Bandung General Information

General Information for Bandung
Bandung is a factory outlet paradise for the ladies, men and kids, and is located about 3 hours by road from Jakarta.

Bandung is also accessible by flights from Malaysia and Singapore, and is truly a shopaholics nightmare come true. This article will cover some general information on Bandung for first timers.

Bandung General Information

Factory outlets are located just all over the city that you cannot go to Bandung and say you did not go shopping at any of the factory outlets there as it would be a sin.

Currently the in-trend for Malaysians, Singaporeans and even people from around the region, more tourists are heading to Bandung for a shopping spree. Forget Hong Kong, here at Bandung, it is so much cheaper.

Here's the bonus for families planning a Bandung Holiday - There are golf courses around Bandung so the men play golf while the women and children go factory outlet shopping and sightseeing.

Money Exchange Tips for Bandung:

1. Change your Rupiah in Malaysia or Singapore if you can.
2. If you are bringing US Dollars, make sure they are brand new, crisp clean and non-folded! Mint if possible. The Indonesians have this thing about quality of the dollar bills. Even a very mild fold will give you 20% less of the market rate. No kidding, I personally went through that. I had six US$100 bills which were flat and clean but the money changer ran his fingers through the notes several times and only 2 of them made the full rate!
3. US$100 = Rp.1,105,000 (based on market rates and high quality notes)
4. Credit Cards accepted there so hallelujah! There are ATM's throughout town.
5. Money changers there do not open on Weekends. Except the one at the airport.
6. Hotels give you horrible rates!

Arriving at Bandung Airport

Strangely, the airport in Langkawi is bigger than the Bandung Airport. Their arrival hall takes the cake. The plus point is that is located in the heart of the city. How about that!

Takes only about 5 to 10 minutes to town by cab. Well, please be prepared for a wait when you depart from the plane as it may take a while to clear immigration.

They only have about 2 counters for the immigration. After you pass, you need to u-turn and get your bags scanned.

From there, the same scanner used for your hand luggage is used for your check in luggage. Only one miserable conveyor belt which ends in a small little cramped place.

So if you dilly dally around all excited about Bandung and stand far back, you will have to make your way through people standing around and dig through piles of bags.

Update: 2018 - The Bandung Airport has been renovated on my last trip here in 2017.

Airport Tip: After passport check and scanning your hand luggage, go wait at the end of the conveyor for your bag to come.

 Also a good trick is to check in your luggage in LCCT and ask them to label your bags 'Fragile' so it comes out first.

Airport taxi in Bandung
Bandung airport taxi
Bandung Taxi and Van Hire Tips;

So, right after you get your luggage, you will be greeted by the taxi table guy which would probably be Pak Rudy.

He will sell you taxi tickets to your hotel and it is usually priced about Rp35,000 (RM11.20), but this was the 2009 prices, and now, it should have increased.

He will also ask you if you want to hire a van for daily use and will probably give you his number. His price is Rp.350,000 for a sedan (4 pax) 9.00 am - 9.00 pm and Rp.450,000 for a mini MPV (4-6 pax) per day. 

Just so you know, the van drivers are also called supir in Bandung.

Bandung supirMini van for hire throughout Bandung

So, we settled for the mini MPV, and our supir/driver was called Pak Harun, and he was totally amazing.

He drives a taxi full time when he is not driving for tourist, so he generally knows the places around Bandung pretty well. He is also super polite and soft spoken.

Pak Harun is always 30 minutes early for pick up from your hotel, and he will send you to your desired destination and wait for you while you shop.

When you are done, he will take you to your next destination. I really admire their waiting spirit in Pak Harun, but it's a hard life in Bandung.

Van Rental/Pak Supir in Bandung:
Taxi Tips in Bandung:

If you choose to move around by Taxi, I would recommend you take only the registered taxi companies. Bluebird or GR as these taxis use meters.

Other taxis do not use meters so prices may vary from the initial price offered and you may end up paying a little more than the actual rate.

A local Angkut Kota van or mini bus

Angkut Kota Indonesia
Angkut Bandung
The locals in Bandung use a transport called Angkut, which is a small minivan or bus. Tickets are priced anywhere from Rp1,000 to Rp.3,000 depending on the distance. 

When you are in the Bandung city area, you will definitely see thousands of the Angkuts running around town. 

Most of the Angkuts are jam-packed with locals and occasionally you will see a local 'busker' at the door of the angkut singing away while strumming on his guitar for some spare change.

Bandung streetsIndonesian lady begging to a car in the streets of Pasar Baru

Begging for change is a common sight in Bandung town and surprisingly enough, when a few of them approached me, I politely said no and they just walked away. They do not harass you like they do here in Malaysia or in some other countries.

Bandung PhotosTwo locals having a snooze on their trishaws while waiting for customers

Bandung is also one hour behind Malaysia. So, it is actually good if you do not change the time on your watch.

You will be waking up at 8.00 am and rushing for breakfast and next thing you know, you woke up too early which is actually a good start. 

Shopping closes at 9.00 pm throughout Bandung and this includes all the factory outlets around Bandung. Some of the outlets may close at 10.00 pm, especially on weekends.

Traffic in BandungTraffic downtown at the Pasar Baru area

Bandung is also relatively a safe area and the people are very nice and polite. Traffic is utter madness there on the weekends and if you are faint hearted, just keep your eyes off the traffic while being driven around.

They literally inch their way next to your van. I personally think the traffic there is so much worst compared to us here so be thankful for our traffic and system. Oh, they just love tooting their horns every now and then, so be prepared.

Hotels in Bandung

A hotel banner offering added services in Bandung town

Hotels in Bandung are abundant there and some even offer extra services too. We just booked the AirAsiaGo Holiday Package and stayed at the Arion Swiss-BelHotel in town.

Overall, it is a very nice 3-Star hotel with decently large rooms and excellent service, and the hotel is located in the center of Bandung town.

Another plus point is that many of the popular factory outlets are located just about 10 to 15 minutes away from the Arion Swiss-BelHotel. 

Arion Swiss-BelHotel Bandung Bandung Arion Swiss-BelHotel entrance

Bandung Arion Swiss-BelHotelBandung Arion Swiss-BelHotel lobby area


Staff Bandung Arion Swiss-BelHotelBandung Arion Swiss-BelHotel friendly staff

Bandung hotels seem to have a very friendly team of staff, as they speak basic English and are always smiling. Tipping is entirely up to you, if you feel the service is really good.

I just gave the bell boy for carrying the bags up to the room. Rp.1,000 or Rp.2,000. Anyway, Rp.1,000 = RM0.35 cents. So, it was not a big deal. But today, I assume the tips have gone up to about Rp. 5000? 


Room at Bandung Arion Swiss-BelHotelBandung Arion Swiss-BelHotel rooms, spacious and clean

The room we checked into was excellent without any complaints as it came with a king sized bed, 52 channels on TV, room service and the works!

A local spa is available in the hotel with excellent service (no, not that type!), and you need to book from the hotel reception.

The spa also offers room visit for massages, but you need to pre-book in advance. We tried the 3 hour full package at the spa. Priced at Rp.800,000 for two, it was a traditional Indonesian massage, scrub and sauna. Absolutely fantastic!

Old buildings in BandungSome old colonial buildings in Bandung town

Weather in Bandung

The weather in Bandung is pretty cooling compared to Malaysia but don't go bringing your winter jackets as the weather in the city is just nice, like in spring.

Because Bandung is located on higher elevation, the temperature averages around 27 Celsius to 31 Celsius, it is such a nice feeling compared to back home in Malaysia. A good pair of walking shoes as you will be walking a lot.

Don't try too hard to be trendy and fashionable in your MNG and high heels. No one is going to look at you as everyone is too busy shopping here.

Indonesian Language in Bandung

The locals there can understand our basic Malay but pay attention to the Indonesian Malay as it differs quite a bit. An example would be;

Ibu = Maam and Pak = Mr/Sir

In general, most of the common words are similar, like numbers, eating, and so on, but many are different, so do ask if you are unsure.

When is a Good Time to Visit Bandung? 

Finally, I would advise to travel just before the weekend. Reason being, it gets so major jammed up on weekends everywhere especially in the main city and at the factory outlets.

Money changers are not open as well and they are hard to find. Also, tons of local tourist from Jakarta will make their way there for the factory outlet shopping and layer cakes.

A good time would be from Wednesday to Saturday. Yes, you need about 3 to 4 nights minimum if you plan to do factory outlet shopping in Bandung. This excludes any other sightseeing out of Bandung.

Places include the Tangkuban Perahu Volcano, Dusun Bambu, Tea Plantation and other places of interest. I did not bother to go for those as it would take up half the day or one full day for this. 

David calling Pak Harun the driver

Sunset at LCCT, Sepang

Finally after a crazy factory outlet shopping spree in Bandung, we headed back to LCCT in Sepang with our bags filled. The flight back was decent and on arrival, the evening sunset was lovely so I just had to take this shot.

For anyone visiting Bandung, this information may be a little outdated but overall, it is still relevant if you need Bandung general information. Have a great time if you visit here. 
Bandung General Information Bandung General Information Reviewed by David Jr on Friday, June 19, 2009 Rating: 5

14 comments:

miriam said...

Hi David,

A very good insight of Bandung. Surely this is a good info for my travel to Bandung in July.

Thanks.

Miriam

David Jr said...

Hello Miriam, thank you for the posting and hope you have a wonderful shopping time in Bandung! As they say, shop till you drop :)

David

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David Jr said...

Hello Jared, thank you for the link up and it is a pleasure to be included in your site. Much appreciated.

Regards,
David

Farah said...

Mr David,
An amazingly good insight of Bandung.. two thumbs up!

David Jr said...

Hello Farah, thanks you for the kind words :)

David

bluejen said...

Mr David,

I am going to Bandung for a week during Ramadan. how will it affect me? will the shopping malls, shops and restaurants be open? will things be normal? plse share your thot

blurjen

Anonymous said...

sammy - no Indonesian gives hotel porter Rp. 1,000 as 1,000 is for street musician and beggar.
Rp. 10,000 is common

blurblur said...

Hi, david

my question same as bluejen, how is Bandung during Ramadan.will the shopping malls, shops and restaurants be open? will things be normal?

Please to hear......

Anonymous said...

everythings run normaly during ramadan. even better with special ramadan food for break a fast at evening.

Ad Adnan said...

Will it be operational as usual during Christmas? Perhaps the period between 23rd till 27th dec or 27th dec till 31st dec?

David Jr said...

Ramadan and Christmas, everything is as normal. Except there may be better discounts and offers during the period.

David

Iwan Setiawan said...

Saya Iwan, dari Bandung, menyediakan service transportation pakage All In (Sewa Kereta, Upah Supir (Driver), Petrol, Parking & Tol) dan booking hotel (atas permintaan) untuk pelancong di Bandung, Jakarta & Puncak.
For further info, please contact me at
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Anonymous said...

Hi David,
Very helpful info that you gave as I will be going to Bandung soon , first trip to Indonesia.

Hana

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