Wilujen Sumping or Selamat Datang in Sundanese!
Our AA plane landed at the Bandara Hussein Sastranegara International Airport at 8.40am on 4/11/2016. Bandung is an hour behind Malaysia. It's a small airport but there were numerous flights arriving and departing in a day. Pak Manan, our local guide, was already waiting for us. The Custom and Immigration checks were smooth-sailing and in no time at all, we were on our way to our first destination, Aria Jeans at Jalan Merdeka. This is the main reason why I went to Bandung. It is quite hard for me to find jeans that fit me in Malaysia. At Aria Jeans, you can choose the material, get measured by the owner / tailor and the jeans would be delivered to your hotel that evening. The price of material, workmanship and probably delivery was affordable, around 300 Rupiah per pair (RM97.03). If you are not happy with the new jeans, you can go back and be refitted. The only thing that you need to be patient of is the owner / tailor who could be quite 'eloquent' when it comes to refitting / readjusting her original measurement.
Our next destination is the Farmhouse Susu of Lembang, north of Bandung. This is a new attraction that is modelled on the country houses and hill farms usually found in the Switzerland Alps. As it is situated on a hilly area, the weather is cool and breezy. It feels like what Cameron Highland used to be before the deforestation and land clearing. A good promotional strategy is that you can get a free milk drink or a few grilled sausages with your entrance ticket. even the fee is affordable, around 20,000 Rupiah (RM6.43) while the parking fee is 10000 Rupiah (RM3.23).
The farmhouse is full of pretty buildings and constructions that is definitely worthy of selfies and wefies. You can post in front of the Hobbit House or with a group of kelincis (rabbits) or cute sheep that are not afraid of the tourists. You van also visit the cafe, the art shop, the choclolate shop and the souvenir shop. Where Hanok Village in Seoul offers hanok for tourists to wear, this farmhouse offers traditional Swiss attire (with wig / headdress as well) for you to try. You can feel like Heidi for a few thousand rupiah.
We noticed that there was a throng of people from other parts of Indonesia, especially those from Jakarta. Pak Manan said that it is a common sight during weekends and holidays. People from hotter places come to Bandung to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and in search of a cooler ambience to relax and do some shopping. One thing I noticed was most of the cars parked are huge. They are probably owned by the rich visitors. On this particular day, more visitors were from Jakarta as they wanted to escape the looming public demonstration scheduled the day after. We wondered if there would be one as well in Bandung but our guide reassured us that Bandung would remain peaceful. He was right of course. Nothing happened here the next day except for a few banners hung in support of the demonstration.
Our next visit was the Floating Market at Lembang. I wondered whether it is similar to the one in Hatyai where people buy food from sampans parked along the riverbank. It turned out quite different from Klong Hae Floating Market. The area is huge. We strolled around, visiting the tourist shops and took pictures at many attractive corners there. Your final destination in the area is a man-made lake @ pool where at one side, people can fish while at the other side, you can buy food from the sampans docked there. You have to exhange your rupiah to tokens first before you buy food set at certain fixed price like 20,000 or 25,000 rupiah.... Then you can sit down at a low table and eat your food. We only had a light brunch since we were going to have a late lunch at Kampung Daun later.
Next, it was time to explore Dusun Bambu at Lembang. The place was quite big and contains many different attractions. Besides the eateries and food stalls, you can stroll around the beautiful garden, take a lot of selfies and wefies, paddle a sampan or a floating raft on the pretty lake or rest in one of the 'hanging' bamboo 'cage' and order food from the eateries. One thing I admire about this place and other tourist attractions in Bandung, they are clean and empty of rubbish. Even the washrooms are diligently taken care of.
By the time we left Dusun Bambu, we were really hungry. So, we went to Kampung Daun to have our late lunch / early dinner. It was drizzling as we got there. I could hear from afar the sound of waterfall. The air was rather damp and the kampung-like reaturant was serene. We chose a medium size hut, complete with a long low table, pillows and wood decorations. The food we ordered is quite pricy but delicious, especially the chicken and gurame fish dishes. Alpukat juice is a must!
After a very hearty dinner, we walked along the pavement to find the source of the sound and soon, we arrived at a man-made waterfall, with water gushing down the small stream, along the pretty little huts. then it was already time to make our way back to Bandung city, which was about one hour away...
We passed by many flower nurseries which also sell young plants / trees. An interesting fact : not of the young trees have fruits. The rule here is, if you want to sell fruit-bearing trees, you must show the evidence!
Before we checked in into our accommodation, Fabu Hotel, we stopped by at perfume shop at Dago to choose our own eau de toilette from a range of popular brands. It is like a small laboratory full of test tubes and jars full of chemical and other unknown ingredients. They mix it in front of us as we wait for a few minutes. You can even choos the size and colour of your spray! The price is quite cheap too...
Then, it was time to rest our feet after a long trip today. We landed in Bandung around 8.00 am and the time now was 8.00ish pm....
Hatur Nuhun! Pak Manan, our driver and guide for our first taste of Bandung and the surrounding hills. I couldn't wait for the next day's adventure.
P/S. That's thank you in Sundanese , spoken by about 9 billion people residing in Bandung! That big population means the city is crowded and roads are full of mostly cars, vans and motorbikes! Surprisingly, you don't often hear about accidents happening there. They are probably excellent and skillful motorists! :)