It feels like ages since we had a break, even though looking back it has barely been 2 months since our last holiday in Japan! Nevertheless, this felt like a much needed rejuvenation trip from the hustle and bustle of daily life. We only booked this trip weeks ago, perhaps on the back of the recent news about Australians finally not having to pay a visa fee to enter Indonesia!!
For a country that’s literally next door, we really haven’t visited it all that much, and I blame the fee for that. So, the excuse needed to go finally came, and we chose Bandung as our first visa-free trip to Indonesia! It’s only a weekend trip though, so we didn’t really get to see and do all that much. Staying at Padma Bandung Hotel helped, which is located just outside the city, higher up on the mountain that we could at least feel like we are getting some country side fresh air!
The hotel came highly recommended on TripAdvisor, and we couldn’t agree more. The food was great and reminded us just how much we love Indonesian food.. starting with the awesome Nasi Goreng Buntut
And some basic Soto Ayam ‘Aziz’…
The hotel offered plenty of activities as well, including horse riding..
Lots of family bonding time in the swimming pool…
And some pretty awesome afternoon tea with a view!
Wifey even bumped into the family of her high school friend! Talk about a small world!
We really only had one full day to explore out of town. It didn’t take us long to learn just how bad traffic is over there. We got a hint of it on the day we arrived at Bandung airport, and took us at least 50 minutes to travel just 8km of road to the hotel! So, we picked just 2 places both about 4 km from the hotel to explore. We explored Rumah Mode (An outlet shopping centre), and Paris Van Java (a big shopping mall). I bought 2 pair of flip flops for SGD$6.00 each at Rumah Mode which I thought was a bargain, and had some pretty damn good Indonesian food…
For Paris van Java.. it wasn’t the shopping I was interested in. There were two things that stood out for me. For one, the arcade machines were so damn affordable, that we spent a whole hour playing there! Ethan certainly enjoyed it, that he finally gets to sit on arcade rides that ‘moves’.. yeah.. in Singapore.. he would just be sitting in an idle ride.. 🙂
The other kick-ass reason why I liked Paris van Java was that there was a domestic farm on the shopping mall roof called ‘Lactasari’ for Ethan!! OK.. it wasn’t a ‘farm’ as such.. perhaps a ‘mini farm’.. where you could go feeding all sorts of animals ranging from goats, cows, sheep, rabbits….
Ethan saw and touched more animals in the last 2 days than he did since he was born. Now why can’t there be a farm like that in Singapore?!
We are aware that there’s a lot more to Bandung than just outlet shopping, malls, a mini farm and a hotel. We barely seen the tip of the iceberg, given there are lakes, volcanoes, hot spring resorts, waterfalls.. the REAL Bandung that didn’t get a chance to touch at all. We definitely need a second trip back here to see the rest! Having said that, the only thing that would put us off is the super bad traffic. The return trip back to the airport on the Sunday afternoon took us almost 1.5 hours to travel that same 8km back to the airport!
I sure damn hope that will be fixed the next time I’m back in Bandung!