What to see in Bandung (part 2)

by ozchinita

Just a few weeks ago, I was suddenly asked to go back to Bandung in order to help the client finish some activities.

In my previous trip, I posted some entries about the food, the shopping, and one of the tourist spots of Bandung.

So this time I wanted to do some more sightseeing that I didn’t get to do previously. Thankfully in this trip the client offered to have a driver take me to one of their well known attractions nearby, the Tangkuban Prahu.  

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What to see in Bandung..

Bandung is more known for shopping and food, but there are some places to go to for sightseeing or to get exposure to the local culture.

One of them was a cultural performance in Saung Angklung Mang Udjo. This is both a performance venue and a school for kids to learn how to play the local musical instrument the angklung.

The Angklung is made by carving out these bamboo sticks in such a way as to produce a certain key. Before the show, we got to see these ladies in action making the instruments.

Then came the performances.  First up was some dance performances.. This one is called a Helaran dance.. a ritual done for a boy who is about to be circumcised.


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Shopping around Bandung

Besides food, Bandung is known both among locals and to Malaysians as a place for bargain shopping.  Because there’s a lot of clothing factories based here, the overruns are placed in factory outlets scattered throughout the city.

You can easily find out which are the popular ones just by asking the hotel or your taxi driver.  To get around, you can rent a taxi for a day, but that doesn’t include any parking fees that you need to pay (which almost all of the factory outlets have) of 2,000 rupiah (20 AUD cents).

The difficulty I had while researching for which factory outlets to go to, is that eventhough a lot of blogs in the internet would say which outlets are popular for shopping, they wouldn’t say or show what items you can find there.  The common brands I would find (which I believe are authentic) is Cotton On, Guess, some H&M, Forever 21, Espirit and if I’m lucky a few Zara and Mango.

Having said that, I wasn’t just looking for getting branded clothes at a lower price.  I wanted to find clothes that had some sort of style to them and was fashionable.

And in a lot of the factory outlets, you can’t expect to find something like that.  If you’re going to look for jeans, or simple tank tops or t shirts, then yes you’ll find a lot at bargain prices.  But otherwise, you’ll probably get disappointed by the choices available.

The only factory outlet I went crazy shopping at is Rumah Mode.  Compared to the other factory outlets, this had a cleaner, fancier atmosphere where even if I didn’t shop, the place in itself gave that local feel because of the architecture and statues around the area.

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A taste of Indonesian food..

Food here in Indonesia is cheaper than what it would cost in Australia (or even the Philippines), and there’s a lot of restaurants to try.  I asked my Indonesian friend to just list down all the popular local food, and whenever I would see that name in the menu I would pick it and try  it out.  These are some of the dishes I got to try

Nasi Goreng Sunda – fried rice with chicken, shrimp, fried egg and beef satay

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A quick trip to Bandung, Indonesia

In instances like this, I get reminded of why I enjoy my job. Thanks to a new project, I recently went for a week to Bandung in Indonesia.

Admittedly this wouldn’t be my first choice if I were to travel, and I’ve never heard of Bandung before this… but I would never pass up the chance to explore given that I have to go here anyway. So I asked for an extension in my stay until the weekend, and started googling to find out what this place has to offer.

Bandung is the capital city of West Java province. From Jakarta, the drive (assuming there’s no traffic) would take around two hours. But Indonesia has a lot of traffic (comparable to the Philippines), so I had a feeling that the drive going here from Jakarta would take longer than that. So I instead asked the travel agent to find me a flight that goes directly to Bandung (BDO) airport. It’s a good thing I did, my client took the flight to Jakarta and hired a taxi to go to Bandung, and it took them 4 hours to get to the hotel. While mine took 30-40 minutes with traffic.

For a lot of nationalities, there’s no need to get a visa to travel to Indonesia. You just need to pay a fee upon arrival for an entry visa valid up to 30 days.

This is the view of the city from my hotel. The city is close to the mountains and above sea level so the climate here is a bit cooler and not as hot and sticky as I expected.

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