Bandung was a couple of hours by train from Jakarta, we hopped into a taxi and in no time at all we were at the hotel, which happened to closely resembled a prison. It was a little way out of town, away from the hubbub, in fact it was away from everything. The town was lacking in major attractions, they had a couple of museums, an art gallery and a few places of worship.
It's a busy city, the main roads are heavy with vehicles, the side roads are extraordinarily narrow allowing for single-way traffic only. The streets big and small are full of shops , mostly selling food. Indonesians love their food and it shows in the variety available at every turn. Stalls with deep fried things, mobile glass cases offering a choice of fresh fruit shakes and others peddling every kind of chicken dish imaginable (deep fried chicken head, anyone?). As we walked passed each of the shops or stalls the smell of the cooking filled the warm air and hunger-inducing wafts of frying garlic, onions and ginger entered our nostrils. We were like the Bisto kids hovering along the delicious aromas, our feet not touching the ground.
Our approach to food has definitely shifted since being on the road, we had a couple of instances where we found a hair or four, but wasting food, that in balance probably won't do us any harm is not something that we could do given the level of poverty that many around us live in. So instead of baulking at it, we simply plucked them out and carried on, albeit hesitantly.
We walked around the town and took in some of the sights, the geology museum was both interesting and a great place to shelter from the rain. It would have been a more rewarding experience if more of the exhibition would have had an English translation. The majority of the sights are best viewed from the outside and along our 12km route we saw many of Bandung's colonial buildings, statues and memorials. There were a few parks that seemed to be a bit run down and had more concrete than greenery, but there were groups of kids breakdancing and skateboarding and the local families flocked to them for a picnic, the lucky ones sat on the comfort of soft grass, others in long rows along a low wall or on the asphalt. In any case, all were enjoying each others company and some great food.
As we wandered the streets, we were approached by some students who were conducting a survey about tourism in Bandung. "So why did you come to Bandung?", "We're not entirely sure."
Next destination is Yogyakarta, the nearest town to the ancient temple of Borobudur.