3.5 hours from Jakarta lies a shopaholic’s haven – Bandung, the capital of West Java, Indonesia. Also known as The Paris of Java (Parijs van Java) during the Dutch colonial times, this city is now a popular weekend destination not just for the city dwellers but for Malaysians and Singaporeans as well. It is also the first stop of our Trip of Wonders in Wonderful Indonesia.
READ: BANDUNG WEEKEND: ARTS AND CULTURE
Aside from arts and culture, we were also able to sample a few of Bandung’s theme parks, instagrammable restaurants and cafes, and popular shopping destinations.
For our first stop in our second day in Bandung, we were greeted by the smell of freshly brewed coffee and the chilly climate. A popular cafe located inside a national forest park, Armor Kopi is a coffee shop serious about their coffee. You’ll find no big-ass coffee machines here, however. The baristas here use the pour over and immersion brewing methods – from the V60, Flat bottom, Aeropress, Moka Pot, Ibrik, Tubruk and the Vietnam Drip.
Coffee enthusiasts can choose between Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica coffee beans. Or choose from the single origin coffee all around Indonesia or their special coffee: Luwak East Java, Luwak Robusta, and Luwak Liberica. Kopi Luwak (Civet Coffee) is indeed the famous fermented and partly digested coffee beans harvested from the poop of the wild civet.
After choosing your beans and preferred method, the beans are freshly ground by the baristas depending on the coarseness required. With the open preparation area, the customers are given a view of the whole coffee process – from beans to liquid gold.
Armor Kopi also has a selection for tea lovers: Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Black Tea, Honey Milk Tea, Cascarra, and their premium Silver Needle Tea. They also offer snacks to go along with coffee and tea, and we sampled two of them: Pisang Goreng (Pishang Gowreng) and Cireng (Cyirweng rujak sauyunan).
The Pisang Goreng had my vote and was a good pairing with the bitter coffee especially with the shredded cheese sprinkled above it. The gooey and bland Cireng was a bit oily for my liking and the dipping sauce is spicy for me.
The whole area reminds me of Baguio with its towering trees, cool climate, and restaurants. It can get crowded especially on the weekends.
Main Parking Lot, Taman Hutan Raya IR. H. Djuanda, Jalan Pakar Barat No.99, Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Djuanda, Ciburial, Cimenyan, Bandung, Jawa Barat 40135
Operating hours: 0900H – 2100H
WHERE TO STAY IN BANDUNG: SHERATON BANDUNG HOTEL & TOWERS
Dusun Bambu Family Leisure Park
Located at M. Burangrang’s feet is an eco-resort that caters to everyone, not just families. You can take a shuttle ride to get to the central area but we opted to walk among the bamboo and paddy fields. It was very picturesque indeed!
You can choose to dine in Cafe Burangrang, a food court, by the huts along the river, or inside a bird cage. Of course, the latter two options are the most popular and you must be patient to queue for a spot.
There is also a wide variety of activities that you can do inside the massive resort. From archery, dart, strawberry picking, paintball, and canoeing among many others. Visitors can also opt to stay the night in a wooden cottage or in a tent.
Dusun Bambu Family Leisure Park
Kolonel Masturi KM 11, Cisarua, Bandung Barat, Indonesia
Shopping in Bandung
Bandung has become a shopper’s haven because of the many textile factories that can be found in the city. This resulted to factory outlets (FOs), distros (distribution outlets), malls, and textile markets that shopaholics aim for. We were able to check out Paris van Java mall, a few distros, and Rumah Mode.
The clothes sold in the factory outlets carry international brand names but are most likely the rejects, so do take care in inspecting before you make your purchase. Watch out for fakes too. You’ll also find affordable leather goods that are also made in Bandung.
Paris Van Java Mall
Jl. Sukajadi No. 131 – 139, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40162, Indonesia
Rumah Mode Factory Outlet
Jl. Setiabudhi, Pasteur, Sukajadi, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40141, Indonesia
WATCH FOR OUR DAY 2 BANDUNG HIGHLIGHTS:
Disclaimer: Bandung is the first stop of Trip of Wonders. Special thanks to the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia for the Wonderful Indonesia experience. As always, all opinions and biases are my own.
Are you a foodie or a shopaholic? Have you been to Bandung yet?
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