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Bandung Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Bandung vacation


febynurdiana
Grilled Banana, Roasted Corn and Toast (Pisang Keju, Jagung dan Roti Bakar) 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
There are just PLENTY of side-street hawkers that sell these snacks in Bandung, especially on Dago Street, Setiabudi Street, Dipati Ukur Street, and Lembang. These roasted delights are the other trademark of Bandung, and the younger crowd of tourists normally hit the hawkers in the evenings. One of the most popular side-street hawkers is Pisang Bakar Madtari (which now resembles a proper outdoor restaurant). It is located on Dago Street and is always crowded at night. Avoid visiting it on weekends though, the queue is deadly long.

I always opt for the Grilled Banana—sweet and ripe bananas grilled and served with loads of shredded cheese and condensed milk sauce on top. Chocolate rice and peanuts are optional. The roasted corn is delicious too. The corn will be flavored with any of your selected sauce topping: sweet, sweet and spicy, spicy, sweet and sour, etc.

A plate of grilled banana or roasted corn normally cost IDR 3000 to 5000 (US$ 0.30 to 0.50) depending on the sauce or topping you selected.


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febynurdiana
Devil’s Chips (Keripik Setan) 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Devil’s chips are devilish. Not only do they send you panting, but I can assure that you will also get addicted. The chips are made from cassava, and sprinkled with a generous amount of chili and herbs powder—which make the taste very hot and uniquely distinctive. Lots of people in Bandung are totally addicted with these chips.

If you are up to the challenge, you can get these chips at most grocery stalls on the street sides of Bandung. The most popular brand, however, is “KACIDA”, which is sold in a hawker on Merdeka Street in front of Bandung Indah Plaza. My favorite brand, however, is the one sold in a little restaurant on Macan Street. Just ask for “Keripik Setan” or “Keripik Pedas”. A plastic pack of the chips costs IDR 5000 (US$ 0.50).


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febynurdiana
Durian Ice Cream 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Durian is a kind of tropical fruit that has a distinctive taste and odor, which make it becomes an either-you-love-it-or-hate-it fruit. It’s almost the size of a football, spiky on the outside, and the fruit meat is somewhat thick and creamy.

Durian Ice Cream is very popular in Bandung, and the stalls that sell this type of ice cream can be easily found in every street side. The most popular street strips that have it, though, are Cihampelas Street, Dipati Ukur Street, and around the Gasibu Square.

A cup of the ice cream costs around IDR 3000 – 4000, with another IDR 1000 extra if you want a big chunk of the fruit added. I actually like the ice cream better than the fruit itself. While the fruit has a very strong taste and smell, the ice cream is more subtle in both. And not like normal ice cream, I think this one is actually more like a mixture of the fruit, ice and milk; condensed to form a rich and creamy ice cream.

Usually the seller will ask whether you want some topping on your ice cream. Three choices are available: white condensed milk, chocolate milk, and fermented black glutinous rice. I would normally ask for lots and lots of the black glutinous rice—it’s just sweet, juicy and delicious.


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febynurdiana
Fried Glutinous Rice (Cireng) 3 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Although Cireng is a traditional snack that has been around for a while, lately there are several stalls that are making alternatives. Back on those days, the snack is made from just a mixture of glutinous rice with herbs and chicken stock, deep fried in a pan. Nowadays, this snack is more popular with various kinds of fillings; from spicy soy bean to beef floss.

There’s also a new chain of franchised counters called “Cireng Isi” that I quite like, which is a new and quite popular brand aiming for a younger market. The main branch is just on Dipati Ukur Street, around the Padjadjaran University Campus, and the stall is covered with bright green tent. Another branch can be found on Antapani Street, in front of STIKES Husada, a medical university building.


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febynurdiana
Steamed Chocolate Brownies (Brownies Kukus) 3 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This cake has actually been around for quite long, but I swear that three years ago, steamed chocolate brownies was suddenly a big hit in Bandung—almost like an epidemic. Everybody, every single household, and every tourist I met was on the hunt for this cake.

If you think ‘how can brownies cause an outbreak?’, well, they’re not like other types of brownies. These brownies more resemble steamed chocolate cake, with a light and spongy texture on the top part and a thick creamy layer of rich chocolate on the bottom. I really, really adore them. They’re sold in a box, not by piece, so it’s always a good idea to have company to enjoy the brownies. Last time I bought it, a box cost IDR 22,000 (US$ 2.5).

The first store that sells this delicacy is Amanda Brownies—owned by a family that first invented the recipe for this brownie, on 29 Rancabolang Street. They also have several other outlets now, like on 101 Lengkong Besar Street or the one inside Paskal Hypersquare Complex. Other brands have recently flooded the market as well, which are usually sold by major bakeries like Kartika Sari and Rasa.

There are also a massive number (like, on every corner of Bandung’s streets) of hawkers and stalls on street sides that sell these brownies, especially the Amanda Brownies brand. However, I DO NOT recommend you to buy from them—usually they aren’t fresh and sometimes the brownies have already been there for days (and of course the sellers will claim that they’re fresh from the oven).


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febynurdiana
Fried Fish and Tofu Cakes (Batagor) 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Fried fish and tofu cakes are also the signature snack of Bandung. Most tourists come to Bandung just to have a bite of this snack; people from Jakarta would even drive for 2hours just to buy it in Bandung.

There are a massive number of stalls that sell the Batagor, especially on street sides, but none beats the popularity of the Batagor from Kingsley. It’s a proper restaurant located in Veteran Street, and do be prepared for LONG queues on weekends.

Although Kingsley’s Batagor is delicious, my favorite by far is Batagor Riri. This is also another restaurant, located in Burangrang Street. This restaurant is quieter, and it’s also cleaner than Kingsley.

Batagor is sold by piece, and normally costs between IDR 2500 to 3000 for a cake 5 x 5 cm in size. You can choose to have the fried fish cake only or the combination of fried fish and tofu cake.


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febynurdiana
The Famous Banana & Cheese Balls (Pisang Bolen) 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Pisang Bolen is actually not a traditional snack, but it’s more like a pastry type of cake shaped like an oval ball with a chunk of banana and cheese inside. It’s very delicious, with a smooth texture and rich taste, especially if you have it while still warm—watch out, you might get addicted like me!

Even though it’s not traditional, this cake is very popular in Bandung and it has become a sort of Bandung’s trademark—so every time anybody goes to Bandung, everybody’s expecting a gift of a box of Pisang Bolen. Normally it is sold in a box of 10 balls, and comes in two sizes. The bigger balls are usually sold from IDR 2000 to IDR 2500 (US$ 0.25) each, and the smaller ones are from IDR 1800 to IDR 2000 each.

Like any other snacks, these babies are also sold at side-street stalls. However, I usually buy them at Kartika Sari Bakery, the first bakery that sells Pisang Bolen in Bandung. Kartika Sari is by far the most popular Pisang Bolen brand in Bandung, followed by Maya Sari Bakery. There are several branches of Kartika Sari; the central branch is located in Haji Akbar Street (near the Bandung Train Station), but it’s always packed with visitors and since the street it self is actually a narrow alley, I don’t recommend you to go there. I’d visit their all-new store instead, which is located on Dago Street. Even though it’s equally busy, at least the store is almost ten times bigger with adequate parking spaces.

Maya Sari Bakery, however, is located just opposite the train station (Kebon Kawung Street). If Kartika Sari is known for its traditional rich taste of the banana balls, Maya Sari has another version of it: the Peuyeum Bolen. Peuyeum is a kind of fermented cassava, which made the cake have a distinctive sweet and tangy taste. But even though it’s quite unique, I’d recommend the Kartika Sari’s version instead.


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febynurdiana
Traditional Snacks of Bandung 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
As I wrote on my previous blog, most domestic tourists go to Bandung for two reasons: one, to shop, and two, to dine. In fact, Bandung is recently known as a local food-hub, as tourists from Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) or near-by cities would just drop by en-masse to have a culinary trip or simply to have dinner.

Since the opening of the Cipularang Highway that connects Jakarta and Bandung, numerous fine-dining, restaurants and hawker centers have been opened in Bandung. Even though the F&B business has since then grown into a striving commodity; I think that the strength of Bandung’s growing tourism itself is not in these newly found parlors. I would thank the evergreen traditional snacks that have existed since the olden days, which have become the favorite of both locals and tourists alike.

These traditional snacks are commonly sold on hawkers or stalls on the side of the streets, but for health reasons, I actually don’t recommend you to buy the snacks on the side-street stalls. It may be okay for locals, as their stomachs have somehow adapted to the low-hygiene procedures of food-making and cooking done by Indonesian hawkers, but most of my foreign friends usually complain about digestive bugs or disorders due to eating unclean food (and water).

Anyway, long story short, here are my most recommended snacks to try if you ever have the chance to visit Bandung. Most of these snacks are not found anywhere else in Indonesia; they are all unique to the city of Bandung only. I also listed the places to buy them, which I think are the best and cleanest by Indonesian standards.


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febynurdiana
Bandung’s Snacks Corners 3 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
As I wrote on my previous blog, most domestic tourists go to Bandung for two reasons: one, to shop, and two, to dine. In fact, Bandung is recently known as a local food-hub, as tourists from Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) or near-by cities would just drop by en-masse to have a culinary trip or simply to have dinner.

Since the opening of the Cipularang Highway that connects Jakarta and Bandung, numerous fine-dining, restaurants and hawker centers have been opened in Bandung. Even though the F&B business has since then grown into a striving commodity; I think that the strength of Bandung’s growing tourism itself is not in these newly found parlors. I would thank the evergreen traditional snacks that have existed since the olden days, which have become the favorite of both locals and tourists alike.

These traditional snacks are commonly sold on hawkers or stalls on the side of the streets, but for health reasons, I actually don’t recommend you to buy the snacks on the side-street stalls. It may be okay for locals, as their stomachs have somehow adapted to the low-hygiene procedures of food-making and cooking done by Indonesian hawkers, but most of my foreign friends usually complain about digestive bugs or disorders due to eating unclean food (and water).

Anyway, long story short, here are my most recommended snacks to try if you ever have the chance to visit Bandung. Most of these snacks are not found anywhere else in Indonesia; they are all unique to the city of Bandung only. I also listed the places to buy them, which I think are the best and cleanest by Indonesian standards.


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Angel2009
Tangkuban Parahu Mountain 4 stars
This place also a great place to visit... all the way to this mountain present a village view and the air so cool and clear. I love it, never get bored to come and visit it over and over.

Peace,
Senny Chelsia


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febynurdiana
AnaKecil at Cimandiri Street 3 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
AnaKecil (abbreviated from anak and kecil) means “little ones” or “children” in Indonesia, so as obvious as the name says, this Factory Outlet only sells children’s fashion. Located in Cimandiri Street, his F.O is actually quite small-sized comparing to the other F.Os in Bandung.


However, they do have the best and the cheapest children’s collection in Bandung; anything from baby’s overall to toddler’s T-Shirts. I used to go here to buy presents for my friends who just had a baby, as they have the cutest and most irresistible baby fashion. They also have a mini-play ground where your children can play when you do the shopping.


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febynurdiana
Cascade Fashion House and Home Living at Riau Street 3 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This Factory Outlet is the biggest in Bandung, as it looks more like a small shopping mall than a big factory outlet. The building itself is designed in a modern-minimalist style, with huge glass windows and stream-lined walls, which I think makes it look like a hotel.

Located in Riau Street (just next to The Heritage), it has different types of collection on different floors. You will find women’s fashion on the ground floor, men’s on the second, and children on the third combined with home furnishing and interior decoration.

I would say that Cascade has the most complete fashion collection than any other F.Os, especially that they also have a selection of home furnishing. However, I don’t particularly like to shop here because I personally think that their collections don’t have the casual feel like the other F.Os’, and they also have higher prices.


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febynurdiana
The Heritage at Riau Street 4 stars
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Well, I might be lying if I said that I don’t go here for clothes shopping, but there are times that I brought guests that are not interested in buying clothes here. The Heritage, despite being one of the most famous Factory Outlets in Bandung, is actually one of the most significant historical buildings in Bandung.

Located in Riau Street, Bandung, the sturdy all-white building has a beautiful art deco design, adorned with Greek-style columns and arched windows. During the Dutch’s reign in Indonesia, the building was once the home of a Dutch general that acted as the Mayor of Bandung. It has since then changed functions several times, and its latest is as we know today; The Heritage Factory Outlet.

So if you’re keen in combining a historical visit and a shopping trip, here’s the place to go. They obviously don’t have a single explanation about the building or its history, but its beauty worth the visit anyway. I’d also say that their fashion collection is not bad, but their prices are somewhat a little more expensive than other Factory Outlets.


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febynurdiana
Rumah Mode at Setiabudi Street 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Rumah Mode in Setiabudi Street is my most favorite Factory Outlet in Bandung. Not only that it has the latest trend and one-of-a-kind collection, but it also has everything for almost everybody.

It’s sometimes funny that my favorite part of this F.O is not the shopping itself—but the front entrance. The entrance to the fashion outlet has a mini garden that is designed in Balinese style, completed with a fish pond. Whenever I entered the main door, I was always embraced by the sweet smell of tuberose bouquet that continued to follow me throughout my shopping trip.

Aside from being a factory outlet that sells most of the major high-street brands, Rumah Mode is also the home of Minimal—a local fashion brand that was created by the owners of the F.O. This brand has a varied collection of women’s prêt a porter—anything from smart and crisp pants suit to silky flowing chiffon skirts. The best part is, their price is very sensible, ranging from IDR 50,000 (US$5) to IDR 300,000 (US$30).

Aside from the main fashion outlet, Rumah Mode also has a food court that has several different types of restaurants, ranging from a popular Sundanese cuisine (Bumbu Desa), a well-known bakery, to my favorite fruit smoothies stall. At the further back of the premises, there’s also a children’s playground and a Zen spa. I would recommend you to visit Rumah Mode if you ever have the chance to visit Bandung—I guarantee that it will be the most unforgettable shopping experience.


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febynurdiana
DSE (Dago Stock Export) at Dago Street 3 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
There are plenty of Factory Outlets in Dago Street, but DSE has the best and most varied collection. I used to go here when I need a new casual top or t-shirt, as I thought they have the best ladies’ casual collection. However, they also have men’s and children’s fashion too, but not as much as the women’s.

Its location in Dago Street makes this factory outlet quite popular to teenagers, so expect a younger genre of clothing when you shop here. I would avoid going here on a Saturday evening, as there is normally a live event by a local radio taking place on the junction of Dago Street and Sulanjana Street—exactly where DSE is located.


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febynurdiana
The Big Price Cut at Aceh Street 3 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is the first Factory Outlet built in Bandung, which is located in Aceh Street. At first, their collection is neither varied nor wearable—at times they only have over-sized winter coats and wool sweaters (which might be unusable in tropical Bandung). It’s not until recently do they have various branded items inside their warehouse-like showroom; now they sell anything from baby tees to men’s jeans.

However, I used to go here whenever I need to buy jackets or sweaters, as I think by far they still have the best warm clothing collection than any other F.Os in Bandung.

There’s a local food court just beside the outlet, and you can have a selection of Indonesian dishes after you’re finished shopping. This F.O is located beside Graha Manggala Siliwangi, one of the biggest exhibition centers in Bandung, so I would avoid going here if there’s an exhibition going. The visitors of the exhibition might park their car or stop by the outlet, which makes the premises even busier.


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febynurdiana
Bandung's Factory Outlets 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Most tourists go to Bandung for two reasons: one, to shop, and two, to dine. The shopping venue in Bandung is not like other cities; but they have what we call here as Factory Outlets (F.O).

Unlike the F.Os in the west, these outlets sell clothing items from various brands, like women’s and men’s fashion, children and baby clothes, to accessories and jewelry. Usually these pieces are rejected items (sold as-is), a fact which inevitably makes the price lower. However, most of the items are in good condition, and it doesn’t seem that they’re rejected at all.

I like shopping in F.Os because the stuff they have are normally from well-known Western high street brands, but with a local price tag. Although most F.Os have almost identical stocks, there are some outlets that have uncommon ones.

As F.Os is pretty much the trend for tourists in Bandung nowadays, obviously there are close to a hundred F.Os built in town. However, I will only write about some of my favorite ones; those that always have exceptional collections and the ones I actually recommend going.

F.Os are commonly found along Dago Street, Setiabudi Street and Riau Street, and most of them are opened just side by side so you can stroll along from one shop to another while you’re on one of these streets. Domestic tourists often do some sort of a “walking tour” of shopping in these areas.

I would recommend going on a weekday and avoid weekends at all times—the number of visitors can be very, very massive and you can end up queuing for 30 minutes just to use the fitting room.


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febynurdiana
Congo Café @ Rancakendal Street 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This restaurant is one of a kind, as other restaurants in this area are. I think this is by far the biggest restaurant in the area—the first time it was opened, my boyfriend and I both thought it was a hotel. The front of the building is a combination of tropical and modern—there are literally two parts of the building.

The large tropical area is also divided into two sections, one with sofas (obviously with a more relaxed atmosphere) and the other with proper restaurant chairs. I would stubbornly choose (if it was full, I’d wait) to sit on the sofa section each time I went here, as the view from this part is amazing. The section with chairs doesn’t have any view, but it is connected to a garden, which is also nice.

The other area, the modern building, looks more like a glass house with bright white walls. Uniquely the furniture in this building is made from carved teak wood, which is amazingly pretty. These are the collection of the Congo Gallery, an art gallery for solid natural wood located in the same building. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to dine here, as they said this modern dining area is only opened for groups and guests with prior reservations. Check out www.congosolidwood.com to view their photos of the amazing landscape.

Their dishes are not bad too. They serve a mix between Indonesian, Japanese and Western. To tell you the truth, I personally think they don’t do the Indonesian and the Japanese dishes very well. Go for the Western dishes instead, best value for the price. Well, I think a bit more expensive than other restaurants in Bandung, but of course not too unbelievable. I once dined with 3 other friends and only spent around IDR 225,000 (US$22.5).


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febynurdiana
Rumah Kopi (Coffee House) @ Rancakendal Street 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
God knows how I love coffee, and I used to invite almost everybody, on almost every weekend, to this place. But they know it’s not their coffee I came here for—as this place is too romantic to resist!

This is the second café that was opened in Rancakendal Street. From the outside it appears like a single-storey house, but as you get inside, you will climb down a staircase leading to a huge back garden. This garden has large opened bungalows, and guests can sit comfortably on the seats arranged in one of them. Some of them don’t have seats though; you can just sit on the floor Japanese style. But every time I go here I always head to the bigger bungalow on the furthest back of the café, as their view is the most amazing.

They have mostly coffee on their menu, both alcoholic and not. I’d say Irish Coffee and Copacabana are probably some of their best, but most of their drinks are delicious. They also serve proper meals, but I can’t say they’re too amazing. But if you’re in a snacky mood, go for their Zoupa-Zoup (or something, I don’t precisely remember the name). It’s a bowl of cream soup covered with potato pastry, and it’s very yummy. A glass of coffee costs around IDR 10,000 (US$1) up to 30,000 (US$3), and the alcoholic ones are the more expensive ones, obviously.


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febynurdiana
Warung Lela (Lela's Cafe) @ Rancakendal Street 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Their chicken noodle is terrific, but honestly I wasn’t amazed by their food—but by their amazing view and unique interiors.

This cozy little noodle café is actually a house which belongs to Ms. Lela. Apparently she has this delicious chicken noodle recipe, and converted her house into a café—instantly famous among young and old, students and yuppies, locals and tourists.

This café is the pioneer of Rancakendal Street, as it was the first café opened there. My favorite food there is the Yamin Asin Baso (a dry chicken noodle with a separated bowl of meatball soup) and Pangsit Goreng (fried dumplings). There prices are quite cheap too, even by Indonesian standards. A bowl of chicken noodle only costs around IDR 8000 (less than US$1).


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