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Bandung, Meh. Part I

^ Never heard of Batavia Air? Neither did we. A glorified bus ride (a rather bumpy one at that), much more so than the rest of the budget airlines. However, there were refreshments served on the short 2-hour flight. The twists and turns of the plane kept us on alert for our arrival at dear Bandung.


No frills, no nonsense is how i would describe the airport at Bandung (Husein Sastranegara International Airport). You get off the plane, and walk to the "office building." There are 2 counters for passport clearance, and just right beside the passport clearance, you collect your baggage. No need for the fuss of travelators or airport shuttle.

^ No muss, no fuss!

^ There were a couple of hours we had to spare before we can check-in to the hotel, so the hotel shuttle bus shuttled us to some dodgy place for lunch. Interesting lunch concept: the servers bring you all their available dishes and you pay for what you eat. Only thing, they don't tell you that you have a choice, they just place all the food in front of you. A foreshadowing of more cheatings we will encounter. After the disgusting lunch (food was too salty and very cold), we were driven to Rumah Mode (roo-ma moh-der), the BEST (according to the many online guides) shopping place in Bandung.

PSA for future Bandung holidaymakers: the BEST shopping place is just a large, or rather medium-sized, factory outlet store. The place may look big, but it's just a shophouse for clothes shopping. DO NOT EXPECT MUCH. This being our first shopping stop, we were all rather disappointed with the quality of the shopping. If this was indeed the BEST shopping place, we shudder to think about the rest of the shopping places in the country. That said, i did manage to get a dress and a skirt for work. :p

After shopping, 4 of us (we know who we are!) unknowingly subjected the rest of the shuttle bus to horrendously loud bad radio for 20 minutes more than they should have by chilling out at the little cafe. To 2 of our Bandung entourage, please believe us when we say we really didn't mean to subject you guys to the bad bus music. Truly! Isn't it misleading to tell a bus load of people that "the bus will leave at 2pm, but we will wait til 230pm?" Doesn't make sense, at least not to me.

After shopping, we checked-in to the hotel for a brief respite and some unpacking. The first time in eons i got to stay in a hotel and not a hostel. The plight of poor but eager travellers.

^ We were too hungry to wait for dinner, so we got ourselves some donuts. So much cheaper than compared to here. Mine was the only savoury of the bunch, ham and cheese.

After the donut break, we decided to explore one of the malls. Nothing memorable about the mall. Sprawling but lousy shops.

^ The only good thing in the mall was A&W! Anything with my initials must be quality goods. :p Root beer (i didn't get float), curly fries (yum!) and waffle burger. And of course waffle ice cream.

^ Teeheehee. The mall had a toy fair.

^ Did a bout of shopping at Lotte Mart, conveniently located in the shopping mall beside our hotel.

^ Our Harris (Hah-ris) hotel room. Everything looks nice and new. And bright.

^ My latest bed buddy and her bed buddy.


^ Pretty awesome view of the city from hazel's and my room.

^ Perk of staying at a hotel: free breakfast. We had a moody broody egg-man making our eggs almost every morning. He's so dedicated he doesn't look up from his frying pan at all.

^ The streets of Bandung. Poor and dirt everywhere. Certainly not something i've experienced in the flesh before. We saw a woman peeing at the side of the road. With no regard for the world, just pants down, squat and pee.

Our agenda of the day was to visit Tangkuban Perahu Volcano.

^ The "guide" at the "tourist information centre" explaining the origins of the volcano. I use quotation marks because i have no idea whether the whole set up was legitimate. All i know is they kept insisting we hire a guide, otherwise we will not be able to tour the volcano.

^ Already full of tourists early in the morning.

^ Pretty view, rather foul air because of the sulphur.

^ After some hesitation and haggling, we hired a guide and begun our volcano tour.

^ The volcano trail had barely started and we were asked to buy stuff (hand carved wooden things). Tsk tsk. And there was a guy that kept following us around but after we made clear we were only paying for one guide, he disappeared.

^ Our tour guide. Seemed like an okay chap, but he kept trying to squeeze in the woe-is-us-poor-people act into every conversation. Tsk tsk tsk again.

^ Ok view, but nothing compared to the Blue Mountains. :p I can't believe i nibbled the wild leaves.

^ A long and almost arduous walk/ hike brought us to the foot of the volcano where we could soak our legs in smelly hot water.

^ My body doesn't take well to hot water, so i only gingerly tested the hot spring with a bit of my feet. The tour guide went around offering free foot massage which i declined. Heh. He also picked nice sparkly sulphur stones for us, at no extra charge! :O In all, ok place to visit once in your lifetime.

^ Here we were, at one of the many strawberry, or stroberi as the locals spell it, farms in Bandung. The strawberries were not very sweet, but the strawberry picking was novel.

^ One of them must visit places in Bandung. Awesome ambiance and cool dining concept. We got to eat in exclusive little huts. Food was only so-so though.

^ We had to wait an awful long time for our food.

^ Cold food and overly sweet Bandung. You would expect Bandung to serve good Bandung eh.

^ After lunch we popped by this really cute mall (the name escapes me) and chilled for a bit. And i managed to get the City Hunter dvd (who knew my 오빠 was big in Indo too!). :) As we were walking back to the car (we hired a driver), we passed by this cute little Japanese cafe and the beer monster in me wanted to try their fruit beer. They had initially refused to sell take-away beer, but after some haggling from fang, they relented. I had peach beer served in a coffee takeaway cup. The guy even added a cupboard cupholder. I guess old habits die hard? Beer was not too bad.

^ Roaming the streets and some of the entourage tried durain ice cream by the roadside.

^ We had a free dinner at the hotel. And the only nice courses were the iced apple tea and the salad.

^ My roomie and her torn pants which she had been wearing for almost the entire day!

^ Us chilling out in one of the rooms at night. Stroberi, beer and pop mie feast. Pop mie, truly unforgettable unhealthy delicious taste. Someone should import pop mie here already.

If my memory serves me right, this was also the night my temporal competitiveness reared its ugly head. We were playing a game of Pictureka cards and i got too carried away (drunk maybe!) and was throwing cards in frustration at my "down-wind", the poor fang. Sorry fang, owe you a drink if you read this! :p

I eventually won the game though. :p

Stay tuned for the next Bandung installment, where we met the taxi driver from hell.

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hilarious writing! bahahahahah! goodness gracious. i had your popmie the other day it tastes quite normal leh, the indomie type of taste!

and goodness you were drunk huh and showing such attitude! bahahahaha!!

and you know i would so have taken up the offer of the free foot massage.... NOT! BAHAHAHAH

I love pop mie leh! Like don't have cup noodles (not those have to cook on stove) like that here!

I think i wasn't drunk :p accidentally showing off my attitude problem.

You would have loved the foot massage :p

Hello furry pink thing strangling the purple thing.

OMG A&W still exists!! I want curly fries! The trip doesn't sound sooo bad... yet. Haha...

Re: Hello furry pink thing strangling the purple thing.

Everything so disappointing and sian still not so bad?! Hahaha.

Curly fries ok la! Same standard as McD's curly fries.

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