Places of nature are usually our preferred choice for travel destinations, road trips and all. But now that the girls are growing up fast and learning new things, we had to pick a place that would be engaging for them as well. While looking for a nearby destination (less than 2-hours by flight) that we could visit over a long weekend with cooler temperatures and a range of activities for the family, we settled on Bandung, Indonesia. There, we managed to visit a host of attractions including an active Volcano, Crater Lake, Tea Plantation, Strawberry Farm and the Deer Park where the little ones had fun!
In our 5-day trip, we visited all these places, in the comfort of our private car hire. It’s the best option to get around, it helped that our driver Jonathan was also extremely informative and helped organize our itinerary efficiently.
Here are some information from our itinerary that you might find useful when planning a trip to Bandung:
• Flight – SilkAir flies 5 times weekly from Singapore to Bandung
• Accommodation - Hilton Bandung, booked through Expedia
• Currency - IDR Indonesian Rupiah (~IDR10K = SGD$1)
• Car rental - Private Driver (~IDR600K per day in a 6-seater SUV)
Day 1: Singapore to Bandung
Our SilkAir flight departed from Singapore Changi Airport at 8:30am and arrived in Bandung at 9:30am (1-hour time difference behind Singapore). Eventhough it was a short 2-hour flight, we appreciate the in-flight meals and the Silkair crew thoughtfully prepared toys and blankets for the little ones! It was cosy enough for bubs to take a short nap before landing. Conveniently, the airport transfer to Hilton was a short 15mins drive away.
As with all trips, we typically spend the first day relaxing around the hotel, it was great that Hilton came with a nice pool complete with a little waddling area for kids. For dinner, we headed to The Stone Cafe where the kids got to share their first milkshake (brainfreeze as a result!)
Day 2: South Bandung
Kawah Putih Crater Lake, Ranca Upas Deer Park, Pisnis Resto Pirate Restaurant, Walini Tea Plantation
Since it was the Hari Raya weekend, we left the hotel at 8am to avoid the crowd. We drove for about two hours south to Kawah Putih, (55km from city) or more popularly known as the White Crater Lake. With its turquoise lake and often misty conditions, it is easy to see why this spot is popular with wedding photographers. There are plenty of photo opportunities and for a small fee you can buy soap water from the vendors for some bubble fun time with the kids. As with all volcanic attractions, the sulphur smell can get overwhelming at times depending on wind conditions, so face masks are highly recommended and visitors are advised not to stay more than 15 minutes. Entrance fees are IDR50K per person and IDR25K per car.
A short drive away is the Ranca Upas Deer Conservation Park. The girls loved it here! They had such a good time getting up close with these beautiful animals and feeding them with carrots. I was surprised they weren't fearful at all. Animal lovers these two!
Along the way, we stopped by an interesting Pirate Boat-themed restaurant suspended over a hanging bridge. Better known as the Pisnis Resto, this giant ship eatery is ‘docked’ beside the lake and surrounded by lush tea plantations, offering a 360 degree panoramic dining view. If you’re up for it, there is an option of a boat ride round the lake too. It’s a relaxing place to enjoy Indonesian BBQ fare with a view. Reservation recommended as it gets crowded on the weekends.
On the way back to our hotel, we passed the Walini Tea Plantation and had to stop for a photo moment at its famous ‘rock’ and take a tea walk with the little ones. These lush green hills were gorgeous and instantaneously relaxing.
Day 3: North Bandung
Rumah Guguk Petshop, Tangkuban Perahu Volcano, Natural Resto Strawberry Farm, The Lodge Maribaya, Burgundy Dine & Wine
This wasn't planned in the trip but our driver spontaneously recommended that we drop by the Rumah Guguk Petshop, where the girls got to feed and pet different animals in a cute little playhouse.
The main attraction for the day however, was a strato volcano, Tangkuban Perahu, 30 km north of the city of Bandung. It is possible to drive directly up to the crater. At the top of the mountain there is a lookout which overlooks Kawah Ratu (Queen's Crater). Take a stroll round the village by the craters’ rim and enjoy freshly roasted corn with their trademark ginger tea, while soaking in the beautiful view. For budgeting, please take note that the entrance fees here are higher than usual at IDR300K per person and IDR35K per car.
On the way to The Lodge Maribaya, we stopped by Natural Resto Strawberry Farm for bubs to pick their own strawberries. We were given straw hats, a small basket, and scissors to cut off the ripe strawberries. A delightful first-time experience for the girls as they get to pick their favourite fruit off the plants!
The Lodge Maribaya is an adventure park with a number of unusual installations that include a hot-air balloon that doesn’t fly, a hang-glider that doesn’t move, and a rotating swing that moves you 5-feet off the ground. All for that photo-op in the name of fun! With most of the funky activities requiring a minimum height, I would recommend this place for families with older kids.
After a long day out, we settled into this chic and relaxing French restaurant for dinner and drinks - The Burgundy Wine & Restaurant. This place has a scenic landscape of Maribaya hill, you can see the wonderful view of Bandung city lights and nature of the Lembang neighbourhood. With clean and refreshing air, the evening is perfected with great food and beverage. Service is excellent!
Day 4: North Bandung
Dusun Bambu Leisure Park, Lembang Floating Market, The Valley Bistro
Dusun Bambu Leisure Park is a beautiful big theme-park for the entire family and can easily take up a full day with the amount of activities there. Despite the weekend crowd and a long time waiting for the car to bring us down, there’s ample space to stroll and explore the grounds with most structures made out of bamboo in natural surroundings. Bubs were grooving to the live band at the open park round the lake, where we also tried the spinning donut-boat ride, highly recommended for the family! For kids of all ages, there’s a labyrinth playground complete with giant rabbits to pet and a garden maze for toddlers to burn up those energy. Towards the end of the park is another key attraction, their unique bird cages suspended among the trees that you can book for a private dining experience.
Bandung pleasantly surprised us with a floating market - a local food galore at the colourful and vibrant Lembang Floating Market. From Bandrek (a ginger and palm sugar drink) to Batagor (fried fish dumplings served with peanut sauce), the floating market in Lembang offers Sundanese dishes at just $1 to $1.50.
Our final stop was dinner at The Valley Bistro, one of the most famous cafes in Bandung located in the upper hills of Dago. Food was average but well compensated by its romantic city skyline of the Bandung city.
Day 5: Bandung to Singapore
We had planned to go shopping in the factory outlets around town, but after a hearty breakfast, we decided to take it slow and relax at the hotel pool before checking out at 2:30pm (request for late checkout in advance!) for our 4:40pm Silkair flight back to Singapore.
Overall, the trip to Bandung was a wonderful experience with a good blend of natural attractions and leisure-parks to satisfy the entire family. The cool climate and fresh air up in the hills makes it even more appealing, no wonder Bandung is a favourite retreat for families all over!
Visit Changi Airport's My Great Escape page and stand a chance to win a pair of SilkAir tickets to Bandung!
Also, from now till 31-March-2018, book your trip to Bandung on Expedia to enjoy additional discounts. Simply enter one of the following voucher codes during checkout for more savings!
BDO10OFF for extra 10% off Bandung hotels; OR
BDO40OFF for extra $40 off Bandung packages with minimum spend of S$300
Thank you Changi Airport for making this trip possible!
Disclaimer: We visited Bandung in partnership with Changi Airport. All opinions are entirely our own.
Article by Leia Lauren.