We usually know Bandung, Indonesia as a famed shopping paradise. On top of its European architectural structures, left from the Dutch colonial period, it’s no surprise why the city is nicknamed as “The Paris of Indonesia”. And 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 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, hipster cafes and luxury hotels, there are many more sides to Bandung?
Lembang is not to missed when visiting Bandung. The town is already a somewhat popular spot for visitors, known for various incredible sights like Mount Tangkuban Perahu and the Bosscha Observatory. However, if you’re looking for off the beaten track things to do, why not consider Gunung Batu? The hike up will need some physical work, but the stunning mountain isn’t flocked with tourists, nor does it involve any entrance fees.
True to its name of Gunung Batu or Stone Mountain, the landscape is stacked with large rocks towards the peak. 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! Imagine what an extraordinary trip you’ll have with a visit to Gunung Batu.
By car, Lembang is around an hour’s ride away from downtown Bandung. If travelling from there, visitors can take the route of Jalan Ir. H. Dijuana and Jalan Dago Giri to Lembang. To get to Gunung Batu, visitors should travel through Jalan Maribaya and Buni Asih. The route leading to the location is fairly easy to travel through for both two and four-wheeled vehicles.
Take the Lembang-Cibodas route if you are travelling by public transport. Other ways to get there include a carriage or wagon from Lembang market, which will see you passing through some other tourist attractions such as the Begonia Garden. You will be dropped off at Jalan Maribaya.
Curug Batu Templek
Curug Batu Templek is so far off the radar that 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, Carug Batu Templek is a natural waterfall about an hour’s drive away from downtown Bandung. The waterfall looks spectacular be it in the dry or rainy season. In the dry season, the cascading waters are clear. But come rainy season between October to March, the water turns a murky brown which gives a nice contrast to the dark brown of the rocks.
It isn’t hard to get here, but the road to the waterfall is somewhat steep and narrow. It is advised to get in with a two-wheeled vehicle such as a motorcycle. There will also be some upward climbs, 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?
If self-driving, you should travel from the Pasteur toll gate in the direction of Terminal Cicaheum. Continue the journey towards Sukamiskin Prison and take the road veering left to Jalan Pasir Impun. From here, follow the path and Jalan Terusan Pasir Impun is approximately 3 km away. The route then passes through Cissangarung where the waterfall is near.
There are no public transportation to the waterfall itself, but from the Hall station (Stasiun Hall) visitors can hop on the ride serving the route Antapani-Ciroyom. Alight at Jalan Ahmah Yani, then get on the next ride for route Ukur-Panghegar. Alight at Jalan Pasir Impun, where you can choose to walk or hail a gojek (motorcycle taxi) to the waterfall.
Known mainly because of its “Hobbit House”, The Farmhouse in Lembang is an attraction suitable for the whole family. Other than the Hobbit House, there are also recreations of other famous icons in the world, such as the Gate of Locks and Tudor houses.
The Farmhouse also features a petting zoo where visitors are welcome to hold and take pictures with some adorable critters. To name a few, visitors can interact with bunnies, horses, birds, iguanas and sugar gliders. Don’t you think that this is a great place for children to learn about animals?
The design of the Farmhouse is very much influenced by European styles. You can even rent European costumes for some fun pictures to fool your followers! Along with the cool climate of the highlands, you might not even remember that you’re actually in Indonesia.
The Farmhouse is easy to locate since it sits at the edge of the highway and on the main road. From the direction of Bandung, visitors arriving in Lembang should pass through Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Rumah Sosis and GH Universal Hotel on Jalan Setiabudhi. Continue to follow the route onto Jalan Raya Lembang and Jalan Karmel II. The Farmhouse is located before the Bosscha Observatory.
If taking public transport, visitors should board at Hall station. Hop on the route Stasium Hall-Terminal Lembang. Alight at opposite Toko KS on Jalan Raya Lembang and The Farmhouse will be two-minute walk away.
Kawah Putih, a volcanic crater lake, is one of two craters on Mount Patuha. Its name of “white crater” reflects the colour of the lake, which radiates with turquoise. The lake also changes colour in different weather conditions!
You won’t need to hike to get to this scenic spot. But for that perfect Instagram shot, you will have to put up with the sharp stench of sulphur. If the gases bother you, there are vendors around with face masks for sale, along with some small eateries that are perfect as a pick-me-up after a long journey (it takes about 2 hours to get to from downtown Bandung!)
Visitors that are self-driving should go south from Bandung, through to the town of Seoreang and continue down to Ciwidey. The left turn to Kawah Putih from Jalan Raya Ciwidey is prominent and hard to miss, thanks to the large signboard.
If you choose to travel via public transport, make your way to Leuwi Panjang Terminal and take the bus heading to Ciwidey. From Ciwidey Terminal, you will have to find an angkot (minibus) to Kawah Putih.
Ciater Hot Spring
Sore from all the shopping, hiking and trekking? Hop over to the hot spring of Ciater for some physical relief. This hot spring is completely natural and powered by an active volcano. Located near the well-known Mount Tangkuban Perahu, the drive toward Ciater is extremely scenic as you wind through the slopes of tea plantations.
It is widely believed that the mineral content of the hot water helps to treat physical ailments and skin diseases like rheumatism and eczema. For an authentic experience, we highly recommend taking a dip with the locals in the outdoor natural pool. But in case you’d prefer more privacy, there are spa resorts in the vicinity, such as Ciater Spa & Resort which offers their own private pools.
Driving from Bandung to Ciater will take you around 30 minutes to an hour depending on traffic conditions. Head north from downtown Bandung. You will pass through Lembang and Mount Tangkuban Perahu. Continue onto Raya Subang and Jalan Ciater Lama. Don’t worry about getting lost, there are many signs along the way to help you get to Ciater.
Make your way to Ledeng Terminal in Bandung if you plan to use public transport. Catch an angkot that will take you to Lembang Terminal. From the terminal, board the bus for the route Lembang-Subang and alight at the hot spring entrance.
For the adrenaline seekers, imagine being in mid-air, feeling the cool air of the mountain and the sun on your face. You’re hanging out in a hammock, precariously perched on two cliff faces.
We bet that image has your heart racing! Sunrise chasers should take note as well, for this is one of the best spots in Bandung to watch the moon give way to the sun.
Gunung Hawu or Mount Hawu is one of nature’s great playgrounds. It draws many landscape photographers and physical enthusiasts who are looking to test their limits. If you wish to challenge yourself, other than hammocking you can also rock climb or try tightrope walking. Though we must say, none of these activities are meant for the fainthearted!
There is a massive hole in the middle of the mountain face, which is the inspiration behind its name of “Hawu”. In Sundanese, “hawu” stands for a fireplace. Under the right weather conditions and time of day, sunlight spills in through the large hole and gives the mountain an ethereal atmosphere.
Despite its majestic appearances, mining activities are still going on at the site today. Many local residents hope that with the increase of tourist activity, it would discourage the limestone miners from further destroying the environment.
From Bandung, head northwest towards Ngamprah. Take the exit towards Padalarang and continue on to Jalan Nanggeleng-Cirahayu. Go straight and turn left on Jalan Parahyangan. Make another left on Jalan Raya Sawahan to Lampegan. Continue on to Cibarang and you will arrive at Gunung Hawu.
Getting there via public transport will take more than three hours, as compared to travelling by car which will take slightly over an hour. But in case you’re on a budget (or you just have extra time on your hands), head over to Leuwi Panjang Terminal. Take the route to Padalarang and alight at Pangkalan Padalarang on Jalan Raya Purwakarta. Hop onto the next transport towards Rajamandala, and alight at Ciburay Padalarang.
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.
And what better way to take some time away from the city civilization, than to set up camp on the spacious camping grounds? Rejuvenate yourself with the cool mountain air and spend some time in Mother Nature’s arms. Cook your own food and lie down to watch the stars at night. If you have young ones, it’s never too early (or too late) to expose them to what nature can offer.
If you’re worried that your little ones will get bored, you won’t have to rack your brains on how to keep them entertained. On the grounds there is an adventure park, pool, hot springs as well as a mini waterpark.
Ranca Upas is located near Kawah Putih and the route is similar – driving south from Bandung, through to the town of Seoreang and then on to Ciwidey. On Jalan Raya Ciwidey, make a right turn to Ranca Upas.
By public transport, the journey would be almost four hours from Leuwi Panjang terminal. Head towards Ciwidey and alight at Pasar Ciwidey on Jalan Ciwidey Nenong. After which, board the transport to Patenggang and alight directly outside Ranca Upas.
Curug Cinulang is a beautiful twin waterfall in the village of Sindulang. Standing at 50 m tall, the roar of the cascading waters is a nice change from the city sounds that we hear in downtown Bandung.
It’s not hard to get here, but be careful when you’re climbing the steps to the waterfall. Especially so if you have young ones as it might be slippery. Bring along a change of clothes, as the splashing waters is powerful enough to drench you even if you’re standing a distance away. We must say, getting wet is a small price to pay for that Instaworthy shot. Even if you’re not a professional photographer, it’s easy to get a good picture of the stunning falls.
Facilities here include a children’s playground as well as small stalls offering food, drinks and souvenirs. Don’t worry about going hungry!
Head east from Bandung towards Cicalengka via Cipularang Highway. After passing the toll booth in Cileunyi, at the intersection of Cikopo village there will be a signboard pointing you to Curug Cinulang. Following the signboard which is about 8 km away from the waterfall, exercise caution from here on as the road will start to wind.
If you choose to travel by public transport, be prepared for a lengthy and challenging journey. Hop on the train from Bandung station towards Cicalengka. From Cicalengka station, walk or hail a gojek to Cikalengka Terminal. Board the transport serving the route Cikalengka-Sindulang-Sindangwangi.