Thursday, October 22, 2009

Indo-endo : Bandung

The Lodaya 2 Pagi pulled out at 0930 out of Jogja Station and got underway towards Bandung, 385 kms away, estimated travel time 8.5 hours.

I tried to recall the last time I was on a long distance train journey, and I think it was those days on British Railways from Lancaster to London.

Very comfortable seats, I had the row all to myself so I took advantage of the extra pillows.

And pardon my jakun-ness, I thought the adjustable foot rest was a really nifty feature.

The main stops were at : Kutoarjo (1030), Kebumen (1100), Gombong (1115), Kroya (1145), Kawunganten (1250), Banjar (1400), Tasikmalaya(1500), Cipeundeuy (1600), and finally reaching Bandung at 1755 hrs.

The journey was quite scenic I must say; kampung scenes just like what we have of padi fields, kebun sayur, ubi kayu, pisang, small houses, musollahs, kids playing, mums doing household chores and so on.

Welcome billboard. Tobacco companies are still allowed to advertise, and they do so heavily both in print and on TV (great adverts, by the way).

Stasiun KA Bandung from Jln Kebon Kawong side. I got out from the other side and got rather lost.

Arriving early evening, I experienced the infamous machet (traffic jam) throughout the city and it gave me this massive headache, on top of trying to get more Rupiahs and getting a place to stay as I did not book in advance.

A bad picture of the machet; yeah that was how my head felt. Bad headache afterwards.

The kindly driver drove me to the money changer and later to Paris Von Java where I had my dinner and also bought a 3-pin adapter to charge my handphone and battery. So I did not manage to take any pictures at all on that day.

After confirming the next day's arrangements with the driver, I got back to the hotel tired and took my shower, then settled in. Their SuperSport channel had the Gunners vs BirmCit live so I caught the second half and watch them win 3-1. Classy.

The next morning, after breakfast I took a walk around the neighbourhood and went to look for an internet cafe as well.

At the 24 hour warnet; buzzing with kids playing online games; stank of cigarette smell. Urgh.

At 9:00 am I was back at the hotel where the driver was waiting to drive me to Tangkuban Perahu.

A sizeable weekend crowd was already there when we arrived just under an hour later. The sulphuric smell reminded me of Poring. The area where eggs can be boiled is further away, I decided I needn't see it.

Kawah Ratu, the main crater.

A painting depicting the whole TP recreation area.

Donation box for mosque restoration.

Quite the standard menu here.

Interesting, almost arrid, landscape.

Scarves for sale.

Horse rides.

He's selling these furry hats and bags.

On the way back, we drove through their horticultural zone, where all types of flowers and plants are on sale. Really pretty stuff, apparently people drive all the way as far as Jakarta to get their plants here.

I was back at the hotel at 1:00 pm and checked-out to find another place around Kebon Kawong. After inspecting Hotel Arimbi (very budget, basic), Perdana Wisata (out of my budget), Hotel Serena (okay, a bit old), I found Hotel Unik which belongs to the same company as Hotel Serena. Hotel Unik is newer and fresher looking, under 2 months old and located on the same alley as Kartika Sari.

Don't mind my mess :P

Tuty told me Kartika Sari is famous for its pastry (and only available in Bandung) so I stopped by and tried out the individual portions, quite yummy I must say. I especially liked their savoury local kuehs, my favourite is the potato croquette with a little green chilli sticking out of it, as well as the pulut-bakar-like kueh, I can't recall the names.

Inside spacious Kartika Sari. They didn't allow close-ups of the pastries though.

Baked cheese brownies - yummy, a combination of sweet and salty tastes. The brownies kukus is also soft and yummy.

After checking in I proceeded to Pasar Baru Trade Centre. It was so crowded, both with locals and visitors and I heard some Malaysians too. No pictures, I didn't feel comfortable whipping out my camera every now and then in the crowd. They sell many many things here over the 5 (?) floors, mostly clothings and bags and shoes.

Later, I decided to go straight to Dago on an 'angkot', a mini van that's everywhere in the city centre. I actually stopped at the wrong place (too far up) and had to take another angkot to go back down the road. So there at Dago I spent about 2 hours traipsing around the outlets. Didn't really damage my purse much, and managed to find a few things that I wanted.

Coffee break.

Batangor and siomay with its gravy. Tasty.

Throwing caution to the wind, I had a quick bite of batangor and siomay from a street vendor and it was very tasty. After another hour or so, I left Dago to return to the hotel, also in an angkot, albeit I had to switch angkots halfway as the direct angkots have ceased service for the day.

On my last night in Indonesia, I had a very late dinner at this newish Chinese resto called Golden Duck and then walked 15 minutes to get to an internet cafe (actually it's inside someone's house); got back to my hotel at around midnight. Woke up late the next morning, had breakfast and went for my morning walk before stopping by at Kartika Sari to buy some brownies back.

My last meal in Bandung, which was the breakfast at the hotel. Anything rice always comes with the kerupuk.

Checked out and went to the airport early, only to be bored as it was really small and there's nothing to browse. Long story short, was in LCCT by 1830 and had to wait for my 2125 flight to KK.

* * * * * * * *

Between the two cities, I'd go back to Jogja if given the chance. Indonesia is a very affordable place to travel to, even on a budget, you'd have options. Now, if you intend to splurge, it's even better!

One day, some day?

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