Indonesia : Beyond Bali & Jakarta
Let me confess. I knew nothing of Bandung; not even the name. To me and to most of us tourists, Indonesia means only Bali and Jakarta. I had read and heard so much about only these two cities that, in a way, they had become synonymic with Indonesia. We don’t think beyond that.
Bandung is a traveler’s paradise. With its cool weather, inexpensive and delicious local cuisine, natural attractions in abundance, various entertainment options in and around the city and great shopping choices make Bandung a key destination for weekend and holiday travelers from the capital.
It is always a great feeling to travel to a place where you have never been before.
Here are five reasons why you should include Bandung in your itinerary of Indonesia. Later I’ll be writing about each one of them in detail in separate posts.
Just go out of Bandung and its surroundings are full of natural wonders. We went to two volcanic craters, Kawah Putih and Tangkuban Perahu. Click the links to read more about them. Both of them were very different from each other. My advice, do not miss any of them. The fields, the river, campsite, hiking trails and much more. The outdoors of West Java tempt you to head there immediately.
Several times we had the chance of tasting and relishing the local Sundanese cuisine and much more. We also had the opportunity of experiencing community lunch. Even before I had left India, I was advised by my friends to have Lotek, Gado Gado etc. The best part of Indonesian cuisine is that it’s not as hot & spicy as its neighboring countries and is light on stomach. Also, there is no dearth of vegetarian dishes.
Generally Bali is what people look for if they want to learn and experience about Indonesian culture. Not anymore. Bandung has hundreds years of history of culture behind it. The dances, the Wayang puppet show, playing Angklung, Dangdut music is very specific to this region.
At Bandung airport, when I was waiting for my flight to Kuala Lumpur, I saw hordes of people also going there. Almost all of them had extra baggage. I came to know that they come from Malaysia & Korea to Bandung to shop for textiles and clothes! Even after paying for the airfare, they save some money if they shop in Bandung! There are many factory outlets that have fabulous clothes in latest fashion. Besides clothes and apparels, other things to shop for are wooden artifacts, Bandrek, a local drink, local snacks, shoes and souvenirs etc.
The local tourists prefer Bandung for its diversity in the region. I am sure there are many places where nature co-exists with a Cosmopolitan city but Bandung is special. Bandung has hotels to suit every pocket. In fact, Bandung’s hospitality sector works hand in hand with the Tourism Office to make sure local and international travelers get competitive rates, extensive trip packages, and unique menus of local food. Bandung also has the only 6 star hotel of Indonesia, called The Trans Luxury Hotel!
Has any city or country emerges as a surprise to you?
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