giovedì 18 dicembre 2014

Bandung the "Paris" of Indonesia????

Last year I had been suggested to visit this big city of two and a half million people because it is considered by Javanese ti be a very refined city with lot of eating and shopping opportunities as well as for it's lovely mild climate. I and Valeria took a minibus from Blok M that in 3 hrs took us to Bandung. We found a great bargain in Hotel California not far from jl.Champelas, hoever the overall experience in Bandung was quite disappointing for several reasons: yes the climate was fine and mild compared with the hot and humid weather of Jakarta but traffic jam was nasty and intense, pollution disturbing and almost impossible to walk around because sidewalks were absent, spoiled, invaded by tree roots or just occupied by mootorbiks or food stalls. For sure there were too many restaurants serving good food at very reasonable price but all of them were closing at 21:30 and even at 21 they were DESERT! No better luck we had searching for some live music/nightlife in the suggested areas of Braga and Dago, both had some interesting bars, pity they were almost empty.
In Bandung there are also many massage centers for a ny kind of price, we chose Zen (upstairs with entrance in common to a cloth shop) which charged us 99.000IDR for a good 90min massage.
Another place not bad for eating and strolling around is the mall Champelas Walk where we had a delicious Korean dinner for 60.000IDR.
Even the many clothes Outlets in my opinion had nothing special and for sure Thailand has much wider and higher quality clothes, although maybe at a higher price.
The highlights of Bandung can be done in a daily excursion as we did thanks to the marvellous and warm friendship of Anissa and her 2 friends: Gunung Tangkuban Parahu with it's dormant volcano (75.000IDR for the entrance), Ciater Water Park with its thermal hot water where you can swim, slide or just relax (75.000IDR it was also desert) and Saung Angklung Udjo (100.000IDR) which was a very lovely spectacle with a local school who trains kids, girls and adults with typical dances, puppet shows and angklung (it's a nice instrument made of banboo canes) concert which delighted us and other few foreigner tourists with its relaxing and celestial melodies.
Probably the city change totally at the weekends when Jakarta relax seekers crowd it but I cannot say if Bandung can be a better or a worse(too crowded???) place from Friday to Sunday.

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