Friday, November 16, 2012

Bandung 1 Day City Tour (Part 3: Tea, Beer and Satay)

As if I haven't been to enough shops yet, I went for a walk outside my hotel to check out Jalan Cihampelas a.k.a Jeans Street before meeting up with Eddie. Cihampelas is a popular tourist attraction in Bandung because of its unique shopping experience. It is not the typical shops like the one in Dago. Here, the price is cheap and the clothes are not brand names. The main attraction of this place is its superhero and cartoon setting that appeals largely to the younger crowd.

Just like Malioboro in Yogyakarta, Cihampelas is a busy and crowded street lined with stores on both sides. But if batik is to Malioboro, jeans of all kinds is the prime commodity in Cihampelas.
Cihampelas Jeans Street
Cihampelas Jeans Street
They may not be brand names but having customized jeans from Batman, Mr. Bean, Superman and Spiderman is definitely way cooler.
Cihampelas Jeans Street
Superhero and Cartoon themed shops

If local brands is not your thing, there's a nearby mall called Cihampelas Walk or CiWalk that  is a popular hangout for the wealthier shoppers. The outdoor cafes and restaurants offers a number of international chains like Starbucks and J.Co.
Cihampelas Jeans Street
Cihampelas Walk
I went back to the hotel to meet Eddie for the continuation of my Bandung tour. I rented the car for 12 hours but even though I started at 7 am I made an agreement with Eddie to take a break at 4 pm and to continue later at 7 pm without an additional payment.

When I hopped to the car I asked Eddie where were headed? He asked me where I wanted to go which I honestly had no idea. I told him "I don't know, what else is there to see"? Like every other tour guide, he said "I know a place." So yeah, I basically just let him take me to that place. As I think of it now, what a risky move on my part! Some serious shit could've happened like that crazy movie Taken.

Moving on, the place he was talking about is Lisung. It is a hillside restaurant in Dago that has a breathtaking view of the Bandung city night lights.

This photo does not justify the scenic nightscape of Bandung. I swear the view is much much more lively and amazing in person.
Lisung Restaurant
Lisung Restaurant
I couldn't capture the lights in still photo because I don't have those fancy ass DSLR camera and also because I'm such a noob. So being the child that I am, I just did this.
I could go on for hours doing just that if not for Eddie staring at me probably thinking "Seriously, we drove all the way here for you to do that?"

As soon as we entered the restaurant I was really caught off guard. This place looks fancy and way out of my league.
Lisung Restaurant
entrance to Lisung Restaurant
 You would immediately know that a place like this will have an overpriced menu. It is understood that in restaurants like this you don't just pay for the food, you pay for the scenic view, the acoustic band, the fresh and cool air and the overall romantic ambience of the place.
Lisung Restaurant
This is the kind of place where you bring your special someone to impress them. Look they even have these love padlocks for customers who wants to commemorate their special day.
Lisung Restaurant
love padlocks
What the hell was Eddie thinking bringing me to this place. First of all, the place is fancy and romantic. Second, I have no money. I was leaving Indonesia the following day to go to Singapore. I don't intend to change a single dollar more. I'm saving the little rupiahs I've got for my trip back to the airport in Jakarta.

I was just about to ask Eddie when a waiter arrived with two cups of tea. I don't remember ordering anything. But before I could open my mouth, Eddie said "On the house".
Lisung Restaurant
Lisung Tea
It turns out that Eddie was friends with the waiters. We were served with Lisung's signature tea which was really extraordinary. It wasn't bland or bitter like most teas. It has a sweet and citrus flavor and the celery stalk is provided for stirring.

We sat at the table near the edge overlooking the Bandung lights enjoying our free tea, inhaling the fresh air and admiring the night sky. Priceless moment indeed, literally and figuratively. Eddie and I didn't even have to talk and it wasn't even the least bit awkward.
Lisung Restaurant
We just stared blankly at the sky for God know's how long until the acoustic band started to play Imagine by The Beatles. A few people were singing and humming at the start of the song and when it got to the chorus everyone was singing along, including us. People looking over to other table smiling and nodding to each other like old pals while singing "..and the world will live as one". I shit you not, but it was like straight out of a movie scene. You may say I'm a dreamer, but that moment was crazy magical.

I looked at Eddie and said "You know what will make this even more perfect? Ice cold beer." He smiled and said "I know a place". Yep, that familiar phrase one again. Well I just spent the past hour in an awesome place without spending a single dime. I can't argue with that so I said "Let's go."

We headed back downtown to check out Jalan Braga. Walking down the street you may think that the place is old and boring. But hidden in the colonial buildings are lively and rocking pubs and bars. Eddie chose this cool little pub called Escobar. Just for its cool name, sure why not.

Escobar Bandung
Escobar
 The place was packed on both levels. Since we weren't gonna stay long we settled at the bar and listened to the live band right beside us. The band played Indonesian music the entire time I was there. They were very entertaining and their music was enjoyable basing on the reaction of the crowd.
Escobar Bandung
bartender serving Heineken beer
After two big bottles of Heineken and probably 8 songs later, we called it a night. I asked for the bill from the bartender and to my surprise it is "on the house" once again. Eddie has a friend from the bar, you know the big guy manning the entrance. I would insist on paying but I wouldn't want to offend a generous pub bouncer. 

With all the freebies I got I wanted to repay Eddie by treating him to a late dinner. I asked him if we could eat out before heading back to the hotel. He agreed and asked what I wanted to eat. I told him I was craving for some satay and being the awesome tour guide that he was he responded "I know a place". So far the places he knew has never let me down and I'm betting my money that this will be a good one.

We parked on a dark and empty lot and for a second I started to think it was an awful idea until I realize there's a police station on the right side and a small barbecue shack on the left side. Eddie went out of the car and told me to stay inside. He came back with two water bottles and went back inside the car. He told me that we are going to eat the best satay in Bandung. Well if that was the case what the hell were we doing inside the car. Were we waiting for a table or something?

Knock, knock? Who's there? A guy with two plates of satay standing near my window. What better way to end my 1 day Bandung City tour than to eat Satay Ayam drive thru style.

Satay Bandung
Satay Ayam
After devouring our plates, Eddie gave me a ring to remember him by. No, it was not romantic or anything. Besides what he gave me was a super cool skull ring. I didn't realize his fondness for chunky rings until he gave me one. As a symbol of my gratefulness for the tour he prepared for me I gave him my favorite leather cuff.
badass leather cuff and chunky rings
And that folks was the end of my awesome day in Bandung. :-)

Bandung 1 Day City Tour (Part 1: Tangkuban Perahu)
Bandung 1 Day City Tour (Part 2: Factory Outlets)


3 comments:

  1. hi, we're going Bandung in oct so thinking Eddie may be great but we need to check the rates with him as we've 5 of us. can you give us his contact as it is not in your blog?
    you can leave a comment Here & I'll be back to check it later. thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi there! I'm interested to the Satay Ayam. Do you remember name of the place?!

    ReplyDelete
  3. can put eddie number here, thanks

    ReplyDelete

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