The illuminated wooden sky walk bridge in Orchid Forest Cikole. Source: Orchid Forest Cikole / Instagram
BANDUNG’S Orchid Forest Cikole has all the elements to create an award-winning Instagram shot, as well as a spectacularly fun day out.
Last week, the forest in Lembang, a town in the West Bandung Regency, was officially inaugurated by Tourism Minister Arief Yahya and promoted as a destination perfect for millennial travelers because of its many readymade photo spots.
And it seems that Indonesia’s tourism board is heading in the right direction with a focus on aesthetics, given that a survey conducted earlier this year revealed more than 40 percent of those below 33 years of age prioritize “Instagrammability” when choosing a vacation destination.
The West Java destination is already popular among young travelers with figures showing one-third of tourists to Bandung fit into the millennial demographic, and the freshly opened Orchid Forest Cikole hopes to lure in even more tourists.
The woodland wonder is made up of lush pine trees with tropical orchids decorating their bark. These resilient flowers can grow freely in the forest given Indonesia’s equatorial positioning.
Instead of in pots on a window sill, the orchids can be found firmly anchored to the pine trees displaying every shade of pink, purple and white.
Orchid Forest Cikole also has a co-working space, perfect for digital nomads to get inspired, glamping and camping sites and a natural looking stage, which regularly hosts performances, including last year’s La La Fest.
But if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to know where to stroll to find the best Instagram spots. And there’s plenty.
The simply designed greenhouse is a symmetry-enthusiasts dream. You can stroll through it and gander at the vegetation growing inside while capturing the Scandinavian modern design.
The wooden bridge walk makes for a lovely backdrop in the day, but by night, the fairy lights take it to a whole other Instagram level.
Then there’s the oh-so-adorable Rabbit Forest where visitors can feed, pet and cuddle these long-eared animals before they hop off to their quirky hutches.
If you can stomach heights and can live without Instagramming for an hour or so, attempt the tree-top adventure course.
You’ll be harnessed in, so there’s no question of safety, but we wouldn’t recommend it for the faint-hearted.
While there’s splendor at every turn in the forest, the true magic happens when the sun goes down, and the Garden of Lights illuminate the trees and all who walk through them.
As you stroll around the enchanting Orchid Forest Cikole, you’ll undoubtedly discover more magical moments that you can capture and share, or simply save for yourself.
The forest is open every day from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 7pm on weekends.
Tickets are US$1 per person (Rp15,000) and this gives all guests access to the Flying Fox facilities and free use of lounging hammocks.
There is also a food court and cafe on site which serve Indonesian classics as well as picnic favorites, so you don’t need to worry about going hungry while you explore.