Comment: Bandung becomes popular with tourists
Paper Edition | Page: 8
Aug. 2, p. 3
The first six months of the year saw a significant rise in the number of tourists coming from Egypt, while Bandung in West Java showed the highest growth, indicating the city was a hot destination, not only for Jakartans, but also for foreign tourists.
Tourism data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), released on Wednesday, showed that tourists from Egypt, though small in number, grew 45.5 percent to 2,200, compared to 1,500 in the same period last year.
The number of travelers coming from Saudi Arabia and the Philippines also saw healthy growth of 21.2 percent and 15.7 percent respectively.
One of the sellable tourist destinations is the old town situated in and around Braga Street, in the heart of Bandung.
Fortunately for us, most shops and buildings are still in their original, old-fashioned designs and shapes.
When I was young, during the 1960s, Braga Street used to be a shopping area. People walked along the sidewalks in the evening under the fresh and cool air of downtown Bandung.
In some parts of the street, we would find some sidewalk cafes where pedestrians stopped to relax, enjoying hot drinks and chatting with friends, while fashionable people walked around.
The environment reminds me of downtown Paris or Amsterdam. My mom said that in the past, this particular place used to be one of the favorite places for Dutch community to visit and meet friends.
To return Braga Street to its heyday, the authorities must work hard to convince the owner of the buildings to renovate and invest in their business.
For reference, I believe Technische Hogeschool Bandoeng (now ITB) has a good collection of Braga Street pictures from the good old days.