It is really easy to get bored with Jakarta lately, at least for me. When I was younger, I’m used to go to a series of party starting from Friday till Sunday and occasionally on weekdays. Those kinds of life events are now outdated for me, guess I’m getting mature (just not to admit that I’m getting old). With such feeling, I know I need an escape and I choose a simple city escape to Bandung.
Bandung is nicknamed as Paris van Java by the Dutch and is the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya.
I remember last time I went to Bandung, I was overwhelm to be in a green scenery, so I explored Lembang by motorbike and the trip was satisfactory. This time is different; I don’t want to bother contacting motorbike rentals nor arranging my trip with the involvement of others. I want this trip to be simple and on my own.
Here we go, Travel Guide Bandung.
1. Getting Here
The greatest way to go to Bandung during weekend is by taking train, although there are plenty of other transportation modes. You can refer to my Lembang Travel Guide to find these other transportation modes.
2. Getting Around & Attractions
As I said earlier in this travel guide, I don’t want to bother about renting motorbike so actually I do this trip in my own way which means by foot. I do love walking. But if you prefer otherwise, there is no worry, Bandung is a modern Capital city of West Java, it offers many transports to almost anywhere. Even better, the online transports like Uber, Grab and Gojek do exist in Bandung to ease your trip.
Alun-alun Bandung (Bandung City Square)
Arriving in Bandung station in the sunny Saturday morning is a blessed. I do feel the difference between the air in Bandung and Jakarta. Bandung air is for sure fresher and less pollution even if the heat is insignificantly different. It is a perfect moment to walk to Alun-alun Bandung which is less than 2 km away from Bandung station.
Some students are gathered there with wearing sport uniform listening to an instruction from their teacher, some married couples with their small children are playing on the fake grass in front of Masjid Raya, in the other side there is a group of friends hanging out and two of them are holding a plastic bag of cilok, a speciality snack of Bandung, in their hands. Then of course, a teenage couple in which the boy is obliged to take a multiple photos of his girl for instagram purpose.
While for me, I am zoned out trying to figure out why the ground has to be cemented and covered with a plastic carpet of fake grass instead of planting a real grass on the ground that would be very helpful to absorb raining water and feed the trees. There must be a very good explanation that could not be caught by my simple mind (fingers crossed).
Let’s move on to Braga Street by going through a small passage directing to Kampung Braga. Once you pass by the Kampung, you will arrive in Braga Street where some white colonial buildings are standing still surrounded by café, cake shops, fashion stores and painting street sellers.
Katedral Santo Petrus
This white neo-gothic style church designed by Dutch architect, Charles Prosper Wolff Schoemaker, named Katedral Santo Petrus is located at Merdeka Street, not far from Braga Street and Taman Vanda.
Bethel Assembly of the Church
From Merdeka Street, you can walk towards Taman Vanda and turn left to Perintis Kemerdekaan Street. At the intersection, just across Taman Balai Kota Bandung, there is another nice looking church. Unfortunately, it was closed when I was there so I could not see the interior, yet it is still adorable from the outside.
Taman Balai Kota Bandung
Taman Balai Kota Bandung or Bandung City Hall Park often held some shows and performances. This time, I get to see Debus performance in World Pencak Silat Festival. I couldn’t even stay too long because the performance is quite scary for me.
Other than performances, the park is well maintained which makes it a cool spot to take a sit and rest.
Gedung Sate is an iconic building of Bandung. The name Sate is taken from Satay (food) because its central tower has Sate ornament on it. Gedung Sate itself is functioned for West Java Governor office.
Of course Bandung has museums. Even if I don’t get to enter one yet but two museums close to Gedung Sate seem to have good reviews which mean worth to visit. Two of them are Museum Pos Indonesia and Bandung Geological Museum.
Saung Angklung Udjo
The only reservation that I made apart the hotel is reservation for Saung Angklung Udjo performance.
They truly have a brilliant concept to introduce Angklung, the Sundanese traditional music instrument, to common people, like me. You will get to see how the Angklung is made, the short history of it, some beautiful performances with Angklung and the best thing is, you will get to play the Angklung!
Bandung is famous for its numerous of Factory Outlets located in R.E. Martadinata Street (known as Jalan Riau). Shopping could be fun for me but this time I choose to enjoy some coffee and writing some travel guides. The recommended café that I have been is Kopitijd in Citarum street and Wagoon Coffee in Banda street. For place to eat, there are various places to offer but for many times I like to be in a cute colonial building restaurant like Dakken restaurant in Riau Street or simply enjoy Sate Sapi in street seller at Halmahera Street.
3. Travel Tips and Cautions
Actually there is nothing in Bandung that needs to be cautious about, except…. when you choose for a place to stay, which is applicable for everywhere, do not only focus on the price, but also focus on the photos. I make a mistake during this visit by assuming that I would survive to stay everywhere. Yes, I take a super low price room, only IDR 75,000 per night and I get an instant regret when I see it.