Bandung, as all big cities in Indonesia has its fair share of malls. The popularity of these concrete constructions increases day by day, so new concepts and ever larger buildings are erected throughout the city. The sky is the limit, developers seem to think, and Indonesians appreciative of the air conditioned security the mall offers instead of the bustling hot markets, often regard a day to the mall as a treat or a family day out.
One of the older but still popular examples of these consumer hubs is Istana Plaza Mall, located on Jalan Pasir Kaliki in the center of Bandung. On the ground floor, the bakeries that sell freshly baked rolls in varieties that include coffee bread and banana-cheese pastries have attracted a vast crowd of dough lovers, while most branches of renowned chains are represented on the other floors.
On the first floor a branch of the before environmentally friendly chain ‘The Bodyshop' can be found, and a general department store ‘Matahari' is spread out over three floors. The well stocked Gramedia bookstore also found a spot, and is one of the best sources to find English books, dictionaries maps and tourist guides.
Of course the obligatory fastfood chains are present as well, but by far the most busiest of floors is the top one, a.k.a the food court. Indonesians' love for food is symbolized by the sheer size and variety of food stands that sell old favorites and new trend snacks side to side. Families and school kids sit on tables in a setting that is neither intimate nor cozy, but enables them to perform their favorite activity, eating, without interruption.
The most striking feature of Istana Plaza mall however, is the ice skating rink, located next to the food court. The thought of walking around on Bandung's hot and humid streets, and then by taking a few escalators, finding yourself at a freezing cold ice skate rink, doesn't seem to amaze any of the visitors. They swirl around and turn pirouettes as though they do this on a daily basis. Chances are, they do, since the rink offers courses for beginners and school classes. If you want to show of your Double Rietberger, the admittance is Rp.15,000 and ice skates can be rented as well.
Istana Plaza is opened daily from 10.00 to 21.30.
Jalan Pasir Kaliki No. 121