Guide to Bandung - Paris of Indonesia

People call Bandung the “Paris of Java”. It was a nickname given to Bandung in the early 20th century, back when the city was a resort destination for wealthy Dutch colonialists. The connection isn’t as obvious today, but take a stroll along Jalan Braga and the reasons for the metaphor become more apparent. Bandung is the capital of West Java Province in Indonesia. Lying on a river basin surrounded by volcanic mountains, the area is known for its cool mountain climate and hectares of tea plantations.

All along this charming street are preserved Art Deco buildings that harken back to the city’s colonial past. On either side were plenty of European-style cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. It gave the city a continental look and feel that earned it its Paris of Java nickname, a name that’s still in use to this day.

How to Get to Bandung
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Plane

  • You can fly to Husein International Sastranegara Airport (BDO) from Jakarta. The airport is only around three miles from the center of town, and a taxi will cost about Rp30-40,000.

Train

  • PT Kereta Api trains run from Jakarta to Bandung, taking around three hours (the cheapest seats are Rp95,000).

Car

  • If you are driving from Jakarta, take highway 1 eastbound, then turn onto highway 4 and follow it all the way to Bandung.

Bus

  • Air-conditioned express buses run every day from Jakarta to Bandung’s Leuwi Panjang bus station. There are also shuttle bus companies like Baraya Travel, who charge around Rp50,000 for the trip.
Best Time to Visit
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Like most countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia has just two seasons – wet and dry. The dry season is typically from around June till September. This is the best time to visit Bandung. Going in the wet season isn’t ideal because the majority of Bandung’s attractions are outdoors. On top of that, heavy rains can cause flooding and blocked roads.

JUN-SEPT: As advised, this is the dry season in Bandung and the best time to visit. It never gets as hot here compared to the rest of Java which is partly why it’s such a popular weekend getaway for local Jakartans.

OCT-MAY: This is the rainy season in Bandung. Most of the region’s top attractions like Kawah Putih, Tangkuban Perahu, and Dusun Bambu are outdoors so going in the rainy season isn’t ideal. Apart from the discomfort of traveling in the rain, heavy rains cause flooding which makes this an inapprpriate time to visit.

How to Get Around in Bandung
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Public Transportation

  • The only public transportation in Bandung is via Angkot (minibuses). Prices vary by destination but range from Rp2,000-5,000.

Taxi

  • Taxis are a more reliable option and should cost Rp7,500 for the meter drop, then Rp6,000 for every mile traveled.

Car

  • You can also rent a car from companies like Cipaganti, Prambanan, and MPV Rentcar, with prices starting at around Rp60,000 per day.
Tebing Gunung Hawu
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This mountain blows plenty of other mountains out of the water. Here’s where your superhero dreams come true, and “hanging out” takes on a completely different meaning.

For sunrise enthusiasts, Tebing Gunung Hawu boasts a fantastic viewpoint to watch the sun wake up for its morning duties. Better yet, you can catch that sunrise from your perch in a hammock, hanging precariously between two towering cliffsides. Has that image gotten your adrenaline running?

Hammocking was popularised by a group of locals in a bid to increase tourist activity in the area, – and thus prevent limestone miners from continuing to destroy Gunung Hawu’s environment. Mother Nature is pleased with you.

The mountain is also renowned for the massive “hole” that you can see in the middle of the mountain. It’s also the reason why the mountain was christened “Hawu”, which means “fireplace” in Sundanese.
Since you’re here, how can you pass up on snapping a picture with this rare sight? If you’re lucky, you might even catch the sunlight filtering in through the hole, creating an ethereal sight.

Walk Along Jalan Braga
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Jalan Braga was one of my favorite areas anywhere in Bandung. It’s a pleasant tree-lined street with shops and cafes on either side. Seeing all the art deco buildings on this street will help you understand how Bandung earned its “Paris of Java” nickname. 

Jalan Braga is a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the city’s atmosphere. There are plenty of bars and restaurants here where you can pop in for a quick drink and bite to eat. We had fun just sitting by the window, sipping Bintang beers and watching Bandung life go by.

The Farm House
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Farm House is located right smack on Jalan Raya Lembang, and takes about an hour’s drive from the city center to get there. (It’s on the edge of the highway, so it’s pretty easy to find too!)
Newly opened to tourists and residents in Bandung, Farm House combines agriculture, film, and wanderlust all in one place.

With its European-styled buildings, and the Hobbit house reminiscent of Lord of the Rings – a trip here will be both educational and entertaining at the same time.
The Farm House is a suitable place for the whole family. Children can have fun running amok in ​​the big garden areas, while parents enjoy the fresh cool mountain air and great views while taking photos.
It’s truly Instagram-worthy and will create the perfect backdrop for some of your favourite holiday snaps!

Dusun Bambu Resort
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Dusun Bambu is a picturesque resort in Lembang, about an hour north of central Bandung. It’s located at the foothills of Mt. Burangrang and features many family-oriented activities like hanging nests, a man-made lake, and bamboo walking paths. 

Dusun Bambu Resort may be fun if you’re traveling with kids. It’s a beautiful place but not really meant for foreign visitors I don’t think. It’s more for local tourists.

 

Kota Mini
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Dreaming of ancient European architectures and picturesque surroundings to bring you back to an era steeped in culture and tradition? Now you don’t need to bear the hefty price of flight tickets to Europe as Kota Mini has freshly landed in Bandung!

Located in the area of Grand Hotel of Lembang, Kota Mini is a place where fun and good times co-exist, since June 2017. Like the third child of the “Lembang’s most Instagrammable” family, this little town sits comfortably after its siblings – the Floating Market and the Rainbow Garden.
Beauty runs in every corner of the little town. Flamboyant buildings will transport you right into a real movie scene!

This is the perfect place to get your kids ready for the adult world too! (At least, the most enjoyable parts of adulthood.) Encourage them to take part in their dreamiest professions by role-playing police officers, firemen, little chefs, baby doll nursing and much more!

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