While in Yogyakarta, waiting for our afternoon flight back to Jakarta, I was busy thinking of what we’re gonna be doing the next day. Surely, I did not want to go around shopping in Jakarta again, so while Grace was busy talking about all her planned trips that did not push through, she then mentioned about Bandung. I asked her how far is it from Jakarta, and she said it’s about a couple of hours drive. So I said, why don’t we go to Bandung tomorrow then? We ain’t got nothing left to do and we got the entire day to spend before our late night flight back to Manila. So Grace got the help of her Indonesian co-workers and she booked us a rental car that’s gonna be picking us up at around 6AM tomorrow at the condo. I was pretty excited about this out-of-nowhere road trip that I immediately researched about the places to go to around Bandung. Grace’s Indonesian friend also made some suggestions as well.
We woke up really early again to prepare us for the Bandung road trip. At exactly 6AM, the driver was already waiting for us and off we went to spend the rest of the day in Bandung. It took us around 2 hours to get to Bandung, popularly knows as the Paris of Java, for its resemblance to Paris and the European atmosphere back at the colonial times. The weather was a bit cooler than Jakarta, it kinda reminded me a bit of Baguio. When we arrived, there was a parade happening or some event, since they had to close down the streets and reroute some of the vehicles to go another way. We decided to get out of the car to see what’s going on and they were actually celebrating the Dago Car Free Day. This happens every Sunday morning from 6AM to 10AM, where cars are prohibited in a certain area and locals are free to do whatever they want. You can see people skateboarding, bicycling, dancing, playing games, etc. It was actually a really cool idea for them to do something like this. We tried to watch the parade and some of the street-dancing as well before we decided to grab a bite to eat since we haven’t had any breakfast yet.
Now here’s the very big problem we’ve had about this road trip: our driver, who is originally from Jakarta, does not know the Bandung area very well and he doesn’t speak English! We were all very frustrated communicating with him since we don’t know where to go to as well. I just listed down the places and shops to go to and since he was not familiar with the place, he had to ask the locals where it’s actually located. Good thing I had internet access on my phone. With the help of Google, we were able to locate some of the places we wanted to go to.
Our first stop was Jalan Braga. Jalan actually means street in Bahasa. Known to be the chicest part of the city, Braga is filled with chic cafes, boutiques and restaurants with an European ambiance along the street and had made the city of Bandung earn the Paris of Java nickname. We had breakfast in Braga Permai, a very much recommended restaurant, which serves both local Indonesian cuisine and French-influenced delicacies. Braga has this very relaxing atmosphere around it and the mode in the area was very quiet and calming. After our late breakfast, it took almost an hour to find and go to our next destination in Bandung, which was Rumah Mode in Jalan Setiabudi. Grace wanted to do some shopping and we’ve heard that Setiabudi is like the Orchard Road in Bandung, were you can find shopping outlets offering big discounts off branded names and items. I was not really in a shopping mode that time since I lost the replacement batteries for my camera and my Blackberry. So I ended up sulking outside the shopping centers, waiting for Grace and Maira to finish their shopping. At around 4PM, we decided to go back to Jakarta, so that we can finish repacking our stuff since our flight back to Manila will be leaving at around 10PM.Follow @iamthegarysia