Bandung is the third largest city in Java and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country due to its pleasant weather and proximity to Jakarta. It has beautiful nature, shopping places, and is known for its extensive Dutch colonial architecture spread across the city. But it is most well-known for its natural beauty and here are a few travel destinations in and around Bandung that you must not miss:
1. Kawah Putih (White Crater)
This gorgeous crater was naturally created in a volcanic crater of Mount Patuha, but it has not seen any major volcanic activity since 1600. That’s why people named the mountain Patuha which means “old person”. It is located 50 km far from Bandung city. The color of the water is a striking shade of blue and when the weather is cloudy, the whole area is shrouded in mist which gives it a mysterious appearance. It will take you around two hours to reach this place from the center of Bandung city. You can either park your car at the entrance and take one of the mini shuttle buses, which leave in every few minutes or you could also drive up to the location for a higher fee.
2. Lake Patenggang, Ciwidey
This scenic and romantic spot is not far from White Crater and is located around 1,600 m above the sea level. The lake is surrounded by beautiful tea gardens and green hills. There is a small island in the middle of the lake called Sasuka. Local people call it Love island, because the shape of the island is look like a heart, especially if you look it from the top (map/satellite). Visitors can also hire boats to explore the serene lake and the nearby areas. It is very popular among honeymooners and couples because across the lake there is a well-known site called Stone Love where it is believed that your love will continue forever if you write your and your beloved’s name on the rock. Off course this is only a myth.
3. Mount Tangkuban Parahu
The name literally means ‘upturned boat’ in the local language, based on the shape if we see the mount from the city and the legend behind its creation. This dormant volcano is located 30 km north of Bandung, where tourists can hike among the scenic trails to the edge of the Queen crater or ride up to the location to enjoy the hot sulphuric water or spa in the boiling hot mud at the Domas Crater. You can even buy eggs which have been cooked on the hot surface there. If you have time, you can also visit Sariater hotspring, the biggest hotspring in Java where the water is naturally come out from the mountain without sulphur smell.
4. Saung Angklung Udjo
If you want to know more about Sundanese or local art and culture, you should visit this place. This Saung (in English means “house”) was established by Udjo Ngalagena and his wife Uum Sumiati in 1966, primarily to make people aware of the different handicrafts, musical instruments, traditions and performing arts of this part of the country. It also serves as an education and learning center for people who want to know more about the traditional bamboo artifacts and instruments. There are hundreds students study arts, dance, and music at the saung. They go to school in the morning and go to the saung in the afternoon. Visitors who come here can enjoy shows by the local artists performing mask dances, jaipong dances, other local dances, puppet shows, great angling orchestra, and also buy a wide range of bamboo products made in the workshop.
5. Gedung Sate
This is the landmark of Bandung city. It is a classic building designed by Dutch architect J. Gerber, and was built in 1920 by Dutch during colonial period. It is named Gedung Sate which means “satay building” because the ornament on the top resembles the shape of satay, a popular traditional dish in Indonesia made of chicken or meat sliced. There are six meats at the top, marked that the cost of the building was six million gulden. Gulden was the currency rate of Dutch government. There is no guarantee you can enter the building because it is actively used as Governor office. At the same location there is a postal museum. And if you are a shopaholic, not far from the building there are some nice factory outlets along Riau street.