Travel Asia: The Complete Guide of Bandung City

Gedung Sate
Gedung Sate

Bandung is well-known by the world as one of the main vacation city in Indonesia. It’s all due to the natural beauty and the cool breezy temperature of the city, and of course, also for its people dynamic lifestyle.

Bandung is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia and the country's third largest city with around 7.4 million residences. Located 768 meters (approximately 2,520 feet) above sea level, Bandung has relatively year-around cooler temperature than most Indonesian cities. Also, the fact that the city lies on a basin and surrounded by mountains, blessed the city with beautiful panorama.

Even though Bandung has becoming one of the most crowded city in Indonesia, but be sure that there won’t be any less enjoyment for visitors when they visit the city which is also known as Paris van Java. More crowded city means more restaurants to go to, more hang out place to visit and more new people to meet.

Just like any major city in the world, Bandung has many interesting landmarks. But, the most famous is the Gedung Sate (Satay House) and Braga street area. Dr. H. P. Berlage, a renowned Dutch architect, mentioned that Gedung Sate is een groots werk (a masterpiece). Meanwhile, Braga street area is one element that made Bandung received the nickname Parijs van Java. In the past, when Indonesia is still called Hindia Belanda (Dutch East Indie) and ruled by Dutch colonialism, Braga region called de meest Eropeesche winkelstraat van Indie (Europe's most prominent shopping complexes in the Dutch East Indies).

Gedung Sate in the past
Gedung Sate in the past

Gedung Sate was built in 1920 - 1924 in Wihelmina Boulevard (now Jalan Diponegoro). Laying the first stone was Miss Johana Caaatherine Coops, eldest daughter of Bandung Mayor at that time B. Coops, and Miss Petronella Roelofsen, which representing the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies in Batavia (Jakarta).

Gedung Sate, which during the Dutch East Indies era called Gouvernements Bedrijven (GB), is a monumental work of famous architect Gerber. Its architectural style is a fusion of Indonesian traditional architectural style and construction technique of the West, called Indo Eropeesche ArchitectuurStijln. Gedung Sate architecture is a blend of Italian and Moorish architectural styles from the Renaissance with the Hindu and Islamic architectural styles.

The wide corridor on the ground floor was specifically designed to conform with the tropical climate, so that air is circulated and sunlight can enter the building. Roof batch in the main building is the vocal point of this building. The design of the roof was an effort to incorporate local elements in the building's design. Building exteriors are more dominated by the details of Western architecture such as arches and columns on the small window that uses the classical style.

Placed on the top of the Gedung Sate is a special ornament with the shape of a pole thrusting six balls (a symbol of the building development costs that amounted to 6,000,000 Gulden) which look just like the sate/satay (traditional Indonesian cuisine). Hence, this is where the name Gedung Sate originated from. Satay House nowadays is used as the office of West Java Province Governor.

Gedung Merdeka
Gedung Merdeka
Braga in the past
Braga in the past
Bandung aerial photo (1930s)
Bandung aerial photo (1930s)

Braga street was originally a small street in front of a fairly quiet residential known as Pedatiweg in the 1900s. Braga then became crowded because many business travelers, especially from Holland, established shops, bars and entertainment venues in the region. Later in the decade (1920-1930), many boutiques sold luxurious dress from Paris (or imitation of it). This is where Paris van Java nickname for Bandung originated from.

Also on Braga is the Concordia Societeit, which was a meeting place for wealthy gentlemen. Concordia Societeit later used as the venue of Asia Africa Conference in 1955, and then preserved as Gedung Merdeka. The famous Hotel Savoy Homann also on the street, and still run to this day.

While still preserved with memorable buildings, Braga street areas today are becoming more livid especially in the night because there are plenty of bars and pubs for visitors from all over the world to enjoy.

Another famous street in Bandung is the Dago Street, which is the former name of Ir. H. Juanda Street in Bandung. Although the current street name has been changed officially, Bandung residents still often refer to it by the name of Dago. Throughout the street, visitors can found a variety of restaurants, shopping centers, boutique, shops and entertainment center. The Hospital of Saint Boromaeus and Bandung Institute of Technology also located on the street

While Bandung offers plenty of interesting places to visit, the surrounding areas of the city have its own attractions. Just at the outskirt of the city, the Lembang area resided. Located in the altitude between 1312 to 2084 meters above sea level with the average temperature ranges between 17 to 27 degree Celsius, visitors may find the cool and clean air refresh the soul and mind. There are plenty of hotels and inn to choose from in the area. Lembang area offers various tourist attractions such as Bosscha Observatory, Mount Tangkuban Perahu, Maribaya Baths, Forest Raya Ir. H. Djuanda (Dago Pakar) and other interesting venues.

Bandung Special Culinary

Batagor

A unique tasting food made from tofu, served with peanut sauce

Batagor Riri - Burangrang Street

Batagor Kingsley – Veteran Street

Batagor 99 – Pasir Kaliki Street

Noodle

Rica Mie (spicy noodle) – Kejaksaan Street

Naripan Mie – Naripan Street

Akung Mie – Lodaya Street

Yamien Medan – Tamim Street

Satay

Chicken Satay – Maulana Yusuf Street

Karjan’s Lamb Satay – Pasir Kaliki Street

Madura Satay – Anggrek Street

Hadori Satay – Kebon Jati Street

Steak

Road Café – Cilaki Street

Chiba – Dr Rum Street

Glosis – Ciumbuleuit

Milala – Lombok Street

Chicken Porridge

Mang Oyo’s Porridge – H Wahid Street

Hamid’s Porridge – Kebon kawung Street

Porridge stall – Asia Afrika Street

Porridge stall – Jendral Sudirman Street

Chicken Cuisine

Suharti Restaurant – Dago Street

Semar Chicken – Surya Sumantri Street

Suniaraja Chicken – in front of Panghegar Hotel

Raben Chicken – Ciumbuleuit




How to Get to Bandung

Malaysia, Singapore and several other countries has regular flight to Hussein Sastranegara Airport, Bandung. Besides international flight, Hussein Sastranegara Airport also serves flights to and from other major cities in Indonesia, like Surabaya, Semarang, Denpasar, Sampit and Jakarta.

Besides air transportation, visitors may also use land transportation from Jakarta. There are some scheduled train departures from Jakarta’s Gambir Stasion from morning (5:30 AM) to late afternoon (8 PM) with ticket price around US$9 for Executive class and US$5 for Business class. Travel by train may take around 3-4 hours. Transportation in the city accessed easily because there are plenty of taxis to choose from. Just make sure the taxi use regulated meters. Renting car also a good alternative, with renting price around US$25 a day.

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agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

Hello Rai,

Yes, I have the same idea that Bandung is beautiful. One thing I like the best about Bandung is its greenery and off course kinds of its special foods. Thank you for writing about Bandung.

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