Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bandung…shop till you drop???

This was a trip which my main intention was to do shopping at one of the places they say is “Shopping Heaven”, but was it?

Sun, 5 Apr 09 – There we were, me, my sis (Aidah) and my 3 colleagues (Midge, Ina, Eyza) felt so geared up for this trip despite there was some issue in the office of 4 of us taking leaves at the same time, but that didn’t bother us at all. Who cares...Furthermore, who didn’t want to take some time off once in a while from office, right? hehehe...


Flight was at 9:40am by Air Asia and it took about 2 hours and 10 minutes to reach Bandung.

We stayed at 3 Star Grand Serela Hotel, Jalan Riau. The hotel looked new, only established for 4 years and it met my only condition, clean. We booked 2 Deluxe rooms at IDR 445,000 per nite.

As suggested by one of the hotel staffs, we went to Rumah Mode, a must go outlet at Jalan Setiabudi first before heading down to Jalan Dago to visit the factory outlets. It started raining and we were told it would be raining everyday in the afternoon. Hmmm, in this kind of weather, I had that feeling we would get sick as we need to travel in and out, but never let the rain spoiled the spirit of shopping...

It was quite a crowd at Rumah Mode, probably it was Sunday. I thought this place is huge but apparently not really. I just spent a few minutes to walk around the outlet just to gauge overall what’s in store. The most popular brands you could find here were Esprit (my favorite), Bebe, Old Navy, Zara, Guess and Nike. I could only find one Banana Republic 3 quarter pant which I liked. I liked the other one and only Old Navy pant left but too bad, the size was a bit too big.

Overall, you could find a wide variation of clothing designs here with cheap price, I tried a few outfits but my problem was the sizes were either too small or too big for me, maybe most of the common sizes were sold out, not quite a good shopping experience as a start, hehehe…

After Rumah Mode and similar outlet "Mode Plus" next door, we moved on to Jalan Dago and stopped at one end so that we could just walk along the street and went from one outlet to another. It continued raining.

After checking out a few outlets like Coconel, Grande and Jetset, I think I could figure out the overall concept of these outlets. Basically, it’s all repetition with same designs but limited, if you can’t find your size in one outlet, you can probably try your luck in another outlet, and you probably don’t mind to skip some of the outlets if you know you won’t get yourself anything. Most branded clothing is rejected, like those you can find at Reject Shop here in KL which comes with very cheap price, it makes you so tempted to buy no matter what but make sure you check thoroughly if you decide to buy, well, I almost bought a Esprit pant with a hole in it, hahaha…But it was quite frustrated, coz I think I could still accept if the defect is minor which in fact very obvious, but with a hole in it??? Hmmm, I don’t think I want to waste my money to buy just bcoz it’s cheap….There’s also many imitation of branded clothings, I’m not sure about the quality coz the material just seems not so good for me. At one of the outlets, I saw one exact same outfit which I bought in KL and the price was tripled the price I paid in Malaysia!!!

We had dinner at Rumah Makan Dago Panyawangan. Bandung is famous with Sundanese food like the Nasi Timbel, one of the favorites for locals and visitors. Aidah and Eyza tried it. I’m not really a food venture person by the way, so I had Seafood Fried Rice. A friend said must try Mango Juice in Bandung, but unfortunately now was not the season, I was like, "Huh? Mango pun ade musim ke???" bummer…







Midge, Eyza and Ina headed back to hotel after dinner while me and Aidah continued to explore the other outlets. We went to almost half of the outlets at half way of Jalan Dago. The last stop was at the Donatello Shoes until the shop closed at 9pm. I bought 2 pairs of shoe here, besides the pant I bought at Rumah Mode and 1 working shirt at Episode Fashion House, yaaa…that’s all I bought for the day and furthermore, I just refused to go back hotel empty handed, hahaha…

Hmmm…this was the time I felt glad I did follow my instinct to bring one extra tops for Monday, just in case I couldn’t find anything today, which was true enough, hahaha…

Mon, 6 Apr 09 – We rented a van with our driver, Andi for IDR650,000 to bring us for sightseeing.

Kawah Putih - We took off to Kawah Putih at 8am, which is 46 KM from Bandung. I realized why it took 2 hours to reach there though the distance to me was not far. It was bcoz of the winding, uphill and small road along the way to get there. We did enjoy the view of strawberries orchards all the way, which made you can’t resist not to try the strawberries somehow. The entrance fee for Kawah Putih is IDR20,000 per person. It’s a volcanic crater, the lake has the color of whitish green, very beautiful.

Situ Patengan – Along the way to the lake, there was Rancabali tea plantation, a different scenic view from the way to Kawah Putih just now. The entrance fee is IDR6500 per person. We hired a boat at IDR250,000 to bring us around the lake.

















Tangkupan Perahu – The most popular volcanic crater, 45 minutes from Bandung. The entrance fee is IDR35,000 per person.
























We stopped at Restaurant Sapulidi to have dinner.
















Jalan Cihampelas – Intention was to look for jeans, but all you could find here was local brands. Hmmm, I just think we didn’t need to spend much time here.


DSE Outlet – We still got a bit of time to stop at this outlet before going back to hotel. Furthermore, I was already running out of clothes, hahaha…and I desperately needed to buy one. Unfortunately, I didn’t so I guess I have to loan shirt from my sister.

Tue, 7 Apr 09 – More shopping. Car rental was IRD400,000.

Pasar Baru Trade Centre – I spent 3 hours just to buy textiles.

Toko Tiga – Original Jeans Centre. Levi’s, Lee Cooper are very cheap, all less than RM100. My sis and me bought a pair of Lee Cooper jeans, less than RM80, it was worth buying.

Other outlets at Jalan Merdeka - Rumah Tas, Istana Sepatu and Merdeka Arcade.

Continued to Jalan Dago – Edward Forrer, quite wide variation of shoe designs here, I bought a pair of working shoes. Last stop at Martika Sari to buy brownies.

Dinner at Dapur Sangkuriang, Jalan Setiabudi, another Sundanese Restaurant.












Went back hotel for 60 minutes of full body aromatherapy massage at IDR150,000. It felt so good after long day of shopping…

Wed, 8 Apr 09 – Back to KL.

Last shopping at Jalan Riau - Stamp, Cascade and Heritage at which are nearby Grand Serela Hotel. I realized as a matter of fact, I didn’t have to look far actually, these outlets are more like my kind of outlets. I did buy myself a few working shirts and casuals…at last…

After checked-in at the airport and waiting for boarding, our flight was delayed an hour from 3:25pm. Then, when the plane was about to take off, the pilot called off the flight due to steering technical problem, bummer…That was the last flight to KL and we weren’t sure if we needed to stay overnight at Bandung before catching the next earliest flight to KL at 6am. There was a bit of commotion as passengers started making calls and asking the ground staff what would happen next. AA called KL confirming there would be a flight from KL at 10:55pm. At it was bit of relief as we could still made it home anyhow. To wait for another 6 hours, I didn’t think we had much choice, did we??? By the time we reached KL, it was already at 2:30am. And guess what, we still had to go to work. After that long delayed flight, I hope I don’t need to experience it again, waiting can be so tiring...







Friends asked me about my shopping experience. This is what I have to say. Overall, the outlets were not how I expected it would be, it didn’t impress me much and it just wasn’t my taste but fashions could change from time to time, maybe we went at the wrong time, time when skinny jeans was the trend there, hahaha...Well, again, it was probably not my taste personally but different individual would have different preference. If anyone has not been to Bandung, it’s still worth going once but make sure you buy AA ticket at RM0 fare, heheheh...then judge yourself.

I’m glad we did the one day sightseeing, that was what I liked most about the trip. Honestly, some may think that I’m too sensitive, but this was how I felt and realized when I was there. While we all shopped like nobody business, they were so many poor Indonesians depending on tourists like us to earn a living. It made me humble and most of all, I was conscious with my spending so that I wouldn’t spend unnecessary. I constantly thought about our driver, Andi who only earned IDR50,000 per day for being a whole day driver for us, that was like RM17 a day... I have this emotional side which affected me so much until today, only God can understand and I hope the little contributions we gave Andi and his family could ease him a bit for days to come. The thing is, I didn’t feel like this when I was in HK or Thailand for shopping as the environment was so different. Andi sent me an sms apologizing on the day we left for KL for not being able to send us to airport. He’s such a polite and thoughtful gentlemen. If I were to go back to Bandung again, I will definitely want him to be our tour guide again…

Despite the delayed flight, not so enjoyable shopping experience and everybody was sick due to diarrhea, fever, flu after came back from Bandung, hahaha, god...never in my life I would need to go clinic twice in a week, I never have such a terrible cough before...it was still a great trip and the best thing is I didn’t spend as much as I thought I would be. I thought of the experience, time I spent together with my travel companions, and people whom I met when traveling, that’s no money can buy :-)

Book hotel at http://www.rajakamar.com/ and car rental at http://www.totaltravel.info/ for best deal. Thanks a lot Wawa for giving all these info, you have made my trip arrangement a lot easier. I know I can always count on you :-). Yap, Trish, your travel tips had helped me feeling so familar with Bandung already even before going there, thanks gals...

4 comments:

wawa said...

thanks ida... we should go travel together next time..

midge said...

nak pergi lagiii...tak sempat pun gi the outlets next to our hotel..boo hoo hoo

ina said...

rasa mcm zombie time gi keje pagi khamis tu..but its worth it!!

suman said...

Hello, i read your lovely post. It was very kind of you to write about our hometown. I would like to introduce you to my shop in Bandung pasar baru lantai 2. We have four shop there (d fashion) the largest and the most complete shop in pasar baru, d fabric, d square and manggo. Please do drop by when you are in town. we have a facebook account too under the name of dsquaretextile@yahoo.com. you can see the pictures thr too. It would be our pleasure to have a customer like u. Thank you.