Monday, January 7, 2008

Bandung Kaleidoscope [The 14th Blog]

Bahasa of The Day

Griya -[subject] - House ****************************************************************
Merry Christmas 2007 and Happy New Year 2008 !!
It has been 6 months since we started this blog and in this new year may we ameliorate our writing skill in order to enable us to write more heartbreaking and higher quality blogs.
(Not to mention our blogging diligence that must be disciplined)
:) *cheers!!* :)

Yesterday's Christmas break was not the best holiday I have ever had. Probably because our family did not do our annual December "tradition" where we usually flew off to another country or another continent for approximately two weeks. This habitual family time unfortunately cannot be held like usual due to some visa issue which disabling us from entering the country. Thus there I was, homebound and behaving like a lazy sloth who took his morning bath at three o'clock in the afternoon. Let's not talk further about it shall we. However, this holiday gives me some satisfaction because I was able to visit a city in Indonesia that I have never visited. It's quite a shame to live as an Indonesian who has visited countries in other continents, but never visit at least Indonesia's beautiful or famous cities aside from Jakarta, Bali and Surabaya.

Just a brief holiday overview, I spent my first week playing badminton with my friends, having a luncheon with Ibu Vionita and her economics students, and watching movies such as I am Legend and Warlords with them. Right before the first week ended, my homebound period began. I woke up late and all I did was reading stuffs, researching EE, and chatting with my fellow friends who were also acting like a pig. We sure shared the same pain! During the third week, just after Christmas, my parents came and we went to Bandung. This is where the, just as what you will expected from my title, insightful kaleidoscope of Bandung started!

Geographically, Bandung is a city of flower that is located in South East from Jakarta and approximately 150 kilometers (two hours journey via car). Seeing it from a map, this city is constructed with many roads and have even more street names. However, we do not have to worry about getting lost because the streets are connected to other street without any dizzying traffic rules. Its location in high terrain and near the mountain has given Bandung a cool climate (around 22 degree Celcius) along with soothing breezes and cleaner air. Bandung is the perfect city that you would visited to whenever you are tired with Jakarta's intense sun and polluted atmosphere.

Although it is named and well known as a city of flower, you will not see flowers really often in the city. Yet the florists there sold assortment of fresh flowers. After all, most of the flowers that we see in Jakarta are originated from Bandung. You can also see the flower garden in the Lembang area (30 minutes from the town), and while you are there you can also visit the famous Tangkuban Perahu mountain to enjoy a wondrous scenery and relaxing wind, as well as the hot spring 2 kilometers from the mountain.

You will not see tall and gallant buildings or even houses with complex exterior. The only tall buildings you can see is only the malls, and even most of the malls and stores are considered as wide rather than tall. Instead, you will see simple yet elegant design as well as restaurants with traditional Sundanese architectures with traditional melodies which gives you a "cultural ambiance" just by sitting there.

Bandung cuisines are heaven! You and your friend can have a culinary tour just within this city! The Sundanese food is very delicious and even in a certain restaurant they have this hybrid of Padang and buffet system where you can choose the food (per piece) that you desires, along with a stand where you can order traditional mini-cuisines such as Rujak and Es Cendol, and also a Lalapan (vegetables) stand where you have a veggie buffet and for free! My restaurant preference in Bandung would be Dapurku in Lembong street. I forgot what was it called, but there was this delicious chicken that I ate with my parents in other restaurant and you should try it (it starts with a K). However, if you are a chili lover you might get disappointed because the chili (sambel ulek) in Bandung are generally salty. This mismatch of taste might affect your appetite and response towards the culinary itself. (Some restaurant can give you very spicy chili if you ask them to do so).

Aside from the cultural coziness, there are also restaurants suitable for hanging out with friends or relatives that is located in Dago Atas area. One of the restaurant is called The Valley. They served cliche contemporary cuisines such as steaks, truffle soup, Japanese food, sop buntut, cocktails, wine, etc. In my opinion, the taste of the food is satisfying but not very high class. But the price of the food are quite expensive (the main course costs around 50.000 and above). But do not feel like you are being ripped by them. My Bandung friend told me that in this Dago Atas area you tend to pay for the dazzling scenery of natural landscapes and optimum climate too. And this scenery truly deserves a two thumbs up! You should try to visit this place once in a while!

Last but not least is the shopping hot-spots. From what I have seen during my visit in this previous holiday, factory outlets are most visited shopping place in Bandung. Most outlets are located in Dago Street. Here, it almost like Orchard Road where shopping centers are neighboring each other except that the outlets sometimes gapped with one or two random houses in between. About the apparels that they sell, they are not cheap nor expensive, and the quality is not world class but very satisfying. To be honest they seems like these rejects from the world class brands such as Adidas, Nike, Puma, Zara, Lacoste, etc due to a very tiny error with the product (small scratch, small knitting mistake, etc), but they are good enough for me! The price of these apparels are around Rp. 20.000 and above.

Regarding personal preferences, girls who usually bought branded apparels or clothings might be less attracted to these outlets since they might see disappointment in terms of materials quality. As for boys, I think it is better to buy clothes from here rather than those branded and super expensive store since we might use it for sports and have our clothes worn-out in a short period of time anyways! Furthermore, somehow these outlets provide better quality apparels for boys rather than for girls - that is, through my perspective.

What is hilarious is the fact that there are more Jakarta cars rather than Bandung cars during the holiday or weekends. Even my Bandung friend said that Bandung citizens wouldn't go out during weekend due to the traffic dillema that the Jakarta denizen has caused.

Bandung, through my eyes, is a wonderful city that is perfect to gain serenity and relaxation. It is suitable as a run-away-from-Jakarta program, where we momentarily throw away the polluted visualization that is worsened with the tall buildings and dusty environment! When you are trapped for holiday in Jakarta, you'd better take a road trip to Bandung. You might as well see this city of flower's through a kaleidoscope which will bedazzled you. It's just a two hours journey anyways!!

Note: It is preferably not to go to Bandung during weekends, since you might suffer traffic jam in the Toll road and end up 3 - 4 hours in car. And if you went back to Jakarta from Bandung after gallant festival (i.e New Year) or during weekend, you might as well go home earlier if you do not want to suffer the same traffic jam.

1 comment:

herana said...

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