"If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish..." - Sam Walton
A Shoppers' Paradise...
(21 - 24 July 2007)'
The 2-hour flight to Bandung was full. Normah and I chit-chatted to while away the time. Iwan and Ella slept the whole journey. From Bandung International Airport we took a taxi to the Grand Preanger Hotel situated at Asia-Afrika Road. The Grand Preanger Hotel is a 4-star hotel and has two side entrances: the old wing and the modern wing. The old facade has an interesting story. And the new wing art-deco style blended with the local culture. It was a controversial issue the time the new wing was built, but that gives a unique style to the hotel. We checked in and requested for adjoining rooms. As we were early, we decided to take a day tour of Bandung in a taxi.
|(The volcano is still active)|
The taxi driver suggested the Lembang trip to the north of Bandung. We took the uphill winding road to Lembang, a cool resort city. On the way, we stopped at the roadside to admire cute little rabbits in cages. You may want to enjoy cold fresh milk drinks with many flavors at the roadside restaurant and ask for the local delicacies of satay arnab and ketan bakar. After an hour’s drive we reached the top of Mt. Tangkuban Perahu, a still active volcanic mountain. We circled around Kawah Ratu on foot to see the volcanic activity closely. The crater is a touristic spot where you can smell the sulfur, watch the hot water springs closely or even boiled eggs from the boiling hot surface.
|(A photo shot of the scenic view)|
Later we went for a jungle trekking to the other craters: Kawah Upas and Kawah Domas and had to unnecessarily pay the tour guide IDR200,000 whose service we could do without. Along the trek we were hassled by so many tourist hawkers who were trying to sell souvenirs at unreasonably expensive prices. From the rest area at the Mt. Tangkuban Perahu we could see the panoramic view of Bandung, The lower crater is reachable by car, though it is more fun for us to hike from the top by foot at an elevation of 2084 m above the sea level and the path is not too steep although at certain places we have to crawl on hands and knees.
At some points, Iwan had to help both the emaks from toppling down hills. We were not prepared for the jungle trekking and were in our flimsy walking slippers and were not dressed appropriately.
|(A comfortable lodging for 2 nights)|
After the exhausting and strenuous jungle trekking, we continued our journey to Sari Ater, a hot water spring resort complex with natural hot water spring pools, some recreation parks and health spas. We stayed a while and dipped our tired feet in the hot water until our feel become as red as grilled prawns. On the way back to Bandung, we passed tea plantations and stopped at a strawberry farm and tasted freshly ice blended strawberry juice.We reached Bandung at night fall. After a light shopping and a simple dinner at the food court we went back to the hotel and slept like a log…
|(One of the factory outlets)|
Bandung is famous for food and factory outlets. Rumah Mode is the biggest factory outlet in town and sells various types of branded clothes. And it can get very crowded on weekends. Most of the visitors are from Jakarta as it only takes 2 hours via the new toll hi-way.
|(Fireworks at night)|
Other good outlets are at Cihampelas Street and in Setiabuhdi and along Dago and Riau Streets where they have converted bungalows into boutiques selling varieties of clothes of all sizes, colors and brands and at cheap prices too. Shopping in Bandung is fun, simple but quite tiring!Pasar Baru is where you can test your bargaining skill. Textiles, batiks and clothes at cheap to moderate prices are available here. Kain telekong with intricate sulams are sold at reasonable prices too.For visitors who really want to truly enjoy your visit to Bandung, you should also try to ride the Angkot, or eat the local delicacies at the roadside stalls.