Since we spent days in Jakarta, we were really excited for some nature trip. From the city, we traveled around three hours to reach Bandung.
- 1 About Bandung
- 2 Train from Jakarta to Bandung
- 3 Dirgantara Car Rental
- 4 Where to Go in a Bandung Day Trip
- 5 Travel Tips
- 6 Bandung Day Trip Summary of Expense
Bandung is referred to as the Paris of Java (Parijs van Java) by the Dutch during the colonial times because of its European vibe. It is the capital city of West Java and the third largest city in Indonesia. Bandung is surrounded by volcanic mountains and has a cooler temperature than other Indonesian cities. It is actually a popular weekend getaway destination even to Jakartans (so best not to schedule your visit during these times to avoid the crowd and traffic).
Train from Jakarta to Bandung
We book our train ticket in advance from Tiket.com. I’ve read that it’s better to purchase the tickets ahead of time because availability of seats cannot be guaranteed if you’ll just buy on the day of your trip.
The Argo Parahyangan is the train service running from Jakarta Gambir to Bandung. Our hotel located in Central Jakarta is near Gambir Station, around 15 minutes away. We just booked a grab car going to the station.
IMPORTANT: Bring your passport as it will be asked when you enter the train station.
Jakarta Gambir to Bandung Economy Class – Rp. 80,000 per pax (~ PHP 297)
Bandung to Jakarta Gambir Executive Class – Rp. 135,000 per pax (~ PHP 501)
Dirgantara Car Rental
Upon arrival in Bandung, we were picked up by our driver, Alan, from Dirgantara Car Rental. There are a lot of Bandung packaged tours available but I found them a bit expensive. Good thing a friend of mine who recently visited Indonesia recommended Dirgantara Car Rental. She even advised me, “I believe all their tour guides/drivers are good but I’ll recommend Alan to you.” So when I made my booking, I requested Alan Supir.
Alan gave us our best options on where we can go and let us decide. He grew up in Bandung and he definitely knows it by heart. He shared many insights about the place.
Note that the car rental only picks up within the Bandung area. I asked if they can fetch guests directly from Jakarta but they recommended us to take the train instead because it will be cheaper that way. Taking the train is actually easy, just book your tickets ahead of time and be early. We even enjoyed our train ride.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dirgantaracarrental/
Toyota Avanza Outer Bandung Charter 12 Hour
Price: Rp 590,000 (~ PHP 2,190)
+ Rp 100,000 (~ PHP 371) – Explore Tangkuban Perahu or Kawah Putih
Inclusion: Driver, gasoline, car insurance, free wi-fi in the car
Exclusion: Parking, toll fee, and entrance fees
We booked the cheapest car they had which was Avanza but guess what? Our group got a free upgrade to Innova (Rp 690,000)! It was because I mentioned during my booking that a friend recommended them to me.
Where to Go in a Bandung Day Trip
Starting our Bandung tour, we visited two craters connected to Tangkuban Perahu volcano, Kawah Domas and Kawah Ratu. Tangkuban Perahu is a semi-dormant volcano that last erupted in 2013. Its name literally means “overturned boat” and was called as such because of its shape.
Domas Crater (Kawah Domas)
We did a short hike to get to Domas crater, reaching it after around 30 minutes. For safety purposes, a local guide is required for you to get to it. We then paid an admission fee and hired a guide. Before you start, you can also purchase a face mask as protection from the smell of sulfur around the crater area (but it’s expensive at the site, better to bring one). We didn’t used face mask and I can say the smell was tolerable and not bothersome for me.
The trail to the crater was easy and the cold temperature was pleasant. Our local guide was also nice, enthusiastically sharing insights about the place. He even showed to us a 20-peso bill which was given to him by a Filipino traveler some time ago.
Finally reaching the crater, we saw some hot springs where we soaked our feet. It was surely a treat after a long walk. We also boiled egg (Rp 5,000) for fun that we bought from the store nearby. The best part? We tried their massage using sulphuric mud! Our skin really felt smoother after.
Alan, who waited for us in the car, warned us beforehand that some souvenir vendors would follow us to and fro the crater to offer us some of their products. And he was right. They were a little too persistent and we just bought anyway thinking of it as extending help to them (we tried to initially give them tip instead of buying but they won’t accept it).
Admission Fee: Rp 200,000 (~ PHP 743)
Local Guide Fee/Pax: Rp 100,000 (~ PHP 371)
Sulphuric Massage Fee/Pax: Rp 100,000 (~ PHP 371)
Parking Fee: Rp 30,000 (~ PHP 111)
Kawah Ratu or Queen Crater
Kawah Ratu is also referred to as the Queen Crater because it is the largest among the three caters of Tangkuban Perahu volcano.
Upon arrival at the park, we climbed concrete steps to reach a viewing deck secured by wooden fence. From there, we got a really wonderful view of the crater.
There are hiking trails as well for Kawah Ratu but it would be too much for our day trip. You can even hike from Kawah Ratu to reach Kawah Domas.
Sawarga Kopi Luwak Factory
The coffee lover in me would not want to miss a visit to a kopi luwak factory. I’ve been to one in Bali and I’m happy to explore one again in Bandung, at Sawarga Kopi. Warmly receiving us, they showed us how they process kopi luwak from beginning to end.
Each one of us also took a cup of kopi luwak (Rp 65,000 per cup) after which, we indulged ourselves with a coffee scrub for free (we just gave some tip)!
Indonesian Lunch at Sindang Reret Restaurant
We had a scrumptious Indonesian lunch at Sindang Reret Restaurant. It has a lovely ambiance and food was also delectable.
Continuing our Bandung day trip after lunch, we visited Cikole Tea Plantation. We should have also visited the factory to see the process of making tea but our time did not make it possible. Anyhow, we enjoyed ourselves walking around the plantation and taking cool photos.
Snack at Tahu Susu Lembang
We made a quick snack at Tahu Susu Lembang. We tried Tahu Susu or fried tofu made from cow’s milk. Crunchy from the outside, it was really tasty and was good for a light snack.
KPSBU Lembang’s Pure Milk (Susu Murni)
KPSBU Lembang is also an eating complex like Tahu Susu Lembang where you can buy fresh milk and other dairy products at cheaper prices. Take your sit and grab some refreshing and flavorsome bottle of milk.
- Be sure to bring your passport as it will be asked and checked when you enter the train station.
- Between getting a packaged tour and renting a car with guide/driver in Bandung, go with the latter. Aside from being cheaper, you’ll have a customized and private tour of Bandung. I highly recommend Dirgantara Car Rental. They reply fast to your inquiries in their Facebook page. They provide new and clean cars with wifi. Most of all, their guides/drivers are cool, nice, and knowledgeable.
- If you’re sensitive, bring mask when visiting the craters especially in Kawah Domas. You can buy one at the site itself but it’s really expensive.
- To maximize your Bandung day trip, get the earliest train ride from Jakarta and when going back, book the latest one from Bandung.
- Better to schedule your Bandung day trip on weekdays. Avoid the weekends because it will be more crowded and more traffic as locals from nearby cities like Jakarta also visit Bandung during these times.
- Rest the day before and prepare for a long day in Bandung. Others find the day trip exhausting but personally, it’s manageable for me. You can sleep and rest during your long train ride.
- If you have more time to spare, better spend at least two days in Bandung because there are a lot to explore in the place.
Bandung Day Trip Summary of Expense