Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bandung - Malaysians' Favourite Shopping Destination

This is Gambir Train Station, Jakarta. We were leaving for Bandung. My sister hated being photographed. Hahaa..

21st May 2015- Jakarta to Bandung

Bandung is a shopping heaven for Malaysians. Many Malaysians flocked to Bandung each year to buy fabrics and luxury items from their many factory outlets. Business owners usually go there to buy straight from the warehouses or get a good deal from the local market. 

We travelled to Bandung via an express train as a better way to travel in comfort and to avoid the massive road jam as well as the long hours on road. It was done all in a rush as we hoped to be able to do our shopping as we arrived. However the shopping plan crushed due to miscommunication with our travelling buddies who took a different car to the train station, we wasted almost 3 hours at the station waiting the other party who were in fact already at the station but we didn't see them until after 3 hours! Ridiculous. Yup, I know. 

The environment in Gambir Train Station is pretty much like in Malaysia. It is the side of Jakarta that feels like home. Very modern and the crowd can be said to be middle to upper class. You don't see poverty around. No beggars and no shabby clothed people walking around. Surprising to see how the city could separate its population like this. Social division is very apparent in Jakarta. It's the result of corruption and previous lame government. It can similarly be said about Malaysia. How disappointing and lame the government is now under the current PM. Sigh... I shall stop there.     

Okay, the ticket price was IDR100,000 which equivalent to about RM27.00 (exchange rate at that time). Arrived at Gambir Station around 12.00noon but boarded the train at 3.30pm. The moment the train started to move, we see the real picture along the tract. How poverty was lining the tract. People building houses and building the lives like only inches away from the railway tract. It was scary when you saw children so near playing and running. How can they curb accidents from happening. It bugged my mind the whole journey to Bandung. 

As we were nearing Bandung, the scenery was magnificent. Padi field as far as the eyes can see. And the sunset was beautiful. It took us almost 4 hours to reach Bandung at 7.00pm. 

All excited to board the train. Like God knows how many years since I've been on a train.
My Goodness, it took me so long to finish posting about my Indonesia trip. I am forgetting many details. Now am trying my best to record as much as I could gather from my journal. 

As we arrived in Bandung at 7.00pm, we took a rented vehicle to mobilise ourselves. Of course so many operators will approach you for this matter. We choose a car that can fit all nine of us. We didn't make any hotel reservation. So we walked in to a few hotels located at the centre of the town but couldn't find a satisfactory one. After the third time trying to find a hotel failed, we decided to get our dinner first at a place my sister recommended as she had been there before. The place is called Kampung Daun. Located at a highland area of Lembang that felt almost like in Cameron Highland. It was already 9.00pm when we reached there but the restaurant accepted last diners at 10.00pm. So we were lucky.

Kampung Daun was a superb place to dine. A kampung (village) style eating heaven with wooden structures and man made stone decorated streams. I would say. Everyone was famished. We ate and unwind. The vehicle driver was invited to eat with us as well. Our culture taught us to be courteous and we must share our food with whomever we are with.

Dinner in Kampung Daun, Bandung

We ordered their signature most popular dish, i.e. grilled/fried gouramis fish (kaloi fish in Malay), ox tail soup (sup ekor in Malay) and other smaller dishes. It's yummy and worth our travelling up the hill to reach the place. We paid not more than IDR900.000.00 for nine person, which equivalent to RM250.00. Not so bad, heh. 

Along the stretch of the road to Kampung Daun Restaurant we saw a lot of lodgings. It looked serene and very cool up there. We decided to stay nearby the area and we finally settled at a place called the Rose Chamber Bed and Breakfast. It turned out to be a very memorable place that all of us really enjoyed in Bandung. 

I would love to share the details of the place in my next posting. For now I am signing off :)  

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