Bandung is shopping central. In addition to the hordes of Jakartans that flock here every weekend, as though Jakarta had no shopping options, there are multiple direct flights everyday from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur that are full of bargain hungry shoppers. Bandung has a number of uninspiring malls, but the real shopping bonanzas are found in the factory outlet stores.
The Best Shopping in Bandung
Jean Street (Jl. Cihampelas) is where the super heroes gather to take advantage of the factory outlet jean bargains. Just off Jean Street, Cihampelas Walk is a trendy shopping and entertainment complex that’s popular with Bandung’s university crowd.
Dago (Jl. Dago) is packed with an eclectic mix of mid-range factory outlet clothing and shoes.
Riau (Jl. RE Martadinata) has more upscale designer clothing, and household goods factory outlets.
Rumah Mode (Jl. Setia Budhi ) is a large, factory outlet department store selling a large variety of clothing. It’s surrounded by cafes, making for a popular hangout.
Paris Van Java is Bandung’s top mall. It includes designer shops, a café to fit every taste, and a cinemaplex.
SNEC shoes is a family business that offers custom shoes at very reasonable prices – Rp.150,000 to Rp.500,000. Just take a photo of the shoe you want, or choose from their extensive design collection, and they’ll make a pair custom fit just for you. Jl. Surya Sumantri No.60, Bandung. Phone:+62 22 7957 6718
Congo Solid Wood offers a wide variety of exotic solid wood furniture from around the world. The table on the left, in the above photo is made from Ebony wood, which is only found here in Indonesia and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It retails for Rp. 300 million. The table on the right is made from Lingua wood, and retails for Rp. 60 million.
Other Bandung Shopping Options
In addition to the outlet stores that made Bandung a shoppers paradise, there are a many, less inspiring shopping options in Bandung.
Bandung Indah Plaza (Jl. Merdeka) was Bandung’s first mall. It has been outpaced by more recent additions to Bandung’s shopping scene, but it does have a good mixture of local shops, and chain stores.
Bandung Electronics Center (Jl. Purnawarman) houses the best deals on everything electronic.
Bandung Trade Center (Jl. DR. Junjunan) is a crowded maze of small retailers – think flea market.
Istana Plaza (Jl. Pasir Kaliki) is a mid-range mall – ordinary, but does have an ice skating rink.
Bandung Super Mall (Jl. Gatot Soebroto) is just what the name implies. It’s the newest addition to the Bandung shopping scene. It has about 200 shops, a performance stage where they have live entertainment on weekends, and even a small amusement park for children.
After spending a few days shopping in Bandung, one thing was clear – if I couldn’t buy it here, I probably didn’t need it. If at all possible, come during the week. To say weekends are busy, would be an understatement. And, if you’re flying, mind those baggage weight limits!
To the south of Bandung, the West Javan countryside is rich with scenic beauty that is well worth the time to go and see.
Kawah Putih is a volcanic crater that has a beautifully colored lake. Usually Turquoise, the lake has a serene atmosphere with the sun reflecting off the gemstone colored surface as the steam drifts idly by.
Leaving Kawah Putih, and heading further south, you’ll pass through Rancabali’s rambling hills covered with lush tea plantations.
Just a little further south, you’ll find Situ Patengan – a pretty mountain lake and the heart of a popular Sundanese legend.
Situ means “lake” in Sundanese, and Patengan means “searching for each other.” So, it’s “the lake of searching for each other.”
There was a prince named Ki Santang who fell in love with a beautiful village girl who was the reincarnation of the Goddess Dewi Rengganis, but they were separated. They had dedicated their lives to searching for each other, and one day, by chance, they were reunited on this spot.
To celebrate their love for each other, Dewi Rengganis asked her prince to build her this lake, to put a heart shaped island in its center, and to build her a boat so she could get to the island.
Today, young lovers come from far and wide to receive a blessing from the “love stone” that marks the spot where Ki Santang and Dewi Rengganis were reunited, then to circle the heart shaped island in a boat, thus ensuring their love will endure forever.
To get to Kawah Putih, Rancabali, and Situ Patengan, you’ll need to hire a car from Bandung. It’s a bit expensive – around Rp.500,000 for the day, but it’s a beautiful day.
One of the big attractions to Bandung is the variety of interesting restaurants, cafes, and coffee houses tucked into the hills around Bandung. Every weekend, Jakartans escape the chaos and congestion of the capital to relax in the quiet Bandung hills.
Here are some of my favorite places.
Dago Atas Area
A bar / restaurant / night club designed in sort of a ski lodge theme – it’s very cozy sitting by the fireplace on a cool evening in the mountains above Bandung, while enjoying the company of good friends. It’s one of Bandung’s most popular night spots. Various activities are separated by levels – dining, dancing, and bar. The pizza is the best, but all the food is good, and the ambiance is unparalleled.
Jl. Bumi Sari, No.119, Bandung
Phone:+62 22 7003 3030
Think spectacular view, great coffee and Beef Wellington – Kopi Ireng is one of Bandung’s favorite places. They usually offer live entertainment on weekends. This is where I had my first cup of Kopi Luwak Tubruk – the most expensive coffee in the world. It is processed from the intestines of the Musang (weasel). That’s right, the Musang eats the coffee beans, passes them through their digestive system, and then deposits the finished product for us coffee lovers to enjoy. Rp.75,000 per cup.
Bukit Pakar Timur
Phone: +62 22 253 1074, +62 22 9115 6299
This traditional Javanese style villa doubles as a restaurant and a home. Built on the side of the hill, it allows you to choose from a variety of dining environments, each on a different level. Have a chat with the owner as you enjoy your Nasi Liwet Ayam Jamur (rice with chicken, and mushrooms baked in coconut milk and basil), and Tempe Mendoan (battered, deep fried tempe with a sweet soy sauce dip).
Yet another hill side restaurant that offers a great view of Bandung, along with terrific food. Try the Fettuccini Carbonara – it’s the best.
Jl. Dago Pakar Timur 111
Phone: +62 22 2536225
Part of the Selasar Gallery complex, Kopi Selasar gives fans of the famous Indonesian artist, Sunaryo Selasar, a place to chill out after enjoying his gallery. Coffees, juices, and deserts.
Jl. Bukit Pakar Timur No.100,Bandung
Phone: +62 22 250 7939
The Valley is a popular resort with rooms from Rp.500,000. Their Bistro Cafe offers an elegant dining experience at an affordable price, with both Western and Indonesian food, and an extensive wine selection.
The Valley Resort
Jl Lembah Pakar Timur 28, Bandung
Phone:+62 22 253 1052
Coffee, fruit drinks , and snacks combine with the saw mill environment to create a unique hang out place. The menu is mixed Western and Indonesian.
A traditional Indonesian village atmosphere combined with a natural setting. Lounge in one of the private saungs (shelters), and enjoy the sound of the waterfall, and the feel of a traditional Sundanese village. Try the Wedang Ronde (sweet dumplings in ginger sauce), and the Iga Bakar (barbeque beef ribs).
Culture Gallery & Cafe
Jl. Sersan Bajuri Km 4,7 Triniti Villas Bandung
Phone : +62 22 278 7915
Perched high on a hill between Bandung and Lembang, The Peak is one of Bandung’s most exclusive restaurants. They offer a wide range of steaks, pastas, salads, and traditional Indonesian dishes. They also have an extensive selection of wines. Prices range from Rp.600,000 for Kobe Beef, to Rp.60,000 for a pasta dish.
The Peak Resort Dining
Jl. Desa Karyawangi Ciwaruga KM 6,8 No.388
Kecamatan Parongpong Kabupaten, Bandung
Phone: +62 22 270 0759, Reservation: +62 81 5606 8000
Traditional Sundanese food served in an exotic Sundanese themed environment that includes rice fields, rivers and the jungle. Relax in one of their authentic Saungs while enjoying the rich environment. They also have riverside bungalows available for around Rp.500,000 per night.
This is a German pub combined with an Indian restaurant that serves a variety traditional Indian, and Western food. Very good!
German Pub and Curry Kitchen
Jl. Prof. Drg. Surya Sumantri No.59, Bandung
Phone: +62 22 201 2704
Tizi is a Restaurant, Bakery, and Winery that has been in operation since 1967. It’s a great place for German food like Schaschlik, Huhner Worst, Zwiebel Suppe, and Poffertjes. They also serve a great sausage submarine sandwich. All of their sausage is homemade. Their garden design makes for a relaxing respite from the city without going all the way into the hills.
The Cellar Restaurant is a big place where you can choose to lounge the day away on one of the sofas or sit at a table. They have a full Western menu offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is live entertainment on the weekends. The wine store in the corner stocks a good selection.
Jl. Diponegoro No.9, Bandung
Phone:+62 22 420 3588; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday and Sunday mornings, Eastern Shark Fin Restaurant has an excellent Dim Sum breakfast that includes a huge variety. Get there before 8:00 a.m. to avoid long lines. The price depends on what you eat, but a good meal for me was Rp.50,000.
The Chinese take their Dim Sum very seriously as a culinary art. It was interesting to learn Dim Sum has three categories. Fried Dim Sum is likened to a leather jacket in that it’s hard on the outside. Then, there are two varieties of steamed Dim Sum: the “wool sweater,” and the “silk blouse.” The wool sweater also has a fairly dense outer layer, but the silk blouse has a fragile, sheer skin. Both the leather jacket, and the wool sweater varieties were originally peasant food, but the silk blouse variety was reserved for royalty.
Eastern Shark Fin Restaurant
Istana Plaza, Ground Floor,
Jl.Pasir Kaliki 121, Bandung
Phone:+62 22 604 6778
“It feels like a second home,” is their slogan. They’re serving pasta’s, steaks, and Indonesian dishes in a tropical garden in the city.
Sonny Soeng runs his popular coffee shop hangout, just as it has been since 1947. He doesn’t believe in signs, advertisings, specials, or business cards. He relies on his customer spreading the word after they have been served a great product, and given good service. It must work, because this place in Dago was overflowing for Sunday brunch.
Because there are no signs, it’s kind of hard to find – look for it diagonally across from Santo Borromeus Hospital.
Jl. Hasanudin 12, Bandung
Phone: +62 22 250 3332 or +62 811 203 563
Relax after your Dago shopping spree on one of their comfortable sofas while you try to decide from the overwhelming selection of pasta dishes. Good food – low prices – free hotspot – relaxed atmosphere.
Jalan Ganesha No. 3, Bandung
Phone: +62 22 250 0416
Steak and coffee in a warm homey atmosphere in the Riau area. You can either eat in a living, or dining room.Very good food, at mid-range prices.
Dakken Steak and Coffee
Jl. Martadinata No.67
Phone:+62 22 4209507
Mama’s Restaurant is an oasis of pork – smoked, roasted, or sausage, for those who crave this taboo delacy. They also have beef and chicken cooked in the traditional German home cooking style, as well as steaks, burgers, and pizza.
There are three craters to see at Tangkuban Prahu. Kawah Ratu is known as the Queen Crater, Kawah Upas is a smaller crater next to it, and Kawah Domas is about an hour’s walk away on a trail that is very easy to follow. It’s something you won’t want to miss when you’re in Bandung. It’s accessible by car, and quite easy to get to.
Kawah Ratu is right next to the car park. From there, a trail leads around the rim to Kawah Upas. It takes about an hour on a very gentle and well marked trail through a beautiful forest of Manarasa trees.
When you return to the car park, there is another trail behind the information booth that leads to Kawah Domas – a crater alive with boiling water, and hissing vents spewing out yellow sulfur gas – a truly impressive sight!
The information booth attendant is likely to tell you that a guide is required, but that’s not the case. They want an exorbitant fee of Rp.250,000 for a very short, easy trek.
Tangkuban Prahu (upside down boat) has its name because of a legend. A long, long time ago, a powerful queen named Dayang Sumbi, disowned her son, Prince Sangkuriang, because he had disobeyed her. As a further punishment, she forced him into exile.
As the years passed, Sangluriang became homesick, and he decided to return to his homeland. Upon his arrival, he met and fell in love with a most beautiful woman, and decided to marry her. The woman’s name was Dayang Sumbi – his mother.
Dayang Sumbi, being the powerful queen she was, had been granted the power of eternal youth by the Gods, so she would forever retain the beauty of her youth.
Blissfully unaware of each other’s true identity, the two courted passionately as they planned their wedding. Then, one day the Queen saw her son’s birthmark and realized who he was.
Realizing she needed a way out of the wedding, Dayang Sumbi challenged Sangkuriang to a task that would prove his manhood, and his worthiness to marry her. He was to build a large boat in a single night. So she could watch his progress, he was to build the boat on top of a nearby volcano.
Unknown to Dayang Sumbi, her son also had the favor of the God’s. He summoned their aid, and they sent an army of giants to help him.
When she saw he would complete the task, she used her power to cover the eastern sky in red silk cloth, making it appear the sun had risen.
Thinking he had failed, Sangkuriang went into a fit of rage, and kicked over his almost completed boat. Over the years, the nameless volcano came to be known as Tangkuban Prahu, or “upside-down boat” in Sundanese.