The local museum is an eye opener into the current situation. First it presents an interesting exercise in dealing with the red tape. The museum has funny work hours and it is easy to miss but if you are inquisitive enough this might be appreciated by the employees, considering that you are white, and they will open the museum just for you for mere 50000 rupees. This is probably ten times the amount that the mortals pay but hey, it is a special service with fancy booklets in Indonesian (useless) and a guide who’s English is rather basic (hardly useful) included. Once inside one can see what has disappeared from the everyday life of Bandar despite the continuous isolation. There is a little prelude to the “megalithic” stone site located outside of town. It becomes clear that the learned people of Bandar who are involved in tourism promotion as well, do not understand the meaning of megaliths (from Greek: mega-large, lith – stone) and thus may mislead you into going to a site some 50km away for nothing. The statues referred to are less than human size with Buddhist overtones and consequently having nothing to do with the megalithic age of the Earth as the name suggests. Furthermore, one gets to understand where the symbol of the city comes from (essential since practically every building is adorned with it) but it is still difficult to understand the choice – the crown-like ornament is part of the headdress of a local bride. Also one discovers that the region has its own alphabet but unfortunately it has been confined to the museum – the rest of Indonesia uses Latin most probably because of its unifying characteristics since the Roman world.
People interested in the Muslim background of Indonesia may find it strange but here the cannon are treated differently in many ways, the most obvious in the architecture of the mosques. There is the common thread of structures with at least double roof very reminiscent of the pagodas. Nevertheless the roofs are topped with specially made tin domes that make it obvious that this is a Muslim site of prayer and nothing else. When it comes to prayer time though, the load speakers start to spew something that is more akin to Buddhist chanting than Muslim mullah singing and the quality of the Arabic is rather dubious.
What Bandar is most famous for is its proximity to one of the many volcanoes that lace the Indonesian archipelago or namely the Krakatau. Once upon a time, this particular estate of fine underwater world blew up with such a force that a new cone shoed up from the sea and the ensuing tsunami obliterated what are now the low-lying areas of Bandar Lampung. As a testimony to the power of this catastrophe there is a buoy (normally being in the sea guiding ships) sent way up the hill with the monster wave. The monument is embellished with the sculpture renditions of some local animals such as rhinos and elephants but this is another story.
Bandar Lampung is the capital of lampung Province, if you take a flight from Soekarno Hatta Airport Jakarta, it would take 30 minutes to Raden Intan Airport and then take a taxi to Bandar lamoung downtown in about 45 minutes.
If you take a land transportation from Jakarta, starting from Kampun Rambutan bus terminal or from Kalideres bus terminal or from Cikokol Tangerang, the bus would take about 90 minutes to Merak harbour (100 km), then 2 to 3 hours by ferry to Bakau Heni harbour, then from Bakau heni by bus or by sharing taxi would take about 90 minutes to reach Bandar Lampung (100 km)