The town of Lembang in Bandung, West Java is known for its beautiful mountains and crisp, cool air. When we talk about a floating market the first thing we think of is usually Thailand and not Indonesia, but unlike the Thai traditional markets that gradually grew to become a tourist hotspot, the floating market in Lembang was created specifically to enliven the travel scene in Bandung.
Sitting on Situ Umar Lake, the floating market at Lembang not only offers visitors a fuss free experience with nature (there are plenty of wooden gazebos for visitors to sit down, relax and enjoy the natural scenery and weather) but also plenty of activities for the young to the old, making it a fantastic place for family and group outings. Solo travellers, sorry to disappoint! This place is best with some company and loved ones.
The floating market is open from Monday through Sunday and the entrance fee is at 15,000 Rp. You get a ‘welcome drink’ at the entrance and can choose between lemon tea, Milo, latte or choco latte. It’s a nice touch and kind of offsets the entrance fee. And as fellow travellers, we understand how frustrating it is at times when it seems like everyone out there is trying to rip you off. Let out that breath that you’ve been holding, because the ‘official currency’ here is in the form of tokens which you exchange with cash. This means that everything here is at a fixed price – no haggling skills involved!
With the myriad of activities that go on at the floating market, here are some that you shouldn’t miss:
Taman Kelinci (Rabbit Park)
Bunnies are left to roam freely here and for 20,000 Rp visitors get two carrots to feed these little critters. Children and animal lovers will definitely enjoy the up close experience with these adorable animals. You can also rent a rickshaw here for 20,000 Rp which will take you round the park for four rounds. It’s a good way to watch carefree little children chase after bunnies. Do note that on weekends the park is packed full of children!
Explore the lake on a boat! Visitors can rent and choose between pedal boats and rowboats. For a 30-minute ride, the rental cost for a two-seater pedal boat or rowboat is at 50,000 Rp while the four-seater rowboat is at 70,000 Rp. There are also life vests provided, although it’s highly unlikely for anyone to fall into the water.
As the floating market is relatively extensive, there are plenty of spots for visitors to explore. One especially photogenic area is a rock garden that is near the motorcycle parking lot. We also came upon an area that is very much Japanese-inspired and makes for an impressive backdrop for that Instagram-worthy shot.
As the main attraction of the floating market, how can we forget the mouthwatering snacks and dishes? With over 40 boats docked at the market, there is bound to be something for everyone. Indulge in local Indonesian delights such as bakso (meatballs), batagor (fried fish dumplings) and sate (skewered grilled meat). There are also other Asian and even European food like Japanese takoyaki and pizza! If you’re looking for something more exotic, try out durian bakar – durian served with fruits, peanuts, coconut shavings and black glutinous rice. The delightful combination is then topped off with brown sugar and condensed milk. Sounds yummy? You bet it is!