The world is full of incredible places. Destinations that are so diverse, it’s impossible to say that one place or another is the ‘best’. Yet, sometimes when travelling the globe, you come across a magical destination. A place that speaks to your soul and rejuvenates your spirit.
‘Place’ can mean multiple things. It’s not just about the physical beauty and location, but also the culture, the climate, the food, and the people. There are times in life where you find a charming destination that has the perfect balance of all of these elements. A place where the universe just seems in sync and it creates a truly unique and memorable travel experience. One such place is Bandung, Indonesia.
A lot of great regions in Asia have highlands not far from major cities. A high and lush oasis where culture blends with vivid green plantations on volcanic mountain tops. A place to escape the relentless humidity of Asia. These towns are always special places. In Mumbai, it’s Lonavala, In Manila it’s Tagaytay, and from Jakarta it’s Bandung. Bandung is the capital city of the West Java province and Indonesia’s fourth largest city. It’s a high-altitude haven from the sweaty, intense bustling streets of Jakarta.
It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in nature as you watch the sunset as it falls behind rolling green tropical hills and tea plantations. We all have times where we need to rejuvenate the soul and connect back with nature. This is especially felt when travelling through South East Asia as tourists tend to spend most of their time in the loud, vibrant cities. We walk dusty streets in fisherman pants, backpacks and flip-flops as traffic buzzes by street-side food stalls and night markets. Whilst this is also a great experience, there comes a point where you want to connect with the land and appreciate the natural beauty and provincial culture of the region you’re in.
Sure, you can do day tours and even camping and hiking trips out of the city. However, Bandung is the perfect destination that blends luxury with nature. There are many luxury hotels where you can stay in complete comfort whilst experiencing sunrises and tropical storms that roll in over volcanic mountains. Once such place is Hotel Trans Studio Bandung. Sites such as www.traveloka.com offer more local information and can show you multiple accommodation options for blending luxury and comfort with nature and culture.
So, I said that Bandung is the ‘perfect’ balance of elements. I’ve mentioned natural beauty however, culture is also important. Getting lost in the markets in Pasar Baru is a wonderfully intense experience that will immerse you in local culture as well as expose you to a huge variety of local products. Like all Asian markets, it’s crowded and busy. A collective consciousness of colourful vendors, exotic produce and customers. However, if you embrace it and go with the flow, you’ll find it’s incredible.
Culture also includes food and the food in Bandung is cheap and amazing! You can eat street side in an authentic market stall or ascend the bright green mountains and have a sophisticated meal looking out and one of the best views in the world as the cooler breezes meander through the valleys and caress you while you indulge in incredible charcoal infused BBQ meats and sip a cold wine.
If you want to get more adventurous, there’s plenty of options just outside Bandung. One of the most popular places is the surreal Kawah Putih.
Kawah Putih is a white crater lake about 50km (approx 2 hrs) south of Bandung. The bright coloured earth creates an almost fake-looking vivid blue lake. The scenery is dramatic as the sulphuric water seems to glow beneath the surrounding volcanic mountains. You can’t swim and you may find the air hard to breathe because of the sulphur. However, like most incredible places, it requires effort but it’s totally worth it.
Bandung is a unique and charming place full of culture, dramatic landscapes, incredible food and great accommodation. Definitely add it to your list if you’re travelling through the region!
How to get there:
Fly to Jakarta then take a train, shuttle or bus to Bandung.
Get around by angkot (van public transportation), taxi or bus.
Where to Stay
Hotel Trans Studio Bandung