I find if i don't give the city of bandung a mention besides the food and shopping it would be a bit unfair! Bandung, if you don't know is 2 hours away from Jakarta and 1 hour behind time of KL. And suprisingly, this place, situated in West Java, is not as warm as KL with temperatures like Cameron highland at times. Formerly colonized by the Dutch, their influences can be seen still in Bandung by their architectures ( the churches here are lovely ), languages as well as food ( their love of pastry and desserts - seem to be influenced by the Dutch )
I havent been to Jakarta before so i cannot compare it to Bandung but the city itself is a busy bustling city with a lot of cars ( i mean ALOT of cars ) and people in places. And i observed that the people have a lifestyle gap here. There are those who are fantastically rich as seen on Jalan Cipaganti and those that are extremely poor as those on the way up to Tangkuban Perahu. Bandung is also a holiday resort area for the rich Jakarta-rians who have very nice villas in the higher hilly area of Bandung. How's that for lifestyle gap?
If you are the type that hates hot hot weather, Bandung is the place for you, it's much cooler than most Indonesian cities and the most "wet" place of Indonesia with rainfall every day in the afternoon. When it rains here, it is really gross though. Since being a rather hilly place, if it rains, all the rubbish and water will flow down hill finally trapping at the lower ends of town.. Post rain was quite a traumatic experience for me. O_o. You know me... princess traveller.
I must say i gave 5 thumbs up to my hotel the Arion Swiss Belhotel. It being a boutique hotel with only 5 stories, this was a lovely place to stay. And we were next to the governor's office! It was clean, the staff extremely friendly and helpful. However, little bro experienced some 'noise' on the first 2 nights of stay. The first night we checked in, in the middle of the night he heard knockings on the door. [ i was busy sleeping didn't hear anything ] He got up to investigate but there was no one at the door! I suspect it could be noise from the top floor but he says he heard it a few times. Questioning my cousins next morning, they didn't hear a thing at all as well. Well on the 2nd nite, he said he was highly disturbed by my snoring - LOL :p HAHAHA. I thought it was funny!
Ok, that a side, second day, we actually spent 1/2 the day doing more touristy stuff and that was a visit to their Tankapan Perahu. This is one of the higher peaks in Bandung with a some what live volcano there. I thought it was touristy - but never expected it to be THAT touristy. Place was crowded, i saw ponies dressed to the nines with pink hair *traumatized* and lots of people hawking their ware. Now, on the way up there .... i saw something MORE disturbing. Along the way up, there were a lot of shops with bunnies (live ones ) hopping a long. And i saw the word Sate Kelinci. So as usual i will ask loudly in the van - "Andi ( driver ) Kelinci itu apa??" ... he hesitated with the answer and said "ARNAB", all of us the car went "eEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH?"... Yes, right there and then they will "sate" the rabbit for you.. GROSS... We thought it was PETS!! There were some pretty cute ones as well like this little brown one that hopped up to us when we stopped by.
How can people eat something so cute ........... -__________________-". Traumatized, we continued our journey up to Tangkuban Perahu. Now, tangkuban means up turned and perahu means boat, the whole mountain is supposed to look like one but for the life of me... i thought it looked like one big crater. With lots of tourists.
You see that piece of brown land after the fence, lots of people taking pictures on that minute piece of land. Me. I stand far far away. No amount of coaxing i will go near that place. i am happy standing where i am. Thank you.These tourist traps of people hawking things are a plenty up here and one of the ways to earn money besides selling strawberry is getting you to sit on this horse to take pictures. Poor thingy. ( Horse i mean ) I couldn't find the pink haired ones after that so i took this dude as well. By the way, this whole place, smells like a rotten egg. Sulfur. O_o. Otherwise the views are pretty magnificient up here.
By the way, try not to eat the hawker food here unless they use plastic throwaway stuff, i noticed they watched bowls in only 1 pail of water - so can't guarantee if our malaysian tummies can withstand this. At this point there were a lot of Bakso sellers in this place. Bakso is actually meat balls made either of chicken, beef or fish and served with noodles. Doesn't cost much and it's not very big for this bowl but the Bakso look like 2 giant er tennis balls in that tiny bowl. But it s very popular as a quick snack here in Bandung.
We didn't buy anything or eat anything up here but did a lot of cam whoring and after about 2 hours were were hungry and tired. Just in time for lunch!! And our choice of lunch was right smack in a sawah padi. In a place called... Sapulidi. Yes, sapulidi. The ones we used to sweep the floor with.
I love this place. It is nice, cooling and a pretty awesome place to take pictures. And sit in more little huts to eat. We did a bit of cam-whoring and ordered food and waited. And waited. And waited. Ok. So the kitchen and the hut was a bit far away. Took some time for it to reach us but when it did, all dishes come at one time!
Ordering ala-carte again, we started off with our veggies which is Sayur Kekacangan. It looks like gado - gado with a peanuty spicy sauce but it is not. With some potato emping, fresh eggs, cucumbers and other vegs, this is a extremely tasty and refreshing dish. A big hit on the 4 of us.
Remember i said our dishes come all at once? Well it does in this big flat basket all at once, which is not a bad idea. I was too lazy to take separate pictures of the food since every was starving, so this was quite a nice small shot. Starting from the left. Satay. ... It's quite different here. It's not chunks of meat, it's mince meat put into chunks.
The ayam bakar warisan and nila was ok, nothing really great to shout about. Yesterday's gurame bakar was much better in our books. But we really enjoyed teh Mie Tek Tek. It looks like Mie Poh we have fried with veggie, meat and seafood. Whatever they put in, was a big hit with us.
Finally, we tried some local desserts and this is called Surabi Kinca. It's a small pancake i think it is actually heated over a small flame and rises to that size. In our case we topped it up with palm sugar syrup ( kinca ) .
The lunch meal we had was probably the most expensive in all 3 days, amounting to about Rupiah 270k for the 4 of us but is probably the best lunch we had ever. The location was superb along with great food. Worth the 45 minute drive to this place.
If you are ever in bandung, do check out this restaurant
Sapu lidi - makan di sawah
Jalan Sersan Bajuri