Last time we went to Bandung, we headed straight to Lembang and didn’t get a chance to visit the city so when my friend offered to show us around her hometown, we couldn’t refuse! She had planned an amazing weekend for us and we came back wishing Jakarta was more like Bandung 🙂
What we did
Elliott is a huge fan of rocks and minerals so when my friend suggested a visit to the geology museum I knew he would enjoy it. Turned out to be a really pleasant visit for all of us! Why isn’t there anything like this in Jakarta?
The museum was being renovated (sadly, the dinosaur section) but there was still more than enough to stimulate our kids curious minds: collections of “shiny rocks”, meteorites and fossils… The earthquake simulator was quite the winner too! We spent about an hour visiting the museum.
Taman Lalu Lintas
Next, we headed to Taman Lalu Lintas, a public park with lots of entertainment for kids. We didn’t have time to explore all of it but enjoyed the “traffic” section (where kids rode rented bikes through a “mini-town”) and riding on the small train.
The park is very lively but didn’t feel overly crowded.
Our friends then took us uphill for a walk in the forest. Taman Hutan Raya Juanda is a conservation area and botanical garden covering 590 hectares. We arrived there in the mid afternoon and had the park to ourselves! The cool air and being surrounded by so many old trees felt amazing.
We crossed paths with a small snake, discovered new plants and explored the spooky caves (man-made caves built by the Dutch in the early 20th century and used as bunker during WWII)
Where we ate
Bandung seems to have endless options of cool cafes and restaurants. Uphill, some have huge gardens and views over the city. These were all really nice:
- Nara Park Bandung (a cluster of restaurants). The food was probably a bit overpriced but the place is totally instagrammable and being able to eat outside while kids explored the garden was well worth the money.
- Selasar Sunaryo Art Space: Restaurant set inside of an art space (sadly it was closed so we didn’t get a chance to visit it).
- Mom’s Bakery: picked up our takeaway lunches for the train ride back to Jakarta from this very popular spot (western style sandwiches and pastries)
- Spadaa Koffie:Yummy coffee and breakfast in this very cool space, thumbs up for its no-sugar-in-your-coffee policy on Sundays!
Planning your trip
Knowing how unpredictable the roads can be (3 to… 7hours?), we decided to take the train. It’s very comfortable, easy to book online on Tiket.com (plan at least 1 month ahead for weekend trips) and the views from the train are beautiful.
The journey takes half a day so it’s a trip worth planning over a long weekend. We were amazingly lucky to stay with our friends, if not we would probably have tried the Padma Hotel which everyone raves about.
Remember to pack some warmer clothes (the weather is slightly cooler once you go uphill).
Are you looking to get away from Jakarta for the weekend? Here are a few ideas: