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Bandung Shopping | Confessions of an Ex-Shopaholic

As soon as I got hold of our daily tour itinerary in Indonesia, I knew I would be in serious trouble on Day 03. It read, “Bandung Shopping”. The devil that wears Prada instantly appeared on my sight, waddling in her trident & wagging her tail.

Tick-tocking in her demonic heels, she sashayed down the burning runway. And in a speed of light, her fireballs of spell threw me into a flaming seizure!

bandung shopping

Bandung shopping, poking an old habit in slumber.

I have to admit that I was a shopaholic back in the days when I was still gainfully employed. I was a bulimic shopper for bags & shoes. I would buy things I don’t need just because they’re on sale.

Shopping for me was neither being in a state of stress nor it had to be a flashy item. I just loved the feeling of it! But if you insist that I was stressed then would calling it “retail therapy” be acceptable? Or if you believe that expensive stuff was excessive, would the word “indulgence” be fine?

But things have changed for about 3 years now since I decided to live on a totally different lifestyle. I don’t anymore own any Guccis or LVs. I can already walk in a mall without chills seeing that 4-letter word SALE hanging everywhere.

Then this trip to Indonesia.

bandung shopping

Traveling around Indonesia makes you feel so rich with cold cash millions in your pocket. Well, $1 USD is equivalent to about 13,000 Rupiah & if you do the math, that’s a freaking thick deck of money to carry around.

It wasn’t my first time in Indonesia & I know Bandung shopping can be disastrous to the faint-hearted. So I promised myself I would only buy a pair of walking sandals. That’s it. Period.

To pretend that I wasn’t looking forward to it, I just goofed around on the train as we choo-chooed for about 3 hours from Jakarta.

So what now, Bandung?

bandung shopping

Bandung is the shopping capital of Indonesia. It’s the hub of clothing factory outlets carrying many of the biggest international fashion labels & local designer brands.

Good thing there’s more to life here other than shopping. We busied ourselves tramping in NuArt Sculpture Park & watching the traditional angklung performance. We also went to pretty places like Dusun Bamboo & Taman Hutan Raya.

I was happy that there’s so much to do in Bandung to make me forget about shopping that lurks behind its bright city lights.

Holding On & Giving In

bandung shopping

Hours before we flew for Yogyakarta, Leya woke us up with a message on WhatsApp that said, “great weekend Bandung shopping sale at Rumah Mode, up to 70% off!”

I really thought I have injected enough tranquilizers to sedate me from the temptations, but I was wrong.

As soon as the bus door opened in Jalan Setiabudi, we rushed to the mall in combat mode. With only 3 hours to scour through the stacks, I panicked like a mad dog swimming on red tags!

Oh well, I easily got the sandals that I wanted but I still had more time so I thought grabbing something else cheap would be fine. Bandung shopping is easy. I just had to whisper “jumbo” to mean XXL & a slew of choices would come parading.


By the time we got to lunch I thought I was already fine. But the restaurant sits on top of Pop Shop, one of Bandung’s fave spots for lovely local designer brands. Uh-oh, I smelled cash danger again.

It wasn’t long ‘til Vesta, my outrageously beautiful dresser friend came squeaking my name with pairs of wrap-around pants! I wasn’t even done with the entire pageantry yet & Gay came strutting with a colorful bag, “this is so you, beks!”

Soon after, I found myself bagging out everything in the counter. My heart fluttered & went on a flatline.


Shopping in Bandung is maddening. I can’t imagine how my millions were zapped in just half a day’s time. Did the pressure of suppressing an old habit bring it about? Or was it the laughter of the devil that wears Prada hovering on me all the time?

Whatever it was, I call it the divine work of endorphin & dopamine. (read: #justify)

bandung shopping

Yoking extra bags to the airport, half-comatose & half-guilty, no words could describe my excessive retail seizures in Bandung. But I was happy too because I haven’t had this feeling in 3 years or so already. (read: #justifymore)

Oh wait, did I just have another pair of sandals shipped to Jakarta?


What was your most outrageous shopping experience? Share it on the comment box below.
Wanna know more what else you can do in Bandung? Check out this short video made by my travel buddy, Serica Rojas of for the Trip of Wonders 2016


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    Comments ( 4 )

  • Kuong


    Can you give me some advise? I will to join the SEA Camp in Coron, Palawan next year in March 15,2017.
    But I can not find the destination on my flight booking. I want to book it from Phnom Penh to Coron, Palawan.

    • Potpot

      Hello, the airport code for Coron is Busuanga. There are 3 domestic airlines that fly there: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific & Skyjet. I don’t think you can fly direct from PP to Coron or even to Manila. If you want a direct flight, take the SiemReap-Manila direct on Cebu Pacific & take connecting flight onwards to Coron via Busuanga Airport.

  • Anne

    Yes, Bandung is a shopping heaven! As an impulsive buyer, I try to just bring enough cash with me and feel “thankful” (but not really haha) that not all shops accept my union pay debit card, if not I will have to starve for days. I am the type of person that doesn’t own a credit card as it is dangerous for impulsive buyers like me.

    All the clothes in Bandung are so cheap and the food, my God is so good! One of the local food that made a big impression on me was the Pisang Aroma, it’s like turon but with at twist. It’s topped with loads of shredded cheddar cheese, chocolate sprinkles and chocolate syrup! I ate one serving without sharing it to my other colleagues. Sorry, but it was the best local food I tasted!

    Planning to go back to Bandung again any time soon. It’s a must place to visit when you are in Jakarta.

    • Potpot

      hello anne! yeah, i share your thoughts about how maddening bandung shopping is. kailangan talaga magpigil. if one is kinda weak, it’s gonna be big blow on the budget. i love their pisang goreng too & the wicked twists they do with it.

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