Sunday, December 21, 2008

The 3rd ASEAN country that I have visited- Indonesia

I followed follow Aunt Lay Choo and her family on a trip to Bandung recently. We spent quality time catching up. I really enjoyed the trip.

Day 1
Chill out and some shopping

The plane touched down just in time for us to enjoy the slightly colder weather in Bandung compared to Malaysia. Bandung was a very busy city with the never-ending traffic and it does take quite a lot of courage just to cross the road. We could hardly see any traffic lights and neither could we see any traffic police (polisi in Indon)! Cigarettes were cheap (a mere RM0.25) and there is no ban.

We then decided to recover from the travelling and then proceeded to some shopping at the famous Rumah Mode. That was the main purpose of the trip—to shop until we drop! There were an array of Factory Outlets there with all the branded goods that you can think of with only a fraction of the original price.

Dinner was at a restaurant in a ‘pondok’ with local cuisine. We ordered the famous ‘sup ikan’ there and learnt that ‘sapi’ is actually beef. It was quite difficult to communicate with the locals to our surprise as Bahasa Indon is so much different from Bahasa Melayu!

Day 2

Uncle hired a taxi driver to rent an MPV to drive us around for the day. He also served as the our guide for the day. I find that Indonesians are generally gentle and soft-spoken yet hard to be dissuaded. There were lots of them selling bric-a-bracs on the street and at tourist destinations. Some of them actually followed us all the way from the top of the dead volcano down to the hotspring for about a 30 minute exhausting walk just to ask us to buy some necklace. You can also bargain to your heart’s content.

The highlight of the day was Tangkupan Parahu. It was surprisingly windy near the dead volcano. A local ranger then brought us to the live volcano and to enjoy the hotspring there. Eggs can be boiled there but we did not try. We just contented ourselves by immersing our feet into the hot water and apply them with some mud, which according to the locals, has some amazing beautifying effect.

We had the juiciest pineapple ever!

Dinner was at Kampung Daun with an amorous atmosphere. However, the food was surprisingly cheap with approximately RM12++ per head.

The most unforgettable dish was the dessert—Indon pancake with coconut milk which tasted like onde-onde. That was also the first time we realised the popularity of ‘sup buntut’ there but no one dared to order it…LOL…

Day 3
More shopping!

We used the most economical and popular way to get around the city—Angkutan Kota. The mini vans all had different colours to indicate the area they were going. The only setback was that we had no idea about the exact fare per person until we asked a local girl just in time to find out we had been cheated for quite some money :p
The best deal of the day was the various bags and wallets that we bought at the 50% discount shop. They were all branded and who can resist the temptation!

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