Bandung ... it was suppose to be the capital
Trip Start Jun 22, 2012
39Trip End Jul 17, 2012
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Last night I was so frustrated with the slow internet in the hotel lobby that this morning to my surprise in the restaurant access was so fast. With the restaurant open at 6 am for breakfast and we had a 8 am departure I made the most of the 2 hours internet access. Of course the router was just above me! So I finished my first few blogs and published them.
“Rubber time” worked and after catching 3 taxis, who dropped us all off at different parts of the Gambair railway station, we embarked 10 minutes after the scheduled 8.30 am for Bandung.
Leaving behind the tall skyscrapers of Jakarta, passing through the outer suburbs where the houses were packed so close to each other, we settled into a smooth ride across the countryside. Soon the city was way behind us and the journey across the hills and in some ways stunning classic Java landscape with its deep gorges and lush rice terraces kept ones attention for the whole 3 hour journey.
Once known as the 'Paris of Java', Bandung still in some small part retains relics of its previous Dutch colonial past with some examples of art deco architecture from that colonial grandeur long gone past era. Unfortunately it is now a throng of congested, polluted streets and endless suburbs which in time will get only worst as no intra-structure exists for the traffic let alone a decent public transport system.
At the higher altitude at 750 m above sea level, the cooler climate also makes Bandung a pleasant relief from the low-lands. With an all year round temperature of 22 - 28 C, I can see why the Dutch back then and now the thousands of students liked this city. Some 22 different tertiary institutions are in this city. Textile, pharmacy and chemical plants are the main industry besides the students.
Lunch was at Golden Duck, a oriental dim sum and bbq place that got our order horribly wrong. We sorted it all out. I had Mie Bihun Kwetiaw Goreng Bebek - noodle with duck. A refreshing lime juice capped off the meal (26,800 Rp + 10,800 Rp = 43,000 Rp including service tax and tip was only NZ $6 or US $4.70).
The short city tour around Bandung with our local guide Deiz uncovered some long gone culture and history of this historic town. Stopped off at the ITB campus and was shown some Sudanese or West Java architecture (roof line).
The palace is now the local Governor’s place.