5 tips for a pleasant long weekend in Bandung

With 10 long weekends available in Indonesia in 2015, the chances are Bandung will have more weekends filled with traffic jams next year. Given Bandung's roads are mostly shorter in length and smaller in width, a high increase in vehicle volume will definitely result in unavoidable traffic congestion. Yet, especially during long weekends, the city's charm doesn't seem to wear off and still significantly attracts many visitors from outside the city, especially Jakarta and Bogor, who come with their own cars. But don't fret since we have prepared useful tips to make sure you can still enjoy a happy long weekend in West Java's capital. Plan your arrival wisely The chances are that many local residents who plan to get away to Bandung will have either Friday or Monday on leave from work to maximize the public holiday. So, why don't you take two days leave instead for a more relaxing long weekend? For example, if you come to Bandung on Thursday morning, you will have at least until Friday afternoon to explore the city with smoother traffic. The timing is also great to go straight to Lembang before the weekend crowds come. Alternatively, take one or two days leave after the public holidays. Arriving on the last day of the long weekend will give you a great chance of a smooth arrival in town while everybody else is leaving the city. But take note if you are planning to go to Bandung from Jakarta on an overnight trip. This is not recommended. Many travel businesses caters for the 24/7 route from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Bandung, resulting in an excessive eight hour trip from Jakarta to Bandung. For a more relaxing trip, you might want to consider going to Bandung via train or airplane. Avoid going to Lembang on the d-days Lembang is a favorite among tourists when visiting Bandung thanks to its many interesting attractions such as Tangkuban Perahu Crater, the Cikole Jayagiri Camping Site, the Floating Market and Dusun Bambu. But if Lembang is your main destination during the long weekend, plan your arrival wisely. During my recent visit to Lembang from Bandung one Saturday, which was not a long weekend, bad traffic caused a usual 40 minutes drive to turn into a four-hour journey. Having said that, it's always best to go to Lembang at dawn from Bandung or best of all, plan so you are already at Lembang before the long weekend starts. Alternatively, if you are quite fit and into adventurous activity, go to Lembang on foot by trekking from Taman Hutan Raya Dago. Once in Lembang, take ojek (motorcycle taxi) or choose accommodation that offers pick-up services or that is easy to reach by public transportation from Lembang Market. Set realistic goals During low season, it's possible to have it all: culinary adventures, chic-cafes slash coffee shops hopping, outlet hopping and a nice luxurious yet affordable spas and massage treatment, while enjoying the cool fresh air of Lembang. However, if you plan to enjoy all that on a long weekend in Bandung, set a specific and realistic goal to help you focus on deciding where to stay, how to get there and when the best time is to go. If a relaxing holiday in Lembang is what you are after, then forget about culinary trips to Bandung's downtown or shopping at Pasar Baru. You might want to splurge a little on nice accommodation with many in-house facilities, as you are going to be staying there more rather than wandering about outside. Vice versa, if shopping in Bandung's outlets is what you are after, choose a nearby budget hotel so walking distances are manageable. Explore on foot After selecting your specific goal, it's best to narrow down your area then explore it on foot, or bicycle if you can rent one. It's not only healthier but is also a good way to avoid bad traffic. For example, if you wish to have a refreshing mountainous getaway in Lembang, set activities close to your accommodation only; who knows, this exploration may lead you to less-traveled roads and new experiences. Research and book in advance Now is the best time to do research and book your next Bandung holiday. Browse our website in the Bandung section (jakpost.travel/city/bandung) for ideas of where to stay, where to go and what to buy and eat during your stay. It’s smart to start booking now as the demand for the best placed accommodation will be high.

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