A Travellerspoint blog

Tulip Gardens - Keukenhof

Tulips power

Rows of collourful tulips  at Keukenhof

Rows of collourful tulips at Keukenhof

The many shades of red tulips at keukenhof

The many shades of red tulips at keukenhof

Tulips at Keukenhoff 230413

Tulips at Keukenhoff 230413

The first time I visited Holland, it was at the wrong time of the year and missed the tulip gardens in Keukenhof. After many years, finally I did a return visit on 23 April 2013 specially to enjoy the tulips gardens in Keukenhof. Unfortunately due to the extended winter, most tulips were not in bloom yet and the tulips fields were still green. But I was not overly disappointed because there were several colourful patches of tulips were in full bloom. I missed the rows of colourful tulips on the fields and I imagined it would be as colourful as the lavender farms in Hokkaido, Japan. Keukenkof Tulip Garden is in Lisse, south of Holland, also known as the Kitchen Garden or Garden of Europe.
Akmar and I at Keukenhof. 230413 (3)

Akmar and I at Keukenhof. 230413 (3)

Keukenhof flower shade garden

Keukenhof flower shade garden

Cherry blossoms at Keukenhof.230413

Cherry blossoms at Keukenhof.230413

Keukenhof Garden

Keukenhof Garden

Attractive purpurlish red tulips at Keukenhof. 230413

Attractive purpurlish red tulips at Keukenhof. 230413

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Amsterdam 230413 (67)

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Amsterdam 230413 (67)

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Tulips at Keukenhof

Tulips at Keukenhof


Tulips and cherry blossoms at Keukenhof

Tulips and cherry blossoms at Keukenhof

Some members of the group were not too keen to spend 4 hours in the garden and preferred to go shopping but to me 4 hours were not sufficient to really drink in the beauty of the gardens. It was huge and so creatively designed to attract attention.The yellow daffodils were so generous in blooming that it made it worth a visit. The weather was tolerable and pleasant though too cold for my liking. I wanted to spend a whole day there and some hours the next day but the itinerary did not permit us to do so. Along the walking path, there were several blooming cherry blossoms that made me feel that I didn't really miss much by not going to Korea as planned. But I definitely would visit Korea during spring for the cherry blossoms next year. I was ignorant of the names of the flowers in the gardens and in the shade but it didn't matter. They were simply magnificent. The covered show room was filled with colour - unbelievable tulip colour which were not in the gardens. The blooms were large and commanding. The sweet smell of different colours of lilies soothed the mind. I was overwhelmed by the beauty. It was sad when we had to leave.
Daffodils farm

Daffodils farm

At a daffodils farm outside keukenhof garden 230413

At a daffodils farm outside keukenhof garden 230413

At a daffodils farm outside Keukenhof Gardens.

At a daffodils farm outside Keukenhof Gardens.

Rows of blue Hyacinths at a farm outside the park.

Rows of blue Hyacinths at a farm outside the park.

Tulip farm outside Keukenhof Park.

Tulip farm outside Keukenhof Park.

Tulipd beginning to bloom . A farm outside Keukenhof Park.230413

Tulipd beginning to bloom . A farm outside Keukenhof Park.230413

Tulip farms -  not blooming yet. 230413

Tulip farms - not blooming yet. 230413

But on the way out of Keukenhof, Maarteen stopped the bus at a large daffodils field. This delighted the group who got down to take as many photos as possible of the yellow expanse of daffodils colour. It was a feast for the eyes. We were also able to see some tulips farms that were ready but the tulips were not in bloom yet. It would be a magnificent sight if they bloom at the same time.
In a small group, each member was charged 13 Euro to enter Keukenhof Gardens. It's open from 22 March to 20 May 2013. Early May would be nice to visit as the tulips would be in full bloom. 75% of the 800,000 visitors every year are foreigners. As the largest renowned flower gardens in the world, 85 flower bulb growers and exporters provide Keukenhof 7 million flower bulbs like tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, free of charge ( refer Keukenhof Park Guide 2013) planted on 32 hectres of parkland. The idea of staging an open-air flower exhibition started in 1949. For 2013 the main theme of the gardens is ' United Kingdom - Land of Great Garden'. Unfortunately due to constrain of time , I was not able to explore fully this section of the park. A gardener checking the flowers at Keukenhof. 230413 (1)

A gardener checking the flowers at Keukenhof. 230413 (1)

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Amsterdam 230413 (190)

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Amsterdam 230413 (190)

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Amsterdam 230413 (176)

Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Amsterdam 230413 (176)


Keukenhof from Park guide 2013

Keukenhof from Park guide 2013

Akmar, Shima and I decided not to go for the silent 'Whisper Boat' trip along the canal around the flower fields because the fields/farms were still green and flowers were not blooming yet. This is my regret and I hope to visit again some day.

One surprise visit brought by Maarteen, the bus driver, was a visit to Amsterdam Flower Auction Market, better known as FloraHolland. This is a new knowledge to me. I couldn't imagine how a country thrives on trading fresh flowers all over the world and the magnitude of the auction process.
At the gallery Flower auction Market Amsterdam - FloraHolland. 230413

At the gallery Flower auction Market Amsterdam - FloraHolland. 230413

large_86C8C6982219AC681780CF0726174D84.jpgFlower auction room at FloraHolland. 230413

Flower auction room at FloraHolland. 230413

Fresh flowers auctioned, packed and ready to be delivered at FloraHolland, Amsterdam. 230413

Fresh flowers auctioned, packed and ready to be delivered at FloraHolland, Amsterdam. 230413

Packed fresh flowers at FloraHolland aution market Amsterdam.230413

Packed fresh flowers at FloraHolland aution market Amsterdam.230413

The hive of activities at Flora Holland. 230413

The hive of activities at Flora Holland. 230413

Millions of flowers and bulbs are auctioned every year through auction rooms and the flowers are dispatched immediately by air or roads. Visitors could see the hustle and bustle of the trading and activities by walking along the walking gallery. It was an awesome sight. FloraHolland has the ability to process large numbers of plants and flowers efficiently. It was really impressive.

Posted by zuraidaharahman 01:29 Comments (2)

Exotic Tunisia 3

Star Wars, Trojlodyte, Roman Colosseum, Tunis

At Star Wars filming site in Matmata, Tunisia 140213  (3)

At Star Wars filming site in Matmata, Tunisia 140213 (3)

One of the rooms for  Star Wars filming in Matmata, Tunisia 140213

One of the rooms for Star Wars filming in Matmata, Tunisia 140213

The Star Wars filming site in Matmata, Tunisia 140213  (5)

The Star Wars filming site in Matmata, Tunisia 140213 (5)

Not a fan of the movie 'Star Wars' I was quite blur over the filming of Star Wars in Matmata. Anyway we stopped to see the filming site where Luke Skywalker, the hero, lived in a quint traditional Berber house, dug out of compact sand to make an underground tunnel, rooms and passages.
At Star Wars filming location in Matmata, Tunisia 140213  (10)

At Star Wars filming location in Matmata, Tunisia 140213 (10)

This is called a trojlodyte house. Now it has become a simple hotel at US$10 a day and anybody can rent a room here and experience living in a desert with simple lifestyle.
A traditional Berber home dug in compact sand called Trojlodyte in Matmata 140213 (16)

A traditional Berber home dug in compact sand called Trojlodyte in Matmata 140213 (16)

A Berber lady demonstrating how she in her Trojlodyte in Matmata 140213 (27)

A Berber lady demonstrating how she in her Trojlodyte in Matmata 140213 (27)

One of the rooms in Trojlodyte in Matmata 140213 (23)

One of the rooms in Trojlodyte in Matmata 140213 (23)

The entrance tunnel  of a traditional Berber home dug in compact sand called Trojlodyte in Matmata 140213 (15)

The entrance tunnel of a traditional Berber home dug in compact sand called Trojlodyte in Matmata 140213 (15)

The exterior of a traditional Berber home Trojlodyte in Matmata 140213 (2)

The exterior of a traditional Berber home Trojlodyte in Matmata 140213 (2)

Lutfi, the guide has made arrangement for us to visit a functional trojlodyte about 200 years old which belongs to a Berber lady. He explained that building a cave house liket this needs compact sand and with help they dug the courtyard first, then they dug out rooms, kitchen, store rooms which are on the second level. Toilets are outhouse. The trojlodyte is naturally warm in winter and cool in summer. The owner demonstrated how she ground wheat using a traditional grinder, just like my old stone grinder before.
The traditional woven small rug made by the owner of the trojlodyte home.

The traditional woven small rug made by the owner of the trojlodyte home.

We noticed she is half blind. Just to help her, Ema and I bought 2 pieces each of her woven small rugs. To me this is more meaningful and original rather than spending a lot of money buying expensive rugs in town.
A Berber museum suddenly appeared at the desert at Matmata blended with desert colour 14 (2)

A Berber museum suddenly appeared at the desert at Matmata blended with desert colour 14 (2)

A Berber <br />museum suddenly appeared at the desert at Matmata blended with desert colour 14 (7)

A Berber
museum suddenly appeared at the desert at Matmata blended with desert colour 14 (7)

Driving through from Matmata we found a quint museum in the desert which blended unassumingly with the desert. We weren't able to go inside as it was closed but it was so attractive that drew us there. Othman, the driver kindly turned around and stopped to enable us to look around and to take photos.
Roman amphitheatre at El Jem, Tunisia 150213 (2)

Roman amphitheatre at El Jem, Tunisia 150213 (2)

Roman amphitheatre at El Jem, Tunisia 150213 (4)

Roman amphitheatre at El Jem, Tunisia 150213 (4)

Roman amphitheatre at El Jem, Tunisia 150213 (16)

Roman amphitheatre at El Jem, Tunisia 150213 (16)

Roman amphitheatre at El Jem, Tunisia, this place where they kept the wild animals. 150213 (12)

Roman amphitheatre at El Jem, Tunisia, this place where they kept the wild animals. 150213 (12)

From Matmata, we drove to Gabes, Shira SFax and stopped at EL Jem to see the ruins of Roman Colosseum. It was late and almost closing time. We managed to explore a little bit to see the Roman Colosseum, amphitheater where the gladiators fought wild animals to kill or be killed. It wasn't a pleasant sight. The Roman Colosseum and amphitheater are almost the same everywhere - in Rome, Syria and Tunisia.
At the top of the tower of Monatsir Castle, the first Muslim castle built. An overview of Monatsir and the sea. 150213 (2)

At the top of the tower of Monatsir Castle, the first Muslim castle built. An overview of Monatsir and the sea. 150213 (2)

From the top of the tower of Monatsir Castle, the first Muslim castle built. Seen Muslim cemetry and Habib Bourgiba Moussolium 150213 (9)

From the top of the tower of Monatsir Castle, the first Muslim castle built. Seen Muslim cemetry and Habib Bourgiba Moussolium 150213 (9)

Habib Bourguiba moussoleum (ex President) in Monatsir 150213 (2)

Habib Bourguiba moussoleum (ex President) in Monatsir 150213 (2)

Monatsir city from the top of the tower of Monatsir Castle.t 150213 (6)

Monatsir city from the top of the tower of Monatsir Castle.t 150213 (6)

Muslim cemetry near Habib Borguiba mousoleum in Monastir, Tunisia 150213 (2)

Muslim cemetry near Habib Borguiba mousoleum in Monastir, Tunisia 150213 (2)

Taken from the top of the tower of Monatsir Castle. 150213 (8)

Taken from the top of the tower of Monatsir Castle. 150213 (8)

We were back driving on coastal road, busy with cars. At Monatsir, we visited Monatsir Castle. With a few young ones, I climbed the mineret of the mosque in the castle to get a bird eye-view of Monatsir. Indeed it was a magnificent sight. The others just waited down. We visited Habib Borguiba Mausoleum ( the ex-President of Tunisia) and the surrounding area.
Golden Tulip Hotel, Tunis 19-11 Feb and 16-17 Feb 2013

Golden Tulip Hotel, Tunis 19-11 Feb and 16-17 Feb 2013

Grand Mosque in Tunis, Masjid Zaytun, the first mosque-university in Arab world. 170213 (2)

Grand Mosque in Tunis, Masjid Zaytun, the first mosque-university in Arab world. 170213 (2)

Grand Mosque in Tunis, Masjid Zaytun, the first mosque-university in Arab world. 170213 (10)

Grand Mosque in Tunis, Masjid Zaytun, the first mosque-university in Arab world. 170213 (10)

In Bardo Muzeum in Tunis, the biggest muzeum in north Afric. 160213 (6)

In Bardo Muzeum in Tunis, the biggest muzeum in north Afric. 160213 (6)

In Bardo Muzeum in Tunis, the biggest muzeum in north Afric. 160213 (11)

In Bardo Muzeum in Tunis, the biggest muzeum in north Afric. 160213 (11)


At entrance of Habib Bourguiba moussoleum (ex President) in Monatsir 150213 (7)

At entrance of Habib Bourguiba moussoleum (ex President) in Monatsir 150213 (7)

On 16 Feb 2013 we went back to Tunis, we stayed for another 2 days at Golden Tulip Hotel, El Mechtel again. It was a good hotel with friendly and helpful staff. On Our last day we spent at Bardo Museum, Zytuna mosque (the oldest mosque-university in Muslim World) and at the Medina - again shopping. Ohhh, I was so bored!!
Visiting Tunisia in February is not a good idea. It's still winter and cold. It's good if we have a 12 day visit, then we could really know, see and understand Tunisia. An 8 days visit was like a touch and go event - see a few things and move on as quickly. Matters got worse when selfish behaviour of some members of the group who were often side-tracked by shopping inspite of repeated reminders not to do so by the tour leader.
On the whole I am glad I was able to visit Tunisia and have enjoyed the sites and experiences that were exhilarating and fascinating to me. Given opportunity I would like to go to Tunisia again without the shopping maniacs of one or two members of the group but I doubt I could do so as there are so many other countries and places in the world that I have not seen yet. To Lutfi and Othman, thank you for the fabulous time and to Tunisians, peace and prosperity to you all. Knowing Arabic and French is a great help traveling in this country. Though English is spoken a little bit, not many converse in English. French is the main language especially in cities and Arabic in the south.We would feel lost without the guide.
With Lutfi, the guide (left) and Othman, the driver (right) at the airport 170213

With Lutfi, the guide (left) and Othman, the driver (right) at the airport 170213

Map of Travel Tunisia 10-18 Feb 2013

Map of Travel Tunisia 10-18 Feb 2013

Map of Tunisia with the road trip 10-17 Feb 2013

Map of Tunisia with the road trip 10-17 Feb 2013

Posted by zuraidaharahman 22:55 Comments (0)

Exotic Tunisia 2

South Tunisia

On the way to Termiza and Chebika oasis 130213

On the way to Termiza and Chebika oasis 130213

In my mind, the beauty of north Tunisia is quite ordinary as in other sea frontage cities of the world. Though unique in its charm, they share common features but the rustic beauty of the south of Tunisia is so extra-ordinary and breath-taking - a sight not common as in other parts of the world. Visiting south Tunisia opened a new knowledge for me, correcting old ones and taking in new experiences. The drive south to Touzeur from Kairouan was long and cold.
After a hard climb over the rocky hill we found this cool spring at Termizar oasis 130213

After a hard climb over the rocky hill we found this cool spring at Termizar oasis 130213

Amazing waterfall in arid hilly oasis at Chebika 130213

Amazing waterfall in arid hilly oasis at Chebika 130213

at a pool of clear cool water after a hard climb on rocky rock at Termiza oasis.

at a pool of clear cool water after a hard climb on rocky rock at Termiza oasis.

At Touzeur we were transferred in a four wheel drive to Termiza and Chebika oasis. On the way to Termiza and Chebika oasis on 4 wheel drive - arid desert with small bushes 130 (5)

On the way to Termiza and Chebika oasis on 4 wheel drive - arid desert with small bushes 130 (5)

On the way to Termiza and Chebika oasis on 4 wheel drive - arid desert with small bushes 130 (7)

On the way to Termiza and Chebika oasis on 4 wheel drive - arid desert with small bushes 130 (7)

The 4 wheel drive was mandatory as the road was under construction, long and lonely. This is where I found a new kind of beauty of landscape. Though arid and sparse, there is a kind of charm that's different. The semi desert showcases low hills, clear sky and dried-look low bushes making it so mysterious. When we reached the entrance of Termiza oasis, another surprise awaited us. At rocky hill overlooking abandoned Berber village at Termizar Oasis 130213

At rocky hill overlooking abandoned Berber village at Termizar Oasis 130213

It's a rocky and hilly oasis where some years back torrential rains wiped out At Chebika Oasis waterfall 130213 (2)

At Chebika Oasis waterfall 130213 (2)

At Chebika Oasis, fantastic desert rock formation 130213 (1)

At Chebika Oasis, fantastic desert rock formation 130213 (1)

traditional Berber village where the houses were made from mud. The remains of the old village are still there on the side of the hill. Not prepared for rocky hill climbing, we trekked the rocky hill carefully and met with a sight so strange. The oasis lay barren on one side and the other side was adorned with lush green trees and date palms and a cool pool of spring water. I was in awe.Got to go over this rocky hill to reach the water spring and waterfall in Termiza Oasis. 130213

Got to go over this rocky hill to reach the water spring and waterfall in Termiza Oasis. 130213

We trekked the spring water to a small waterfall further down. Seeing is believing. At the entrance of the oasis we admired the many desert roses sold and exhibited. Now only do I understand what desert rose is - a mineral formed under the desert which look like flowers or roses. A marvel! Later we went for horse-carriage ride at the biggest oasis called Uled Lhadar about 1,000 years old, the oldest oasis. My screwed up concept of an oasis learnt from young was properly put into correct perspective finally. This oasis is big with large date farm, small village, schools, shops and a good supply of spring water. It's not a tiny patch of green lung in a huge desert!!! Underneath these date palms, they planted banana tress, lemon, orange etc for extra supplement.
Another ride to another oasis in Chebika through canyons and deep valleys gave us another pleasant surprise. The winding road is good and we were shown another Chatt El_Jerid salt lake (3)

Chatt El_Jerid salt lake (3)

150 km to Algeria's border from Chatt El_Jerid salt lake (2)

150 km to Algeria's border from Chatt El_Jerid salt lake (2)

Berber village wiped out by floods and torrential rains in the valley. Tunisian government created a modern
new village on higher ground with a hotel there. Once again we reached a small village where another curtain-like waterfall flows gracefully into a ravine. God really creates unbelievable natural things in this world.
Preparing for camel on Sahara Desert dunes at Dunes of Douz wearing traditional Berber attire. 140213 (3)

Preparing for camel on Sahara Desert dunes at Dunes of Douz wearing traditional Berber attire. 140213 (3)

Chatt El_Jerid  frozen salt lake (8)

Chatt El_Jerid frozen salt lake (8)

Chatt El_Jerid  frozen salt lake (7)

Chatt El_Jerid frozen salt lake (7)

The journey to Douz the next day took us passing Chatt El_Jerid, the biggest salt lake which is frozen in winter.
We stopped near a salt processing plant to walk on the salt ground of the lake and to see the white salt lake. It was awesome. Then we proceed to desert town, Douz. Camel riding in the Sahara Desert on the way to Douz, Tunisia 130213

Camel riding in the Sahara Desert on the way to Douz, Tunisia 130213

Riding camel on Sahara Desert dunes at Dunes of Douz 140213 (4)

Riding camel on Sahara Desert dunes at Dunes of Douz 140213 (4)

The next exciting adventure is the Sahara Desert and the unforgettable camel ride wearing traditional Berber attire.Preparing for camel on Sahara Desert dunes at Dunes of Douz wearing traditional Berber attire. 140213 (3)

Preparing for camel on Sahara Desert dunes at Dunes of Douz wearing traditional Berber attire. 140213 (3)


This was at Dunes of Douz in Douz, further south. Unfortunately we arrived late and I was not able to go for a light aircraft ride in the desert. But I learned that riding a camel takes skill in order to be comfortable. It was quite a back-breaking venture where I have to bend forward to hold the handle. I couldn't take any photos for fear of falling down when the camel trudged on small dunes. I have to keep my balance. This is definitely different than the Desert Safari I went to in Dubai. On top of that I rode a male camel who was in heat with dripping saliva and humping for a female behind him.
We rested our tired bodies at Sahara Douz Hotel. My apology for uploading haphazard photos, not in line with the story. I have yet to learn how to transfer the photos to the correct description and story.

Posted by zuraidaharahman 17:05 Comments (0)

Exotic Tunisia 1

North Tunisia

1. Visit Tunisia bus at Hotel Mouridi Palm Marina Kairouan, Tunisia 120213 (1)

1. Visit Tunisia bus at Hotel Mouridi Palm Marina Kairouan, Tunisia 120213 (1)

After an exhausting 15 hours flying time to Tunis, the bed at Golden Tulip Hotel in Tunis was really inviting. I have not got over my flu. Writing my travel journal was quite a chore and finally gave up but just jot down the places we visited. Lufti was a wonderful guide with deep knowledge of Tunisia and Othman, the driver was always a gentleman.
Carthage 110213 (2)

Carthage 110213 (2)

The ruins of Punic houses in Carthage 110212 (2)

The ruins of Punic houses in Carthage 110212 (2)

At the Roman Bath Carthage

At the Roman Bath Carthage

Carthage 110213

Carthage 110213

Roman Bath 110212

Roman Bath 110212

Roman Bath in Carthage 110213

Roman Bath in Carthage 110213

Our journey to Kairouan started the next day. Stopping at ancient Carthage on the north was a must. It's a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Carthage has gone through 4 periods of rule, destruction and glory. The archaeological excavations told the glory of Punic Period mixed with local African culture. The remains of Punic houses, funerary masks and terracotta can be seen in the museum situated at Byrsa Hill. The story of Hannibal is still plays a centre stage of male strength and power. The signature of Roman Empire is the Roman Bath. During the Roman Empire Carthage flourished and became a feeding city for Rome, giving it a special status. The presence of Christianity was indicated by an old Cathedral in Byzantine-Moorish style. The coming of the Muslims destroyed the grandeur of Carthage and led to Kairouan becoming an important Islamic city in Tunisia. Aghlabides water catchment in Kairouan 120213 (3)

Aghlabides water catchment in Kairouan 120213 (3)

Grand mosque in Kairouan 120213

Grand mosque in Kairouan 120213

Kairouan

Kairouan

Praying Hall at the Grand Mosque in Kairoan - under renovation 120213

Praying Hall at the Grand Mosque in Kairoan - under renovation 120213

Sidi Bou-Said 110213 (1)

Sidi Bou-Said 110213 (1)

Sidi Bou-Said 110213 (2)

Sidi Bou-Said 110213 (2)

Sidi Bou-Said 110213 (4)

Sidi Bou-Said 110213 (4)

Sidi Bou-Said 110213 (15)

Sidi Bou-Said 110213 (15)

Sidi Bou-Said 110213 (16)

Sidi Bou-Said 110213 (16)

Like any other city by the Mediterranean, Sidi Bou-Said is a beautiful beach town with whitewashed houses with blue windows depicting the Mediterranean sea. The marina, restaurants and bars decorated this charming seaside town, packed with tourists during peak seasons. Western painters, writers, poets and visitors stopped here to admire and be inspired.
Kairouan - water catchment, filtered and flowed into a pool underneath the Grand mosque. Woner of ancient engineering

Kairouan - water catchment, filtered and flowed into a pool underneath the Grand mosque. Woner of ancient engineering

The courtyard of Grand Kairouan Mosque 120213

The courtyard of Grand Kairouan Mosque 120213

The long drive south to Kairouan was quite tiring. Traveling in a small bus with small seats didn't provide comfort to tired bodies. Excited at arriving in Kairouan, we beelined for the Grand Mosque for our prayer. This mosque was built in 1670 with 400 pillars by Ugba bin Nafaa, a Muslim worrior. Kairouan is the fourth important Islamic city after Mecca, Medina, Juruselam. We visited the water catchment pools (Aghlabides) engineered by ancient knowledge which are applicable till today. This catchment supplies water to Kairouan and the surrounding area.
It was a long drive south of Tunisia to Touzer where we would experience The Oasis and the Sahara Desert. I was excited though my body didn't feel well. My flu worsened as we traveled further.

Posted by zuraidaharahman 00:59 Comments (0)

End of 2012 in Bandung and Jakarta

Crazy time

Sunrise in Bandung taken fron TBC Hotel 291212 (4)

Sunrise in Bandung taken fron TBC Hotel 291212 (4)

5. BTC Hotel entrance on top floor of the mall 301212 (1)

5. BTC Hotel entrance on top floor of the mall 301212 (1)

Taking a rest at a store in Bandung 291212

Taking a rest at a store in Bandung 291212

Disappointed that the trip to Komodo Island was cancelled due to rough weather, I opted to go to Jakarta and Bandung instead
with 4 other friends from 28 - 31 Dec 2012. It was a nightmare trip! The highway to Bandung was crawling with cars with the same objective - holidaying . Bandung is situated on a highland about 790 meters above sea level and the climate is cool. So people from Jakarta and other places tend to choose Bandung to spend their vacation. Like Jakarta with 12 million population alone in the city, Bandung is just as packed as in Jakarta. Bandung is known as a shopping paradise, not only to Indonesians but also to Malaysians and Singaporeans. Bandung and Jakarta are not new destinations for me as I have been there before but I was eager to revisit. Obviously it was the wrong time of the year. Not an ardent shopper, I get bored after visiting a few stores offering good bargains. I marveled at my friends who were tireless trudging from one store to another, particularly at Pasar Baru Trade Centre. There were throngs of people, locals and tourists, buying I don't know what as if things there were free. This has always been a conflict between me and my travelling friends who were crazy shoppers. Usually if I have choices I would stay back at the hotel and explore around the area on my own.
One of the joys going shopping in Bandung and in Tanah Abang in Jakarta is the variety of fashions for Muslim women. Clearly many Indonesians are fashionable Muslims who wear hijjab and dresses which are attractive and pleasing to the eyes. Instead of shopping, I spent time admiringly looking at various stores with dressed-up mannequins with different Muslim fashions. Comparatively cheaper than in Malaysia, that's why my friends got into shopping frenzy and have to buy new luggage. I have never met men who are into shopping seriously and in this trip I met one - unbelievable!
At_a_signb..uban_Perahu.jpgMaimon and Izan shopping at Tangkuban Perahu

Maimon and Izan shopping at Tangkuban Perahu

3. Kawah Batu, Tangkuban Perahu Bandung 201212

3. Kawah Batu, Tangkuban Perahu Bandung 201212

Tangkuban Perahu. I look like a giant beside petite Izan 291212

Tangkuban Perahu. I look like a giant beside petite Izan 291212

Tangkuban Perahu bandung, trees in cold weather 291212

Tangkuban Perahu bandung, trees in cold weather 291212

However I enjoyed the trip to Tangkuban Perahu but the crowd was too much. With a large population, domestic tourism is quite a big business here. I love to see the trees (forgot the name) which were without leaves because of the cold season with black branches and trunks. In the dark they can be quite eerie. Tangkuban Perahu is an active volcano but has not erupted for a long time, found by a Dutchman who was looking for sulphur. Unfortunately he died on his way back. The locals tell a story of Tangkuban Perahu with a lovely twist of fate, love and devotion. Dayang Sumbi was the beautiful princess married to a black dog who was a handsome prince being cursed by evil demon. Sworn to secrecy, she didn't divulge who the faithful black dog was, not even to her son. The son killed the black dog, Tumang and wanted to marry Dayang Sumbi who gave so many unachievable conditions to marry her. The story was too complicated to narrate here but it is a sweet and sad one.
Tea_planta..rahu_291212.jpgThe_hot_sp..f_Sari_Ater.jpgAt Sari Ater near Bandung

At Sari Ater near Bandung

Dynasore at Sari Ater

Dynasore at Sari Ater

Maimon and Izan shopping at Tangkuban Perahu

Maimon and Izan shopping at Tangkuban Perahu

5. At Ater Sari hot spring 291212

5. At Ater Sari hot spring 291212

We stopped at Sari Ater Hot Spring and soaked our tired feet. It would be nice to take a dip in the pool of warm water but it was so crowded. Anyway we were not prepared for a wet swim. After a short walk taking some photos we decided to leave when the crowd became too much.
Nasi Padang

Nasi Padang

Going into Jakarta was not so bad on 30 Dec 2012. Most cars were heading towards Bandung and the traffic jams were huge. Unfortunately my friends were more concerned about shopping. They vetoed the idea to spend some time at Taman Mini, much to my disappointment. I would like to visit there again and spend time exploring the different houses and cultures of the people. Some are really beautiful. As expected, the place was swarmed with people and cars were literally crawling.
The flight back to KL by Air Asia on 31 Dec 2012 was delayed. Air Asia is famous for delayed flights and it arrived at LCCT past midnight. I spend a few hours until 5 am sleeping at LCCT. I didn't want to take the risk of travelling in a cab alone at the wee hours after midnight as it is not safe to do so.
On the whole, it was a good break for me but would not do it again at this time of the year.

Posted by zuraidaharahman 06:52 Comments (0)

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