Fun cultural performance
Published/Last edited or updated: 28th May, 2018
Saung Angklung Udjo offers a not-to-be-missed cultural performance featuring the Sundanese traditional bamboo musical instrument the angklung as well as dance, puppets and the opportunity to see the instruments produced in onsite workshops.
The angklung is made from a series of bamboo tubes that when shaken produces a single tone so several players usually perform together in order to produce a tune, simple enough to learn that most school kids in Indonesia will have their first music lessons on this instrument. In 2010 UNESCO added the angklung to the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Saung Angklung Udjo began in 1966 by the late Udjo Ngalagena and his wife Uum Sumiati with the aim of preserving the cultural Heritage of Sunda, and this passion continues with their offspring who now run the show. The foundation offers free classes for children from the surrounding villages where they can learn performing arts and public speaking and have the opportunity to perform for tourists.
The format of the daily concert is not unlike a TV variety show (you will cringe at some cheesy moments), but the passion and joy are infectious. A bilingual MCs presents a short wayang golek (wooden rod puppet) performance, colourful traditional dances and of course the angklung show at a covered open-air amphitheatre with hard bench seating (which you’ll soon forget about). Audiences are given the opportunity to learn and play along as well (don’t worry it’s easy and lots of fun). The whole basis of the philosophy of this outfit is that by having fun and playing music together cultural boundaries are broken hopefully resulting in understanding, harmony and world peace, perhaps a tad ambitious but commendable sentiments.
Saung Angklung Udjo also promote the sustainability of bamboo and the souvenir shop not only sells angklung instruments, but a range of bamboo products—the motto of the foundation is “nature and culture in harmony”. Daily performances are held at 15:30 with additional shows on weekends and holidays and the show runs around an hour and a half. Arrive early to check out the craftsmen fine tuning the angklung in the workshops set in a beautiful flower-filled garden or enjoy some tradition Sundanese flavours in the restaurant.
The entrance ticket is in the form of a tiny angklung necklace and guests receive a drink or an ice cream on a stick as a welcome treat—try the durian or jackfruit flavours. Saung Angklung Udjo is popular with both Indonesian and foreign tour groups, but individuals are welcome.
Saung Angklung Udjo is in the west of Bandung, around eight kilometres from the centre of town and traffic in the area can be a nightmare, so allow plenty of time to get there. The venue is not far from Cicaheum Bus Terminal—catch any Cicaheum bound angkot and alight at the corner of Jalan Padasuka just before the terminal (5,000 rupiah). From there it’s a 450 metre walk, but if that’s too far, ojeks along the way tout for business. A Go-Jek from central Bandung should cost less than 15,000 rupiah.
Show times are: Monday to Friday at 15:30, Saturday at 13:00 and 15:30 and Sunday at 10:00 and 15:30. Saung Angklung Udjo is a fun and entertaining way to spend the afternoon, and not withstanding the fact that the experience is very touristy, you’ll be glad you made the effort.
Address: 118 Jalan Padasuka, Bandung
T: (0227) 271 714; (0227) 101 736; F: (0227) 201 587;
Coordinates (for GPS): 107º39'17.12" E, 6º53'51.88" S
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Admission: Foreigners 100,000/60,000 rupiah for adults/students (bring student ID) 60,000/40,000 for local adults/students
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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