Continuing from the previous post on our first visit to Bandung. Day 2 is shopping and more shopping. We walked too much that day and bought too little. Was recommended to a wrong place and went too early. Got lost with our own navigation and got quoted a ridiculous price for a ride on their public transport. If you’re interested to learn more about Bandung and where not recommended to go, read on…
The view from the bedroom of our junior suite. Yes, most are low raised buildings that very much resembles the bungalow estates around Singapore, just not as well maintained and organised.
Our stay comes with free daily breakfast at the hotel’s cafe. Variety differs slightly everyday with the standard egg station, variety of bread, cereals, salad, fruit and porridge. The change daily ranges from the type of fried rice, noodles/ bee hoon, vegetables, meat and a soupy item. Our favorite has to be the baby-food-liked-porridge. Thick and sticky. Mixed with the choice of sides, some dark soya sauce and pepper. Its heavenly breakfast. Especially for us whom usually skipped it when we’re here in Singapore. Three days of porridge for breakfast surely added some weight on me. Good thing I’m back to my before trip weight now after my 3 days of salad diet.
After breakfast, we asked the reception where is a good place to head to as it was before 11am. She suggested we cab down to Paris Van Java and said there’s plenty of shopping there. Not knowing what to expect, we took the Blue Bird cab to Paris Van Java. (Yes! The cab company is called Blue Bird. This is the most reliable and newer fleet of cabs there. They always charge by the meter reading. Some other older cabs are either too dirty and worn out or the driver may not charge by the meter. So go with Blue Bird cabs when you’re in Bandung.)
Arriving at the place, we see familiar brands like Daiso (selling more than $2/item there), Carrefour, Mango, Sogo, Niki, Rip Curl and many other branded boutique. First thought that came to mind was “wrong destination to start of the day”. For Abang and myself, we are the budget type of tourists. When we go to a place to shop, we usually will not buy anything that’s of the same pricing in Singapore. No point right? Add on to the luggage weight only. When we travel, we usually try to find quality things at lowest prices possible. Hence the 2 hours there were mostly waiting for shops to open, visit to carrefour, their toilets and few smaller shops that sells cute little stuff. When all the shops are opened for business, that’s when we left the place.
This was also when we started to navigate the rest of the day on our own with the not-so-helpful map. Road signs were not easy to spot and the traffic and hot sun added to our tiredness. I wore the worst pair of shoes ever for the trip! The flats were so thin I could feel every stone I stepped! So remember to wear comfortable and good soled shoes! I cannot remember how far or long we took to reached the next factory outlet. But when we finally spotted it, I couldn’t wait to get in there to find a fan and rest.
The first factory outlet, spotted has got banners hanging outside with giant python and animals. Looks like an animal kingdom or sort. Without pay much attention to what they have in store, we just headed in and the inside caught us both by surprise. There was an aquarium, mini garden and an enclosed mini zoo with huge iguana and really a giant python! There were even reindeer and goats. I think the place is call Cihampelas Place or something like that.
Felt pity for those animals chained up as they’ve the ability to smash out the enclosed glass and might injured visitors. Their movement is constraint by the designated circumference. Only the white monkey and chickens were allowed to roam freely within the enclosure.
Nothing much bought here except a pair of sandals for me to change and quick bite and drinks. The minced chicken with beef balls noodle is not bad. It was served with a few bottles of sauces for us to mix. Don’t know what they were, we just whacked and lucky us, we got the mixture right. For me I don’t like the beef ball, the beefy smell just turned me off.
Further down the left side of this factory outlet, along Cihampelas Street, you will find a street that resembles our local Far East Plaza but now outdoor. This is one of the most visited places for tourists I guess as its famous for the super heroes themed shops along both sides of the street. You can spot Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Wolverine, Aladdine and even Rainbow. And they all sell the same things! Jeans, polo t-shirts and more jeans! I’m totally clueless too why they’ve to use these super heroes as mascot for their shops. Perhaps its just some gimmick to draw tourists for photo opportunities.
Along this street you can also find shops selling local snacks such as banana chips, vegetable chips and whatever type of chips they offer. Those sold along the street (not in shop) usually are cheaper but may not be as fresh cause those in the shop are freshly made and packed when you want to purchase. So don’t forget to grab your tidbits here if you (like us) like to share some goodies with people back home wherever you travel to.
After walking for the entire afternoon, without a single sit down break, we tried searching on foot for our next factory outlet destination. After almost an hour of the-blind-leading-the-blind, we gave up and took a cab instead. We’d wanted to try their public transport, the Angkot, similar to a mini-bus where they’ve got their own designated route which we couldn’t tell the difference as there wasn’t any number, directions nor route indicated on the Angkot. Whenever you hear a horn from behind while walking along the road, it’ll surely be one of these Angkot. That’s how they pick-up their passengers. As described by Arfah, “the driver usually will try to fit in as many passengers as possible.”
We ended our long afternoon walk under the hot sun at Holiday Inn hotel lobby for a drink and to rest our feet. This was where Abang started a long conversation with one of the friendly staff at Holiday Inn on the history of Bandung and the four statues displayed in the lobby. Conversation was in Malay. And this reminds me of any tips – Bring along someone who speaks Malay to Bandung. You can hardly find anyone who can converse in English, if yes, its very basic and eventually conversation will turn into Malay again.
After enough rest, we continued walking towards more factory outlets around Holiday Inn. Yes!!! Bandung is flooded with factory outlets around every street and corner! I cannot remember the names of those we entered, as they were of little interests to me. Its either they sell identical things in all or the quality is not comparable to those we saw the night before.
Our day of factory outlet hunting ended with dinner at Dago Panyawangan. This wasn’t our plan for dinner. But because we stood outside this restaurant for very long trying to hail a cab and failed. So we decided to just go in for dinner and later get the staff there to help us. And we didn’t regret doing that! The food was cheap and good! Love the creamy fried tofu that was served with crispy cramps or was those cereals? I cannot remember! LOL! Anyway, it was good lah! The serving may look unappetizing, but for its price, I give this place a 3.5 out of 5.
So that’s all for our second day of adventure. Just another post to go for our trip to Bandung. In the next post, I will sure the MUST GO factory outlets and the whole bed of loots we bought! Ho! Ho! Ho! Come back again in a few days time. Will try to get that up soon!
Oh! Forgot to mention that you can click on the above photos for a larger preview. Photos in the above post taken with the Canon IXUS 110IS which I borrowed from Ogilvy and Canon for a test drive.