Tangkuban Perahu, Ciater Hot Spring & Floating Market

In my previous 4d3n Bandung Itinerary post, I mentioned these places as the main activities for Day 2. They were actually planned out for us by the friendly staff at Hyatt Regency Hotel (thumbs up!) – since these three places were along the same route.

We managed to also get a great deal for transport – Indra who charged IDR750,000 for 10 hours. Unfortunately I did not get his contact details, as the hotel staff did all the liaising for me! (Tip: if possible, ask the concierge for more options when choosing transport, as they usually recommend Golden bird – which charges about IDR1,250,000 for 12 hours)

So was it worth the while? Let me share some details with you, and you can decide for yourself.

First stop: Tangkuban Perahu

NOTE: Entrance fees are IDR 200,000 per person (while for locals it’s only IDR 20,000). We grumbled a little since we did pay IDR 750,000 for the car ride, but as we were already there, it would be silly to waste it all.

This was actually our main reason for traveling to Bandung – it did seem like a pretty cool thing to see a volcano, especially one that just erupted in 2013!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Isn’t it gorgeous?

My, the view was undeniably breathtaking, worth the entrance fee in my opinion. We were really lucky that there was not too many tourists there, so it was a relaxing time for us – no squeezing to get beautiful photos.

 

Difficulty level: easy.

Climbing up the steps wasn’t difficult at all, and pretty much a stroll whilst enjoying the view. As you can see, there are many peddlers loitering around, waiting to con/persuade tourists into buying all sorts of things – from volcano sand to animal hats and trinkets. They can be extremely persistent, so do be careful.

You can also find vendors selling food and drinks there, and we did buy some grilled corn because it looked so bright and tasty. Let’s just say it looked a lot better than it tasted, haha! After walking the trail, you will find a little marketplace with vendors selling food, snacks and more trinkets – the stuff there looked less dubious than the ones from the street peddlers.

Conclusion: Worth it? Yes, I think so! It would be such a shame to leave Bandung without experiencing this magnificent work of nature, regardless of entrance fees.

Second stop: Ciater Hot Springs

Entrance fee: IDR 27,000 / person

The place that they brought us to was “Sari Ater Hotel & Resort“. It was frankly not what I had in mind of a hot spring – not in a good way.

The entrance fee gives you access to this entire place of different family-friendly activities, from ATV to golf. It was technically more like a recreational park than a hot springs place. Since we did have a schedule to stick to, and none of the other activities seemed appealing, we headed straight to look for hot springs.

There were a couple of options – if you wanted to soak in the hot spring (full-body), you’d have to pay extra to gain access to “hot spring” pools which looked like swimming pools. Again – they looked like swimming pools, and didn’t look particularly relaxing, so we opted not to pay any more.

The free options were 2 shallow pools side-by-side (with different temperatures) where you could soak your feet in, or if you were more adventurous, try to lie or sit in.

There were (persistent) people offering foot massages/scrubs too. I can’t really remember the price, but I don’t think it was very reasonable since we turned them down.

The water was hot, nice and quite relaxing though – really made me wish for a proper hot spring to soak in and enjoy! Nevertheless, there was only so much foot-soaking we could do, and so we were off in less than 30 minutes in total.

Conclusion: Find another hot spring to soak in, or just skip it altogether. This was not really worth the entrance fee, nor the travel time!

Third stop: Floating Market (Lembang)

Of course, the 2 guys were starving by this time, so we quickly headed to the Floating Market in search for some good local food.

Entrance fee: IDR 20,000/ person  (comes with 1 free machine drink)

I was starting to get used to entrance fees by then, so pay loh. After paying entrance fees, we had to exchange money for tokens to buy food with (Note: don’t change too much, it’s not refundable. There are more kiosks inside to change again if you need to!)

Other than floating food vendors, there were also boat rides on an artificial lake (so pretty), an expensive-looking massage place, and several restaurants.

It must have been an off-peak season, since the place was very quiet. Thank goodness for that! A portion of food costs around IDR 15,000 and up, that was pretty reasonably-priced for a tourist attraction. Apart from cute cartoon buns and these MUST-EAT SATAY (situated near the entrance of the floating market food vendors), the rest of the food we tried was so-so only.

*Don’t order hot coffee – not sure why whenever we ordered hot coffee (other than machine ones) the coffee powder would not dissolve properly, so we were left with powdery gross liquid.

Conclusion: It was still a great experience even though we were not fully satisfied by the meal. Definitely stop by this place to soak in the atmosphere and culture!

Heading to Bandung soon? Check out my other posts:

 

If you have any more recommendations, do drop me a comment! I’d love to hear from you (:

Advertisements

4d3n Getaway to Bandung, Indonesia (Itinerary!)

Date travelled: August 2015

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, this was a pretty last minute plan for the SG50 holidays last year. Because everything was fully booked or way too expensive by the time we got around to planning the trip (even Bintan was crazy), we were resigned to doing a staycation in Singapore. However, after chancing upon this article online, we got really inspired to explore Bandung, Indonesia.

Tickets were $200/pax (last minute prices) and most of the hotels mentioned in the article were fully booked, so we made do with a comfortable one in the city area – Hyatt Regency Hotel. This meant that we would have to take long rides up to the volcanoes, but it also meant that we could take some time to explore the outlets, cafes and food!

So here’s my itinerary overview:

Day 1:

  • Morning flight via AirAsia straight to Bandung
  • Checked in to Hyatt Regency Hotel
  • Visited adjacent mall Bandung Indah Plaza for food & a short walk
  • Planned the next few days (because we were such lazy asses to do any planning beforehand)
  • Massage at Ola Spa (recommended!)
  • Room service for dinner (lazy, again)

 

Day 2

  • 8am departure on a hired car to Tangkuban Perahu, one of Bandung’s Volcanoes (2hr car ride)
  • Ciater Hot Spring, Lembang
  • Floating Market, Lembang
  • Rumah Mode Outlet Shopping
  • Back to the hotel for a quick rest & dip in the pool
  • Out to the streets for some local food

 

Day 3

  • 6am departure on a hired car to Kawah Putih, the other Volcano
  • Ria Ayam Penyet for lunch (tasted pretty much the same as in Singapore)
  • Outlet shopping at Polo Ralph Lauren (Jalan. Ir. H. Juanda 151 Bdg) and neighboring outlets – this shop is quite good, would recommend it for shopping!
  • Dropped JD at the airport
  • Visited Jalan Bragatourist spot with many live bars and restaurants!

 

Day 4

 

Hopefully this is helpful with your trip-planning! I’ll be posting more details on the hotel, Ola Spa, Two Cents Cafe & the volcanoes separately, and these posts will be linked here below:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Ayam Penyet

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Me @ Tangkuban Perahu

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Gorgeous Crater – Tangkuban Perahu

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The White Crater – Kawah Putih

 

Additional Information on Transportation

So this is where it gets tricky – I booked transport through the hotel using Golden Bird Car Rental from the airport to the hotel (about 20 minutes away) and that cost us IDR 175,000. When we tried to ask him to drop JD at the nearby Fave hotel (barely 5-10 minutes away) he wanted to charge an extra IDR175,000. When we refused, he quickly dropped it to IDR 90,000 which we accepted, because we didn’t know better. When we found out that it would have cost less than IDR35,000 using a metered taxi, I decided we weren’t going to use Golden Bird anymore.

I requested the hotel to give me some alternatives for our next few days’ road trips to the volcanoes, because

  • Golden bird was charging about IDR1,250,000 for 12 hours
  • I didn’t trust them anymore.

Thankfully they found a great deal for us, through this guy called Indra who charged IDR750,000 for 10 hours, which was enough for us.

The rest of the time, we used metered taxis, which we soon realized had minimum fees (IDR35,000 for Bluebird taxis, IDR25,000 for others), not that worth it for super short distances.

JD then discovered angkots – green mini vans which would drive normally at the side of the roads. If you are travelling a short distance, just flag any of them down, and tell the driver where you want to go. If it’s on the way, they’ll let you in. They usually pick up passengers as they drive, so its sort of “public transport” for them. Cost ranges from IDR2,000 to IDR4,000. If you are travelling in a group or pair, give it a shot. But I wouldn’t recommend it for girls travelling alone (be safe ya?)

Other than that, Bandung is really a beautiful place to visit and have some relaxation time. Air tickets and accommodation are all very affordable so keep this place in mind for your next getaway!

Don’t forget to leave a comment and share if you like it (:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

Two Cents Coffee – Bandung Cafe

Jl. Cimanuk 2, Bandung 40114, Indonesia

Date of visit: August 2015

We found this cafe after walking past a few “sketchy” cafes (no aircon, no proper seating and flies everywhere) so it was definitely a highlight for us!

Decor & Seating

Two Cents Coffee looks like a touristy cafe even from the outside, with a hipster, rustic feel. There is both inside (aircon) and outside seating available although it can get quite packed!

Food

Prices were steep for Indonesia – roughly Singapore cafe prices ($10-15 for simple breakfast items), so I was pretty surprised to see many locals in the cafe too! Food was good and quality was as expected for the price. It was definitely also “instagrammable” with the nice plating and tablewares used, haha!

Service

Service was a little slow, but it might be due to the cafe being crowded or just the laidback culture of the place. However, it was still adequate and doesn’t warrant much whining about.

Overall

Two Cents Coffee is definitely worth a visit the next time you are in Bandung! I’ve heard that the cafe scene in Bandung is growing quite rapidly, and I can’t wait to make another visit back and explore. If you have any other cafes to recommend, share it with me below!

Hotel Aryaduta Bandung (Previously Hyatt) – Good Stay!

Hotel Aryaduta Bandung (previously Hyatt Regency Bandung) Jl. Sumatera No. 51, Bandung, West Java, 40115, Indonesia, ‏‎800 1205131

Date of Stay: August 2015 * at the time of stay, it was still called Hyatt!

We were doing up a pretty last minute plan for the SG50 holidays, and by the time we got around to looking at air tickets, it was insane. Everything was either fully booked, or damn expensive. Lombok, Tioman, Redang… even Bintan lol! Then when I was about to give up and book a staycation in Singapore, we chanced upon this article:

https://indonesia.tripcanvas.co/bandung/unique-hotels/

Man, Bandung looked gorgeous, and these looked like a fantastic idea. Tickets were affordable ($200 per pax) although most of the hotels on the list were either fully booked, or too close to a volcano for my mom’s comfort. She was worrying endlessly about a volcano eruption during my trip, but we still went anyway (sorry, mom!)

So Bandung is a great place to go for a short getaway, check out the hotel we stayed at below and the itinerary here.

Since it was our first time in Bandung, Indonesia to “see some volcanoes”, we opted for something a little more lavish. Hyatt was at quite a steal, approximately $100 per night including taxes for a huge room. The reception was lovely, we were greeted with welcome drinks in nice champagne glasses (although it was some tasty pink juice instead of alcohol in there).

13392944_4_z

(Image from Hotels.com)

Room

As mentioned, the room itself was HUGE (I could even monkey around) and was clean and plushy. Did not look worn out at all, which is the case for many big hotels overseas. Wifi, minibar, kettle all present, including a nice bathtub! Great pool, Jacuzzi, gym, spa and everything you can possibly need. We even tried out the room service, which was all fancy and wheeled in on a table (even though we ordered porridge and mee goreng). Top notch!

 

Service

Fantastic, staff played a vital role in helping us source for transportation up to the volcanoes, since we wanted more options (drivers are so expensive!). They also tirelessly gave us recommendations and directions, all with a smile. Would definitely stay at the Hyatt again for this reason!

Location

Awesome! It is adjacent to the Bandung Indah Plaza, which has a Matahari, shops, and cafes/restaurant. Perfect for some leisure walking, even though there wasn’t much that interested us. Outside the Indah Plaza there are some local street food snack stalls, in case you want something really authentic. Opposite the Hyatt Hotel there is a K-mart convenience store (which the security staff escorted us across the crazy traffic to get to, we tipped him after of course!)

Conclusion

How often do you get to stay at Hyatt for under $100? This is definitely a comfy stay and we looked forward to returning each day from our adventures for a guaranteed peaceful rest here. #Holidaygoals

 

**Other Accommodation: Fave Hotel at Chihampelas

5208522_17_z

(Image from Hotels.com)

JD opted to stay at another hotel close by, called Fave Hotel at Chihampelas (they have other , which was about $40+ a night. According to him, the room was still spacious (3/4 the size of the one at Hyatt) with a decent gym! So if you are looking to save a little, Fave is definitely a good stay as well!

Amaranta Hotel (Bangkok) – Must Stay!

Amaranta Hotel (2 Soi 5 Pracharatbumpen Rd., Huai Khwang, Bangkok, Bangkok, 10310, Thailand, ‏‎800 1205131)

In preparations for my Bangkok trip in February 2016, I came across this hotel using Hotels.com (as I always do, trying to earn discounts & free nights!). It had a great rating (4.3/5), many positive reviews, beautiful pictures & a decent price at $85/night including all taxes – I was definitely sold!

Of course, I always try to maintain my expectations and not get over-excited, because in many cases the actual rooms don’t look like the pictures (or look like the pictures, but 10 years later). But OH MY, I was extremely happy with this place.

It is apparently very new (hence the rooms looking quite identical to the pictures, and the price being SO GOOD) and I’m sure the prices will definitely go up as more people find this place. Here’s some info below to convince you!

Hotel Decor & Staff

Decked out in gold tones, it has a super luxurious feel from the moment you step in. Everything looks clean and new! Hotel staff are very helpful and courteous, opening doors for us and greeting us everyday. Service is top-notch.

Rooms

I went for the Superior Room (32 Sq meters) which came with a double bed and all the normal hotel things (minibar, LCD TV, kettle, WIFI!) as well as a lounge sofa and a deep-soaking bathtub which you can sit in and watch the TV from. I mean, who doesn’t want to come back to a nice, big room after a long day of shopping, soak in hot water and bubbles while watching movies on cable? If this doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. The bed was comfortable and plushy, and we had gold silky bathrobes to lounge around in!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Plushy bed with a cuppa coffee in the morning

 

Facilities

They have a gym, pool, restaurant/bar. Unfortunately, I only managed to visit the pool on the last day before checking out, but it is gorgeous! I can totally imagine myself relaxing here with a book while enjoying the view.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Ok, maybe the view is questionable.. but still…

Location

It is walking distance to Hwai Khwang MRT (Not BTS) which is quite near to Chatuchak/Union Mall.

Just below the hotel, you can find 7-11 (great for late night snacks) as well as quite a few food stalls selling Thai/Chinese food (I suspect it’s like a little Chinatown, since the workers in this area speak Mandarin too!).

Also below, there are quite a few massage places (clean ones) with 1hr massage for 180baht – don’t expect much frills here though.

Conclusion

Highly recommended (quick, before the prices get sky-high) for your next getaway to Bangkok!