In love with Bandung
Bandung Travel Blog› entry 7 of 23 › view all entries
I hoped that Bandung would do well for my spirit before I embarked on this 3-day adventure with Hellen, a friend I met through CS and her High school friend, Yurika. The trip was not in vain.
A 2 hour bus ride from Plaza Semanggi costing 70000 IDR, which looked more like a very comfortable scooter that fit around 12 people. Hellen and I were both prepared with our jackets and hats, wearing long sleeved tops as this place was supposedly one of the highest places in Indonesia. Apparently, we were a bit overdressed. The weather seemed as humid as in Jakarta at the time we got in and boy were we sweating. Our first stop, Hotel Carmella, which was about an hour from our drop off point, needing us to bear with 3 Angkot (mini car) rides, and 3 sets of teenage artists serenading by the Angkot door at several stops.
Lunch despite the heavy Burger King meal I had 3 hrs prior was inevitable as my companions were ready to gobble a horse. We get off to try out Padang food. They definitely had fast service as the waiter wasted no time in dumping about 12 plates with various dishes on our table. The girls told me to not touch anything I didn't want to eat so I chose the chewy Beef Rendang to go with my nasi putih (white rice) and force myself to down it on a slightly full stomach with hot tea and a slightly different tasting local orange juice.
We spent the entire afternoon browsing the different Factory Outlets starting off with Cascade and moving on to the best one in the evening which was Rumah Moda, this one I recommend as they had better designs and prices.
In between that we hung out at a divine coffee shop for a few hours, Dakken, ah what is pigging out.
Dinner was at Tizi which is a must try German restaurant, the goulash and kebab were definitely good and the ambience while watching the ballroom dancers do their Salsa and surprise a fellow dancer with a birthday cake was mightily relaxing.
Thursday we embarked on exploring the comprehensive Geological museum. This was an experiential way of reliving your Chemistry classes and gave me a practical and refreshing perspective of minerals. A cute Stamps museum beside the post office could have been better kept but was also very educating. The 2 girls were as much of a tourist as me, resulting to several stops to ask for directions, their only advantage being the fluent use of Bahasa and which definitely made life so much easier.
Yurike had to leave us in the afternoon and we successfully found a cheaper hotel near the train station to move to. 10000 IDR less for Hellen and me.
Yuri being the expert in food trips took us to a Sudanese restaurant where I was again overwhelmed with various dishes to choose from, this time we had to use our hands for eating. I finally got to try their salad and different dressing, I didn't quite fancy it.
Itinerary after lunch was touring around the old street, Braga. Similar to our Intramuros and Vigan streets in the Philippines except the architecture had so much European influence, with stucco, bricks and impressive Old deco art.
Our new hotel looked more like a furniture store frozen from the 1940's. It was nice to look at but not a fancy experience to stay in.
A breakfast of the usual goreng and tea perks us up a bit enough to hop on to 2 angkots for our long road trip to Tangkuban Perahu, one of the 3 summits, but the most dangerous one to visit in Bandung. Negotiating with the drivers to take us up was irritating, both trying to squeeze as much money from us despite Hellen being a local. In the end we spent close to 50000 IDR each, the last driver bringing us up the 5km ( I think) road up which would have been impossible for us to climb in our flip flops, and waiting for us to finish our 1 hour photo shoot. I pledge to go back to this place again to take the hike down to the less dangerous summit to probably experience dipping my feet in sulfur water and getting a sulfur stone.
Ever since Yuri left us, Bandung had just rained on us every time we needed to go out, the only reprieve was the summit visit. We both scurried on like pathetic wet rats on our way home the previous evening as we smartly left our jackets and my cap back at the hotel. Even making it to the train station for our ride back to Jakarta became a difficult feat as we ventured through wet, small alleys to shortcut from the hotel with our bit of baggage in less than 10 min.
My first experience of the Jakarta train was impressive though, with spacious and comfortable chairs to spend the 3 hour trip on and free snack to boot, a small respite from my flood dipped feet.
We were welcomed with heavy rains and traffic at rush hour on a rainy, payday Friday. We were definitely back in Jakarta.
Bandung was quite an experience, it has so much to offer whether it be for eating, shopping, or sightseeing. I will be back.