Bandung is often associated with cool weather, good food, golf courses and factory outlets. While these have earned their places in peoples’ hearts, there are other things that need to be experienced here. We ventured beyond to find out.
#1 Kawah Putih or White Crater
Located in the south of Bandung, this crater lake is filled with blue-green water that is highly acidic (pH 0.5-3). Sulphurous fumes escape small vents and surreptitiously inch their way into your nasal passage, irritating your throat. The smell isn’t that pungent so you don’t notice this until you start coughing. This is why the recommended length of stay next to the lake is a mere 15 minutes. Face masks are usually worn but if you tend to pose a lot for photos, then don’t bother. This is a popular location to have wedding pictures taken because it is picturesque. But it would be tough to keep wandering tourists out of your shots.
#2 Stink beans or Petai
Encased within these pods are beans that stink and taste bitter. A fully developed pod contains about 8-10 beans the size of broad beans. These beans, wild or cultivated, are considered a delicacy and are usually prepared through stir frying with prawns and sambal chili. They are rather popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore. The ones in the picture are grilled so they taste a little raw and are crunchy. It’s like eating edamame except that it makes your pee smell odd like how asparagus stalks do.
#3 Kampung Daun Sundanese Resto
IF you fancy eating in an al fresco hut while enjoying the coolness of a rainforest and do not mind flies or kittens visiting mid-meal, this is the restaurant. The area is pretty large and is in a private space found after you enter a secure area past several large houses. They have little shops at the entrance and a pretty, winding path leads you into the compound. You will be directed to your own hut upon arrival and can choose to dine in a traditional setting (on the floor) or the regular way (sit at a table on chairs). When ready to order, you call for the waiter using a bamboo drum – it isn’t loud so you have to keep at it until someone decides to saunter over. It takes about an hour to get there from the city and it is touristy (i.e. higher prices). But it is worth the one visit, particularly at night.
#4 Driam Riverside Park
Frankly, there isn’t much here other than being a very scenic rest stop for decent coffee and chilling out. If you are up for a stroll, pay IDR10,000 (S$1) to go take a look at the river running through the establishment. There are swings set up by the river that you can use – definitely fun!
#5 Walini Tea Terraces
Tumbling tea terraces dominate the landscape here much like Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka. It seems the tea here is cultivated for the domestic market so we don’t hear much about it in other countries. Tea is mild and fragrant.