How are you my peeps? It is finally time to take you through our second part of the trip in Indonesia.
If you do remember, after Bali, we decided to go to West Java to discover another side of Indonesia!
In case you do not remember our trip to Bali, you can always watch again the video just below 🙂
So are you ready to leave Bali for other vibes now?! I hear you saying yes so let’s dive into the 9 things to do in West Java!
But before we do, we have to say a huge Thank you to Mr Irwan & Mr Caprit who were our host in West Java and gave us the opportunity to visit this amazing region 🙂
When it comes to Bandung, it is really not what I was expecting when going to West Java! But hey, this is why we keep exploring the world because we do not want to keep experiencing this amazement!
So the surprise consisted in the fact that Bandung is the city capital of West Java built in the middle of the tea fields and the volcanoes…and Bandung is displaying an art deco style from the colonial era. Through the streets of the city, we learnt about the colonial past in Indonesia. The city of Bandung played a huge part in the movement of decolonization in Asia and Africa.
I am sure that you wonder that could be possible?
Well, Bandung hosted the famous Asia Africa conference the first large scale Afro-asian in 1955 to consider the issues the most pressing calling out for the freedom of all subjugated people.
The building that held the historic became the museum Asia Africa and the main cultural attraction of the city.
Make sure to take the tram in the city that will give you a feeling of San Francisco and stop at Braga Street.
A tour of Bandung would not have been complete without the visit of the music center of Saung Angklung Udjo. Angklung is a cultural center whose mission is to teach the bamboo made angklung Udjo to the new generation of indonesian children.
The children give daily shows for tourists and local to enjoy the instrument.
This place has bamboo craft center and workshop for bamboo musical instruments. Saung Angklung Udjo in Bandung mission to continue to preserve and develop the culture of Sunda, especially Angklung through the means of education & training.
It is clearly the cherry on the cake as we go to meet young people so passionate about their musical culture and to discover local talents.
When we arrive to Purwakarta, it’s like we changed scenery, it is a smaller city where the influence of hinduism culture is way more present. All along the streets, it is very common to see statues of hindu characters.
Several museums relates the story of these characters in Gallery Wayang.
Gallery Wayang is a museum based on the sudanese culture of West Java. The particularity of the Gallery Wayang is that it is traditional form of puppet-shadow play.
The puppet’s are are made of wood and carved by professional on the spot so you may be able to witness the birth of the puppets while there. The extent of details in the carvings of these little statues is just phenomenal added to the vigorous colorism, it really feels like they were alive!
They do also a puppet show of these character each month that relates old hindu tales for people to remember.
To grasp the soul of the city, there’s nothing better than watching this video of Purwakarta made by Boa Albar:
Visit Museum Bale Indung Rahayu
Purwakarta has another amazing museum ; Bale Indung Rahayu which relates the tradition of sundanese daily life
When visiting it, we really took a deep dive into the sundanese culture as the exhibition starts with the process of childbirth and the celebration of the Mother who gives life and then the upbringing of the child. The exhibition took us to the traditional board games, music instruments and culinary customs of the region. This museumis a must do if you really want to understand the sundanese culture in depth.
Not too far from Purwakarta, we stayed in Jatiluhur, a paradise for water sport lovers.
Jatiluhur including hotels, bungalow, bar and restaurant, tennis court, billiard, camping site, swimming pool, meeting room, water sport recreation center, playground etc. Water sport recreation center includes rowing, surfing, water ski.
Moreover, you can climb into a paddleboat and explore Jatiluhur River during a beautful sunset.
Eat in a real street food Sate Maranggi & Surabi
It is a must to try a sate maranggi when you get to Purwakarta as it is part of the culture. Once you get there, you will have to eat from a buffet then you can ask for bbq beef or chicken skewers. It is a very crowded area where you can meet locals and eat the local food. It was definitely a great experience as Andrew and I really love street food.
Indonesian street is very popular, the other type of food that you must try is Surabi. It is a sort of pancake mixed with different toppings such as banana & chocolate for the sweet ones or cheese and meet for the salted ones. This is delicious that Andrew decided to get a improvised cooking class to make his own surabi, check this out : )
Take a craft ceramic & pottery workshop
When coming to Purwakarta, the ceramic & pottery industry is really present from the statues in the street to the flower vases everywhere you go. It is a typical craft art from Purwakarta, therefore we visited a ceramic & pottery center that is exporting to different parts of the world. It was really interesting to get to understand all the technical aspect of this work. Both Andrew and I never tried it before so we spent such a fun time learning & making small object.
Visit Mount Gunung Bongkok
The mount Gunung Bongkok is about 1h driving from Purwakarta, the road is to get there is really bumpy but so beautiful as you get to see the rice terraces. When we finally got there, we got to meet the owner the climbing park.
For the sake of the story, the climbing park has been built by the owner who is a climbing lover. We were welcome by an phenomenal bamboo bridge going a around a mountain overseeing a pool and the zipline on the other side.
It took few years to hard work and dedication to build this park in the middle of the jungle. We took a zipline ride at the end of the afternoon and we had the chance to see the sunset which was marvellous.
The region of Purwakarta is rich in activity, after cultural part of it, we decided to go to natural hot springs in the north of the city for about 2 hours from it. You have the option to come by day or by night to enjoy a moment of relaxation after a day full of adventures.
And these are the 9 things to do in West Java! Finally, before we close this chapter in Indonesia, we really wanted to say a huge thank you to the Tourism office of Purwakarta for hosting us and guiding us through the gems of the region and to all the indonesian people we met that shared the passion of their art & work. You made our stay unforgettable!
For those who have been in West Java or intend to visit this part, please comment & share your insight 🙂
Talk to you for the next adventure but until then enjoy our full video from West Java!