Just a mere 2-hour flight away from Singapore, located high up in a river basin, and surrounded by the lush Parahyangan mountains, is Bandung. Bandung is the third largest Indonesian city after Jakarta and Surabaya, it is well known for its natural attractions and exotic foods, making it an attraction among tourists both young and old. As a city surrounded by mountains, it provides a pleasant and cooling weather that will make you forget that you are still in Asia.
Being from Singapore, a only summer country, I certainly enjoyed the cooling weather that Bandung has naturally. Here is how I spent my 4 days in Bandung!
High up in the mountains, this was our view from the balcony!
After the afternoon flight to Bandung, my friends and I opted for a more relaxing itinerary on the first day. It was a couple of hours drive from the airport to where we were staying, Villa Air Natural Resort. The Villa did not disappoint at all. As stated in its name, the villa was surrounded by the beautiful nature that Bandung offers and together with the chilling air.
Villa Air Natural Resort was easily the nicest place that I have stayed in overseas. However, the place was quite high up and travelling to places would take some time.
We were greeted by a donkey in our Villa which I thought was very cool and welcoming.
To cap the day off, we went for body massages and also went to an all natural hot spring at Sari Ater Hotel Resort that was recommended by our local driver. Soaking in a hot spring offers more than a relaxing time, it can have many great benefits for the health too (according to many studies)! Hot springs boost blood circulations, help reduce stress and it is also great for the skin due to its medicinal properties in the water.
The hot spring was the perfect place to end the day off, refreshing and replenishing our bodies for the next day!
We visited the Floating Market located at Lembang where local foods, snacks and items like clothing are carried by sellers on boats. You could also feed animals such as rabbits, birds and fishes. We had many local foods that were almost impossible to find in Singapore. The most memorable was the rabbit satay, yes, RABBIT.
You have to exchange your cash for “casino chips” in order to buy anything from the Floating Market.
Our favourite was easily the Goreng Pisang (bottom left) or fried banana to most, it was covered in cheese and chocolate sprinkles. The rabbit satay provided a whole different experience to the pallet. It was tender and it melted in my mouth.
The floating market offered a lot of instagrammable photos which my friends did not shy away from.
I felt so close to the clouds!
A trip to Bandung is never complete without a visit to the White Crater, also known as Kawah Putih to the residents. It was a 3-4 hours ride from the city and it was worth every minute. Kawah Putih provided a mesmerising view and experience with its soft white sands and turquoise water.
Being in the White Crater made me feel like I was out of this world, literally! Being surrounded by mist and the mountains the place makes you forget than you are in earth.
Fun fact: The colour of the water actually changes according to the weather conditions in the area, so do not think that Kawah Putih is a one time visit kind of place!
You will smell sulfur because there is a good deal of steam and sulfurous gas bubbling from the lake!
Tip: Avoid the infamous Bandung traffic by travelling as early as 6am. Traffic will start to pick up at around 7-8 am.
The drive was not always so dull as we were surrounded by the beautiful nature making it a scenic ride. Along the way, there were plenty of tea plantations and strawberry farms.
For the last full day, we had in Bandung, we visited Farmhouse Susu Lembang. The place was filled with an array of cafes and restaurants ranging from local to international. The Farmhouse also provided a very European experience through its architectural design of its buildings.
The cafes and restaurants were so aesthetic, we dined in Backyard Kitchen. They offered a variety of delicious western and local dishes.
Some local snacks
There was no lack of snacks in the Farmhouse, from local snacks to German chocolates, the Farmhouse had so much variety!
I opted for the original flavour!
You can exchange your entrance ticket (first photo) for a cup of fresh milk! Flavours available are Original, Chocolate and Strawberry. It will be easy to spot with its huge Milk Bottle standing out from everything else. The milk tasted very fresh! It was not too sweet and the texture was smooth as silk.
Milk in Indonesia is mainly produced by smallholder dairy farmers, organised in a large number of cooperatives. Over 90% of the fresh milk is collected through village cooperatives and supplied to milk processing industries.
Javan alone has about 100 dairy cooperatives operating, involving almost 100,000 dairy farmer’s members and delivering the milk to more processors companies. The dairy cooperatives play a key and active role in the milk value chain. Most of those cooperatives are members of the Indonesian Union of Dairy Cooperatives (GKSI).
4 days is definitely not enough to truly experience and explore the true beauty of Bandung. There are many other places to go to such as a popular sightseeing spot, Maribaya Waterfall, amusement park Trans Studio and if you love shopping, factory outlets in Rumah Mode, Heritage and The Secret offers an array of designer items sold for a huge bargain!
This article was brought to you by Erwin Pili Saysay who is currently interning in SNCF, Marketing team. He is in his 3rd year in Ngee Ann Polytechnic and is pursuing Business & Social Enterprise motivated by his passion to help others.