Category Archives: Bandung, Indonesia 2008

Bandung, Indonesia: Food – Roadside Wonders

Two of the most common things on the roadside of Bandung are brownies and strawberries.

Brownies

Brownies are very famous in Bandung. In almost every corner, you’ll find brownies sold in shops or sold in van or stalls parked by the roadside. I guess the most well know brownie is the Amanda Brownie. Our driver Hari recommended that we buy the brownies from a shop rather than by the roadside as it tends to be fresher and moist.

We bought one from a shop by the name Kabita (nothing to do with Nobita) located at Jln Terusan Pasteur. It came in a big box wrapped with a plastic cover. We cut it half and kept it for ourselves. The other half we gave it to our driver.

The other recommended place to buy brownies would be Kartikasari, a very well known bakery in Bandung. Other than brownies, one should also try their other pastries. It has a few branches in Bandung. Just ask the staff for their recommendation.

Strawberries

Since Bandung is located 768 metres above the sea level, it is very suitable to grow strawberries. So suitable that you have them flooded on the streets. At certain junctions, you’ll find people knocking on your window asking to you buy strawberries.

Ice blended Strawberries are available in almost all restaurants in Bandung.


It’s also available by the roadside!

Note: Please avoid Florida Milk at all cost. Nothing to do with strawberry but it sucked. Tasted like Milk + Mandarin Oranges.

On another note, I found a place with sell freshly blended strawberries. It’s called Berry Passion, located @ Floor LG1 (near the Skating Rink area), Sunway Pyramid. I must say, it’s really good. At RM7.90 per cup, you’ll be craving for moar!

Bandung, Indonesia: Food

Food in Bandung was interesting. At a reasonable price, we could dine at high end restaurant. I would highly recommend The Valley and Kampung Daun for a great gastronomical adventure.

The Valley


The Valley Bistro Café is a restaurant located on top of a hill with a view overlooking Bandung. In the Valley, you may dine alfresco.

We came here at night for dinner. Although the food is reasonably priced, their food is just so-so. However, I would highly recommend this place for couples as this place has great ambiance – very romantic. In fact, it was branded as one of the most romantic places in Bandung.

We sat on the terrace with a candle lit in the middle. It was a little bit chilly. We didn’t bring out jackets along but we decided to brave the cold. We ordered their house speciality, the Zoupa Zoupa soup – a bowl of cream soup topped with a baked pastry crust. It was excellent. While waiting for the rest of our meal to come, we were accompanied by songs sang by a live band inside the restaurant.

Since I was still in an adventurous mode, I ordered a glass of Banana Coffee. It tasted pretty bad. Please avoid at all cost.

After finishing our meal, we took pictures of the place and the panoramic view of Bandung. Photographers may consider bringing their own spot light as this place is quite lightly dimmed.

This place has a special place in my heart as this was the place I first celebrate my birthday this year 😀

The Valley, Bistro Cafe & Resort Hotel
Jl. Lembah Pakar Timur 28 Dago – Bandung
Tel: (022) 2531052(hotel), (022)251450(cafe)

Kampung Daun

Kampung Daun is another romantic and yet affordable restaurant in Bandung. It exploits the nature and its surroundings for its ambiance. It has a small waterfall and running stream flowing through the restaurant. Small wooden huts are placed along a path which leads to the top of a hill.

Someone recommended that we dine at this restaurant at night time. However, I wanted to dine there in the afternoon cause I would be able to see the place clearly. Hence, we came here for lunch. We chose one of the huts located next to a stream.

We had to knock on a wooden block named “Kentongan” for service.

This place serves mainly Sundanese food. My meal came with a side dish which looks like a brain. It was quite surprised that it tasted crispy and nice! I was expecting it to be soggy.

First they have sup buntot, now they have Mie Tek Tek.

My meal was accompanied with a glass of refreshing ice blended strawberry.

After my meal, I lazed around for the afternoon to end.


New found friend.

Kampung Daun is less than an hour’s drive from the city. The drive there has couple of interesting sights.

Kampung Daun Culture Gallery & Cafe
Sersan Bajuri Km. 4,7 No. 88, Cihideung
Bandung
Jawa Barat – Indonesia
PH 1: (022) 278-7915
PH 2: (022) 278-4572
Homepage: http://www.kampungdaun.net/

Bandung, Indonesia: Mt. Tangkuban Perahu – Part II

We left Tangkuban Perahu for Sindang Reret, a Sudanese restaurant for lunch. This restaurant was recommended in Wikitravel hence we decided to give it a try. The price is reasonable and the ambiance is good. The place is open air but the weather is cooling.

There I was introduced to strawberry shake – a refreshing ice blended fresh strawberry. After consuming the first glass, I stuck to strawberry shake throughout my whole trip. It was aweeesssomee!

Wikitravel has also recommended that we try the local fresh milk at Lembang. Our driver brought us to one café by the name Saung Bintang, which as a very unique structure. It consists of a combination of few huts which are connected to each other.

We ordered strawberry and chocolate milk. It tasted too sweet. Should have ordered the plain one.

You can also ride horses here. I wonder if the horses helped out with the milk when the cows went dry.


Wash your hands here.

We also discovered that our shoulders got burnt by the sun. We couldn’t feel that our shoulders were burning by the hot sun as hike down to Kawah Domas was very cooling.

Upon returning from Lembang, we treated ourselves with a full body massage at Vintage Chic Spa. Our full body massage was just RM60 per person!

Outside Vintage Chic Spa – they have trees with a white stripe too! I was told that these are to mark that these trees cannot be chopped down. [See The 3 great mysteries in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam]

The massage was quite good except that they made me take off everything and wear a transparent white disposable underwear -_-
Other people got black colour!!

Bandung, Indonesia: Mt. Tangkuban Perahu

A trip to Bandung is not complete without a trip to Mt. Tangkuban Perahu. On top of Mt. Tangkuban Perahu lies a huge crater that looks like a clogged basin.

We had an interesting drive to the mountain. We drove passed villages, towns and many stalls. These stalls usually sell identical goods. For example, if the first shop sells bananas, then the entire row of shops will be selling bananas too.


Hammocks also got.


We passed by a stretch of stalls selling live rabbits. Some of these little fellows were not caged and let to roam freely.

Few metres later, we passed a stretch of food stalls with the signs “Satay Kelinchi”, which means rabbit satay. Oh noes!

Mt. Tangkuban Perahu is just a short drive from Bandung city. There’s an entrance fee. I can’t remember how much.

The road up to Mt. Tangkuban Perahu was not in top condition and we had to endure a bumpy ride up the mountain.

Our first destination was Kawah Ratu (Queen’s Crater), the crater that looks like a clogged basin.

Immediately after getting out from our car, we were swamped with local traders offering us their goods and services. A few were quite persistent despite being rejected by us and even followed us to every where we went. One was trying very hard to engage us in a conversation but after ignoring him for ten minutes or so, he went away.


Yes! Another picture for my collection of toilets all around the world!

There’s nothing much to see in Kawah Ratu other than the crater and a row of shops. Hence, we decided to head to Kawah Domas and engaged a local guide to bring us there. It is compulsory to engage a guide.


Row of shops.

Yadi, our guide charged us 200,000 Rupiah an hour (I eventually found out that some guides offer lower charges). Nevertheless, it was well worth it. He gave us detailed explanation of the place we passed and even offered to take photos for us.

The path to Kawah Domas is well marked and relatively easy. We stopped by a cliff to take pictures of Kawah Domas from the top. We were also introduced a plant where its leaf is edible. Accordingly to legend, Dayang Sumbi consumes such leaf to maintain her power of eternal youth.


I ate a few branches. Nom.


Cliff has a shop too.


Overlooking Kawah Domas


At Kawah Domas, boiling hot geysers are a common sight. Some are extremely hot with steams pouring out and some are mild, which allows people to soak their feet.


We soaked our feet and rubbed volcanic mud on our leg. I had the service of one of the souvenir sellers to massage my leg.


It was quite good. I thought of repaying his service by buying one of his products, but when he offered his product, a wooden duck at 300,000 Rupiah (RM100!) I awed in disbelief. I told him that I will pay him for his good service rather than the product. However, he rejected me and told me that he will lose his job if he takes up my offer.

Since he strongly stuck to his principle, I eventually hogged the stupid duck down to 100, 000 Rupiah.

One chap took it to the extreme by taking a bath on the side where we soaked our feet. He even poured the hot spring water down his pants in front of us. That was our calling to get our feet off the pond.
Our guide brought us to check out some ‘volcano flowers’ which is just a pile of sulphur.


Yadi

We then took a stroll out from the jungle and saw couple of interesting sights. One of them is a stacked bunch of plants collected by locals. It tried lifting it and I couldn’t!


Actually, I couldn’t even stand up…NEED MORE PUSHMORE!!

Upon reaching the exit, we thanked our guide and paid him his fees. The entire trip took two hours and the total damage costs 400, 000 Rupiah. Nevertheless, we gave him some tips for his good work. I think the total cost for this is around RM200.

Bandung, Indonesia: Shopping – Part II

On our last day, Hari brought us to this place by the name Jeans Street. The street is filled with all sorts of giant models such as Batman, Tarzan, Spiderman, Batwoman, Ultraman and even Arnold Swadontknowhowyouspellgger.











I really wonder how these people get away with using all these characters in their shops.
Speaking about jeans, I bought a pair of jeans from Toko Tiga, a well know boutique that sells Levi’s jeans. Toko Tiga alters your jeans for free if you buy it from them. However, as I was about to send my jeans for alteration, I got kicked out from the shop because they had to close for the workers to break fast. -__-

One chap who had his jeans altered halfway had to wait for an hour because the tailor had to break fast. -_-

Got kicked out..

Bandung, Indonesia: Shopping – Part I

Bandung is perhaps a women’s paradise. One can actually spend the whole trip shopping. Fortunately, most of our time wasn’t spent on shopping. We manage to see Bandung other than four walls and a rack of cloth.

Nevertheless, shopping in Bandung is quite an eye opener.


First Eye Opener – Channel and Gucci tudongs

Our first destination was Pasar Baru, a 7 storey textile and garment market. The place was so huge and complex that I couldn’t find the exit. Every corner you will find a shop selling textiles and garments. In fact, it was very difficult to find shops that sell other than textiles and garments.

Here you can find a lot of people running around offering to sell you drink and food. Some will be dragging a bucket full of drinks and some will be carrying a tray of donuts. It was quite weird as it was fasting month and more than half of the population was fasting.


Reloading donuts!


zzzz


They have Air Mata Kuching from Malaysia!

Pasar Baru may be a little dodgy to some but this is all worth it if you make a trip up to the roof top to see Bandung.

Most of our shopping was done at Bandung’s designer warehouses. These warehouses are very common in Bandung but the notable ones are Heritage, ForMen (just opposite Heritage), the Secret and Rumah Mode. Unfortunately, these warehouses didn’t appeal to me as most of these warehouses have identical or similar stuff and I didn’t have to patient to sift out unique stuff. Further, I find that some of the branded products quite doubtful – not sure whether it’s really rejected goods.

Fortunately, I managed to roam into 18th Park, a shopping outlet that sells locally designed products a.k.a a Distro. It looked dodgy from outside especially when they have a bunch of kids gathering outside the shop.

They looked like they were about to rob me. But I managed to gather courage to walk into the shop alone and found a treasure trove!

It has many shops selling all sorts of local brands. I got myself some cute tshirts.

To be continued..

Bandung, Indonesia: Overview

Bandung is the 4th largest city in Indonesia. Located above 768 metres above the sea level, it enjoys a cool temperature.

Although Bandung has only 2.7 million (and 6 million on greater Bandung), I find that the buildings in the city are built very close to each other. But in the in the outer region, I saw bungalows and mansions including mansions as big as shopping centres.

Beggars, street buskers and ‘road side salesman’ are a common feature in Bandung. In the city, you’ll find many beggars and ‘road side salesmen’ knocking on your window. And at night, you’ll find street buskers which sometimes are a group of students singing songs like “Seribu Aja”.

We stayed at one three star hotel by the name Sukajadi Hotel. The location of the hotel is quite good as it is nearby a decent shopping centre with Carrefour. The other good thing is that their television has around 60 channels – a good feature for coach potatoes like me. However, the drawbacks of this hotel are that their food sucks big time and their towel smells bad.


I under budgeted my trip and had to make a trip to the local money changer. Our driver bought us to one place by the name Golden Money Changer, which occupies a building. The place is unlike our usual shopping centre money changer but it operates like a bank with ticketing system and armed security guards. When I arrived, there were loads of people and I had 30 people ahead of me!

One problem that most people encounter in Indonesia is the amount of zeros they have in their currently. On one occasion, I paid 20000 Rupiah for a 200,000 Rupiah bill. The waiter was speechless when he saw me paying his bill and turned away thinking that his bill is settled. To overcome this problem, most Indonesia shorten the pronunciation of amount above 100, 000 Rupiah by taking out the last 3 digits e.g. 100, 000 Rupiah becomes 100 Rupiah (Seratus Rupiah).

Also another trick I’ve learn to convert Rupiah to Ringgit Malaysia quickly is by taking out the last 3 digits and divide the remaining amount with 3. The total is the amount in Ringgit Malaysia.
Indonesia has also adhered to the rounding up system. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself being short changed.
We rented a Toyota Avanza with a driver for 3 days. Our driver, Hari brought us around Bandung and waited patiently for us all the time. The charge for rental of the car is around 400, 000 Rupiah (RM120) a day. Hari’s fees is 100, 000 (around RM34) Rupiah a day. The best part is that the contract between us and Hari is that he has to serve us for 24 hours. If anyone needs a car and driver in Bandung, you may call Hendro at +62 22 70282027 (Phone) or +62 85624390036 (Mobile) or Hari at +62 81322928907.

We took a picture of our car to record down the license plate number.
Bandung is well known for shopping. Many flock to Bandung’s designer warehouse to purchase rejected designer clothes at dirt cheap prices (around RM5 to 20 for tshirts, RM20 – RM40 for tops). However, to me, shopping at warehouses is overrated. Sometimes you will find doubtful products being thrown together with other genuine designer clothes. For example, you’ll find two apparels with identical design or similar design with a different trade mark. This is quite apparent when the product in question labelled with a high end brand.

Left Adidas – Right Puma – Notice the similarity? I took this picture in the changing room. Heh
For me, Distro, a shopping outlet that sells locally designed products, is a place worth purchasing clothes. I didn’t mind forking out extra to buy locally designed tshirts than rejected and doubtful designer clothes.
Other than shopping, the other attraction would be Mt. Tangkuban Perahu, an active volcano. The top of mountain is accessible by car and one can see the crater.

Looks like a blocked sink.
As for food, the prices are reasonable and for a reasonable rate, you can have top class service at top class places. There are also couple of unique places to have a meal.

Looks like brains Heh
Details coming soon!

Bandung, Indonesia: The Trip

My trip to Bandung, Indonesia took off with a rough start. On the eve of my trip, I didn’t have a single rupiah. I was planning to head to the money changer after dinner but I had a little mishap while sipping a hot cup of Chinese tea. I slipped off my hand and the hot tea splashed onto my thighs and.. umm.. It was hot.

Immediately after dinner, I rushed to the nearest money changer and found that it was closed. It was almost 830pm and most money changers would close by 9pm. I rushed to another money changer nearby and lined up about 10 minutes…
All I got from the money changer was “Sorry, No more rupiah”

I panicked. The nearest money changer would be Mid Valley which is around 10 minutes away. I drove like a mad man to my destination and found that the entrances to the car park blocked…

I was at the verge of dumping my car by the side of the road but fortunately the car park entrance at the Gardens (another annexure of Mid Valley) open.
Within no time, I found myself in Mid Valley changing my money to Rupiah. I’m all set for my new adventure!