Bandung is the capital of west Java and located at about 750 meters above sea level, which gives the city a bearable cool climate. During the Dutch colonial period before world war two a relatively large proportion of Dutch with a good income had their domicile and the city is still known for the reasonable well maintained art deco buildings and avenues. Before the war the city was known as the “Paris of Java” due to its urban beauty and the famous shopping street, Braga with the latest fashion shops.
Due to the spectacular increase in traffic and population growth since 1950, the garden city character has lost its statue. Today this city has partially solved this problem by building large shopping centers outside the old neighborhoods and spreading the traffic. But, since mid-1960, the city has been surrounded by large addition of newcomers- or slums. Several homes have been built according to The Hague style of the period 1920/1930.
In and near Bandung were during World War II two major Japanese internment camps. Tjimahi was a men’s camp, situated to the west of Bandung. It functioned both as a civil and POW camp. It was originally a KNIL army barracks and today is still a barracks of the Indonesian army. The second camp Tjihapit was in the northeast of the city, and as of November 1942 European women and children were interned. They were housed in homes and additions that were fenced with bamboo fences or barbed wire.
Bandung has become a university city with their 26 different universities.
The city has many textile industries (including jeans), leather goods, but also in the wider area tea and coffee plantations. The Chinese district is located around the ABC Street (Jalan ABC) in the district of Pasar Baru where everything is for sale DeBragaweg (Jalan Braga) is the best-kept shopping area in Art Deco style. Due to the large variety of modern products, food items, students, beautiful buildings and the like Bandung is seen by her population as the coolest city of Indonesia.