March 6, 2010
Today I’m gonna share some details of my previous trip to Bandung, Indonesia (went there few months back actually.. it's a lame story :p). Well, I’m planning another visit to Indonesia this year (will cover Jakarta and Bandung in 5 days trip). Really can’t wait for it since my sisters and friends will tag along. Definitely a SHOPPING TRIP for us! Awesome!! :)
Okay, back to the story. Here we go…
First list --- The Do’s
- Make some survey before your trip especially if you are an organized traveler like me. I don’t like last minute plan especially when I’m going to the place I’m not used to.
- Exchange enough money beforehand (bring your credit card – in case of emergency. Most people will overspent in Bandung, that is when your credit card became your savior :p)
- Check the weather (bringing an umbrella or raincoat might be handy while traveling during rainy season; as for Bandung, the season starts on October till January I think)
- Please prepare airport tax as it is not included in your return flight ticket (u need to pay during your departure – cost IDR75k per pax).
- Prepare small changes if u intend to use local transport aka Angkutan Kota (Angkot). You should ask the locals for the routes. If you want to take a cab, pick the ones that use meter (Blue Bird & Gemah Ripah – if they don’t want to use it, force them to… or otherwise, make a good bargain.. or at least, a reasonable one. hehehe).
Accommodation – Hotel rates are slightly the same with Malaysian rate. For about MYR80-120 you can get a nice budget hotel (not very posh style, but at least you can get a clean room and nice place to rest). After all, u will spend most of your time touring the town. Why should you spend much on the accommodation? If u are not picky person, 1-2 stars hotel or even ‘Melati’ hotel will cater your needs. I stayed at Caryota Hotel at Jl. Sukajadi and Karmila Hotel at Jl. Ir. Juanda (Dago) during my last trip. The hotels are clean and comfortable, but I prefer Caryota more as the area is not very congested (you should ask the room that not facing the main road, otherwise, you’ll get wake up call on 5 a.m every morning). Location wise, Karmila is better as Factory Outlets (FOs), restaurants (about 100m from KFC) and shopping malls are stone away from the hotel. I must say their service is good, they will assist you in any way they could. You’ll get free wifi at Caryota’s lobby. As for Karmila, I’m not sure whether they have wifi or not, need to ask the reception if you intend to use it.
F&B – I went for dinner at Sierra Restaurant on Dago Pakar hill upon arrival. Nice ambient, cool weather (should bring a jacket or cardigan as it might be chilly at night). There are few other famous restaurants around that area that u should try like Dakken, The View, The Valley and Lisung Restaurant. In terms of local delicacies, the foods are tasteful but usually they have small portion of chicken, so u might want to opt for fish instead as they serve big fishes. Some of the restaurants are Pak Chi Met (there are few branches, but I went to the one at Jl. Sukajadi, opposite Sukajadi Hotel), Bumbu Desa (inside Rumah Mode area), Cabe Rawit (behind Grande factory outlet), Dapur Sangkuriang (near Rumah Mode) and of course the famous Kampung Daun. Don’t worry… Pizza Hut, KFC, McDonalds, Starbucks, JCo and some other fast food chains are everywhere. Food stalls are abundant too (if you don’t have sensitive stomach, you should try some of it. i.e Ice cream durian, bakso or pisang keju).
Shopping – some of the places that I think worth a visit
Pasar Baru: Heaven for textile! I love their laces, Japanese cotton and kebaya sulam
Toko Tiga: Levi’s jeans at lower price and shirts! :)
Factory Outlets: there are three main areas for FOs. My personal pick are Rumah Mode & Natural (Jl. Setiabudhi). The Heritage, Cascade, ForMen & Branded Club at Riau (Jl. Martadinata). Grande, Jetset & Blossom at Dago (Jl. Ir. Juanda). Not all goods are genuine, so you better check carefully before making any purchase. Well, I just grab anything that I loved. You get what you pay right!
If you want genuine branded handbags at very cheap price, I don’t think you will get it in Bandung. I even looked for grade AAA imitation handbags as someone ordered it but my search end to no avail. Maybe they are out of stock at that time. Who knows…
Sight seeing – Usually tourists will go to the North part (Lembang) to visit Tangkuban Perahu (active volcano) but I want to try something new and went to the South part (Ciwidey) instead. Ride to Lembang took only 45 mins – 1 hour (using highway) but it took around 2 ½ - 3 hours to Ciwidey. The ride was a little bit tiring but the view along the way was very interesting. The most famous spot at Ciwidey must be the Kawah Putih (White Crater). The scenery was breathtaking! If you have more time, a short trip to Situ Patenggan (Lake) and Ranca Bali (tea plantation area) would be worthwhile.
– If you intend to use your local bankcard make sure u call the customer service before you fly and ask them to turn on your bankcard's overseas flag. I think bankcard with PLUS and VISA logo are accepted there.
– Try to travel during weekdays to avoid heavy traffic (pronounced as macet by Indonesian)
– Get a free map at the Tourist Centre. It will be very useful for your trip
– Don’t forget to try the spa (recommended – Roger’s Spa & Vintage Chic Spa)
– Must buy souvenir (ole-ole) from Bandung = Kartika Sari & Amanda’s brownies. Their chocolate chip brownies are superb!!
– Use local mobile number instead of roaming (roaming will cost u a bomb!). Better get local simcard – as for this case, I choose Simpati network. Use text rather than making phone call, it will saves u a lot! (but if you are there for 1-2 days, I think it is okay if you stick to your own number)
– If you want to change your money, I suggest you go to Golden Money Changer as they provide the best rates (I went to the branch near Pasar Baru and spotted another one along Dago area)
Well, i think that's all for now. Will post more photos later.