Bandung, Indonesia: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Bandung, as the capital city of West Java, is the third largest city in Indonesia. Covering an area of approximately 167.7 square kilometers, Bandung is home to almost 2.5 million residents. The city is elevated at 768 meters above sea level allowing Bandung to have a cooler temperature at 22.5 degree Celsius on an average all year-round compared to the other cities of Indonesia. Located on a river basin and surrounded by volcanic mountains, Bandung has a natural defensive system, which was the reason why the Dutch planned to move the colony capital from Batavia, which is Jakarta nowadays, to Bandung during the Dutch colonial era. the Dutch first built tea plantations around the mountains with roads connecting the plantation areas to the colonial capital Batavia during the 18th century. In 1906, Bandung became a municipality and a resort city for plantation owners. Luxury hotels, restaurants, boutiques, and European shops sprouted all over the city dubbing it once as "Parijs van Java", the Dutch term for "The Paris of Java".
After the declaration of Indonesia's Independence in 1945, Bandung had undergone rapid development and urbanization making it a metropolitan area. Although some natural resources including the protected upland area was transformed into highland villas and real estate and its neverending traffic congestion, Bandung still attracts a very large number of tourists to visit the city. As a metropolis, the city is offering a massive things to do ranging from visiting the attractions, shopping, dining, visiting the lakes and villages, and going on a night out. The nightlife in Bandung is perhaps the best in Indonesia. Tourists can also opt to take an excursion to nearby scenic spots. Hotels can provide assistance to these tours and excursions, apart from providing one of the best accommodation.
If planning to get in by plane, Hussein Sastranegara Airport operates direct flights from all over Indonesia and other countries including Malaysia and Singapore. The airport is located at the end of Pajajaran Street, which is 4 kilometers away from the city center. It is served by AirAsia, Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Silk Air, and Wings Air. A taxi from the airport to the city center may cost 42,000 IDR or 3 USD.
Another option is to arrive by train. The Bandung Railway Station has regular trains to and from the cities of Jakarta and Yogyakarta. There are two classes for each train: Executive Class and Business Class. The Executive Class' tickets may cost 100,000 IDR for air conditioning, reclining seats, and a foot rest. On the other hand, Business Class offers less expensive tickets for 15,000 IDR to 25,000 IDR or 1 USD to 2 USD. These trains are also air-conditioned with comfortable seats, but without recliners and foot rests.
Bandung is easily accessed by roads from Jakarta. There are bus services that also connects Bandung and smaller surrounding cities and long route buses connecting to the major cities. The most convenient way is the air-conditioned bus with the express or non-stop tag. There are two main terminals in Bandung: the Leuwipanjang that serves buses from the west including Bogor, Jakarta, Merak, Pandeglang, Tangerang, Depok, Bekasi, Cikarang, Cibinong, and Sukabumi; and the Cicaheum that serves buses from the east including Cirebon, Garut, Tasikmalaya, Banjar, Pangandaran, Indramayu, Central Java cities, Eastern Java cities and also from Bali Island (with ferry transfers).
There are also shuttle buses, which are 7 to 10 seater minivans, between Jakarta and Bandung. These may cost 50 USD to 75 USD for chartered car or van that takes your group exactly where you want to go or 10 USD or cheaper for point to point services.