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Indonesia | A 4-day itinerary from Jakarta to Bandung

My recent trip to Jakarta was an eye-opener highlighting a city with so much more to offer -- cuisine, rich history, culture -- for sure, there is something for everyone to discover and explore.
Starting off in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, our 4-day trip to Bandung was like hopping on a roller coaster of culture, history, and beautiful sights! The first day was all about exploring the pedestrian-friendly streets of Jakarta on Car Free Day happening in Bundaran HI every Sunday from 6:00 AM until 11:00 AM, where you could see locals walking, cycling, dancing, eating, and just having a good time with family and friends -- definitely, a glimpse into local life and community spirit. We got lost in Jakarta Old City, checked out Fine Arts and Ceramics Museum and even tried our hand at pottery. Imagine making your own cup or plate! Well, I took home a beautiful masterpiece made by yours truly which ended up on my work table and serves as a pen holder. At lunch, we headed to Batavia Cafe for sumptuous and refreshing treats -- the colorful dishes of Indonesia! Engaging in a traditional crafts and cuisine was also possible as we had a unique Jamu making workshop at Acaraki. And the best part? Seeing Jakarta in 360 degrees while on top of the National Museum, it was a breathtaking view. We ended the day by having dinner at BART, Bar at the Rooftop, watching the city lights and stars glistening below us while enjoying our authentic Indonesian meal. 

Jakarta, Indonesia

Our itinerary was a seamless integration of modern and historical elements. The next day, we rode public transportation and it was so nice to know that Jakarta's transport system was really well organized. There's even a bus dedicated for women which you can easily spot because of the color, well, it's pink! The skydeck in Bundaran HI station has a welcoming view of Selamat Datang Monument, featuring two happy campers, which symbolizes a welcoming gesture to the visitors of Asian Games IV in 1962. As the journey continues we went to MRT ASEAN station, Phinisi Bridge and had a very delicious lunch at Talaga Sampireun while chatting with the Indonesian Ambassador in Manila, Agus Widjojo and his beautiful wife, Ranny. The Philippine Ambassador in Indonesia, Gina Jamoralin joined us as well. And here's the most interesting part of the trip, we went inside the Istiqlal Mosque. I was at awe to see what's inside - holy and stunning. Did you know that a a tunnel exists to connect two different religions? Yes, you read it right! The symbolic Friendship Tunnel that connects Istiqlal Mosque and Jakarta Cathedral is currently in progress -- this is a harmonious blend of infrastructure and religious landmarks for Indonesia's rich cultural tapestry and commitment to diversity and unity. To cap the day off, a shopping spree in Thamrin City! Thamrin City showcases the country's renowned batik and fashion, offering a perfect blend of traditional crafts and modern shopping experience. And oh, Ambassador Agus Widjojo and his wife, Ranny hosted a copious and succulent dinner to indulge us at The Acre. What an eventful day! 
The highlight of my trip: zipping to Bandung on the Whoosh train! It felt like we were in a movie, traveling through the lush landscapes at high speed, a maximum of 350 km/hr, which brought us to Bandung in less than 30 minutes rather than the usual 3- to 4-hour drive. Bandung welcomed us with an open arms, showing off its historical spots and a "blast from the past" kind of experience as we visited the Asian African Conference Museum (KAA Museum) and learned about the aspiration for peace that we are enjoying today and I'm glad that Philippines was part of that conference. On our way to Braga Art Cafe, we passed by an old movie house where I had a chance to see a decades-old camera with film inside -- lots of history in the old town of Bandung. Here's the fun part; right after our Bandung Tour on Bus, we watched a spectacle showcasing the country's rich culture at Saung Angklung Udjo and it was fun to learn how to play the angklung, a musical instrument made of bamboo. The harmonious sound of the angklung was like hearing the heartbeats of Indonesia. We concluded our day with a delicious dinner at Tjendana Bistro while being entertained by the students who performed a graceful cultural dance.

Our last adventure was in South Bandung, where nature blew my mind and made me wish I could stay longer in Bandung. We visited a crater called Kawah Putih (White Crater Ciwidey) that looked like it was from another planet. It was raining when we arrived, hence sipping a hot cup of coffee was perfect to enjoy the moment at Kinara Restaurant right after walking and crossing the Rengganis Suspension Bridge. The trip was wrapped up with a tasty meal by a lake, surrounded by tea plantations, at Patenggang Pinisi.

Going back to Jakarta on the Whoosh train, I couldn’t stop smiling, thinking about all the cool stuff we did and new experiences and discoveries that I will bring home. This trip wasn’t just about seeing new places; it was like jumping into a colorful book of stories and adventures!


  • Arrival to Jakarta, Indonesia (CGK Airport)
  • Hotel Check-in: Mercure Jakarta Sabang Hotel
  • Car Free Day
  • Jakarta Old City
  • Fine Arts and Ceramic Museum
  • Lunch: Batavia Cafe
  • Acaraki: an afternoon of jamu (Javanese Herbal Medicine) tasting 
  • National Museum
  • Dinner: BART, Bar at the Rooftop

  • Sky Deck at Bandaran HI Station
  • Selamat Datang Monument
  • MRT ASEAN Station
  • Phinisi Bridge
  • Lunch: Talaga Samperiun
  • Istiqlal Mosque
  • Friendship Tunnel
  • Jakarta Cathedral
  • Shopping spree at Thamrin City
  • Dinner: The Acre

  • Hotel check-out: Mercure Jakarta Sabang Hotel
  • Whoosh High Speed Rail (from Hamlin to Padalarang Station)
  • KAA Museum
  • Lunch: Braga Art Cafe
  • City Tour via Bandung Tour on Bus
  • Saung Angklung Udjo
  • Dinner: Tjendana Bistro
  • Hotel Check-in: De Braga by Artotel

  • Hotel check-out: De Braga by Artotel
  • Kawah Putih (White Crater Ciwidey)
  • Rengganis Suspension Bridge
  • Kinara Restaurant
  • Phinisi Resto
  • Whoosh High Speed Rail (from Padalarang to Hamlin Station)
  • Pantai Indah Kapuk
  • Departure from Jakarta, Indonesia (CGK Airport)

Disclaimer: The trip was organized by the Embassy of Indonesia in Manila but words written here are on my own and not being influence by the organizer. Thank you Embassy of Indonesia in Manila for making this Familiarization Tour happened. That was full of discoveries, learnings and eating delicious and colorful dishes -- the Indonesian Way!

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