Having had a rather hectic 1st quarter of the year at work, I booked a rather last minute short trip over the recent weekend to a nearby city also nicknamed as the 'Paris of Java', Bandung in Indonesia. Being an increasingly popular destination for Singaporeans and Malaysians, I had wanted to see what the hype is regarding this city just a short 1h40m flight away from Singapore.
Our tickets were booked rather late, with the flight up booked on a promotional Indonesia AirAsia fare and return on SilkAir due to the favourable timings. Even with the slightly dearer fare on SilkAir back, it was still very affordable for a short trip.
09 April 2015 Indonesia AirAsia QZ 368 Singapore (SIN) - Bandung (BDO) A320 PK-AZA Budget Class
Check-in for our departure flight at Changi's Terminal One and was issued the default supermarket-like receipt.
Changi is not too busy at this time of the afternoon. Spot the 2 European heavyweights (LH A380 and KL B773ER).
Jetstar A320 in Asia's Got Talent livery! Preparing for departure to HKG.
The inbound flight arrived on-time from Bandung for a quick turnaround. We boarded from Gate D47. Flight was not too full this afternoon.
Our plane, PK-AZA, being prepared for the flight to Bandung.
BA OneWorld B744 was parked beside us.
Soon, boarding was called and it was conducted orderly.
View from my seat at 23A.
As expected, seat pitch was tight, similar to all other LCCs' A320s.
A range of inflight magazines (both International and Indonesian versions), menu and duty free available in the seat pocket.
Boarding soon completed and we were on our way for the 1h35m flight to Bandung. It was a long taxi to Rwy02C, with quite a number departures ahead of us.
CX B773 to HKG
Malindo B738 to KUL.
AF B773ER to Jakarta.
Still a rather long queue of planes behind us.
And we are good to fly! Departing from Rwy02C.
Climbing out from Changi.
After takeoff announcements.
With the low load, we had 3 seats for the 2 of us to stretch out on. Service began with the distribution of Indonesian custom forms followed by handing out of pre-booked meals and onboard sales. We had pre-ordered a meal each for the flight, at a very affordable SGD$5 for a meal with cuplet of water.
The famous AirAsia Pak Nasser's Nasi Lemak.
Surprisingly. QZ's version of the Nasi Lemak was actually tastier, of bigger portion and nicer in presentation than the one offered by its Malaysian sister, AK!
The order meal I pre-booked was the Nasi Kuning Manado, only available on QZ flights.
The contents looked exactly as the picture and it was very tasty as well! Thumbs up for QZ!
Cruising at 34,000ft.
Rows of empty seats towards the rear of the plane.
Crew in the rear galley after service. Service wise, this set of crew just did the necessary required, and a couple were not as friendly and cheerful as the usual AirAsia crew I encountered. They also seemed to be more experienced.
Sun setting as we entered Java.
Starting our descent into Bandung shortly after flying past Jakarta. It was rather cloudy during our descend.
Making a turn for finals.
Overflying the city of Bandung during approach. The airport is just a couple of kilometres from the city centre.
See the video of the approach and landing into Bandung Husein Sastranegara International Airport's Rwy29. We landed right on schedule. The runway is only 2.2km, ensuring heavy braking after our touchdown!
Backtracking down the runway.
No airbridges and we disembarked the traditional way via stairs.
Lionair B738 parked beside.
While walking across the tarmac to the arrival hall in the sunset….
Immigration and customs was fast as we were the only international arrival. Bandung is currently expanding the international part of the terminal as the current area is pathetically tiny!
Soon, we were on our complimentary hotel transfer to the hotel just 15min drive away from the airport. We booked our accommodation at Hotel California Bandung, which offers clean, modern, comfortable rooms at very affordable prices.
Shortly after check-in, we strolled to Cihampelas Walk, where a nuber of shopping and dining outlets are located. Being of higher altitude, Bandung actually gets a bit chilly in the evenings, which was very comfortable for us!
Cihampelas Walk mall.
Some Sudanese food for dinner.
On the second day, we hired a driver for the day to visit some of the attractions in Bandung.
First stop, Kawah Putih, 2 hours out of Bandung. It is a crater lake which is white due to the very high sulphur content. Definitely worth a visit.
Lots of tea plantations around the area due to the rich volcanic soil.
Next stop is a scenic lake. With the exorbitant entrance fee for foreigners, I feel that it is not worth the amount paid to visit the attraction (and we have definitely seen better ones for free…).
Then it was off to a strawberry farm where we just paid a small nominal amount and pluck fresh and juicy strawberries to take back!!
Really sweet and juicy strawberries!
Dinner at a local Sudanese dining place.
On the third day, we visited some of the many factory outlets along Jln Dago.
And lunch at one of the many cafes in Bandung.
Along Jln Braga, another street with a number of cafes to chill out.
Visiting the most upscale shopping centre in Bandung, Paris Van Java.
More Indonesian food.
Singapore - SIN
Bandung-Java Island - BDO
No-frills, comfortable flight with QZ, along with good pre-booked meals and on-time arrival. Service, though efficient, could be improved as half of the crew lacked smiles and did not seemed to want to be there. However, for the promotional fare paid, definitely no complaints.
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