Saturday, May 2, 2015

We went to Bandung last weekend. Left Jakarta on Friday afternoon and came back on Sunday. It was a fun adventure that I recommend to anybody with a moderate sense of adventure. We did not shop.....
I tried to book train tickets (6:15PM train) online on Tuesday evening from the comfort of my lazy chair at the  Kerata-api website, but they only take Indonesian credit cards so that did not work. The next day, I tried to book it through a travel agent, but now the 6:15PM train was sold out. The next morning they had not booked it, and now the 4:30PM train had also sold out.....
I called the Kerata-api (their phone number is: 121 from anywhere in Indonesia) and after going over the whole itinerary the nice young woman told me I had to go pay at any Indomart because she could not take my foreign credit card over the phone (groan....) I went to the ATM and over lunch I went to the station and paid cash for the tickets. They are very efficient, if you can figure out that you should not spend 15 minutes waiting in the same day purchase line but go directly to the reservation window......

On Saturday we took a trip to Tankuban Perahu, the local volcano in Bandung. It's a dormant volcano with 12 craters, but only a few are accessible to the public. This is because the rest spew toxic fumes and you should not be near that. We paid extra for a guide who walked us to a smaller crater and we played around in there for a while. At some point I sat down for a photo and the stone I was leaning against was HOT!! and then my glasses fogged up too.

We also visited Ciater Hot Springs park. Our guide wanted to drop us off on the fancy side, but we did not want to swim so he suggested we go in on the 'local' side. It's a lot cheaper and we'd get a taste of what Indonesians do for their Saturday entertainment. It turns out they sit in hot springs and have picnics. It was nice, the pools were clean, and if you are in Bandung it's worth a visit, especially if you are there with children. Our guide recommended staying away from it during local holidays and over school breaks. He said it gets pretty packed when we were there it was not too busy.
Afterwards we visited a Luwak farm in Lembang and I got to hold a Luwak beast. They seemed well cared for and certainly the one I held was cute as a button and I wanted to take it home. Instead, I bought some coffee.

We finished our Bandung tour with a cultural performance by Udjo school. We saw a 15 minutes Wayang performance (instead of the usual 7 hours....), several song and dance pieces and we got to play an angklung. The angklung is a traditional Indonesian music instrument that is made of bamboo. Then we bought pizza and went back to our hotel room. The next morning we left Bandung.

The trip was very pleasant for me. My travel partners were afflicted by new and exciting bugs taking up residence and that was not so fun. They decided to go on to Yogjakarta anyway and had a good time as well.

Now for the pictures.