March 26 - 29 we were in Indonesia. Although we landed in Jakarta, we decided to go to Bandung first. From Jakarta to bandung the trip took us about 5 hours! This was because of the bumper to bumper crawl which we encountered the moment we left Soekarno- Hatta Airport. We were met by a couple of pleasant young men - our guide and the driver, Pak Uhu and Pak Roshikin.
Although it was a long trip, the journey was fairly pleasant and interesting. We stopped at the same rest area where we had coffee last year with Bu Lasteri. There was plenty to keep me occupied too - I had my latest Nora Roberts and Shasha was also reading her book. We arrived in Bandung early in the evening, around 8pm and after checking in and a light meal went to bed early.
This is my third trip to Bandung and this time around I didn't really find the things there great. Funny how after the first time, I find that I like Bandung not because of the shopping but more because of the quaintness of the city. I love the old tree-lined streets, the Dutch colonial houses with their steep roofs and the gardens. No doubt all these are not well maintained but that is the fault of the Indonesian government. Its a shame actually - they have all these beautiful monuments but they are allowed to rot and mould. But still parts of Bandung are really beautiful and appeal to the romantic in me. We stayed at a beautiful but old hotel called the Savoy Homann. The hotel has a very European ambiance - we had breakfast at the Garden Cafe which is set in a kind of square in the centre of the hotel. The palm trees and flowers make you feel as if you are eating outdoors when actually the whole setup is indoors.
We were in Bandung for only one day and had a quick round of shopping at places like Rumah Mode, Diaz and Cascade. I think I like Cascade best though did not really buy anything except a pair of jeans for Sarah and her bag pack from Le SportSac.
Late in the evening afternoon we went back to Jakarta and this time around the trip was slightly better. The road was less congested although the first part of the journey (from Bandung) the roads itself was bad. Not that there were potholes - but because it was a concrete road (not macadamised) it was very hard and bumpy and it felt like we were riding a horse. That was my impression anyway.