Bandung: The Hidden Gem of Indonesia

Bandung is the capital of West Java province and is an absolute must-visit destination when in Indonesia. It is the perfect place to take in some amazing sights, browse a truly mind-numbing selection of goods you can buy at a cheap price, and generally relax for a while (especially if you’ve just come from the craziness that is Jakarta).

Bandung allows you to do all these things and more, but it wasn’t always such a thriving tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. Bandung was originally a Dutch colony that was established in the 18th century when the Dutch colonials built tea plantations around the nearby mountains. It stayed under Dutch rule until Indonesia declared independence in 1945 and this was when the city went through rapid development and transformed into the Bandung that is well known today.

Now you know the history of how this amazing city came to be, we can start talking about what you should see and do here to really make the most of your visit. Firstly though, you should make sure you pick a good base to stay in that is located in a central location so you are never too far away from anything, my personal choice would be the Holiday Inn Bandung as this covers the above very nicely. You can click here to read more about tips for a great holiday in Bali but for now, let’s get back to that checklist of things you shouldn’t miss in Bandung.

At the top of this list has to be seeing Kawah Putih or the White Crater, this is a crater lake that will let you take some breathtaking pictures of its ever-changing water. By this, I mean that the color of the lake changes with the weather so you could find the crystal blue water changing right in front of you.

This is what draws most visitors but not many of them know about Kawah Putih’s secret which is revealed when there is a full moon. When the weather conditions are right, the lake glows a fluorescent green color and lights up the surrounding area, this will not fail to disappoint and you will remember this natural phenomenon for the rest of your life.

The shopping in Bandung is almost as well known as Kawah Putih. It is actually what more visitors will be interested in as you can get some seriously stylish, world-famous branded items from the many outlets located all over this city. For the uninformed, however, there are four areas where the most popular of these outlets can be found and these are Jalan Setiabudi, Jalan Riau, Dago District, and Cihampelas.

Head to any of these areas and you’ll be in the right place to get some amazing items at a great price but be warned, the lines can verge on the ridiculous, especially on a weekend as many Indonesians visit Bandung solely for the purpose of shopping.

After all that shopping the only thing on my mind would be where can I get some good food and the answer to that is everywhere. Street food in Bandung is on every corner so you’ll never be stuck for a place to eat and it is considerably cheaper than eating at a restaurant.

Some dishes you will find include many different kinds of satay such as chicken, liver, or chicken blood cubes served with a peanut sauce. If you have a sweet tooth, you can get some Surabi (rice pancakes) with many different toppings like vanilla, banana, or other fruits. There are literally hundreds of different street food dishes to try and I can guarantee to find them out for yourself will be one of the highlights of your trip.

Now you’ve read about what Bandung has to offer the only thing left is to get out there and experience it for yourself, make your own memories, and have an amazing trip!