Take a break in Bandung, Indonesia!

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Headed to Bali? Don’t make that your only stop in Indonesia! Bandung offers a cultural experience in nature to truly see how Indonesians live outside the crowded beaches. A few quick facts: Bandung is surrounded by volcanic mountains, it’s in the Java region, and kids from Jakarta come here on the weekends to see the art and “cool” street style. The region is divided into North and South and you’ll most likely need a driver too see it all. A little tip for women: you should cover up while in Bandung to respect the culture. The weather changes as you go up and down the mountains, so layers are ideal. It gets very windy, and I found a scarf over my head really helpful, although it’s not necessary to cover your head.

Don’t miss these highlights of Bandung, Indonesia!

In the center of the city:

  • Staying at the only 6 star hotel in Indonesia, the Trans Luxury Hotel. It has a mall, an indoor theme park, an incredible spa (go for the Balinese massage), and a delicious buffet. The rooms are unbelievable. They have a Swarovski crystal dragon in the lobby!

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  • Shopping at the famous outlet stores. People come to Indonesia to do this, and most are located in Bandung. You’ll find H&M, Ann Taylor, Zara tops for as low as $3 USD.

In Northern Bandung

  • Take in the sights at Tangkuban Parahu, an active volcano with a huge (and very famous) crater, the Queen crater called Kawah Ratu. This is one of the most stunning things I have ever seen after traveling almost 30 countries.

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  • Stay at Sari Ater and enjoy the hot springs. It’s a great hotel and even the showers have water coming from the hot spring. This is near Tangkuban Parahu and offers traditional food.
  • Try fresh berries! They are crazy about them and sell them everywhere. You can visit farms as well.
  • Spend time at Banding Floating Market in the north of the city so you can try all the street food and buy some snacks to take home.
  • See a traditional play at Saung Angklung Udjo in the north of the city. At the show, they show you how to play their historical instrument. Tip: buy an angklung as a souvenir!

In Southern Bandung

  • The stunning sulfur lakes of Kawah Putih. This is an absolute “do not miss”. I was in awe here and took about 100 photos. It is a little hard to breathe here and many wore a mask. The location is South of the city and you’ll need a driver to take you or rent a motorcycle.

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  • Stay at Patuha Resort. This is the best place to stay in the South and also has hot springs. You can go back to the city as well rather than stay. It gets cold in the hills so bring extra clothing.
  • Lunch at Sindang Reret. This is your chance to have traditional Sundanese food, which is their traditional food. It is served in little studies on the paddy fields. This is one of the best meals I had.

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  • The tea fields of Walini Ranca. Indonesia is known for rolling tea fields and this is THE place to go take photos and see what Nat Geo shows!

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602776_10200386970942924_967470615_n_2-002 Rachel is an American who left a career in nursing to live on the beaches of Goa, India two years ago where she is now a Thai masseuse, candle-maker, and travel writer. Rachel gives advice on the other 24 countries she’s been to but focuses on all the secret trendy places in India. If you’re headed to India, you can find everything you need to know on her site which has become the go-to site on India travel: Hippie in Heels. You can follow her adventures onFacebook, Twitter, Instagram,  and Google plus.

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