Monday, April 30, 2012


If you follow me on Twitter/Instagram, you’d know that Ijust got back from a short vacation in Bandung, Indonesia – 5D4N to be exact!
I’d like to call it Indonesia’s hidden gem because itsstreets are lined with factory outlets which not many people know about. Thispost is dedicated to Grace, my favourite aunty and Cleo Runway Model Searchwinner, who’s going to Bandung next month and is clueless about what to dothere.

To convert from Rupiah to SGD, divide by 7000. Or cover the last 3 zeros and divide the number by 7. 
For example, RP14,000 would be S$2.

My mom and I stayed at Galeri Ciumbuleuit apart-hotel atCiumbuleuit, which wasn’t a very central area but wasn’t a problem for us sincewe both love to walk. Our hotel was superrrr nice and clean, and had over 50international channels – I spent my nights watching Fashion TV and E! cause Idon’t have them at home haha. There was even a tennis court and jogging trackin addition to the usual gym and swimming pool. The only downside – no wifi inthe rooms >:(

The crepe stall in the hotel! I eat the chocolate and cheese crepe twice every day, only 5000rp (less than S$1)

Our first stop after we landed (via AirAsia) – Rumah Mode. I loved this factory outlet the most! So much that I visited it thrice across the five days. It was about a 20 minute walk from our hotel. I hated walking in Bandung because the pavements are really uneven and there were many slopes and potholes. It was easier to walk on the roads (not as many obstacles), but I was worried that cars and motorcycles would run me over and that my belongings might get snatched.

Headed to another area, Paris Van Java (above), and I was so impressed with how the mall looked! There were many restaurants surrounding the mall and they all had a really unique concept – there was one that reminded me of OverEasy with the whole diner feel! Each restaurant played a different genre of music and the atmosphere was so inviting. Boutiques in Paris Van Java include Mango, Zara, New Look and even Next, the UK brand which we don’t even have in Singapore! Now who says they’re not upmarket enough?

Along the streets of Dago. Spiral stairs with no railings!

HUGE kois. can't really tell from the pics though.

Jus Alpukat<3

We went to the spa 3 days in a row! It was right opposite our hotel, and it's called Martha Tilaar. Super legit, don't worry. They have it in Jakarta too! On the second last day, Mom and I did a 5 hour day spa for about S$100. Where to find!

We chanced upon a Sushi Tei while walking and went there for lunch the next day! We ordered Sukiyaki, Dragon Roll, Assorted Sashimi, Soft shell crab handroll, avocado juice and it only cost us S$50 ^^ It was really empty though… It seems like only the rich indo-chinese dine there. I also saw three Japanese ladies haha so cute what are Japanese doing in Bandung?!

Super yummy and cheap pancakes! They're called Martabak Manis but they're really just ming chiang kuehs (peanut pancake), except you can choose what you want in it. You get the whole thing (the size of a pie) for only about S$1.50. Good stuff. 

Generally, Bandung is really really safe. Everyone is just trying to make an honest living with no evil intentions, so you don’t really have to worry about dodgy taxi drivers. The roads are so congested (there are no lanes whatsoever) that the highest speed a car could travel at is 40km/h. The motorcycles weave in and out of traffic really quickly so it’s advisable to keep your bags away from the road. Just a safety precaution! We felt so safe that we even took a bus, which were actually old, shakey mini vans. It cost us about 30cents per person per trip, super cheap! But you have to know where you want to go, it also helps if you can converse in Bahasa.

There are a few must-visit factory outlets:

- Rumah Mode, Jl. Setiabudi No. 41F

- The Secret, Jl. Riau No. 47

- Grande, Jl. Ir. H. Juanda

 - Heritage/Cascade, Jl. Riau No. 63 (Heritage. Cascade is just opposite)

- The Oasis, Jl. L.L.R.E. Martadinata No. 51

- BTC Fashion Mall, Jl. Dr. Djundjunan 143-149
This one's not a factory outlet, it's a mall! Similar to Far East Plaza/a smaller version of Platinum Mall in Bangkok. Clothes are super cheap:) I bought knit throws for RP50,000.

They factory outlets are all situated really close to each other, around the Dago area, so make sure you google maps the addresses first in the hotel before you attempt to walk from one street to another. You can find many of your favourite brands in these outlets. There were so many F21 and H&M stuff though-_- I guess it’s to cater to the Indonesians who don’t have those brands where they are. But it really defeats the purpose if you buy those brands at a factory outlet, considering they’re already so cheap at the boutiques itself. There were plenty of fake A&F, Zara, Mango etc so you have to know how to tell the reals from the fakes so you don’t get “cheated” (in a way).

I've pulled out some tips from my Jakarta post. These apply to all parts of Indonesia la, so it's good to keep in mind:) 

1) Roadside food stalls are aplenty, so you have to be adventurous. Bring anti-bacterial wipes if you're sensitive to dirt on cutlery. Mee Bakso stalls are at every corner of the street and it's a must-try for first timers! For drinks, order Teh Botol, Indonesia's number one Jasmine tea. Though I prefer FresTea (its competitor, I'd say) cause it tastes more like American Sweet Tea.

2) The streets can get quite dangerous, so hang on to your bag tight when you're walking along the roadside.

3) Some taxis aren't legit and you have to bargain. And when you encounter those, they'd probably quote you a really high price. Bargain! We ARE Singaporeans after all :B Just quote an unreasonable, overly cheap amount and bargain till you come to an agreement. 

4) The notes are really big, and no, I don't mean large in size. Coins start from 100 rupiah (I think). When converting, the trick is to cover the three zeros at the back then divide by 7. So for example, if a dress costs RP50,000, Cover the last three zeros and just divide 50 by 7. It can get quite confusing! Till now, my mom still doesn't get it! Haha.

5) It's a norm to see beggars along the street, and children might tug on your clothes to ask for money. Just drop them some shillings, if you wish. But you'll find that, if you donate to one, another five will come running towards you. When you're in cars or taxis in Jakarta, there'll also be roadside sellers trying to sell knick knacks or newspapers to you. Buy if you're interested, otherwise just reject politely, though they'll just keep pestering. We can't help the whole world though, extremely sad but true:(

I hope some of you would be adventurous enough to head to Indonesia as a local shopping destination instead of the usual Bangkok, though Bandung is really for the bargain hunters/treasure seekers. Definitely not for fussies!

1 comment:

  1. Hello, I enjoy reading your post :)
    I am Indonesian living in Singapore and I am glad that you liked it in Bandung. You are a pretty blogger and this is a lovely blog. :)