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5 Fun Things To Do In Bandung, Indonesia

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A local woman in Bandung, Indonesia. Photo: Phalinn Ooi/flickr; Edited: Jessie on a Journey.

The capital of Indonesia’s West Java province, Bandung is known for its mix of natural wonders, museums, markets and cultural offerings. Indonesia is at the top of my bucket list, and while I’ve never been myself there are a number of experiences I plan to have when I do go. Recently Indonesian travel booking site Traveloka.com asked me to share these experiences in a post, including:

1. Mix Culture + Views At Bandung Grand Mosque

The Bandung Grand Mosque is a very important site in the city, first constructed in 1812, though its humble thatched bamboo beginnings have grown grander over time. Now the iconic structure features a gorgeous stone facade, tile dome roof, inspiring minarets and detailed fish scale motifs (a typical Bandung design). Along with providing a glimpse into local culture and giving architecture buffs a show, visitors enjoy heading up to the top of the mosque tower for an aerial view of Bandung and, on a clear day, Mount Tangkuban Perahu.

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Bandung Grand Mosque. Photo: Prayudi Setiadharma/Wikimedia Commons.

2. Floating Market Lembang

Local markets are a must in any city you visit, whether traveling to NYC, Indonesia or beyond. In Bandung, the Floating Market Lembang is where you can savor all the local specialties — small snacks and larger meals — in one afternoon. The colorful floating stalls sit on a scenic man-made lake where you can rent canoes and water cycles. Activities like rabbit feeding, boat rides and choo choo train rides are also available.

Note that while the market should take about 30 minutes to get to by car, weekend traffic in the area can make the journey more like an hour.

3. Stay At A Cool Accommodation

Accommodation with something special to offer, whether that be a central location, chill vibe, active amenities or the chance to live like a local, can enhance your trip. One option is Villa Istana Bunga Bandung featuring a swimming pool, BBQ area, sundeck, free bike rentals, onsite sport courts and natural surroundings. It’s also less than a two-minute walk to a number of Indonesian eateries, and is near Bandung attractions like the Bosscha Observatory and the Floating Market Lembang.

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Villa Istana Bunga Bandung

4. Bosscha Observatory

Indonesia’s oldest observatory, the Bosscha Observatory is where I’d love to get a glimpse of a starry sky not available to me living in Brooklyn. The site has a number of high quality telescopes allowing visitors to see everything from Mars and Saturn to lunar craters to constellations and beyond.

There’s also a neat stargazing app you download called SkyView that I’ve used on my travels, which allows you to point your smartphone toward the sky and be explained exactly what you’re facing (including what you can and can’t see with the naked eye).

5. Immerse Yourself In Natural Adventures

The main draw of Bandung for me: the many volcanoes and hiking trails. Bandung sits near Tangkuban Perahu Volcano, and visitors can travel 18 miles from the city to peer into its crater. There’s also Maribaya, less than an hour from Bandung, home to hot springs and waterfalls. For hiking, I’ve heard great things about the 1,458-acre Forest Park Conservation Area Tahura Ir. H. Juanda, home to trekking, caves, waterfalls, rivers and shady pines.

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Maribaya Waterfall via Michael/flickr

What would you add to a Bandung itinerary? Please share in the comments below! 

Recommended:

Beyond Bali: How To Have An Offbeat Indonesian Adventure [Blog Inspiration]

Dream Creator Budget-Friendly Travel Planning [Travel Help]

Sultans, Spices, and Tsunamis: The Incredible Story of Southeast Asia’s Largest Nation, Indonesia by Tim Hannigan [Great Reads]

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