Taking off from LCCT KLIA at 1055 hrs, the flight was smooth but edgy halfway thru. Touching down at Bandung at about 1200, we gained an hour due to the time difference. The small and crampy airport hardly helped matters, as we had to wait for some time for our baggage. Once cleared, our tour guide, Pak Hari was already waiting for us, worried that he might have the wrong flight.
Our transportation was a massive, 12-seater Isuzu, which sat us all comfortably. Of course, our first stop was.. lunch, naturally. Pak Hari took us to a Nasi Padang house, called Restoran Sederhana. But despite the name, the buffet spread, as all Nasi Padang restaurants are in Bandung, was generous and sumptuous - chicken, fish, liver, begedel, which could have fed double our group of ten. Being tired and hungry, we thought everything tasted fine and good.
Next, we checked in at the Arion Swiss-Belhotel, a fine, 4 star hotel in Bandung. It had all the basic necessities, clean and well-decorated.
Our next tour was to the Asia-Africa Building, named after the first large-scale Afro-Asian Conference which took place there in 1955. The building has an unmistakable Dutch influence to its design, as most older buildings are in Bandung. But the Conference Museum was already closed as we got there.
After that, we were taken to Gedung Sate, named after the small satay-shaped structure on the roof, and used by the West Java provincial government. Pak Hari told us something about the sate thing, about the governor being angry with corruption, so he built the structure as a reminder, to everybody else.
And of course, after much photo-snapping, off we go shopping, destination: the Factory Outlet Strip. We stopped at the Summit and Heritage complexes, but the drizzling rain somewhat dampened our spirits. Tapi shopping tetap shopping, we found good bargains for some international brands. Dah balik Malaysia baru saya menyesal tak sambar kemeja Paul Smith tu, selling dirt cheap, waduh bisa mampir lagi!
After the very energy-sapping activity called shopping, of course we had to go for dinner. Which was at a very nice place called d'Palm. Built like an oasis, with islands of seatings located around the large pond, it gives you the perception of dining on water. Food was good too. Will do a separate review on d'Palm later.
So that was our first day in, taking in the old, the new, the classy, the shopping haven of a place called Kota Bandoeng.
to be continued....