Many of us know Bandung as a shopping paradise. And with its European architectural structures left from the Dutch colonial period, it’s no surprise why the city is nicknamed “The Paris of Indonesia”. Not forgetting the fact that thanks to its high altitudes, the weather in Bandung is relatively cool and calm. It’s not hard to see why many people, especially Southeast Asians, see Bandung as the perfect place to escape the heat. But did you know that apart from the urban appeals of factory outlets and hipster cafes, there are many more sights and things to do in Bandung?
1. Gunung Batu
Don’t miss Lembang when visiting Bandung! The town is already a somewhat popular spot, known for incredible sights like Mount Tangkuban Perahu and the Bosscha Observatory. But if you’re looking for off-the-beaten-track things to do in Bandung, why not consider Gunung Batu?
You’ll need to get physical and do some hiking, but the mountain isn’t flocked with tourists and it’s completely free! As one of the tallest mountains in Lembang, you’ll be rewarded with an unobstructed view of Lembang valley, Mount Tangkuban Perahu, Gunung Putri and Mount Burangrang in the north. Towards the east, you’ll see Mount Palasari and Bukittunggul. Some adventurous spirits even camp overnight at the peak to catch the sunrise!
2. Curug Batu Templek
Curug Batu Templek is so far off the radar, some locals don’t even know about it! You might have a tough time asking around for information and directions. But thanks to the internet and social media, this natural wonder is now made more accessible.
Located in Cikadung Village of the Cimenyan district, Curug Batu Templek is a waterfall about an hour’s drive away from downtown Bandung. It looks spectacular be it in the dry or rainy season. It isn’t hard to get here, but the road to the waterfall is pretty steep and narrow and best done with a scooter. You will also need to do some climbing, but nothing worth having (or in this case, seeing) comes easy. Did we also mention that there’s a good chance for you to have this place all to yourself?
3. Kawah Putih
Kawah Putih is a volcanic crater lake and one of two craters on Mount Patuha. Its name stands for ‘white crater’ which reflects the beautiful colour of the lake. It also changes colour according to different weather conditions!
You won’t need to hike to get that perfect Instagram shot, as there are shuttle buses that ferry visitors to the crater from the carpark for IDR27k. You do, however, need to put up with the sharp stench of sulphur. For elevated views, there are also bamboo ‘skywalk’ viewpoints on each side of the crater, but you have to pay an extra IDR10k to enter them. The lake has a very beautiful, mystical feel, and despite the sulphur fumes, it’s still worth seeing it in person!
4. The Farmhouse
Known mainly for its ‘Hobbit House’, The Farmhouse in Lembang is an attraction great for the whole family. Aside from the Hobbit House, there are also recreations of other famous world icons, such as the Gate of Locks and Tudor houses.
The design of the Farmhouse is very much influenced by European culture. You can rent costumes for some fun pictures, and there is also a petting zoo where visitors can hold and take pictures with some adorable critters. To name a few, there are bunnies, horses, birds, iguanas and sugar gliders! Along with the cool climate of the highlands, you might not even remember that you’re in Indonesia.
5. Ranca Upas
Miss the free roaming deer in Kyoto’s Nara Park? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted an up close experience with these beautiful animals? You can do that at Ranca Upas. The conservation park in Ciwidey houses herds of deer and visitors are free to purchase carrots to feed the elegant creatures.
If you need to take some time away from city life, there are spacious camping grounds here where you can set up camp. If you’re not a fan of sleeping on the ground, there are also glamping options. Whether you’re staying overnight or just making a short visit, Ranca Upas is a great place to rejuvenate yourself with the cool mountain air.