Dec 10, 2012

Bandung, Indonesia

09 (Sun) - 10 (Mon) Dec 2012

Lodging: New Sany Rosa Hotel, Jalan Hegarmanah No.2a Bandung

* This blog entry is a sequel of the previous one - Jakarta, Indonesia

Day 1

New Sany Rosa Hotel
6am from Grogol Cipaganti agency, we took the bus, which is actually a van, to Bandung Cipaganti agency, that took around 2 hours. We made a booking from the agency at Bandung for our return trip back to Jakarta before we grabbed a taxi (IDR40,000) to our hotel.

While waiting for check in, Calvin requested to hire a taxi driver for 12 hours directly through the hotel receptionist, and we managed to hire a taxi driver from 9:30am to 9:30pm @ IDR550,000, tried to negotiate, but that's the least they could go with, too bad. We didn't have to pay for the petrol but we have to pay the IDR2,000 compulsory parking fees and a few ten thousand rupiahs to the taxi driver for his meal.

Four of us stayed over one night in a twin bedroom with two single size beds @ IDR550,000 ― 25% = IDR412,500 (somehow there's a 25% discount, we don't know why), so we had to share the beds.

We actually had only one day in Bandung so we had to decide either to visit the Kawah Putih (White Crater) at the southern region or Tangkuban Parahu at the northern region. We made up our mind to visit the northern region as it is said to be having more stuffs to see.

Bandung's weather is like Cameron Highland, with an average annual temperature of around 23°C, thus allowing strawberry plantation in it. That's what really 'cool' about Bandung.

Tangkuban Parahu
Tangkuban Parahu is the spelling of Tangkuban Perahu in the Sundanese dialect, which literally means upturning of a boat, is a dormant volcano with a few volcanic craters in it. There's entrance fee and it differs for Indonesian and non-Indonesian.

At the top of it we can see Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater), the biggest crater in Tangkuban Parahu.
It looks pretty artificial in the picture due to its natural beauty. To me, it's the most stunning view I captured in Bandung.

Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater)

We got a guide from the office at the top of the hill to walk us across the jungle down to Kawah Domas (Domas Crater) where there's hot spring and awfully smelling sulphur.

During the walk at the jungle, the guide tried to speak in Malay instead of Indonesian since most of us are Malaysian. However, my reply in Malay really couldn't make it, as my proficiency in Malay is rotten ever since I came to Singapore. Listening and reading are fine, but it takes me too long to recall the words that I wanted to use in Malay.

The walk at the jungle was tiring, owing to the sloppy and slippery ground that we had to go through.

The cavity of a tree trunk that can fit a person

A seismic detector planted 7 m deep to detect volcanic activity

A resolution to Calvin's broken flip flop

Kawah Domas (Domas Crater)
We're down there at Kawah Domas (Domas Crater), a place that you're able to sweat in the chill weather.

Some of the hot spring which are boiling like, you can tell by your naked eyes judging from the splash, apparently are not for you to soak your legs in. So what are they for? We made up a purpose of that by buying four eggs, one for each of us, to be boiled and yup, eaten, which was actually suggested by our guide when we're up on the volcano.

One must be careful while walking around the crater as there're tiny spots with boiling hot spring that you might not notice and if you're wearing slippers, which most people do, you might get burnt sometimes.

Don't judge me wrongly for wearing the girly-looking sunglasses as I had to borrow from Emilia to have them worn at extremely bright places like the crater because my eyes were insusceptible to aggressive light exposure, ever since I had applied the eye drop prescribed by University Health Centre (UHC) to my left eye due to eye redness and itching. Thanks Emilia!
*UPDATE: My left eye was diagnosed with loosen thread used to sew my transplanted cornea (which preferably has to be cut by my surgeon in Singapore), causing the itchiness.

While waiting for the eggs to be boiled, we had our legs soaked in another non-boiling hot spring. It really took me quite a while to have my legs got used to the high temperature of the hot spring.
腳不能涼,頭不能熱。At least it's okay to have the legs soaked into hot medium, if they were heads, gosh, don't even try to think about it.

In the meantime, we had volcanic mud massage service from the guide, yup, it's part if the service. It seemed to be gross but it's said to be healthy to skin and this is what tourists usually do.

Eggs are boiled and we're ready to eat them. They're actually hard boiled like a typical hard boiled eggs. Also, they do taste like ordinary hard-boiled eggs.

I'm not sure whether they're clean but you know, let the spicy food in Indonesia does the job for you.

We're supposed to clean our mud-coated legs by soaking them and splashing on them in the hot spring again after the volcanic mud got dried up, turning into less saturated cement-like grey colour. Well, is that part of the nature or contamination of the hot spring?

After soaking our legs, we're brought to the other side of the crater to take a look at the sulphur stalactites. They're not as big as the usual stalactites in a cave, but rather are small yellow crystals in a pit. They're not to be touched due to their high temperature.

Sulphur Stalactites

We took the jungle path out to halfway up the mountain and when we're gonna pay the guide IDR40,000 each person as negotiated on the top of the volcano but he insisted that we had a deal for IDR50,000. We knew these people will never keep promise if you're paying them only after the service, so in the end we're fine with paying him IDR50,000 each person as we recognized his effort of guiding us through the jungle and trying to tell stories to us, and took so many group photos for us.

We had lunch at a roadside stall while going down hill from Tangkuban Parahu. It's quite a carnivorous lunch as we ate chicken, goat and rabbit satays. Three animals, just on satays.

Sate ayam (Chicken satay), Sate kerinchi (Rabbit satay), Sate kambing (Goat satay)
All food @ IDR111,000

Having felt guilty after being carnivorous didn't stop us for out next meal as high tea at Kedai Teteh Indorasa, Jalan Maribaya No. 9, Lembang, Bandung.

Nasi Pelangi, Ayam penyet @ IDR15,000 each, Tempe @ IDR8,000

Gurame Indorasa @ IDR80,000, Jamur Ongseng Pedas @ IDR18,000

Carrying our bloated stomachs like Santa is the result of having eaten two meals in an afternoon, but we felt really contented.

Bandung is famous for its abundant factory outlets with clothes sold at relatively cheap price. It's definitely a paradise for the ladies. So we hung out a few hours at a district full of factory outlets, just like the Orchard Road in Singapore.

I didn't buy lots of clothes because for almost all outlets, the smallest size they have is M, and M is too big for me, moreover the waist cutting for M can fit a tyre. Furthermore, I don't really like some of the design whenever I managed to find the S-sized.

I ended up buying an Evisu T-shirt, an Espirit shirt, two pairs of flip flops and a cap, which I took a photo and it's in my Jakarta, Indonesia blog entry.

Bebek Ali Borromeus, Jalan Hasanudin
Dinner was fried duck at Bebek Ali Borromeus. It's along the road, Jalan Hasanudin, with a hospital (Rumah Sakit Santo Boromeus) nearby. No cutlery set, but we're given a bowl of lime water for hand wash, meaning that we had to eat with our hands, I mean, to transport the food with our hands, like Malays.

Bebek Goreng (Fried Duck) @ IDR77,000 in total including Teh Botol

Dinner was followed by purchase of local snacks like cheese sticks from a souvenir store. I bought two cans of cheese sticks and a packet of telur gabus keju @ IDR16,000.

After that we had surabi, the Javanese pancake for supper. That's our last destination our driver drove us to because it's 9pm and it's gonna take some time for supper. We had some bloody cheap pancakes and drinks at Waroeng Setia Budi, Jalan Setia Budi No.175.

Surabi Keju Susu (Cheese with Condensed Milk Pancake) @ IDR6,000

After finishing our supper, we flagged for a taxi for IDR20,000 to get back to the hotel, and called it a day.

Day 2

Rumah Mode
There's hotel breakfast for two pax as supposedly the hotel room is for two persons, which we shared, so we let the girls have the breakfast.

After breakfast we checked out our room, left our luggage bags at the lobby counter and walked to a nearby famous factory outlet - Rumah Mode. Perhaps due to its popularity, clothes are slightly expensive there, again without the size or good design that I wanted.

A few more factory outlets nearby were visited but still I didn't shop anything.

Restoran Sangkuriang
Restoran Sangkuriang, located at Jalan Karangsari No.5 will be the place we have our last lunch in Bandung before leaving.

This place has this very village-like layout with the huts where we're seated, surrounding the antique lamps, greenery and ponds.

Our last lunch there was our most sumptuous meal in Bandung, judging from the portion and variety from the photo below.

We managed to buy some key chains as souvenir at the entrance of the restaurant after our meal.

Sup Ikan Gurame (5 oz) @ IDR54,250
Nasi Timbel Komplit Ikan @ IDR22,750
Nasi Timbel Komplit Ayam @ 27,250
Iced Moccacino @ IDR7,500

We took a taxi (IDR40,000) from the hotel to the Cipaganti agency at Bandung and from there, we took their van once again back to Jakarta (IDR80,000 per person per journey).

* Please continue to read my blog entry - Jakarta, Indonesia

For more photos, please check out my photo album Jakarta & Bandung, Indonesia on Facebook.

Javin Tham A master's degree graduate in engineering, a musician at heart, loves playing with soft toys.

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