Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Long weekend in Bandung

Just came back from our Bandung trip.. fully recharged :) It was a nice short break over Hari Raya Haji long weekend. We took one extra day off on Tuesday to make it a 4D3N trip. We're blessed with good weather and good traffic - I did not dare to plan too much in the itinerary lest the roads are full of cars with B plates, but thankfully that's not the case.

- The flight -

I booked the flight on T*ger Air some time in January this year, aiming to make full use of the long weekend. Was a bit anxious when the previous planned flight on the same carrier to Jogja was cancelled, and then when its associate company M*ndala was declared bankrupt.

Luckily there's no disruption on our flight to Bandung. Both web check-in and counter check-in experience were smooth, luggage arrived without any problems.

The SIN-BDO flight was quite full, as it was the start of a long weekend. Around 11am, the plane was about to land at Husein Sastranegara airport -  we looked out from the window with full anticipation.. and then the plane took off again! Apparently it was a common procedure adopted when it's too risky to land, given the short runway in the airport. So after some half an hour, the plane made another attempt and we landed successfully. Everyone clapped and cheered :p That's quite memorable, I suppose.

Our flight back to Singapore was uneventful, there were only about 20 passengers so each could have occupied the whole row to lie down :)

Bandung aiport was tiny, it looked more like a bus terminal. There're only 2 immigration lines and 1 luggage belt. The waiting lounge and toilet were very clean and well equipped, though, much better than Jogjakarta's airport. I understand that the airport is going to be upgraded very soon.

- The hotel -

We stayed in Villa Damar, strategically located behind Rumah Mode. I chose the place because of its room type (2 bedrooms in a suite), prime location, reasonable price and great reviews. And overall, we're satisfied.

We got room 101, a garden suite located just a few steps away from the lobby and the restaurant. The whole hotel was tastefully decorated, bright and airy. Our suite was equipped with a pantry (sink and microwave, no stove), a living room and a water dispenser. It looked like they bought electrical appliances from Singapore, judging from the plugs. The only complaint we had was the limited toilet paper. For 4 people occupancy, only 1 roll was provided daily, and the size was not as thick as the usual ones. Even when there was only half a roll left in the morning, no extra was left behind by room service. I had to ask for extra roll every single day.

Service was good, though. The staff were polite and friendly. All requests were promptly answered. Oh, except when I sent an email asking confirmation before our arrival - the email went unanswered.

The breakfast was good too. For the first 2 days it was served buffet style in the restaurants: fried rice, fried noodles, chicken porridge with condiments (loved the crackers), egg station, toasts, desserts, juices, sliced fruits, salads, cakes, coffee and tea. On the last day, the breakfast was delivered to our room, I suppose because of the low occupancy during weekdays. We could choose from Indonesian, American and Continental set. It was actually the same food from the buffet, but served ala carte. So although the food was good, eating the same things every day could get boring - it would be great if they could change the menu frequently.

- The food -

Dapur Dahapati
This was our first stop upon arriving in Bandung. Ordered the most famous dish - sop buntut goreng. It was well marinated, and the portion was generous. Served with rice and soup, it was filling. Hot tea was provided free of charge.

Rumah Sosis
Tried their sausages, sekoteng and cake ice cream. Nothing special about the sausages, although it scored on the presentation. Sekoteng was good.

This place was ideal for a dinner date. Dimly lit, good ambience, good food. There were lots of mosquitos, though. We ordered weiner schnitzel, cheese burger, beef pizza, schaschlik (skewered meat and veggie) and cream soup. All was really good, especially the schaschlik.

Tahu Tauhid
The long queue for both cooked and non-cooked tofu said a lot about its popularity. We had to wait quite long for a plate of fried tofu. It was eaten with plain lontong (steamed rice wrapped in banana leaves). The lontong looked so much like arem-arem I kept expecting to find minced beef on the next bite - but it didn't happen :( It's my first time eating tofu with lontong, and it's really good. Especially when paired up with teh botol sosro :)

Rumah Mode
We bought lunch from foodcourt in Rumah Mode on our second day, due to its close proximity. Tried batagor, tjwie mie, bakso campur malang, es cendol and es kelapa jeruk. Finger licking good!

Pascal Hypersquare
I had a hard time choosing food here, as everything looked so tasty. Finally settled on baso tahu Tulen.. very good although it's a bit too spicy. Our favorite was the bola ubi - fried balls of sweet potato.

Natural Resto & Strawberry Land
Great ambience, nice food, prompt service. We tried their famous dish: nasi liwet strawberry. It's unique and different from our usual nasi liwet ikan asin. Quite nice, but the chilli gave more flavour than the strawberries - the strawberries were more like a topping and decorations. The lunch experience would be perfect if not for the many flies interested to also try the yummy dishes :)

There was a strawberry plantation just next to the restaurant. Paying an entrance fee (Rp 10k), visitors can get in and pluck their own strawberries. But there were so few fruits, most of them were still green. Coupled with the hot weather, we chose not to go in.

There were quite a number of peddlers in the vicinity, crowding over visitors once they pass the entrance or walking out from the restaurant. It's not a good experience, being surrounded by peddlers, especially those selling toys and trying to persuade your children.

- The places -

Rumah Sosis
It has a restaurant, a swimming pool, and a playground with various rides for children. Interesting, although the rides were quite pricey.

De Ranch
A family recreation center with cowboy theme, it boasts nice mountain view and greenery. Of course there are food stalls and rides too. Entrance ticket can be exchanged with drinks: milk or yoghurt.

Kebun Begonia
A nice garden filled with flowers and vegetable plantations. The cherry tomato plantation was especially interesting - we could pluck the tomatoes ourselves, had it weighed and paid it at the cashier.

Tangkuban Perahu

Lembang Floating Market
I've heard about this place a few times and finally visited it! The concept is interesting, snacks sold on small boats on the lake. The lake was used for rides as well: kayaking, boat train, pedal boat, etc. It had nice layout and scenery. By paying Rp 10k entrance fee, we're entitled to one free drink each. Too bad the electricity was off when we're there.. so no hot drinks for us. Lemon tea was the only option - served at room temperature.

Till we meet again, Bandung!
Oh, I miss the food already -_-"

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