Photo: Shop till you drop.

Factory outlet shopping

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Bandung’s vast majority of tourists are not here for the historic architecture nor the spectacular volcanic sights or even the food (although that is a big draw), most come to shop.

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Photo of Factory outlet shopping

The region is one of Indonesia’s largest manufactures of clothing with many big international brands represented and Bandung is the place to find affordable designer wear as tons of samples, seconds and surplus merchandise ends up in the gazillion factory outlets located around town (referred to locally as FOs).

Weekending Jakartans, Singaporeans and Malaysians, regularly swarm into Bandung for a shopping frenzy, but it’s also a great spot for Westerners to dig out bargains as the outlets tend to stock larger sizers than you’ll find in ordinary Indonesian malls. We are in the minority here, i.e. the ones who DO come for the architecture and volcanos (and yes, the food), and shopping, well did we mention the architecture? But what makes Bandung ideal is that you can jump in for a couple of hours or a day (or more if you actually like shopping) and you can be outfitted for parties, picnics, the office or any other occasion you need to be not naked for the rest of the year, all without breaking the bank (and ending up naked on the street). Who knows, you may discover your hidden inner shopaholic.

Clusters of outlets are to be found in four main locations a short Go-Jek or taxi ride between them (that’s if you are not stuck in one of Bandung’s notorious traffic jams)—Jalan Riau (officially Jalan R.E. Martadinata), Dago, Jalan Setiabudi and Cihampelas (also known as Jeans Street)—and within each area you can walk between shops. We’d concentrate on the first three and skip the latter, as most shops there were not that impressive. If you don’t want to queue in change rooms for hours, try to do your shopping on a weekday (that goes for just about every activity in Bandung too). Shopping in these outlets can be a bit of a treasure hunt, so be prepared to sort through a lot of junk, although the crappiest looking outlet stuffed with fakes may harbour a pile of genuine brands at nutso prices in a corner, so you do have to work a little.

If sifting through the shite doesn’t appeal, several upmarket outlets are styled much like fancy boutiques, and while you may pay a little more at these places, the experience is a whole lot more pleasant. Real brands you may find include Zara, Calvin Klein, Gap, H&M, Mango, Ann Taylor, The North Face, Columbia, Nike, Oshkosh, as well as a ton of “branded” fakes, usually the more aspirational brands. Don’t really worry about the tag (if there is one), feel the quality of the fabric, try it for size and if the cut is good and the price fair, who cares about the label?

So where to go for these fabulous bargains? If you are staying downtown, Jalan Riau would be the obvious first stop. This area is handy if you have friends or family in tow who loath shopping you could park them at one of the nearby museums while you hunt for a bargain. One of the big boys on this strip, Heritage looks impressively regal with its rounded portico and fake Ionic columns. This well ordered outfit had cute bright colourful batik bags and gifts that caught our eye when we popped by as well as traditional-styled embroidered kabayas for 300,000 rupiah along with the usual branded Western style clothing.

Adjoining this outlet is Cascade which offers many locally well known brands, that probably are not as well known in the West including Minimal, Contempo, Edition and Graphis with menswear, kids clothes, toys and accessories upstairs. Although we didn’t find a lot to appeal, things can change fast, so it’s of course worth having a look.

From Heritage and Cascade you’re walking distance to at least another half dozen outlets including Passion with a ton of branded T-shirts—Stussy, Nike, Zara, Old Navy and the like. Terminal Tas has bags and more bags as well as luggage for when you can’t stuff any more into yours. Hypestore displayed among other things Sketchers and Crocs shoes in larger sizes too, but the prices were not a lot cheaper than you may find on sale. The most glam looking store along this strip is defiantly The Secret with lush plants at the entrance and glowing fairy-light trees in the lobby selling everything from lingerie to toys to homeware, one of the more pleasant outlets to browse. We spotted plush Calvin Klein bath rugs here for 150,000 rupiah which seemed a good deal for the size and quality.

If you are shopping for kids, Anak Kecil around the corner has some really cute stuff, especially for the under fives, but they also cater for older kids and mums. Also in the area, Merdeka is not the most inviting looking store with its strip fluro lighting, but it is well organised and has some good-priced outdoor and sportswear. We picked up a pair of Speedo swimming goggles for 60,000 rupiah and saw the same ones in another factory outlet for 200,000 rupiah. They also had quite a bit of Colombia, The North Face and other popular brands as well as Eastpac bags.

When the hunting gets too tiring, stop for a break at Warung Misbar for traditional Sundanese food accompanied by old movies or head over to Hummingbird Eatery for coffee and decent Western cafe fare. While you’re in this area check out Jonas Photo, though it isn’t a factory outlet, this popular photo studio offers well priced fun portraits, and your mum would sure appreciate a professional snap.

From here, jump on a Go-jek or a cab and head over to Rumah Mode on Jalan Setiabudi. Traffic can get bad, so it can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. Rumah Mode is a biggie and feels more like a fancy department store than a bargain shop, so allow for a bit of time here (you can leave the non shoppers in the cafe or one of the attached food outlets or they could opt for a spot of reflexology). Rumah Mode is a pleasure to shop with an excellent range of well displayed goods and a particularly good selection of designer kids clothes. Our only quibbles here are though they have some very nice looking lingerie, you are unable to try for size and the number of items allowed in the change rooms is very limited. If you run out cash (although they take cards) there’s a bank of ATMs here too. Rumah Mode’s toilets are also some of the best (think five-star hotel), so don’t forgo the opportunity.

We then ventured into Fashion World up the road, but that was a bit of a let down after the glitz and glam of Rumah Mode, still if you’re in the area it’s worth a look. From here, next stop Dago, although we didn’t get a chance to look around this area on this trip except from our speeding motorbike as we passed on the way from Taman Hutan Raya Ir. H. Djuanda, however it’s probably worth a look if you are after sports clothes as both Nike and Adidas have outlets in the area. Other popular places to check out include Blossom and Episode, within minutes of each other. It probably goes without saying, but most outlets have a no returns policy, so don’t buy something just because it’s cheap and caveat emptor! If you can’t find what you are after at a bargain price, you can always head to one of Bandung’s many malls. Happy shopping!

Adidas Outlet: 123 Jalan Ir. H.Djuanda, Bandung; T: (0222) 536 255; Open Mo–Sa: 10:00–20:00 Su: 11:00–20:00
Anak Kecil: 32 Jalan Cimandiri, Bandung; T: (0224) 203 413; Mo–Su: 09:00–20:00
Blossom: 110 Jalan Ir. H.Djuanda, Bandung; T: (0222) 503 822; Mo–Su: 09:00–21:00
Cascade: 65 Jalan R.E. Martadinata, Bandung; T: (0224) 267 707;; Mo–Su: 09.00–21.00
Episode: 125 Jalan Ir. H.Djuanda, Bandung; T: (0222) 501 515; Mo–Su: 09:00–22:00
Fashion World: 43 Jalan Dr. Setiabudi, Bandung; T: (0225) 436 787;; Mo–Su: 09:00–21:00
Heritage: 63 Jalan Riau, Bandung; T: (0224) 220 545;; Mo–Su: 09:00–21:00
Hummingbird Eatery: 14 Jalan Progo, Bandung; T: (0224) 212 582;; Mo–Su: 07:00–23:00
Hypestore: 57 Jalan Riau, Bandung
Jonas Photo: 38 Jalan Banda, Bandung; T: (0224) 201 010; Mo–Su: 07:30–21:00
Merdeka: 35 Jalan Merdeka, Bandung; (0224) 217 757; Mo–Fr: 09:00–21:00 Sa–Su: 09:00–22:00
Nike: 45 Jalan Ir. H.Djuanda, Bandung; T: (0222) 506 701; Mo–Su: 10:00–21:30
Passion: 36 Jalan R. E. Martadinata, Bandung; T: (0224) 206 114; Mo–Su: 09:00–22:00
Rumah Mode: 41 Jalan Doktor Setiabudi, Bandung; T(0222) 035 498; Mo–Fr: 09:30–21:00 Sa–Su: 09:00–21:30
Terminal Tas: 32 Jalan RE Martadinata, Bandung; T: (0224) 202 808; Mo–Su: 09:00–21:00
The Secret: 47 Jalan Riau, Bandung; T: (0224) 260 818; Mo–Su: 09:00–21:00
Warung Misbar: 28A Jalan RE Martadinata, Bandung; T: (0812) 2481 8300, (0812) 2224 2483;; Mo–Su: 09:00–22:00


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Bandung.
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