I’ve always said I love Bandung, and as someone who lived there for 8 years, it baffles me that Bandung isn’t more internationally renowned, compared to, say, Yogyakarta. It might be for the best though, since one of the things I love the most about Bandung is its homeliness and friendly vibe. No matter how long I’ve been away, Bandung always welcomes me like a mother with its comfort and simplicity.
Last week, I went there for a 2-day getaway, but the trip didn’t start well. The drive from Jakarta to Bandung took 7 (SEVEN!) hours, instead of the standard 3 hours. My friends told me that apparently, the standard time now was 4-5 hours. I swear the traffic here is getting worse each day (a tip to anyone who’s planning to go to Bandung: take the train! Going to Gambir station is such a pain in the ass, but it’s still better than being stuck in the traffic for that long).
The 7-hour ride messed my plan for the day, but it wouldn’t be Bandung if it couldn’t have picked up my mood. I didn’t have any plan except to eat at my old favorite places. I didn’t get to go to as many places as I’d like to (damn traffic), but here’s the summary of my Bandung trip.
Staying at: The 1o1
The 1o1 is a boutique hotel that is very conveniently located on the corner of Riau Street (Jalan R. E. Martadinata) and Dago Street (Jalan Ir. H. Juanda). Staying here was the best decision, as with the limited time I had, I saved so much time going everywhere, thanks to its central location. The hotel is smartly designed to optimize the small space, and the decor nails the balance of minimalist furniture and statement walls and/or floors. The room isn’t big, but cozy and comfortable.
See what I mean about the wall?
My favorite thing about the hotel is, without a doubt, the beautiful blue-and-white tiles in the lobby.
I’m such a sucker for pretty tiles.
Having lunch at: Warung Langit
I went here with fellow volunteers for Festival Hari Buku Anak (FHBA), and what a place this was. Located far up in Dago area, it’s easy to miss this place. The road to get here was narrow and bumpy, and from outside, Warung Langit seemed unassuming. Compared to the luxurious cafes and restaurants nearby, this place looked so humble, and yet, so homely. And once we went further ‘inside’, the view left us in awe.
When other expensive restaurants nearby opt for glass walls and plush sofas, Warung Langit stays true to its name by keeping it small and modest with their bamboo, wood and twigs decors (‘warung‘ in Indonesian means a small restaurant or shop, often family-owned, although lately it’s been glamorized as the names of big, fancy restaurants).
When you’ve got a gorgeous location like this, it’s very easy for to settle for mediocre menu, but once again, Warung Langit proves it’s not the case with them. Their humble dishes are something you’d usually find in a warung, but the taste is superior. You know how great cooks always fuss about getting fresh ingredients as they say it matters? Well, it does matter.
Warung Langit supports organic farming, and with its own garden there, it’s no wonder all the vegetables and herbs are fresh. The step toward healthy eating doesn’t just stop there, they also do the conscious cooking in preparing the meals.
So to sum up, you’ll get the experience of healthy eating with a stunning view here. I’d recommend this place to anyone.
Having dinner at: Bakmi Jowo Dipati Ukur
This is one of the places where I occasionally went for dinner in my college days. I remember the place was never empty, and we had to wait a long time for our food as they used traditional stoves (this must be the reason why it tasted so amazing).
When I went here last week, this place had changed a lot. There were glass windows with black sills, which look unfitted between the bamboo structures. There was a construction for a new coffee shop inside, and it made me kinda sad. One of the charms of this place was its ‘traditional’ interior, and now it seems like they’re trying to have this chic and minimalist look which every cafe and restaurant are geared toward these days. One thing that I wasn’t complaining about was these batik tiles. I love cute tiles, but batik tiles? This is quite something.
Unfortunately, the development in the interior department wasn’t followed by the cooking department. It was an hour until we got our food (it had always been long, but not this long), and much to my disappointment, it didn’t taste as good as I remembered. Maybe I came at a bad time (I hope so, anyway), but I’d be thinking twice before coming here again.
Reading: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
I bought this book with me and managed to read quite a lot during the trip. So far, I’ve been enjoying this. It’s not as tear-jerking as The Kite Runner, but I think I like this better than A Thousand of Splendid Suns. We’ll see. I’m nearly finished now, and I’ll (probably) write the review later on this blog.
Ah, I wish I’d had more time. Until next time, Bandung! :’)
If you’d like to see some of my favorite places in Bandung that I didn’t get to visit this time, I’ve got the list for you:
(Okay, The Lodge Maribaya and Kawah Putih are not exactly in Bandung, but they’re worth to check)
And a few posts that sum up my feelings about Bandung: