Paris Van Java Mall – Last Day in Bandung, Indonesia

 

After a fun two-day adventure in and around Bandung, the plan for the last day was just to kick back and chill… but the fam decided that we should make the most out of our time, so we went to the local mall, Paris Van Java.

I honestly would have liked to sleep in more since it was so early, and the shops wouldn’t be open anyway… but of course, when you’re travelling with your mom, she always has the last say. So it was that we got here at 9am..

20160612_085114-tile

20160612_085240-tile

Obviously nothing was open.

And then they looked at me and expected me to look for a spot for breakfast, which was really annoying because I had told them nothing was gonna be open this early. I couldn’t do anything about it, so we had some coffee and cakes at the only available option – Starbucks.

The mall wasn’t exactly dead though. Apparently they have a church/convention centre upstairs, so families were seen flocking to the upper floor.

20160612_094547-tile

Once 10am rolled in stores started to open. Unlike the fully air-conditioned malls in Malaysia, malls in Bandung have an open concept. The place carried most of the major international brands, selling clothes, bags and accessories.

20160612_101006-tile

Got some souvenirs to take home, and a mochi snack. Had to rush back to the hotel for check out, so we left around 11am.

20160612_124100-tile

Quick lunch at a resto near our hotel. After a few days of Indonesian spices and flavours, we were really missing some Chinese food, and this hit the spot. Dad had stir-fried veggies, meat and seafood with rice.

20160612_124824-tile

I had chicken noodles. This was great! Slightly salty, the meesua noodles were smooth and topped with loads of ingredients, such as chicken meat and crunchy onions.

20160612_124827-tile

Bro’s seafood fried rice. After the satisfying lunch, we sat in the hotel lobby and waited for our flight. Got back home safely before midnight.

Bandung has been super fun, and I loved the fact their beautiful natural attractions are so close to the city. The city itself is modern but laidback, with loads of food and convenient facilities. Did not manage to visit that many architectural buildings, but I’ll save that for the next time I’m back in the Paris of Java. 🙂

 

Cremelin Pattiserie, Bandung Indonesia – and Meeting up with Liv !

The last time I met up with my Indonesian friend Liv was on her trip to KL two years ago. So this time around, she got to play tour guide! 🙂

20160611_220349-tile

20160611_230250-tile

Liv came to meet me at the hotel. She came on a bike, and I didn’t want to waste money on a cab, so I hopped onto the back seat. I was a bit worried since there was no extra helmet and the traffic’s crazy, but life’s short… you gotta live, right? haha.

Riding around Bandung at night was an interesting experience. There was a slight drizzle and the weather was cool enough to warrant a jacket. I saw first hand how expert the locals are at maneuvering the roads – she basically weaved and squeezed the bike through traffic, sometimes with only inches to spare.

20160611_203113-tile

Her recommended cafe was a place called Cremelin Pattiserie. They just opened earlier this year. Aside from desserts and cakes, they also have Western dishes. The interior is cosy with lots of solid colours on white.

20160611_203117-tile

20160611_203209-tile

20160611_203743-tile

Hot tea on a cold day always hits the spot!

20160611_204531-tile

Liv’s dish, I forgot what it was.. but the fries were nice. The thin, crispy kind, lightly salted. The poached egg on her sandwich was simply beautiful.

20160611_204621-tile

I had the Russian Tefteli Pork. Shaped into balls, the pork was deep fried to crunchy golden perfection whilst retaining its moistness on the inside. The scrambled eggs were fluffy and drenched in a light creamy sauce, while the salad was tossed in an appetising balsamic vinaigrette. They weren’t stingy with the portions either. Thumbs up.

It’s a shame I didn’t get to try more dishes and their cakes. Perhaps the next time I’m in Bandung. 🙂

Cremelin Pattiserie and Coffee

Jl. Abdul Rivai 3A Bandung 40171

Tues-Sun : 7.30am-10pm

Closed on Mondays

On another note, it was great catching up with Liv! The Internet is such an amazing thing; it has allowed me to forge friendships and relationships with great people around the world. Which is great, because I have a tour guide whenever I visit some place 😛

 

Cibaduyut Leather Street, Bandung Indonesia

Nature is not the only thing that Bandung has to offer – the place is well known for its cheap shopping. This didn’t excite me much (yes, there are girls who don’t thrill at the idea of shopping).

Apart from Rumah Mode, which was an old Dutch building turned into a factory outlet store, the only other place we went to was Cibaduyut Street, famous for its leather products. The plan was to get a genuine leather bag as a gift for Pops for Father’s Day.

20160611_163716-tile

There are dozens of shops on both sides of the street, selling everything from shoes to wallets, jackets, clothing, bags and belts made from leather and faux leather. Some shops are chain stores and do not allow for haggling, but the smaller ones usually offer discounts… if you’re good at negotiating. Our driver did tell us to be careful though, coz we can’t be sure if some of the items are 100% leather.

20160611_163734-tile

Bags which cost around RM120+.

We got pops a really nice sling bag so he can use that for travelling instead of having to stuff everything into his pockets; as well as a belt.

20160611_163741-tile

Loads of shoes – for ladies, for men, for kids… you name it, they got it. They weren’t particularly cheap, around RM50+. Quality was so-so, and most of the shops carried the same designs. But if you like leather shoes, this is a place to find a good bargain.

20160611_164631-tile

20160611_164732-tile

I can’t gush about Cibaduyut since I don’t really like shopping , but it’s a good place to visit nonetheless if you’re in Bandung.

INDUSTRI SEPATU CIBADUYUT

Jalan Raya Cibaduyut, Bojongloa Kidul,

Bandung, Indonesia

 

Ranca Upas Deer Farm, Ciwidey Bandung

Located within vast camping grounds, the Ranca Upas or Deer Farm was our last stop for the day on our tour of Bandung’s south district. The road leading to the place was bumpy, but lined on both sides by gentle forests and fields dotted with tents and cooking pits. The grounds are a popular weekend getaway with city folk and offer extreme sports activities such as flying fox and ATV riding.

20160611_125131-tile

Crossing a small stream to the farm.

20160611_125137-tile

The deer farm is a wide enclosure with an elevated wooden walkway, ending in a low platform. Visitors can buy deer feed for the animals, and walk down into the enclosure if they wish to.

20160611_125255-tile

It was really muddy and soggy though, probably because it rained the day before.

20160611_125531-tile

Not wanting to ruin my only pair of shoes, I was content to watch the deer from the walkway. They were all clustered up at the other end, where there was more green.

20160611_125438-tile

20160611_125617-tile

A visitor feeding a deer. I think the feed was baby carrots. They eat out of your hand!

20160611_125718-tile

You can touch them, but be careful since these are still wild animals after all.

20160611_125727-tile

20160611_130101-tile

20160611_130241-tile

Once the deers knew that there were visitors with food, they started swarming the platform. Some even tried to climb up !

20160611_130252-tile

20160611_130711-tile

Other than feeding the deers, there’s nothing else to do here, unless you’re camping or taking part in other outdoor activities. Good for a quick stop if you’re returning to the city from Kawah Putih and Situ Patenggang.

RANCA UPAS (Deer Farm) 

Jl. Raya Ciwidey – Patenggang KM 11
Rancabali, Ciwidey Bandung

Contact:  0853-2000-0743

Saung Gawir Sundanese Restaurant, Bandung, Indonesia

After half a day exploring Bandung’s southern district of Ciwidey, we were ready for lunch. Our stop was a local resto called Saung Gawir, which specializes in Sundanese cuisine.

20160611_132703-tile

Located on the hillside, the place has a nice view of the gentle slopes, but parents wanted to sit in the shade so we sat inside ._. The simple structure is built from bamboo and leaves; as are the chairs and tables.

20160611_133400-tile 20160611_133923-tile

Kicked off with some appetizers, the local otak-otak. The Malaysian version uses fish paste and has a distinct orange tint from chillies, turmeric and curry powder. The Indonesian version is white and less spicy, but also come wrapped in banana leaves. They served it with a sauce that tasted like Indian white bean dip – sour, minty and refreshing.

20160611_134028-tile

Slightly chewy and sweet, these were so addictive I kept popping them into my mouth and was almost full by the time the main course came 😛

20160611_135954-tile

Mutton fried rice. It was Fragrant and filled with generous chunks of tender mutton. I didn’t really like the crackers that came with the dish coz it had a bitter aftertaste.

20160611_135959-tile

Some okay-tasting stir fried veggies, and lamb/chicken satay. The latter was the bomb, especially the lamb. Tender and juicy with the right amount of lean and fat, smothered in a sweet and savoury sauce that was like a cross between teriyaki and BBQ.

20160611_140016-tile

Everyone else had some sort of rice from a metal pot with egg, chillies, onions and herbs in it. Really fragrant, like nasi lemak.

20160611_140122-tile

Fuyong egg – fried with veggies and shrimp – was fluffy and crispy. Nothing to complain about here..

20160611_140125-tile

When you order ‘fried chicken’ from any restaurant in Bandung, don’t expect the huge, KFC-sized kind. They all use spring chickens here so the portions are tiny. These were really good though: crispy and crunchy, salty but tender on the inside. Not much meat on them.. I could have eaten one whole chicken on my own 😀

20160611_140128-tile 20160611_142659-tile

Fed the resident kitties 😀

SAUNG GAWIR 

Jalan Raya Ciwidey – Rancabali KM. 6,

Desa Alam Endah, Bandung, Jawa Barat, Indonesia

Phone: +62 22 85920675

Mon – Fri : 9am – 5pm, Sat-Sun: 9am – 8pm

The Lake in the Mountains – Situ Patenggang, Bandung

With Mother Nature, nothing’s impossible.

You have places like the ‘Door to Hell’, a natural gas crater in Turkmenistan which  looks like a cavern into a fiery abyss; and The Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, where the natural rock formations are so geometric they seem to be carved out of machinery.

So it’s not that surprising to find a lake in the mountains of Indonesia, at 1,600m above sea level! Welcome to Situ Patenggang, or the Lake of Love.

20160611_114421-tile

Located at the foot of Mount Patuha, the lake and its surroundings offer breathtaking views of its exotic landscape. The still lake, broken only by ripples from the wind, looked like a giant mirror of deep sapphire blue.

20160611_112355-tile

Visitors can rent motorized or paddle boats for a spin around the lake. There is a small island in the middle called Pulau Asmara or Passion Island. Legend has it that two lovers, Raden Indrajaya and Dewi Rengganis,  got separated for a long time. Their tears of grief became the waters of the lake, and they finally met again at a rock called Batu Cinta, or Love Stone. The story goes that lovers who visit the stone will have everlasting love. Aw…

20160611_112828-tile

Paddling wasn’t our thing, so we took a stroll around the area. Tall, shady pine trees provided shade, while low shrubs and soft grass gave the place an almost European countryside look. It didn’t feel like we were in tropical Asia at all !

20160611_114328-tile

There were many bamboo gazebos with leaf roofing scattered around the area, where visitors can just chill and soak in the sights. Some of the pathways are not paved and can be rocky, so kids and the elderly should watch their steps.

20160611_115529-tile 20160611_115934-tile 20160611_120054-tile

A smaller lake next to the main lake. The gentle, sloping hills reminded me of the Lord of the Rings Hobbiton movie set !

20160611_120205-tile

If you love nature, Situ Patenggang is a must visit while in Bandung. It’s a two-hour drive from the city, but worth the time especially if you’re coming back from Kawah Putih Volcano. It is best accessed by car, since public transport is a little unreliable in Bandung.

The entrance fees for foreigners is high, like 180,000IDR or something. Our driver was a lifesaver – he told us to ‘pretend to sleep’ while the car rolled up to the counter, and he told them we were from Jakarta (lol? coz many Indonesian Chinese Jakartans come here over the weekend). So we got the local rate !

Felt a little bad, but hey, whatever it takes to save money…

20160611_105819-tile

Also not to be missed in the Ciwidey district around the lake are the beautiful tea plantations, which stretch on for miles as far as the eyes can see. Our guide explained that there were no ‘private tea companies’, so all these estates are owned and run by the government. Members of the public are free to walk down among the plants and take some amazing pictures.

20160611_105823-tile

More of Bandung to come! 🙂

 

White Crater Volcano – Kawah Putih, Bandung

When talking about volcanoes, the mental image that comes to mind is that of a yawning crevasse; spewing ash, lava and smoke into the air. But my recent visit to Bandung proved me wrong!

Earlier, we visited Tangkuban Perahu, an active stratvolcano – which means that lava runs underneath instead of on the  surface. There, we found a huge crater with hot springs, wisps of steam and bubbling mud. The sides were a dark ash grey, like scorched earth. There are no volcanoes in Malaysia, so this was an eye-opening sight.

The next day, we drove South to visit another volcano – Kawah Putih, or ‘White Crater’. The two couldn’t have been more different.

20160611_092947-tile

Kawah Putih is a two hour drive from Bandung city, so we set off early in the morning. The trip didn’t feel like it took a long time, because the scenery going up the mountains was beautiful. When we  arrived, I was surprised at how chilly it was. At 2,400m above sea level, temperatures hover around 10-15C. On some days, the place can get foggy but luck and the weather was on our side. Just remember to bring a thick jacket! 🙂

20160611_101624-tile

There was a forest of trees near the entrance, leading to an observation deck. The trees were gnarly and twisted, with sparse branches and dark, rough-looking bark. Reminded me of the trees in Disney’s Snow White, or from the Japanese Suicide Forest. Beautiful, but haunting.

20160611_093216-tile

Named after its milky blue waters and greyish white sand, Kawah Putih looks more like a beach than a volcano. Don’t be fooled though – the water is highly sulphurous and toxic. Unlike Tangkuban Perahu, which had nothing growing from its cliffs, Kawah Putih has more vegetation, with small shrubs and plants forming a ring around the lake.

20160611_094131-tile

There was a characteristic smell of rotten eggs in the air, and wisps of steam and smoke curled on the surface of the lake.

20160611_094730-tile

The sky was a vivid blue, creating a beautiful layer of color against the mountain’s earth tones, the white-blue waters and white sand.

20160611_094816-tile

There’s only a simple fence separating the lake, so parents, if you’re bringing the kids along, keep an eye on them at all times. The waters looked inviting enough for an adult, let alone a small child.

20160611_095435-tile 20160611_095713-tile 20160611_100515-tile

And more short, gnarly trees.

20160611_100647-tile 20160611_100828-tile 20160611_101011-tile

Because the water/sand is white, the glare can get overwhelming, especially on a sunny day. Bring a pair of polarized sunglasses for extra protection 🙂

Kawah Putih is one of those must-visit places while in Bandung, and it’s definitely worth the two-hour drive.

KAWAH PUTIH 

Jl. Raya Soreang Ciwidey, Ciwidey, Bandung, Jawa Barat, Indonesia

Opening hours: 8am – 5pm

Entrance fees: 50000IDR (foreigners), 18000IDR (locals)

 

Things to Do at The Lembang Floating Market, Bandung

Indonesia is one of the world’s most populous Muslim countries: so I expected restaurants to be closed throughout the day during fasting month. Surprisingly, in the city of Bandung, many places remained open and people were cool about eating…as long as it wasn’t in ‘public’. The wooden roadside stalls had ‘curtains’ where people could eat away from prying eyes.

20160610_170206-tile

We were running a little late, so by the time we left Lembang Begonia Flower Garden, the roads were clogged with people getting food to break fast. We inched slowly through traffic, and I took in the sights. There was smoke rising from meats being grilled in the open, accompanied by colorful displays of dessert and loads of yummy snacks. Pretty reminiscent of the Ramadan bazaars we have in Malaysia.

20160610_171518-tile

The sun was setting by the time we got to Lembang Floating Market. Unlike some of the authentic floating markets of Thailand, this was built as a tourist attraction, with a spacious park and various entertainment outlets within. We wasted no time in exploring the place, which had a big lake in the middle where visitors can rent boats.

20160610_171544-tile

20160610_171705-tile

Souvenir shops selling all manner of handicrafts, balloons, toys and snacks.

20160610_171916-tile

Lake cruise. Great for families or dates !

20160610_172019-tile

Geese roaming around a pond. They were scary af and acted like guard dogs: fiercely territorial, and prone to chasing you around until they take a good chunk out out of your butt.

20160610_172150-tile

Park was well maintained and clean, with spots like this wooden bridge where visitors can take pretty pictures.

20160610_172330-tile

A miniature train museum, complete with a train coach-shaped souvenir shop, tiny railroad crossing and shelves full of model trains.

20160610_172430-tile

20160610_172847-tile

The kids will love the bunny park! Too bad they were closing for the evening. We saw some fat and fluffy specimens bouncing around.

20160610_173229-tile

A cultural village, where there were traditional wooden huts and gazebos, as well as a paddy field.

20160610_173431-tile20160610_174755-tile

After a long walk, we finally got to the ‘Floating Market’. What it is, essentially, is a row of ‘boats’ on water where peddlers sell snacks, food and drinks. You have to buy ‘coins’ in order to purchase anything, kind of like at an arcade.

20160610_174028-tile

20160610_174241-tile

There were a lot of interesting snacks, but we were going to have dinner soon so we didn’t get any.

20160610_174244-tile

20160610_175224-tile

The Lembang Floating Market and Park is a nice place for a relaxing getaway from the city, so hop on over if you’re ever in the Lembang district near Bandung.

LEMBANG FLOATING MARKET

Jl. Grand Hotel No.33, Lembang, Kabupaten Bandung Barat, Jawa Barat, Indonesia

Open daily: 9am – 5pm (Mon-Fri), weekends til 8pm

Entrance: 15,000 IDR (inclusive of welcome drink)