Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 2 September 2013 • Itinerary
Traveled to Bandar Lampung in August, 2013.
It’s been a few years since I went home for Lebaran. And by home, I meant my parents’ house in Bandar Lampung, in which I lived most of my childhood and early teen years. I was excited to go ‘mudik’ again, especially because this time I had Diyan coming along, as well as my sister and her little family. Although my brother couldn’t make it due to his study abroad, a complete happy childhood memory still stuck to the little fish ponds in the house, stickers on the door, not to mention embarrassing family pictures with 80’s haircut and high waist jeans. Through this post, I’m taking you down the memory lane with some additions of newer places of Bandar Lampung.
The ubiquitos “Pasir Putih” (means “white sand”) was a part of my childhood, and it’s specifically this one that my family used to visit on Sundays. We built sand castles, wave-tubed and rode on wooden boats at this family holiday spot.
These days, it’s my niece and nephew’s turn to get to know Pasir Putih, Bandar Lampung’s most popular beach that’s located 30 minutes from the city. It isn’t really the best beach in Lampung, but it’s good enough to introduce nature to the little ones 🙂
Entrance fee is about IDR 3,000 / person, IDR 5,000-10,000 / vehicle.
Renting costs are about IDR 250,000 / boat, IDR 25,000 / canoe for an hour or so, and IDR 5,000 – 10,000 / tube.
Stadion Pahoman (or Pahoman Stadium) is nothing touristy. It’s just the usual sports arena, sometimes used as a concert venue. But it’s got a nostalgic value to me because our family used to do Eid Ul Fitr praying here. It’s located across my elementary school and I used to buy snacks with my small allowance outside the stadium. Now the area is cleared out of unofficial kiosks in between acacia trees and made into a neat garden.
We jogged on the running track inside the stadium. The fact that it was still the fasting month, and that most Indonesians are Moslems who more likely fast, didn’t stop people to exercise. I like the spirit!
The soccer field was well maintained, so was the running track. And it has been like this for years. Kudos!
Address: at the Pahoman area, just ask anybody they’ll know where to direct you.
Pempek is a delicacy I never pass whenever I’m back in Bandar Lampung. Never. It’s more or less deep fried fish cake eaten with spicy sauce made of palm sugar, vinegar and chili pepper called cuka. You can easily find pempek diners in Bandar Lampung, but a lot of them line up on the Salim Batubara street. And one of my family’s favorite since I was a teeny weeny kindergarten kitty is the Pempek 56 diner.
Bakso (or baso) is said to be originally from Java. This Indonesian version of meatball is softer in texture than meatballs. It’s actually a beef paste, and.. oh, you may have known the Chinese fishballs? Bakso is a lot like that, only it’s made of beef, not as soft as fishball, and is gray in color.
Bandar Lampung is blessed to have Bakso Sony, one of the best bakso I’ve ever tasted in my life, and I’m not exaggerating. My fondness of bakso has been just so so. Until I tried Bakso Sony for the first time when my friend Jaka brought it to our Kiluan Bay trip. I was like, “Sh*t, this is good!”
And it’s ironic that my first time eating bakso Sony was in 2011, while my friends had been talking about it since I was still living in Bandar Lampung 2 decades ago. But now I know why it was such a hype and there was no way I could miss it on our holiday in the city.
Other than bakso and noodles, you can also get chicken noodles and beverages in the diner. And for a famous diner, I’m surprised they still keep the prices pretty cheap. About IDR 10,000 per portion consisted of 5 baksos and the noodles.
There are a lot of bakso diners with Bakso Sony brand in Bandar Lampung. Rumor has it that not all of them are the official branches. On the day after Eid Ul Fitr we went to their oldest counter, which was quite spacious, and it was jam-packed!Address: Bakso & Mie Ayam Sonhaji – Sony Jalan Walter Monginsidi (also known as Jalan Kartini Atas) Bandar Lampung
Yen Yen is a shop where you can buy many kinds of packed food, special from Lampung. People usually buy them to bring out of town for ‘souvenirs’. The most wanted items are the plain or chocolate-flavored keripik pisang (banana crackers), kemplang (grilled fish chips) and lempok or dodol durian (durian flavored sticky rice mixed with coconut milk and palm sugar).Address: Jalan Ikan Kakap 86, Teluk Betung Bandar Lampung
I rarely take airplanes to go to Lampung simply because there is a way cheaper and comfortable (to my standard) option of taking the DAMRI bus from Jakarta. Plus, I find it quite silly that it takes a lot more time getting to and from the airport than being up in the air. The flight between Jakarta and Lampung is only about 30 minutes including the take-off and landing, while on a good day it takes me about an hour to the Soekarno Hatta International Airport and another 45 minutes from Lampung’s Radin Inten Airport, (located in Natar town) to my parents’ home. And then sometimes there’s delay and traffic that could double or triple the time required. LOL..
Taking the bus means I’d have to take the ferry crossing the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands. And this isn’t something I like to do on peak seasons like Eid Ul Fitr holidays. Trucks, buses, private cars and passengers would crowd the ports, the ferries, not to mention the roads. Thank God for bonuses, we could afford taking Garuda Indonesia for IDR 1,100,000 / pax / return tix. Phew!
Angkot is the most commonly used public transportation in Bandar Lampung. They use different colors to distinguish each route an angkot serves. Just like everywhere in Indonesia, angkot is the king of the road (well, except in Jakarta, angkots are nothing compared to bajajs and mini buses). Oh wait, motorbike riding behavior in Bandar Lampung is as brutal as the angkots. They zig zag as they please and often wouldn’t take the blame for a crash. Jakarta has a pretty bad traffic but it’s more because it’s too crowded. But the traffic in Bandar Lampung is wicked because of the riding attitude alone!
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