Bandung is not a major hub city. The easiest way to go to Bandung is via Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. Unlike most cities in Indonesia that lie on the sea shore, Bandung is practically a basin in the middle of the island, surrounded by a ring of mountains. However, getting to Bandung is easy and it can be quite a rewarding experience to see the beautiful view of Parahyangan mountains.
Though it is the fastest way to go to Bandung, it is not always the most convenient way. Since the Bandung valley is really surrounded by mountains, landing and take-off from the small and only airport, Hussein Sastranegara (BDO), is quite challenging for most pilots. In bad weather it is sometimes difficult to make landing or take-off. Also because of this unique area, the airport can only serve medium sized airplanes (737 or A320). There is an airforce base next to the airport. The airport is also used by PT Dirgantara Indonesia (DI), an airplane manufacturer. If you charter helicopters or small planes from Jakarta, you can request (in advance) permission to land at Hussein Sastranegara airport. Hussein Sastranegara airport is located at the end of Pajajaran Street, 4 km from the centre of the city. A taxi costs approximately $US1. Use the safe "Airforce Cooperative" taxi from Hussein Sastranegara Airport to the hotels/centre of the city (fixed price). Most hotels provide free airport transfer service. Tell them your flight number, time and date of arrival.
Some airlines serving Bandung:
Air Asia - operates daily flights from Kuala Lumpur (no-frill airline)
Bandung is two hours away from Jakarta by car, thanks to the new Cipularang Toll road that completes the inter-city highway between Jakarta and Bandung. It is now faster to travel to Bandung by car than by train from Jakarta.
Silver Bird Van, (Blue Bird Group), Jl. Mampang Prapatan Raya 60, South Jakarta. Tel.: (62)(21) 798 1234. Price: Rp750.000, plus toll fee Rp40.000.
One alternative route is by the slower, but enjoyable, route from Jakarta - Puncak - Cianjur - Bandung. If you travel by car using this route, then make sure to stop at the Puncak Pass, the tip of the highland just on the outskirts of Jakarta. From here, the view of tea plantation with fresh air can be enjoyed. There are plenty of good restaurants and hotels out there.
There is also a beautiful safari park/zoo in Puncak: Taman Safari Indonesia, Jl. Raya Puncak No.601, Cisarua, Bogor 16750. Tel.: (62)(251) 250 000, Fax.: (62)(251) 250 555. Website: Taman Safari
Bus services connect Bandung and smaller surrounding cities. Several long-route buses are also available from major big cities. The most convenient way is the air-conditioned bus with the express or non-stop tag. The main bus terminals in Bandung are Leuwipanjang, serving buses from the west (Bogor, Jakarta, etc.) and Cicaheum, serving buses from the east (Cirebon and eastern Java cities).
There is a Primajasa shuttle bus service from Soekarno Hatta International airport to Bandung Super Mall (Jl. Gatot Soebroto 289). The trip will take approx. 3 hours and the cost is approx. US$ 6.50/person. Schedule: once every hour from 08.00 AM to 09.00 PM. PT Primajasa Perdayana Utama. Jl Mayjen Sutoyo 32, Jakarta 13630. Tel.: (62)(21) 8009545. Jl Soekarno Hatta Psr Caringin 62. Bandung. Tel.: (62)(22)6073992.
Or if you're looking for something more comfortable, you can take Revin Travel shuttle car, mostly KIA Pregio, which fits up to 7 passengers, ready to take you anywhere in Bandung areas from Soekarno Hatta International Airport. The trip will take approx. 3 hours and the cost is approx. US$ 14.00/person or Rp.135.000, but this service available through reservation only, once you arrive at the Soekarno Hatta airport, just call (62)(22)7330111 or (62)0811203137,and they will pick you up right at your spot. This cost more than Primajasa Shuttle bus, but they can help you save your time and take you directly to your destination in Bandung.They also can take you directly from Bandung to Soekarno Hatta International Airport, with the same price. For more information about this service, just contact Revin Tours and Travel. Jl Gatot Subroto 201, Bandung. Tel.:(62)(22)7330111 or (62)0811203137.
PT Kereta Api Indonesia , a state-owned company, is the only company who manages railways and train services in Indonesia. The scenery between Jakarta and Bandung is beautiful. The railroad passes mountains and padi terraces. Don't miss this view when traveling by train. Use the AC (air-conditioned) coach if you cannot cope with the tropical heat. Most hotels in Bandung provide free transportation from train station to the hotel. Tell them about the schedule.
Travelling around in Bandung is quite complex and frustrating, especially to newcomers. There is no mass rapid transit system, metro nor tram in Bandung. Locals travel using small public minibuses, known as angkot from angkutan=transport and kota=city.
This city transport has only origin and destination names on top. Sometimes with via description if there are more than one angkot route for a certain origin-destination route. There is no route description anywhere. For locals, it is somewhat amazing that they only memorize where and how the route of each angkot route.
Although there is an official price for angkot from organda (the local organization of these private city transport), sometimes price is based on how far you travel. It's better that you ask the driver or kernet (driver assistance) about the price to go to a location. To ask for an angkot to stop, just raise your hand and they will stop. When you're inside and want to stop, just ask the kernet to stop. Occasionally there is a bell that you can press to stop.
The official angkot routes are listed here.
If you don't know which angkot routes to take, then you can take a taxi. Taxis use meters, officially, but some taxi drivers may refuse to use meters and will charge you a fixed price instead. Even metered cabbies may take you the long way to get more money. So be careful when travelling by taxi. The best taxi in Bandung is Blue Bird.
List of taxi companies in Bandung:
There are also some bus lines, but they don't cover the whole city. City buses usually cover long routes across the city from end-to-end; for example, from the north to the south and from the west to the east. The city bus is called DAMRI.
Using your own car or renting a car is probabably the easiest and the most convenient way to travel around Bandung and surrounds. If you don't have a valid driving licence, then you can also rent a car with a chauffeur, which is very common for western travellers. Perhaps it is even better to rent a car from Jakarta. You can stop for one night in Puncak, Bogor or Sukabumi.
World-wide Car Rental companies are now available in major cities in Indonesia:
For Local Car Rental in Bandung:
Note that traffic in Bandung is so complex and the city administration likes to make experiments about the traffic. There are lack of traffic signs and directions. Most major roads are one-way, which makes it difficult to turn around if you are lost. Becareful to enter a street that it might be a one-way street from the opposite direction and there is no no-entry sign. Then, there is a police hiding somewhere and at once he will pop up instantly to stop you, which finally you will have to pay him some money.