Surrounded by mountains, Bandung has cool weather arround 17-28 degrees Celcius. At some points, for example on the top of the mountains, it can reach 10-15 degrees. It has beautiful highland landscapes with mountains and hills everywhere, including the active volcano of Mount Tangkuban Parahu in the north side of Bandung.
These conditions are some of the reasons why many people (especially Jakarta people) are coming to Bandung to spend their weekend and holiday in Bandung.
Sulphur spweing volcanic crater: Tangkuban Prahu
Sulphur-filled air, green trees, majestic volcanic scenery, cool weather. These all seems like a great location. However, due to its recent rise in popularity, Tangkuban Prahu has shed its charm and evolved to a similar scene found in other big Indonesian cities.
Traffic, crowds (be very annoyed on weekends!), tauts, stalls, smoke and pollution are the new ruler for this crater.
Negative points aside, Tangkuban prahu is really awesome as you can still see and hear the sulphur, steam etc. The clouds seem to roll in after 1, cooling things down.
When culture meets nature
Kampung Daun or Leaf Village is one of the famous restaurants and cafes in North of Bandung. People are coming here for the great natural environment with tradional Sundanese "kampung" (village) concept. You are eating in a cozy traditional Sundanese hut in the middle of nice landscapes, trees, small cliffs with waterfalls, and garden.
When evening/night comes, the pathway and huts are lighten up by dimmed lights. It's very beautiful and romantics.
Mainly they serve Sundanese foods, snacks, and beverages. Though international/popular meals also available. Sundanese dishes with fresh uncooked vegetables and hot chilli paste. You may try also Sundanese "bandrek" (hot ginger beverage with shreded coconut meat), "bajigur" (hot browned sweet coconut milk beverage with kolang kaling fruit), "colenak" (grilled fermented cassava snack with sugar or condensed milk or jam).
This complex has recently opened in 2005. It offers a shopping mall, restaurants, cafes, great open air and landscape. A new concept of shopping mall.
It's located at the famous Cihampelas shopping street. People often come here to hang around or take a cup of coffee in the late afternoon.
Bandung: Both Sides Now
Finally, pushing my laziness to start building page and share information about Bandung.
Why Bandung is very popular? Ask many Indonesian you come across during your travel to Java (particularly). The answers will be rank as follow:
1. Abundance of shopping and hang-out places 2. Beautiful girls 3. Closer from Jakarta (2.5 - 3 hour from Jakarta through Ciphering toll road) 4. Cooler temperature 5. Creative atmosphere (with number of universities such as Bandung Institute of Technology--ITB, Paddling, Parahyangan and many others, Bandung became "student city" that attracts high-school graduates throughout Indonesia to study here. It gives "creative flavor" as given by youth energy to always find something new)
Classification above (I think) represents why Bandung is one of most popular destinations for many Indonesian.
With many distro or so-to-called Factory Outlet spread out across Bandung with relatively affordable prices and people are relatively well-dress and stylish, one more name is "awarded" to Bandung, Paris Van Java.
"Glimpse of Past and Present"
Visiting Bandung for the first timer, you couldn't help to notice many art deco buildings and names that sound Dutch.
Bandung city development was started in the late 19th century by the Dutch colonialism. Because of its mild temperature, the colonial even planned to make Bandung as its capitol before world war 2 started.
The Dutch also build big tea plantations around Bandung and bit by bit also contributed to the basic infrastructure of the city, such as main road, cultural places, restaurants, etc.
For you who are interested about Bandung, you can find many literatures, although unfortunately, good literatures are either in Bahasa Indonesia or Dutch.
I found the pocket book written by two young history enthusiasts "Braga Jantung Parijs Van Java by Ridwan Hutagalung and Taufanny Nugraha is interesting, well written, informative and light.
The book with title of "Wisata Bumi Cekungan Bandung" (Bandung basin geo-tourism guide book) written by two distinguished Bandung academics T.Bachtiar and Budi Brahmantyo is also rich with "do-it-yourself" geo- adventure track around Bandung, but the again, unfortunately both books are written in Bahasa.
These days, Bandung becomes more interesting by communities clubs who explore history or natural side of Bandung through their activities. Check Mahanagari website that provides link to several community clubs website.
As I came across different literatures, Bandung was once developed for only 500,000 population. The latest number I have is 2.5 million in later years.
As you can expect, the side-effect of increased populations has choked the city.
Heavy traffic in Bandung becomes classic, particularly during weekend. Settlements now crawling to the southern part of Bandung, changes the rice paddy fields to the houses, slums area and water overflow to the street during rain are few of the downside of Bandung.
I still can't help to love my favorite parts of Bandung and I wish you do too. Let me share my few list:
Asia Africa street
Ir.H.Djuanda City Forest
If you plan to explore outside Bandung, here is another list:
Tangkuban Perahu volcano
Ciwidey (Kawah Putih)
Have a pleasant trip to explore Bandung. Stay on the positive light :)