Saturday, November 30, 2013

5th Anniversary : Berwisata ke Bandung (Visit to Bandung)

We chose to celebrate our 5th Anniversary and Aarsyan's 4th Birthday in Bandung. We stayed at Grand Royal Panghegar at Jalan Merdeka, which is in the city itself. The hotel has been there since 1960's but recently renovated with additional brand new condotel. All condotels come with bathtub and kitchenette. Even numbered rooms has pool view while the odd ones face the city. Service was good and the breakfast spread had combination of western and Asian. There are ATMs, 24 hours convenience store and boutiques inside the hotel itself. They provide airport transfer too. The advantage of this hotel compared to Hilton is the heated pool. Bandung is cooling, and a heated pool would be a better choice. Other 3 hotels that offer heated pool are out of city. It is a nice hotel to spend time with kids.






Mini playground next to swimming pool



Bandung is a cool mountainous city in West Jawa, Indonesia. It is well known for shopping because loads of Jakartians and Malaysians go there just for shopping. Now, lets look at what else Bandung has to offer and some places where your kids can have fun too.

Ciwidey

Paddy fields all the way up Ciwidey

Ciwidey is in the South of Bandung. You can spend half a day in Ciwidey itself. There are few places that you can visit here other than the crater. There is Lake Patengan, Ranca Upas Camping Site, Hot Springs, Deer Farm, Tea Estates, Strawberry Farms and many more.


Kawah Putih (White Crater)

I simply have no words to describe the beauty of Kawah Putih. The blue colour of the water is not at all like the sea or ocean or any untouched island. The turquoise water with green mountains as background, white clouds in confined misty area was just like heaven on earth. (Okay, maybe it felt that way due to the mist, but I am not exaggerating.) It has a mysterious feeling to it.




You can only be there for about 15 mins. After that you might start to feel the effect of the sulphur in the air. Anyway, we were not affected by the sulphuric acid in the air.




Ranca Upas

After that, we went to Penangkaran Rusa , a deer farm. We can actually go down and feed the deer.


There are other activities offered at this site like camping facilities (area was packed with camping sites), Flying Fox, ATV, Hot Spring and many more. A Nice place for family to camp.
Ranca Upas - Camping Site, Deer Farm, Hot Spring, ATV, FireFox etc. Its about 10 mins from Kawah Putih.

Then, we took a drive around the tea estates around Ciwidey.




Situ Patengan

Dropped by at Situ (Lake) Patengan which is not far from Ranca Upas. It's just like any other lake. Nothing special here.




Then, we proceeded to have lunch @ Saung Gawir, which was on the way down, about 20 mins from the lake. We got to eat in our own Saung (Gazebo) overlooking lush greenery and strawberry farms.


View from our Saung while having lunch

The Ikan Gurame Bakar was really tasty and Avocado Juice was yummy.
On the way down, we stopped at Cibaduyut where there are locally made leather goods. Nothing interesting here; we didnt buy anything.


At night, we celebrated Aarsyan's birthday at Stone Cafe, which is at Dago Atas.


Dago Atas has few restaurants and cafes overlooking Bandung. You get beautiful views of Bandung while you enjoy your food here.


This pic does not really show how beautiful the view was from The Stone Cafe.


Lembang Floating Market


This place is located in Lembang another highland in North Bandung. There is an entrance fee and you need to buy tokens. You use the tokens to purchase your food.
Floating stalls and the crowd on Sunday

Restaurants and gazebos. Variety of options for food and place to eat


Rabbit Farm

Car Ride

Train Ride

Ducks

Goose



The area is big and there are many activities for kids here. Car rides, train rides, flying fox, ATV rides, face painting, vase painting, rabbit farm, fish pond, goose, duck, birds and so many more. After lunch, we had an enjoyable time with kids here.

A very large area, cannot capture all in one pic.

Geology Museum



If you are interested in artifacts, dinosaurs, gem stones, oil rigs and lots of other fossil items, you would like to visit this place.






Other places for kids which we didn't get to visit (6 days was just not enough for us) :

Taman Safari Bogor - we didn't go as you will need a whole day for travelling and visiting the zoo. You get to go in with your vehicle and see the animals at a close distance. They will roam freely and some will come up to the vehicles.

Trans Studio Bandung - It is something like Universal Studios Singapore, but no point to go in with child below 5. You pay full price for kids but they can't play MOST of the games. Better to go with bigger kids.

 The Ranch - This is a nice place to bring kids. The set up is of a ranch with horses and dens. They also have Gold Mine, where the kids get to go in shallow stream and look for gold coins. Later they can exchange the gold coins with some prizes. They also have rock climbing, ATV ride, flying fox (these activities seem common all around Bandung). This place is also in Lembang and we chose the Floating Market instead of this. Maybe next time.

Bosscha Obsevatory - It's an R&D center which offers a place for children to view solar images via Zeiss Telescope.

Kampung Gajah - This is just a theme park where they have dry and wet park.

After visiting all these places, you can drop everything and go shopping. Well, things are cheap in the Factory Outlets (just like FOS in Malaysia) but you have to know where to shop. 

There is only 1 FO worth shopping in: Rumah Mode@ Jalan Setiabudhi. It's a one stop center for men's clothes, ladies clothes and children's clothes. You can catch original export quality branded items here. They call it 'sisa ekspot'. But just be aware, there are OEM stuff here too. 

Dont bother going to other FO's, but If you still have time and really must shop some more then you can visit these shops in Dago:
Blossom
Grande

Shops in Riau:
Heritage
Secret

Other than few nice ones, no point visiting all FO's. Cheap quality clothes and fake branded items.

Jalan Cihampelas

 Nothing to shop here, but can stop to take pics of superheroes with the kids.



Some pics taken @ Rumah Mode




Tips to note: Sun rises very early here, its already very bright at 6am. So its best to use the gym or pool in the mornings, have early breakfast and leave hotel at about 10 or 11am. Use the whole day to move around sightseeing or shopping and back after all shops close at 10pm. You have no place to go after 10. There is night life in Jalan Braga, but nothing interesting. People who love to sleep in during vacation wont get to visit much places in Bandung. 

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