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By: Abdullah Malik

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Saturday, 17-Jun-2006 14:08 Email | Share | Bookmark
Bandung - Good, Bad and Ugly

If you know what it means
shopping dodol garut!
lunch at Sunda Restaurant
On the way to jakarta
Just wanted to share my experience in Bandung last week. With an officemate Nazry, boarded AirAsia flight AK966 to Bandung. We were at the LCC Terminal as early as 0600 hrs., just produced our Passports and got our Boarding Pass. Flight was smooth and arrived Bandung 2hrs. 05 minutes later.

The airport was small and crowded. While we were waiting in line to clear immigration formalities, most of the passengers baggage were already on the conveyor belt and ready for pick-up. So keep an eye on your bags !

Outside, there wasn't any Hotel Reservation kiosk, so make ur hotel booking in advance! We took a taxi to town center, the driver asked for IDR75,000 (RM30) which was expensive! We eventually paid him IDR60,000 at the hotel. Normal rate was IDR40,000. By the way, Bandung airport is located within Bandung town. He took us to a hotel frequently visited by Malaysians but it was fully booked for the weekend. Favourite Hotels for Malaysians are Royal Dago Inn, Jalan IR H Juanda, Royal Merdeka at Jalan Merdeka and Royal Palace Hotel at Jalan Lembong and Bumi Asih and all are 2** hotels. Of course for the elite group of Malaysian, Hyatt Regency, Sheraton Inn and Preanger are also good choice! When we looked at the Bandung map, the hotels looked near each other but mind you, Sheraton Inn is 2 km from Holiday Inn! Jayakarta was also further and believe me, the hotel was not located next to Dago Indah Golf Course!

For us we chosed Anggerik Golden at Jalan Martadinata, rate IDR 300,000 weekends with breakfast and IDR250,000 weekdays. That is about RM 320 for 3 days single occupancy! The location was good, within walking distance to Bandung Indah Plaza, Dago Plaza and Bandung Electronic Center(handphones - second hand and new)! Nearby hotels are Hyatt Regency (adjacent to BIP), Hotel Santika (IDR 590,000) just across the road and Holiday Inn (USD 73). Our daily breakfast was Nasi Goreng, Nasi Bubur, Roti and Keju and telur goreng...everyday was the same!

First day 17 June 2006

Just walked around the hotel, 1 km each way to gauge our location and be familiar with the landmarks. Factory Outlets are everywhere, they are also called Distro (Distribution Outlet) where u can buys reject merchandise at bargain price...that's why Bandung is popular with lady tourists! For lunch and dinner we eat ikan Gurame bakar and sop buntut!

Second day 18 June 2006

We rented a car for IDR425,000 for 10 hours witha driver. It was a Suzuki Panther with AC, roamy enough for 4 people. At 0800hrs we took off to Gunung Tankuban Perahu..meaning an upsidedown perahu, that was the view from Bandung, you can see a panoramic view from Alun-Alun in Bandung. The trip took between 45 minutes to 1 hour along a long and winding road towards Lembang. Enjoy the scenery especially the tea plantation. At the entrance of the crater, you have to pay IDR 10,000 entrance fee per person and IDR7,000 for the car. If you come by FWD you can park right at the top of the volcano. If you go by bus, they park slightly below and you have to walk 1.2 km up to the crater.

Once you get down from your vehicle, you are bound to be surrounded by lots and lots of souvenirs sellers, they were like a pack of wolves hunting their prey, they never leave you alone...that's a hazard. There were 800 of them selling key chains, necklaces etc.. If eventually you got fed-up and have to buy, stamp your feet on the price, you may get 25% of their starting price, don't go for 50%, they would be too happy to sell them! I ended up buying postcards IDR30,000 for 20 cards (RM12).

We took a guide (compulsory!) going down the trail from Kawah Ratu (Queen Crater) to Kawah Domas about 1.2 km away. The guide rate was IDR60,000 per hour plus tips (they always asked for tips). The walk was worth it especially when you see the beautiful mountain vegetation and flora such as the Manarasa trees. The kawah Domas itself comprised hot boiling water and hot steams shooting from the ground, be careful..the water and steam are very hot, no less than 90 degrees. Of course they sell egg for you to boil!

After that we drove down to Sari Ater, a natural hot water spring and river. We were there on Sunday, my god it was like `Pasar Malam' , the place was packed! The entrance fee of IDR10,000 per person and IDR6,000 for car would have to be paid. So we moved on to return to Bandung and stopped at a Sunda restaurant called Sindang Reret, lots of people. We eat Sunda traditional food like ikan Gurame (again!), sayur asin, telur dadar with petai and cumi pedas, for RM52.

We moved on to Bandung and along the way, saw Ms.Megawati residence on a 10 ha. site! Stopped at some factory outlets to buy golf T-Shirts, Nike, Callaway, Ashworth and Greg Norman for a fraction of the normal cost! Overall the price for collared T-shirt was IDR59,000 (RM24).

At about 5pm local time we visited Dago Indah Golf course and Forest Hills Golf course, beautiful course, the later was only 4 months in operation, so in tip-top condition. Reached hotel at about 7pm and called it a day! Capet Pak! Green fees at Dago Indah about IDR150,000 for 18 hole and IDR 214,000 for 9 holes at Forest Hills.

Third day 19 June 2006

We took Angkutan Kota (Green Colour) with `Stasiun-Dago' sign and paid IDR1,500 (RM0.60) each instead of taxi (IDR20,000) and stepped down at Pasar Baru, a retail center. You must call `kiri-kiri' to the driver to stop. The Pasar Baru complex is a 7 storey building and much bigger than Pasar Baru in Jakarta, goods are much cheaper also! The shops are similar to those at ITC and WTC at Mangga Dua in Jakarta. We bought some shoes and bags.

We returned to the hotel at about 4 pm. At night we went to Bandung Indah Plaza to eat at the food court, Pampet Palembang was good! and bought cheap VCDs and MP3 there from the vendors outside the mall and they also sell exotic pets like Persian cats (toby and Garfield look-a-like), snakes, lizards,chameleons,dogs etc.

4th day 20 June 2006

Time to go back, our flight AK967 at 0905hrs local time. Arrive KL LCC at 1210 hrs. Paid parking fee RM 102 for 3 days and 6 hours. Our taxi from Hotel to Bandara (Bandar Udara) was IDR40,000 only.

EVER WONDER why there was no photos posted here? BECAUSE my camera was stolen at Pasar Baru! BEWARE of these people, they can `pukau' you and you didn't know you have lost it until the kaki pukau had left you, and you are out of their range! If they are around you, near you their spell is still strong, once they walked away you will `wake-up', good luck. I reported the lost to the security office and according to them many Malaysian suffered the same, some lost their digicam! So beware of them when you are in shopping mall in Indonesia, be it Jakarta or Bandung. Most of the operators are ceweks...yes, when I looked at the suspect photos showed to me by the office management, they were mostly girls..watch out. At Pasar Baru beware of Dasar 1 and Dasar 2 area, these are `kawasan maling' and dangerous place. Just shop at Lantai 1 to lantai 4, more safer.

So anybody in Bandung who was offered cheap Konica Minolta DiImage x-50 with 512MB SD card, that could be my lost camera! However this is a lost-lost case, once the battery expired, there is no charger and no spare battery, the camera is deemed useless! So camera, come back to me!

I was in Bandung last year 2005, so I have last year photos...

I will continue with my golf outings experience...

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