3 Places to Visit in Bandung, Indonesia : The Paris of Java


For 15 days, I traveled across Indonesia  seeing some of the best destinations that this country has to offer. Our route is Jakarta – Bandung – Yogyakarta – Lombok – Labuan Bajo – Bali. I had the best time of my life and living the dream of travelling, thanks to Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia .  Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, only served as a meeting place where we spent just a  night. The next morning, we took a 3 – hour train ride  via Argo Parahyangan to reach Bandung.  I never really felt any boredom or felt guilty of “wasting” the 3 hours because it was such a great opportunity to see the local life from our window. Bandung actually is an exact opposite of Jakarta. The temperature is much cooler characterized by many pine trees and bamboos you’ll see everywhere. The one that really stick to my mind is a line of relics of train couches we passed by.  See how a graveyard of abandoned pieces of rusty train parts could be a sight to behold!



      
Bandung Raya, is the capital of West Java province and Indonesia’s 4th largest city. A sprawling city fringed by rolling hills, I would say, this place is for nature and art lovers, if I have more time I would have planned to go back here.   Once dubbed by Dutch as the Parijs van Java or The Paris of Java, Bandung used to have many European and Art Deco structures   but wasn’t able to see the myself because we only spent two days. We have seen the top 4 tourist attractions of Bandung, here they are:

Brief  History of Bandung
As early as 1488, Bandung, according to archaeological finds was home to Australopithecus, Java man. They lived on the banks of Cikapundung at the north and on the shores of Great Lake. A noted  group of people called Sundanese whose main livelihood is farming. The Wayang Golek puppet theater originated from them which until now bears one of the images of Indonesian heritage.        

Coffee break at Armor Kopi

It is the chilly weather that really draws Bandung to my heart closer than any destinations we have been.   On our first day in the morning, we went to Armor Kopi,  a coffee shop frequented by locals surrounded by tall pine trees plus a rice paddy in one corner.  Located in Tahura, a natural park, it is a getaway with nature. This coffee shop serves so many types of coffee which I don’t remember the names.   The top two I recommend drinking is kopi luwak, poops from palm civet cats that feed on a certain kind of cherry (very expensive!) and ca phe sua da, a Vietnamese coffee filtered over a layer of sweet condensed milk stirred and poured over ice.  You got to drink your coffee faster, if not you’ll taste it cold when it reaches your tongue.




Must eat in Armor Kopi: fried banana fritter with cheese (super soft,  love it so much) and cireng (deep fried local food made of flour)






For more choices of what to eat in Bandung, check out ABOUT Bandung : Hipster CafĂ© + Culinary + Shopping + Family Getaway by Kadek. She is a fellow Indonesian participant who made a brief list about Bandung culinary.     

Address: Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Juanda, Dago Pakar, Bandung    

Dusun Bamboo Natural Park

After our stomachs have been filled with caffeine, we proceeded to a park called Dusun Bamboo. It is a man – made attraction that highlights the many art done from the bamboo tree.  With a view of a lake decorated by cute rounded floating boats, I don’t think there’s a perfect place to eat our lunch than here. The vibe is serene idyllic for families having their bonding moments. It’s quite a big place so either you walk or you take the flower – adorned shuttles free of charge. Located at the foot of Mt. Burangrang, Dusun Bamboo is an example of well - maintained and much appreciated  eco – tourism destination in Bandung.  


                   
 Must see inside: Bamboo Art  Installation  at the entrance (you’ll surely not miss this one) and wooden nest pods.




Address: Jalan Kolonel Masturi KM. 11, Situ Lembang, Cisarua, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat 40551, Indonesia


Saung Angklung UdJo     

To those who want to learn of Bandung’s  history through musical performance, Udjo’s House of Angklung is the answer.  The show is divided into the preservation of two of Bandung’s heritage. First is Wayang Golek (wooden puppet show) which got me bored at the start but it entertains you when you stick your attention to it. The small boy next to me was laughing his heart out.   Second is the one that I enjoyed so much and I am sure the whole crowd as well. It is all about angklung, a traditional Indonesian musical instrument made of bamboo and officially belongs to the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The late Udjo Nalagena and his wife’s strong passion to conserve West Java’s Sundanese traditional art and culture, is the reason why this was built. I had fun watching the orchestral performance and especially the one that involves us playing the angklung.






Address: Jl. Padasuka No.118, Pasirlayung, Cibeunying Kidul, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40192, Indonesia

NuArt Gallery

I have never seen a gallery that showcases gigantic monuments made of steel and cement until my visit at NuArt Gallery, owned by Nyoman Nuarta, a National Artist and a famous sculptor from Tabanan, Bali. We were able to walk around the inside and outside of NuArt with nothing but praise to his brilliance. Anyone can make a small piece of sculptor that can be kept inside a house or hang on a wall of a room but  his works really need ample of space. Even in Denpasar International Airport, he has artwork installed here. Some of his works are the Statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana in Bali, Monument Jayamahe in Surabaya and the Proclamation Monument Indonesia in Jakarta.   


            





Where to eat in Bandung

I admit we only got to eat to a couple of restaurants in Bandung but this one is really too awesome to not to share - Vanilla Kitchen. There's nothing too extraordinary about to food but the place is very photogenic. You know when the ambiance is so good, your appetite will also improve, right? Pizza, beef burger, shakes, coffee and lots of Western food are among the must - eats here.



Address: Jl. Cimanuk No.11, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40115, Indonesia


Other things to do in Bandung  

This is something I didn’t do when I was in  Bandung – SHOPPING. Not because I did not like it but we were only at our 4th day. I don’t want to carry heavy stuff while we continue our trip. I did all my shopping (I bought just enough souvenirs) in Bali, because it is the last stop before I go back to Manila. Bandung  won’t disappoint your shopping craving because there’s so much cheap and affordable stores you can splurge. Head to Rumah Mode, it is a factory outlet and Riau Street where stalls are owned by young entrepreneurs. To give you how it is to shop till you drop in Bandung, check this Bandung Shopping | Confessions of an Ex-Shopaholic by Travel  Trilogy, written by Potpot who is also a co - participant in our trip.

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