We are like headless goose for this trip. We have done very little research on Bandung except on “how to take a taxi from airport to hotel and we even get this wrong.
Months before the trip, AirAsia has made several changes to our flight. Our flight has been moved from afternoon to early morning. In the end we lost a day in Bandung.
Check-in with AirAsia is pretty fast but it is a little chaotic as we need to go to the kiosk to check in and print our baggage tag first. We then have to queue up for the staff to tag our luggage for check in and verify our boarding pass. Seems a bit confusing.
The flight leave on time and during the initial flight, we met with some turbulence and I was a little scared actually. We can feel the airplane sudden drop and rise in altitude.
AirAsia do sell sim cards in the flight and it cost IDR110K. I would suggest you to get one as I later found out that the airport do not have any official telco kiosk that sell SIM cards.
There are touts though that quietly try to sell you SIM cards. I did not enquire the price but they are not pushy.
We reach Husein Sastranegara International Airport on time and we have to walk a distance to the arrival hall.
There is only one luggage carousel and we have to wait a while for the luggage to arrive. However having said that, the airport is rather basic and I wonder does the baggage handler have a motorised vehicle to transport the bags from the airplane to the carousel or they have to push a big trolley.
After picking up our bags, we went out of the terminal and what we saw is like chaos.
We saw a group of blue taxis at the opposite of the terminal but they don’t like bluebird taxi. We approach them and they quoted us IDR100K. I remembered that the fare should be around IDR50k to IDR60K. We try to bargain down to IDR80K but the drivers refused to budge.
In the end we agree to IDR100K. The traffic in Bandung is not as bad as I have imagine. We reach our hotel in 20mins.
Ivory hotel is located in a quiet road and there are some food outlet nearby. There is a café and Japanese restaurant just beside the hotel.
Check-in is pretty smooth but a little slow as it is only handled by one person. The poor staff has to prepare all our breakfast voucher, key and also to check with the housekeeping is our room ready.
We book a family room and it is spacious though the toilet is a little small. The room is clean and the water pressure is good. Hot water from the shower is consistent. One little thought from them is that one of the power wall plus is actually a multi-plug. Unfortunately I have forgotten to take a picture of it. It is really thoughtful of them so if you do not have any travel adapter, this wall plug will save you.
You are also given a coupon that entitle you to a 20% discount in their restaurant.
We ask the hotel to recommend a driver and vehicle to take us around Bandung. The hotel quoted us IDR1.5M which includes 12 hours of transport service anywhere in Bandung using a 10 seat van. I ask the model of the vehicle and we were told that it is a Toyota HIACE.
We then agree to it because we are getting a van and for 12 hours and thought that it is a reasonable deal.
After we settled down, we ask the front desk for recommendations for food. Lesly (the front desk staff) recommended the Humming Bird café. It is about 10 mins walk from the hotel.
The hotel has produced a simple map to show the recommended restaurants and available Factory Outlet (F.O.) within 15 mins walk from the hotel.
We then walk to Humming Bird Café and the entrance of the restaurant is very obscure.
The restaurant is decorated according to the birds. It has an open seating which decorated like a bird cage.
Inside the restaurants are decorated with bird-cage and birds.
The restaurant serve both Indonesian and Western meals. We of course ordered Indonesian meals.
I remembered the Nasi Georeng that I have eaten in one of the warung in Bali. It is heavenly. So we ordered Nasi Georeng.
The food served here is pretty good. The proficiency of English here is not that good but we can still communicate by using hand gesture and with the help of the menu.
So please speak slowly and polite to them. They are trying very hard to understand you so please be patient with them.
Along the street where Humming Bird Café is, there are actually many eating outlets and some are street side food.
After a sumptuous meal, it is already getting dark. We then walk to the nearest F.O. which is Heritage. We actually just browse the merchandise outside Heritage but we spend more time on the F.O. beside it; Cascade.
We spend quite a bit of time here and we spend out first Rupiah shopping here.
After all the shopping, all of us felt tired and decided to retire back to our room.
Woke up early to have breakfast.
Breakfast is held in the hotel café; Everyjoy Café.
The selection of breakfast isn’t fantastic. The choice of food is limited. They do give you a complimentary in-house special coffee. I don’t drink coffee so I can’t comment on that.
The taste of the food is average. Nothing to shout about. The staff is friendly and accommodating though.
I really like the decoration of the café. It is geared towards retro and even the coffee machine looks so much in the 70s.
The wall are lined up with 70s/80s posters (though they look new!) and some vintage items.
There are also outdoor seating which is great as the weather in Banding is not hot at all.
Our driver arrived at 0800hrs to pick us up. Our drivers name is Dicky and when we saw the van, I was actually a little disappointed. It is a KIA Pregio and the condition of the van is not that good. The van looks tired and in need of a refresh.
Dicky asked us where we would like to go. I really wanted to visit Kawah Putih but Dicky told me that one way will need 3 hours. I was shock to hear that because I thought it is only 90mins from Bandung. My tour mates do not want to travel that far so Dicky suggested touring northern Bandung.
The first stop is called “Farmhouse”. It is a small little park with animals and also some European architecture buildings.
The main draw of this place is actually the animals. You can pet and feed the animals. You buy food from the stalls for IDR5K per bundle to feed the rabbits, hamster and goat.
One little tip here. Many people throw away the carrot green on the floor after feeding the rabbits. You can pick all these up and use it to feed the goats. You get free food for the goats!
The next stop is the Pelangi waterfall. There is dual pricing here where locals can go in for IDR15K and foreigners will have to pay IDR25K for it.
The Pelangi waterfall is about 72m tall and there are well paved steps all the way down to the falls. However the groups is not so adventurous and they are willing to settle down for just a remote view of the falls.
We then proceed to have lunch at D’Seuhah Da Lada. It is a Sundanes restaurant.
The have built huts in the area and you can enjoy your meal in a non-aircon environment. Remember that Bandung weather is cooling and the humidity is low. So it will be more enjoyable while in the open.
The staff here is friendly and again their English Language is quite lacking but their genuine service make up for it.
The snack shop also bring up some samples for us to try before the food is serve and though we know they are a little more expensive compared to getting them elsewhere, we still buy some from them.
The food here is quite nice is it may be worth a visit if you are nearby.
Our next stop is the famous Kopi Luwak Cikole.
Again I do not drink coffee so I don’t know how to appreciate it. The impression I have is drinking coffee from the cat’s poop.
The cats are quite cute actually can they have some cats that you can carry them. I do not know is this a good idea as we may be stressing them out instead.
A guide describe the coffee making process which I am inattentive to. All I hear is Lawuk, coffee and poop (or something like that).
There are 2 types of coffee; one is original and the other is with Tongkat Ali and Ginseng.
We bought one cup of each flavour and it cost us IDR11K. Very expensive coffee indeed.
Dicky ask us whether we are interested in riding horses. We said “ok!”.
The place Dicky bought us to is actually De Ranch. The entrance fee I think is about IDR10K per person.
Here you can ride a horse for IDR25K and ride in a horse carriage for about IDR10K per person.
There is also other activities like flying fox and mini rock climbing (for kids).
This place is good if you want to burn an hour or two and also a place for the kids to enjoy themselves.
Our next stop is the floating market.
Please do not have high expectation of this floating market and do not even compare it with Thailand’s floating market. They are both very different.
The “boats” that sell the food is actually tied to a platform unlike the ones in Bangkok where the boat is travelling on the water.
You can buy food from them but you will need to buy the coins first. Note that the coins are non-refundable so just buy the amount that you need.
We then make a dash back to Bandung and the kids are starving. Before dinner, Dicky brought me to buy a SIM card that cost IDR5.5K that gives me 2GB of data with no SMS or talk time.
After that we just pop by in the nearest fast food restaurant. It turn out to be KFC and we paid IDR198K for a dinner for 5.
During the meal, we ask Dicky can we engage him directly instead of through the hotel. He said it is possible but he cannot pick us up at the hotel. We understand the reason behind it and we then agreed to meet at an alternate location not far away from our hotel.
The price is so much cheaper compared to the hotel but we just take it as a lesson learn.
We meet Dicky at the agreed location and again Dicky ask us where we want to go. We said we wanted somewhere more natural and open.
Dicky then suggested Kawah Putih again but again it was shot down. We then decide to stay within Bandung city and do F.O. hopping.
I will just briefly describe the F.O. I have visited. Note that taking pictures within in F.O. is prohibited so I did not take any.
Marc & Stuart and Polo Ralph Lauren
I was told Polo Ralph Lauren is different from Ralph Lauren in the US.
Polo Ralph Lauren is actually a local brand and Ralph Lauren US will not verify the authenticity of the Polo Ralph Lauren merchandise you have purchase.
Anyway the clothes here are not that cheap but they do offer a good variety with different qualities.
As for Marc & Stuart, they mainly sell Nike shoes and Adidas products. The price is quite reasonable and we actually bought 3 pairs of shoes.
It is pronounced as Rama Mo-de.
I was told that this is the biggest F.O. in Bandung. It is a little more expensive here but you can see the quality is slightly better than some of the other smaller F.O.
Outside the F.O. is a café that sell pastry and food but to me it is on the higher side.
GLOW is a mid tier F.O. The price is easier on your wallet and it mainly cater to mid size people but we do find a bit of plus size clothes there.
Nothing much here and I did not remember wrongly, lots of kid’s clothes here.
In the F.O. here, though the shop sign may yell Nike but inside the shop, you will not be surprise that they are selling other brands merchandise too.
So this Adidas outlet also sell other brands of merchandise like Nike and Puma.
The price of the merchandise here is a little on the high side but still affordable. The variety is there too and you have many to choose from.
Riau Stock Mall
I think this is one of the F.O. that suits us. It is really like a market and I can get a similar t-shirt for IDR79K where I have to pay IDR158K in Cascade.
If you want some bargains, this is the place to go.
We have lunch in a place called Tjendana Bistro. I think there is another name for it.
The food here is nice and reasonable. The feel of the restaurant is a little empty and it has a courtyard behind.
Dicky told us this is the cheaper place to eat in this area.
The Chili squid is good and the Nasi Georeng is also tasty.
The staff is friendly and accommodating but please speak slowly to them as their English proficiency is still lacking.
As for dinner, we ask for a place with nice view and I actually requested Bukit Moko at Warung Daweung.
However Dicky says that his vehicle is not suitable to go up the slope as he view it as dangerous.
He then suggested Stone café which we agreed.
As Stone café is located at higher elevation, the weather is very cooling.
Food is decent and the price is a little steep though.
Before we are drop off, we request to buy some local Bandung snacks and we are brought to Kartika Sari.
This seems to be a popular place for local snacks and everything seems to sell like hotcakes.
After that Dicky drop us off a place near our hotel and we call it a day.
A relaxing day for us with no plans in mind.
We ask our hotel to book 2 blue bird taxis for us. The metered taxis arrives on time and we request them to go to Trans Studio Mall.
The ride is smooth with light traffic. I can see that there is a minimum payment of IDR35K for the ride. This means that even if your ride is below IDR35K, you still have to pay the minimum amount.
When we reach our destination, the driver told us that we have to top up another IDR3K. As he does not speak English, I assume that it is the booking fee.
I believe Trans Studio Mall is the biggest mall in Bandung. At the least this is what Dicky told us.
There is a large amusement park inside. The entrance to the park is IDR17K on a weekday and IDR27K on a weekend.
We just loiter around the mall and it was spacious. There are many food options and we even find the long-lost A&W.
After lunch, we decided to catch a movie. A ticket will set us back at IDR50K which is a steal to us.
After the movie, it is already almost 1600hrs.
We decide to just visit the F.O. near to our hotel and ask the driver to bring us to Summit F.O.
While our taxi driver know the way, my friend’s driver just drop them off at Heritage. They have to cross two roads to get to Passion F.O.
Crossing the road is not a big deal but crossing the roads in Bandung needs guts and glory!
We just went to a few factory outlets around the area and we call it a day.
On the way back, we saw the shop that sell plus size clothes are open. We do some shopping there and buy almost IDR800K of clothes. So if you are plus size and wanted to buy some simple and not fancicul clothes, you can try Arella.
My family decide to have our dinner at Everjoy. The Nasi Georeng is not that nice actually as the rice is a little soggy.
When we are handed our bill, the staff ask us do we have the 20% discount coupon that the hotel has given us. I said yes but it is in the room.
The kind staff told us that he can give us the 20% discount but we have to provide them with the coupon later. I was like “Wow. That is what I call customer oriented.”
We depart Bandung today.
Dicky will pick us up at 0700hrs. Dicky’s boss has negotiated with our hotel to agree to pick us up directly from the hotel. We do not need to be sneaky about this.
Last night, we request the Everyjoy café to pack some breakfast for us and they actually willing to do it. We are grateful about it.
Unfortunately Dicky cannot make it and send another driver from another company to fetch us.
As it is a Sunday morning, traffic is light and we reach the airport in 20mins.
Bandung airport is pretty small and clearing immigration is fast. Note that any mineral water bottle will have to be surrendered to the security. Only real empty water bottle will be allowed through.
This wrap up our trip to Bandung.
I did not have any high expectation from Bandung from the start. Though I did not manage to visit Kawa Putih which is a disappointment to me but I still enjoy this trip very much.
Bandung is cleaner than I thought. I do not see trash very much on the street.
The people that I have interacted with is friendly and honest. I once given a K Circle staff extra IDR5K and he promptly return it to me.
The taxi driver brought me to Trans Studio Mall wanted to return me IDR2K of change which I politely decline.
Bandung is a nice place if you just want some simple shopping and maybe have a day trip out of the city. It may not be my favourite city but it is a good place to chill out.
When travelling in Bandung, we see many specialty or theme café which is nicely decorated.
Bandung is definitely worth a visit but please…… do not come during Indonesian holidays and you should know why. ^__^