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21 June 2010

9 Places You Should Visit in Bandung

AirAsia Social Media team

By AirAsia Social Media team

Well, the first blog entry about Bandung gained decent feedbacks. So, here we go; an extension.

Last weekend, I traveled to Bandung, did some kind of flashback of places I thought would be nice if can be shared to others –especially those who are first timer to Bandung—. More or less like “Places you should go while you’re in Bandung” but this list is a bit different.

You may google Bandung and find the usual must-see like Kawah Putih, Tangkuban Perahu, Lembang, Pasar Baru Otista, Rumah Mode, Heritage, or other familiar ones But this list is more personal. Trust me; these places below are worth visiting. They are certainly not the typical Lonely Planet list.

So, shall we begin?

01. Unkl347
Type: Fashion
Location: Jalan Trunojoyo no. 4
Price: IDR 40,000 – IDR 1,000,000
Web: www.unkl347.com

I remember back in 1998, looking for the store somewhere in Dago Atas. I found the clothing line from a liner note of Bandung’s legendary band Cherry Bombshell, it said this clothing sell the band’s merchandise. So I looked for it, I was a fan of the band. Just after I arrived at the small shop, the view changed things forever. They were selling tshirts, pants, and bags that were extra ordinary for a local brand. But for pants and bags, we need to place order and then the stuff arrived 3 weeks later. The design was a breathtaking one back then.

Of course, the business now is not the same. Unkl347 wonderful story has made its owners rich young men wearing their idealism proud. They’re the biggest local clothing company with distribution spots in Malaysia, Singapore, and of course Indonesia.

They still a market leader with wide product variety. You can easily spotted wallets, shoes, bags, fine tshirts, jeans, cute female dress, and even series of band merchandise or Lomo camera.

It goes as simple as this: you’re not cool enough if you haven’t got a piece of Unkl347 in your short life. Up until today, it’s the only local clothing that stays on my life. I’m cool enough, then. Haha.

02. Omuniuum
Type: Fashion, Music Records, Books, Shoes
Location: Jalan Ciumbuleuit, opposite of Universitas Parahyangan
Price: IDR 10,000 – 3,500,000
Web: www.omuniuum.net

If you’re into music, then Omuniuum is the perfect place to visit. Run by one of Bandung’s most friendly couples, Boit and Trie, the shop offers a cozy atmosphere. Even if you just want to hang out here, its fine with them.

They sell band merchandise –one of the most complete music merchandise store in Indonesia—, rare music records, and books. They have few Flaming Lips’ vinyl, dozens of local independent bands cds and Sigur Ros’ boxset worth US$350.

Then they also an official distributor of New Rock Boots, made popular in Indonesia by Koil –this couple are part of Koil’s syndicate— a legendary rock band, born and bred in Bandung.

You can also find good books to read here. Recently I just found Bill Gates and Bruce Springsteen biography here with good price.

If you’re not in Bandung, don’t worry you can contact them by email and make online order. They’re also the best mail order shop in Indonesia. The one you should try is, making friends with Boit and Trie. You might always get special prices. *Ups, I think they will sue me after this*

03. Rumah Mode
Type: Fashion
Location: Jalan Setiabudi
Price: IDR 30,000 – IDR 1,000,000

Have you read my first blog entry on Bandung(http://blog.airasia.com/index.php/expect-something-interesting-from-bandun)? Remember the Boston Red Sox part? Nah, this is the place where I found my Red Sox’s tee. It’s pretty weird, right?

Rumah Mode is a homey shopping spree, a fabulous factory outlet. From Samsonite suitcase to Ben Sherman’s tshirt With fantastic bargains, of course.

No need further explanation. Go find yourself lost in this place. There are also restaurants and coffee shop inside to keep member(s) of your party who’s not into shopping survived. It’s better than sending them home to hotel, right?

04. Suis Butcher
Type: Food
Location: Jalan Setiabudi, Jalan Riau, Jalan Dago (Dago Plaza)
Price: IDR 7,500 – IDR 80,000
Web: www.suisbutcher.com

My friend, Obi Gordon Smith –he’s half Indonesia, half Australian, Bandung’s native— just arrived home from Melbourne on Sunday to spend his semester holiday. So I asked him to pick me up and then we went for dinner, did some catching up. Our pick was Suis Butcher, a steak restaurant.

During my seven years tenure in Bandung, I was a frequent customer. Back then, only Jalan Setiabudi branch existed. Obi and my back then gf, Angelin Sumendap, were among two people I went with the most back then. So this place surely has a special place in my memory.

The first reason is because it’s so cheap! We were college students then, so we’re quite tight with budget, right? But Suis Butcher never failed us, so did last Sunday.

I ordered my favourite black pepper sirloin steak. After three years or so the price increased but still, very reasonable. Where can you get 200 grams steak with only IDR 35,000? Surely it’s a good deal.

The taste is still the same. I even met some waiters who has become fatter and older over the years. Expect to spend around IDR 70,000 for a full course dinner equipped with appetizer and dessert.

05. Kopi Selasar
Type: Café, Art Space, Midday getaway
Location: Jalan Dago Pakar no. 100
Price: IDR 10,000 – IDR 50,000
Web: www.selasarsunaryo.com

Kopi Selasar is a part of Selasar Sunaryo Art Space. Sunaryo is leading name in Indonesia’s art scene. His works –paintings, sculpture, articles— has a special spot in the art scene. In late 90’s he started his own art space, also being home to series of art events from painting showcase to independent music concert.

And Kopi Selasar always gives me a warm feeling. It’s surely one thing I miss the most if I’m away too long from Bandung

Coffee, snacks and friends is uncomparable with the view of this coffee shop. It’s semi open air with great interior design. The best thing is, the atmosphere really represents what Bandung look like.

Located in the heart of Dago Pakar, the hill top restaurant complex, Kopi Selasar offers a temptation to freeze time, staring at the sky, have some quality ‘me’ time and get lost in time.

There’s even a public Angkot (public transport) here. But the latest one leaves around 6 PM from the area. Surely, the best getaway spot in Bandung.

If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find an art exhibition there. I met Sunaryo himself explaining some of his artworks to groups of Malaysians students last monday.

06. Sambara
Type: Food
Location: Jalan Trunojoyo
Price: IDR 3,000 – IDR 30,000
Web: www.sajiansambara.com

One thing you shouldn’t miss in Bandung is Masakan Sunda. There are a few that you can check it out such as Mak Uneh, Ampera, or Sindang Reret. But Sambara is my choice.

It’s not as low as in term of price with Ampera but it’s not as high as Sindang Reret. But you can find any kind of Sundanese food from Bakwan Jagung to Semur Jengkol –be careful of this, ok? Will be addicted and it will leave you with bad side effect if consumed not in a proper portion. F.A.T haha

I am a big fan of Bakwan Jagung –made from sweet corn— and Paru Goreng –cow’s lung—, so I always take these two kinds of food every time I eat there. The sambal are great also, there are four kind of sambal you can choose from.

All food are halal ones. And one good thing for me, Sambara also has a branch in Jakarta.

07. Kartika Sari
Type: Snacks, cakes, pastry for someone back home
Location: Jalan Stasion, Jalan Dago, and few other branches
Price: IDR 3,000 – IDR 200,000
Web: www.kartikasari.com

You’re not good if you bring imported chocolates or liquor from Bandung. They are boring. In fact the Husein Sastranegara airport won’t provide you this kind of souvenirs. The airport is super small, you know. Haha.

Then if you come to Bandung and want to bring home some memories, please consider Kartika Sari. Try Molen Keju, Brownies Kukus, or its Plain Brownies. I’m pretty sure you will then think of a second coming.

My mother usually asked me to bring home some Brownies Kukus if I visited Bandung or came home during my stay back in the past. She’d be happy enough to find a pack of Brownies Kukus in the refrigerator at home.

You should really try this all by yourself.

08. Cloud 9
Type: Hangout place, Drinks!
Location: Jalan Dago Bengkok
Price: IDR 10,000 – IDR 150,000

Well, I’m a person who won’t do clubs. But I love to drink. So, I need to find a place that suit those criteria; no duk-duk-stak music but good enough to drink with friends. Back in 2006, I found Cloud 9, somewhere near Selasar Soenaryo in Dago Pakar. Cheap drinks, good pizza –for me, it’s the best in town— and good view. But, it was so small. Soon, when it got the hip, everyone’s facing a long queue and the place lost its coziness.

They made a good move by moving away to another part of Dago area in Dago Bengkok. The charm restored and the business grew bigger. The most important part, their pizzas are still the best in town and the space are now three level down (not up!) with a breathtaking view of Bandung’s hill top at night.

While there, you can see city lights of quiet Bandung, pull up your pullover; drink Bintang –Indonesia’s finest beer— and have a warm night out with friends.

The place is also an expats melting pot.

09. Paris van Java Mall
Type: Mall
Location: Sukajadi
Price: ??

Ok, this is the best mall in Bandung. Lots of good and fancy restaurants here and it’s typical of mall where you can find dozens of good shops to spend your money on. You can buy designer’s clothes or do a simple laid back chit-chat in one of café there.

And, on top of all, if you think you need to extend your holiday, there is an AirAsia sales counter located in Carrefour on the lowest level. Haha.

Have a better picture of Bandung now? Don’t think, just book at airasia.com. If you want to ask some things about Bandung, I’d be happy to help.

Bandung awaits you!

  • Ahmad Azamiruddin

    I thought Bandung is a high altitude land like our cameron. I am planning to visit Bandung sooner or later. Does it easy to get Halal food there?

  • Damaring Tyas

    Hai Ahmad,
    It’s true, Bandung is located on the Priangan High Plains, so the city has a cool, sometimes freezing, climate. Bandung is the capital of West Java, one of the predominantly-Muslim provinces of Indonesia. So yes, it’s very easy to find halal food there :)

    Another place I recommend visiting is Ciwalk in Cihampelas. It’s an open air mall with lots of restaurants and shops. The place is very cozy, and since it’s in Cihampelas, around it are small stores where you can buy cheap but nice clothes.

  • Poh Wan

    i love bandung! <3

  • Man Foh

    Very useful for visitors to Bandung especially 1st timer.