|Bandung Travel Information|
Bandung, City of Flowers, is the provincial capital of West Java and Indonesia' s third largest city. Known in colonial times as the Paris of Java because of its European ambiance and sophistication, Bandung shares with Miami a fine legacy of Tropical Deco architecture dating from the 1920's.
Situated on a plateau in the beautiful Parahayangan mountains, Bandung's pleasant climate and lush surroundings have offered an escape from the heat of the lowlands since the mid 19th century when it was the heart of the region's most prosperous plantation area. Host to the historic Asia Africa conference in 1955, Bandung is now a center of higher education ,commerce and aircraft industry which despite its modern amenities still retains much of its colonial era charm.
The Sundanese were a pastoral people farming the fertile regions of Bandung. They developed a lively oral tradition which includes the still practiced Wayang Golek puppet theatre, and many musical forms. "There is a city called Bandung, comprising 25 to 30 houses," wrote Juliaen de Silva in 1614.
The achievements of European adventurers to try their luck in the fertile and prosperous Bandung area, led eventually to 1786 when a road was built connecting Jakarta, Bogor, Cianjur and Bandung. This flow was increased when in 1809 Louis Napoleon, the ruler of the Netherlands, ordered Governor General H.W. Daendels, to increase defences in Java against English. The vision was a chain of military defense units and a supply road between Batavia and Cirebon. But this coastal area was marsh and swamp, and it was easier to construct the road further south, across the Priangan highlands.
The Grote Postweg (Great Post Road) was built 11 miles north of the then capital of Bandung. With his usual terseness, Daendels ordered the capital to be relocated to the road. Bupati Wiranatakusumah II chose a site south of the road on the western bank of the Cikapundung, near a pair of holy wells, Sumur Bandung, supposedly protected by the ancient goddess Nyi Kentring Manik. On this site he built his dalem (palace) and the alun-alun (city square). Following traditional orientations, Mesjid Agung (The Grand Mosque) was placed on the western side, and the public market on the east. His residence and Pendopo (meeting place) was on the south facing the mystical mountain of Tangkuban Perahu. Thus was The Flower City born.
Around the middle of the l9th Century, South American cinchona (quinine), Assam tea, and coffee was introduced to the highlands. By the end of the century Priangan was registered as the most prosperous plantation area of the province. In 1880 the rail line connecting Jakarta and Bandung was completed, and promised a 2 1/2 hour trip from the blistering capital in Jakarta to Bandung.
With this life changed in Bandung, hotels, cafes, shops sprouted up to serve the planters who either came down from their highland plantations or up from the capital to frolic in Bandung. The Concordia Society was formed and with its large ballroom was the social magnet for weekend activities in the city. The Preanger Hotel and the Savoy Homann were the hotels of choice. The Braga became the promenade, lined with exclusive Europeans shops.
With the railroad, light industry flourished. Once raw plantation crops were sent directly to Jakarta for shipment to Europe, now primary processing could be done efficiently in Bandung. The Chinese who had never lived in Bandung in any number came to help run the facilities and vendor machines and services to the new industries. Chinatown dates from this period.
In the first years of the present century, Pax Neerlandica was proclaimed, resulting in the passing of military government to a civilian one. With this came the policy of decentralization to lighten the administrative burden of the central government. And so Bandung became a municipality in 1906.
This turn of events left a great impact on the city. City Hall was built at the north end of Braga to accommodate the new government, separate from the original native system. This was soon followed by a larger scale development when the military headquarters was moved from Batavia to Bandung around 1920. The chosen site was east of City Hall, and consisted of a residence for the Commander in Chief, offices, barracks and military housing.
By the early 20's the need for skilled professionals drove the establishment of the technical high school that was sponsored by the citizens of Bandung. At the same time the plan to move the capital of the Netherlands Indies from Batavia to Bandung was already mature, the city was to be extended to the north. The capital district was placed in the northeast, an area that had formerly been rice fields, and a grand avenue was planned to run for about 2.5 kilometers facing the fabled Tangkuban Perahu volcano with Gedung Sate at the south end, and a colossal monument at the other. on both sides of this grand boulevard buildings would house the various offices of the massive colonial government.
Along the east bank of the Cikapundung River amidst natural scenery was the campus of the Technische Hoogeschool, dormitories and staff housing. The old campus buildings and its original landscaping reflect the genius of its architect Henri Maclain Pont. The southwestern section was reserved for the municipal hospital and the Pasteur Institute, in the neighborhood of the old quinine factory. These developments were carefully planned down to the architectural and maintenance details. These years shortly before World War II were the golden ones in Bandung and those alluded to today as Bandung Tempoe Doeloe.
The war years did little to change the city of Bandung, but in 1946, facing the return of the Colonial Dutch to Indonesia, citizens chose to burn down their beloved Bandung in what has become known as Bandung Lautan Api, Bandung Ocean of Fire. Citizens fled to the southern hills and overlooking the "ocean of flames" penned "Halo Halo Bandung," the anthem promising their return. Political unrest colored the early years of Independence and consequently people flocked to Bandung where safety was. The population skyrocketed from 230,000 in 1940 to 1 million by 1961. Economic prosperity following the oil boom in the 70's pushed this further so that by 1990 there were 2 million inhabitants.
Present day Bandung is thriving. As home to more than 35 schools of higher education, there is a vibrant collegiate atmosphere. The excellent fine arts offerings have produced an artist colony of great repute and excitement. The textile industry is the largest in the country and contributes to a vigorous business climate.
In 1987 the city extended its administrative boundaries toward a Greater Bandung Plan (Bandung Raya) Plans for the city include higher concentrations of development outside the current city centre, in an attempt to dilute some of the population density in the old core. These days Bandung Raya is still years ahead, yet the land has suffered deeply. Commercial activities run amok, God only knows who can take control. The city core is practically uprooted, old faces are torn down, lot sizes regrouped, and what was idyllic residence is now bustling chain supermarkets and rich banks.
Bandung is located in the middle of the West Java province, around 180 km south-east of Jakarta.
Although Bandung has many mountainous areas, the topology of Bandung is the largest river basin in the Java island, in the middle of the ring of mountains. It has made the south of Bandung as the industrialized area for factories and warehouses. Cikapundung river runs through Bandung, north to south. This fault can be easily seen from the road connecting Bandung to Lembang. Lava from the eruption blocked the Citarum river, creating a huge lake, the Great Lake of Bandung, bottoming at 712.5 metres above the sea level at it's deepest point.
The great lake of Bandung was drained away. Van Bemmelen, a Dutch geologist, said that the lake was leaked at a place, called Sangiangtikoro hole, in the Rajamandala chalk mountain, west of Bandung.
"Paradisi in sole paradisus terrestris" Jon Parkinson, 1629
Since the Dwhich were made in the 1920's are Taman Maluku (Molukkenpark), Taman Citarum (Tjitaroemplein), Tamanutch times, Bandung already has many parks which were made for the beauty of the city. The city parks in Bandung Pramuka (Oranjeplein), Taman Ganeca (Ijzermanpark), Taman lalulintas (Insulindepark), Taman Balaikota/Merdeka (Pieter Sijthoffpark), Taman Cibeunying (Tjibeunjingplantsoen), Taman Kebon Binatang / Taman Sari (Jubileumpark), etc.
Taman Cibeunying (Tjibeunjingplantsoen)
Taman Cibeunying (Tjibeunjingplantsoen)
Taman Balaikota (Pieterspark)
Taman Maluku (Molukkenpark)
Ganeca Park (Ijzermanpark)
Ganeca Park (Ijzermanpark)
As the capital city of West Java, Bandung's shops are filled with products of this far-flung archipelago as well as imported goods. Shopping in Bandung is fun, simple and extensive.
Pasar Kota Kembang, a narrow lane with shops and stalls lining along it, could be a perfect place for bargaining cheap clothes, belts, shoes or handbags. Next to it is a shopping center specializing in textiles. This market lane connects Jl. Asia-Afrika with Jl. Dalem Kaum.
The first market in Bandung located in Kampung Ciguriang, behind Kapatihan was built in 1812. In the middle of l9th century, the market caught on fire. Later,the merchants gathered around Chinatown and established a new market, Pasar Baru. Once it was a beautiful place surrounded by Chinese-Dutch style shops . Now, only a few are left. Nevertheless, it's still the hub of commerce in Bandung. Plenty of textiles, batiks and clothes in cheap and moderate prices are available. You can test your bargaining skill here. A vegetable market is in the basement. Go to Jl. Pasar Utara. A row of stalls sell all sort of snacks, most of them Bandung specialties. You're welcome to have a taste before you buy the snacks. Jalan Pasar Selatan is lined with jeans shops trying to copy the ones in Jl. Cihampelas. Some of these shops are old ones. With the permission of the owner, old building enthusiasts could enter the old shop and take photographs.
Pasar Jatayu, on Jalan Arjuna, is a flea market mixed with motorbike parts shops. After jostling around, you'll find two antique shops in the dark and crammed market. You'll feel like finding a treasure island. Nearby is a row of shops selling military paraphernalia, and the Ciroyom terminal is next to them.
These three markets will be a nightmare for a claustrophobic. Known as The 'Flower City', Bandung certainly has a flower market, located on Jl. Wastukencana. The flowers are supplied from cool uplands that surround Bandung. Nice place to refresh your eyes.
The rather bizarre 'Jean Street', on Jl. Cihampelas, offers all sorts of jeans and T-shirts while offering fantastic shopfronts to view. The shop owners vie for the most elaborate shopfront design in an attempt to lure business.
Shopping centers are in abundance. The Alun-alun area is surrounded by shopping centers, particularly in Jl. Dalem Kaum. Bandung Indah Plaza is the most luxurious shopping center in Bandung. Nearby City Hall in Jl. Merdeka, it is a new favorite place for the young.
On Jalan Braga, you could find souvenir and antique shops, such as Sin Sin established in 1943. Leather shoes and garment at Leather Palace. Snake skin bags, shoes and all sort of suitcases at Cuero. Bookshops in Braga offer a great range of English books and magazines.
|How to Get There||
Merpati Nusantara Airlines (about 40 minutes)
By TrainThe best way to get to Bandung from Jakarta is by train, taking the beautiful scenery enroute. Regular departures leave Jakarta's Gambir station. The executive class is recommended. The trip takes around three hours. From Bandung trains also travel to Yogyakarta
Parahyangan Train (it takes about 3 hours)
Bandung is heaven to satisfy your taste buds. From traditonal food sold by street vendors up to international ones in fancy restaurants. A warung is regarded as a poor man's restaurant. But on Jl. Bungsu next to Puri Mas Bakery, you could see the newest BMW and Mercedez parked in front of a small lane famous for its Sekoteng Ice. By far the best food money can buy and is served in these makeshift foodstalls with canopies, hardwood benches or stools, and glowing with hissing gas lamps. Open after 5:30 pm.
Groups of nightstalls located in the corner of JI. Merdeka and JI. L.L.R.E. Martadinata spread mouthwatering smells from sizzling sate on red hot glowing charcoal braziers. Try Madurese, chicken, beef, or mutton sate and various kinds of soto, an Indonesian thick soup. Jl. Cikapundung Barat stalls (occupying sidewalks used as a selling place for secondhand books at noon) serve all kinds of popular Indonesian food. Sate Padang Pak Datuk is worth a try.
Near the RRI building on Jl. Diponegoro, you can taste local delicacies such as gorengan (sort of Japanese tempura) from tofu, sweet potato, taro, pineapple, jackfruit, banana and comro (mashed cassava filled with fermented soybean cake). A sip of bandrek -ginger drink- and bajigur -coconut milk sweetened with palm sugar- in a cool night is a nice treat. A piece of sweet awuk (coneshape rice cake with layers of palm sugar) can be enjoyed in Awuk Cibeunying stall. Roasted corn on a cob with four flavors, seafood, Indonesian style Chinese food, pecel lele (fried eel fish with yummy sauce), fried goldfish and chicken porridge all are available.
Feel thirsty when strolling around Alun-alun, go to PakAceng's ice juice pushcart on Jl . Kapatihan in the mouth of a blind alley, next to 'Damai' shop (pay attention to 'Shinly' &'Krizia' billboards). Es campur (mixed ice) or if you want a sterile one, just ask for fresh orange juice with young coconut water placed in a plastic will be made for Rp. 750,-. Since 1967, Pak Aceng has been a famous es campur seller.
As a rule of thumb, warungs line and crowd in almost every intersection. But a good sense and luck play an important part in finding a good warung with fair price and nice food which does not upset your stomach.
Lotek Kalipah Apo, famous for its lotek and gado-gado since 1953, serves all kinds of sweet tasty kolek with thick coconut milk plus pieces of bananas, and rice cakes. A variety of rujak, Indonesian fruit salad, is ready to be tasted. Be wary of the hot sauce of the rujak. Avocado juice, mixed ice, young coconut ice and cendol ice, -colored rice drink with palm sugared coconut milk- can make you real aficionados of these desserts.
Stalls along Jl. Rama offer Indonesian style fried chicken, Chinese food, and much more. The best pempek -a sort of fish meatballs dipped in hot vinegar sauce- can be eaten in one of the stalls here. It's a Palembang specialty.
Craving for western delights, Tizi has a wide range of German touch bread, cakes, cookies, pan cakes, and steaks. A cart selling colenak(roasted fermented cassava root )at the mouth of Jl. Kidang Pananjung is also worth a try. Glosis with romantic lighting and cooler climate of an uphill area could be a perfect place for dinner. Braga Permai with its original Dutch era cake recipes would be a cozy place to recall the atmosphere of old Braga Street.Queen Restaurant offers luxurious Chinese food while Dai Shogun serves qualified Japanese food, sit facing its heartsoothing garden. Paregu offers less expensive Japanese food with eat your fill Yakiniku and Shabu-shabu. Hanamasa on Jl. Merdeka serves buffet Yakiniku.