I had never been to Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. Heck, I had never been to Indonesia itself. Located some 780 miles south east from Malaysia, it never appealed to me to visit I because it is near; 2-hours flight only and the trip can be done any time when I am free.
But knowing myself, free time is something that I don’t really have.
When Pak Yusof and Evi invited me to join them conducting a picture book workshop, I was reluctant at first. I had (still have) a lot of illustrations to work on and going on a trip for 6 days mean that I would delay 3 spread-pages of illustrations.
“I pay for your tickets”, Pak Yusof said. “You can share my room,” Evi said. What else could I say other than YES?
So off we went to Bandung last April. We stayed at Rumah Kiboku in Upper Dago – Cigadung, Bandung; not far from Bukit Pakar Timur where the workshop was conducted.
The trip to Rumah Kiboku seemed endless as the road condition was not at its best. “It has always been like this, Emila. The road condition in Bandung is quite poor.” Evi said.
“No problem, Evi. This bumpy ride might be the solution of getting rid of my fat. I am thinking of moving here permanently,” I replied cheekily. And we laughed. Evi knows my yoyo struggle with weight.
From inside the ride, I could see breathtaking view of houses in the valley of Upper Dago. First thing I did after settling my things in the room was to capture the breathtaking view with my DSLR.
Reminds me of Tuscany.
Houses in Upper Dago.
And that was pretty much of the flavour for the next hour, and the hours that followed, and the 3 days after that stying at Upper Dago. I did not have the chance to really explore the area because from morning until 5pm, I was at the workshop, which was conducted at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space (will write about this in another posting). After 5pm, Evi and friends would take me for dinner and then the night came. But I never grew bored. Being away from the busy KL was really something that I needed.
Night view in Upper Dago.
The upper Dago area has many old Dutch villas and wider boulevards with tall trees lining the streets. The famous Dago Tea House, built during the Dutch colonial times, is located here. The Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) is located just west of the upper Dago area, and neighbors the Bandung Zoo.
After wrapping up the workshop on 4th day, we moved to stay at Ivory Hotel in Citarum, Bandung on the 5th day. We used the free time to roam around Bandung; thanks to Sofie Dewiyani who took us around town with her 4WD. Being a woman who is 2 times smaller than me, Sofie is a really a kickass 4WD driver. Together packed in the 4WD besides Sofie, Evi, Pak Yusof and me, there were Evelyn, Lyly, Jenny, Ari and Eva.
Sofie and her 4WD in front of Ivory Hotel.
We had lunch at Bebek Garang & Friends.
So yeah, I set foot in Indonesia! And the bumpy ride actually adds to the bliss of being in Bandung.