Weekend Getaway to Bandung

Bandung, undoubtedly, has been the favorite weekend getaway destination for people in Jakarta. Not only it is considerably close to the city but also because it offers various attractions and places to visit, including culinary and shopping destination. Who wouldn’t love to chill around the old city of Braga? Or enjoy the nature in Lembang? And some other people might just hopping from one factory outlet to another for the sake of great shopping deal (is it really a great deal, though?). Well, whatever it is your purpose to visit Bandung, it always has a story to tell.

I went to Bandung with my best friends and stayed there for 2 days and 2 nights. Be it a small city, it is so unlikely that you can visit all of the attractions and the current-popular places in 2 days. So our itinerary was quite packed. We visited 4 places, all of them are common places everyone would go if they’re visiting Bandung. Millennials are afraid of missing out something (yes, that FOMO syndrome) so there we went: Roti Gempol, The Lodge Maribaya, Farmhouse Lembang, and Dusun Bambu.

But first, I’m gonna share my accommodation in both Bandung and Lembang. The first one, which is located in Bandung, is The Attic Bed & Breakfast. Found it on Booking.com and someone else’s blog. The review is good and it is very affordable. We booked the accommodation for 2 rooms (1 shared bathroom, 1 en-suite) and it only costs us IDR 450,000. The room was comfortable and most importantly, the bathroom was very clean. It has self service kitchen for all guests to have breakfast. We arrived at the place almost in the middle of the night and thankfully the owner was still up to open the door for us. Too bad we only stayed for a night, it would have been nicer if we could spend more time there.

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The next accommodation is Trizara Resort. My best friends and I were looking for a place for glamping (glamorous camping). Well, that’s another what-nowadays-millennials-should-do. The most famous one is actually Legok Kondang in Ciwidey but since our plan was to explore Lembang area, we have to search for glamping site near Lembang. Luckily we found this newly opened glamping site called Trizara Resort. The tent was very comfortable, it was so warm although the rain was falling so hard during our stay. The service was good, the wifi worked quite fine. It offers free sport activity in the morning, could be zumba or yoga. The room price already includes breakfast, it was pretty much a good deal (I guess?). Our room price was IDR 1,815k. You can order a BBQ for the night, too. We all love the place very much and had a very pleasant time.

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Roti Gempol

I heard about this place from my brother in law who spent his undergraduate year in Bandung. He said that this bread shop is legendary. I went there and tried roti gandum bakar and donat kentang. The roti gandum bakar was simply good but the donat kentang was super good. Not to mention that I love the coffee, too. It’s a small place but comfortable enough to eat in. The price was so affordable, for one loaf of bread it costs us around IDR 45k (we ordered a loaf of bread for sharing). The place is located in Jalan Gempol, it wasn’t so hard to find the place. Another plus for Roti Gempol is that the waitresses are very nice (or maybe every people in Bandung is considerable nicer than people in Jakarta?).

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The Lodge Maribaya

Went uphill from Bandung to Lembang, our destination was The Lodge Maribaya. It was the place where you can see pine woods (if it is a pine woods) and take pictures with a great scenery. But, every good picture must pay a price. To take pictures in the mountain swing, I had to pay around IDR 20-25k and queued for more than 2 hours. Not to mention that I had to stand very closely to the person in front of me to avoid anyone interrupting the line. Actually there are several spots to take the so-called good pictures. You can also take pictures in sky tree, sky bamboo (these two are similar to the one in Kalibiru), and bicycle something (I forgot the name). All of them requires you to have no phobia with height. And they require you to be patient, too. As we spent a lot of time queuing, we didn’t get much time to chill around The Lodge. We finished taking pictures at almost 2 o’clock and then ate lunch in one of the restaurant inside The Lodge. To be honest, the food was just so-so. I would prefer eating somewhere else. Make sure that you go there early enough so you don’t have to queue for too long and get exposed to too much sun.

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Farmhouse Susu Lembang

This place is perfect for family. It has many cute spots for taking pictures and many fun activities for the kids. Visitors can rent clothes and wear it to wander around. There is hobbit house which is pretty similar to the one in New Zealand, where people can take picture. The kids would love to play with animals. There are rabbits, sheep, cow (and baby cow), mini hedgehog, guinea pig, lizards, birds, and so on. Beware as the smell would be displeasing. There are many shops and restaurants inside the area and you can buy souvenirs too. The place is less crowded than The Lodge and perfect for chilling around. As I grow older I feel like chilling around is equally important to doing some physical activities that triggers your adrenaline as it gives me quality time with my loved ones (nah, it was just me trying to find an acceptable reason for being lazy). There is also a love bridge, similar to the one famously known in Paris and Korea, where you chain a padlock to a bridge. You have to write your own name and your lover’s name on the padlock. It’s super cheesy and a waste of money, indeed. Even in Paris it was actually damaging the bridge and the padlock was finally removed from the bridge. Overall, I recommend this place to a family with little kids. They’re gonna love it.

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Dusun Bambu

This is another popular place in Lembang and one will need the whole day to explore every area in Dusun Bambu. There are restaurants, food court, flower garden, and playing area where visitors can spend their time at. I was enchanted by the Alice and Wonderland labyrinth where kids can play with rabbits (this kind of thing never fails me). My best friends and I didn’t explore the whole area because we had to catch the train back to Jakarta. Thus I can’t tell much about this place either. Still, I got pictures for you.

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So, that’s a wrap for my trip to Bandung. It was a very fun trip! Because, as always, journey is made by the people you travel with 🙂

 

♥ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

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Money Tips

Hemat pangkal kaya.

Sejak kecil kita semua diajarkan pribahasa tersebut. Pada kenyataannya, berhemat bukan hal yang mudah. Mengelola uang bukan hal yang mudah. Kita selalu punya keinginan untuk membeli sesuatu, pergi jalan-jalan, mencoba tempat makan baru, dan lain-lain. Bukan rahasia lagi bahwa semakin banyak uang yang kita miliki, semakin beragam pula kebutuhan kita.

Setelah akhirnya berhasil mandiri mengelola uang selama kuliah di Manchester (read it here!), aku belajar cukup banyak tentang uang. Sebagian lagi aku belajar dari orang tuaku. These may not be as good as the tips told by a famous financial planner, but I hope it benefits you anyhow 🙂

Divide your money into several pockets

Not literally, though. Punya uang yang terbatas pastinya harus dikelola sebaik mungkin. Ada porsi untuk jajan sehari-hari, belanja, uang transport, uang hangout sama teman-teman, zakat, dan lain-lain. Once you got your monthly (or maybe weekly) allowance, divide it immediately. Sebisa mungkin, disiplin dengan porsi yang udah ditentukan di awal. Kalau jatah hangout adalah Rp 500,000 per bulan, ya hangout sesuai budget itu. Kalau udah melebih budget, ambil dari jatah expense lainnya (jangan dari jatah nabung atau investasi ya!)

Note your expenses

Aku mulai membiasakan diri mencatat pengeluaran sejak di Manchester. Keuntungannya adalah jadi lebih bisa mengontrol uang yang kita punya. Mengontrol uang di Manchester jauh lebih mudah sih, karena aku jarang jajan hal-hal kecil kayak cilok, gorengan, dan lain-lain. Jadi item yang dicatat pun ngga banyak (even a cup of coffee aku catat lho dulu). It’s a challenge to note every expense I made in here. Yet I think I have to try harder.

Nikmati uang yang dimiliki

Uang ngga dibawa mati, ya kan? Jadi, jangan pelit-pelit. True kita harus hemat, tapi bukan berarti pelit. Pada akhirnya uang yang kita terima dari hasil bekerja, harus bisa kita nikmati. Treat yourself a delicious meal, buy yourself a decent pair of shoes, etc. Ini bisa dilakukan setelah membagi uang ke porsinya masing-masing ya.

Berbagi dan membuat orang lain senang

Zakat tentunya wajib hukumnya. Dari setiap harta yang kita miliki, ada hak orang lain. Selain zakat, coba juga untuk bersedekah. Berbagi dengan orang lain yang membutuhkan. Ngga harus selalu memberi dalam bentuk uang, bisa juga dengan membelikan makanan dan kado. Selain ke orang-orang yang kurang mampu, bisa juga untuk memberikan perhatian ke orang-orang yang kita sayangi. Happiness only real when shared, remember?

Lend your money wisely

Pernah ngga sih ragu minjemin uang ke orang lain karena takut ngga dibalikin? Atau bingung setengah mati gimana caranya nagih hutang ke orang lain? Nah ibuku pernah bilang “kalau minjemin uang ke orang lain, kasih berapa pun yang sekiranya kamu ikhlas kalau-kalau dia ngga balikin uangnya.” Dan aku selalu terapin itu setiap ada yang pinjem uang. Jadi di awal udah ikhlas kalau ngga balik uangnya. Yet, we have to be brave enough to ask our money back sih kadang-kadang.

Carry less cash

Waktu di Manchester, aku pernah kedatangan guest lecture dari MasterCard. Beliau ini mengajarkan bagaimana bermanfaatnya uang elektronik. Di Manchester pun aku biasanya cuma punya uang cash £5 untuk naik bus. Sisanya semua transaksi dilakukan dengan kartu debit. Yang aku rasain banget sih dompet jadi lebih enteng dan belanja jadi lebih terkontrol. Sisa uang tuh biasanya bikin kita spend lebih banyak untuk hal-hal yang ngga terlalu kita butuhkan. Sayangnya di Indonesia belum selalu bisa bayar pakai kartu ya..

The more isn’t always the merrier

Punya uang banyak pasti menyenangkan. Tapi ternyata ngga juga, well, at least that’s what one of the richest people in England said. Katanya at some point, money is an evil. Jadi ternyata the more isn’t always the merrier. Makanya it’s very wise kalau kita ngga mengejar banyaknya uang yang kita dapat. Yang harusnya kita kejar adalah berkah dari berapapun uang yang kita punya.

So, that’s it guys. Tujuh hal tentang uang yang akhirnya aku pelajari setelah 23 tahun hidup di dunia 😀 I hope you find it helpful and beneficial.

 

♥ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia

Edinburgh

This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again. – Alexander McCall Smith, about Edinburgh.

Surely Edinburgh is a beautiful city. Very beautiful it even inspired most of the scenes in J.K. Rowling’s book: Harry Potter (or at least that’s how people of Edinburgh claim it). But, true, J.K. Rowling wrote the book in that city. I went to Edinburgh for the 2016 new year. So, yeah, this post is long overdue. I got another chance to visit the city again on June last year, though. Sadly it was not for a vacation.

There are plenty of places to visit in Edinburgh and also plenty of instagramable corners. Be sure that you don’t look as ugly as I was in my winter outfit. But also be sure that you’re warm enough in a nice outfit as the weather is so cold and dry during winter it could make your skin bleed. It is not much of a difference in other seasons, so get wrapped up!

Old Town of Edinburgh

Economics geek out there, here’s where you will find the statue of Adam Smith. He is Scottish so no wonder why the statue lies in Scotland. As I walk along the Old Town, there are many shops, restaurants, and cafes on both sides of the road. Most of the shops are selling souvenirs and cashmere. I saw many bags and clothing made from tweed as well. It is so Scotland. And don’t forget the skirt with square pattern. The road was full of pedestrians. Every 500 meters or so, there’s a man with Scotland’s traditional cloth entertains people passing by by playing bagpipes.

Edinburgh Castle

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It was my first castle visit in UK. I was disappointed because all I was thinking about is Disney’s Castle, the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Yet castles in UK are just… castles. More like a fort than a palace. The castle is huge and if you like history, you will have a good time strolling around. I had my favorite part of the castle when I went up a tower and all around me were pictures that illustrate the story of Scotland’s Kingdom. Every once in a while a recording which tells the story related to the picture. So it was very educating and somewhat interesting. I got to see the crown as well!

Calton Hill

I don’t quite know the purpose of this hill but the view of the city of Edinburgh from this hill is stunning! I’m pretty sure it’s a walking distance from the train station (it’s been quite long time ago, so pardon me as I’m finding it’s hard to remember every bit of the trip). Climb several steps up, and you’re there at Calton Hill. The steps aren’t as much as Batu Cave in Malaysia, so don’t worry.

Arthur’s Seat

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I went there at night, for new year’s eve. When I was there all I could see was fireworks (not even city lights). If you like hiking, Arthur’s Seat is a must go place in Edinburgh. I’ve seen pictures of some of my friends who visited this place in the morning or in the afternoon and it is very beautiful (gotta say Peak District is prettier, though). Be sure to follow the right path, not the shortcut. Especially if you’re not a pro.

Harry Potter Tour

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Edinburgh is the city where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. You can even visit the cafe where she wrote the magical story; The Elephant House. It’s located not too far away from the National Museum of Scotland. You can also see the hotel where J.K. Rowling stayed in Edinburgh which is the Balmoral. Even there’s a tour run by locals that takes you to places which is said to have inspired the writer. A grave, a building, a small road, etc. There’s no fixed fare for the tour, but you have to pay the guide a tip. Depends on how much you’re crazy about Harry Potter, you’re going to love this an hour walking tour around the city of Edinburgh with lots of explanation about how the city is closely related to the story of Harry Potter.

And.. that is as much as I could remember about my trip to Edinburgh. It is definitely a wonderful place to visit. 3 days and 2 nights is a plenty enough time for traveling around the city. You will also find various types of accommodation that you can choose. Finding places to eat isn’t hard. There’s a Malaysian restaurant with reasonable price and delicious taste near Old Town. Subway, McD, and KFC are available in a mall near the train station. You can take the hop on hop off bus, if you like. Or simply travel around by walking, it’s healthier and you might find a gem in the middle of your way. Like these ones.

 

 

♥ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia