The Ultimate Backpacker’s Guide to Bandung
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At first blush, Bandung appears to be a marriage between the streets of Johor Bahru and Bangkok, though cooler and more refreshing. A city that is teeming with thriving cafes, bistros and some seriously good shopping outlets, there isn’t much to hate about Bandung as as backpacker.
While you may occasionally cringe at the systemic poverty that plagues the rural areas in Bandung, be prepared to be astounded by the urbanised areas of Bandung where hipster cafes, trendy restaurants and outlet stores adorn the sub-urban streets. We uncover the best places for backpackers, seeking great food and amazing accommodation – all without breaking the bank!
WHERE TO STAY IN BANDUNG
Pinisi Backpacker Hotel
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For a nominal fee of S$10 and up per night, your night is secured at this homely backpacker hostel, located conveniently near Gedung Sate and other shopping and food havens in Bandung. This hostel serves breakfast from 7 – 10 am which includes special Indonesian beverages and Sundanese delicacies that are sure to keep you coming back for more. For days that you decide to have a chill night in, they even offer free wifi, cable tv and computer usage.
Address: Jl. Pasirkaliki Belakang 84 Gg. Musaen No. 92/6A, Bandung, Indonesia
Cottonwood Bed & Breakfast
Image Credit: Cottonwood Bed & Breakfast | facebook.com
This bed & breakfast probably takes the cake for me. With a classic modern exterior filled with elegant floral arrangements and a convenient location, this B&B houses uniquely themed rooms that take inspiration from fruits and herbs like Cranberry, Mulberry Tree and Walnut Tree. It’s comfortable, affordable and if you book in advance, you can get the beautiful Popple Tree room for about S$38 per night. Check out the #cottonwoodbandung tag or their Instagram page (@cottonwoodbnb) to get a feel of this quaint and insta-worthy place!
Address: Jl. Mustang B2/1A, Kompleks Kumala Garden, Pasteur, Bandung, Indonesia, 40164
Hummingbird Eatery & Guesthouse
Image credit: Hummingbird Eatery & Guesthouse | facebook.com
This guesthouse has everything you need and comes at an affordable price (from $37 per night). Located only 10 minutes away from the factory outlets in Bandung, this guesthouse offers the ultimate convenience and comfort for backpackers. While they only have 8 rooms available for booking, their facilities include free wifi, shower facilities, car park, safety deposit boxes and other basic necessities.
Address: Jl. Progo No. 14, Riau, Bandung, Indonesia 40115
The Sayana Bed & Breakfast
Image Credit: sayanabnb.blogspot.com
Modern, classy and clean. Perfect for the weekend getaway or a backpacking trip with guaranteed comfort and a homely ambience. While the prices are slightly higher than hostels, this homestay will certainly impress you. Most guests rate them Very Good or Excellent on Tripadvisor since their inception and the only way you can know is paying them a visit!
Address: 14 Buton Street, Van De Venter, Bandung 40112, Indonesia
EXPLORING THE BANDUNG VOLCANOES
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For the nature lovers, take a day trip to visit Tangkuban Perahu, Bukit Moko, Kawah Putih and Bukit Tunggul. While the journey up the mountain is mostly guided trails, the rocky steps can be quite dangerous. Avoid talking to the street peddlers as they have been known to “charm” you into buying souvenirs at a hefty price. Breeze past the shops up to the mountainous terrains for an undisturbed view of the sulphuric fumes emanating from the volcano. The mystical phenomenon makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bandung. If you’re driving down the steep mountains of Tangkuban Perahu, rest for a pitstop at the Lembang Floating Market to try Indonesia’s finest home delicacies that are unique to the Sundanese people of Bandung.
FOOD PLACES TO VISIT IN BANDUNG
No trip is complete without trying the city’s street food and delicacies. Makansutra dubs Bandung as the Street Food Capital, with some of the best places for that late night supper fix and adventurous food hunts. For the sweet tooth, try Ronde Jahe (glutinous rice balls with peanut fillings) soaked in ginger soup.
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If you’re feeling adventurous, head up to the mountainous areas for some Sate Kelinci (rabbit satay). But if you’re a more mainstream traveller, you can opt for the safer, but still delicious, street food like Sate Kardjan, Sate Maranggi and Bubur Ayam Gibbas.
Image credit: melonkolisdessert.blogspot.com
For an authentic taste of Sundanese food, visit Ceu Mar Bandung located at Jalan Banceuy (towards Braga) to experience first hand the ethnic nuances of Sundanese food. While the plethora of dishes will leave you spoilt for choice, don’t forget to end your meal with some desserts like Roti Bakar Geng Kote or some Melon desserts at Melonkolis Kedai Update.
TRANSPORTATION IN BANDUNG
Bandung is a considerably safe place to travel, even for female travellers. If you’re up for an adventure, consider travelling on a motorcycle using the app “ Go-Jek” where unlike the traditional taxis, you can travel on a motorcycle instead, at a quarter of the price. Otherwise, you can also hire a supir (driver) for a fixed rate daily to commute between places in Bandung.
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While the street food stalls are sprawled almost everywhere along the busy streets of Bandung, be sure to try the above recommendations! Now that you’ve got the list of places to crash for the night and the best food to savour for your trip to Bandung, gear yourself up for the adventure of a lifetime!
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