Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 27 April 2014 • Itinerary
Lampung province has just started to step up its game in the tourism world. More people from nearby provinces like the South Sumatra and Jakarta spend their weekends in Lampung to see dolphins, elephants or the Anak Krakatau volcano. Bandar Lampung, the capital city located in the southern part of the province, is now blooming and attracting more investors to build businesses. I must say, I’m not in the same pool of taste on aesthetics with whoever is in charge of the architecture and design of the city – if there’s any, but it’s good to see that the city is developing and business is growing in many sectors.
On our trip to Lampung recently, invited by Pop! Hotel for their grand opening, they took us (various media) to a snorkeling spot I never knew before. It’s called Tanjung Putus (translates to ‘cut-off bay’, said to derive from the fact that the island used to be a part of Sumatera island but then somehow got cut off and separated).
For more story on my snorkeling experience at Tanjung Putus, click here.
There are actually many more beaches you can visit in Lampung, like the Pasir Putih, Klara, Mutun and Tanjung Setia. There are also more activities you can do in Lampung like visiting elephants at the Way Kambas preservation, or visit Danau Ranau at the north, which is a located at the border of Lampung and South Sumatera, or simply test your resilience toward spiciness by slurping the cuko when eating pempek in Bandar Lampung. But for now, there aren’t many I can describe since I have yet a lot to explore in Lampung myself.
My visit to Lampung this time was to attend the opening of Pop! Hotel. It’s located in Tanjung Karang, one of the major districts of Bandar Lampung. The facade design is more vibrant than the older branches with the huge iconic exclamation point on a bright yellow background. But the rest of the hotel is pretty much still the same with the Pop! Hotels in other cities.
Holding on to their concept, Pop! keeps their design simple and youthful. The colorful accents against gray walls, colorful partitions at the lobby, space-efficient pod bathroom in each room and crisp lines on the overall furniture. Not to mention the wifi connection all over the hotel to accommodate today’s child’s need of getting online 24/7!
Aside from its breakfast area at the back of the lobby, there is a kopitiam (Malay style coffee shop that serves Indonesian and Chinese-influenced meals as well) across the lobby, open for guests and public. It’s called Kopitiam Oey and is already a popular brand in Jakarta.
Staying at Lampung’s Pop! Hotel would cost you about IDR 328,000/night. I say it’s a decent price considering the location, which is pretty strategic, the size of the room, which feels quite spacious for a budget hotel, the cleanness, the friendliness of the staff, and the wifi.
Located only 3-minute walk from the most delicious and popular bakso (meatball) diner in town, called Bakso Sony, Pop! Hotel is quite easy to get to. It’s only a little bit off of one of the busiest streets in Bandar Lampung, Kartini street, where you can get off the angkot and walk a little. A few angkots pass by the hotel, but there are ojeks standing by across the hotel. If you need to hire a car, I guess the hotel staff could arrange it for you.
Pop! Hotel in Bandar Lampung Jalan Wolter Monginsidi 56, Tanjung Karang, Bandar Lampung 35214
It’s quite difficult to find a truly original food of Lampung. One dish that I’ve heard a lot of is called seruit, which is fried fish with chili paste mixed with cooked durian or mango. But it’s a dish that original Lampungnese prepares at home and is not found in any restaurant’s menu list.
With the so many comers and transmigrants reside in Lampung since early in 20th century, outside food have also become the taste of Lampung. For example, the Javanese with their bakso and the Minangnese with their fast-food styled restaurant. The most famous Bakso in Bandar Lampung is Bakso Sonhaji Sony or Bakso Sony for short, which I’ve written in this post.
And if you’re staying at Pop! Hotel, great news! Bakso Sony is just 3 minutes walk away from the hotel! It opens from 8 or 9 a.m. and closes at night (not sure what time).@yunaidijoepoet
Big brands of Minangnese or Padang restaurant have penetrated the food market in Bandar Lampung, like the Simpang Raya and Sederhana. But nothing has come close to the success of Begadang Restaurant that named their branches with serial numbers. After the original one Begadang, there’s Begadang II, Begadang III, and so on. There are six Begadang restaurants in Lampung now, if I’m not mistaken.
As an region that used to be a part of the South Sumatera province, Lampung inherited pempek as their traditional delicacy. It’s also one of the Indonesian food I’ve loved since childhood, and not many pempek I find outside of Lampung (and maybe Palembang, South Sumatera) can compete with it in terms of taste.
The airport is Radin Inten Airport, 45 minutes drive from center of Bandar Lampung city.