Bandung was once “Paris of Java” – What is it now?

Bandung in Indonesia was once known as “Paris of Java”. I saw a few T-shirts with the proclamation “Paris Van Java”, but other than that there is not much evidence to suggest that this was once a grand city in the resemblance of the French capital.

Jalan Asia Afrika
[Jalan Asia Afrika]

Bandung was once a grand city, but much of its grandeur has been lost over the decades. The local government have added their bit to urban defilement by cutting down many trees lining the streets in order to improve traffic, in the process making the city a hotter place with Jakarta-style traffic jams.

Bandung’s claim to fame is that it was the host of the 1955 Asia-Africa conference, which was attended by a who’s who of the developing world, including Soekarno, Ho Ch Minh, Nehru and Nasser among others.

There are numerous Art Deco buildings that can be found around the city, some of which were built around the time of the conference. If Bandung still wanted to be known as “someplace of Java”, then perhaps it could be “Miami of Java”, or “Miami of the east”.

Savoy Homann Hotel
[Savoy Homann Hotel]

OK, so it doesn’t have a beach, which makes naming an inland city after Miami a bit odd. What it does have in common is a wealth of Art Deco buildings. If Bandung restored and brightly painted all the Art Deco buildings in the city it would be a tourist attraction in itself, just as it has become in Miami.

Bank Pacific
[Bank Pacific]

Bandung Jeans Street – The Camden of the east?

While Bandung in West Java may no longer be the Paris of Java, it may just be the Camden of the East.

Camden is a borough of North London, and it is best known for its market on the Camden High St. The Camden market has jeans, shoes, jackets, army disposals, smokers paraphernalia shops and outfitters for punks and techno heads. The street is famous for its shops with oversize fibreglass objects on the shop roofs.

In Bandung there is a similar place called Jeans Street, which is in North Bandung on Jalan Cihampelas. The jalan (street) is lined with dozens of shops selling cheap jeans, clothing and accessories.

Superman Jeans
[Superman Jeans]

Each shop has a theme and many of them are adorned with oversized promotional statues on the shop fronts.

Spiderman Jeans
[Spiderman Jeans]

Some of the shops, like the clothing it sells, knock the names off from famous comic book and film characters.

Super Rambo Jeans
[Super Rambo Jeans]

It is not all knock off pirated goods though. There are many local designer ware as well as some items that you wont find so easily any where else.

Aztec Jeans
[Aztec Jeans]

Overall it is an interesting place to have a walk around or stock up on clothing.

Army Look
[Army Look]

Boat Jeans Shop
[Boat Jeans Shop]

Iron Man Store
[Iron Man Store]

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