This year, I’ve visited my 4th Indonesian city – Bandung. It’s the capital of West Java, and quite frankly, it has a different feel than that of Batam, Yogyakarta, and Bali. For one thing, the climate is much cooler. Our taxi driver told us that on long weekends, Bandung gets really jammed coz everyone from Jakarta climbs up the mountain – pretty much like the Baguio to Manila, and Genting to Kuala Lumpur.
It’s only an hour and a half away from Singapore, making it perfect for a weekend break. Best of all, for some strange reason, the flights are always cheap.. Even on the very hot Chinese New Year weekend. The one which we went on. Sorry guys, now you know how late this post is. Hehe! That was partly the reason why we chose Bandung. The prices of all other destinations have sky-rocketed, even on budget airlines, but Bandung was still reasonably priced even if we booked it just 3 weeks before the holiday. Plus, we read that it was dubbed as “Paris of the East”, so it had to be something, right?
Well, it was not exactly Paris, but should you be itching to leave Singapore, why not check out West Java? I’ve listed down 5 things you can do in Bandung below. Food won’t be involved in this one, because that deserves a separate post, I mean obviously. Haha 🙂
1. Visit a live volcano, high up Bandung: Tangkuban Perahu
Not only do you get access to a live volcano, you get to see unblocked views of West Java. It’s gorgeous! And if you want to freeze your face off, this is THE spot, as your head is literally in the clouds.
2. See the breath taking Kawah Putih
Kawah Putih literally means White Crater. Tourists flock here to see the magnificent lake which is quite likely the prettiest shade of turquoise. It’s so scenic that it almost looks fake! It being a crater and all, be prepared to smell sulfur (or for something you can relate to: rotten eggs). It will literally take your breath away, haha
3. Check out local produce: Strawberries and Tea
We didn’t go for any Tea Plantation tour or anything, we just stopped by the side of the road and took in the vast greens. Hey, it’s good background for photos! Hehe! There are also a number of Strawberry farms you can visit in the area. We ended up in a really small Strawberry garden, not as cute as I’d hope it to be, but hey, strawberries, yum. 😉
4. Warm up in the hot springs
Okay, this is one thing I really wish we’d research on before going. Not all hot springs are created equal! I mean, yes it was nice to dip my feet in it, but I wish we did it somewhere else. Sorry, I forgot the name for this resort. But if you’re going to Bandung and you are thinking of checking out the hot springs, research!
Lots of Singaporeans swear by the outlets in Bandung. Let’s be honest, there’s a lot. However, I personally felt that it was still expensive and I’d rather hit Paris Van Java, their mall, because it was sale season and for the amount of money spent in the outlet, I’d rather spend it in actual shops (there’s Zara, Topshop, H&M, Miss Selfridge, etc). I wasn’t able to check out the shops along Jeans Street, the ones with the cartoon characters, but maybe if I did, I wouldn’t be all PARIS VAN JAVA!!!
Bonus: Go to Church and pray to my favorite Saint
At the time we went, St. Peter’s Cathedral was the Bandung’s Number 1 rated attraction on TripAdvisor
. I figured it would be nice to check it out. So we did, and we got stuck in really bad traffic in the process. It was all worth it when I saw Saint Ignatius though. I mean, what were the odds that I’d see a statue of my favorite saint, which is not that common outside Ateneo, in a place where most of the population isn’t even Catholic?
So there you have it, things to do in Bandung. What are your thoughts? Interested? Not interested? Would you ever consider going? Or have you been before? Let me know below!
PS- Watch out for my next post I’ll let you in on where to eat and where to stay. 😉