Wednesday, February 28, 2007

oh by the way..Bandung Hotel

This is another budget hotel I found in Bandung. Nice small rooms but adequate. Its still new at its on Jln Sukajadi not far from all the Factory outlets

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bye bye Bandung

After late check in at Hotel Utari, the hotel next to DSE Dago Stock Export, we bid farewell again to Bandung. We took a cab to the Airport, Hussein Sastranegara Bandung, a small airport that is shared with the Air Force TNI-AU (Angkatan Udara). Since it was early morning, the road was not heavy and we reached the airport in about 20 minutes.

Our flight was at 9am and after check in, one last Sunda breakfast for us. The check in was not without drama, we suddenly found that one of our Rumah Mode bags was missing, worse.. our passports are in that bag, then I saw the culprit, a group of ladies with Rumah Mode bags on all of them, when I told them that bag was mine.."Oh sorry ye, tak perasan"..... my foot, tak perasan, check it first before you tow any bag away fool!

As expected we have excess luggage... about Rph 150,000 but after discount we settled for Rph 100k. The flight home was OK and quite smooth and touch down at KLIA about 15 minutes early.

Hello LCCT.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Taman Mini Indonesia, Jakarta

Where do you go if you have only 2-3 hours to visit all of Indonesia? Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) of course J Since each Indonesian province maintains its own distinct cultures, shelters, attire and dialects, TMII built a model of each of the houses from the 26 different provinces. TMII attempted not only to reconstruct the homes of the various provinces, but also to create a realistic model of the environment and shelters of the various people of Indonesia. The venues, which are situated around the main lake in a similar fashion to the different islands of the Indonesian archipelago, are thematically divided into six areas in respect to the main islands of Indonesia; Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku and Papua.

The idea for Taman Mini came to Suharto's wife, Tien Suharto, during a visit to Disneyland in 1971. The pavilions were built by traditional craftsmen brought in from the provinces by the government. The Minangkabau pavilion, representing western Sumatra, has soaring, overlapping roofs made of coconut-fiber thatch. The walls are intricately carved and painted with symbols. The fact is that the pavilions are authentic, or "asli." They were built with all the rituals and ceremonies necessary to insure that they are fully endowed as spiritual, as well as material, entities. The pavilions are not replicas of existing buildings, rather were designed to be exemplary structures–larger and more intricate than any other traditional buildings in Indonesia. Some, such as the Javanese pavilion built in the style of the Kraton, are even considered sacred. The pavilions, and the ceremonies and rituals that take place within them, are meant to exemplify local tradition purified and elevated to the national level.

Why would the leader of a struggling republic risk public outrage and financial ruin to build a theme park his wife dreamed up at Disneyland? According to Cabinet magazine in 2002: Suharto himself addressed the question at the dedication on 20 April 1975. "Life," he said, "will not have a beautiful and deep meaning with material sufficiency only… One's life will be calm and complete only when it is accompanied by a spiritual welfare. The direction and guidance toward that spiritual welfare is, in fact, already in our possession; it lies in our beautiful and noble national cultural inheritance." This remark gives a clue as to the true function Taman Mini would come to serve for the government. Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park was not built to be an amusing diversion. Rather, it would serve as the nation's spiritual treasure trove–a locked box containing the nation's cultural wealth to be kept close to Indonesia's heart and its capital.
The objectives of Taman Mini below are in line with the vision that Suharto had;
· Membangun atau mempertebal rasa cinta tanah air. · Memupuk dan membina rasa persatuan dan kesatuan bangsa yang terdiri atas berbagai suku dengan berbeda-beda adat dan kebudayaan daerahnya. · Menghargai dan menjunjung tinggi kebudayaan nasional dengan menghidupkan kembali kebudayaan yang diwariskan oleh nenek moyang bangsa. · Memperkenalkan adat-istiadat, kebudayaan dan perilaku kehidupan bangsa dan daerah kepada bangsa lain. · Meningkatkan arus wisatawan sehingga dapat mendorong menghidupkan kerajinan rakyat di daerah-daerah. · Menyediakan sarana rekreasi yang bersifat pendidikan masyarakat.

from:Wikipedia and Cabinet

Brownie Kukus Bandung

What is so special about Bandung's Brownie Kukus? Answer: It is damn special :) I can eat the whole box by myself.

Behold you people with sweet tooth, (just like me) brownies are a good choice of if you are hungry in between meals. Brownies Kukus Amanda (Amanda’s steamed brownies) are currently the “most wanted brownie kukus cakes” in Bandung, I guess because they are not as sweet compared to the other brownies. Sample them at the Cake House on Jl. Rancabolang no. 29.

However to me I prefer Kharisma Brownie Kukus, from Jl Dr Otten, Bandung, I personally think this brownie taste better but it is not as famous as Amanda's.

You can imagine how crazy they are about the brownie kukus if you read about it in this article in Pikiran Rakyat;

RANGKAIAN pembeli antri hingga di luar gedung untuk mendapatkan kue brownies kukus di Jalan Ranca Bolang Margahayu Raya Bandung, Selasa (1/11). Banyaknya pembeli menjelang Lebaran membuat pihak penjual membatasi penjualan hanya tiga kotak per pembeli. Dan demi tiga kotak brownies itu, pembeli rela mengantri sekira tiga jam.*M. GELORA SAPTA/"PR"

Try this recipe taken from

Bahan :
100 gr gula pasir halus
150 ml susu cair
150 gr mentega/margarin
100 ml susu kental manis
50 gr coklat bubuk
150 gr tepung terigu
1 sdt baking powder
½ sdt soda kue
2 butir telur, kocok rata

Cara Membuat:
1. Dalam wajan masukkan gula, susu cair, mentega dan susu kental manis, masak di atas api kecil (jangan sampai mendidih) hingga gula larut dan mentega meleleh. Sisihkan.
2. Tuangkan sedikit campuran susu ke dalam mangkuk kocok berisi coklat bubuk, aduk rata. Masukkan sisa campuran susu ke dalam campuran coklat tadi, aduk rata. Sisihkan. Biarkan dingin.
3. Masukkan telur satu persatu sambil terus diaduk menggunakan whisk sampai tercampur rata.
4. Campur tepung terigu, baking powder dan soda kue, ayak. Lalu masukkan ke dalam campuran susu coklat, aduk perlahan hingga rata.
5. Tuang ke dalam loyang bundar diameter 20 cm lalu kukus selama 45 menit hingga matang (lakukan test dengan tusuk gigi/lidi). Angkat. Biarkan dingin baru dikeluarkan dari dalam loyang.
6. Potong-potong kue dan sajikan. Bagian atas kue bisa diberi topping atau glaze ganache, sesuai dengan selera anda.

Mangga Dua, Jakarta

Welcome to one of the most paced up and packed up area in Jakarta. The last time I was here on my way to the airport, I was stuck in the jam (macet) for 4 hours before I finally reach Sukarno-Hatta Airport. The Mangga Dua district has a lot to offer if you show that you’re really up to it. If you want to buy cheap clothes (womenwear/ menswear/ childrenswear/ fake bags/batiks) , this is the place. You have to be specific when talking about ‘shopping in Mangga Dua’. Because the person you are talking to would ask, ‘which part of Mangga Dua?’ When you step into the area you will understand the nature of the question. The Mangga Dua area is suffocating in shopping centers.

There are six large shopping centers in one area, all ridiculously near, sometimes even connected to, each other that you wonder why can’t they just turn it into one gigantic supermall and save the confusion. The six giants to conquer are: the Mangga Dua Mall which is connected via a bridge to The Harco Mas Mangga Dua, the Mangga Dua WTC, the ITC Mangga Dua-there are two of them! The ITC Mangga Dua I and the ITC Mangga II, the Dusit Mangga Dua and the Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua. Forget about luxurious boutiques for a while and go rummage the hectic shops.

Try your skill in bargaining, we bought a batik material for Rph 45k only to find it selling at another shop at Rph 30k. We later found out we could actually buy the same piece for Rph 25k.

A piece of history: Mangga Dua is a famous site for the battle between Prince Jayakarta and Governor JP Coen in 1619, the area is home to the Sion Church which granted freedom for Portugese Slaves

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Warung Ampera

Many people visit Bandung to pamper their taste buds. You'll be amazed with what Bandung has to offer. From various food sold on street vendors to haute cuisine, every visitor will be able to find something to their liking in Bandung. Want to try Sundanese food and you are brave enough to move out of flashy modern restaurant?

Then try Warung Ampera.. you can find many of them around Bandung, its like the local McDonald. They serve the food just like the buffet bar, you pick and choose what you want - mostly its chicken, beef or fish (including the inner organs) then you bring to the counter and ask the waiter to reheat or fry them again. Don't forget the lalab (mix of raw vegetables called lalap or lalapan) like cucumbers, tomatoes, coriander leaves, eggplants, cabbages, lettuces, and so on. Lalapan is usually accompanied by sambal dadak...sambal with many varietiesl.. yummmy.

We tried one on our back from the trip to Saung Angklung Mang Ujo to the east of Bandung. One word of warning, please do not try the Teh Botol if you can't stand really sweet drinks.

Rumah Mode Bandung

The 'factory outlet shopping', has made Bandung as Indonesia's shopping paradise. One may have in their mind that it is just one or two shops.. or maybe ten..scattered all over the city. but there are actually many of them... everywhere.  Best area to go is in Dago, along Jl Ir Juanda and around Jl Riau/Matadinata area.

Factory outlets were originally 'garment factories' that sold over-runs , and substandard, export quality materials at very low prices. More like Reject Shop and F.O.S. in Malaysia. Now, they sell materials 'made in Indonesia', and also internationally branded garments and accessories already tagged and labeled for export. You can find the Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Hermes,Gucci, CD, Armani ..all the branded names here and even some famous sports brands like Nike, Titleist, Greg Norman, Ashworth and only a fraction of the cost elsewhere. The only difference is the cut on the label... but if you are lucky there is no cut or any mark on the garment.
Enter Rumah Mode at Jln Setia Budi- Bandung's biggest factory outlet, and arguably the most complete in the city. In many ways it could also be the most expensive but it is reflected on the quality of the garments. A walk through Rumah Mode reveals a pleasant arcade, where you will be dazzled by collections for men, women and children from many famous brands. Go there on a weekend or public holiday and its like going to the morning market. Its full of shoppers and even window shoppers :)
It offers its shoppers a great shopping experience combined with a fast and friendly service. It also satisfies every shopper's craving for luxury clothing, formal , fashion , and casual wear. Personally I think the price is a bit on the high side compared to other FO but it is actually reflected in the quality of the material available on display there. There is also a snack corner, a coffee shop and a nice local food outlet, the Bumbu Desa on the premises.. even a reflexology area for those tired feet after shopping for so long. The premises is beautifully decorated.. nice stone carvings and beautiful water features everywhere, even the toilet is a work of art.... :-)
Nice that they even put this review on The link is here:
another mention on this review is here

Saung Angklung Udjo

Saung Angklung Udjo (an angklung workshop in village called Padasuka, east of Bandung about 20 minutes drive from the city centre) is dedicated to conserve, preserve, and develop the Sundanese Traditional Arts and Culture. SAU is a workshop where angklung and others bamboo instruments are made and played in daily performance, by children, and that includes angklung orchestra, traditional dance and other cultural shows.

Udjo Ngalagena is the founding father of Saung Angklung Udjo which he founded in 1967 together with his wife his wife Mrs. Uum Sumiati Udjo. He is the 6th Son from Wiranta and Imi. His parents gave his name as “Udjo” that has similarity with his siblings Oneh, Udjen, Idjah, Eroh, Edja, and Ela and it was only long after that that Udjo added NGALAGENA on his name. Ngalagena = nice, hope, and independency.

In Saung Angklung Udjo, he made his marks by placing words of wisdom carved in the wall of the school. His notes are placed in many strategic points, so others could read iteasily, especially in Musician’s waiting room, and Angklung storage that is used for the regular performances. One good example is:

In Sundanese,

Ceuceub ka hiji jalmi hartosna nyiksa ka diri sorangan
Kukituna dunya jadi heurin

Naon rugelna jadi jalmi anu someah
Naon rugelna jadi jalmi anu leah

In English,

Having hatred in someone meant that we torture ourselves, that’s why the world became a nasty place to live in.
What is there to lose to be a kind hearted persons?
What is there to lose to be wise and respected persons?

When he passed away at May 3rd 2001, the management of Saung Angklung Udjo is continued by Udjo’s children. Udjo Ngalagena once said:

"What You Are, What Job You Have Chosen, Do It Well, Do It With Love, Without Love, You Are Dead Before You Die"

There is a small thing I like about the complex as a whole; OK they have a little hall where the children performed to the tourist but what I like is the design of the toilet with a little area for 'wudhu' next to it (see pic). It just blended in and it look so simple but beautiful.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Vintage Chic Home Spa, Bandung

new photos from March 2010
treatment room



 pindang iga..

Our gem find of the trip. Vintage Chic Home Spa, as the name suggest it is vintage spa treatment and we went for the Raja and Ratu treatment which went on for about 3 hours. We were told we were quite lucky that the evening session was cancelled by the customer just before we walked in, so we got that place. They don't have that many masseur and they only cater for 4-5 couples only per day.. mm lucky us. Check out the entrance... its a big wooden door (see foto on the right) with all the carvings... must have cost them a bomb.

So we went into a dimly litted room with 2 massage beds, changed and soak our feet in warm water with additional mixture hich was very soothing. Then it was time to get on the bed to feel the pain... ohhh acccgghh massochist. But first we can choose which aromatheraphy smell we like, well it doesnt matter to me as long as it smells good :) and then the time comes for full body massage.. oh and the pain.. it was painful for me.. but my wife sailed through it like it was no pain at all..huiyooo. I have always had this pain on my right right and on my right shoulder to my neck. After a few minutes of painful massage I felt that the said pain was gone... perrghh.. power. Then is was a mixture ginger and other stuff poured all over and more and more mixture.. like you put on the fish before you fry them. Then off we go into the steam room with all the herbs.. and finally into the jacuzzi with a red thingy.. more mixture... it was steaming and I took nearly 5 whole minutes before I was finally able to sit in the jacuzzi. O gosh so relaxing.. I recommend it anytime, even much better than my visit to Roger's last year.

All these for Rph 185,000 per person.. we paid Rph 200k each as we felt it was worth much much more than that.

It was quite difficult to find as Jln Raden Patah is not on the main road, it is on a small road behind Jl Juanda. You need a good taxi driver who is familiar with the area.

I enclosed the price list as of Feb 2007... >>>> click on the photo to enlarge it



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