My lovely sponsor Dara or Hola Darla is taking over my blog today!
Hi, readers of Sincerely, Sara! I'm so glad for the chance to share with you all today. I'm Dara, the Indonesian girl behind Hola Darla blog. I mainly blog about my day-to-day life and my interests, such as movies, books, musics, TV series, and cats. I've been planning to do a series to introduce my city, Bandung, to my blog readers. I think it would be nice to have a 'series premiere' here so that Sincerely, Sara's readers can read it too ;)
Bandung is the third largest city in Indonesia. It's the capital city of West Java province. Geographically, Bandung is surrounded by mountains and relatively cooler than other cities in Indonesia. Dubbed as Parijs van Java (the Paris of Java), it has been the main tourism destination in West Java since the 1900s, with a lot of hotels, restaurants, shops, and boutiques. Bandung is also a historical city, where the first Asian-African Conference was held in 1955. Over the years, Bandung has faced many problems, including traffic jam, flood, and trash disposal. It even went from being the cleanest city in Indonesia in 1997, to the dirtiest one in 2013. Although the problems are still happening now, but Bandung has been improving, thanks to our current mayor who has done many innovations for the past two years. One of the innovations that he has done is tidying up the city square (alun-alun).
Since I was a kid, the city square has been renovated many times. In the 1990s, it was simply a park. People rarely went there because it was just like that: a park. It wasn't too comfortable because there were trash in every corner and under the trees. Then in 2000s, the park was demolished and the land was digged to make a basement parking lot. Above the ground, the park was recreated, but again, it wasn't very comfortable due to the lack of trees. After the new mayor was elected in 2013, he changed the park into a giant picnic lot with synthetic grass. The people's reaction was highly positive. Though there are now no trees at all, but the synthetic grass allows us to sit or even lie down and take a nap. Little kids love to run around and there are several people renting bouncing balls for the kids to play with. Teenagers from all around the city come to take selfies there. Hahahaha! It's become one of the selfie spots in Bandung :p
Besides the city square, there are small gardens of colourful plants. The gardens consist of several squares with paths between them, creating some sort of a maze. On the other side of the city square, there is a playground and a bus stop (not pictured). Along the pavements, there are also some park benches where you can just sit and watch the city goes by.
The city is improving and I must say that I'm really proud of it! If you've been to Bandung a few years ago, you may see now that Bandung is prettier than before. And it's not just in the city square, but also all throughout the city. You see, Indonesia is not just Jakarta and Bali; we have Bandung, too! Next time you visit my country, please put Bandung on your destination list ;)
Now, as a thank you for the opportunity to introduce my city to you, I'm giving away a phone case for one lucky reader of Sincerely, Sara! This giveaway is open internationally. Good luck, friends! And nice to meet you ;)