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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Trip to Jakarta & Bandung, Indonesia


From TTDI to KLIA's LCCT, we took a bus from KL Central. Cost : RM9-00 per person. Arrival time 45 minutes.

The flight from KLIA's LCCT to Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Jakarta was delayed for about 2 hours... initially we received a sms message a week before informing us that the flight was to be rescheduled from 10am to 2pm but upon arrival at the airport, there was an announcement that our flight was further delayed due to some technical problems. The plane was managed by Air Asia Indonesia and seemed to have aged.. as evinced from the creaking of the plane rear panels. The seats was covered with black leather but was in worn condition and we had chosen the plane's rear seats to enjoy easy ingress and exit. From high above the skies, we can see the shorelines of a town which we believe either to be Malacca or Muar, before the plane ascends far above cloud level.

Upon touch down at Soekarno Hatta international airport,
we boarded the airport shuttle bus which transported us to the nearest arrival terminal. After having our passports stamped, we proceeded to the arrival hall where Antan Yas was already waiting... The cab fare cost us Rupiah120,000-00 (not inclusive of service charges & highway toll). Upon our arrival at Antan's house near Jalan Penggilingan, we were greeted by the three little hooligans... Azlan, the eldest, Husni and last but not least, Nasir. Tante Ima was at the Warung, cooking & manning the same. Warung Jam Gadang is famous for its Nasi Padang and her cooking simply jibe with my taste!.


It would be Merdeka Day back in Malaysia, but for the five of us (me, my wife, Antan Yas & the three hooligans) the plan was to pay a visit to Taman Mini in Jakarta (The crowd was less as many Jakartan took the day off as the next day would be the first of Ramadan). We visited various traditional houses of many ethnic Indonesian eg. Rumah Minang, Batak, Maluku, Riau etc and had an aerial view of the whole Taman Mini after taking a ride in one of the two Skylifts.


First day of Ramadan - the sahur was one of a kind experience - with a group of youngsters armed with drums banging their way with a catchy tune waking everybody in the neighbourhood for Sahur.... "Satu-satu.. saya bangun sahur...dua-dua ... can't remember the lyrics...but I got it all in my videocanm... and all the TV stations had the Puasa Theme... 90% of the TV shows esp Indonesian Cinetrons are all related to Ramadan. I noticed that although back home in Malaysia, a Fatwa had beed issued with the decree that all SMS related contest are deemed to be haram, all the telcos in Indonesia are having a ball organising contests that offered the participants with gifts eg money, motorbikes, house etc. Later I was made to understand that calls made to Malaysia via prepaid Telkomsel is way much cheaper .... for Rupiah 1000 you can talk at least for 1 minute (Roughly Rupiah 2,700 = RM1-00). So say good by to international roaming charges - sorry MAXIS. By the way, the prepaid starter packs are dirt cheap @ Rupiah 10,000 per pack. Some prepaid telcos in Indonesia also have some wonderful offers i.e free sms - no charge at all. The one offered by another provider, XL ,even provides dirt cheap charges for 3g data usage @ Rupiah 200 per hour. I repeat Rupiah 200 per hour.... so it is a small wonder that most people here have at least 3 mobile phones! One for local call (either free calls withing the locality), one for web browsing and lastly, for international calls!


Took a trip to Bandung from
Kelapa Gading. Rupiah 70,000 per person via executive van transportation - max 7 person with individual seat. Very confortable. Duration - 2 hours - highway akin to our PLUS Highway. The rate for toll charges are way cheaper than what we are paying to PLUS. We arrived at the van transportation terminal and barely five minutes, a relative pun sampai to fetch us - we so used to call her "adik Bandung" back in Malaysia to the extent that we actually had forgotten her real name! From the terminal we took the Angkot to her house in Jalan Setiabudhi... three (3) angkots to be exact. Bandung is quite small in size but I would not recommend anyone from Malaysia to rent a car unless the car comes with a driver... the massive traffic jams (especially on weekends) and the confusing signages would spell trouble.

After about an hour of rest, adik brought us "berpetualangan" to some of the famous Factory Outlets (FOS). ("Berpetualangan "in Indonesian language bermakna berjalan-jalan and not the other meaning that we are so used to back in Malaysia). Rumah Mode in Jalan Setiabudhi has a very impressive collection of branded goods - an export quality leather jacket by Hugo Boss , POLO or by G. Armani would set you back around Rupiah140,000-00 only - around RM80-00 aje. As to what type of brands available in the FOS would depend on the season. Burberry jeans, Osh Kosh, Hazard... just name it.. Bandung is indeed a shoppers heaven.


Sahurrrr.... the whole family was already awake at 4.30am WIB (Waktu Indonesia Barat).. the Indonesian government had conveniently used Padang's GMT time as its standard time, although Java Island is located further east... kalau ikut waktu Padang, Jakarta would be one hour late than the standard time used in Malaysia.

Today's plan - to cover all the FOS in Bandung...
macam kerja gila aje. Uda Ir and adik brought us to Cibaduyut where we each bought a pair of leather shoes... and where I bought myself a leather jacket. Mamat yang jual tu rupanya pernah berniaga in Shah Alam... but kalau beli kat Shah Alam (I suspect in Plaza Alam Central, harganya dalam RM600-700) - at that price kalau beli in Bandung, boleh cover tiket pergi balik & termasuk harga jacket tu sekali!

I cannot recall tah berapa banyak
FOS kita org dah masuk... termasuk those yang jual jeans. Some of the items up for sale are rejects... cacat sikittttt aje as they had torn off the original labels. These are one of the few indicators that the merchandise had indeed came from an authorised licensee manufacturer... you can feel the quality of the cloathing... but again it is all up to luck and what is on sale for that perticular season. I grabbed a few Hard Rock Cafe's t shirts... yup memang ori.. tah depa terlebih print esp for HRC Vegas & HRC Tokyo. Cari jugak Dockers & all those branded pants like the ones that we bought in Orlando... wajib tak jumpa.. sebab out of season. Sempat juga jalan ke Cihampelas Walk... some sort of shopping complex - SCTV selalu tunjuk tempat ni depa buat concert. We had out breakfast at a famous Sundanese Restaurant... cuma tak sempat nak rasa one dish - Batagor.. nampak macam super sedap...lewat malam baru sampai ke rumah.

Just to share - note that the tips provided at Wikipedia/Travelwiki are highly accurate. It had saved us big bucks during our travels to Hat Yai and now in Indonesia. Here, kalau tak nak kena goreng dengan taxi drivers, tahan aje teksi terus tanya "Argo?" If the answer is "iya" - then you can safely board that cab.. else depa ni tak guna meter... (Argo refers to Argometer). And again a good gps with the latest map would greatly assist you esp when traveling in Jakarta.

To be continued

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