We’re always dreaming of our next family holiday destination where we can take the kids and get away from the daily humdrum. And, when it comes to getting outta town and into vacay mode, we’re all about places that are a little bit off the ‘tried ‘n’ tested’ bucket list. Of course we still love an easy getaway to fave hotspots like Penang and Phuket, but we also swoon hard when it comes to new and exciting places we’ve not been to yet. So when we heard about Bandung and its kid-friendly vibe of culture, adventure and delish eats, we were sold. Throw in a luxe hotel at affordable prices, and you’ll find us booking a holiday to Bandung right about… now.
How to get to Bandung
Singapore Airlines and AirAsia will whizz you and the fam from Changi to Bandung in just under two hours – keeping the whole ordeal of flying with kids (shudder) to a minimum. Yep, you can leave the office on a Friday afternoon and be sipping a cocktail by the pool later that very same day while the kids splash around.
What to do
Whatever your family set-up, there are tonnes of fun activities to be had for adventurers of all ages in Bandung. First up, take your squad to Saung Angklung Udjo, a super cool centre celebrating and preserving Sundanese culture, where you’ll find handicrafts, colourful performances and bamboo music. Perfect for getting the kids into the local spirit of things.
Fancy eggs for brekkie? Take your mini masterchefs and head out on a mission to cook your own… on the surface of Tangkuban Perahu Crater! Perched on an active volcano – whether you fancy your eggs sunny-side-up or scrambled – this gives a whole new spin on a crackin’ meal with a view.
Got yourself an aspiring artist in the family? Why not hit up Selasar Sunaryo Art Space. Not far from the city on the slopes of Dago Hills, it’s a great space filled with amazing sculptures and artwork, calming greenery and ponds. Don’t forget to refuel with coffee (or hot chocolate) and pastries at Kopi Selasar!
For older kids (or parents!) who love shopping, stay cool by shopping ’til you drop at Paskal Shopping Centre, which is packed with local and international fashion brands. You can even catch a family flick there, as it houses the area’s largest cinema. Or how about a market set entirely on boats? Lembang Floating Market will have you floating with happiness with your cool local purchases and delish halal eats.
Also worth a mention are Farmhouse Lembang (which includes a hobbit house inspired by the Lord of the Rings movies!); the giant birdcage at Dusun Bambu (make sure you try the chicken satay at nearby Purbasari, which comes with a side order of stunning views); or, if you’re feeling especially intrepid, Kawah Putih. A spot that literally translates to ‘white crater’, Kawah Putih is where you’ll find a stunning natural white lake that changes to hues of blue depending on the weather. Perfect for nature-loving kids.
Where to eat
You can’t go to Bandung without trying siomay Bandung or batagor, Bandung’s version of a fish dumpling in spicy peanut sauce (locals love Kingsley on Jl. Veteran for their dumpling fix). For your dessert-loving mini-mes, try the martabak manis (a thick, fluffy stuffed pancake) from Martabak Manis Bangka Ajun San Francisco. It’s got an extensive selection of flavours, including Ovomaltine and Toblerone (we’ll take one of each, please). Don’t forget to check out Dusun Bambu for authentic Sundanese food and The Valley for a good steak.
Where to stay
Well that’s easy: it’s got to be Hilton Bandung, one of the largest hotels in the city. Whether you plump for a queen deluxe room or a suite with its own separate living area and benefits, there’s a room to suit all kinds of travellers and all kinds of budgets. For tiny tots, you can also request for a cot so that bubba can get some zzzs.
Located just 10 minutes’ drive from the airport, it’s close enough so you don’t need to worry about the kids fighting it out with boredom in the taxi. Plus, the hotel’s Kidz Klub will allow you to relax in the knowledge that the mini humans are being kept busy and happy.
Outside of the dedicated kids’ activities on offer, the spacious pool – which overlooks the Tangkuban Perahu Mountain – is the perfect place to cool off after a day of sightseeing. And, if you’re lucky enough to rope in your partner for some daddy daycare duty, you can up the relaxation ante by booking into the stylish Jiwa Spa by Zen while the children run Dad ragged at the on-site playground. If those energetic kiddies haven’t tired you out enough, there’s also a fully equipped fitness centre where you can work up an appetite for some wood-fired pizza and classic pasta dishes at Fresco Restaurant, an open-air poolside affair sure to please the whole family.
And don’t forget to leave some room for tapas at Magma Lounge and to make a date at Purnawarman Restaurant for fresh Asian and global fare. Nom, nom, nom.
Ah, lovely Bandung: we’re coming for you!
The good stuff
Book a queen deluxe room at Hilton Bandung and enjoy complimentary breakfast for maximum two kids (below 12 years old and must be accompanied by paying adults), welcome goodies, welcome cookies/chocolate and kid-friendly TV channels.
This post is in partnership with Hilton