After a horrifying ride on a motorbike through jakarta with my big backpacks (which has been quite an experience itself !) I took the next train to Bandung. I heard that there wasn’t much to explore in Bandung itself but the surrounding landscape had enough to offer to stay a few days, so I did.
And oh it did have enough to offer I tell you ! In 12 hours in total we ate fresh fruit from the trees, saw spiders as big as hands, walked on the oldest bridge in Indonesia (well, that’s what our tourguide told us …), watched how bamboo mats and tofu was made, explored a volcano crater, rice and tea plantages, had incredible lunch in the calming surroundings of strawberry fields, walked through the rain forest to get to hot springs, where we spent a few hours peacefully floating around in the naturally heated water before heading to our last stop, freshly brewed coffee in the dark surroundings of a town where the last call to prayer of the day filled the air with almost mystical sounds. (I already got so used to the call to prayer that it was almost weird not to hear it as loud in Pangandaran, the town by the sea I’ve been staying at until today.
You say all of this sounds so cheesy ? Well, it was ! And I couldn’t and I still can’t even believe that everything I see is real and that I actually get to see all of it !
Bandung itself isn’t the same as Jakarta, but it still is quite a big city with crazy traffic, people wanting to take pictures with and of you wherever you go and incredible streetfood. The street I stayed at turned out to be the most exciting street for young people in Bandung. Very western hipstery cafés, pubs and bars, brick walls, bicycles hanging from them, with calming acoustic versions of well-known pop songs playing in the background … you know what I mean I guess ! But after seeing so much of the Indonesian culture I almost was happy to sit in a restaurant, spaghetti carbonara in front of me, listening to a very soulful version of wrecking ball from miley cyrus.
One of the things that made it quite hard for me to leave Bandung were to people I met there. The hostel owner and me got on so well that he even put on a little jawanese dance performance on my last evening just for me. The people were beyond helpful and nice and funny and I had to make sure not to get too comfortable there. Eventually the day came and I had to travel on. But first of course I’d love to share some impressions of Bandung and its surroundings with you.
WATCH OUT – MY TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS COMING YOUR WAY !
If you want to travel from Jakarta to Yogjakarta I would definitely recommend staying a few nights at Bandung in between. The train ride from Jakarta to Yogja is incredibly long, so it’s nice to get a good night’s rest in a real bed plus doing a tour to the south of Bandung (the crater, hot springs,… ) is such an amazing experience you wouldn’t want to miss !
Some hostels offer tours to the south and to the north, it’s basically the same thing BUT the north is much more popular, we were still pretty much on our own in the south and payed WAY LESS ! So maybe ask for options at the hostel you stay at.
I stayed at the Chez Bon hostel and I’d definitely recommend it. The rooms and sanitary facilities are very clean, it has a great rooftop where you can watch the busy streets from above, the neighbourhood’s pretty cool, they have good breakfast and the best staff. (If you should ever get there say hi from me, I think they’ll probably remember me hehe)