Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bandung Railway Station's North Exit

Photo caption: Passangers walking to the north exit of Stasiun Hall, Bandung's main railway station.

Stasiun Hall has two exits and two entrances: The north exit and entrance are located on Kebon Kawung Street, whereas the south exit and entrance are on Stasiun Barat Street.

Passangers can enter and exit the station through either of the entrances and exits depending on which train they want to take or where they want to go upon exiting from the station. There is an angkot terminal just in front of the southern entrance/exit. A taxi stand is available in the north. The northern part of the station has a large parking facility for cars and motocycles; the south has more limited parking space.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Brightly Colored Woman Sandals

Brightly colored women sandals I saw at a supermarket in Cimahi in the west of Bandung. Very eye cathing!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Billboard and Windmill

This is my Instagram photo of an early evening sky with a tall billboard and a windmill on Setiabudhi Street in the north of Bandung.

This post is my participation in the Skywatch Friday meme. The regular post will follow later.

If you are a follower or a regular visitor of this blog, you will know that the windmill is of course not a real one. It's a store-front deco of a popular bakery here. I posted about it a few years ago here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

It's A Kingswood Holden!

Photo caption: A green Holden Kingswood was parked on the road side of Jalan Kebon Sirih, Bandung.

The discovery brings back memories from my childhood. The company where my father worked used to have one of these. I remember my father taking me on a trip out of the city on this car. It was a comfortable and powerful car.

From this source, I learned that it's a Holden HJ or HX model, which respectively was released in 1974 and 1976. It was available in 2.8-liter and 3.3-liter inline six-cylinder engines. It used to be one of the most popular cars here. Even now, I think, it still has its own fans.

Holden is an Australian-made car, produced by General Motors-Holden.

There are a couple of mechanics and workshop that specialize in remaking/rebuilding/reconditioning old cars on Jalan Kebon Sirih. I think that's why the car was there.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cileuncang Flood

Photo caption: Cars braving an inundated street on Jalan Cicendo, Bandung.

Street flooding like this is locally called banjir cileuncang (cileuncang flood). In the Sundanese language (the language of the West Javanese people), cileuncang means a flood caused by blockage of sewer or culvert or one that afflicts a lower part of an area because rain water from the higher parts flows onto it.

Several areas in the city of Bandung are prone to the cileuncang phenomenon because they are of lower elevation than the surrounding areas. Cicendo Street, Kebun Kawung Street, and Stasiun Timur Street near Bandung Railway Station are particularly prone to cileuncang flood not only because they are lower than the surrounding areas but also because the drainage system in these parts of the city is in a bad shape and poorly maintained.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Kerak Telor

Photo caption: A kerak telor seller in at Lapangan Gasibu (Gasibu Square), Bandung.

In addition to food stalls, the Gasibu Square also attracts different kinds of 'mobile' food and beverage sellers like this in the evening.

This man sells kerak telor, a traditional food from Betawi.

I call him a 'mobile' food seller because he uses pikulan (a bamboo carrying pole like the one you see in the picture) to carry all the equipment and ingredients he needs to make the food he's selling.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Night Food Stalls at Gasibu

Photo caption: Night food stalls lining Jalan Diponegoro at Gasibu Square in front of Gedung Sate, the West Java Gubernatorial Office Mansion.

These food stalls, which operate only in the evening, sell different kinds of traditional foods and drinks. Many Bandung people love to hang out here, especially during the weekend nights when the place sees more visitors than any other nights.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Soto Gerabah Solo

This is the food I tried and tasted at the Balkot Festival 2012: Soto Gerabah Solo.,

Soto is the Indonesian traditional soup. There are a lot varieties of it. Many different parts of the country have their own recipes of soto. This one comes from Surakarta or Solo, a regency in the province of Central Java. Hence the name, soto gerabah solo.

The middle word in the name, 'gerabah', means pottery. And that's the uniqueness of it: the soup is served in baked or fired clay bowls. They don't use stainless steel or metal spoon either. Instead, they use a spoon made of coconut shell and wood.

I chose this food among many others offered at the festival because of its uniqueness. I've never seen it in any other events in Bandung before. Besides it was drizzling and a bit cold. A warm soup with delicious spices was best.

Soto is best and is usually served with ground red or green chili paper and squeezed lemon juice (see the above picture).

The owner, with whom I talked while I was eating, said that they did not have any branches of their restaurant outside their hometown yet. Therefore, if you want to try you may have to go to Surakarta. The restaurant is on Jalan Prof. Supomo No. 57, at Pasar Beling area.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Modified Moped

Photo caption: A modified moped (underbones, motorcycle, or motobike) displayed in Balkot Festival 2012. This moped belongs to a member of FCMB (Forum Club Motor Bandung) or Bandung Motor Club Forum, one of creative community organizations that takes part in the festival.

About Forum Club Motor Bandung (FCMB)

FCMB is a forum 23 motor clubs. It was founded on 27 July 2006. Its mission, according the forum's blog whose link I gave above, is to provide a forum whereby the city's 'bikers' "can foster their potential and creativity and develop programs that benefit the community".

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Balkot Festival 2012

Photo caption: Members of a bikers club performing rock 'n' roll music on one of the stages in Bandung Balkot Festival 2012.

Bandung Balkot Festival is an annual event which has been held regularly since 2007 to celebrate the city's anniversary. Previously this festival was called Bandung Blossom. This year, the name is changed to Balkot, which stands for Balai Kota or the City Hall - the venue in which the event takes place.

Unlike the previous years' events which were highlighted by a parade of floats, this year's event only consists of exhibitions and art performances. The parade has been written off the agenda because of concerns of traffic congestion it has caused in the previous years' events.

The 2012 Balkot Festival is ongoing from today until 18 Novermber. A number of Indonesia's top singers and bands are scheduled to perform here. There will also be cultural performances by members of Bandung's differemt art and creative communities, an exhibition of local creative products, and a culinary festival in which visitors can sample and taste different kinds of foods and beverages from many parts of the country.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fresh Fruit Salad on The Streets

Photo caption: A man selling rujak or fresh fruit salad on Cihampelas Street.

Rujak (or rojak in Malaysia and Singapore) is a popular dish here. It is made of an assortment of sliced fresh fruits you can see in the man's cart and a sweet, sour, hot dressing made of palm sugar, red chili paper, tamarind, shrimp paste, salt, and peanuts.

A rujak seller/vendor like him can usually be found traveling with his cart or putting his cart on a busy street waiting for customers.

If you can't stand the hot, sweet, sour taste of the dressing, you can also ask for the fresh fruits only.

Unlike in any other cultural traditions where salads are eaten before the main course as an appetizer, rujak is usually eaten as a stand-alone dish or an afternoon snack. It is very refreshing, particularly on a hot day. It can also be eaten after the meal as a dessert.

If you don't like the idea of eating foods sold on or bought from the street out of hygiene concerns, you can try them in restaurants and hotels. Yes, many of them serve it on their menu.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Biking in Bandung

Photo caption: Bikers enjoying their Sunday morning ride on Jalan Ir. H. Djuanda or Jalan Dado at the weekly event of Dago Car-Free Day when a section of the street is blocked from motorized vehicles from 6 to 10 a.m. to allow the citizens to enjoy this scenic part of their city in leisurely walk and other activities.

Biking or bicycling is increasingly becoming a popular activity among Bandung citizens. Despite this, Bandung is not a biker-friendly city. On a normal working day, it is nearly impossible for bikers to ride safely and comfortably on its streets. Traffic congestion, high level of pollution, and ruthless motorists are sure threats to their safety and comfort.

In recent years, there have been attempts to improve the condition and make the city friendlier to bikers. In 2010, the municipal government initiated a pilot project to designate and blue paint 8 kilometers of the city's existing streets for bicycle path. The project, which cost the city IDR 5 billion (approximately USD 500,000) became an embarrassment because the paint was of low quality and did not last long. Bikers were reluctant to use it because many undisciplined motorists stress-passed it and posed threat to their safety. The motorists are not to be blamed either. There is simply not enough street to motorist ratio in the city. Congestion forced them to 'invade' the biker-designated path.

Upon the initiative Ridwan Kamil of Bandung Creative City Forum (BCCF), the government also planned to have rent-bicycle pools established in strategic places throughout the city to encourage more people (citizens as well as visitors) to use bicyle. This plan, which was first implemented in September 2011 with 500 bicycles donated by private sponsors, had seemed to be going nowhere either. It is unclear what the current status of the project is.

I think it would take more than just piecemeal and patchwork projects like these to turn Bandung into a biker-friendly city. Bandung's transportation problem is much too systemic to be solved in in piecemeal fashion like these.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sang Hyang Tikoro

Sang Hyang Tikoro (sometimes also written Sanghyang Tikoro), which literally means god of the throat, is the name of a cavern through which the Citarum River flows and goes underground near Saguling -- some 26 kilometers to the southwest of the city of Bandung. This cavern is said to be about 162 meters in length. However, this has yet to be ascertained as nobody has ever ventured into and explored it. The mouth, shown in the above picture, is about 2,5 meters high and 9 meters wide.

The legend that circulates among the Sundanese people has it that this cavern is the place where the ancient Bandung lake, which has now become the bowl-like Bandung plateau, first leaked and became dry, and should this cavern ever be blocked, the Citarum water will once again flood the bowl and turn Bandung into a lake again.

This belief has geologically been proven to be unfounded. However, a legend is a legend. Many people still believe in the significance this underground tunnel has for the survival of Bandung.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

West Padalarang Karst

A limestone mountain (hill?) or what remains of it of the west Padalarang karst at Citatah. The winding curve you see in the picture is the road used by local miners and mining company to extract or mine limestone.

The west Padalarang karst is located about 22 kilometers to the west of Bandung. The karst has been heavily mined for its limestone and other mineral deposits. It has been the concern of many environmentalists and geologists because of the prehistoric significance this place has in the formation of the Bandung plateau. They are afraid that much of geological and bio-diversity evidence will be lost because of the mining activities.

I am going to tell more about this place at later posts.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

TSM Theme Park's Giant Gorilla

What looks like a giant gorilla here is actually part of the facade of TSM indoor theme park and its mouth the gate through which the roller coaster goes in and out of it. Although the theme park is indoor, the roller coaster highers parts are put outside the building.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Trans Studio Mall Glass Pyramid

The glass pyramid roof of the Trans Studio Mall (TSM), Bandung.

TSM, previously called Bandung Supermal, was constructed in 2001 and is claimed to be the largest mall in Bandung. In 2010, the mall was acquired and redeveloped by City Corp., and renamed Trans Studio Mall (TSM) in 2011.

The mall now has an indoor theme park called Trans Studio Bandung. This theme park is claimed to be the largest in Indonesia. In addition to a theme park, the current owner has also had a five-star hotel built adjacent to it.

With such facilities, TSM has now become one of Bandung's major and most popular tourism attractions.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Leuwi Panjang Bus Terminal

Caption: Passangers walking to the buses waiting to be dispatched at Leuwi Panjang Bus Terminal.

Located at Jalan Soekarno-Hatta No. 205 in the southwest of Bandung, Leuwi Panjang Bus Terminal is currently one of the two main bus terminals connecting Bandung with other cities on the island of Java and beyond. The other terminal is Cicaheum in the eastern part of the city.

Leuwi Panjang mainly caters buses that connect Bandung to cities and towns to the west of it, such as Jakarta, Sukabumi, Bogor, Bekasi, Tangerang, Serang, and Merak as well as cities on the island of Sumatra.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

English Notices

English notices at the entrance of Nanny's Pavillion, a French American pancake restaurant, at Sukajadi area in the north of Bandung.

I like the family-like atmosphere of this restaurant. The foods and beverages are also reasonably good.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mosque Napping

A man was taking a nap after the mid-day prayer at a mosque on Jalan Pajajaran, Bandung.

The mosque is not only a place where people perform their prayers here. For some, it's also a place where they can take a rest or a nap, especially at the mid-day when it's hot outside. Mosques near work places or bus terminals are particularly popular among workers and travelers to rest or take a nap.

There have been some attempts by some mosque administrators to ask or remind people not to use the mosque as a napping or resting place. But they did not seem to heeded. The mosque is an open public space for Muslims and they think it is all right (appropriate?) to use the mosque as a resting place.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Flying Bicycles

Flying bicycles at Alun-alun Cimahi (Cimahi City Square) park.

Cimahi is a municipality of about 600,000 population located about 12 kilometers to the west of the city of Bandung. It is one of the independent administrative areas that form the Greater Bandung Area(Bandung Raya) -- Other areas being Kota Bandung (Bandung Municipality), Kabupaten Bandung (Bandung Regency), and Kabupaten Bandung Barat (West Bandung Regency).