Bandung is the capital city of West Java province and Indonesia’s fourth most populous city. Situated on a river basin and surrounded by volcanic mountains, it has a cooler temperature compared to other Indonesian cities. It is also known as Kota Kembang, which literally means “the flower city” since it used to have a lot of flowers. The Dutch used to call Bandung as Parijs van Java (Paris of Java) because of its resemblance to Paris, and it had the atmosphere of European cities. Today, the city is well-known for its delightful food, fashionable clothing, top universities, creative arts as well as its captivating nature. Bandung is a vibrant and modern city wrapped up in a natural atmosphere. It is a popular weekend gateway for Jakarta’s citizens. Although the expat community here is not as big as other large cities such as Jakarta and Bali, the city still attracts expats from all over the world for its nature, weather, and lively vibe.
Tourism, creative industry, business, retail services, financial services, educational institutions, and food production are the driving force of Bandung’s economy. The city is the hub for entrepreneurship and creativity. The creative industry is one of the main sectors of the city’s economy. In fact, Bandung is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and more than half of the city’s economic activities circle around digital media as well as fashion and graphic design. Expats usually opt for foreign language teaching. However, there are many other job opportunities in Bandung.
Popular Areas in Bandung
Expats can be found throughout Bandung, but most of them live in North Bandung.
Other areas such as Setrasari, Setra Duta, Sarijadi, Buah Batu, and Kopo are also popular.
Weather and Climate in Bandung
Thanks to its location and topography, Bandung has mild and pleasant weather. The climate in the city is highly influenced by the cold mountain climate with an average temperature of around 23 °C. The weather can be unpredictable. The rainy season usually starts in October and lasts to March, but it can come as early as September and ends as late as April. Expect to see a lot of heavy rains during February as it is the wettest month in Bandung. The dry season tends to be colder, especially during the evening and early morning with the temperature dropping as low as 16 °C. This cold weather is caused by the Australian winter.
Getting Around in Bandung
Husein Sastranegara International Airport is the main airport in Bandung. It mainly serves domestic flights, but there are some international flights to Malaysia and Singapore. There are many budget airlines that operate flights from this airport, such as Lion Air, AirAsia, and Citillink. Bandung also has a new airport called Kertajati International airport that serves domestic flights to Medan, Surabaya, Balikpapan, Bandar Lampung, and Jakarta and the new airport also serves seasonal flights to Medina.
Angkutan Kota (Angkot), city buses, taxi, ojek, private car, and motorbike are the most common mode of transport in Bandung. Angkot is one of the most affordable options, it usually cost Rp3.000 to Rp5.000 for short distance trips. Figuring out the routes can be quite confusing, the origin-destination route is written in the front and the back of the car. Most locals memorize the routes based on the car’s color. City buses (DAMRI and TMB) are cheap, but the route is very limited. The fare is around Rp3.000 to Rp5.000.
Taxis are available, but they don’t commonly wait on roadsides. Always use licensed taxis such as Blue Bird and Gemah Ripah. The drivers are usually very polite. You can order one by phone or by the Blue Bird App. Officially, the taxis are metered. It is advised to avoid taxis that offers a fixed fare. Go-Jek and Grab (similar to Uber) are widely available around the city.
Work Visas in Bandung
To obtain a work visa, a foreigner needs sponsorship from an Indonesian company. The limited stay visa is known as VITAS. The validity will adjust to the maximum duration of stay granted for your position. Obtaining a VITAS does not mean you can work in Bandung. To work in the city, you need to have ITAS KERJA which is your stay permit for working in the country. The permit allows you to work for as long as your employment contract with a maximum of two years.
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