Bandung (150 kilometers southeast of Jakarta) is the capital of West Java and the forth most populous city in Indonesia. Although it has a population of over 2.5 million people its pace is much slower than that of Jakarta. Situated at an elevation of 770 meters (2500 feet) so the climate is relatively cool, it is regarded as the focal point of Sundanese culture and center of the Sundanese ethnic group but also home to some fine examples of Dutch colonial and art decor architecture. At one time it was called the “Paris of Java.” But it is hard to believe that now as many parts of it are like other congested Indonesian cities. Northern sections of the city are the most hilly.

Bandung is home to many universities and is essentially a college town. Located at a rail junction that connects it with Jakarta and other cities in Java, it boasts a textile institute, a technological institute, a state university, two private universities, and a nuclear research center. Surrounded by green fertile mountains and volcanoes, it has many tree-lined streets as well as factories, hospitals, government offices and schools.. The city was the site of the Bandung Conference in 1955, a meeting between 29 Asian and African nations to promote cultural and economic cooperation and raise the profile of Third World countries.. [Source: Cities of the World, Gale Group Inc., 2002, adapted from a 2001 U.S. State Department report]

Bandung is the home of the well-known Institut Tekonologi Bandung (ITB). Established in 1920, this university that has produced many of Indonesia’s top scientists, engineers, geologists and business leaders, Bandung is also the center of Indonesia’s burgeoning ICT technology but is also a magnet for artists. Every weekend and long holidays the city is filled with young people from Jakarta who flock to Bandung to enjoy its youthful creative atmosphere in music, painting, fashion, and the culinary arts. Several modern artists live and work in Bandung; one of Indonesia's best art schools is here. Bandung Alliance School, featuring a U.S. curriculum for grades one through six, and Bandung International School, featuring a combined curriculum for pre-kindergarten through grade eight, are located here.

Bandung can be visited any time of the year and is renowned for its picturesque open vistas and has a few attractions worth checking out. Since the opening of the Cipularang Toll road, which cuts down travel from Jakarta to two hours from the previous four hours over the tortuous Puncak Pass, Bandung has become the favourite weekend getaway to relax and escape from the hectic pace of metropolitan Jakarta and buy trendy fashions for reasonable prices at the myriad of factory outlets and enjoy a wide range of delicious local and international cuisines and captivating traditional arts is a distinct colonial European-style atmosphere.

Bandung can be reached car, bus or train from Jakarta and has a decent selection of good hotel accommodations with pleasant mountain views. About 15 miles north of Bandung is the Tangkuban Prahu Volcano. You can visit Bandung year round, as it is almost always sunny, and during the wet season (September — April) the temperature is pleasantly cool between 17 — 20 ËšC, Umbrella and light jacket are recommended during the wet season, You may need to bring a sweater of windbreaker for the early morning or evening,

History of Bandung

Bandung has long been an important textile center and distribution area for products grown on products grown in the fertile region around it. Bandung grew and prospered as more and more large plantations and large companies appeared. It was the center of Indonesia's quinine industry, using the cinchona grown in the nearby plantations. Quinine was the traditional prophylactic and treatment for malaria. By 1939 Bandung’s cinchona plantations produced 90 percent of the world’s quinine. Dutch coffers were also filling up from the sale of coffee grown around the city. As the new town became the home of the Dutch wealthy elite, Bandung came to be known as “Parijs van Java” — the Paris of Java. Bandung has also long been the center of Sudanese cultural life. During World War II it was the site of Japanese prison camp. [Source: Cities of the World, Gale Group Inc., 2002, adapted from a 2001 U.S. State Department report]

According to “Cities of the World“: Originally established in the late 19th century as a colonial garrison town, Bandung soon grew into a town for wealthy planters who owned the miles and miles of tea, coffee and cinchona plantations, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens in the cool and fertile hills of West Java. Bandung thus became the town of the European elite. And since this was the era of art deco, Bandung has a rich heritage of buildings in examplary art deco architecture. They include the beautiful Villa Isola, - now housing the University for Education-, the Concordia, the present Asian-African Museum, which was then the Society’s Clubhouse-, the main Braga shopping center, where the Dutch colonial elite went to shop, and the Savoy-Homann and Preanger hotels, where they would overnight and hold grand balls.

“While along the present Jalan Juanda, then known as Dago Boulevard, were the houses of the elite with their green lawns and flower gardens fronting opulent homes. In those colonial heydays in the early 20th century, Bandung became known as “Parijs van Java”, or the Paris of Java, where Dutch planters and ladies paraded and flaunted their wealth and beauty along the boulevards and Bragaweg, then the Champs Elysees of the East.

“Today, Bandung is remembered in history internationally as the venue of the First Asian-African Conference held in 1955 which brought together for the first time, leaders of 29 Asian and African countries, who declared to jointly fight colonialism for national independence. Attending the Conference were noted national leaders, among whom, Jawaharlal Nehru and daughter Indira Gandhi of India, Zhou EnLai of China, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and Indonesia’s own President Sukarno. The Asian-African Conference became the precursor of the Non-Alighned Movement. Later Bandung also became the center for textile mills producing much of Indonesia’s textiles for fashion wear, linen and upholstery.”

Sights and Activities in Bandung

Bandung’s college town atmosphere is one of its main attractions. Jeans Street used to be a student hangout with plaster of paris replicas of Superman, Batman and other comic book heros but now its known mainly of its factory outlet stores. The Theater in Bandung has a bas-relief done by Dutch expressionist painters with images of water buffalo and farmers in conical hats. Other places of interest are mostly museums, with the Geology Museum probably being the best of the lot. Worth a look are Bandung Institute of Technology, one of Indonesia’s premier universities and the Gedung Merdeka, the building where the great Asia-Africa conference as held in 1955.

While in Bandung try to see a "Wayang Golek" wooden puppet show accompanied by a "Angklung" bamboo orchestra as well as traditional Sudanese gamelon music and dance. Performances often held at places like the Rumentnag Siang, Sanggar Langen Setra and ASTI-Bandung. Also worth checking if they are taking place when you are there are the ram fights. Nusantar Aircraft Industry (six kilometers from Bandung) was the only aircraft factory in Southeast Asia. I’m not sure what became of it. Around Bandung are volcanoes tea plantations and hot springs

Do not forget to admire Bandung’s art-deco architectural heritage found throughout the city. The Museum of the Asian-African Conference is definitely worth a visit and is one of the best preserved tropical art deco buildings. The ITB campus, the “Gedung Satay” governor’s office, and Villa Isola are also fine examples of art-deco architecture.

Asian-African Conference in Bandung

The historic first Asian African Conference was convened here in the “Gedung Merdeka” in Bandung from April 18th to 24th 1955. Recognized as milestone in world history for recognizing both the problems and power of the developing world, it was organized and hosted by Indonesian President Nkrumah Sukarno. Sukarno is considered the father of the non-aligned movement of Third World nations whose initial aim was to find a nonaligned middle ground between the capitalist United States and the communist Soviet Union.

The Asian African Conference was the first time that 29 Asian and African countries, most of whom had just gained their independence after long yeras of colonial rule, gathered to join hands to determine their own future. Together the countries that participated covered a quarter of the world’s land surface with a total population of 1.5 billion people, more than half the world’s population at that time. Those attending are a Who’s Who of Asian and African history: Sukarno of Indonesia, Jawaharlal Nehru of India who came with his daughter Indira Gandhi,, the future leader of India, Sir John Kottalawala of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Muhammed Ali of Pakistan, Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, U Nu of Burma, General Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Zhou En Lai of China and many more.

The groundbreaking Afro-Asian Conference grew into the non-aligned nation's movement. Third World countries that met in Bandung declared they were going to take a path differing from that of both the United States and the Soviet Union. The meeting was filled with anti-first-world theories and terms like "anti-imperialism" and "anti-colonialism." Sukarno said it was time to wipe away the legacy of Western colonialism and called for the 20th century to be "the century of the awakening of the colored people" and "the century of intervention."

Third World leaders stayed at the Savoy Homann Hotel and held meetings at Bandung's historical "freedom" building —Gedung Merdeka. To underscore solidarity among the nations, leaders and delegates made the dramatic historic walk together from their hotels at Savoy Homann, the Preanger and the Panghegar to Gedung Merdeka.

The leaders gave their commitment to the 10 principles of Bandung in 1955 which inspired the struggle of the Asian and African nations for independence. At an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bandung, that welcomed leaders of nations from South Africa to North Korea, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said,"The Bandung spirit has been a guidance, and a rallying cry, for generations of Asian and African leaders.” [Source: Reuters, April 25, 2005]

The 10-point "declaration on promotion of world peace and cooperation," incorporating the principles of the United Nations Charter was adopted unanimously: 1) Respect for fundamental human rights and for the purposes and principles of the charter of the United Nations; 2) Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations; 3) Recognition of the equality of all races and of the equality of all nations large and small; 4) Abstention from intervention or interference in the internal affairs of another country; 5) Respect for the right of each nation to defend itself, singly or collectively, in conformity with the charter of the United Nations; 6a) Abstention from the use of arrangements of collective defence to serve any particular interests of the big powers; 6b) Abstention by any country from exerting pressures on other countries; 7) Refraining from acts or threats of aggression or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country; 8) Settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means, such as negotiation, conciliation, arbitration or judicial settlement as well as other peaceful means of the parties own choice, in conformity with the charter of the United Nations; 9) Promotion of mutual interests and cooperation; 10) Respect for justice and international obligations. Initiated by Indonesia, Burma (now Myanmar), Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Pakistan and India, other countries participating were : Afghanistan, Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), the State of Vietnam (South Vietnam), and Yemen.

The conference was held at the height of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union and their allies. The conference resulted in the Dasasila Bandung, in which most of the principles of the United Nations were incorporated, and which became the guideline for colonized countries in their fight for independence. It also became the fundamental principles in promoting world peace and international cooperation.

Asian-African Conference Museum

The venue of Asian African Conference — — Gedung Merdeka — is now a museum:the Asian-African Conference Museum, inaugurated by Indonesian President Suharto in April 1980 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the conference. The Asian-African Museum is located at Jalan Asia Afrika in Bandung, just across Hotel Homann and near Hotel Preanger where delegates were accommodated The Museum is open Mondays through Fridays from 8.00 am to 3.00 pm. It also possible to stay at the same hotels where the world leaders attending the conference stayed: the Savoy Homann Hotel, the Preanger, and the Panghegar Hotel, within walking distance from Gedung Merdeka.

The permanent exhibition room at the Asian-African Conference Museum contains exhibits and collections of objects and documentary photos of the preparatory Tugu Meeting, the Colombo Conference, the Bogor Meeting and the Asian-African Conference 1955.

The exhibition room also covers the historical events that become the background of the Asian- African Conference; - the effect of the Asian-African Conference to the world; Gedung Merdeka at different periods of time; and multimedia profiles of participating countries at the Asian-African Conference.

The Asian-African Conference Museum library provides books on the history, social, politics, and cultures related to the participating Asian and African countries and other topics; documents from the Asian-African Conference and its preparatory conferences; and magazines and newspapers donated by other institutions. The audio visual room at the museum room is used to show documentary films on world conditions until 1950s, the Asian-African Conference and its preliminary conferences, and films about the social, political, and culture conditions surrounding the Asian-African Countries.

Art Deco in Bandung

The 1920s, when the Dutch decided to gradually move their colonial capital to Bandung, was the heyday of Art Deco. Today, Bandung still holds some of the best examples of “Tropical Art Deco” architecture in the world. If you arrive by train at Bandung station,, built in 1884, you are immediately exposed to a fine example of Dutch architecture with art deco touches. When you disembark from the train, turn right and you will see a fine Art Deco interior. Well-know examples of art deco in Bandung include the Hotel Savoy Homann (near the city square); Villa Isola (northern part of Bandung); Gedung Sate (The Provincial government office); Gedung Merdeka (The Asia-Africa Conference museum); and Braga Street Buildings (a commercial center during Dutch colonial era).

The Savoy Homann Hotel as well as the Grand Hotel Preanger are both prominent examples of well-preserved Art Deco architecture. The Preanger Hotel was built in 1929 by a Java-born Dutch architect, Charles Prosper Wolff Schoemaker, who previously worked for a famed American Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Schoemaker, who was then lecturer at the Bandoengsche Technische Hoogeschool, now the Bandung Institute of Technology, hired Sukarno, a draftsman who was also his student. History has it that this student draftsman would ultimately become the founding father and the first President of the Republic of Indonesia. The Grand Hotel Preanger has been modernized, but its original sections are maintained.

There are other buildings associated with Schoemaker’s name. On Braga Street, his creations include Majestic Cinema, now the First Asian-African Conference Museum, and the adjoining Societeit Concordia Club House, currently Gedung Merdeka. The neo-gothic, Art Deco Catholic Cathedral of St. Petrus splendidly stands on Merdeka Street, a block from Braga Street. Schoemaker’s masterpiece is Villa Isola on Dr. Setiabudhi Street, built in 1933 as a residence of a millionaire, D.W. Beretty. The house later turned into a hotel and is now used as the main office of a nationally-renowned university. This architectural jewel is considered as “Indonesia’s greatest contribution to the world of art-deco”, boasting curvaceous shapes that blend beautifully with the terraced garden landscape.

Another prominent name that is also equally renowned for Bandung’s Art Deco architecture is Albert Frederick Aalbers. Born in Rotterdam, the Dutch architect moved to Bandung in 1928 to try his luck in the Dutch East Indies. The architect’s signature style, ‘Streamlined Deco’ on the façade, and ‘Tropical Deco’ inside, can be seen on Denis Bank, now Bank Jabar on Braga Street, and the nearby Savoy Homann Hotel.

Perhaps the most well-known art deco building stands precisely in the center of the city. The Gedung Sate, the building that is now the governor’s office, was completed in 1920, and designed by J. Gerber. Famous for its skewer-like antenna - Satay or Sate - which gives the building its popular name, it combines neo-classical style with native elements and creates grandeur and a unique mixture of Western and Eastern atmosphere. For more information on Bandung’s Art Deco and other heritage buildings, visit: Bandung Heritage Society:/ or Bandung Trail:

Shopping in Bandung

Bandung is famous its factory outlets, especially for clothes as the city has long been a textile center, and cheap prices. Large number of factory outlets are scattered along Dago (Ir. H. Djuanda), Riau (R.E.Martadinata), Cihampelas, and Setiabudi. Here you can get name brand stuff and non-name-brand stuff. The selection of jeans in particularly good.

Not all stores accept credit cards, so make sure you have sample amount of cash ready. Before shopping, make sure you have exchanged your foreign currency at the money changer’s; you can find them along Dago, Cihampelas and Tamblong streets. ATMs are everywhere but may be a hassle to get to or use in a crowded shopping area.. Bargaining is practiced at traditional and outside markets and some shops but not at established indoor stores. Always keep an eye on your belongings. Check and recheck before you purchase an item. Some stores have non refundable policy.

The most popular items to buy in Bandung are the delicious foods and drinks such as the famous snacks keripik tempeh, keripik oncom, steamed-brownies Amanda, sale pisang, dodol, peyeum, pisang bolen Kartika Sari, batagor Riri, ubi (sweet potatoes) and Cilembu sold in stores and at vendors along Dago, Cihampelas, Riau, Kemuning, Burangrang and Sulanjana streets.

Among the popular local handicrafts for are Angklung (traditional musical instrument made of bamboo) at Saung Angklung Udjo, Wayang Golek (Sundanese wood puppet) at Galeri Cupumanik, Jl. Haji Umar, and various high quality crocodile skin handicrafts, wood carvings, and other Indonesian furniture at Toko Sin Sin Souvenir & Antique Shop, Jl. Braga 59. Looking for small fancy trinkets for your friends? Just stop by at Dutch colonial shop Jl. Cihampelas 39, T-shirt, pins, hats, key holders, and bamboo pens are available in various designs.

Bandung Factory Outlets

Bandung has a large number of factory outlets where Jakarta shoppers regularly flock to, to find the latest trendy apparel at reasonable prices. Those planning to travel to cool climates will stock on warm clothing here in Bandung. You will find Factory outlets or distribution stores (known as Distros) dotting the main Dago avenue (now called Jalan Ir. H. Juanda), along Jalan Riau (officially kown as Jalan R.E. Martadinata), or up the road to Lembang, where Jakarta cars regularly jam the parking lots especially over the weekends. Jalan Cihampelas is the favorite street to buy clothes-and by the way, the street is also famous for the many stores selling all kinds of crispy tid-bits to bring home to colleagues and relatives. Many of these outlets are housed in beautiful colonial homes, for which Bandung was once famous.

In Bandung you will also find leather goods, from the reasonably priced to branded goods, made here in Bandung . You will find a large variety of handbags and shoes in all shapes and sizes. While there are many in the city, - most popular are "Diaz" and "Elizabeth", the suburb of Cibaduyut specializes in shoes and leatherware.

Not all stores accept credit cards, so make sure you have sample amount of cash ready. Check and recheck before you purchase an item. Some stores have non refundable policy. Try every item before you buy it, if possible.

Pasar Baru Trade Center

If branded fashions and exclusive factory outlets are not for you, then Bandung still has something up its shopping’s sleeves. Located just a short walk from Bandung’s Central Train Station, Pasar Baru Trade Center (PBTC) offers Bandung’s finest products and bargaining is part of the shopping process.

Initially called simply Pasar Baru or the New Market, it is actually the oldest operating marketplace in the city of Bandung. Built in 1884, the original Pasar Baru Market replaced the Ciguriang commercial area which was razed down during the Munada uprising in 1842. Munada was believed to be the central figure in the uprising that burnt the Ciguriang Market in revenge for his arrest in a certain dispute.

The market was renovated in 1906 as a modern market in line with the ambience of Chinatown. In 1926 a broader and more permanent market complex was built to accommodate the growing merchants in Bandung. In 1935 the Dutch Colonial Government named it as the cleanest and most organized market of the entire Dutch East Indies or Indonesia. A major reconstruction occurred in 1970 which transformed the complex into a multi-storeyed building, and in 2003, Pasar Baru got the look and the name Pasar Baru Trade Center as known today.

PBTC3Throughout its long history, PBTC still retains its role as the market for all. A place where prices are not fixed to attached labels, but are more of an agreement determined through the process of negotiation. Many still come to buy bulks of textiles products such as t-shirts, pants, and others, to be distributed and sold in other parts of the country. The market is also known as the best place to hunt for special Muslim wear, such as hijabs, fashionable Muslims ladies clothing, and others. Visitors can also browse through the vast selection of Sundanese authentic snacks and tidbits such as dodol garut, banana sale, Tempe crackers, and others, at the many stalls lining up on the façade of the ground floor. All at reasonably low prices. You can also browse through vast selections of fashion products ranging from daily popular clothing, such as T-shirts, shirts, pants, shorts, skirts, jackets, sweaters; to luxurious dresses or suits. PBTC is also known to hold a considerable collection of Muslim and Indonesia clothes and items such as hijabs, turbans, sarongs, mukenah (shallat dresses for ladies), praying mats, and others. You can also find one floor that is solely dedicated to selling various fabrics.

Restaurants and Accommodation in Bandung

Bandung has a variety of accommodation options scattered throughout the town, from luxurious hotels to modest inns. On the weekend, these hotels are filled up with the Jakartans trying to escape the capital so make sure that you are booked in advance.

There are many restaurants and street stalls and vendors in Bandung as there are many places in Indonesia. Sundanese food tends to be bland yet tasty unless you add sambal dadak (chili and other ingredients grinded together). Popular dishes include nasi timbel, lalapan (vegetables), sambal dadak, a piece of chicken (fried or roasted Sundanese style), fried tofu, fried tempeh, and a slice of jambal (salted fish). Other tasty dishes and hand food include gepuk (slices of beef, mixed in traditional herbs, then fried), pepes (fish, chicken of mushrooms mixed with crushed and blended herbs, folded into a banana leaf, then steamed) and sauteed greens. Batagor baso tahu goreng (fried meatballs and tofu) is one of the most sought-after specialties. It is sometimes made with fish and served with a special peanut sauce.

Among the popular Sundanese sweets are pisang molen (a traditional pastry filled with banana and cheese), brownies kukus (steamed brownies) and cakue (fried dough). Es cendol, made of blended/grinded rice, palm sugar, and coconut milk, is a treat on a hot day. Bandrek or bajigur when the weather is cooler. Bandung is known for milk products and yoghurt. Basically there are two kinds of yoghurt in Bandung: the thin one, and the thick one (French style). Hot snacks are widely sold throughout Bandung. Among them are gehu-toge tahu- (tofu with beansprouts and vegetables filling), pisang goreng (fried banana), cireng-aci goreng (fried tapioca), and many more. You might be interested in trying snacks such as, nangka goreng (fried jackfruit), peuyeum goreng (fermented cassava, fried), nanas goreng (fried pineapple), Ketan bakar (roasted sticky rice) and jagung bakar/rebus (roasted/boiled corns).

Bandung has restaurants serving various kinds of food: Padangese (food from West Sumatra, very spicy), Javanese (sweeter), Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Western and Indian. Nasi goreng (fried rice), although not originally from Bandung, is a favorite. The ingredients vary, according to people's preference. Sometimes the rice is mixed with seafood (usually shrimps, pieces of cuttlefish or crab meat), chicken, vegetables, mutton and/or salted fish.

Getting to Bandung

It is quite easy to reach Bandung and there are many transportation options: trains, buses, airplanes, rental cars and cars with a driver. If you are coming from Jakarta, many shuttle services run on hourly schedules between Jakarta and Bandung. Flights are less favored because of the time it takes to travel to Jakarta's airport (Soekarno-Hatta) and check in may take longer than traveling by car. If you are coming from some place other than Jakarta, Bandung’s Husein Sastranegara Airport serves as a major gateway for flights from cities in Indonesia including: Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Bali. The airport also serves direct international flights from and to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

By Air: Air Asia provides three flights a day from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and daily flights from Bali (DPS) and Medan (MES) to Bandung (BDO) and vice versa. Malaysia Airlines also serves daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Bandung. Deraya Airlines operates daily flight from Jakarta (Halim Perdanakusuma Airport) to Bandung (Hussein Sastranegara Airport). Merpati Nusantara Airlines flies daily between Bandung-Bali, Bandung-Labuan Bajo, Bandung-Surabaya, and Bandung-Medan Book your ticket beforehand as this is necessary to secure a seat. Wings Air, subsidiary of Lion Air, operate flight routes of Bandung-Bengkulu, Bandung-Palembang (South Sumatra) and Bandung-Tanjung Karang (Bandar Lampung). Sriwijaya Air and Susi Air also provides flights to and from Bandung. Husein Sastranegara International Airport is four kilometers from city center at the end of Pajajaran Street. Tel: (62- 22)6015871, fax: (62-22) 633971; website:

By Train is an ideal choice if you went to check out Java’s beautiful scenery: lush green mountains, volcanoes, undulating hills, terraced paddy fields and tea plantations. From Jakarta the 180 kilometers journey takes 3 hours. PT KAI Persero (Kereta Api Indonesia) provides excellent train services to reach Bandung from several cities in Indonesia: If you leave from Jakarta (Gambir Train Station), Argo Gede will lead you to Bandung. Argo Gede serves only Executive-AC class but it is comfortable and faster train. The first train will leave at 5.30am and the last train at 08.30pm on weekdays and 09.30pm on Sunday. If you come from Surabaya (Surabaya Gubeng Train Station) there are several trains that offer a scenic journey to Bandung. Turangga (Executive), Harina (Executive), Argowilis (Executive) and Mutiara Selatan (Business) ply the route daily. So, get ready to pack your bag the first train leaves at 07.00am ! Information about fares of the trains is available at

By Bus and Car: There are also convenient buses operated by Primajasa which will take you to Bandung (Bandung Supermall) direct from the Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Jakarta. The cost is approximately US$ 8.50 per person. If you’re looking for something private and elegant, shuttle cars (X-trans, Cipaganti, and Primajasa) are also available in the airport. The cost is approximately US$ 14.0 per person. All of them provide great, reliable, and safe services. Bandung is accessible from Jakarta by 3 highways: Cipularang toll road, Puncak route and Subang route. The main provincial road links the city to cities in eastern Java.

From the Bandung’s Husein Sastranegara Airport, the easiest way to reach the city is by taxi. Take reputable taxies only that use Argometers (meters), instead of straight charges. If you wish to try the local transport or angkutan kota (angkot), you can take the green angkot with ST HALL-CIMAHI written on it and get off at the ST HALL or Bandung Central Train Station Terminal.

Hussein Sastranegara Airport is only four kilometers from the town centre. Taxis from the airport to town cost approx.US$ 6 (50,000 IDR). Remember to use the safe “Airforce Cooperative” taxi from the airport to the hotel/town centre. Hotels in Bandung usually provide free airport transfer services. They will be pleased to pick you up if you tell them the time and date of arrival in advance.

Getting Around in Bandung

Bandung is relatively compact and it is not too different to get around on foot and using public transportation or taxis. To make things easier for yourself especially when it is hot rent a car with a driver. Public transportation called angkot, covers most of Bandung, but you have to learn about the routes to avoid getting lost or heading in the wrong directions. Some of the art deco buildings are within walking distance of one another, so you can just stroll down the sidewalk from building to building. For instance, you can start from Gedung Merdeka, continue to Hotel Savoy Homann, Hotel Grand Panghegar and make your way into Braga Street. If you have multiple destinations in mind, you'd better rent a car for a day (or two). There are taxi services in major streets and malls. Other parts of the cities mostly use public transportation called angkots, which are only recommended if you actually live in Bandung.

Angkot is the name of Bandung’s most common form of transportation. Angkot is an acronym from Angkutan Kota, Indonesian Bahasa for ‘City Transport’. This is the cheapest public transportation you can get in Indonesia. So, don’t expect five-star service or much convenience when getting around with it.

Angkot in Bandung comes in red, green, pink, yellow, blue, and occasionally in a combination of two completely unmatching color. In English this is pronounced ‘un-caught’, a public transport minivan, with single entry and exit door on the left, or at the back. This transport has a long seat and not-so-long one, facing sideways and each other. The long one, decent enough for the Asian physique, can accommodate seven people, while the other one accommodates five.

Most important to know is how to say, ‘KIRI’ (pronounced: key-ree), Bahasa for ‘left’ or ‘stop here’. Why ‘left’? In Indonesia, the traffic drives on the left. So “Kiri” is an indication that you wish to stop here or the Angkot will pass your destination. But if getting lost is what you want to do in your vacation, then enjoy taking an Angkot to get around.

The Angkot has no fixed fare as ths depends on how far you wish to travel. Don’t worry though as the cost will be less than a dollar. It is best to ask the driver or kernet (the assistant driver) about the fare to go to your destination. Hail an Angkot as you would a taxi.

Taxi: If you’re confused with the routes of the Angkot or if it’s just too uncomfortable, then a taxi is the best choice for you to travel around Bandung. Official taxis in Bandung use meters but be careful when choosing an unmetered Taxi. Blue Bird is the best known and reliable taxi service.

Car: Using your own car or renting a car is probably the easiest and the most convenient way to explore Bandung. There are many reliable local car rentals that you can find in Bandung; Cipaganti, Jl. Cipaganti 84 Bandung 40131, Tel. +62.22.2034376; Dirgantara, Jl. Lamping 7 Bandung 40131, Tel. +62.22.2035050; Lysan Kompleks Mitra Dago Parahyangan Bl I/11 Bandung, Tel. +62.22.7217070; TotalCarRental, Jl. Jajaway Dago Atas 12 FA Bandung 40135, Tel. +62.22.82520044

On driving and getting around in Bandung ASIRT reports: Traffic is congested. Completion of the Pasupati Bridge reduced congestion somewhat. Most major roads are one-way. There are few traffic signs. Even major one-way streets often lack “do not enter” signs. Short-duration red lights and heavy traffic make crossing streets difficult. Pedestrians frequently jaywalk. Sidewalks are often uneven, in poor repair or poorly constructed. Vendor stands often block sidewalks. Narrow, open drains with flowing water pose a risk. High curbs challenge the disabled. Motorbikes and three-wheeled pedicabs are commonly parked on sidewalks.Cikapundung River runs north to south through the center of the city. Flooding may be a problem. Cihampelas Street is a pedestrian-only shopping street. Minibuses (angkots) provide most public transportation. [Source: Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT): PDF, 2008]

Minibuses run on specific routes within the city and are privately run. Fares are fixed. When traveling longer distances, agree on fare prior to boarding. Minibuses can be hailed. Ask driver to stop when reaching your destination. Minibuses often lack doors.

Buses (DAMRI) are city-run. Buses serve longer routes within the city and some inter-city routes There are 2 main inter-city bus stations: Leuwipanjang for routes west of the city and Cicaheum for routes east of the city. Metered taxis are readily available. Metered taxis provide transport. "Blue Bird" or "Gemah Ripah" taxis are generally safest. Some drivers do not use meters; fares are fixed. Cars can be rented with a chauffeur.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons

Text Sources: Indonesia Tourism website ( ), Indonesia government websites, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Japan News, Yomiuri Shimbun, Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Updated in August 2020

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