Bandung offers stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage

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Braga street in Bandung.

BANDUNG, the capital of West Java province in Indonesia, is a popular destination known for its cool climate, stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant shopping and culinary scenes.

Located about 150 kilometers southeast of Jakarta, Bandung offers a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital city.

Among the attractions in Bandung are Tangkuban Perahu, an active stratovolcano located about 30 kilometers north of the city, and Kawah Putih, a breathtaking volcanic crater lake in the highlands south of Bandung.

Walking along Braga Street, a historic street in the heart of Bandung, is a must as it is lined with colonial-era buildings, cafes and boutiques. Visitors can try street food here, including baked goods from a shop that has been in business since 1929.

A notable dining experience in Bandung is at Geng Nikmat restaurant, which serves fresh seafood cooked with local ingredients, including a dish made with unagi, or Japanese eel.

The performers at Saung Angklung Udjo.

Another essential visit is Saung Angklung Udjo, a cultural workshop and performance center dedicated to preserving the traditional Sundanese musical instrument, the angklung. Here, visitors are treated to musical performances by students from the surrounding community and can also learn to play the angklung.

According to the Wonderful Indonesia website, Saung Angklung Udjo was established in 1966 by the late Udjo Ngalagena (1929-2001) and his beloved wife, the late Uum Sumiyati. The center was built with dedication to conserving West Java’s Sundanese traditional art and culture. Udjo Ngalagena’s passion and principles have made Udjo’s House of Angklung a place where Sundanese art and culture thrive and gain proper respect worldwide. His efforts to introduce and promote the angklung were recognized when UNESCO inscribed it on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List in November 2010.

On a media familiarization trip, the group from Sabah was introduced to Dama Kara, a local Indonesian clothing designer who uses locally produced batik in her designs. She also works with the autistic community in Bandung and has designed some clothing from which the royalties of the sales will go to the community.

Another must-visit store is Bodypack, which offers a wide range of bags, hats and clothing coveted by those with an active lifestyle.