Not Bored at all in Bandung!

Trip Start Jan 07, 2009
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Trip End Aug 04, 2009


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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Saturday, May 16, 2009

I guess it's a good thing to go somewhere with low expectations, because things can only be a pleasant surprise! I actually think it is the nicest city I have seen in Java (in fact, it is supposedly the "Paris of Java", although I wouldn't go that far). It's nothing absolutely spectacular or anything, but I think I just like Indonesia so much that I am never bored and always find it interesting. Just wandering around warungs and trying to figure out what all the food is is interesting. It's also interesting just the contrast between the traditional and the modern...within 20 metres from one another, there can be a little warung kopi (little stall that sells coffee and you have to sit there on a little plastic stool to drink because there's no take-away), and a big huge Dunkin Donuts (which I tried, and the donuts were much better than in Canada, surprisingly). There can be a local market selling chicken covered in flies right next to the hugest shopping mall I have ever seen. I keep finding this funny.

So it all started with another train journey, which I really enjoyed. I was sitting next to this little punky Indonesian guy who was quite funny. At first he sits down next to me and starts to talk to me in Indonesian, and when I tell him I don't understand, he's like "well then how do you talk to the local people? We don't all speak English". He was all appalled at how little Indonesian I know even though I've been here a month. But anyway, turns out he speaks perfect English. Then the normal questions started with the "why are you traveling alone? why aren't you married? etc". But in the end he was really funny, and told me all about his Romeo & Juliet heartbreak story...very dramatic Indonesian family stories.

When I made it to Bandung, all the becak drivers were like "you want to go to By Moritz?" so I assumed it was the place where all foreign travelers go, so off I went to By Moritz. It was encouraging to see in the check-in book that other tourists do stay there, although on that particular day I was the only one. So off I went to explore the town, and I decided it was a pretty cool place. I met some tour guides just walking down the street, and decided to sign up for their motorbike tour for the next day. Then I ran in to them again when they were just watching a band that was playing by the side of a busy road, so sat and watched it with them. They were quite good, but it was so random. Everyone was sitting on the roundabout in the middle of the road, and then tons of cars were going by between us and the band....very strange place for a concert. Anyway, all the Indonesian teenage boys were really into it and dancing like canadian teenage boys defenitely never would...it was very funny. I enjoyed it.

So the next day I went on yet another motorbike tour to beautiful Indonesian countryside. We went through a town that was all about strawberries. Every few metres there was a sign for a strawberry farm, and there were stawberries just literally everywhere. So I stopped to buy strawberries, and they were so good that I bought some more on the way back. :) It was a Sunday, so there were a million tourists from Jakarta, but no other foreign tourists. Anyway, you can look at the photos to see what I saw on this tour. I can only describe sights for so long before I am tired of it.

Oh yes, I also made another Indonesian friend just walking down the street in town. He is also a tourguide though, which made me a bit weary that he wanted to sell me something, but he didn't really. Not *really*...but he invited me to drink arak with him and his friend...but then I had to be the one to buy it. lol. I don't mind because it's really cheap, but it was kind of weird. So one evening we sat around drinking arak, the local rice wine, which I didn't realise isn't allowed in Java! I didn't understand why he was being so secretive and that we had to have it from a kettle, in tea cups! (I found out that it's not really allowed later....I'm not sure why it isn't though.) I decided that the dark arak tastes like a tree (because it has herbs of some sort in it). Then we went to a big fancy karaoke place, but it was a Monday, so there was no one else there. Kind of funny.

The rest of the time I just spent wandering around town, trying to see why people from Jakarta seem to love this town so much. It's full of tourist tshirts everywhere, but clearly for indonesian tourists.

Oh, writing a blog so many days after I leave a place is difficult! I have already forgotten so many things about Bandung. But bottom line is...it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be!
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Comments

cool on

Bandung is another underrated place in Indonesia. It's favourit holiday destination for people from Jakarta and Malaysia alike due to its agrable weather, beautiful yet delicious restaurants, and tons of factory outlets where you can buy branded clothes for a very cheap price. Looking at your picts I'm sure that you didn't go to those FOs. If you want to know more about Bandung, just see Malaysian bloggers, they made many good reviews about that city.

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