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!

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