Places to visit in Bandung

Bandung is situated in a river basin at an elevation of 768 metres and surrounded by volcanic mountains. It has a strong colonial history that goes back to the eighteenth century when the Dutch colonials first established tea plantations in the surrounding hills. It later became a resort city with many luxurious hotel, restaurants, cafe's and boutiques and received it's nickname of Parijs van Java or The Paris of Java.

Today, the city of Bandung still maintains many old colonial buildings and bungalows which can be seen all over the city. It's many tree-lined streets, restaurants and cafes and it's small town feeling attracts people from all over the country. With a mean temperature of just 23 deg C, it's cooler climate make it an ideal getaway for people wanting to escape the heat and humidity of other parts of Indonesia, and being just 140 km away from Jakarta it sees a big influx of local tourists during weekends and public holidays.

As a major centre for garment manufacturing, Bandung attracts investors and clients from all over the world. Tourists from nearby countries such as Singapore and Malaysia arrive everyday to visit it's many factory outlets that sell branded clothing at cheap prices and to enjoy the delicious Sundanese food and snacks.

These are some of the places that I have experienced in Bandung and the surrounding areas of West Java.

Kawah Putih

Kawah Putih (White Crater) is a volcanic lake in one of the two craters of Mount Patuha. The lake is highly acid and changes colour from bluish to whitish green depending on various factors such as the amount of sulfur present, the level of oxides in the water and the temperature. There are signs posted recommending that visitors limit their stay inside the crater to no longer than 15 minutes as the fumes can be toxic. The ground surrounding the lake is coated yellow with sulfur and and many tree stumps and red stained trees can be found inside the crater.

The journey from Bandung City to Kawah Putih takes about two hours by car. As you drive up the volcano road the temperature drops from around 23 deg C down to as low as 10 deg C as you reach the carpark near the top. It often rains at the top and people rent umbrellas and face masks near the carpark. The lake is often "in the clouds" being at 2,430 metres elevation.

The road up to the crater winds through wooded areas with wild coffee plants

A path leads down to the crater

As the water level drops, boulders and the stumps of dead trees are exposed

Closed shaft in the crater wall

Visitors picnicking outside the crater

Bandung Geological Museum

The Museum Geologi is in Jalan Diponegoro and walking distance from The Gedung Sate (Sate Building) which houses the Regional Government. The museum is housed in a colonial building built in 1928 in an art-deco style. Once inside the building it actually reminded me of a miniature version of the Natural History Museum in London. The collection of rocks, minerals and fossils is impressive as well as it's many active displays that explain about the geology of Indonesia, volcanic activity and the history and geology of human life. With a collection of 250,000 rocks and 60,000 fossils the museum is a great place to visit and learn about the geology of Indonesia.

Situ Patenggang and Ciwidey

Situ Patenggang or Lake Patenggang is located in the hilly area of Ciwidey about 2 hours drive from Bandung City. The area includes the famous Kawah Putih crater lake as well as several picnic spots, tea plantations and strawberry picking farms.

Situ Patenggang is situated in the hills at an altitude of about 1600 m. The climate here is cool and pleasant. To access Situ Patenggang one has to pay a small charge which increases about tenfold if you are a foreigner, so it is better to bring your KITAS/KITAP with you. Beside the lake are many small souvenir shops and small restaurants and stalls selling everything from Grilled Fish to fried rice, sate, instant noodles. There are also stalls selling strawberries and other fresh fruit, deep fried bananas, deep fried tofu and deep fried vegetables, all tasty and hot. If you feel adventurous you can take a boat ride on the lake. Surrounding the lake are tea plantations with some beautiful views of the lake and surrounding hills and if you are lucky you can watch the tea plantation workers picking tea. The last picture is of an old disused bridge built by the Dutch during colonial times.

Pasar Barang Antik Cikapundung Bandung (Bandung Antique Market)

Located in an old building not far from the Asia Africa Conference Center is the Pasar Barang Antik Cikapundung Bandung or commonly known as Bandung Antique Market. Here, on the third floor can be found scores of small stores selling old and new antiques, some dating back to colonial days, but also including many ethnic and primitive items from around Indonesia. There are shops selling old cameras, old money, furniture, cuckoo clocks, artwork, porcelain, vinyl albums, Keris  knives, and even a shop that restores small die-cast toy cars. I have my eye on an old Rolleiflex camera and a Mamiya lens.

Bersih Sehat

This is my favourite massage place in Bandung. I've tried a few others such as Zen, but always come back to this place as the masseurs really know their job, without all the frills of some of the other places. I haven't tried the ones in Jakarta but when I lived in Malaysia we had a woman who came to our home regularly and was a former masseuse at Bersih Sehat in Jakarta so we knew how good they are. All the masseurs are trained in several methods, and once the massage is over you can take a hot shower and get a hot drink. The cost is around Rp130k an hour and about Rp185k for 1 1/2 hours which includes free aromatherapy, and it is recommended to give a tip depending on how good the massage was. I had a 1 1/2 hour massage this morning and it was wonderful. Usually I will visit here once a week.

The ground floor has a Japanese restaurant, and all around the area are restaurants, cafe's and cake shops. As is common in Bandung, the area is full of mature trees that give lots of shade. It is also only a 10 minute walk to the main factory outlets in Jalan Martadinata.

Dusun Bambu

Dusun Bambu is a relatively new place where you can dine, try your hand at archery, or paddle around on a large pond in Lembang. You can also pick strawberries and have them made into a delicious fresh strawberry juice.

There are stores selling local products and  places to drink coffee in the seclusion of private thatched rooms along a wooden walkway in the trees. The restaurants provide excellent traditional Sundanese and Indonesian food.


Located about 18 km from Bandung City, Soreang is the capital of Bandung Regency and home to the Jalak Harupat Soreang Stadium. The area is famous for it's farming lands where one can see fields of rice, vegetables, strawberry farms and even Kopi Luwak farms.

Having literally just arrived back from Bandung following a couple of days stay I must say how disappointed I was not to see all the B plate Jakarta cars there that 'happens' every weekend.
It was a weekend in Bandung. Braga, beer and food. Like Jakarta but it's higher above sea level.

lukereg :

Having literally just arrived back from Bandung following a couple of days stay I must say how disappointed I was not to see all the B plate Jakarta cars there that 'happens' every weekend.
It was a weekend in Bandung. Braga, beer and food. Like Jakarta but it's higher above sea level.

I understand many people do visit at weekends from Jakarta, but it isn't for me.
Not that it's a bad place, it's actually quite nice, but the advantages don't justify the travel in my opinion.
Horses for courses.

The Farmhouse

I'll give this attraction a quick mention although I really don't like the place, but it is incredibly popular with tourists from Jakarta who can't get enough of the place. In fact, this attraction is one of the major causes of traffic jams on the road between Setia Budi and Lembang on weekends. It's also a place more interesting to Indonesian visitors rather than foreign visitors and I find it extremely overrated.

The Farmhouse is a relatively new attraction where you can feed farm animals, drink fresh milk (they give you a free cup of milk near the entrance - strawberry, chocolate or plain) after you have paid the entrance charge, there are restaurants with average food, and you can dress up in weird old style European clothes, and wander around a few cute little shops to buy souvenirs and snacks. Oh, and couples can attach their own padlocks to a fence.

The place is really crowded, and the traffic jams caused by cars waiting to enter can be several kilometres long which is really annoying if you wanted to go somewhere else. I've been here a couple of times to meet friends, but hope not to come here again.

Get your free cup of milk here

Artifical Water Feature

Lovers Padlocks

Dressing Up … dnktrl.jpg

The Restaurant

The Upstairs Restaurant

The Chandelier in the Restaurant

Small shops

More small shops at The Farmhouse

A display of a wood fire with chickens & Bintang Beer

A display of deer antlers on the upper floor of the restaurant

Jendela Alam

Jendela Alam is a place that we like to bring the children every now and again. It is located in the countryside in Lembang, in the hills just above Bandung City, and is a farm where they keep animals, grow vegetables, and hold activities for kids. Children can feed animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, ponies and goats, and even ride ponies with a guide. You can wander around the chicken coops or let your children catch tiny fish with nets or play in the playground. The great thing is that it costs almost nothing to get in.

The official link for Jendela Alam is:

Some of the activities are less than impressive such as the swimming pool and water slide, and the restaurant and souvenir shop are a bit disappointing, but the good thing about Jendela Alam is that it isn't crowded and children seem to love the contact with the animals.

The location is good because the Elephant Park is nearby as is Kampung Daun and Dusun Bamboo where you can have a great lunch.

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The playground at Jendela Alam.

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