That was the first questions I get when I told my friends that I’ll be away for a short trip with Abang. Yes, we went to this small city call Bandung and no they don’t serve any Bandung drink there! I don’t even remember seeing any rose syrup! All I see are lots of tehbotel! I drank countless bottles of that when I was there!

So where the hell is Bandung and what’s there that attracted us to give this little known place a visit? Before I start telling you more, here’s me and Abang at Singapore Terminal 1 waiting for our AirAsia plane. By the way, that’s the only way you can get to Bandung direct from Singapore. (Note: All images can be clicked to view larger format if you want to.)

Bandung is like a small rural city where you find treasures in many bungalow-type-shops along uneven roads with non-stop flowing traffic no matter what time of the day it is. I was even told not to blog about this city as those who know about it are afraid that it’ll become too commercialize for tourists and the treasures will disappear too fast or they’ll increase their prices for their products. But!!! I am Claudia wor! Good thing how can don’t share with you all! And when we tried to do some research of the place, the posts I found were all not very helpful leh. Even their unofficial “official” website is built on GeoCities! *facepalm* So I am going to make sure this post will be filled with information and the what’s and the where’s to check out when you are there! But hor! I must say first, I only explored a part of Bandung, there are lots more which I didn’t have time to check out, like the volcanoes, forests and mountains. If you want to find out about them, try this, this or this.

The hotel we stayed was the Grand Setiabudi Hotel & Apartment. We booked a Junior Suite from Agoda as that was the smallest and cheapest available when we were making the booking. This hotel is reasonable priced and is near by a few popular treasure hunting grounds.

Dinner for our first day was at this Japanese restaurant some 5-mins walk from our hotel. Hoka Hoka Bento, the two mascot at the entrance were what attracted us to step in and give it a try! Food is so-so, if you have kids, this is a place to go for meal as they’ve a playhouse in there. Other than that, the Japanese food isn’t something I will want to eat a second time if I should go to Bandung again.

One of the treasure finding place near Grand Setiabudi Hotel is Rumah Mode. You should be able to spot the big purple sign along the street after a 15-minutes walk after turning-left at the exit of the hotel. My first impression was shocked. Hiding inside this place house a couple of cafes and eating places. And of course, there’s Rumah Mode Factory Outlet. No phototaking allowed in the shop, hence I’ll try to describe it. Picture a huge single story bungalow with many big living rooms. Decorated with dark brown wooden shelves, tables and cupboards with lots of designer labeled clothes on display. No aircon and packed with many shoppers. Yap! No aircon! Because the temperature outdoor is cool and windy at night. But in the day, the sun can get quite nasty but the air is still cool. Shopping at these factory outlet, the feeling is like stepping out of our local shopping mall into the hot sunny outdoor. There, I would rather stay outdoor than go into.

Like all other Factory Outlet, common brands you will see are Esprit, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Armani, Hugo, Nike and many others. Find lots of clothes and accessories for the men, women and kids. If you love jeans, Bandung factory outlet is the place!!! And they’ve got very good range of men’s shirt and polo tops too. I wish I was a man when I saw the varieties and the price tag! OMFG! Why so cheap? All good quality ones leh! But be careful as some might have little defects and hence they’re at factory outlet. So check carefully before paying.

On the first night, we visited a couple more factory outlets around Rumah Mode. Namely Mode Plus, Natural and Donatello. Mode Plus is smaller than Rumah Mode and less crowded. There are few smaller young and hip shops on the second floor worth checking out if you’re age between 16 to 24 or likes unique designs and colors. Natural doesn’t sell naturally made products. Its just another factory outlet. If you’ve no time, don’t bother. And if you’re into shoes and bags, Donatello sells their inhouse brand shoes and bags. Can go see see.

After all the shopping and walking and climbing up the steep slope towards our hotel, we spotted Dunkin’ Donuts sign calling us! And in the above montage, few other signs we saw as we walked towards the donuts calling!

That ended our first night in Bandung. It was the 2nd most products purchased trip during our 3 days there.

More about day 2 and 3 in another post. Else this entry will be extra long lah! My initial idea of just sharing the photos with you failed. I can’t help but write about the experience too! More good stuff to come! So don’t forget to come back!

Photos in the above post taken with the Canon IXUS 110IS which I borrowed from Ogilvy and Canon for a test drive.