Friday, 11 December 2015

South-East Asian Adventures: traditional puppets and awesome street food in Bandung, Java, Indonesia

Next stop on my travels through Java was the university city of Bandung. It's technically the capital of West Java, although not a big tourist city at all.

Whilst home to lots of students, it's also the weekend city of choice for many wealthy business-people who spend their weeks working in Jakarta and weekends in the far more pleasant Bandung. I saw some incredible big houses!

Equally, the Dutch influence in Bandung was incredibly strong. Have a look...

I thought it was all very pretty.

Despite only being in Bandung for a stopover, we managed to pack quite a lot in. First up, we visited a traditional puppet-maker's workshop.

We were explained how the puppets all depicted traditional Indonesian characters to perform the stories of old myths, and I though it incredibly impressive that they were all made by hand. It was very cool to watch the master at work too.

That evening we went to a street food market for dinner. I know, I know, you've seen one street food market, you've seen 'em all, right? Apparently not.

This one was particularly snazzy. Welcome to Paskal Food Market!

There was so much choice food-wise, however all the menus were in Indonesian, which was slightly problematic. I mean sure, I'm nearly fluent now (I know how to say chicken, rice, noodles, no spice, fried banana, tea with milk and thank you, so the essentials really), but it was still very much a case of ordering blind.

And apparently taking a picture blind too. Apols for the blurriness. Light was dim, you know how it is. I ended up ordering bamboo rice, fried chicken, tempe and tofu, with the most delicious fruity yogurty smoothie for good measure.

It was Friday evening and the atmosphere was wonderful. There was a live band playing and the tables were full of locals enjoying the start to the weekend. Unsurprisingly, the decision to get up and start ballroom dancing to Ed Sheeran's 'Thinking Out Loud' warranted a few strange looks (we hadn't even had any alcohol, honest!) but we were used to being stared at purely for our ethnicity - why not add to the spectacle, eh?

We all had a cracking evening! Lobke, the resident Belgian of the group, has a snazzy camera and we started experimenting with light. Check it out...

Pretty cool, huh? Although I will concede that my Christmas tree is a slightly interesting shape.

You know those nights where everyone's in a good mood for no apparent reason and something totally not special ends up being the most fun? That's what happened.

I was having a ball, and I didn't even know what awesomeness awaited us in our next destination: Yogyakarta!


  1. Ok now I'm really, REALLY hungry! Is it acceptable to order some kind of Asian food for breakfast..? Love the Rachel puppet! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua: Travel, Food, Italy

    1. Um, ABSOLUTELY! In Asia they eat noodles and rice for every meal of the day so it's the authentic thing to do really... ;) x


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