Way Kambas Festival

Bandar Lampung Travel Blog

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Starting off the sunset at the boat on our way to Lampung

A friend from CS posted an ad on FB for an all expense expat trip sponsored by World Bank and organized by Indonesian Ecotourism. The itinerary seemed exciting, and the fact that it was all for free seemed to good to be true.Since the trip fell on a long weekend due to a national holiday, what was there to think about.

I then went on to invite my good friend Jed,who is a professional photographer for Time Out Jakarta and is thrilled at the prospect of getting tons of great pictures.

Meeting at a Convention Center in the city after lunch, Jed and I excitedly awaited to see the other expats we were meeting and if there was of course anyone good looking. We were not failed. A total of 18 expats from the USA, Australia, Sweden, South Africa, Germany, UK, Ireland, India, Hungary and of course the Philippines, from CS, friends of CS and friends of friends.

Half travellers, half backpackers, some who have just been in Jakarta for a few months to several years, and some just passing through, it was an interesting combination.

We then prepared ourself for the over 7 hr travel, 2 hours by bus to the Bantan port, then our bus boarded a huge cargo ship together with tons of trucks and other buses.Another 2 hours was spent going around the grubby ship with an expectedly dirty set of toilets but a beautiful view of the sunset.
Getting off at the Merak port in Lampung we then set out for an over 2 hour bus ride to the hotel.

Surprisingly we stopped first at a festivity at a local official's house which looked more like a mansion, and which we were bombarded by Dangdut music on speakers while eating from the buffet dinner.

Nostalgic on the way to Lampung
My first full meal in the region made me lose a bit of my appetite as the spices were too strong. I ended up gobbling down on fruits.

After dinner a traditional dance was presented and the dancers went off the stage to get an expat partner each. Mine was extremely shy and we ended up doing the same steps till they returned as graciously to our seats.

Two of our companions were invited to sing onstage as the live singers seemed to be wanting a break, and the two accepted without thinking twice as they were already drunk out of their wits. They hadn't stopped chugging down whiskey and beer throughout the bus ride together with their companions. They honestly didn't give a good representation of the group as they sang out a song that they just seemed to have created with a repetition of the word 'faggot'. Boy was the rest of the group glad that the audience generally just understood Bahasa.

Close to midnight we reached the hotel, dead tired yet a few still raced to the pool after we got our welcoming drinks aka orange juice. The rest of us rushed to our rooms to hit the sack.

The room was a surprise. It was worse than the first hotel I tried in the region. The furnishings must have seemed nice and with taste a decade before but at that time it was just an old, musty, insect infested place.

With three of us in the room, one donning her nightgown without showering and immediately snuggling on the single bed, another Filipina who listened to her yoga cd and me reading a bit after our showers sharing the queen sized bed. Off we went to la-la land as the next day was bound to start early and end late.


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Starting off the sunset at the boa…
Starting off the sunset at the bo…
Nostalgic on the way to Lampung
Nostalgic on the way to Lampung
4,123 km (2,562 miles) traveled
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photo by: iramalama