Last year’s Chinese New Year saw us traveling to Turkey, Cyprus and Egypt; this year’s travel would be to somewhere closer: Bandung.
This year’s ride to Malacca wasn’t too bad; it took us just slightly more than five hours to reach my grandmother’s house from Singapore on the eve of CNY.
The street decked with lanterns and umbrellas
Typical Malaccan shophouse
Mrs couldn’t resist having a photo with Mamee Monster
On the second day of CNY, we had early lunch before heading to Mentakab, my mother’s hometown. It would be Mrs’ first time visiting there.
Due to floods in towns en-route, my aunt advised us to take the longer route via Kuala Lumpur. Added an additional 100km over the usual route but time-wise it was roughly the same since it was expressway all the way.
Mamee ad on the expressway
No idea what was the cause of the fire
The plan was to have popiahs for dinner.
Being Mrs’ first visit, we decided to have a walk after dinner.
Buying petai at Pasar Malam
It was always great to catch up with relatives and soon it was time to head to KL on the 4th day of CNY.
Thankfully the bus wasn’t as old as the ticket office and we found ourselves arriving at the bus terminal at Titiwangsa after two hours.
Our flight to Bandung wasn’t until the following day and we decided to spend the night at Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral.
The rate was pretty reasonable at 315 MYR for the night and it included a pair of movie tickets.
View from our room
Not forgetting the pretty impressive pool
Our time in KL was spilt between doing laundry, watching movie (Kungfu Yoga) and having meals. All done within a few hundred metres of our room and mostly within the attached Nu Sentral Mall.
The day of departure finally arrived and we took the 9am airport bus (10 MYR each) to KLIA.
We arrived at the airport an hour later and proceeded to check in. The one-way ticket between KUL and BDO cost us 61.30 SGD each.
Quite a busy day
Unsure if there would be a meal served onboard, Mrs and I decided that we couldn’t go wrong with Old Town White Coffee.
Food was delicious but I LOL-ed at the size of my fried chicken
Mrs was amused with the confiscated cheese grater
Mrs was even more amused when I told her about the missing owners of the three 747s parked in KUL.
Still parked here after so many years
Our chariot to BDO
No need for boarding by zones since the load was pretty light.
Flight: Malindo Air OD 302
Depart: Kuala Lumpur (KUL) – 12:10
Arrive: Bandung (BDO) – 13:20
Distance: 777 miles (1,250 km)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Seat pocket content
Two of the three ‘abandoned’ 747s
Pretty impressed that there was IFE with reasonable amount of content.
Show that exists only on airplanes
Service comprised of distribution of snacks and drinks.
Descending into Bandung
The tiny BDO airport terminal
Thumbs up to Malindo’s operations! Really impressed with its offerings at such reasonable prices.
Out of the three immigration officers on duty, two experienced problems with their computers and in the end only one officer was left to process the entire planeload of arrivals. Welcome to Indonesia.
We found the taxi service counter on the opposite side of the road once we got out of the arrivals area. They charged a flat rate of 60,000 IDR to our hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Bandung.
Last look at the airport
On arrival, I paid the driver with a 50,000 IDR note and a 20,0000 IDR note and he didn’t return me any change initially. It was only after the intervention of the hotel staff that the driver revealed that he had no change of 10,000 IDR. Honestly I found it hard to believe but thankfully the reception had just enough small change to exchange the 20,000 IDR with me.
We booked the hotel at the rate of 1.02 million IDR per night but there was a promo later on which pushed the price further down.
Somehow my wife’s note that we were on honeymoon was picked up by the hotel staff and we were upgraded to a bigger room at the top floor at no extra cost.
Further surprise awaited us
View from the room
The heavy downpour in the afternoon meant that we just relaxed at the hotel room until dinner time.
Mrs has a friend who lives in Bandung and we met up with her and her young family at Dapoer Pandan Wangi their favorite Sundanese restaurant.
Yummy Sundanese food
It was an early start for us the next morning as we headed towards the hills to the southwest of Bandung.
Sadly the weather wasn’t the best.
Despite the rain, the tea plantation still looked lovely.
Our driver suggested that we checked out Situ Patenggang. We needed to pay 15,000 IDR each to enter.
Taken before the fog set in to cover the lake
Crossing the bridge to the ship restaurant
The temperature was no more than 15 degrees Celsius and both of us really regretted not bringing a jacket.
View from the restaurant
One of the many glamping tents along the lake
We spent a long time waiting for the weather to be clear before proceeding to Kawah Putih.
Hoping for better weather
Finally the weather cleared sufficiently for us to visit and we paid a total of 210,000 IDR to enter the attraction with the car and driver.
There was a cheaper option of getting to Kawah Putih with public transport.
The crater lake was a short hike up from the carpark and there were still quite a few visitors despite the poor weather.
Gotta admit that the scenery was pretty surreal. Thankful that we managed to check it out.
We didn’t spend long at the site due to the cold and the strong sulphur smell and headed down after less than 10 minutes.
Photogenic Ciwidey – much warmer here!
One of the popular activities in the area was picking strawberries and there were many places where one could partake in it. We spent 44,000 IDR in total for the admission (10,000 IDR each) and the strawberries.
Sundanese for lunch again
It was a long drive back to town and we had a monkey to entertain us at one of the junctions.
Ad for mobile phones
After our massage, our driver dropped us back at the hotel. The 16-hour rental was 950,000 IDR which I guess was a fair deal in Bandung.
We checked Tripadvisor for good eating places near our hotel and Sate Maulana Yusuf was just right round the corner.
All for 98,000 IDR
We swore that we won’t be eating satays in Singapore anymore after this
It was so good that we returned the following evening.
We had a relaxed start the next day. Breakfast was included in the room rate and the spread was pretty good.
Cold cuts and salad
Local option which changes daily
Western and egg station
Nice start to the day
Mrs came across a blog post on the recommended food at Bandung by Lulabyspoon and we decided to check some of them out.
Nice road sign with Sundanese alphabets
First up was Roti Gempol which was walkable from our hotel.
Our morning tea
Kejaksaan Mie Rica was our next port of call.
We shared a bowl of mie charsiu which was really good.
So spicy yet so good
Apparently many Jakartans would come here and order takeaway before returning to Jakarta after their weekend trips.
We were on traveling on a Grabcar (Southeast Asian competitor to Uber) just before the Friday prayers and made an interesting observation that all the police on duty to maintain traffic were female officers. Must be that he male officers had to go for prayers.
We met up Mrs’ friend at Noah’s Barn. The cafe was ran by her family and had earned numerous awards for their coffee. Her husband was also kind enough to share his extensive knowledge on coffee and coffee roasting with us.
After saying goodbye to them, we checked out Rumah Mode, arguably the best factory outlet in Bandung. Managed to pick up some stuff at pretty reasonable prices before Mrs went for her foot massage.
We were attracted to the A&W sign while passing by Paris Van Java and decided that we should have some root beer float and waffles.
After A&W, we went to the Kartika Sari nearest to our hotel to shop for snacks to bring home.
Decided to check out the hotel’s swimming pool as well.
After breakfast, we checked out and headed for Cititrans office at Jalan Pasteur.
Our shuttle to Jakarta would depart at 8.15am and it cost us 165,000 IDR each.
Our shuttle to Jakarta
On our way
After around 2.5 hours of travel, we arrived at the terminus in Jakarta. Had arranged to meet with my friend living in Jakarta and he brought us to have some oxtail soup at Sop Buntun Bogor inside Pacific Place.
Mrs was delighted to discover that Grom is in Jakarta
Always glad to catch up with old friends
We got canceled by a few Grab drivers before getting an Uber to the airport. As we had ran out of IDR, we had to give the driver some SGD to cover for the toll charges incurred in cash.
AirAsia’s Self Check-in kiosks at CGK T2
We even had time to check out Pura Indah Lounge, courtesy of Mrs’ complimentary Priority Pass.
Buffet at Pura Indah Lounge
Boarding at E4
As it was a remote gate, we were bussed to our plane. A female traveler remarked that she hated flying AirAsia as she needed to go up and down the stairs multiple times. I wouldn’t complain though since we only paid 39 SGD each for the flight.
Flight: Indonesia AirAsia QZ 268
Depart: Jakarta (CGK) – 17:55
Arrive: Singapore (SIN) – 21:15
Distance: 549 miles (884 km)
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200
Settled into our seats
Seat pocket content
Our pre-booked meals (33,900 IDR each)
Despite the late departure from CGK, we arrived early into SIN. There was a security inspection on arrival (again) and it seemed the norm now for flights from Thailand and Indonesia. We were home within an hour of stepping out of the aircraft. Something unique in Singapore.