Monday, December 13, 2010

Travelogue: Bandung Day 2

Day 2 : Bandung

Sun, 5 Dec 2010

Alhamdulillah, Ibu Yanti got my message. She arrived at Unik Hotel on the dot at 7am with son Ady and Pak Suhana (supir). While waiting for us to have breakfast, Ibu went to the nearby Kartika Sari cake factory and packed some local delicacies. (I forgot the names, but will check it out ) Lovely!

We then fetched Razeif at Arwiga. He seemed OK with his room though, so he would be staying put there. We then headed to Tangkuban Prahu, which is still an active volcano, about 1 hour from Bandung city, in the Subang district (yup there's also a Subang area here). On the way up, I saw some rabbits (kelinci) big and small lined up at the stalls – to be sold as pets or end up on plates as satay (poor them...I couldn't bear eating those cute creatures).

Back to Tangkuban Prahu. Its name originated from an upturned boat. Legend has it that Dayang Sumbi, a beauty who lived in West Java cast away her son Sangkuriang for disobedience. She was granted the power of eternal youth by the gods. Sangkuriang decided to return to his home after many years and fell in love with Dayang Sumbi without them recognizing each other. But then, just before their marriage, Dayang Sumbi recognized his birthmark. To prevent the marriage from taking place, Dayang Sumbi asked Sangkuriang to build a dam on the river Citarum and to build a large boat to cross the river, both before sunrise. Dayang Sumbi saw that the tasks were almost completed and called on her workers to spread red silk cloths, to give the impression of impending sunrise. Sangkuriang was fooled, and upon believing that he had failed, kicked the dam and the unfinished boat, resulting in severe flooding and the creation of Tangkuban Perahu from the hull of the boat. Excerpted from here.

Geologically speaking, Tangkuban Prahu is a part of the series of volcanoes on the Pacific Ring of Fire, and is one of the 45 active volcanoes on Java island / Sunda straits. Yes, and there are more – 35 active volcanoes on Sumatra (much bigger island than Java), and more volcanoes on the Sunda Islands, Banda Sea, Sulawesi and Halmahera (north of Maluku archipelago). See here for the list of volcanoes in Indonesia. Overall there are 150 volcanoes in the list. In terms of shape, it is a stratovolcano – a conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava, tephra, pumice and volcanic ash. It last erupted in 1983. There are a few craters here – Kawah Ratu (the main one upon reaching from the entrance), Domas and Upas (already inactive).

Upon reaching the park by van, we were greeted by breahtakingly beautiful view of Kawah Ratu and the strong smell of sulphur . It was foggy and cold, but most definitely refreshing. The vegetation of Tangkuban Prahu is also unique to mountanious conditions – comprising of Ericaceae and Dipterocarpaceae plants.

Ratu spews poisonous gas, so visitors are not allowed to descend to the crater. So we hiked to the now dormant Kawah Upas about 1km away. We took the opportunity to take photos at the boulder between Kawah Ratu and Kawah Upas, and of course our jumping shots. That was a truly once in a lifetime moment to take photos on a crater!

Kawah Ratu

Ubat panau from volcanic sulphur

Us with Ibu Yanti & Ady

The unique vegetation

Jumping among the trees

Trek to Kawah Upas

In between Kawah Ratu & Kawah Upas

Jumping between Kawah Ratu & Upas

From Kawah Upas, visitors can trek about 4 hours to reach back at Kawah Ratu using a different route. But we turned back instead as we were not prepared for such conditions and Ibu was waiting for us anyway. Ibu mentioned that during her university days, she did hike up Tangkuban Prahu.

By the time we reached back, we were already hungry. So again Ibu fed us with tahu goreng isi, eaten with cili api and washed down with hot Bandreg (milk tea with ginger). Ah such simple pleasures are highly satisfying. We then hunted for some souvenirs – miniature musical instruments and knitted dress and a toy for little Alya.

Stalls selling souvenirs

Next destination was Restoran Kampung Daun at Cihideung for our gastronomic pleasure. But wait, hadn't we just eaten? We are a bunch of perpetually hungry people LOL! The journey to Kampung Daun was quite a distance – took us about an hour – enough to catch some forty winks (or as Razeif calls it - “power nap”) Just as we left Tangkuban Prahu, it rained quite heavily – that some parts we passed by seemed almost flooded and there were minor landslides.

What a beautiful place Restoran Kampung Daun turned to be! Definitely worth the long journey. There were huts where we would be eating lesehan style, with comfy cushion (too comfy, we felt like lying down after eating ), surrounded by a river flowing from Mt Burangrang . Ibu ordered us all the specialties of Sunda dish – Nasi Timbel Bakar, Gurame Bakar and Gurame Goreng Sambal Cobek. For dessert she ordered Es Goyobod (Es Campur) and Surabi keju. All the dishes tasted great. Ibu treated us yet again – she was just so nice to us :-)

The waterfall at Restoran Kg Daun

Ibu Yanti

Our snugly hut

Surabi keju

Nasi timbel

Gurame bakar

Es Goyobod

We then headed for Pasar Baru to shop for ahem, materials for Mas' upcoming events, Liza's sister's engagement and telekung (or mukena). The girls almost got all that they wanted here. Almost because we arrived at about 4pm WIB so we had only 1 hour to shop. Pasar Baru closes at 5pm. Mas got Ibu's help to bargain for the items. Liza fared quite good bargaining on her own.

Liza bargaining

Shopping done, what else to do but more shopping! Painting hunting was next on the agenda at Jl Braga. Razeif or Liza could help with the name of the shop. Scenes of card swiping (or gesek kartu) was now in full swing because cash was running low, and it was only the second day!

Painting along Jl Braga

Painting shopping done – it was now back to the Factory Outlets (FO). Ibu brought us to Heritage, For Men and Terminal Tas at Jl Martadinata (Riau area). More shopping ensued until closing time at 9pm WIB. Feeling hungry again, we now headed to Pak Pancha's favourite haunt at the Cilaki seafood stalls. But before going for dinner, Ibu again tapau-ed us more food – this time me and Mas' favourite Roti Bakar Cheese from Bakeri Tunggal. (Pak Pancha always brought this to office everytime he came back from Bandung)

At Heritage

Roti Bakar Tunggal. Yummy!

At Cilaki, we had Udang Pelas Saos Padang, Cap Cay vegetable and ayam kuluyuk (I think, based on the menu VS googled images). We were also entertained by 'live music' by the street musicians singing their self-written songs. Ibu mentioned sometimes a singer with the voice of a female (when singing) but changed to male when talking would come to entertain, but he/she didn't show up that night.

'Live music'

Udang pelas saos Padang

Ayam kuluyuk

Cilaki Seafood Waroeng

After dinner, Ibu could finally sigh with relief of being 'released' from the clutches of the food and shopping hungry Malaysians ;-) Ady had called his mother a few times asking when she'd be coming home, while Dina her daughter (she didn't join us as she had an exam coming up) had already went to sleep. We hugged Ibu and said our goodbyes to her. We promised to take her for lunch/dinner/take her around whenever she comes to KL. Such a sweet and most generous lady to treat us to Tangkuban Prahu, lunch at Kg Daun, dinner at Cilaki and the delicacies from Kartika Sari and Bakeri Tunggal. I guess it's true – do good unto others – it is contagious – it will spread on :-)

We are so indebted to Ibu Yanti, Pak Pancha and family.



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