To add on to the list of celebratory events in October, A got a job! His first day was this week, so he mentioned going away for a while because it would be some time later before he could travel. We started thinking about our possible destinations. Initially we wanted to go Taiwan but 5 days doesn't seem enough. Then we thought of Bali but then 5 days would be a bit too much? Lollll.
Having read about Bandung in some blogs, we were interested in going to a rather less-travelled destination. Coincidentally, a friend just came back from Bandung, and so, we made up our minds!
Applied for leave like 5 days before our trip and bought our air tickets right after. Direct flight from Singapore to Bandung via AirAsia cost us $180/pax return. There was a cheaper return flight but because I had to wait for leave approval, it was sold out x( It would have cost us $140 instead.
Brought my luggage to work because I'm gonna head to the airport right after work! Haven't felt such anticipation and excitement in a long while.
We reached Bandung at 10.30pm (Indo time) and their airport is tiny!
If you watch Gag Concert, yes, it's TEENY TINY. We walked from the plane to the arrival
hall area, there were 3 immigration counters. There were about 200 people on the flight so each counter gotta serve 60+ people? There would be this small area to pass by before you queue for customs check. That minute area, is baggage claims. All the check-in luggages will be placed there for you to retrieve. That's all to their arrival area.
We engaged a tour guide before leaving Singapore. His name is Brata. I sent him an email and we started liaising over Whatsapp. He charged us IDR650,000 (~SGD65) for each day and a separate IDR60,000 (~SGD6) for a one-way ride from hotel to airport and vice versa. Airport transfer was at IRD195,000 (SGD19.50). Brata came to pick us up from the airport and sent us to our hotel.
We stayed at FaveHotel Premier at Cihampelas Street. If you want to have places to chill at night, Cihampelas is a good area, or the Braga district too. FaveHotel is a sister company of Aston Hotel and Astons Tropicana is right next to FaveHotel. They share a swimming pool too.
Okay, did not managed to get a full view of the hotel building throughout our trip. Lolol. Decided on FaveHotel after considering others like Vio Hotel and H Clarity Hotel because it's right at Cihampelas Walk and there's wifi in the room. We considered Gino Feruci Braga too but after reading reviews that it's a noisy area, we decided not to. Braga is similar to our Clarke Quay - with bars and whatnot. If you're the drinking sort and wants to chill at a bar, Braga is the place to stay. Cihampelas aka Jeans Street is well-known for the number of shops selling denim clothing, and the very popular Cihampelas Walk, a trendy shopping mall with lots of eateries and entertainment.
Requested for higher floors but got 2nd floor. Not a bad thing cos we got a room which is located quite deep down the corridor = peace. FaveHotel has a total of 6 levels. Level 1 - 3 are rooms, the swimming pool is on level 6 and there's a karaoke at level 4 or 5.
Turned in and woke up early the next day because we had lots to do!
Breakfast at the hotel before meeting Brata.
Food was not good. Milk wasn't cold. Food wasn't warm. The only warm food I had was the omelette from the eggs counter.
We started our journey up north to Tangkuban Perahu, a dormant volcano! We detoured to a lot of places on our way over thanks to our tour guide who wanted to show us what Bandung has to offer.
First stop was Kampung Duan, an authentic Indonesian restaurant located in the hilly areas. Brata wanted to show us the concept of the restaurants and the environment. Apparently the ambience is wonderful for dinner at night. We were too early so the staff were only getting ready to start their day.
This is a setting of a west Javanese dining table. It was very cooling at about 10 in the morning and I think it would be great to have dinner here with romantic candle lights and the chilly weather. Brata showed us around and told us a lot of the west Javanese history. Eg. different areas have different kinds of roof tops!
Jl. Sersan Bajuri Km 4,7 No. 88 RR1, Bandung 40154, Indonesia
+62 22 2787915
Next, we went to Sapulidi Resort and Cafe. It's quite similar to Kampung Duan. But the resort has their special suites which require a small sampan to bring you over! Quite cool isn't it?
These are the suites!
They have paddy fields right in the middle of the entire eating area where the paddy are at different stages of growth.
A kitten appeared out of nowhere and followed us around! :D
Sapulidi Cafe, Resorts and Gallery
Jl. Sersan Bajuri kompleks Graph Puspa
Cihideung - Lembang, Bandung
+62 22 2786915
Stopped right opposite the horse ranch to buy snacks!
Fried tofu which cost us IRD10,000 (~SGD1) There were 10pcs! It was fried and paired with the green chilli. So we take a bite of the chilli after we finish a piece of tofu. The chili is freaking spicy.
Tehbotol. It's basically teh-o in a glass bottle. Brata said that this is their national drink. True enough, it's EVERYWHERE.
We went to a horse ranch!
Entrance fee was at IDR50,000/pax (~SGD5) and we were entitled to a free packet of milk!
I thought the 2 photos above were rather hilarious. LOL.
This horse wasn't too friendly. I was just looking at him and he was doing his thing and he started making threatening noises. Next thing I know, he turned around and use the fence as his butt scratcher.
Jln. Maribaya no. 17
+62 (022)278 5865
Horse carriages are still widely used in Bandung.
Lunch was Lembang-style chicken! It's basically free ranch chicken fried in lots and lots of oil. Because of the fact that they are free ranch chicken, they are extremely skinny. This is the first time I saw such skinny chickens.
Chicken + rice + raw lettuce + cucumber + tea = complete meal. They serve tea at any and every eating establishments you go to. Indonesia has lots of paddy fields and tea plantations so tea is basically free. We paid once for rice and you can have unlimited refills at almost anywhere.
We went searching for strawberry farms as I requested for us to go there. There were farms where there wasn't a lot of strawberries. Managed to find one which have decent-sized strawberries!
Paid IDR10,000 (SGD~1) to pick UNLIMITED strawberries. You can pick and eat it right on the spot!
We had so much fun picking those strawberries! Brata told us that each box can fit 8-12 strawberries. Left 12 strawberries so I can pack them to go. It cost me IDR9,000 (~SGD0.90) to pack those strawberries.
Natural Strawberry Land and Resto
Jalan Tangkuban Parahu 109
Ciburial - Lembang - Bandung Barat
Just before we reach the volcano, there were alot of adventure resorts. We went into one to check out and it's so cool. There were wooden houses in the midst of all those tall trees (think Twilight) and you can do paintball, ATV, flying fox, obstacle courses etc.
It cost us about IDR75,000/pax (~SGD7.50) + IDR15,000/car (~SGD1.50) to get to Tangkuban Parahu.
These ponies are available for riding. Heard it's about SGD8/ride. There are a lot of sellers trying to sell items like strawberries/blackberries, scarves and hats, keychains and what not. They will come to you and I read online that these sellers will follow tourists as well. Brata also mentioned this to us and told us to just ignore them and not look at their items if we didn't wanna buy. Luckily, we did not encounter any of this. I just smiled at them and shook my head.
They also have like a mini shopping street.
Bakit Wood. This is available only in Bandung and only locals are allowed to hack them. It's soft and moist. A rather interesting and unique tree bark!
This is the one thing I would buy if I can bring it back. It looks like your normal tree branch. There's no smell or whatsoever. The smell only comes out AFTER you scrap the branch. It's a natural insect repellent!
The view was spectacular.
We decided to hike to Kawah Domas, the crater which The Amazing Race 23 visited. It's bloody expensive to go in because it is compulsory to hire a local guide. 1 guide cost us IDR250,000. That's SGD25, for a tour guide! I figured since we're there, might as well right? We saw some locals without tour guides so I guess the rule only applies to foreigners? My friend once visited Kawah Domas with his friend, an Indonesian, and he didn't have to pay for the tour guide because he was assumed to be a local too. GAH.
The trek is like that. I can be a tour guide already.
100 degrees boiling water~
We attempted the 20deg pool.
There are locals offering massages at IDR30,000 - IDR40,000 (SGD3-4) They will also use the mud which is apparently good for our skin. Those mud can be found at the bottom of the pool, FYI.
We decided to boil some eggs! Eggs are sold at IDR4,000 (SGD0.40) each.
After the trip to the craters, our next stop is hot spring! There are a lot of tea plantations on our way down and I wanted to take some photos so Brata looked for the nicer ones and stopped by the roadside. He was very nice and told us to take as long as we wanted.
We went to Sari Ater Hot Spring Resort for a relaxing session after the long day. There were a lot of different pools, both hot and cold. We only stayed in one. It was about 30degrees Celcius and it was hot, Hot, HOT!
We paid IDR25,000/pax (SGD2.50), a deposit of IDR10,000 (SGD1) and IDR23,000 (SGD2.30) for the car.
There were 3 waterfalls and there were 3 middle-aged women who went to the top one (hottest) and just stood under the waterfall like it's nothing. Kudos to them seriously. It took me 30 minutes to lie down like the picture above. Lol. Didn't stay for long because you can't, and we were all quite tired.
One thing, there are no toilets for changing. It's the normal toilet so with my bag and clothes, I had to make sure I won't fall into the toilet, my clothes are not on the ground, and at the same time, maneuver in that tiny space.
Sari Ater Hot Spring Resort
Jl. Raya Ciater - Subang, Bandung, Indonesia
+62 22 2503188
Before I forget, all toilets in Bandung require a fee of IDR2,000 to enter so make sure you have small change!
Went for dinner at some restaurant back in the city. Slept throughout the car ride because of the hot spring effect. No photos cos I was too hungry. It was kinda like our tze char food but oh so yummy.
Day 2 next!