When I was told the itinerary of my most recent trip to Indonesia would include Bandung, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It was an area that I had never heard of despite having been to Indonesia for 4 weeks a couple of years back.
After some light research, I was given a general impression that the area highlighted more of a luxury experience with maximum shopping opportunities, so I braced myself to be bored.
After spending a few days, I can say wholeheartedly that Bandung surprised me and that I only really scratched the surface of what is on offer there. I left with an intent to return and venture into some of the areas that sit a bit further from the city for some real adventure.
That aside, here are the highlights and some damn good things to do in Bandung for your own visit.
9 Interesting Things to Do in Bandung
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1. 4×4 Bandung Off-Road Trip
Not surprisingly for an adventurer, this was the highlight of my visit to Bandung. We spent an entire afternoon blazing our way through deep, mud trenches of the highlands in vintage Land Rovers with Bandung Off-Road.
The trip took us from the comfort of the city, off the pavement and onto dirt roads that cut through rolling tea fields.
Once we cleared the tea field area we left the smooth track and entered the trenches, many of which were well over the line of where the window meets the door of the Land Rover.
There had been rains the days before we arrived so many of the tracks were full of water creating a true mudding experience.
Some of us broke down, some of us had vehicles that filled with mud and we loved every minute of it. Hands down one of the best things to do in Bandung during your visit.
2. City Getaway at Dusun Bambu
Touted as the best eco-retreat in the area, Dusun Bambu is the definition of glamping and it’s hard to argue with that when you arrive in the looming presence of a large bamboo structure.
People come here from far and wide to take in the peace, quiet and nature that can be found by spending a few nights in one of the properties small cabins. The park sits at the foot of a mountain with sublime surroundings.
Transportation by their flower shuttle will bring you to the main area of the park and give you access to their many restaurants and activity areas. If you fancy a walk, head off down the bamboo paths and enjoy a little bit of nature and the surroundings.
My favorite part of the visit was enjoying lunch t the cafe Burangrang where we enjoyed views of the mountain and a beautiful lake with pink boats below us.
Dusun Bambu is located in Kolonel Masturi KM 11 Cisarua, Bandung Barat. For further info, visit their website at Dusun Bambu and is easily one of the best things to do in Bandung, Indonesia.
3. Tangkuban Perahu Live Crater
A 2-hour drive North of Bandung will put you at the foot of the active volcano, Tangkuban Perahu. Stepping into the interior of an active volcano allows you to witness the steaming white smoke as it leaves the volcano and disappears into the sky.
Strong local legends surround the volcano telling a story about a young man who fell in love with his own mother. When the mother learned of this secret she was horrified and decided to challenge the man to build a giant boat in one single night.
Knowing the power of her son and fearing he might actually accomplish the task, she turned to God for help and asked him to bring the sun up early.
This resulted in the sun rising long before the man could finish the task, infuriating him which resulted in him kicking the boat in defeat creating the crater that looks like the volcano. Or so the locals say.
When you’ve savored enough of the story and grabbed some photos, there is plenty of shopping at the top of the crater selling handicrafts, souvenirs and street food.
It’s a combined experience you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, making Tangkuban Perahu one of the best things to do in Bandung.
4. Mercure Setiabudi Hotel Magic Pool
If you are looking for a magical experience during your stay in Bandung, head for the Mercure Setiabudi Hotel. The pool of the property is known all over Bandung as a special experience.
This particular pool features bright colors, clear water and gives you the impression that you are lounging under a billion stars in the sky. Floating under the twinkling stars is a great way to end any long day and one of the best things to do in Bandung.
Mercure Setiabudi Hotel is located in Jl. Dr. Setiabudi No. 269 – 275 Bandung 30154 – Indonesia
5. Dinner at Kampung Duan
If you arrive in Bandung and start asking around about a place to have a nice dinner, you’ll start to har Kampung Duan echoed from the rooftops of the city. This place has a reputation for great dining and an atmosphere that can’t be beaten.
We arrived at the restaurant after it was already dark and the place felt like a natural wonderland. Walking down the path afforded us views of the staggered layout that features private dining booths, candlelight and natural jungle type decorations.
Our dinner was even complete with local music and dance performances. If you’re looking for cultural ambiance, Kampung Duan is one of the best things to do in Bandung for it.
6. Komunitas Hong Traditional Games
Unsure what to expect we made our way to the Komunitas Hong, a small place in the Bandung area that allows participation and learning of traditional Sundanese games.
While being serenaded with local music the employees of the site provide backgrounds, history, and teachings of the most popular family games. These have been practiced through the ages and are things held as near and dear to their hearts as our parents hold kick the can.
Traditional games included shooting peas from little wooden guns with rubber bands, tossing scarves in the air with a perfect ring, weaving birds and dolls out of palm leaves and a variety of song and dance moves.
Apprehensive at first, it was hard to resist the charms of the locals and the chance to act like a kid, which we so often must miss in adult society these days.
7. Lunch at Sindang Reret Ciwidey
Take a step into the seclusion of the backstreets and enjoy a meal outside with stunning views over rice paddies and mountains at Sindang Reret Ciwidey.
This is definitely one of the best things to do in Bandung after spending your morning at Komunitas Hong. The food served is traditional Indonesian delicacies with a touch of local flare making for a tasty meal and a true way to immerse into your adventure.
8. Visit Kawah Putih
Kawah Putih resides 50 km South of Bandung and is known as the white crater. A crater lake showing off its beauty both to local and foreign visitors and a fabulous spot for photography featuring a turquoise lake surrounded by skeletal trees.
The temperature can be cold up there so be sure to pack a light jacket.
According to locals, animals have avoided the area because of the fumes from the lake cause death to living creatures. The lake contains a strong concentration of sulfur that is fatal to animals that hesitate in the area.
While the sulfur smell may bother you, it won’t kill you but there are masks available at the entrance.
9. Saung Angklung Udjo Show
If you’re looking for something absolutely unique to Indonesia and this area then you absolutely must attend a Saung Angklung Udjo in Bandung.
Angklung is a traditional musical instrument made of bamboo tubes that are strung together to create certain pitches and then played by shaking the tubes in the rhythm that you want to create.
All the performances are presented by the children of the community that are enrolled in the school to learn this type of musical inclination. They are all very passionate about playing the instruments and it shows as they beam at the completion of each song.
Just when you think it can’t get any better, they shower the audience with instruments and you get the pleasure of learning how to play along to some very basic songs. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best cultural things to do in Bandung.
Special thanks to the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism for inviting me to this wonderful region of Indonesia on the #trip of wonders. All opinions are my own.
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