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Bandung is the national capital of West Java province, and the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. Nicknamed Parijs van Java (Paris of Java) by the Dutch for its resemblance to Paris and European atmosphere back at the colonial times, it is locally called as Kota Kembang, literally meaning the Flowery City […]

Wolfgang Holzem




Bandung is the national capital of West Java province, and the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. Nicknamed Parijs van Java (Paris of Java) by the Dutch for its resemblance to Paris and European atmosphere back at the colonial times, it is locally called as Kota Kembang, literally meaning the Flowery City because Bandung had a lot of flowers in the colonial era and republic era up to the early 1960s.

A city sitting in a former lake with an altitude of 768 m above sea level, the surroundings of lush and beautiful Parahyangan mountains makes the climate cooler than most major cities in Indonesia. If you are into the city situation, look for its universities to study, apparel products to try on and wonderful places for gastronomic adventure. Nowadays, Bandung has become a very popular weekend escape for Jakartans because of its close proximity, During holiday periods it gets heavy traffic jams (need at least a half hour to travel 3 km).

Bandung Districts

Administratively, the city of Bandung (Kota Bandung) is divided in 30 districts (kecamatan), however for this travel guide the city has been divided in the following five districts, that are more useful for travellers.

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Districts of Bandung

Central Bandung
Bandung’s city centre, with at its heart the Alun-alun lawn square. The district includes part of the historic Great Post Road (Jalan Asia Afrika), along which Bandung was established, and the main railway station.
North Bandung
Colonial era villas, government buildings, and the ITB university campus along Jalan Dago that runs from the city centre into the hills. Nowadays, this is the centre for restaurants, cafés, and factory outlet stores.
Northwest Bandung
Ample opportunities for shopping, from the Jalan Cihampelas ‘jeans street’ to the extensive Paris Van Java shopping mall. Northwest Bandung also includes the main road into the mountains of Lembang, and the airport.
South Bandung
Vast residential areas on Bandung’s southern plain. A highlight for travellers is Trans Studio, one of the biggest indoor theme parks in the world.
East Bandung
More residential areas. Saung Angklung Udjo, a cultural centre with traditional Sundanese music performances, is in this district. But nowadays there are many hotels and restaurants in Riau and Supratman streets and surrounding.

The Greater Bandung Metropolitan Area (Bandung Raya) has a population of more than 8 million, and extends well beyond the city of Bandung. The city of Cimahi in the west is Bandung’s largest suburb. For travellers, the surroundings of Lembang in the north and Ciwidey in the south are among the highlights of Greater Bandung.

Introduction to Bandung

History of Bandung

Although the oldest written reference to the city dates back to 1488, there were numerous archaeological finds of “Java Man” that lived on the banks of Cikapundung river and the shores of Bandung’s Great Lake.

In the 17th-18th century, the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) created small plantations in Bandung, with a road to Batavia (today’s Jakarta) completed in 1786. In 1809, Louis Bonaparte, the ruler of the Netherlands and its colonies, ordered the Dutch Indies Governor H.W. Daendels to improve Java’s defenses against the threat of the English, who occupied the nearby Malay peninsula. Daendels responded by building the Great Post Road (De Groote Postweg) that stretched about 1000 km between the west and the east coasts of Java. Because north coast was in the form of impassable swamps and marshes at the time, the road was diverted through Bandung along what is now Jalan Asia-Afrika.

Daendels liked Bandung’s strategic location so much that he ordered the capital to be moved there. Military barracks were built and Bupati Wiranatakusumah II, the chief administrator of that area, built his dalem (palace), Masjid Agung (The Grand Mosque) and pendopo (meeting place) in the classical Javan alun-alun (city square) near a pair of holy city wells (Sumur Bandung) and facing the mystical mountain of Tangkuban Perahu (near Lembang).

Powered by its cinchona (for malaria drug quinine), tea, and coffee plantations, Bandung prospered and developed into an exclusive European style resort with hotels, cafes, and shops. Many of Bandung landmarks, including the Preanger and Savoy Homann hotels, as well as the shopping street of Jalan Braga, are still available today. The Concordia Society building, now Gedung Merdeka, was built with a large ball room as a club for rich Europeans to spend their weekends.

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Pasopati bridge flyover, a new landmark of Bandung.

In 1880, the first major railroad between Jakarta to Bandung opened, boosting small industries and bringing in Chinese workers. The first of Bandung universities, the Technische Hogeschool (TH) was established on July 3, 1920. One of the its alumni members is President Soekarno himself. That university is now known as the Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB)

In 1942, after Japanese soldiers landed in coastal areas of Java, the Dutch retreated from Jakarta to Bandung, but were driven out from there as well and surrendered soon after. After the end of the war, first the British and later the Dutch came back trying to reestablish the pre-war colonial situation, but on March 24, 1946, during the struggle for Indonesian independence, the city of Bandung was burned down by retreating forces of the TRI, because they would not comply with the order given by the British forces to move out of Bandung to the south (Bandung Sea of Fire/Bandung Lautan Api). For the TRI this act was a sign of refusal to surrender. Over 200,000 people fled the city during the incident.

In 1955, the Asia Africa Conference (Konferensi Asia Afrika) was held in Bandung, paving the way for the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. The Indonesian parliament was located in Bandung from 1955 to 1966, but was moved back to Jakarta in 1966.


Today’s Bandung is a sprawling city of 2.7 million people and suffers from many of the same problems as other Indonesian cities. Traffic is congested, old buildings have been torn down, and once idyllic residences have turned into business premises, fortunately the facades are still same.

There are main roads that roughly split the city into three parts, the north, the central, and the south. The Pasupati overpass splits the north and the central. Dago or H Juanda and Merdeka are the main roads from north to south. The Jenderal Sudirman, Asia Afrika, Kosambi and Jenderal Ahmad Yani cuts the central and the south. If you enter using the toll road, you will start from the outskirts first and then make your way into the town center.

Road in bahasa Indonesia is translated into Jalan and abbreviated into Jl.; this applies to all kind of road from small road to major road. You will see a lot of Jl. in front of the road name in this guide. Very small road that cannot by passed by car is called Gang and abbreviated into Gg.

Tourist information

  • -6.91352107.633651 Bandung Tourism office (Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata Kota Bandung), Jl. Ahmad Yani No. 227. Mon-Fri 07:30-15:30. (updated Nov 2016)

Get in

Bandung is in the central highlands of Parahyangan. It can be reached from Jakarta via the toll road or by train. Many buses and minivans connect Jakarta and Bandung. An alternative to the toll road is the winding road via the Puncak mountain pass. The route through Puncak is quite scenic but on weekends and public holidays the traffic is congested.

Fly to Bandung

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Husein Sastranegara Airport

Bandung’s -6.902107.5781 Husein Sastranegara Airport has a difficult location among the mountains and relatively limited services with narrow-body airplanes. The airport is located in Bandung/Northwest, about 4 km from the city centre. All of Indonesia’s major airlines are present at Bandung Airport, offering frequent connections with most of Indonesia’s major cities, with at least daily flights to 13 destinations including Surabaya (East Java), Medan (Sumatra), Makassar (Sulawesi) and Bali. There is no scheduled flight connection with Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, as the distance between the cities is only 125 km. In addition to the wide range of domestic destinations, AirAsia connects Bandung with multiple daily flights to Malaysia (Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur) and Singapore. Also Malindo Air has daily flights from/to Kuala Lumpur, and Silk Air five weekly from/to Singapore.

No metered taxis are available in Bandung Airport. The official taxi of the airport (a monopoly) doesn’t use a meter and will only drive with a taxi ticket (the ticket showing the amount you have to pay to the driver) which can be bought at the taxi booth near the international arrival exit gate for a minimum of Rp40,000. Most hotels provide free airport transfer services.

Grab Online Hailing Service can be ordered at the airport:

  • Grab Bike, bike taxi.
  • Grab Car Airport BDO, not the same as Grab Car or Grab Taxi. The Grab Car Airport tariff is about 3 times greater than the regular Grab Car tariff and about 2 times greater than that of Grab Taxi.

If you want to leave the airport on foot, because the Bandung airport is relatively small, walk about 300 meters, and then you can order Grab Car or Grab Taxi more cheaply.

Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport airport is 2½ hours away (plus any, often significant, traffic jams) from Bandung. A number of companies offer direct shuttle bus services to Bandung, including a convenient Primajasa coach service; see the ‘By bus’ section for details.

Travel by bus to Bandung

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 -6.94639107.594172 Leuwi Panjang in Bandung/South, serving buses from the west (Greater Jakarta, Bogor Raya (from Bogor: frequent direct buses till 9 PM from Baranangsiang Terminal, Rp 65,000, 4-5 hours depends on traffic) and Banten including the port of Merak) and -6.9026125107.65675263 Cicaheum in Bandung/East, serving buses from the east (Cirebon, Garut, East Parahyangan, and destinations in Central and East Java and Bali). Many buses on routes between Jakarta and destinations to the east pass via Bandung, but usually they do not stop at Bandung’s terminals, however many of them allow passengers to get off or on at the Cileunyi toll gate just east of the city.

By shuttle bus

With 7-10 seater minivans leaving every few minutes, the shuttle bus market between Jakarta and Bandung is fiercely competitive. Roughly speaking, services can be categorised as either door to door in a chartered car or van that takes your group exactly where you want to go, for around US$50–75, or point to point from its pools to another, for under US$10. Many companies offer both.

  • 4848 Taxi. Jl Prapatan 34, Jakarta. ☎ +62 21 381 4488, +62 21 386 4848. The service is great, reliable and safe. Price: approx. US$25/car (4 persons). One destination only in a small area in Jakarta, so you have to ask which area in Jakarta they serve.
  • Arnes Shuttle. Hourly from Superindo Pancoran Statue, in the hook of North-East intersection from 04:00 to 21:00, except from 09:00 to 15:00, when they run every two hours. Jakarta: ☎ 0822-1669-1117, 0878-2260-1009, Bandung at Balubur Town Square (Baltos): ☎ 0858.6000.3868 (indosat), 0821.2112.12.93 (telkomsel), 0878.2439.8501 (xl). Passengers can ‘transit’ at Baltos, RS Hermina, BTC and Rest Area of Pasteur Toll Gate and take Arnes Shuttle to Jatinangor, a place with many big universities, every 15 minutes for additional Rp20,000 from 05:30 to 18:00 and then every 30 minutes from 18:30 to 23:00, except for Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, when it runs every 30 minutes. Jatinangor at Jl. Raya Jatinangor 190 Desa Cikeruh, next to Bank Tabungan Negara, before Sayang intersection, if coming from Sumedang. ☎ +62 22 933.636.97, 0858.6000.3686 (indosat), 0821.2112.12.39 (telkomsel).
  • DayTrans (Indonesian-language only) Jakarta (Blora, Sarinah, Fatmawati, Karet, Mall Senayan City, FX Plaza, Meruya-Intercon, Kebon Jeruk-Binus, Grogol, Atrium Plaza, Hotel Acacia, Cempaka Putih Pulomas, Tebet/Pancoran and Jatiwaringin), ☎ +62 21 7063 6868 or 6386 4005. Bandung (Cihampelas and Pasteur), ☎ +62 22 7063 6868. They have the best pilot seats amongst all shuttle providers. Price between Rp90,000 to Rp110,000 per passenger depends on seat location.
  • Baraya — The ticket fee is Rp85,000 per passenger for a shared ride with abundant routes. ☎ +62 21 7244 999 and +62 22 753 1415.
  • Primajasa Bus, ☎ +62 22 607 3992 (Bandung), ☎ +62 21 800 9545 (Jakarta). They provide a direct shuttle service from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport to Batununggal, with no stop at Bandung Super Mall or anywhere else along the route anymore. The trip takes approx. 3 hr and the cost is Rp115,000. Schedule: once every half hour from 0:30-16:00 and the rest is every hour. Their buses feature a smoking room and toilet at the back. Primajasa also has shuttle minibuses from Soekarno-Hatta airport to Diponegro street (Gedung Sate) near intersection with Cisangkuy street with cost Rp155,000. Mention whether you want a bus or minibus when you contact them.
  • Silver Bird Van Taxi (Blue Bird Group), Jl. Mampang Prapatan Raya 60, South Jakarta. ☎ +62 21 798 1234. Price: Rp750,000 door to door, plus toll fee Rp50,000.
  • X-Trans, Jl. Blora 1 AB, Central Jakarta, ☎ +62 21 315 0555. Price: approx. US$55/car maximum 10 persons for point-to-point charter. Price Rp100,000 per passenger.
  • CitiTrans, Jakarta (Fatmawati, Bintaro, Sudirman, Kelapa Gading, Pasar Pagi, Central Park), ☎ 08041111000. Bandung (Dipati Ukur, Cihampelas Walk, Pasteur), ☎ 08041111000. 7 or 10-person (depends on the point) shuttles with separate seats.

Due to competition, all shuttles now only have 2 prices, for 8-11 seats Rp80,000 (Star Shuttle) to Rp85,000 (Baraya) and for 6-7 seats Rp90,000 to Rp110,000 in a minibus.

By rented car with driver

A door-to-door travel with cars, mostly sedans instead of a minibus, runs between Bogor and Bandung and limited to 3 passengers per car. The tariff is Rp150,000 per passenger (excluding toll road fees). The route mostly goes through Puncak or Cipularang Toll Road.

  • MPX Travel Bogor Bandung, Jalan Renawijaya No. 9 Kav. 2, Vila Duta, Baranangsiang, Bogor, West Java 16143. (updated Jun 2018)
  • Prima Trans Travel, Jalan Perintis Kemerdekaan no. 65-69 Bogor. (updated Jun 2018)

Travel to Bandung by car

Bandung is two hours away from Jakarta by car if the traffic conditions are favourable, but because of traffic congestion if often takes longer, however thanks to the Jakarta-Bandung toll road (via Cikampek) travelling by road is usually faster than by train. However during the rainy season, parts of the road may be closed because of landslides, and bewildering because of possible high winds or blinding fog and downpours. While most cars would exit the system at Pasteur, the first exit to Bandung with excellent connections to Lembang, it is very congested during the weekends so it is highly encouraged to enter the city at the less congested toll road exits on the southern side of the city instead: try Pasir Koja, Kopo, Moh. Toha, and Buah Batu. If you still wish to exit at Pasteur, note that on Saturdays from 09:00 to 13:00 this exit is only allowed for cars with at least 4 passengers.

One alternative route is by the slower, but enjoyable, route via the Puncak area. If you travel by car using this route, be sure to stop at the Puncak Pass, the tip of the highland just on the outskirts of Jakarta, for a view of tea plantation and fresh air. There are plenty of good restaurants and hotels out there.

Travel by train to Bandung

State operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia offers frequent services between Jakarta and Bandung with Argo Parahyangan, as well as other towns on the southern rail route. Though even the fastest services take more than three hours from Jakarta. The time passes so quickly during the journey because of the comfortable trains, scenic mountains, and paddy fields you could find along the way. There are 3 classes for each train journey: Executive class, slightly over Rp135,000 per ticket for air conditioning, reclining seats, and a footrest; Economy Premium class, Rp100,000 and Economy class from Rp80,000 offers air conditioning and comfortable seats, though without recliners or footrests. Booking at least 24 hours in advance is a must and can be made through travel booking services such as Traveloka, PegiPegi, etc. and through the minimarkets such as Alfamart and Indomaret. Under 24 hours until 10 minutes before departure, tickets only can be bought in the departure station. But if you have a KAI Access application, the ticket can be bought up to 1 minutes before departure.

The state operator offers its newest class – The Priority Class – on Argo Parahyangan that runs only twice daily in each direction. It has 28 luxury seats in a single car with onboard-entertainment on every seat, wireless connection and toilets for the disabled person. Costs about Rp 250,000 and must be booked in advance at least one week before the desired journey due to high demand for the service.

If you do travel by train, get off at the -6.91426107.602354 Bandung railway station (also known as Hall station) in Central Bandung. It is right in the city centre and offers excellent transport connections to the city’s places of interest. The station has two faces — the old entrance (south of the tracks) and the newer entrance (north). Taxis are outside the north entrance, but the market is monopolised by AA taxi whose tariff is about 15 per cent higher than Blue Bird, although their cars are generally in better condition than those of Blue Bird. Outside of train station parking area there are abundant other taxis. Angkots are found at a smal terminal about 100 from the south entrance.

Get around

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Map of central Bandung in detail.

Travelling around in Bandung can be quite complex and frustrating, especially to newcomers, because there is no mass rapid transit system. Locals travel using small public minibuses, known as angkot from angkutan = transport and kota = city.

By angkot

This option has only origin and destination names on top, sometimes with a description of which street they pass if there is more than one angkot route for a certain origin-destination route.

Although there is an official price for angkot from Organda (the local regulator of these private city transport), it is usually based on how far you travel. It’s better to ask the driver or kernet (driver assistance) about the price to go to a location. To ask for an angkot to stop and pick you up, just raise your hand. When you’re inside and want to stop, just ask the kernet to stop or say ‘kiri’ (kee-ree) or simply ‘stop’. It used to be easy to find a bell that you could press to stop, but not anymore. Most angkot fares usually about Rp3,000-5,000. For very short distances below 1½ km, Rp2,000 is enough, while for taking an angkot into the suburbs the price may be slightly higher.

The official angkot routes are listed on Bandung’s City Government website.

Some angkot have the same destination, but different routes, such as Angkot No. 01, which runs from Cicaheum to Kebon Kelapa via Trans Studio Mall, whereas Angkot No. 02 goes through Aceh street.

By taxi

If you don’t know which angkot routes to take, you’re much better off taking a taxi. Metered taxis may take you out of your way to get more money or run the meter first before you enter the taxi, in case of phone orders. The fare for trips within the city is usually Rp25,000-75,000. At most big streets, taxis can be hailed at malls and big hotels, but as in most cases, ordering by phone is the safest bet, although there is usually a minimum payment for phone orders.

Allow plenty of time for the journey, as traffic congestion is common, especially in weekends. Short trips of under 10 km may take over an hour in the rush hour and in weekends.

Almost all taxis in Bandung require a minimum payment of Rp25,000 except for Blue Bird, which requires none. Besides the flagfall for the first kilometers, the tariff for next kilometers is Rp4,500 and waiting time is Rp45,000/hour (is also charge when the taxi trap in traffic jam or stop behind the red light).

List of taxi companies in Bandung:

  • AA. Flawless vehicles with non-smoking drivers, maybe better than BlueBird, and they use a high tariff with flagfall of Rp7,000 for the first kilometer, just like Blue Bird. Minimum payment is Rp25,000 and minimum payment of phone order: Rp30,000. 
  • Bandung Raya.  
  • Blue Bird. Good reputation and reliable; this is the premium taxi company in Indonesia. Call centre staff can speak English. Most hotels will gladly call the taxi to pick you up. Rp35,000 minimum payment for phone order. Use application (including order by phone) and GPS, the nearest taxi within one kilometer radius from the passengers will pick up in 5 minutes. 
  • Centris Taxi.  
  • Gemah Ripah. Second choice after Blue Bird: Rp25,000 minimum payment, but no additional charge for phone orders. Their taxis frequently arrive about 5 to 10 minutes before the time you requested on the phone and run the argometer while the taxi is waiting for passengers. 
  • Kota Kembang. Old vehicles, a last resort, mainly for orders by phone. 
  • Putra. Old vehicles, a last resort, mainly for orders by phone. 

By online ride hailing apps

Online taxis such as Grab and GoCar (from Gojek) are abundant and they can pick you up in less than 10 minutes after booking. Available 24 hours, mainly in Dago area and Trans Studio Mall area. They also offer services for a ride to outer Bandung areas (up to 70 kilometres). Waiting time typically costs around Rp40,000/hour or less depending on the negotiation with the driver. The service is needed in outside Bandung area due to the difficulty to get online taxis, except in Central Lembang area.

Travel by bus to Bandung

There are a number of bus companies but they don’t cover the whole city due to many narrow streets in Bandung. City buses, called Damri, usually cover long routes across the city from end-to-end; for example, from the north to the south (Dago or Setiabudi to Leuwi Panjang Central Terminal) and from the west to the east (from Cibeureum to Cicaheum and then to Cibiru). The intersection of north-south routes and east-west routes is Alun-alun Central Park and intersection of Astana Anyar and Asia Afrika.

Buses can be stopped anywhere, not just at the bus stops. The ticket price for all routes in the city is Rp2,000 for without air-con and Rp3,500 with air-com.

Damri buses also serve outer Bandung to areas such as Alun-alun Central Park Bandung to Ciburuy (near Padalarang), and Elang to Jatinangor. All buses use air conditioning. The additional buses to serve Dago to Leuwi Panjang Central Terminal also use air conditioned buses.

Travel to Bandung by car

Using a car is probably the easiest and the most convenient way to travel around Bandung and surrounds, but daily severe traffic jams should be considered. If you don’t have a valid driving licence, then you can also hire a car with a chauffeur, which is very common for western travellers. Perhaps it is even better to hire a car from Jakarta. Rental cars are available from numerous outlets, including major international brands. Renting a car is about Rp500,000 per day (12 hr), or Rp600,000 (12 hr) excluding gasoline, parking and toll for travel outside Bandung, such as to the Tangkuban Perahu volcanic area.

While it is generally required to travel by car, especially to the outskirt mountains, the horrendous weekend and rush hour traffic jams can put your trip up to an hour behind schedule, so be sure to plan ahead by starting early and look for alternate routes! The major roads that are often crowded are the roads leading up to Lembang (Jalan Sukajadi), Dago, Cihampelas, and the corridor from Pasteur toll exit to Pasupati overpass that connects these streets. On the weekends, especially long holidays, hoards of cars from Jakarta head over to this part of the city for a getaway, resulting in even uglier drive times. Be aware that many streets, especially the small ones, typically go one-way but sometimes poorly indicated!

A local rule requires that every car must have a trash bin and the law is strictly implemented. Failure to obey this rule could result in paying Rp250,000 on the spot or via an ATM/Bank payment. Police are also stricter in enforcing seatbelt laws in Bandung than in the other cities, so everyone in a front seat should make sure to wear one.

By motorcycle

Motorcycle rental is relatively new in Bandung, so the rental price is higher than in Bali and these services are still limited due to relatively high motorcycle thefts in Bandung, so the rentals usually provide some extra locks for added safety. The rental tariff is Rp50.000-Rp55.000 for 12 hours in weekdays/weekend or Rp75.000-Rp85.000 for 24 hours in weekdays, Rp80.000-Rp90.000 for 24 hours in weekend or Rp450.000-Rp500.000 for a week.

For renting, domestic tourists have to have at least 3 of driving license, electronic identity card, family card, tax identity (NPWP), or passport. Foreign tourists must have international driving license and passport.

By ojek

There are two types of motorcycle taxis (or ojek) in Bandung, conventional ojek, where ojek drivers flock/stay at certain place, wait for passengers and sometimes the tariff isn’t fixed. Unlike online ojek/ride-hailing apps such as Grab or GoJek, where the fare is stated in advance and usually much cheaper than conventional ojek. Many ojek drivers in Bandung under these companies rarely wear their uniform to avoid frictions with conventional ojek drivers. It is advisable to order from the lobby of hotels/malls or at least 100 meters from conventional ojek shelters/stations.

On foot

Bandung has nice pavements, newly-renovated as of 2018, with tactile paving or truncated domes for the visually impaired, from Dago/Jalan Ir. H. Juanda area to the south and along Jalan Riau/R.E. Martadinata. Green Spaces in Bandung are quite abundant, with the biggest one at The Grand Mosque of Bandung (Masjid Raya Bandung) in Central Bandung.

Sightseeing in Bandung

Colonial architecture

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The Kologdam Building in Bandung/East, built in 1920 as the Jaarbeurs (trade fair building).

With Bandung being one of the main cities of the Dutch East Indies, many colonial buildings were built in the city in the second half of the 19th century, and especially the first half of the 20th century. Most of the colonial buildings can be found in the city centre, as well as in the Dago area where extensive expansions of the city took place in the early 20th century.

A key architectural style used in the Dutch East Indies in the 19th century was the Indies Empire style. A key example of this style in Bandung is Gedung Pakuan in Central Bandung, built in the 1860s as the new residence of the resident of the residency of Parahyangan, as its capital was moved from Cianjur to Bandung. The most famous colonial buildings of Bandung are however not those with classical styles, but those with modernist architecture. The city has one of the world’s largest number of buildings in Art Deco style. The key architects of this period (mainly 1920-1940) include C.P.W. (Wolff) Schoemaker, A.F. (Albert) Aalbers, and Henri Maclaine Pont. All of them were known for combining modernist European architecture (including Art Deco) with style elements from Indonesian cultures.

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Gedung Merdeka in Central Bandung.

Born in Central Java in 1882 and educated in the Netherlands, Wolff Schoemaker has been famous as the father of Bandung Art Deco architectural style. He is well known for adapting modern European architecture to the tropical surroundings. This blending of ancient decorative elements and modern architectural features has made him the best Indonesian architect of his time. He later became a professor at the Bandung Institute of Technology in Bandung/North. Among his students was Soekarno, the first president of the Republic of Indonesia. Schoemaker was a very productive architect, with dozens of buildings in Bandung being designed by him. Some of his most famous buildings include the Gedung Merdeka, Grand Hotel Preanger, the Bandung Cathedral, New Majestic cinema building (all in Bandung/Central), Villa Isola, the Pasteur Institute (both in Bandung/Northwest) and the Kologdam Building (Bandung/East).

Albert Aalbers‘s main claim to fame was the DENIS Bank building, based on which he also received the contract to design the new building of Bandung’s grand old hotel, the Savoy Homann. Shortly thereafter, he designed the renovation of one of Schoemaker’s works, the Gedung Merdeka. These three buldings are all in Central Bandung. The most famous buildings designed by Henri Maclaine Pont are the main buildings of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in North Bandung.

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Gedung Sate in North Bandung.

The most well-known colonial buildings that were not designed by these three architects are government buildings of the Dutch East Indies, which were designed by the Government Buildings Service (Landsgebouwendienst). The main example of this is the Gedung Sate in North Bandung, built in the 1920s for Department of Public Works of the Dutch East Indies and now used by West Java’s provincial government.


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Geological Museum in North Bandung.

There are various museums in the city. Right in the city centre, there is the Museum of the Asian-African Conference in the Gedung Merdeka. The building was the location of the 1955 Bandung Conference (the first meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement), and the museum tells the history of this conference, that was attended by among others presidents Soekarno (Indonesia), Gamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt), and Tito (Yugoslavia), and prime minister Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam).

Other well-known museums in Bandung include the Geological Museum (with 250,000 rocks, a mineral collection, and 60,000 fossils) and the Postal Museum (covering the postal history of Indonesia and the Dutch East Indies), both in Bandung/North. Lesser-known museums include Museum Barli (paintings and vintage toys) in Bandung/Northwest, Museum Mandala Wangsit Siliwangi (weapons, and the history of Bandung in the War of Independence) in Central Bandung, and the Sri Baduga Museum (archeological and geological exhibitions on West Java province) in South Bandung.

Other sights

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The minarets of the Grand Mosque, behind the Alun-alun.

Apart from the colonial buildings and museums, the key sights of Bandung’s city centre are the Alun-alun central lawn square, and the adjoining Grand Mosque. The provincial mosque was initially built in the 19th century, but it has been renovated and expanded many times, so most original elements are no longer visible. The latest major renovation took place in 2003, when also the two iconic minarets (81 metres high each) were added. During weekends, one of the minarets is open to visitors, and from the top you will have a great view across the city. Nearby is also the Kilometre Zero monument, which indicates the location of Bandung’s establishment (at the location where the Great Post Road crosses the Cikapundung river).

In the Dago area in the North of the city, there are various natural sights, of which the main one is the Djuanda Forest Park, a conservation area and botanical garden in the mountains. Within the park there are also two man-made caves that were important locations during the Second World War and Indonesian War of Independence (among others for shelter and ammunition storage).

What to do in Bandung

There are many activities that you can do in the city or outside the city. As Bandung highland is surrounded by a string of mountains, activities in the outskirts of the city are centred about the mountain resorts, adventure activities and outdoor sports. In the city, you can have savor the culinary diversity (see the Eat section), shop at the cheap outlets and distros (see the Buy section) or just hang around.

Every Sunday is Car-Free Day in Dago street from Cikapayang to the north to Simpang-Siliwangi 06:00-10:00. Come as early as possible, because it can become hectic, as it is only a small street.

  • Ram Fighting. Villages around Bandung host ram fights on alternate Sundays. It’s a big event for locals who turn out in their hundreds to watch 5-minute bouts between prize fighter male sheep. Tournaments are held in purpose-built rings in outlying villages. Best to hire a motorbike/guide in Bandung who knows when and where the next tournament is on. Ram fighting is not a blood sport but animal lovers may be upset at the sight of the fights, which are organized and refereed rather like boxing matches. 

Outdoor activities

  • Puncrut-Lembang walking trail. Begins at Puncrut, Jl. Kiputih, North Bandung. For beginners or who save the stamina, it is better to go to Ledeng first and continue to Lembang by angkot and ask people to go down to Puncrut. 
  • The Tangkuban Perahu volcano is about 20 km north of Bandung, near Lembang.
  • The Kawah Putih (White Crater) lake is about 40 km south of Bandung, near Ciwidey.

Shopping in Bandung

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Jeans stores along Jalan Cihampelas try to attract attention with huge statues.

Shopping for clothing and accessories is one of the main reasons that, every weekend, many people from Greater Jakarta visit Bandung. Many items are less expensive than in Jakarta. There are shopping malls scattered across the city. Many of them have a combination of Indonesian and international shops, cafés, and restaurants, and most of them also have a family karaoke venue (KTV) and a cinema. The largest and most modern shopping malls in Bandung are the Trans Studio Mall (Bandung/South) and Paris Van Java (Northwest Bandung). A few malls are known for their cheap clothing, including the BTC Fashion Mall in Northwest Bandung, and the Pasar Baru Trade Centre in the city centre (which is a favorite for Malaysian tourists).

Denim (jeans) stores can be found along Jalan Cihampelas in Northwest Bandung. These became very popular in the 1990s with unique facades built to attract people. Some of the stores also sell factory outlet garments, but the quality is rather inferior to factory outlets in Jl Setiabudhi, Jl Dago and Jl Riau. The new 450 m (1,480 ft) skywalk over the north part of Jl Cihampelas offers good views of the surrounding area. It has an elevator and small booths that sell food and accessories.

On the other side of the city, in Cibaduyut (South Bandung), leather shoes and other leather products are produced and sold in numerous stores. It is paradise for those who like long boots, which can be made to order at relatively cheap prices. They take between three and seven days to be ready.

Local handicrafts and souvenirs

Angklung is a Sundanese musical instrument. They are sold in handicraft shops in shopping malls, souvenir shops, and the dedicated Saung Angklung Udjo angklung centre in Bandung/East. Wayang golek are Sundanese puppets. Unlike the Javanese wayang puppets, the Sundanese wayang golek are made from wood. There are various shops that sell them across the city, of which the main is the Cupumanik centre in Bandung/Central.

Factory outlet stores

Fashion items for some of the world’s top brands are made in Indonesia. Even slight defects such as a missing or incorrectly-inserted button are enough for the item to be rejected, or there might have production overruns that need to be discarded. These unwanted items are sold with sisa export tags, because they were made for export. Some of are Grade A (best quality, overrun product) or Grade B (export quality, slight defect) quality. Don’t be surprised to see Made in Korea or Made in Singapore on the tags! While you will still see a bag priced at $65 for sale at New York City, they will sell for only Rp45,000 ($5), a dramatically small fraction of the listed price in the destination market! Enjoy bargain hunting but make a careful inspection yourself. Check for below-standard or damaged items and counterfeit branded products. The shops often have a wide range of modern contemporary styles and accessories.

Most factory outlet stores are concentrated in Bandung/North (specifically Jl Riau and Jl Dago) and Bandung/Northwest (Jl Cihampelas and Jl Setiabudhi). Bandung’s most well-known factory outlet store, Rumah Mode, can be found in Jl Setiabudhi in the Northwest.

Independent designers

The phenomenon of distros (‘distribution outlets’) began in Bandung in the 1990s. Originally, indie bands and record labels started selling their merchandising (CDs but also clothing, stickers, etc.) in their own shops. Nowadays, there are more than 300 distros in Bandung that sell stylish products that were made by local designers, and the phenomenon extends well beyond the original indie music scene. One thing that makes distros stand out from the factory outlet stores is that distros sell products from individual designers and young entrepreneurs, while factory outlet products come from a garment factory. Many of the designers that started distros have become famous, launching country-wide clothing brands, and therefore price levels have increased in recent years. Distros can be found throughout the city, but many of the most famous among them are concentrated in and around Jl Trunojoyo in Bandung/North.

Liquor stores

  • Dago 34, Jl Dago no.34. Located in the heart of Dago.
  • Warung Internasional, Jl Dago, near Dago 34.
  • Taurus, located near the alun-alun, it’s easy to find.

Where to eat in Bandung

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget up to Rp50,000
Mid-range Rp50,000-150,000
Splurge over Rp150,000

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”Nasi goreng” for breakfast at the Savoy Homann hotel in Central Bandung.

Bandung is a heaven for food lovers who enjoy new experiences. There is a huge variety of places to eat, ranging from thousands of travelling hawkers and warung food stalls to high-end restaurants. Prices vary equally, but are generally lower than in Jakarta. A good meal from a warung or simple restaurant is likely to cost less than Rp30,000, but in high-end restaurants and in luxurious hotels you can easily spend 10 times this.

Budget eateries, including street food, are abundant throughout the city. Most of the higher-end restaurants can be found in the city centre and towards the north of the city, mainly in the Dago area. In addition, there is a huge range of restaurants (from cheap fastfood to high-end international cuisine) in the shopping malls, with the Paris Van Java mall in Bandung/Northwest and the Trans Studio Mall in Bandung/South standing out.

Although vegetarian restaurants are not common, many Indonesian (and Sundanese) dishes are vegetarian. It is therefore relatively easy to find vegetarian food, such as lotek (spicy vegetable salad) and dishes with tahu (tofu) and tempe. Be aware, however, that many dishes are served with sambal (chili sauce) that may contain terasi (shrimp paste), or with krupuk udang (shrimp crackers).

Your culinary tour in Bandung does not end at the restaurants and cafés. There are plenty of bakeries in the city where exotic pastries entices you to bring one home — a legacy of the Dutch colonial time. Some of them have a high popularity, that you may have to be in a queue even before the shop opens!

Street food

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Siomay served at a food stall in Central Bandung.

Street food in Bandung can be found everywhere throughout the city. Travelling vendors carrying a basket roam through the neighbourhoods selling pre-prepared food. Kaki lima food stalls (mobile kitchens) may also travel around, or stand on the same street corner every day. The same applies to warung, which are slightly less mobile stalls that often have some shelter and a few tables and plastic stools. Some of the warung, that are being rebuilt at the same location every day, have grown to become very popular establishments with hundreds of guests per day (for example, the Bebek Ali Borromeus food stall in Bandung/North). In general, the number of customers is a good indication of the level of hygiene of the place, with busy warung being probably safe.

Popular street food options include Sate (satay skewers), Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng (fried rice and fried noodles), and Ayam Goreng (fried chicken, served with chilli sauce and rice). Specifically for breakfast, popular options are bubur ayam (chicken porridge), kupat tahu (rice dumplings, tofu, and bean sprouts with peanut sauce) and Lotek (vegetable salad with peanut sauce).

Many temporary food stalls can be found along Jalan Cisangkuy from Diponegoro intersection down to Jalan Citarum. Every Sunday morning till noon the street food stalls can also be found behind of Gedung Sate.

Ethnic cuisine

The local cuisine is Sundanese food, as covered in the guide on the wider Parahyangan region. An example of a local delicacy is bakso tahu (also known as siomay), a steamed meat with or without tofu. It is served with peanut paste, sweet soy sauce and a lime. It is suitable for a snack to eat at anytime. In almost all streets you can find somebody selling this food with a wheeled stall (gerobak). Batagor is similar to bakso tahu/siomay but it is fried instead of being steamed. Basreng is a spicy snack made ​​from fried meatballs, with the addition of the spicy and savory seasonings suitable for you. Soto Bandung is a soup with beef meat, soy beans and some vegetables. Lotek is a mixed boiled vegetables, served with peanut paste and some chillies, similar to gado gado. The hotter the better. Laksa Bandung is the famous old traditional dish. This dish is kind of chicken soup using coconut milk with turmeric for the stock, and in side it contains sliced rice cake (cooked inside a banana leaf), bean sprout, vermicelli, shredded chicken and for the finishing is garnished with holly basil and Oncom Bandung the traditional fermented soy bean cake.

Throughout the city, cuisines from other regions of Indonesia can be found, with Padang restaurants from West Sumatra especially ubiquitous, as well as local food from Jakarta and Central Java. The Chinese Indonesian minority operates a large number of Chinese restaurants, and also Japanese food (mainly sushi and ramen) is common. Western-style restaurants (such as steak houses and pancake places) are also common, although the quality varies. The better Western restaurants can be found in the major shopping malls and in the Dago area.



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There are a few bars along Braga street in the city centre.

Alcohol is usually not served in most restaurants and cafés, however there are many upscale bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, as well as various nightclubs. Many bars also serve imported beers and spirits, but prices are high. The most popular nightlife areas among expats and tourists is the Dago area in North Bandung, but there are also various bars and lounge clubs in the city centre. Among the most popular nightlife venues are the Amnesia and Southbank clubs in Central Bandung, Golden Monkey in North Bandung, and Sobber’s Bar in Bandung/Northwest. Karaoke (KTV) venues are ubiquitous. Note that some karaoke bars (mainly in a few streets and alleys near the central Alun-alun square, and along Jalan Setiabudhi towards Lembang) are in fact brothels. Regular KTV venues can be recognised by being branded ‘family karaoke’. The most well-known chains include NAV, Inul Vizta, and Happy Puppy.

Cafés and coffee houses

Similar in other big cities like Jakarta and Surabaya, nowadays, coffee houses are a popular place to hang out and also are always packed after working hours or on the weekends. Most coffee places in Bandung are amping up their appearances as well to attract many more customers.

  • Kopi Aroma Bandung, Banceuy street (Near the intersection with Pecinan Lama street). This traditional coffee factory uses a rubber wood fire to dry the coffee beans. Their warehouse has been in use since the 1930s. They offer group tours of both, and individuals who buy a lot might also ask for a tour. The barrista can mix coffee blends to your preference. (updated Mar 2017)
  • Kopi Ireng, Jalan Bukit Pakar Timur No.1, Cimenyana 40198. 1PM-2AM. A Joglo-styled coffee house to see Bandung from above with great city view. Their signature drink is a “Zigzag Cappucino” (updated Nov 2017)
  • Kudu Ngopi, Jalan Aceh No.66, 40117 (At the same place as Siliwangi Bowling Centre). 11AM-11PM. (updated Nov 2017)
  • Lacamera Coffee, Jalan Naripan No. 79, Asia Afrika 40112. 7.30AM-11PM. (updated Nov 2017)
  • Noah’s Barn, Jalan Dayang Sumbi No. 2, Coblong, Bandung, West Java 40132. 8AM-11PM. Specialised in local variety of coffees such as Java, Bali, Toraja, and Papua. Starts at Rp15,000 – Rp 135,000. (updated Nov 2017)
  • Two Cents – Brew Believer, Jl. Cimanuk No.2 40115 (Located on Jalan Riau (or Jalan L.L.R.E. Martadinata), well known for some top factory outlets). 7AM-11PM. Specialised in coffees from Bali, Dampit, Bajawa Flores, and Malabar. They also have their house blends such as Bewitched Blend and Awakening Blend. (updated Nov 2017)
  • Two Hands Full, Jalan Sukajadi No. 198A, Sukajadi, 40162 (Near Paris Van Java (PVJ) Mall. Quite hard to find, look for “Ray White”). 8AM-9PM. Try the “Eggs in Hell” with chorizo, or a smoothie bowl. Some customers found the WiFi hard to connect or the signal quality is mediocre. (updated Nov 2017)
  • Wiki Koffie, Jalan Braga No. 90, Braga, 40111. 9AM-12AM. Probably the most crowded, jam-packed and the most popular coffee house in Braga vicinity. It is advisable to come as early as possible. Starts from as low as Rp12,000. (updated Nov 2017)
  • One Eighty Coffee and Music, Jl. Ganesha No. 3 (West of Borromeus Hospital, South of ITB, in Dago.). Spacious café on two floors. Shallow pool you can cool your feet in. Regular live music. Western and Asian brunch items. (updated Feb 2018)

Where to stay in Bandung

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Less than Rp400,000
Mid-range Rp400,000-800,000
Splurge More than Rp800,000

Bandung has a vast range of accommodation, being an important destination for domestic business travellers, a citytrip destination mainly for Indonesians, Singaporeans, and Malaysians, and foremost the main place for people from Greater Jakarta to go for a weekend break. Occupancy rates are therefore high during weekends, and especially long weekends and holidays, and so are accommodation prices. Broadly speaking, most accommodations are in the central and northern parts of the city. All major domestic (favehotel, Santika, Aston) and many international (ibis, Novotel, Holiday In, Hilton, Sheraton) hotel chains are present with one or more hotels in the city.

Bandung/Central is home to the city’s grand old hotels, the Savoy Homann and the Grand Preanger, but also a very wide range of business hotels of various price and quality levels. Business hotels can also be found in abundance around the Pasteur toll gate in Bandung/Northwest. Many tourist-oriented hotels, including some luxurious hotels such as the Sheraton, can be found in the Bandung/North area, including the northern hillsides. In the Ciumbeleuit and Setiabudhi areas of Northwest Bandung there is also a growing number of hotels, including the large and luxurious Padma Hotel with stunning hill views. More to the north, the mountain town of Lembang also has many accommodation options, including private villas.

The extensive residential areas of East and Bandung/South have fewer accommodation options, although there are still various budget hotels. A notable exception is the Trans Studio complex in South Bandung, which in addition to the large indoor theme park and high-end shopping mall also include Asia’s largest Ibis hotel, and a very luxurious hotel that brands itself as ‘the first hotel with 6 stars in the country’.

Stay safe

The emergency phone number for police is 110, while the fire brigade can be reached via (022)113. There are numerous police stations in the city, with the largest ones being the provincial police headquarters (Polda) in Bandung/East, and the city police headquarters (Polrestabes) in Bandung/Central. There are 28 local police stations (Polsek) scattered throughout the city.

Visit a hospital for the Coronavirus outbreak in Bandung

Tap water in Bandung is not potable, although it is generally fine for a bath or a toothbrush session. Bottled water (generally known as ‘aqua‘ after the most common brand) is cheap. Check if the tamper proof seal is intact.

There are numerous hospitals and health clinics in Bandung. Although the standards of healthcare remain below what most visitors would be accustomed to in their home country, some of Bandung’s major hospitals have among the highest standards of the country. Hospitals with 24-hour emergency units can be found throughout the city (see the district articles for listings of the major hospitals). In any case, it is advisable to have insurance coverage for emergency medical evacuation as a precaution. If a medical evacuation is required then patients are normally moved to Singapore.

The emergency phone number for ambulances is (022)118, however the service level of both the phone number and the ambulance services is highly variable. Rather than waiting for an ambulance to come, it is usually quicker to hail a taxi to bring you to the nearest hospital.



Consulates in Bandung

  • Austria Austrian Honorary Consulate, Jalan Padasaluyu Utara II, No. 3, fax: +62 22 201 4407. 
  • Netherlands Royal Netherlands Honorary Consulate, Jl. Dayang Sumbi No. 3, fax: +62 22 2506197. 
  • France France Consular Agency, Jl. Purnawarman No. 32, fax: +62 22 4207877. 
  • Hungary Hungary Honorary Consulate, Jl. Padasaluyu Utara II No. 3, fax: +62 22 2014407. 
  • Poland Poland Honorary Consulate, Jl. Bukit Pakar Utara No. 75.  

Go next


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The Kawah Putih crater lake near Ciwidey.

There are various cities, towns, and mountainous areas surrounding Bandung, that are suitable for day trips.

  • Cimahi — Bandung’s largest suburb, known as the ‘city of soldiers’ for its many military institutions, as well as a large Dutch war cemetery.
  • Lembang — mountain town just north of Bandung, at the base of the Tangkuban Perahu volcano, and home to Indonesia’s only observatory.
  • Ciater — at the other side of the Tangkuban Perahu volcano, a small town known for its volcanic hot spring resorts.
  • Ciwidey — an area of tea and strawberry plantations south of Bandung, with the Kawah Putih crater lake as its highlight. Via the Soroja (Soreang Pasirkoja) Toll Road, the drive to Kawah Putih lasts about one and half hours.
  • Garut — about one and half hours from Bandung to the southeast, resort city surrounded by several volcanoes.

Next destinations

  • Bogor Raya — mountainous area west of Bandung, with among others the Mount Gede Pangrango National Park and the city of Bogor.
  • East Parahyangan — the southeast of the province, about 4-6 hours from Bandung, including Pangandaran beach at the Indian Ocean coast.
  • North Coast of West Java — the northern plains of the province, including the port city of Cirebon at the Java Sea coast, about 2-3 hours from Bandung.



Former founder of and now reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as Thailand, Germany & Switzerland. Born near Cologne but lived in Berlin during my early teenage years. A longterm resident of Bangkok, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon and Phuket. A great fan of Bali, Rhodes & Corfu. Now based on Mallorca, Spain.


Tomohon | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Tomohon is a city in Northern Sulawesi. It is the fourth-largest city in the province of North Sulawesi after Manado, Bitung, and Kotamobagu. Tomohon is south of Manado. Tomohon Districts Eruption of the Lokon-Empung volcano (2020) photographed from Tomohon North – Tinoor, Kinilow, Kakaskasen, Wailan, and Kayawu. The first region to be discovered in Tomohon […]

Wolfgang Holzem




Tomohon is a city in Northern Sulawesi. It is the fourth-largest city in the province of North Sulawesi after Manado, Bitung, and Kotamobagu. Tomohon is south of Manado.

Tomohon Districts

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    Eruption of the Lokon-Empung volcano (2020) photographed from Tomohon

    North – Tinoor, Kinilow, Kakaskasen, Wailan, and Kayawu. The first region to be discovered in Tomohon from Manado. There is mat production, fruit and flowers vendors in several parts such as in Tinoor for fruits and Kakaskasen for flowers.

  • Central – Talete, Kamasi, Kolongan, and Matani. Downtown of Tomohon, center of public activities, hospitals, and Mayor office and city hall.
  • West – Woloan and Tara-Tara. Traditional House (knockdown type) production, Woloan Ancient Park where Waruga, the ancient tombs are collected in one area, in the same area are 9 springs.
  • East – Paslaten, Rurukan, Kumelembuai. Vegetable Farms on the slope of Mt. Mahawu and Mt. Masarang, and the famous Tomohon Traditional Market.
  • South – Walian, Sarongsong, Pinaras, Lahendong. Hotspring areas, the outstanding Lake Linow is located in Lahendong.


Tomohon is an important town in Northern Sulawesi. It is young but holds an important role in tourism of the province. The panorama and nature of Tomohon are attractions for those who travel this far. It lies between two volcanoes, Mt. Mahawu and Mt. Lokon. The town is shaped like a starfish, with long tentacles visible from higher ground. Because of its position on the highland, Tomohon has a very mild climate, for which it is famous. The friendliness of its people is also well known in the region.

Most people in Tomohon are Christian. Christianity plays an important role in all aspects of life. The Christians are diligent churchgoers. Mostly are Calvinist Protestants, members of Gereja Masehi Injili di Minahasa (abbreviated as GMIM). Instead, the synod of the churches that spread over the Minahasa region is in Tomohon. Christianity has been developing in the area ever since the time of Dutch colonization. Every village in Tomohon has a church from this denomination. The oldest one is GMIM Pniel Kakaskasen 2.

Besides the Calvinists, there is also a Catholic congregation, which is the second biggest in Tomohon. Several parishes exist in Tomohon. The big ones are St. Fransiskus Xaverius in Kakaskasen and St. Joseph. In Kakaskasen, there is a Monastery called Biara Bukit Karmel or Karmel Monastery. There are also other congregations from other denominations such as Pentecostal, Adventist, and several minor denominations. Every village from north to south and east to west has luxurious churches (or at least luxe for its congregation). And also, one village would normally have more than one building according to the number of the denominations. That is one reason you will see a church every several hundred meters.


  • Christian

During holiday times, the people will decorate their houses, the lanes, the streets and so on with special themes. For example, during Christmas and New Year Christmas ornaments can be easily found anywhere in town. In several corners and intersections or in front of the church, a big white candle would stand up illuminating the lightless surrounding or a big decorated Christmas tree. Christmas musics starts playing as soon as September. They normally say “the months end in ‘-ber’ are Christmas.” During 1st – 24th December, the smell of Christmas cookies usually fill the air. The standard Christmas cookies in Tomohon such as nastar, kastengels, rambutan, biji-biji, sultana, snow white, kacang koek, corn flakes, and so on. The names of Christmas cookies are varied too. Christmas season would normally end with together with New Year on January 31st. During December, there would always be celebration they called it pre-christmas. In one month, a person could attend more than 10 pre-Christmas celebrations, for example pre-Christmas of the office, of the church, of the neighborhood, the school, the relative, family, youth organization, woman organization, from NGO, Sunday schools and so on. All the celebrations will end in a certain day called “kuncikan”, literally means closing day.

  • Chinese’s Holiday

The Chinese in Tomohon also still maintain their tradition of celebrating Chinese New Year and the biggest festival is on the 15th day after New Year, called Cap Go Meh. There will be a procession of calling the spirits of the Chinese Gods or Goddesses to possess mortal human bodies and they will be carried on sedan chairs from the temple around downtown to bestow their blessings on its believers. In this procession, the possessed mortal will perform magical things such as piercing his own cheek with some solid and sharp stick without from one to the other side without any bleeding out, a sword carrier will hit his own back with a very sharp sword without injuring himself, the other will cut his own tongue without injuring himself as well. This procession usually attracts attention of the whole town.

  • Islamic Holiday

Islam believers, although, a few, but they still have number in Tomohon. There is a special community in Southern Tomohon, they lived in a village called Kampung Jawa, literally means Javanese Village. Idul Fitri and the Month of Ramadhan are also celebrated here. However, there is not special procession for the holidays like at the other cities in Indonesia but praying in the open field on the day of Idul Fitri.


Tomohon is one of Minahasa Tribe region. Therefore, the Tomohoners are Minahasans. However, Minahasa Tribe is divided into several sub tribes, Tomohon belongs to a sub tribe called Tombulu. Pakasaan Tombulu spreads from Tombuluan in the east of Pineleng and Tombariri in the west and from Tomohon in the south to Manado in the north. Pakasaan Tombulu speaks Tombulu Language, Manado Malay, and Bahasa Indonesia. It is believed that Tomohon is the center of Pakasaan Tombulu. Pakasaan Tombulu in Tomohon, especially those who live in the region of Kakaskasen have special customs that are still maintained up until today.

  • Bakerah Tradition

This is a tradition of steam bath to a woman in several weeks after giving birth to a child. This is a traditional body cleansing process. The process of bakerah will be started by a special woman who has ability to arrange the process. She will boil a pail of water and while in the process, she will also put several special herbs such as leaves of agati tree (sesbania grandiflora) or leaves of hummingbird tree, lemon grass (cymbopogon nardus), kajuputih oil, and several other herbs into the boiling water. After the water boils, she will prepare a bucket or pail and pour the water and the herbs inside the container. The new mother will be asked to sit on a special chair that the bucket is placed under. She will be sitting and having a steam bath for around one hour. She will repeat the process for 7 days in a row.

  • Mapalus

This is a tradition of working together on the farm. A long time ago when modern technology for cultivation was still a dream, people in the highlands of Minahasa, especially in Tomohon, created a system of working the land together, called mapalus. Mapalus is a group of male and female farmers who are associated in a system, bound on their own or by village regulations to cultivate their farm lands. The farmers usually were divided into a timer and the workers. The timer’s function is to watch the time while working, carry the drum and hit the drum or another instrument called a tetengkoren. The process starts at dawn, around 04:30, with the sound of the drum. As the timer hits the drums in a special pattern, the other members of the group come at the appointed time to a house of one member, the intersection, street corner or any other place where they are meeting. Then, guided by the drum carrier, they go to one member’s farm. They work as the sun rises. While working, the workers usually sing songs, either together or responsorily.

  • Kumawus

This is a first or second Sunday of mourn after funeral. Kumawus derives from kawus means finish. I kawus ola, means just finish it, which means the mourn shall be finished. Kumawus means an activity to finish the mourning and all things or issues regarding to the late person. The other point also is that the left family will not have any more customs debt of those who have gone. Also with kumawus, the family was relieved, comforted and strengthened through meetings, fellowship with even more devotions.

The name of this activity at first was ‘muntep remdem’ or ‘Maso Itang’ the meaning ‘enter in black’. The point is the family by wearing black clothing entered the worship in the church at 09.00. Another custom in Kumawus is the people will eat on the table covered with banana leaves by hands.

Get in

By plane

Tomohon is reachable from any place in Indonesia. The nearest airport is in Manado about 33 km and can be reach in 1 hour via Ring road or 1,5 hour via Manado. There are many airlines destination in this airport are from Jakarta, Makassar, Bali, Gorontalo, Tahuna, Ternate, Sorong, Singapore, Balikpapan and several other minor cities. The airlines with route to Sam Ratulangi airport are Garuda Indonesia, Silk Air, Lion Air, Batavia Air, Sriwijawa Air, Merpati Air, Wings Air, and several chartered air lines.

Travel by ship/cruise to Tomohon

Tomohon is also reachable by ship and the nearest harbor is Manado harbor for provincial area, and Bitung Harbor national and international service. There are several ship route by PELNI harboring at Bitung Harbor.



MAKASSAR (South Sulawesi) – BAUBAU (South East Sulawesi) – BITUNG (North Sulawesi) – SORONG (Irian Jaya) – MANOKWARI (PAPUA) – JAYAPURA (PAPUA)


MAKASSAR (South Sulawesi) – BAUBAU (Buton Island, S.E Sulawesi) – AMBON (Maluku) – NAMLEA (Maluku) – TERNATE N.Maluku) – BITUNG (North Sulawesi)


BALIKPAPAN (East Kalimantan) – PANTOLAN (Central Sulawesi) – BITUNG (North Sulawesi) – TERNATE (North Maluku) – SORONG (Irian Jaya) – MONOKOWARI (West Papua) – NABIRE (West Papua) – SERUI (West Papua) – JAYAPURA (West Papua)


BENOA (Bali) – LEMBAR (Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara) – BIMA (West Nusa Tenggara) – LABUAN BAJO (Flores, East Nusa Tenggara – MAKASSAR (South Sulawesi) – BAUBAU (Buton Island, S.E Sulawesi) – RAHA (Muna Island, S.E Sulawesi) – BITUNG (North Sulawesi)

By car

  • Bus

Tomohon is reachable also by BUS or Car from cities in Sulawesi or Celebes Island such as Makassar, Pare-Pare, Tana Toraja, Poso, Tentena, Palu, Toli-Toli, Ampana, Gorontalo, Bitung, Kotamobagu, Manado and other minor cities.

Bus Terminals to Tomohon is from Tondano, Kawangkoan, and Manado and destined to Terminal Beriman, Tomohon.

  • Rental Car

Get a rental car direct from the airport on arrival. Cost around Rp. 500,000 per day Included Driver, or Self Drive approximately Rp.300,000.- per day, can be used for around minahasa. For Central Information tel +62 852-4022-0620 or +62 431-892-979

  • Bluebird Taxi (Bluebird) (Manado to Tomohon, Airport to Tomohon and other areas). Rp.100.000. 
  • Mikrolet Tomohon Tondano (AB), Terminal Tondano (Tondano-Tomohon-Tondano). 06.00-20.00. Rp. 4.000,-. 
  • Mikrolet Tomohon Sonder (AC), Terminal Sonder (Sonder-Tomohon-Sonder). 07.00-19.00. Rp. 3.500,-. 
  • Mikrolet Tomohon Tanawangko (AF), Terminal Tanawangko (Tanawangko-Tomohon-Tanawangko). 07.00-15.00. Rp.6.000,-. 
  • Bus Tomohon Manado, Terminal Karombasan, Manado – Terminal Beriman Tomohon (Manado-Tomohon-Manado). 05.00-20.00. Rp. 6.000. 

Get around

In Town

  • By mikrolet

There are several ways to get around Tomohon area. The first one is by Mikrolet. Mikrolet is the light blue Mitsubishi Colts and can be found everywhere with various destinations. They operate on set routes with established fares but also can be chartered when it is empty. The passenger seats in a Mikrolet face forward with maximum 9 passengers. Some mikrolets are fully furnished with a small LCD TV, CD Player or music player, comfortable seats and so on. All regular routes begin and end in the main terminal called Terminal Beriman.

  • By cart

Bendi is a local name for horse cart and can be a second option to go around Tomohon. Just like Mikrolet, Bendi also operates on set limited routes. Only from downtown to Areas such as Matani, Walian, Kamasi, and Kolongan. This bendi is the old transportation along with cow cart called Roda Sapi. While bendi served for public transportation in town, roda sapi served the route to the farm or rice fields. Nowadays, the fare for a trip by Bendi is Rp. 5.000 per person (as of Oct 2018) and can be chartered up into 4 hours to go around downtown Tomohon.

  • By ojek

Ojek is an Indonesian term for Public Motorbike. The fares are various depend on the distance of a particular destination but it usually starts from Rp. 3.000 until Rp. 20.000. This Ojek can also be chartered daily. The chartered fare is around Rp. 50.000 / per day without Fuel. By ojek, we can reach the places unreachable by Mikrolet or Bendi, even by Rental cars.

  • By taxi

Daily in front of Bethesda Hospital, at downtown, you can find many cars lining up. They are called black taxi or Rental Cars. The cars can be hired daily, weekly, monthly and even annually. The rate is various between Rp. 250.000,- up to Rp. 500.000/day. The service can be include driver and fuel or without them as well.

Out of Town

You also can reach other destination in Main Land of North Sulawesi from Tomohon.

  • To Tangkoko National Park, in Bitung (Via Tondano or Manado), ✉ Starts from 8AM. Tangkoko National Park is reachable from Tomohon also. It is two hours driving by rental car. You can ask the service from hotel but also from the address mentioned in the listing. €35 – €40/day (max 8 hours). 
  • Lake Tondano, Rental Car Service | Kakaskasen – Tomohon Utara (Via Kawangkoan and Langowan). Lake Tondano is more or less 15 km from Tomohon. To reach the lake, someone can hire a motorbike starting from Rp. 50.000 – Rp. 75.000 a day, or chartered a Mikrolet about Rp. 125.000 – Rp. 150.000 a day, or if preferred extra privacy and comfortable someone can rent a car for Rp. Rp. 250.000 – Rp.350.000 a day. You can call the phone number above or send text message for more information. 
  • Mt. Soputan (Gunung Soputan), Tombatu (Via Langowan), ✉ Start from 8AM. Mt. Soputan is also reachable from Tomohon, it is about 2 hours of driving to the southern area of Minahasa. If you are interested to go to Mt. Soputan you have to plan the trip very carefully. It is better to hire a guide who know the area very well. Mt. Soputan is one of the most active volcano in the region, even in Indonesia. € 50 per pax. 
  • Bentenan Beach. 
  • Nimanga River. 
  • Bukit Kasih (Hill of Love), in Kawangkoan. 
  • Batu Pinabetengan. 


As a cool highland, Tomohon has some very pleasant hiking and walking.

  • Lake Linow (Danau Linow)
  • Mt. Mahawu (Gunung Mahawu)
  • Mt. Lokon
  • Mt. Masarang
  • Tomohon Market (Pasar Beriman): Comprises of the Traditional Market, Fresh Market Extreme Market (this is where they sell various exotic meat such as dogs, bats, snakes). It is called “extreme” for a reason. If customer buys an animal alive, it will get slaughtered on the spot. Not for the faint-hearted. Come in the morning before 8am if you want to see the Extreme Market. It gets quiet after 10am.
  • Tintingon Hill
  • Tumimperas Waterfall
  • Wawo Hill
  • Knockdown House Industry
  • Ancient Site and Amphitheater Woloan
  • Tinoor View Point and Tinoor Waterfall
  • Inspiration Hill (Bukit Inspirasi)
  • Temboan Hill, Rurukan
  • Geothermal Lahendong
  • Palm Sugar Industry
  • Pagoda and Buddhayana Temple
  • Sony Art Gallery (Painting Gallery)


  • Bukit Doa Mahawu (Jalan Salib Mahawu), Jl. Lingkar Timur, Kakaskasen Dua. A quiet area made for Christian pilgrim. It has ‘Via Dolorosa’ at Mahawu (Jalan Salib Mahawu) to remember the sacrifice of Jesus until He died on the cross. . Inside the area is a Chapel of Virgin Mary, amphitheater Mahawu and man made grotto. All welcome Rp.2500 per person. (updated Oct 2018)
  • Buddhayana Monastery, Sunge, Kakaskasen tiga. a Buddhist religious and meditation complex. Chinese culture preserved in architecture of statues, Kwan Im goddess palace and pagoda. Religious service every Sunday 15.30. Free. 
  • 1.339082124.8351231 Sightseeing Around Tomohon, Flowers Lane Vacation | Jl. Kel. Tangkawarow No. 2 Kakaskasen. 08.00. When you stays in one of the resorts in Tomohon, having nothing to do, one of the option is go around Tomohon. FLV can arrange your sightseeing trip. starts from USD 30 / per pax. 
  • 1.339082124.8351232 Bird Watching, Flowers Lane Vacation (Jl. Kel. Tangkawarow. No. 2 Kakakaskasen). 05.00 – finish. There are several and special as well as incredible birds can be found in Mt. Mahawu and Mt. Lokon in Tomohon as well as the other part of North Sulawesi such as Rufus Bellied Eagle; Brown Cuckoo Dove; Mountain White Eye; Dark Fronted White Eye; Scarlet Honey-eater; Crimson Crowned Flowerpecker; Sulawesi Spotted Goshawk; Sulawesi Serpent Eagle; Bay Coucal; Yellow Bellied Malkoha; Superb Fruit Dove; Citrine Flycatcher; Streaky Headed White Eye; Grey Sided Flowerpecker; Island Verditer; Sulawesi Dwarf Woodpecker; Mountain Tailorbird; White Browed Crake; Cinnamon Bittern; Scaly Breasted Munia; Cinnamon Munia; Little Egret; Wandering Whistling Duck; Ziting Cisticola; Lesser Coucal; Glamorous Reed Warbler; Javan Pond Heron; Black Kite; Bhraminy Kite; Blue Breasted Quail. Start from USD 30 / person. 
  • 1.339082124.8351233 Horse Riding, Flowers Lane Vacation (Jl. Kel. Tangkawarow. No. 2 Kakakaskasen). 9AM – 2PM. There is a very interesting activity can be done in Tomohon, Horse Riding. The 4 hours trip is to Wawo hill. Start from US$40. 


  • 1.325153124.8378011 Grand Central Supermarket, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 9 AM – 9 PM. The first supermarket in Tomohon, very close to Bethesda Hospital. Selling many kinds of daily needs as well as fashion, computer, multimedia and so on. (updated Mar 2018)
  • Cool Supermarket, Jl. Raya Tomohon, Walian – Tomohon Selatan. 9AM – 9PM. Very nice Supermarket in Southern Tomohon. Selling many kinds of daily needs such as vegetables, herbs, fruits and the other stuffs as well as fashion, books, mechanical tools. 
  • Century Supermarket, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 
  • 1.315055124.8385042 Multi Mart Tomohon. a popular supermarket chain with restaurants and arcade on the upper floor. (updated Oct 2018)
  • 1.326618124.8455013 Pasar Beriman Tomohon (Tomohon Market), Pasar Tomohon (besides the Bus Station). 05.00 AM – 02.00 PM. Sell various kinds of vegetables, meat, spices, herbs, fish, meats, fruits, flowers, clothes. Comprises of the Fresh Market, Traditional Market, and Extreme Market (where they sell various exotic meat such as dogs, bats, snakes) (updated Mar 2018)
  • Gecko Art, Jl. Raya Tomohon, Kinilow (near by the intersection to Onong Palace and Highland Resort). 09.00 AM – 05.00 PM. This is one of the souvenir shops in Tomohon. Various kinds of souvenirs are displayed in this small shops. Travelers can choose according to their preferences. Rp. 20.000 + / Items. 
  • BLPT Kaaten, Jl. Raya Tomohon Tondano, Kaaten (Beside the road to Tondano). 9AM – 3PM. Locates in Kaaten, Matani 1 – Central Tomohon, BLPT is a coconut wood and arenga palm production. They make various kinds of furniture such as tables, chairs, desk, cupboards, beds and small items like toys, and also knockdown houses from coconut wood. Rp. 20.000 – Rp. 500 million / Item. 


Tomohon is very famous for Minahasan cuisine. Minahasan food or Manadonese food is usually very spicy. Among Indonesian Cuisine, Minahasan Cuisine is one of the spiciest cuisines. Traveler must pay attention to what they are asking in the restaurant. If you are not accustomed to spicy food, you will have to communicate with the waiter or waitress.

Check out the Tomohon Culinary Center (Pusat Kuliner Tomohon) at Jalan Nusantara, about 12 minutes’ walk away from the Tomohon Market.



  • Sup Ubi / Bete – is a very tasty home-cooking for appetizer. It’s made by Xanthosoma root with edible hibiscus leaves and or Water Spinach leaves.
  • Braunebonen – literally red bean soup. Cooked either with cow bones or pig legs with herbs such as clove, nutmeg, white pepper. The minahasan likes to eat this together with rice.
  • Sup Kacang Ijo – literally green bean soup. The preparation is very similar with braunebonen.
  • Kua Asam / Kua trang – Sour soup or Clear Soup. The local people has a riddle about this food. “Salt from the sea and Sour from the Mountains meets together in a pan, what is that?” – and the answer is Sour Soup, because it’s made by several herbs such as spring onion, lemon leaves, lemon basil, tomatoes, a little bit chilli, red ginger and fish with little bit salt and lime. Very tasty.
  • Sup kentangPotato Soup cooked in Pasta such as macaroni or rice vermicelli.

Main Course

  • Tinorangsak, pork cooked with herbs such as spring onion, lemon leaves, lemon grass, chilli, and other kinds of herbs; it is cooked in bamboo. Several prepare it using frying pan.
  • RW /err weh/, dog meat cooked with chilli, lemon grass, lemon leaves, spring onion and other kinds of herbs. “RW” stands for “Rintek Wu’uk” in the Minahasan dialect, which translates to “fine hair”, a euphemism for dog meat.
  • Paniki, bat cooked in coconut milk with spicy herbs.
  • Paku Popaya Bulu, Vegetables of Edible Fern and Papaya leaves (sometimes with flowers too), cooked in bamboo with spices and herbs. Some people likes to add the salty pork fat.
  • Ayam Bulu, Chicken cooked in bamboo.
  • Ayam Bumbu RW, Chicken cooked with spices for RW.
  • Bebek Bumbu RW, Duck cooked with spices for RW.
  • Ragey, a chunky pork satay marinated with spices.
  • Bebek Bulu, Duck cooked in bamboo.
  • Ayam Garo, literally means scratching chicken, because the preparation is a fast mixing of the herbs and spices on the frying pan similar to scratching it. This food is categorized to spicy food because of the amount of chilli.
  • Babi Garo, literally means scratching pork, the process is similar to Ayam Garo.
  • Babi Tore, literally means crisp pork.
  • Kapala Babi, literally means Pig Head. It is pig head boiled in spiced soup.
  • Acar, made of young bamboo, carrots, cucumber, peanut, herbs and other spices such as turmeric and onion.
  • Ikan Woku Blanga, any fish cooked in Main Minahasan Spices: chilli, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, lemon leaves, lime, candle nut, lemon basil, turmeric leaf. It’s called blanga because it’s prepared by using frying pan.
  • Ikan Woku Daong, any fish cooked in Main Minahasan Spices: chilli, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, lemon leaves, lime, candle nut, lemon basil, turmeric leaf. It’s called daong because it’s prepared by using palm leaves called woka.
  • Ikan Woku Kring, any fish cooked in Main Minahasan Spices: chilli, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, lemon leaves, lime, candle nut, lemon basil, turmeric leaf. It’s called kring because it’s prepared with less of water and when it’s cooked, we can barely see any soup in it.
  • Rica Rodo, made of corn, aubergine (egg plant), long bean with spicy herbs, chilli, and smoked fish.
  • Sayor Pusu’ made of fluorescent or banana heart, cooked with entrails of animals, normally chicken or pork, such as intestine, heart, and liver.

and so on.


  • Buah segar – literally fresh fruit, it is prepared from various kind of fruits but mainly papaya, apple, avocado, pudding or gel, young coconut, rambutan, longan, and soursop in syrupy and milky water.
  • es braunebon – red bean ice, prepared from red bean cooked in traditional made of palm sugar and then later mixed with blended ice and sweetened condensed milk.
  • Es Kacang Susu – Milk and Peanut Ice, prepared from peanut and served like red bean ice.
  • Gohu – prepared from chopping papaya with spicy syrup containing red ginger, chilli, vinegar (palm vinegar is better), sugar (brown sugar is better), onion. The local likes to add more chilli.
  • Klapertaart – literally coconut tart, prepared from young coconut mixed with milk, eggs, maize flavor, sugar and raisin and frozen in the fridge.

Minahasan Cookies

  • Kukis Kalapa, literally means Coconut Cookie, made of unripe coconut, rice flavor and brown sugar.
  • Binyolos, made of sweet potato and brown sugar.
  • Onde-Onde, made of rice flavor and brown sugar, after cooked it is rolled on grated coconut. It is good to have it while it’s still warm but be careful not to eat it while it’s still fresh from the boiling pan. It can be very tricky that the outside could be cool while the inside is killing hot. The other variant is Onde-Onde Pulo, the difference between this two are the type of the rice. Onde-onde Pulo is made by sticky rice flavor.
  • Cucur, made of rice flavor and brown sugar, some people put anise or aniseed.

Curut, Apang, Apang Coe, Apang Polote, Nasi Jaha, Dodol, Bobengka, Ongol-Ongol, Geto’, Gabin Fla, Biapong, etc.


  • 1.317759124.8382821 Gloria. The best pig ribs in town. A full meal of white rice, 3 pig ribs (costellata), braunebonen (red beans) soup and vegetable only cost Rp 15.000 (US$ 1.5) 
  • 1.304904124.8325212 Kobong Cafe, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 
  • 1.325047124.8384483 Kit Sang Restaurant, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 
  • 1.330249124.8391084 Restaurant Sineleyan, Jl. Raya Tomohon. 
  • Risoma Restaruant (Restoran Risoma), Jl. Raya Tomohon – Manado, Tinoor (On the way to Manado). 11AM – 9PM. The best Minahasan Cuisine. It locates out of town and unfortunately the restaurant is hard to achieve just by microlet service. The menu includes Pangi, Acar, Tinorangsak (pork cooked in Bambu), RW (dogmeat), Paniki (Fruit Bat meat), Braunebonen (Red bean soup), Sayor pait (bitter vegetable) and many more. Rp. 20.000 / Person. 
  • 1.38573124.8337815 Heng Mien Restaurant (Restoran Heng Mien), Jl. Raya Tomohon Manado, Tinoor (On the way to Manado). 10AM – 10PM. The famous Minahasan Cuisine Restaurant in town. Unfortunaley, this restaurant also locates out of town on the road to Manado. The menu are almost all the famous of the Minahasan cuisine such as RW, Paniki, Pangi, Sayor Pait, Acar, and so on. To get here, you can charter a mikrolet the fare starts from Rp. 75.000 per trip, or ask the hotel to arrange the Dinner here. Rp. 20.000 / Person. (updated Mar 2018)


Cap Tikus and Saguer are two kinds of famous drink in Tomohon. Cap Tikus is distilled beverage from Zap. While Saguer is the Zap harvested from palm tree. Saguer has several tastes that are sweet, sour, bitter, sweet and sour, sweet and bitter, bitter and sour, all the tastes comes out depend on the technique of the farmers harvesting the zap.

There is also a certain kind of drink called Sukur, made of red ginger cooked with traditionally made of brown sugar in a clay pot. This drink is very good for health. Often time used when somebody get cold or cough.

Where to stay in Tomohon

  • Gardenia Country Inn Tomohon. About 30 minutes from downtown Manado, this countryside inn has bungalows, chalets, and standard rooms. Rates start at $88 for a single bed in the chalet, including free breakfast, welcome drink, a fruit basket, mineral water, tea and coffee in your room, afternoon tea and coffee with traditional snacks, and free Wi-Fi. It has a garden with fishponds, tropical flowers and plants, along with unique birds and butterflies give it the feel of an environmental sanctuary. In another part of the garden, you will find different organic crops like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, tropical exotic fruits, and local herbs like basil, chilies, lemongrass, ginger, turmeric and so on which is used by the kitchen there. 
  • 1.368756124.8335321 Highland Resort Tomohon (Highland Resort and Spa), Kinilow Jaga VI, ✉ Check-in: 12.00, check-out: 14.00. Right outside of town and a 400-meter walk from the main road. There are five types of rooms: Standard, Superior, Deluxe, Highland Suite and Highland Grand Suite. All have private bathrooms with hot and cold water showers. Other amenities that are provided for your comfort in all our rooms are satellite TVs and large, comfortable beds. Free Internet. Tour arrangement from highland tour to volcano trekking and whitewater rafting. From IDR 340,000. 
  • Mountain View Homestay, Jl. Raya Tomohon, Walian Tomohon Selatan (In front of Cool Supermarket). It locates fifteen minutes ride on a public Microlet from Terminal Beriman Tomohon, and in front of Cool Supermarket. The homestay or inn have hot and cold shower. Mobile contact +62 81340363553 Rp.100.000 – Rp.175.000. 
  • Onong Palace, Kinilow. A ten minute walk from the Highland Resort. The bungalows are spaced further apart from each other than the Highland Resort and are also quite new. 250,000 Rp. per night (updated Mar 2018)
  • Volcano Resort. Five minute ride on a public mikrolet from the Terminal, and a 5 minute walk off the main street. Or you can charter a mikrolet for about 15,000 Rp. Wooden bungalows with attached cold showers cost 200,000 Rp per night. Economy double rooms are 100,000Rp. Includes breakfast. 100,000-200,000. 
  • 1.3699124.83432 Mountain View Resort & Spa (Mountain View Resort & Resto), Jalan Kali-Kinilow, Lingkungan VI, Tomohon Utara 95362 (from Manado 30 minutes by car), ✉ Check-in: 13.00, check-out: 12.00. This mountain resort features 12 traditional bungalows: double and twin bed, bathroom with western toilet, hot water shower and terrace. Flat screen television, free WiFi and mineral water. Own Spa with several wellness treatments. The restaurant serves specialties from the Minahasa Highland as well as Indonesian, Chinese and western dishes. Try the home made Mountain View Grog. They offer an early bird breakfast if you have a morning flight to your next destination. The resort is run by German management and offers a wide range of tours into the area as well as rafting and kayaking trips, caving, volcano trekking, waterfall tours, horseback riding, mountain biking, birding, cooking classes. .. From Rp. 375.000. (updated Mar 2015)

Go next

There are daily flight from Manado to several cities in Indonesia, and several days a week of Silk Air from Singapore. And Tomohon is only 33 km from the Sam Ratulangi International Airport, if you need a flight 1.5 hour from the check in time is the best time to go.

  • Manado
  • Terminal Malalayang to go to Gorontalo, Palu, Poso, Makassar. Manado harbor to Bunaken, Siladen, Sangihe, Talaud.
  • Sam Ratulangi International Airport to Jakarta, Bali, Makassar, Singapore, Balikpapan, Raja Ampat, Ternate
  • Bitung Via Tondano or Manado and to Bitung Harbor and Lembeh Island
  • Bitung Harbo for travel by ship to Eastern Indonesia such as Maluku and Papua, also to Central Sulawesi and South East Sulawesi
  • Tangkoko National Park
  • Pulisan


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Pontianak | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Pontianak is the capital of the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, and bisected by the Equator. The city is mostly populated by ethnic Chinese, Dayaks and Malays, as well as significant numbers of minorities such as Bugis and Javanese. Understand History of Pontianak The word pontianak — probably from bunting […]

Wolfgang Holzem




Pontianak is the capital of the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, and bisected by the Equator. The city is mostly populated by ethnic Chinese, Dayaks and Malays, as well as significant numbers of minorities such as Bugis and Javanese.


History of Pontianak

The word pontianak — probably from bunting anak, “pregnant with child” — means the undead vampire of a woman who died while during childbirth. Disguised as a beautiful woman, the pontianak goes around murdering unwary men, harming pregnant woman and eating babies, but they can be controlled by plunging a nail into a hole in the back of their neck.

According to legend, when Abdurrahman Alqadrie’s group arrived in the uninhabited area of Pontianak, it was haunted by pontianaks/kuntilanaks, which deterred many of his companions by their scary voices at night. To sweep these ghosts away, Alqadrie ordered his men to fire their cannons to the forest which was believed to be their base. Afterwards, no more pontianak’s voice was ever heard.

In 1771, Abdurrahman Alqadrie cut down the forest which was at the crossing between Kapuas and Landak river, then settled there. He was awarded the title Sultan. Under his leadership, he succeeded in attracting many traders, most of them ethnic Malays, and some Dayaks from the upstream parts of the Kapuas River.

Following the civil war and widespread poverty in China at the end of the 19th century, many Chinese migrated to Indonesia, and some settled in Pontianak due to its strategic location for trading. This later added Chinese culture to the history of Pontianak. Chinese in Pontianak are mainly of Teochew, Hakka, and Cantonese descent.

In the early part of the 19th century, the Dutch occupied Pontianak and the rest of West Kalimantan’s cities as part of its colonial campaign. Pontianak was occupied to become a trading post in order to gain rich natural resources, mainly rubber and wood, from upstream Kapuas River. Resistance by both ethnic Malays and Dayaks continued sporadically and this forced the Dutch colonial armed forces to frequently request reinforcements from Batavia/Jakarta.

Dutch occupation ended in 1941 during World War II when Japanese Imperial forces overran Dutch bases from the north. These bases were not able to deploy sufficient numbers of soldiers in order to defend the strategic island of Java. During the Japanese occupation, tens of thousands of civilians and intellectuals were massacred, mainly those who refused to recognise the emperor of Japan.

When the Japanese retreated, the Dutch under the Allied Forces umbrella re-entered West Kalimantan. Their colonial government over Pontianak ended a few years later after a series of diplomatic missions and local resistance which also freed the other Indonesian territories at the same time.


You may find that Pontianakians of each ethnicity tend to live homogeneously. For example, areas along Jalan Gajahmada are overwhelmingly Chinese whereas Sungai Jawi in the suburb are settled mostly by ethnic Malays. Intermarriage is not common, especially between ethnic Chinese and the indigenous people (Dayaks, Malays, Javanese, Madurese, etc.) But that’s not to say these people like to fight against each other. Visit a restaurant somewhere in the middle of Pontianak and you might find both Chinese and Dayaks chatting hilariously with each other.

The locals of Pontianakians are mostly easygoing, at least compared to those of other metropolitan cities such as Jakarta and Surabaya. Their tone of speaking may not as soft as the Jogjanese, but if you try to blend yourself with them you will almost definitely be reciprocated.

Get in

By bus

Bus trip to Pontianak can be arranged from Kuching in neighboring Malaysia. A trip from Kuching to Pontianak or vice versa will last at least 8 hours which will pass the border area of Entikong. Some of the bus providers serving this route are Damri, SJS and Biaramas Express ( The fares for the trip ranges from RM45 to RM75. Click Pontianak to Kuching for travel itinerary on this route. A bus trip to Brunei is also available. There is also a bus available from Pangkalan Bun. It takes around 14 hours and costs ~450,000 (2018/01).

By plane

  • x-0.150556109.4038891 Supadio Airport. There are very frequent flights from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport operated by all major Indonesian airlines. In addition, there are flights from many other major Indonesian cities, including Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Medan, and Batam, and the larger cities of Kalimantan such as Balikpapan and Banjarmasin. XpressAir operates international flights to Kuching, and AirAsia to Kuala Lumpur.

To get to or from the airport, DAMRI runs hourly bus service to the city centre for IDR35,000. The easiest spot to catch the bus in the city is at the DAMRI office at Jl. Pahlawan 232, Pontianak (phone +62 561 744859). For taxis, coupons at a fixed price of Rp70,000 are sold.

There are Damri Bus from Supadio Airport to Singkawang and Sambas for Rp 100,000/person.

By boat

While being the cheapest inter-island transportation mean, it is recommended only for travellers to board on a ship to Pontianak. Tourists would do better to fly instead. The tide in Java Sea is unstable, which may make you feel sick on board, if you are not used to high tide. A trip will spend 12-18 hours to/from Jakarta. Contact nearest travel agent to conduct your trip.

By car

Pontianak can be reached by car from Kuching in 6-8 hours, although the road is not in very good shape. See Pontianak to Kuching for a detailed itinerary.

Get around

The most convenient way to explore Pontianak is either by taxi or rented car. The entire Pontianak is integrated by road link, parts of which are not well maintained. There are also plenty of cheap (Rp2,000) public buses but sometimes it can be kind of adventure to use them since the buses are not well marked, drivers and most of the locals do not speak English and the orientation is difficult. Also there are boats crossing the river and this is in general the most convenient and the cheapest (Rp1,000) way to get in to the other side.


  • Kebun Binatang Pontianak (Pontianak Zoo), Jl. Adi Sucipto, a reconditioned zoo with a reasonable variety of animals from the jungles of Borneo and from some parts of Indonesia. Some of the collection, including some orangutans, were said to had been freed from illegal ownership by an Italian lumber mill owner.
  • Tugu Khatulistiwa (Equatorial Obelisk), built directly under the 0 degrees equator line. It is 11 km from the city centre and is comparably easily and quickly reachable by public buses (Rp2,000). There you can learn lots of interesting facts about the equator and to see how unique is Pontianak, one of the few cities in the world situated exactly on the equator line. There are friendly English-speaking staff and a sоuvenir shop, actually maybe the only one in Pontianak.


  • Sungai Kapuas (Kapuas River) divides Pontianak into two different sides. Get a boat ride along the river about five or six o’clock local time and you will see amazing views along this river. The locals who live along this river taking a bath in this river during these hours throughout the year. A unique tradition that should not be missed.
  • During the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, there is a Meriam Karbit festival that is well worth visiting.


Equatorial souvenirs from the Equatorial Obelisk sоuvenir shop, as well as, cheap textile and many craftwork items as everywhere in Indonesia.


Pontianak is quite popular among domestic tourists due to its wide range of food with strong cultural touch, most notably the Chinese. There are plenty of eating options for the culinary adventurers, from street hawker food to local restaurant culinary to internationally franchised fast food.

  • Street hawker food, where you can taste the local delicacy such as Beef Rice Noodle & Beehoon (fried, with soup, dried), Seafood Noodle (with soup & dried), Nasi Goreng (fried rice with chicken, beef), Nasi Uduk, Kwe Kia Theng (Teochew phrase, rice noodle in soya sauce soup with pork and intestines (optional), Bakso (fish or beef ball soup), Sate (chicken or beef satay), Kari Peng (Teochew phrase meaning curry rice), Koi Peng (Teochew phrase literary “chicken rice”, but content also include pork, cucumber, etc. also known as “Nasi Campur” or mixed rice), Martabak, Kue Terang Bulan, Otak-otak, Pempek, Tui Jiu He (Teochew phrase literary “beaten cuttlefish”, dried cuttlefish are beaten until tender and flossy, woodfired until cooked, then served with belacan sauce, best to have it with friends and beer), Sio Bi (also known as Siomay, made of pork served in soya sauce with the options of chilli and mustard), Siomay Bandung (fish cake, beancurd, potato, vegetable, egg served in peanut sauce, with the option of chilli and tomato), He Mue/Bubur Ikan (fish porridge), and many more. These street hawkers are usually found from dusk until 10PM – midnight, depending or business, but some operated from dawn to dusk or midnight. They are usually clustered around busy commercial streets such as the CBD: Jalan (Jl.) Gajahmada, Jl. Hijas, Jl. Setia Budi, Jl. Agus Salim, Jl. Diponegoro, Jl. Patimura, Jl. Nusa Indah 1, Jl. Tanjung Pura, Jl Siam or around the suburban such as Jawi (Jl. Merdeka, Jl. Hassanudin, Jl. Wahid Hasyim), Kotabaru (Jl. St. Abdurrahman), Purnama, Siantan, Sungai Raya Dalam and Sungai Raya. Price per meal ranging from Rp5000 to about Rp25,000.
  • Satria Wangi Dining, Jl. Nusa Indah II No. 62. They have great local menu at very affordable price and average-English-speaking staff. The restaurant is centrally located. Its signature dishes such Ikan Gurame Terbang, Gulai Kepala Ikan, Ikan Jelawat Kukus, and have been featured and reviewed by many national TVs cooking show. 
  • Restoran Star, Jl. GajahMada. Pontianak cuisine 
  • Restoran Gajahmada, Jl. Gajahmada. Pontianak cuisine 
  • Restoran Hawaii, Jl. Nusa Indah 3. Pontianak cuisine 
  • Dangau, Jl. Arteri Supadio. Malay cuisine 
  • Italian Steak House, Jl. Nusa Indah 3. 
  • Sari Bento at Museum, Jl. Ahmad Yani. Japanese food 
  • Papyrus Restaurant at Gardenia Resort and Spa, Jl. A Yani (5 minutes from the airport). offers all-day dining with a selection of Asian, Western, and authentic Indonesian favourites. At open deck area, you can enjoy the views of the landscaped gardens while enjoying the chef’s specialities. 


Nearly all Pontians, regardless of their ethnicities, speak Bahasa Indonesia, albeit it is slightly mixed with Malay accent close to that of neighbouring Malaysia. Most ethnic Chinese people at the southern bank of Kapuas river speak Teochew, and those at the northern bank speak mostly Hakka (called Khek by locals). Mandarin is spoken mostly by those aged 30 years old or above, but don’t be surprised if they mix it with Hakka or Teochew dialect as it is not very commonly spoken in town. English is mostly spoken by also the young locals, but is usually not mastered beyond some basic knowledge despite many English courses, so it would be wise to know some phrases of Bahasa Indonesia. Hiring an English-speaking guide could smooth your travel a lot.

Stay safe in Pontianak

Pickpockets and motorcycle thefts are quite common in town. Exercise necessary caution even when being in a shopping mall. Be careful when travelling in a public bus (called oplet) as somebody could threaten you with a knife to hand over your valuables. (This safety note is from March 2009 and might be outdated)


Where to stay in Pontianak

If you arrive by Pelni ferry late at night then it’s better option to sleep aboard until morning as there is usually a long layover at Pontianak.


  • Hotel Wisma Patri, Pontianak. No air, no fan, no window and fairly mosquito-ridden with no insect spray available. Rp70,000. 
  • -0.0359109.334191 Ateng Guest House, Jl. Gajah Mada No. 201, Pontianak. Located in the centre of the city. All rooms are air conditioned and fairly clean. Breakfast included. Published rate is Rp130,000 single but compare price with Agoda. Travel agent is at the same location. Rp120,000 single. (updated Oct 2016)


  • Hotel Sentral, Jl H.O.S. Cokroaminoto no 232 (Ten minutes walk from drop off point for most Kuching buses, turn right at traffic light.). Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Faded rooms. Staff friendly enough. All have AC and attached bathrooms. On a busy junction between two streets so window rooms will be slightly noisy, (but non window rooms are a bit musty). Travellers have reported overpricing and demands for security deposit from the staff here From Rp160,000. 


  • Gardenia Resort and Spa, Jl. A Yani II. 
  • Hotel Sentral, Jl. H.O.S. Cokroaminoto 232. Commercial Hotel 
  • Hotel Gajahmada, Jl. Gajahmada. 
  • Hotel Grand Mahkota. 
  • Hotel Peony, Jl. Gajahmada. 
  • Hotel Kapuas Palace, Jl. Imam Bonjol. 
  • Hotel Kini, Jl. Nusa Indah 3. Double from Rp400,000. 
  • Hotel Mercure, Jl. A. Yani. 
  • Hotel Orchardz, Jl. Gajahmada. 
  • Hotel Santika, Jl. Diponegoro. National Chain Hotel 
  • Star Hotel, Jl. Gajah Mada 189. 

Telecommunications in Pontianak

Phone call

Most national GSM and CDMA operators have their signal towers spread throughout the entirety of Pontianak, meaning that there should not be too many problems communicating around the town and the tariffs are also reasonable, at least for tourists coming from the West. Shops selling SIM cards and their top-ups are also in abundance, even in the outskirts of town, just like in other cities in Indonesia. Fixed line phones are also available everywhere. There are also few phone stalls (Warung Telkom) offering you phone call with a reasonable fare.

Internet access

Internet cafe businesses are flourishing, but you’ll only find a few without distracting gamers like you might find in typical East Asian internet cafes. Don’t worry about the billing (that’s how the locals say). An hour of internet access will cost you Rp3,000-6,000. But don’t expect a speed-of-light one out of it, though. Many locals have internet access varying from snaily dial-up to ISDN (most notably Telkom Speedy) installed in their houses. GPRS and 3G access from your cellphone exists, but you will not necessarily find GPRS signal everywhere even in the middle of the city.

Consulates in Pontianak

  • Malaysia Malaysia Consulate, Jl. Sutan Syahrir No. 21.  

Go next

Pontianak is the gateway for travellers wishing to travel deeper inland. Singkawang, another one of the most Chinese-influenced town is reachable by taxi. Kuching, which lies in the Malaysian part of the island, offers some modernity you wouldn’t find in the Indonesian part.

If you want to explore the rest of Kalimantan there is a bus heading East to Pangkalan Bun which leaves the Interstate Bus Station at 07:00, costing around 450,000 Rupiah as of 2018/01. It is however a long journey, expect arrival in the late evening in Pangkalan Bun.



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Tentena | Covid-19 Travel Restrictions | Lockdown | Coronavirus Outbreak

Tentena is a town in Central Sulawesi. Understand Beach at Lake Poso, near Tentena. Tentena sits on the road between Ampana and Rantepao, on the northern shore of Lake Poso. The town itself could be easily overlooked if it were not for the number of guides and locals recommending it as a better option than […]

Wolfgang Holzem




Tentena is a town in Central Sulawesi.


Image of Destination Guide

Beach at Lake Poso, near Tentena.

Tentena sits on the road between Ampana and Rantepao, on the northern shore of Lake Poso. The town itself could be easily overlooked if it were not for the number of guides and locals recommending it as a better option than Poso for an overnight stop. The main street might be a little underwhelming, however the various warungs and homes build over the clear lake waters, and the surrounding rice fields give this charming little town a surpsising appeal. The community exists on two sides of the lake, connected by a busy concrete traffic bridge and a quieter, wooden foot bridge. The main side of the lake is the more commercial area, while the opposite site has a noticeably quieter and more homely feel.

Tentena is in North Pamona district in the regency of Poso, about 50 km south of regency capital Poso. The headquarters of the Central Sulawesi Christian Church are in Tentena.

Get in

The arrival point is the Bus Terminal – a simple drop-off point on the side of the road. From here its a 4km walk into the main areas of guesthouses and shops. A better option is to flag down a local Ojek (motorbike taxi) to take you and your luggage in for IDR 5,000.

If you are arriving from Rantepao, ‘tourist guides’ will be on hand to suggest accommodation options. They are likely to charge you double the normal rate for an ojek (motorbike taxi) ride; however the late arrival of the bus from Rantepao (anywhere between 8pm and 11pm depending on road conditions) IDR 15,000 – IDR 20,000 (as of Sep 2018).

Get around

  • Ojeks (motorbikes) can take you to most local spots for around IDR 5,000
  • Bemos (a minivan, Kijang [old model Toyota SUV], or minibus] can bring you around.


  • Poso Lake: The major tourist attraction within Tentena, which has beautiful clear water, adjacent warungs (and some home-stays under construction) and a peaceful vibe. 2 parallel bridges exist to bring you back and forth. Its worth exploring the opposite side of the lake for guesthouses, homestays, and warungs (kiosk / eatery).
  • Pamona Cave: Near the city center, on the West side, near the new bridge, off to a small road. You would need to squat down and crawl through. Remember to bring mosquito repellent.
  • Saluopa Waterfall: By all accounts the Saluopa Waterfall -while a little tough to reach, about 12km- is one of the best available; notable for the lack of other tourists and businesses. There are approximately 10 drops, each of which you can bathe in. A nice relief from the heat of Sulawesi, and worth if considering if you have time.
  • Lore Lindu National Park: Easier to be accessed from Poso, but it is possible to arranged a trip from Victory Hotel for IDR 2,000,000 (as of Sep 2018)


Try ‘Sigoli’, a freshwater eel from Lake Poso.

Where to stay in Tentena

  • Victory Hotel a bit old, but has good, clean rooms in both budget (IDR 150,000 per person) and Deluxe (IDR 250,000 with TV and hot shower). All prices include breakfast. A good option for a single night. The hotel is excellent at booking trips and transportation for you (Email:
  • Tropicana
  • Online Rock Cafe (under construction)

If you’re in town for a few nights, the opposite side (West side) is worth exploring for the peaceful atmosphere (away from the traffic and ‘bussle’) superior views of the lake and nearby farmlands, and good range of warungs (kiosk / eatery).

Telecommunications in Tentena

Go next

All connections in Tentena are made from the Bus Terminal, 4km out of town. Ojeks (motorbike taxi) are easily chartered to take you and your luggage to the Terminal for Rp 5,000.

To Rantepao: Bus connection (10-12 hours, Rp 170,000) (as of Sep 2018).

To Ampana: You need to take Ojeks (motorbike taxi) or Bemos to Tentena Bus Terminal to Poso (2 hours, IDR 40,000), and then transfer to Bus to Ampana (a further 4 hours from Poso, IDR 70,000) or another Bemos (IDR 80,000 – IDR 100,000) (as of Sep 2018). Taxis and private vehicles will hover by the Poso Bus station trying to convince you that the Bus is not available. Predictably, once it is apparent you intend to wait for the bus, the price of Taxis and Private vehicles will become more competitive (sometimes the same price as a bus seat). Private care can be arranged for IDR 800,000 – IDR 1,200,000 (as of Sep 2018).



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