Hello, hello Bandung

Fringed by volcanic peaks blanketed in tea and coffee plantations, Bandung is a hectic urban hub and the heartland of West Java’s Sundanese culture, and while, like many Indonesian cities, first impressions are less than favourable, maybe it’s the traffic (yes, it is the traffic), but this response is only fleeting if you wipe back a layer of grime and discover Bandung’s charms.

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Located approximately 150 kilometres southeast of the nation’s capital, Jakarta, Bandung is Indonesia’s third largest city (and at times it feels like it) and is the provincial capital of West Java, once dubbed “Parijs van Java” (the Paris of Java) for its charming colonial boulevards and laid back hill-town feel.

Big city, bright colours... : Sally Arnold.
Big city, bright colours... Photo: Sally Arnold

Although Bandung has lost much of its former appeal, what remains from this colonial legacy is one of the world’s greatest concentrations of Art déco architecture (albeit much crumbling or razed by rampant haphazard development), and a manufacturing industry which has given rise to numerous factory outlets, today a huge tourism draw. The prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) establish by the Dutch is one of the oldest educational intuitions in the country and today Bandung continues to be a seat of academia, known for creative innovation and not to mention the serious, almost cult-like coffee culture springing from the Dutch initiated ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,300 words.)

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