Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bandung Trip - Wilujeng Sumping, Bandung!

I just came back last week from another trip.


Another trip.


It was for my brother's graduation and the whole family made a trip there.

My brother has spent 4 years in this city to study, to make friends and best friends, to eat, to play, to work. I am sure he has gained a lot from this city, other than his certificate and transcript.

This city is about 3-hour drive from the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta. This city is located on a highland causing it to be cool and breezy. This city is packed with universities so the sight of youngsters is so common. This city is always visited by people from Jakarta during weekend. And the newly elected mayor of this city is one of the nominated best mayor of World Mayor.

It is indeed Bandung.

This city was called the city of flower due to many sights of trees and flowers everywhere. And due to its beauty, this city was called Parijs van Java (Paris of Java) by the Dutch. However now, I don't think you can see a lot of trees and flowers anymore due to the development of the city.

Before this city was called Bandung, most of the area of West Java was under Kerajaan Pajajaran (Pajajaran Kingdom) and called Tatar Ukur. After Kerajaan Pajajaran was defeated by Kerajaan Banten (Banten Kingdom), West Java was dominated by one kingdom by another.

Around 1600s, the area was dominated by Kerajaan Mataram (Mataram Kingdom) under Sultan Agung (King Agung). There was one regent called Dipati Ukur who did a rebellion to fight against the king. With the help of three of his loyal servants, Sultan Agung managed to beat Dipati Ukur to defeat. After that, he divided the area and gave the three people the title 'regent'.

Ki Astamanggala became the first regent of Bandung.

Bandung served Kerajaan Mataram until 1677 because The Dutch dominated Indonesia afterwards. However, Bandung continued to have its own regent.

Due to the flood caused by Citarum River, the regent and most of the people in Bandung moved to the northern part of the area in 1809. At that time, The Dutch's General Governor Herman Willem Daendels was 'governing' Indonesia. During the construction of Cikapundung bridge in Bandung, Daendels and the regent walked together towards the east. At one point, Daendels planted his swagger stick and said, "Zorg, dat als ik terug kom hier een stad is gebouwd!" which means "Give it a try so when I come back here a city has been built!".

So that particular point became the 'zero kilometer' point of Bandung and 25 September 1810 became the birth date of Bandung.

Zero Kilometer Point of Bandung. 18km too Cileunyi, 18km to Padalarang. (Photo source:

After knowing this, I don't think having The Dutch conquering Indonesia was a big regret. The Dutch really helped Indonesians to project the future and develop the potential in Indonesia. If Daendels did not say that particular sentence, maybe Bandung would have been only a small village with a regent. So, thanks, Daendels!

Back to my story. Traveling in Bandung!

According to Google, there are 8 domestic cities and 2 international city connected directly to Bandung. But I know 1 city that has not been included in this list, my hometown, Palembang!

Mr. Google, can you add Palembang, please?

So lucky for us, there is direct flight both from Palembang and Singapore. The air ticket from Palembang by Express Air was about IDR 700000 (SGD75) per person one way. The air ticket from Singapore that I got from Air Asia was about SGD 100 for one way. I guess that was a period when most final year students in Bandung had their graduation and it was also very near to Eid Mubarak. Therefore I had no choice.

We planned the timing as such so we would not need to wait for each other too long. I was alone from Singapore and my flight landed about 30 minutes after theirs.

I was disappointed to see the airport. It was only a small two storey airport and from afar you could already see that it was so so so very old. And when I proceeded to the imigration area, it looked even worse. Everybody was squeezing inside a tiny room to get an entry chop. The officer worked quite slow as well causing me to queue for more than half an hour.

The imigration area. Oh Gosh.

Stepping out of the imigration counter, I saw even smaller area with baggage belt conveyor at one side and a scanning machine at the other side. And the ceiling was so low I felt it was going to fall on me. So some people were squeezing for their luggages, some were queueing for scanning of hand carry bag. I joined the snake queue for about 10 minutes before I made it outside and finally I could see sunlight!

My famiy and two of my parents' friends had already waited for me there. Bro has already rented a self-drive Toyota Avanza for IDR 250000 (SGD27) per day. The guy from the rental company delivered the car to the airport for additional IDR 30000 (SGD3.2). However, the gas was on us.

We loaded my bags on to the car and drove to the hotel for check in.

The hotel that we chose for the first night was located in front of the hippest shopping mall in Bandung, Paris Van Java. The hotel itself is D'Java. Since the hotel was built just a few years back, I guess it got its name from the shopping mall.

After checking in, we rested for some time while bro and dad did some logistics to bro's stuff here. He had a lot of stuffs to be sent to Bali! Fyi, Denpasar was his next city of residence! So exotic.

The lobby of D'Java Hotel. So Java!
It's quite a big room with two super single bed. There is a sofa too!

After Bro came back, he brought us to a very unique restaurant called Alas Daun. In English, Alas Daun means base of leave. And the restaurant literally practiced it. No plate here. Only leaves.

Alas Daun. Only Leaves. Nothing Else.
The entrance aisle of the restaurant
Choose the half-cooked food and they will prepare it for you
The cooked food. Just point.

The restaurant serves Sundanese food which made my saliva run all over my mouth. We chose hiu bakar (grilled shark), barakuda bakar (grilled barracuda), tumis daun kedelai (stir fried soya leaves), jengkol krispi (crispy spicy dogfruit), sambal mangga (mango chili sauce), teri tempe (crispy anchovy & peanut), tempe mendoan (special Bandung fried bean cake), tahu goreng (fried tofu), lalapan (raw vegetables consist of cucumber and lettuce), and four types of chili sauce. Let's party!

The shark and the barracuda acompanied by petai!
Can you see our sambal or chili sauce????
I always love tempe and tahu!!!

And the experience eating with hands on the leaves was the unforgettable touch of this restaurant. We were enjoying our dinner so much!

See? See? See? So unique!

It was cheap. It was only IDR 192000 (SGD21) for six people! It barely can fill one person's tummy in Singapore!

With happy tummies, we headed back to the hotel, but not to sleep. We parked at the hotel to cross the road and visit Paris Van Java Shopping Mall.

The entrance gate
The exterior 
The interior

It was almost 9:00 p.m. when we reached PVJ so we only roamed at one section and did not really explore the mall. While waiting for us, dad met mom's cousin and had their coffee time at Blue Canyon Coffe.

And we joined them after the shopkeepers in Stradivarius started closing the rolling door when we were still inside

That's my first day story. In Bandung, when you greet someone who enter your place you will say "Wilujeng sumping" which means "Welcome". So that day I was welcoming Bandung into my journey.

Wilujeng sumping, Bandung!

Next Post - Falling in Love with Turqoise Kawah Putih

Love is in the air,
Little Feet

No comments:

Post a Comment