Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Selamat Datang Indonesia: Bandung Kota

I have this love-hate relationship with Bandung, West Java's capital, a city 140 km away from Jakarta. Having stayed most of the time during my work in Indonesia, it is where Jakarta people go during weekends that traffic is so horrible starting from the toll entrance to anywhere. Here you find factory outlet shops, for brand-conscious people, its heaven. Last time I shopped for gifts when I had my break from work, I paid extra for my overweight baggage, so all the discounts I've saved gone into thin air! The climate is way better than hot Jakarta, scenery far more good, and my love for pork cuisine was never missed since the place I've stayed in had small canteens serving my favorite babi!

Going around Bandung, if by taxi, is a nightmare. Drivers don't use meters, they'll charge you for a crazy fee. On worst case you tneed a cab, negotiate on a rate first.If you can, use Angkutan Kota, as public mode of transportation, an open van. Say "Kiri" is when you want to stop, they are colored coded depending on the route, and having a fixed fee of 2000 Rp. On my day offs these are my usual hang outs in Bandung to give myself a reward for a hard week of workloads:

Paris Van Java Mall:
A refreshing mall, this one's my favorite among the malls I've been in Bandung. With high-end brands of shops, restaurants and cinema, you might like it here to spoil yourself once in awhile. I usually frequent the Breadtalk store and Pepper Steak restaurant. You can also your grocery as there is a Carrefour outlet at the basement of the mall.

This is an interior of Braga City Walk, located at the back of Aston hotel. It's a mall as well, but not much of shops here, mostly of restaurants at the ground floor. However, what makes me come back here often is whenever i crave for a quality and affordable seafood dishes, "The Cost" seafood restaurant is my most recommended, thumbs up for the service and so affordable dishes, ambiance is plain but clean plus you get unlimited servings of rice :).

Walking the street of Braga, you'll see unmaintained Dutch influence structures as remnants of its colonial past. Arrays of coffee shops and French & Dutch inspired bakeries could be found here, art collectors frequent this place for antiques and paintings by local artists. At night, the place is said to be lively as there are bars and clubs. I don't usually go out alone at night, as I'm more of looking through the cultural experience, I find Braga street as less of a heritage spot. Sayang...

Gedung Sate, a place for the current governor of West Java. Sate, is an Bahasa word for "satay", a traditional Indonesian dish, and the building was named after it was actually shaped in resemblance to it. This place is near my former office. At the park square nearby, events are celebrated often.

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