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See The Best of Bandung City Beyond Shopping Malls

Bandung City

Less than 4 hours away from Jakarta by train, the city of Bandung gave me the first taste of my wonderful trip to Indonesia. Bandung City or locally known as Kota Bandung is the Capital of West Java Province in Indonesia. It is home to over 2 million people making it the third largest city by population. It also earned its nickname Parijs van Java (Paris of Java) from Dutch for its resemblance to Paris.

 

bandung-train-station

 

The first thing that I noticed about Bandung is its cool climate. Coming from Jakarta, which is generally hot and humid, everyone would love the cooler weather of Bandung. To compare it with a local province, the weather is similar to that in Tagaytay.

I purposely didn’t do any research about all the destinations we would visit in Indonesia because I want them to surprise me. As we toured the city, I noticed a lot of small mini bus, which they call Angkot. It is one of the most popular transportations, like a UV express in Manila without an AC. There are also hundreds of motorbikes, known locally as “Ojek.” TIP – Maybe because they knew that I’m a tourist so they charged me a bit high. For tourists, I recommend using uber to explore the city.

Factory outlets made Bandung a popular destination especially for people of Jakarta who want to have a weekend break. In fact, shopping is one of the best things to do here. If you are a shopaholic and in love with red tag sales, this city is perfect for you. Ruma Mode Factory, considered as the mother of all factory outlets is probably is the most popular in Bandung. TIP – It is mostly jam-packed on weekends and holidays so it’s best to shop during weekdays.

 

shopping in bandung

 

Every time we drive along the streets of Bandung all I could see were factory outlets, cars selling their items on the street,  sales, and discounts. Believe it or a not I got a pair of a pair of branded shoes and a bag for only 500,000rp or 38$ from its original price of 1.6Mrp or 125$. If you are still doubtful about shopping here, then think again.

 

Aside from shopping, the city is also renowned for its Dutch architecture as it’s the home of numerous art galleries and cultural performances.

What to do in Bandung?

 

nuart sculpture

 

The first thing that we visited was the NuArt Gallery, located in the northern part of Bandung. It is the home of some masterpieces of I Nyoman Nuarta. This artist spent most of his childhood in Bali, close to nature where he learned the harmonious relationship between human and their Creator, human with nature, and lastly, the relationship among human themselves. Today NuArt Gallery is one of Indonesia’s outstanding modern sculpture building. Some of Nuarta’s famous artworks are Arjuna Wijaya, Jalesveva Jayamahe, and his most challenging project, Garuda Wisnu Kencana in Bali.

 

nu art bandung

 

NuArt Gallery is a breath of fresh air in the busy street of Bandung. This 3 hectares park is surrounded by tall trees and spectacular sculptures. The park opened to public last 2000. As per Mr. Nuarta, he would like to create a place where the artist, designers, and art-goers can work together in Bandung.

All of the exhibits at NuArt Gallery are made by I Nyoman Nuarta and other artist. Getting inside the 2-story building of Nuart, I felt the passion and dedication to every detail of his masterpiece.

 

nuart bandung

 

nightmare

 

As we walked inside the gallery I noticed the huge sculpture of a lying couture lady at the center. When I asked Mr. Nuarta the inspiration for this art, he explained that it represents a sad story of a Chinese rape victim during Indonesia’s political and economic crisis in 1998. These incidents sent the victims to trauma that it came to the point some of them wanted to die. He called this masterpiece, “Nightmare,” a three-dimensional art made of copper. The sculpture has its sensual appeal, which makes me see it as a little bit controversial because Indonesia is mostly a Muslim country.

nightmare

 

nyoman nuarta

 

Another must-thing to do in Bandung is to visit the Udjo’s house of Angklung. This musical instrument is made of bamboo and was included by UNESCO in its the tangible cultural heritage list in 2010. Angklung has met the criteria for world intangible cultural heritage because it has basic values of cooperation, mutual respect, and social harmony; the main elements of the cultural identity of West Java and Banten people.

 

udjo house of angklung

On our recent visit, we had over an hour watching 9 short but amazing cultural performances. It varies from puppet show to traditional dances, song, and angklung performances. If I have to choose which is the best part of the event, I’ll pick Angklung Interactive.

 

mask dance

puppet show

 

Angklung Interactive is the part of the show where every audience were given the instrument to  play the Angklung. There was a short instruction on how to properly play it. There was hand signage by the conductor on when to shake the Angklung that was assigned to you. It was easy and a fun experience. It was an unbelievable moment where first-timers played it simultaneously and created a wonderful sound. Udjo’s house of Angklung hopes that through playing this instrument together, the world peace can be achieved.

Watch Video Here!

 

Other point of interest in Bandung is Armor Kopi. I didn’t expect it to be with a chilled weather and a relaxing place surrounded by tall trees because it’s just a few minutes away from the busy city. The place is somewhat like the northern and mountainous part of the Philippines. The main coffee store was small and made mostly of wood, giving that jungle feel. Tables and chairs are arranged outdoor. It is located at Forest Park (Tahura) Ir.H.Djuanda Cimenyan north Dago Bandung.

 

armor kopi

 

armor coffee

 

Lastly, If you’re planning to visit Bandung with your family, make sure to include Dusun Bambu park on your list. It’s an eco-tourism park located at the feet of Mt. Burangrang that provides educational and traditional service. It is a good place to stay close to nature while doing some outdoor activities like biking, kayaking, and even camping.

 

dusun bambu park

 

Since we only had a limited time in the area. I just enjoyed the wonderful scenery of the lake surrounded by traditional villas while enjoying my delicious lunch from Burangrang Restaurant. It was a quick yet great stay in Dusun Bambu, which is one of the places in Bandung that I’m looking forward to returning to.

 

dusun bambu park

 

If you have plans of visiting Indonesia and doesn’t want to travel far from the Capital, I encourage you to visit Bandung to experience a more laid-back city life. The weather here is perfect for strolling. The outlet stores are value for money because of huge discounts, and fall in love with nature, their coffee, sculptures, and cultural performances.

 

To know more about wonderful Indonesia. Please click this link.

Looking for a place to stay in Bandung? Get a discounted rate via Agoda below.


Note: This is a sponsored FAM Tour by Tourism Ministry of Indonesia to promote the city of Bandung. All views, posts, and opinions shared here are my own.

21 comments

  • Such a nice place. Medyo nag-goosebump lang ako sa mga artworks. Looks super nice 🙂

  • Bandung looks like a n ice place to visit! I’ll keep that in mind the next time we plan a trip.

  • Indonesia is one of the counties that we’re hoping to visit here in Southeast Asia, along with SG and Thailand. As we know, it’s always cheaper when it’s SEA. sana one day, we’ll be able to visit these countries too.

  • This place is a heaven for red tag hunters. The place looks so great to relax and enjoy the nature and their culture. I would love to stay on those villas by the lake.

  • Noted on the tip you provided, that we should use UBER instead in going around the city since some of them charge higher if they knew that we’re tourists. It’s just how it’s like in our country, the Philippines. Tsk Tsk.

    Anyway, lovely photos you’ve got here. I would love to visit here someday. After all, the laid back feel is what I’m always after. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • When I first read about the weather, I immediately thought about Baguio. I was almost right, it’s similar to Tagaytay! Indonesia is wonderful country with rich culture. My mother was able to visit Manado and Jakarta before when she was on a missionary exposure. We have a few friends who live here. One of them joked about us attending their wedding. I wish we can also visit IN one day with my husband and son, I think it would be really awesome to be with the people you love, exploring new places, learning new things. ♥

  • Bandung City is really worth the visit. The places you mentioned are really worth going to. The photos are great especially the copper sculpture. It captivates anyone who’s enthusiastic about art. My fave photo is the one where the girl is in the middle of a bamboo forest. It’s so pretty!

  • Indonesia is still on my list to go to! I didn’t even know it has a Dutch nickname! And I’m from the Netherlands lol. I also didn’t know about the Dutch architecture. Nice to learn it from your blog! Pretty though story about the sculpture..
    Totally love the picture of the lake!

  • First of all, I love how you fixed your website and it looks really neat now. Going back to your post, no wonder you were pretty quiet the past few weeks, you went to Indonesia. I loved your photos in the NuArt Gallery. Those were awesome piece of art and I’d love to take some photos and appreciate those masterpieces too. I also loved those villas . What can you see inside those huts?

  • I had no idea Badung was famous for shopping malls. You have provided some great alternatives here. I love the photo of the tree arch. Will definitely consider Badung when I am next in Indonesia.

  • Dusun Bamboo Park is like the parks we have here in Manila. Only that maybe, that one’s cleaner? I’m quite intrigue with what you’re drinking, is it a coffee? hehe. Looks like a good ambiance to match with coffee or tea. The art pieces on the other hand are all nice. It’s nice to see the local museums when you travel because this is mostly where you can learn the history of the place.

    Living in the Moment | http://www.maayalegaspi.com

    • I’m actually drinking juice hahaha 🙂 What park are you referring too? I can’t recognise something like this here in Manila hehehe

  • Bandung is like four hours away from Jakarta? I heard there are a lot of places to see there that are uniquely Indonesian. From your post, I like the sculptures. But the best are the traditional villas. I still like nature over anything else and staying at villas like that facing a lake is awesome!

  • The mention of factory outlets and seeing the 80% tag got me excited for a while. Well, it’s a given for women. But what got me really interested is the NuArt Gallery and the villas surrounding the lake. Are those villas for dining or are they rented out for accommodation?

    • That’s a very good question. I actually didn’t go down to that part but I doubt that its for accommodation. 🙂

  • This place is not just more than shopping I think. It is a well diversified place that I would really love to visit someday 🙂

  • I desired to give you high five because sometimes I also don’t do research whenever I go to new places so I won’t kill my excitement. I’ll give you all the credits for writing such informative article about Bandung. While reading your blog post, it seems that you’re taking me with you. I wish I’ll have the chance someday to visit Bandung as well. Thank you so much Cai for touring me around Bandung and sharing your travel experiences with us.

  • The place look so fun and entertaining! I love to explore this place! amazing architectures. Thanks for sharing.:)
    http://www.sweetcuisinera.com

  • Indonesia is like the Philippines, there is nothing much to see or do in the city but there are beautiful places outside the city. The last photo is a relaxing view.

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