For philately fanatics
Philatelists will be in their element at Museum Pos Indonesia, Bandung’s Postal Museum, as for everyone else, well it’s an interesting diversion for half an hour and free to enter.
The museum is housed in the bowels of Bandung’s General Post Office (Kantor Pos Indonesia Pusat) which was built by the Dutch as part of the Gedung Sate complex, and opened as Bureau Post, Telegraaf en Telefoondienst in 1931. The museum not only showcases an impressive and no doubt extremely valuable collection of stamps from Indonesia and elsewhere, but also postal equipment and a general historical overview of Indonesia’s postal service (a pre WhatsApp communication service). A bright orange painted iron colonial postbox stands outside the building, and as you enter, a couple of cheesy props allow you to have your face on a stamp—stick your head through the hole and have your selfie stick ready.
Sign the guestbook and head down the stairs to the vault-like exhibition space. Displays include collections of postboxes, postal bicycles, scales, uniforms and other paraphernalia in the somewhat dusty and not partially well presented exhibitions. The large stamp room houses glass display cases with binders full of stamps, and large pull-out wooden display pallets, organised chronologically and by country. Unfortunately some of the pull-out mechanisms seem to have rusted up and not all of the collection is visible. If you have time to stop and admire these tiny artworks, it is more interesting than it sounds and we ended up enjoying the exhibition after our initial impression that it was a bit dull.
The collection includes Dutch East Indies stamps from colonial times as well as stamps from the early years of Indonesia’s independence. A number of African and Asian countries are represented—it’s probably not often you get to see a large collection from Afghanistan. Commemorative stamps include a 1963 stamp observing a Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) conference in Jakarta depicting one of Java’s ancient temples and another pretty stamp from 1968 celebrates tourism as the “passport to peace”. Showcases of attractive first day covers are also worth a look.
A small exhibition space displays interesting reproductions from The British Library exhibition of royal Indonesian letters and manuscripts from British collections titled Golden Letters: Writing Traditions of Indonesia (Surat Emas: Budaya Tulis di Indonesia), and although nothing is original and much of the displays seem to be from the catalogue, it is a fascinating document of Indonesia’s history.
Address: 73 Jalan Cilaki, Bandung
T: (0224) 206 195 ext. 153; F: (0224) 200 6847;
Coordinates (for GPS): 107º37'12.8" E, 6º54'7.77" S
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These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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