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Cihampelas Bandung
by: Emma Kwee

Jalan Cihampelas is, amongst the tourists, better known as Jeansstreet . In the past, it was a cheap and therefore, popular place to score some new jeans. Although the prices have been increasing steadily, and a bargain is found better in other places in Bandung these days, Chihampelas is still worth a visit. Not so much because of the enormous amount of clothing that is displayed in abundance at the shops lining the busy street, since unfortunately quality is dubious and it mostly concerns tacky shirts with poorly glued on brand names.

The ‘attraction' lies in the huge statues of all-time favourite moviestars that adorn the fronts of the shops. Sylvester Stallone as Rambo, inclusive of bazooka, is lined up next to Spiderman, while on the opposite side of the street Batman invites you to take a look inside the ‘Superhero Factory Outlet'. The kitsch glamour that Cihampelas displays is quite a sight, although more in a grotesque way than genuinely attractive.

‘Cheap' is indeed a word that will come to mind, be it not in the moneysaving sense of it. The street itself is very busy, with traffic congestions all day round, and a lot of street vendors, offering to sew your newly-bought jeans for actual fit, as well as other strange paraphernalia such as BB guns, and miniature kung fu fighters. This is all accompanied by the loud music that is supposed to attract customers to the shops.

All in all, the sounds and sights plus the lack of sidewalks make Cihampelas a slightly tiring experience, but nevertheless a spectacle of distaste and kitsch in its purest albeit most dilapidated form. For a more sterile environment head over to the Ci walk, a favourite amongst Bandung's more wealthy shoppers. It consists of a conglomeration of more up market shops in a European themed atmosphere.

It is called a ‘new concept' mall, and in effect, tries to offer another shopping experience by creating a themed setting and added security while deducting traffic and other ‘undesirable elements' such as beggars and street vendors. Most worldwide chains and branches such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are represented and some family restaurants with Japanese and Chinese menus.

Both Cihampelas and Ci walk are easily reachable by car, the Ci walk spurs a big secure parking lot. To get there by angkot , just take any green minivan that says Cihampelas on the front window and get off at the sight of the superheroes looming large over your head.

 
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About The Author

Emma Kwee

Emma is a Dutch born and bred Indonesia lover who after years of traveling stranded and lost her heart to the same country her father was born in.

Emma writes for Streetdirectory Indonesia. Robert J Steiner manages Streetdirectory.co.id & FlowerAdvisor.co.id, well known for for online Flowers & Gifts in Indonesia.

She is currently living the good life in Bandung, writing for streetdirectory.com while sipping fresh coconut juice under a palmtree, she's planning on staying put for a while.

Visit us for information on Bali Hotels, Bali Educational Instituitions, Bali BanksBali Places of Interest, Bali Restaurants & Bali Shopping.