Bandung is the capital city of West Java province, and the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. Nicknamed Parijs van Java (Paris of Java) by the Dutch for its resemblance to Paris and European atmosphere back at the colonial times, it is locally called as Kota Kembang, literally meaning the Flowery City because Bandung had a lot of flowers in the colonial era and republic era up to the early 1960s.
Bandung is located 180 kilometers southeast from Jakarta. Although it has a population of over two million, the pace of city life is slower than Jakarta’s. Bandung is situated on a plateau 768 meters above sea level with a cool climate throughout the year. Bandung is the most European city of Java.
Due to its topology, climate in Bandung is relatively cooler throughout the year than most of Indonesian cities. The average annual rainfall ranges from 1,000 milimetres in the middle and the southeast region to 3,500 milimetres in the north of the city. The wet season conforms with other Indonesian regions, around November to April. The average temperature is 22.6°C, cooler than most Indonesian cities.
Surrounded by green fertile mountains, Bandung today is Indonesia’s center for learning and creativity. Bandung is one of Indonesia’s most prestigeous university towns. Bandung is also the center of Indonesia’s burgeoning ICT technology, at the same time it is a center of arts and artists. Every weekend and long holidays the city is filled with young people from Jakarta who flock to Bandung to enjoy its youthful creative atmosphere in music, painting, fashion, and the culinary arts.
Today, Bandung is remembered in history internationally as the venue of the First Asian-African Conference held in 1955 which brought together for the first time, leaders of 29 Asian and African countries, who declared to jointly fight colonialism for national independence. Attending the Conference were noted national leaders, among whom, Jawaharlal Nehru and daughter Indira Gandhi of India, Chao En Lai of China, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and Indonesia’s own President Soekarno. The Asian-African Conference became the precursor of the Non-Alighned Movement.