drinking fresh icy yoghurt or juice is very tempting, especially after spending a day in a hot sun. These are some famous drinking places to try:
Yoghurt Cisangkuy, Jl. Cisangkuy (near Gedung Sate complex). It has many flavours of fresh yoghurt with fresh fruits. Very suitable as a resting place after walking in the hot weather.
Es Cendol Elizabeth, in front of the Elizabeth bag shop at Jl. Otto Iskandar Dinata and Jl. Cihampelas. Cendol is an Indonesian drink made with coconut and coconut milk, served with ice cubes and sweet brown sugar.
Bandoeng Melk Centrale (BMC), Jl. Aceh 30, in an old Dutch colonial house. It's speciality is a fresh milk.
Rumah Kopi, Jl. Awiligar (near baso Lela). It literally means "coffee house". They serve many kinds of coffee at cheap prices.
Susu segar Lembang, at many street vendors in Lembang. It is outside the city, but it can be nice to stop if you do a sidetrip to Lembang.
Es Sekoteng Bungsu, Jl. Bungsu 29. Es sekoteng is a grated ice cube with avocado, young coconut and kolang-kaling (some local preserved fruit).
In Malaysia and Singapore, bandung is also known as a drink, but it is not related to the city of Bandung at all. From an unconfirmed story, the pink rosewater-and-syrup concoction bandung drink was named after banned and dung by a British official during the colonial time, because of the bad taste as he said.
List of hotels in Bandung:
North Bandung / Dago / Jl. H. Juanda:
Holiday Inn Jl. Ir. H. Juanda (Dago) 31-33, Bandung 40116, ph: +62 22 4211333 (email@example.com fax: +62 22 4216666)  - lower Dago area. Class: 4 Stars.
Sheraton Inn Jl. Ir. H. Juanda (Dago) 390, Bandung 40135, ph: +62 22 2500303 (fax: +62 22 2500301)  - upper Dago area, close to the dago golf center. Class: 5 Stars.
Horison Jl. Pelajar Pejuang 121, Bandung 40264. Tel.: (62)(22) 7305000  - in the residential Buah Batu area. Class: 4 Stars.
There are some sidetrips to the mountain range surrounding Bandung:
North: mount Tangkuban Perahu. Lembang is a favourite weekend break destination at the base of the mountain with hiking trail and active volcanic crater. You can stay at Sari Ater, a natural hot spring water complex, or rent a villa. In the vicinity, Maribaya park offers a wonderful waterfall traps.
South: tea plantation. Ciwidey and Pangalengan are the main destination to the south mountains. Situ Patenggang lake in the middle of tea plantation in Ciwidey offers you a relax time in a boat, fishing, camping or in a bungalow. A few kilometers from the lake, there is Kawah Putih (white crater, made by sulfuric activity in the area with a camping park, called Ranca Upas.
West: chalk mountain range. There is not much nature destination in the west, except Situ Ciburuy lake at the side of the main road hub to Cianjur and the Saguling dam. You might also want to taste peyeum, a local food made from fermented rice. If you are hungry, there are plenty of good Sundanese restaurants in the vicinity, because the road to the west is the main hub between Bandung to Jakarta.
East: a link of Bandung to the eastern part of West Java and to neighbouring Central Java province. You can go to Cirebon (about 2-3 hours), a coastal city known for fishing and oil industries.
Tourist promotion office:
Dinas Pariwisata Kota Bandung: JL. Ahmad Yani No. 227 Bandung, Telp. (62)(22) 7210768. Website: Tourism Promotion Office.
Jl. Stasiun Timur No. 1, Tel.: (62)(22) 421 6648.
West Java Police HQ: Jl. Soekarno Hatta No. 748, Tel.: (62)(22) 7806392.
West Bandung, Jl. Raya Cibabat, Tel.: (62)(22) 2031181.
East Bandung, Jl. AH. Nasution No. 21, Tel.: (62)(22) 7805981.
Central Bandung, Jl. Jend. Ahmad Yani No. 282, Tel: (62)(22) 7200058, (62)(22) 7271115.
List of hospitals with 24 hours emergency rooms (ER):
RS Umum Pusat Dr Hasan Sadikin, JI. Pasteur No 38, Tel.: (62)(22) 203 4953.
RS St Boromeus, JI. Ir. H Juanda No 100, Tel.: (62)(22) 250 4041.
RS Umum Rajawali: Jl Rajawali 38 Bandung. Tel.: (62)(22) 6011913
RS Advent Bandung, JI. Cihampelas No 161. Tel.: (62)(22) 203 4386.
RS Immanuel Bandung, JI. Kopo No 161. Tel.: (62)(22) 500 1656.
RS St Yusup Bandung: Jl Cikutra No.7 Bandung, Tel.: (62)(22) 7208172.