Bandung (/ˈbɑːndʊŋ/) is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia. According to the 2015 census, it is Indonesia’s fourth most populous city after Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bekasi with over 2.5 million inhabitants. At the meantime, Greater Bandung is the country’s third largest metropolitan area with over 8 million inhabitants. Located 768 metres (2,520 feet) above sea level, approximately 140 kilometres (87 miles) southeast of Jakarta, Bandung has cooler year-round temperatures than most other Indonesian cities. The city lies on a river basin surrounded by volcanic mountains. This topography provides a natural defense system, which was the primary reason for the Dutch East Indies government’s plan to move the colony capital from Batavia (modern-day Jakarta) to Bandung.
The Dutch colonials first established tea plantations around the mountains in the eighteenth century, and a road was constructed to connect the plantation area to the colonial capital Batavia (180 kilometres (112 miles) to the northwest). The Dutch inhabitants of Bandung demanded the establishment of a municipality (gemeente), which was granted in 1906, and Bandung gradually developed into a resort city for plantation owners. Luxurious hotels, restaurants, cafés, and European boutiques were opened, hence the city was nicknamed Parijs van Java (Dutch: “The Paris of Java”).
After Indonesia declared independence in 1945, the city experienced rapid development and urbanization, transforming Bandung from an idyllic town into a dense 16,500 people/km2 (per square kilometer) metropolitan area, a living space for over 8.5 million people. New skyscrapers, high-rise buildings, bridges, and gardens have been constructed. Natural resources have been heavily exploited, particularly by conversion of protected upland area into highland villas and real estate. Also, although the city has encountered many problems (ranging from waste disposal and floods to a complicated traffic system resulting from a lack of road infrastructure), Bandung still attracts large numbers of tourists, weekend sightseers, and migrants from other parts of Indonesia. The city has won a regional environmental sustainability award for having the cleanest air among other major cities in ASEAN countries in 2017. The city has also become known as a Smart City, leveraging technology to improve government services, including social media, that alert the authorities to issues such as floods or traffic jams.
The first Asian-African Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference was hosted in Bandung by President Sukarno in 1955. Redevelopment of the international airport was completed in 2016. To improve infrastructure, the construction of a Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Rail and Bandung Metro Kapsul, a type of indigenous Automated People Mover (APM) will begin in 2018. The new Bandung Kertajati International Airport opened in June 2018 with a 2,500 meter long runway and only one flight per day to Surabaya.
Bandung is considered a major & significant cultural hub in Indonesia. Most people in the surrounding province of West Java are Sundanese. Sundanese language is often spoken as the first language and is commonly used as informal language for communication in streets, school, campus, work, and markets, while Indonesian—Indonesia’s national language and a lingua franca among its many ethnic units—is used as the lingua franca, the official language and the language of government, businesses, and instruction at schools.
Bandung is a popular weekend destination for residents of Jakarta. The cooler climate of the highland plantation area, variety of food, less expensive fashion shops located in factory outlets and distros, golf courses, and the zoo, are some of the attractions of the city. Bandung is also a popular shopping destination due to cheap textile and fashion products, especially for Malaysian and Singaporean tourists.
In the 1990s, local designers opened denim clothing stores along Jalan Cihampelas, which was transformed into a “jeans street”. The city attracts people from other big cities to buy local fashion wares, as they are cheaper than branded items. Beside Jalan Cihampelas, many factory outlets also opened at Jalan Riau, Jalan Setiabudi, and Jalan Djuanda (known as Dago). Textile factories on the outskirts of Bandung have opened factory outlets on site selling what is marketed as sisa export (rejected or over-produced export quality items). Trans Studio Mall, Bandung Indah Plaza, Cihampelas Walk, Paris Van Java Mall and id:23 Paskal Shopping Center are popular shopping centres in Bandung.
Significant tourist sites near Bandung include the Tangkuban Prahu volcano crater to the north, the striking Kawah Putih volcano lake, and Patenggang Lake, a lake surrounded by tea plantations about 50 kilometres (31 miles) to the south of the city.
To view the Bandung Basin clearly in its mountain surroundings, visitors travel to the Bongkor protected forest area (kawasan hutan lindung), Saung Daweung and Arcamanik; to the slopes of West Manglayang Mountain in an area known as Caringin Tilu, with entry from Padasuka and Cicaheum to the north. The forest is located in 1,500 metres (4,900 feet) above sea level and is covered with pine trees managed by a government corporation Perhutani and can be accessed with 30 minutes drive from downtown. Visitors going to the north of the city also find Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Djuanda. The Cicaheum area also hosts Bukit Moko, a tourist spot famous for its views and its steel statue of a giant star called Puncak Bintang. Bandung has several museums that should be visited by tourists, such as the Geological Museum of Bandung, the Indonesia Postal Museum, Sri Baduga Museum, and the Asian-African Conference Museum.
Bandung is the home town of the Persib Bandung, a professional football club which currently competes in the highest tier of Indonesian football, the Liga 1 (formerly known as the Indonesia Super League (ISL)). Other popular sports in Bandung include badminton. The JNE Bandung Utama competes in the Indonesian Basketball League and plays its home games in the GOR Citra Arena. The roads leading up to Lembang and Dago are popular routes for mountain cycling during the weekend, especially since Jalan Ir.H.Djuanda is zoned for car free day on Sunday mornings. In the hills around Bandung, there are several golf courses.
Bandung can be accessed by highways from Jakarta. An intercity toll highway called Cipularang Toll Road, connecting Jakarta, Karawang, Purwakarta, Padalarang and Bandung, was completed in May 2005 and is the fastest way to reach Bandung from the capital by road. Driving time is about 1.5 hours on average. There are three other options: the Puncak route (Jakarta-Cianjur/Sukabumi-Bandung), Purwakarta route (Jakarta-Cikampek-Purwakarta-Cikalong Wetan-Padalarang-Cimahi-Bandung) and the Subang route (Jakarta-Cikampek-Subang-Lembang-Bandung). From cities further east (Cirebon, Tasikmalaya and Central Java province), Bandung can be accessed through the main provincial road. Indonesian National Route 3 links Bandung with the rest of Java towards Cilegon and Ketapang (Banyuwangi).
The Pasupati Bridge was built to relieve traffic congestion in the city for east-west transport. The 2.8-kilometre (1.7 mi) cable-stayed bridge lies through the Cikapundung Valley. It is 30 to 60 metres (98 to 197 feet) wide and, after extensive delays, it was finally completed in June 2005, following financial investment from Kuwait. The bridge is part of Bandung’s comprehensive inner-city highways plan.
Taxis and mobile apps transport are widely available. The primary means of public transportation is by minibus, called angkot (from angkutan ‘transportation’ and kota ‘city’). They are privately operated and cheap, serving multiple routes throughout the city, but are basic transport and not known for being comfortable. To find exact angkot routes, information is available through the drivers or at terminals. City-owned buses, called DAMRI, operate on longer high capacity routes. Bandung has 2 intercity bus terminals: Leuwipanjang, serving buses from the west, and Cicaheum, serving buses from the east. Both are at full capacity and are to be replaced by a new terminal at Gedebage on 15 hectares (37 acres) land, after which the old terminals will function as inner city terminals. The new terminal will be located next to the Gedebage railway station near of Gedebage container dry port.
Bandung Husein Sastranegara International Airport serves direct domestic flights to Batam, Pekanbaru, Medan, Bandar Lampung, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Denpasar, Semarang, Banjarmasin, Makassar, and also international services to/from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The airport is located near the Dirgantara aerospace complex and Dirgantara Fairground. The Kertajati International Airport in Majalengka Regency is built to replace the Husein Sastranegara Airport.
Bandung has two large railway stations, Bandung and Kiaracondong Stations. Other smaller stations are Cimindi, Andir, Ciroyom, Cikudapateuh, and Gedebage Stations (only for freight service). Railway lines connect Bandung to Cianjur, Jakarta, Purwakarta, Bekasi, Karawang, and Cikampek to the west, and Surabaya, Malang, Yogyakarta, and Solo to the east. It is also a major means of transportation for people living in the suburban areas of Cimahi, Padalarang, Rancaekek, Cicalengka, and Cileunyi. In 2012 Bandung Commuter Train phase-1 was scheduled to be built to connect Padalarang, Cimahi, Bandung, and Cicalengka with 13 Trans Metro Bandung bus corridors to serve as feeders. Phase-2 will connect Cicalengka to Jatinangor.
Current and future development
32 bus shelters for Trans Metro Bandung (similar to TransJakarta) along Jalan Soekarno-Hatta were finished in August 2011 at a cost of Rp13.1 billion ($1.54 million). Thirty additional buses joined the existing operation of 10 buses, after all the shelters were finished.
On 21 June 2011 Damri launched two buses on the Cibiru-Kebon Kelapa specially for women passengers only with women drivers.
On 5 August 2011 Jusuf Kalla announced that he would like to build a monorail in Bandung with value of Rp4 trillion ($470 million).
As of April 2012, a cable car project ‘Bandung Skybridge’ to connect Pasteur (Cihampelas) to Sabuga (Taman Sari) was said to be 90 percent complete and awaiting legal authorization to operate. However, as of 2016, the project has still to be realised. To ease Cihampelas traffic congestion, a skywalk for pedestrians only from Cihampelas to Tamansari was built with budget of Rp45 billion. The skywalk, named Teras Cihampelas, was inaugurated by the mayor of Bandung, Ridwan Kamil, on 4 February 2017. Vehicles will be able to be parked at Tamansari.
Bandung City has also announced an intention to build LRT (Light Rail Transit).