BANDUNG

Bandung, West Java, Indonesia

INTRODUCTION
Bandung, is the home town of Dhea. Since 2001 Marco & Dhea are living together in Bandung. Since September 2002 we have a new inhabitant in our house in Bandung, a Rottweiler dog which listen to the name Kylie.

Our dog Kylie in November 2002

Kylie in March 2003

BANDUNG INTRODUCTION
Bandung is the capital of West Java in Indonesia. Bandung is 180 kilometres south-east from Jakarta Today Bandung has a population of 2 million people, the Bandung area an extimated 4 million. Bandung is situated on a plateau 768 meters above sea level with a cool climate throughout the year. Bandung is the most European city of Java. The raining season starts in Bandung a little bit earlier, then the rest of Indonesia. Normally the raining season in Indonesia is from October till May, the peak of the raining season is in January. The dry season is from June until August, temperature is then 25-30 degrees Celsius during the day. In the morning the sun is almost shining every day, but in the afternoon many times it gets cloudy, for sunbathing you have to wake up early from 6.30 the sun is already there! In the evening when the sun is down the temperature drops.The average temperature in Bandung is 22 degrees Celsius, the weather is pleasant all year round.
HOW TO GET TO BANDUNG
Bandung is 180 kilometres south-east from Jakarta, about 2 hours driving by car. It is better to take the train from Gambir station in Jakarta to Bandung, because this is a great experience. For a comfortable trip take the "Eksekutif" class. A pleasant 3 hour journey through mountains, paddy fields, tea plantations and a beautiful panorama. From Halim Airport in Jakarta there are several daily flights with Deraya and Merpati to Bandung and vise versa, a flight Jakarta - Bandung takes only 30 minutes.

A reason to live in Bandung!

HISTORY
The city history dates from 1488 when the first reference to Bandung exists. But from ancient archaeological finds, we know the city was home to Australopithecus, Java Man. These people lived on the banks of the Cikapundung in north Bandung, and on the shores of the Great Lake of Bandung. Flint artefacts can still be found in the Upper Dago area and the Geological Museum has displays and fragments of skeletal remains and artefacts.

The Sundanese were a pastoral people farming the fertile regions of Bandung. They developed a lively oral tradition, which includes the still practised 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 defence 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 Groote Postweg (Great Post Road) was built 11 miles north of the 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. In the beginning of the 19th century, the Dutch established Bandung. The area was full of woods and only a few people lived in the area. The area of Bandung was difficult to reach and Bandung was only a spot on the map.

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 1886 the rail line connecting Batavia (Jakarta) and Bandung was completed, and promised a 2 1/2 hour trip from the blistering capital in Jakarta to Bandung. Bandung still was a small village (population in 1896 was 29.386).

With the rail way 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 20th century, Pax Neerlandica was proclaimed, resulting in the passing of military government to a civilian one. With this came the policy of decentralisation 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 (Jakarta) to Bandung was already mature, the city was to be extended to the north. Bandung underwent a sudden boom and the population increased rapidly, this was the "Golden Century" of Bandung. 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 kilometres 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 neighbourhood 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.

Considering themselves as an upper class society, the Europeans community insisted on keeping themselves up-to-date with European lifestyles. To support this high fashion standard it was necessary to have some kind of "Champs de Ellyses", and Jl. Braga was the result. It turned into a shopping lane complete with theatre with the latest movies. Bandung then became famous as "Paris of Java". The city parks and gardens with the blooming flowers and the beautiful women, with a light braun and soft skin made Bandung also famous as the "City of flowers" or "Kota Kembang".

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 coloured 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. After World War II, Bandung became in the shadow from Jakarta.

Present day Bandung is thriving. As home to more than 25 schools of higher education, there is a vibrant collegiate atmosphere. The ITB still reigns supreme in Indonesian education. The ITB (Institute Teknologi Bandung) located right in the center of the elite area of Bandung. Today ITB produces qualified engineers and several graduates of the Arts faculty are acknowledged as famous commercial artists. The Universities of Padjadjaran and Parahyangan receive students from all over the country. The National Hotel Institute, the National Railway Institute, the Senior Officers Military Institute, the Women's Police Academy, grace the city. 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 also a place with a lot of industries, mostly in textile. The Indonesia aircraft factory of IPTN is also based in Bandung and has sold a number of aircraft's overseas. Bosscha Astronomical Observatory in Lembang installed in 1923 and still functioning as Astronomy research center. Technology is not the only science that Bandung can boast, Lembaga Pasteur, or Pasteur's institute, where the rabies serum and smallpox vaccine were researched and developed, is also located in Bandung. Present population of Bandung is extimated 2 million, with the surrounding cities the Bandung area houses an extimated 4 million people.

Getting around

The taxi service in Bandung is not so good as in Jakarta. Most taxi drivers don't drive on the meter/ argo and before entering a taxi you must negotiate about the price, ask your hotel or guide for an indication of the price. The taxi drivers almost never have change, so take small banknotes with you (500, 1000, 5000 and 10.000 rupiah). Some good taxi companies are Blue Bird and Gemari Pahah taxi (blue/ green taxi's), Blue Bird & GR taxi's always drives on the meter/ argo and our choice if we need a taxi. For more information about transportation, see the website Bandung Expat. It is also possible to rent a car with a driver for some hours or a day, this is an easier way to get around the city and visit the tourist attractions around Bandung. On sunday and public holidays it is always very busy on the road in and around Bandung, so better make your travel plans on other days.

On the first 1 or 2 letters you can find out from which area a car comes from, in the weekend Bandung is floaded with cars with number plate starting with B (Jakarta). The licence plate of Bandung starts with a D. An overview of the number plate system of cars in Indonesia, click here.

Our home in Bandung 

Shopping 

The Jl. Braga still serves as a shopping lane, here you can find a couple of antique shops, some shops from the colonial days are still there. For batik, souvenirs and handicraft there is Sarinah Department store on Jl. Braga a bigger selection can be found in Sarinah Department store in Jakarta. Another shopping street is along Jl. A. Yani. A modern shopping center is Bandung Indah Plaza (BIP), at Jl. Merdeka, Bandung Super Mall at Jl. Gatot Subroto and Istana Plaza.  For jeans and T-shirts is Jl. Cihampelas "Jeans Street" the place to be. The Jeans street is a must when you go shopping in Bandung. There are many malls, stores and supermarkets in Bandung some of our favorites are Instana Parijs Van Java Mall, Plaza, Borma at the Jl. Setia Budi, Cihampelas Walk (CI Walk) the Jl. Cihampelas. The best supermarket in Bandung is Setia Budhi supermarket at the Jl. Setia Budhi. The are also some hypermarkets in Bandung such as Carrefour & Giant.

Money matters 

There a plenty of banks in Bandung local banks and also foreign banks, so pleany of ATM's to choose from. If you want to change money Golden Money Changer in Jl. Juanda and in Otto Iskandardinata are recommended.

Going out 

Some of our favorites are Gambrinus (German pub & restaurant) at Jl. Prof. Drg. Surya Sumantri No 59. Another must see are the restaurants Kampung Daun, Sapu Lidi and the Peak, all 3 in the north of Bandung, direction of Lembang. If you like pizza our favourite place in ? at Cihampelas Walk (CI walk) and many nice restaurants at Parijs van Java Mall.

Tourist attractions in the Bandung area.

Bandung has many tourist attractions, some are described on this page. For more information the book "All around Bandung" ISBN 962-593-030-2 is a good guide where you can find more information about below mentioned attractions. The travelling time mentioned on this page is the minimum travel time needed, on a Sunday or public holiday the travelling time can be much longer or even double! Our advice is stay at home during a Sunday or a public holiday.

Kebun Binatang

This is a zoo in the centre of Bandung, near ITB Bandung. It is a nice place to visit, the zoo has varity of animals and birds most from Indonesia. Some species which can be seen komodo, tigers from Java and Sumatra, monkeys and orang utans and many kind of birds.

Tangkuban perahu crater

Tangkuban perahu is a vulcano, 25 kilometre north of Bandung direction of Lembang. The name means hulk of overturned boat, the only crater in Java accessible all the way by car as far as its rim. This is Bandung's most famous natural attraction. You can see a breathtaking view by standing on the rim of far from active and its smouldering crater. Also take a walk with a local guide to the hot spring of the vulcano. This walk takes you about 30 minutes down hill through the forest from the rim of the vulcano to the hot spring. Indonesia has about 400 vulcanos, from which 350 still active.

Ciater Hot spring

In the Hot Spring Ciater Resort you can enjoy swimming in warm sulphurized water pools, good for healing rheumatism and skin problems. It is a nice park with small pools in which you can sit or swim. About 30 minutes from Tangkuhan perahu crate.

Mt Ratuha and Kawah Putih

Mt Patuhu is located southwest of Bandung, Kawah Putih is a lake on this mountains is sometimes pale turquoise, or as it's name says white. The direction is drive to Ciwidey. Kawah Putih can easy be reached by car all the way to the rim and then it is a 100 metre walk to the lake it self. It is a very nice colourfull lake.

Cimanggu Hot Springs

The Cimanggu Hot Springs are some swimming pools full of hot water from the mountain. The water is much hotter then in the Hot Spring Ciater Resort, the area of this hot spring is very nice and a good place to relax. This hot spring is not so crowded as the Ciater Hot Spring. The drive from Bandung takes about 2 hours.

Lake Patengan or Situ Patengan

From the Cimanggu Hot Spring it is just a 30 minute drive through tea plantations. This is a lovely site for boating, the lake looks a a green carpet, the lake is surrounded by tea plantations. The Lake Patengan is a very popular spot for Indonesians on a Sunday and public holiday, but this can be said from all tourist attractions mentioned on this page.

Sindang Reret Hotel & Restoran at the Jl Raya Propinsi Ciwidey, is a good place for eating on your way or the way back to Bandung. From Bandung you will find the restaurant on the left side of the road. It serve good food and the asmosphere is great, nice location and many beautiful, big fish to watch.

Puncak

Between Bandung and Bogor in the mountains lays Puncak. A cool area which is very popular, specially by people from Jakarta. People from Jakarta escape in the weekend and on public holidays from the heat and busy streets of the capitol of Indonesia to Puncak. Bandung to Puncak takes about 3 hours drive.

Bogor

A bit futher away from Bandung about 4,5 hours drive is Bogor, also called the city of rain. In Bogor you must visit the botanical garden. This botanical garden and in the garden is the palace "Buitenzorg" On a not so busy day on the road a visit to Bogor and Taman Safari can be done on the same day.

Taman Safari

Taman safari is a drive through zoo and amusument park and is open every day. On the way from Bandung to Taman Safari you have to pass Puncak, do not try to do this on Sunday or public holiday because you can end up in a big traffic jam. Because Puncak is a very popular spot for people from Jakarta. Normaly it take 3,5 hours from Bandung to get to Taman Safari.

Bandung on the Internet

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