Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bandung: the Paris of Java

One of the nicknames of Bandung, Indonesia is "Parijs Van Java"or the "Paris of Java".  While I've not been to Paris, France, I am skeptical of this comparison.  Nonetheless, Betty did arrange a "city tour" for Daniel and I today so we were not in the classroom.

Our first destination, following a 2+ hour drive through Bandung's streets and "country" side, was the local volcano.  Tangkuban Parahu stands 1830 meters above sea level and is considered a semi-active volcano.  It last erupted in the mid twentieth century and continues to have steam coming out from the crater.  Betty, Daniel, and I hike around much of the mouth of the crater.

Our next destination was not "far" from the volcano's crater but still seemed like it took at least an hour to get there.  Driving time here in Bandung (and Indonesia in general) is crazy due to the traffic and infrastructure; seemingly short distances require obscure routes.  We went to a small water park built around one of the natural springs heated by the volcano.  If we had known ahead of time, we could have brought our swim suits and dived into these warm waters.  But alas, we had to settle for dipping our feet in.

It was now mid-afternoon and we were hungry.  Daniel and I both were ready to try a "taste of home" and requested Pizza Hut for a late lunch.  Following another hour and a half of driving we finally reached one of the several Pizza Hut locations in Bandung.  The menu here was much more extensive, offering pizzas with crab-tuna-shrimp or fish and chips.  I opted for something "traditional" and went with a supreme but then added a cheese dippers crust for a hint at the "Indonesian flare".  By the way...Pizza Hut delivers in Bandung too...check out the fleet motorcycles waiting to serve you.

The final stop had been a destination I had requested from Betty prior to the trip.  In guide books and from online research the highlight suggestions for Bandung included "Jeans Street", a retail area for the textile industries of the region.  Well, I've now been to Jeans Street so I can mark that off the list.

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