Overland to Bandung!!

Trip Start Nov 25, 2004
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Trip End Jan 26, 2005


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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Our day started trying to catch a train to Bogor - we were enthusiastically informed that they leave every 15 minutes! Just over an hour later we jumped on the most crammed train you have ever seen!! Highly amusing...people hanging out of doors, windows, hanging from the sides and the roof and people on board selling everything possible! There was even a little girl carrying along a karaoke machine singing with the most out-of-tune voice ever! I spent the whole journey trying not to giggle with the bloke standing next to me as I was set next to the world's noisiest and most frequent belcher...we're talking every other breath!!! Hilarious!!! May even have beat my husband????!!!

We arrived in Bogor rather sweatily about 2 hours later and tried to find the Botanical Gardens which ended up being quite alot further away than we thought! Mmmm we love humidity! It was worth it as the gardens were lovely (with its very own colony of bats) and crammed with school kids so obvously loads more 'Hello Mr's!' It was even nicer to know that alot of the flowers there we'd seen in the wild throughout SE Asia! Flower spotter that I'm becoming! It had a great cafe right in the middle with stunning landscaped gardens - parents you would have loved it!!! Yet another whirlwind stop as we then headed to the bus station to get a bus to Bandung via the Punkat Pass whch according to the guide book had some great scenery!

We weren't disappointed!!! The road took us high up into the hills around Bogor with stunning views over the tea plantations and surrounding countryside! I think if we come back to Java we'd definitely try and stop off there for a few days - some of the hotels looked to have corking views! Unfortunately just as we reached the top, as was becoming the norm late afternoon, the heavens opened so much so that we felt like we were on the news when floods are advertised! There must have been a few inches of water covering the roads in the space of about 20 minutes!!! All very exciting - especially the way the bus drivers (especially the green bus!!) in Java tend to drive all with one windscreen wiper! Excellent! We arrived in Bandung early evening and had a nightmare trying to get transport into the city centre - in Java all the bus stations are miles out of town!! After being messed around by one bemo driver and dropped in the middle of nowhere - we finally found a nice man who told us what we needed to do and arrived at a guesthouse not too long later where I ended up helping the owner fill in his Australian tax rebate form! Would you trust me with anything to do with tax???????

We actually ended up staying in Bandung for 2 nights - moving to a very nice hotel for the second night - one so we would have a phone in the room and two as we spent the rest of the time in Bandung using the toilet roll as a relay baton if you get my drift!!!! Lovely...such a bonding experience!! Paul managed to stay away from the room long enough to have a swim and scared all the Muslim women away who were embarassed to see his hairy chest!!!! Our sightseeing involved a walk around the block to see the not-so-impressive Governor's residence followed by a quick rush back to finish the race!!! Hee Hee! The whole of Bandung had quite a good atmosphere though as the Asia-Africa Summit was about to begin!!!
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Comments

Dean on

Hi, in case you go back to Indonesia or somebody reads this blog, I'd like to add an information that there's a comfortable train with air conditioner (and much faster), from Gambir station (Jakarta) to Bogor train station...

There's also Safari near by Puncak Pass, I think it's a good one, much better than the one in Singapore!

Dean on

Forget to say that the comfortable train, called Pakuan, isn't so frequent, I think about every one or two hour...
hee hee the muslim women who scarred looking at your husband swimming must be Malaysians. There are many Malaysians visit Bandung to shop. Indonesians usually more open, and don't give any fuss with people swimming... :)

mumun on

Hi Dawn,

I'm glad you can be a mused by the economy train. Very few do and rather complain a lot about it. Isn't filled with so much to see? Even though it's short, I enjoyed this post and how you told the story.

www.indohoy.com

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