Monday, January 03, 2011

Tankuban Perahu Volcano, Bandung, Indonesia - As close as you can get

Initially, I was wondering what we were going to do in yet another volcano! We've seen quite a number already. But this experience in Banding was a whole lot different - we actually got really close to the crater. And the view was fantastic!

We went unto a point by car and then took the "okeks" ( bikes that ferry people around in the back seat). We got to beat a lot of the traffic by doing this.

The view was totally fantastic and mid blowing. We also felt really close to the crater which was steaming. We had seen most of the other volcanoes from a distance but we got really close to this one.

As Danny and Diar ( our local friends from the hotel now) told us, legend has it that the Sun God fell in love with his mother without knowing that she was his mother. His mother told him that if he were able to build a ship/boat in a day she would accept his love. She thought he wouldn't be able to do that. However, he completed the task successfully. The lady still refused him and in his anger, the Sun God kicked the ship and it overturned to form the Tankuban Perahu ( means overturned boat in Bahass). The mountains surrounding the krater actually look like an overturned boat. Check out the pictures.

After this, we went over to the hot springs. Since the area was really crowded, we didn't go to the public springs but instead to a privately owned resort which had it's own hot springs. We expected to see some spring and what we saw was a fabulous pool filled with hot spring water.

The dip in the hot spring pool was super relaxing! I felt so weak while I was inside and didn't even want to move an inch. Very refreshing and relaxing.

Remember to take your own towels to these places as they didn't have any on rent.

We had our dinner at the same spa/hotel and then got back to the city. I also got a bottle of Bintang here. That's the local Indonesian beer and it's pretty good.

It was actually nice to see Bandung's roads empty while we were getting back. Danny pointed it out to me that this was how Bandung normally was.

On the way back, I even got to visit a mosque. This is the first mosque I'm entering in my life ( yep, I haven't entered any in India). Was a nice experience.

With this, our grand Indonesia trip comes close to it's end. I will summarize our itinerary in a separate post to help travelers planning a 15 day trip to Indonesia.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Bandung, West Java, Indonesia - Cozy hill city

We're now at Bandung which is a small hill station in West Java Indonesia. Since it's New Years day there were absolutely no hotels with rooms available. We called close to 50 of them on our bus journey from the Jakarta airport to Bandung.

We finally found that there was a room available at a hotel called Hotel Provence which was closer to being a 2 star kinda hotel. And the only room that they had was a family room which coated around (USD 75). Since we didn't have any other option for the night, we took the room this making it the most expensive of our rooms in Indonesia. However, the room was huge and very cozy. The hotel itself was set a little away from the city and had a very cozy atmosphere. Check out the pics of our family room.

We however got to find a smaller room in the same hotel today. A delux room costing 350,000 IDR ( around 35USD). The people in the hotel are very friendly and it's a family running the entire place.

We tried booking a car in the vicinity and most of the travel services were already booked. The hotel owner's brother however offered to take us around for about 250,000 IDR ( USD 25) if we would put in some fuel.

We food that our wheels for the day was an old Merc! How awesome is that! He he.

He took us to the famous "Jeans Street" which loving up to it's name is filled with stores selling branded clothes at discounted rates. These are mostly factor outlets. I managed to pick up a pair of Armani Jeans for around 250,000 IDR ( USD 25 approx). I also got a nice bow and arrows set to hang on the walls! There were so many guys selling air guns too here. One of them let me take a shot at a plastic bottle hanging high up. I managed to hit it. Yay! These guns cost around 50 USD.

The interesting thing in this street is that all the shops have huge lifelike statues of Rambo, spiderman, batman and the likes. Also, the prices here are already discounted and mostly are fixed price stores. Shopping here is a pleasure as compared to Bali or thee places where one needs to haggle.

There was also a Levis factory outlet here with a poster of Kangana Ranaut ( Indian actress/model). One of the stores also had an old vintage Morris Minor standing inside. And an old scooter. These guys are very creative with their store decorations. Nothing fancy, but they have these huge models outside or nice stuff inside.

We're now on our way to the hot springs here in Bandung. It's at a place called Cheeatar here. We may drop by to see another volcano too here ( I know what you're thinking! Another one? He he. Indonesia is filled with volcanoes). This one is called Tankuban Perahu.

Will update further by end of day.