Bogor and Bandung

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Coming from Carita Beach and going to Bogor, you can visit the Baduy people. We had a lot of rain when we started out, so the road had turned into a river. And that while the condition of the road wasn't very great in good weather: a lot of humps and bumps. But it was dry and sunny by the time we reached the Baduy.

 Rain turning the road into a river

Houses of the Baduy

Or at least, one of the villages of the Baduy. There are about 40 villages, with a total of 6.000 people. The area they live in, desa Kanekes, covers 5.000 hectares. There are 'inner-Baduy' where strangers are not welcome, and 'outer-Baduy'. You can get a permit to visit those with a guide. As the Baduy mainly speak their own language, an archaic dialect of Sundanese, a guide is very practical.

The Baduy live like they've done for many centuries. Their houses are built of bamboo and of leaves of the nipah, but that's not very extraordinary in Indonesia. There are houses of wood or stone, but bamboo is both cheaper and better suited for the climate. Thanks to the Dutch, you see tiled roofs as well, but it's not sure that is a better building material here.

 Baduy woman picking rice

Storage rooms of the Baduy

The main difference is the Baduy don't use electricity or other power tools. The rice for instance is stamped by hand and than stored in the small huts you see on this picture. The guide told us it is also possible to stay with the Baduy for the night. That way, you can better see how it is to live like them. But we had already booked a comfortable hotel in Bogor, so we had to leave.


Our hotel in Bogor was located a bit outside the city itself. We arrived after dark, so the next morning we had a surprise when we looked out of our window: we had this fantastic view.

 Happy Valley in Bogor

Road between Bogor and Jakarta

Near Bogor we hoped to find some of the buildings where father had stayed during his army time. We found out the road between Bogor and Jakarta had been doubled since. A lot of old buildings from the Dutch (the owners being gone for some decades) had been broken down. Side stalls where you an have something to eat or to drink is all that is left now.

Washing a sheep in the river

Drying cassava

When wandering over paths where no tourist had gone before, we saw a bit of the everyday life in Indonesia. That means you dry the cassava next to the road and you wash your sheep in the river.

We met with a friend of our driver, who invited us at his house. The evidence that his children, three daughters, had graduated, was hanging on the walls. And one of them was now studying at the university of Bogor. That is the same everyday life as washing something in the river.

Indonesian family

After the search for history, we went to a family that makes wayang golek puppets. One of the family members carves the wooden faces, his brother paints them and his mother makes the dresses.

And you can get them with traditional colours, all bright, or in just blue colours, in black and white or whatever you like. Mirjam bought the Garuda bird, a good power.

Garuda bird

Carver of Wayang Golek puppets

A lot of Wayang golek puppets

Of course, Bogor is also well know for the botanical garden. The garden was opened in 1817, and there are still a lot of trees from these early years. They are now pretty big, as you can see on the picture on the right.

In the garden is also a orchid house with many bright coloured flowers. And we found a tree which is used by kalongs, the enormous bats we had seen flying in Ujung Kulon. The Dutch call these bats 'flying dogs', an appropriate name as you see their size.

Big tree in the Botanical garden of Bogor

Kalongs in a tree

Buitenzorg palace


Next to the botanical garden is Buitenzorg, the palace of the Dutch governor in the 19th century. The palace itself is closed for public, but from the outside you can imagine this is a nice place for a weekend out of busy and warm Jakarta.

Puncak pass

The best way to drive from Bogor to Bandung is via de Puncak pass. There are a lot of tea plantations here, and there are always ladies picking the leaves. 

Women picking tea leaves

Puncak pass

And the great thing about Indonesian traffic: nobody thinks it's strange to stop at the side of the road (or in the middle, for that matter) to make a few pictures.


Bandung used to be called Paris of Java, and it is still a fantastic place to go shopping (if you have a small size). Beside spending some time in a mall, we also visited a coffee factory. The owners are still proud the factory was built by the Dutch, as it is a solid building. Even the electrical layout is like it was in the 1930th. We found out the raw beans are stored for 8 years (!) before they are roasted. How they keep the first in - first out system in this warehouse, we cannot imagine. It probably involves a lot of manpower.

Storing coffee
Aroma coffee factory
Roasting coffee

Gunung Tangkuban Prahu

Not far from Bandung you can find the volcano Gunung Tangkuban Prahu, or 'turned over boat'. Near the entrance of the park lies a dead vulcano, but after a walk of an hour you get to an active volcano. The grey stone with hot steam and sulphur contrast with the green surrounding. 

Path to the volcanoe

Volcanoe seen from the jungle
Hot water

 Children playing angklung


Finally in Bandung you should go to a performance of dance and music. There are a lot of places to choose from, varying from half an hour in a hotel to a complete 8 hour lasting wayang performance. We went to the angklung school of Pak Udjo. Here children from 2 to 12 learn to dance and make music, and after graduating they can get a good job anywhere on Java. We saw several performances, like a mask dance, the party at a circumcision and a modern style of wayang music. The best part is when everybody gets one tone of an angklung, a bamboo instrument, and we make some songs together. This really works, after a bit of practice we play 'Father Jacob' and 'The song of Do Re Mi'. And finally everybody is pulled in the circle to dance. 

Mask dance

Mirjam joining the dance

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