Back to The Future

To welcome the new year of 2015 few months ago, me and my newlywed younger sister went to Singapore and spent a week there.

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Me and my sister goes to the future land, Singapore ;p

Well actually its not our first choice of holiday destination, especially by me, which is more prefer beach than a futuristic land, but since my big brother and family lives here in Singapore, then we decided to spent our new year and holiday to visit my nephew in addition. Why I named Singapore the future land? Maybe bcoz its quite -but not so much- different than my hometown Jakarta, Singapore is really futuristic, at least from my point of view, hehe. Of course becoz I have never been abroad further than this, Japan maybe far more futuristic than Singapore, but my lack of my journey about modern land tells that Singapore is way too futuristic. i remembered J ever said that everything in Singapore seems so artificial, it looks like made by human, even the nature, hmm, even a Swiss man has the opinion about it,well, maybe he is right. But its a small country, and it was really pleasure to explore a country smaller than my town. Interesting!

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Changi Airport

I found this in Changi airport! I dont know what it is but its kinda cute to took picture with :p

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Underground MRT

What i like about Singapore, they have a very easy access with public transportation, unlike Jakarta. I can get straight to my brother home by MRT to the nearest station around the block he is living. And take a bus only two stops from the MRT station to his home. Very easy and comfortable. The taxi in Singapore can make me broke so it way better to take MRT or bus everywhere. And in Singapore I have no need to worry about the packed of the passengers like in Jakarta, even I carry a big size of bag, there will always be a space to sit or stand.

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Me and my nephew

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I’m kind of squeezer auntie :p

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The Harbour Front

Located in Vivo City, a famous big mall who connected to the famous Sentosa Islands where Universal Studio took place, here’s the Harbour Front. One of the harbor in Singapore to disembark to Batam, Bintan or any where else nearer in Indonesia by ferry.

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Jamie Oliver’s restaurant

Voilaa, the famous Jamie Oliver restaurant! This is the famous British chef’s restaurant that everyone’s talking about. Well, actually I didnt have a chance to stepped in and taste the food coz look at the price man! Its beyond my pocket. So all I did just took pic on the front of it. hehe. Its located inside Vivo city, ground floor, next to Starbucks and u can enjoy the sea view while having a meal here, well nice job mr. oliver, next time I’ll bring extra money to dine in ;p

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Siloso Beach

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I cant missed any chance not to go to a beach

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Life guard, anyone drowning??

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pardon me with the eggs

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can i have your kiss mr. Cooper?

Through inside Vivo city mall, we go through up three level to get into the MRT to go to Sentosa islands. I cant remember each of the name of the small island that connected by the MRT but as I remember there are the Universal Studio, the big Merlion statue and the Siloso beach where I strike pose on the pics above ;p

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Big Candy!

Every body who goes to Singapore wouldn’t miss the famous orchard Road, the biggest shopping street in that Merlion country. There are lots of fancy and luxurious shopping malls around the corner of Orchard, the riches of Jakarta people are very fond of spending their money here, for pleasure, leisure or just prestige. Maybe u are not valid visiting Singapore without taking a stroll in Orchard road. So for me, for validation being here will just took a pic of a giant candy in front of Ion Orchard, one of the biggest shopping mall here. Well not bad.. :p

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Marina Bay Sands

Another symbol of Singapore, the famous (pardon me for using the word famous too much here, but I cant help it ;p) Marina Bay Sands. Its big luxury hotel that formed a big boat on top of it and connecting 3 buildings below it. I never been up there actually, but J did. He told me that the top of Marina Bay Sands is a swimming pool, a fancy one. Yea, it should be very fancy to put a swimming pool on the top of 3 connected building, hehe. I’ll take a chance to go up there one day 🙂

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I dont know what it is but this sculpture looks interesting

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Altitude, higher than Marina Bay Sands

Here I am at The Altitude which is claimed as the highest point of Singapore. Altitude is a open rooftop bar located in building that I cannot recall the name, I’m so sorry. Its pretty awesome as we can view Marina Bay Sands from the top of it. The good thing about bars here in Singapore, no matter how fancy it looks, we not really have to dress up to get in. Big difference in Jakarta, we should always dressed up and look fancy to go to a bar or dining place. I can tell its pretty easy in Singapore coz I can go to the bar just wearing flip flops, as if in the beach, oh I like it! ;p I really enjoy here, but its a lil bit windy but the view is amazing. I really can tell through these pics below..

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In the noon

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The other side

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When the sun goes down..

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The light rises

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illuminating

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the city start to live

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and the dark falls, the lights take over

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it aint gotham city.. welcome to the future land, Singapore

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Bugis Junction

Next is Bugis Junction, a paradise for the cheaper shopaholic, just like me, hehehe. Bugis Junction is a big market and also a mall. There are two options of shopping style here, do u want to go to a cheaper one or middle up just like in Orchard? Its all your call. I like the Bugis Junction market where everything are just about ten dollars. U can find anything there, and how it excited me is the fact that I got so many mini skirt just priced ten dollars each, and all cute! I know, I’m such a girl, hehe. And normally, people and mostly tourist (like me) goes to Bugis to buy a little souvenirs to bring home for their fellas and relatives. U can find lots of things here, wallets, key chains, shirts with shout out “I love SG”, and many more just around ten dollar bottom line, its satisfying, tho.. ;p

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Somewhere in Little India

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A temple in little India

And the next thing is chasing Mustafa, in the Little India. I have heard so many people talking about Mustafa in little India, they say its the better place for cheaper shopping, way more cheaper than Bugis Junction. So I got curious, then me and my sister took a stroll there and tried to find out what the best thing that the fuss about. My opinion? well, I can smell the curry all over the place and turned out, Mustafa is a big mall that sells almaost about everything in one place. If I can sum it up, maybe just like Carrefour, or in my country, just like Tanah Abang, in smaller version. Hoho.. I dont really like Mustafa, once I stepped in. I directly went to the exit. Well, not exactly my favorite place to shop and look around.

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The mystic park

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another pose of the mystic park

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from different angle of the mystic park

Before headed home, me and my sister stopped by a park that we used to just passed by but this time we were curious whats inside the park. My brother told us that the park is somekind of a mystical park. But too bad we cant came there earlier, by the time we got there its already closed, so all we can do just took pic in front of it. From the outer sight, I can tell that the park is about Chinese beliefs, God and Goddess and their mystical creatures, its quite interesting actually, so maybe I will make time to visit there in the future.

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I am helping Minnie

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Disney Castle in Changi

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Knock Knock

Since it was holiday season, Changi Airport of Singapore decorate itself in Disney theme, pretty cute. And then holiday is over, I am expecting the new adventure in another town, or country or any exciting place in this year to happen, hopefully involving beach! I’m feeling this 2015 would be awesome, so I hope it is.. See u soon in another wonderful places!

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It’s a Sunny Day in a Sunny Island

Last year in October 2014 and the beginning of this 2015, I have spent holiday in Bali, my favorite sunny island and holiday destination, ever!

What I like about  Bali? Take a look at these photos and tell me u are not fallin’ love..

Here it goes….

Para sailing anyone?

Parasailing anyone?

Taken from where I lay, I can see parasailing. Me and my friends stayed in Tanjung Benoa, Bali which is know as the best places for water sport.

Not only parasailing, there are so many water sport available, such as kite surfing, jetski, banana boat, scuba diving, snorkeling and many more.

I didnt try any of those, I mostly already tried tried snorkeling and banana boat in other places I have been, but for another challenging water sport? i think i haven’t got any guts to do that, maybe next time.

There are not a sight of surfers here, of course bcoz this beach is not kind of a wavy one, so thats why this beach more suitable for waters sport than surfing.

And also, the atmosphere of the surrounding is very far different with Kuta, we’ll talk about Kuta later. Here in Tanjung Benoa, there are more lots of big resort and hotel that more family friendly , calm and child friendly. So if u have a plan to bring your family and kids to Bali, Tanjung Benoa is the good place to spend time in. Good restaurants, calm and peaceful vibe to rest with your family and little kids. I stayed in here in Tanjung Benoa becoz one of my friend bring a 3 years old kid, well, we sure did have a good time, u can tell by this pic.

He has a good vibes with this place :D

He has a good vibes with this place 😀

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Morning Sight

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Mr. Sun going up

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Eat well Steak Restaurant

My friend recommend this as one of a good steak restaurant in Bali. Big bites and juice steak.

Well, I can say she is right, and what more satisfying is that the price is affordable. Me likey :p

I dont quite remember the exact location but its around Legian or Seminyak.

The restaurant is not really big but its a good place coz u can seat and see people walking past in the crowded Legian street (or Seminyak, I cant remember ).

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Happy Faces!

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Full Team with selfie stick in front of Mbok Limbok restaurant

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Lemme take a selfie

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Motel Mexicola

Motel Mexicola, one of the well known restaurant in Bali. we’ve got to go there coz seems everyone who goes to Bali at least once tried Motel Mexicola. The food is quite good, but i dont say it’s amazing, but just good. They make the atmosphere there maybe like in Mexico, I dont know, I have never been to mexico, but by the name tells it, maybe it feels like in Mexico.

They serve food in big plates, I dont know it it bcoz of in Bali where most of the tourist are from abroad, or maybe its that how they serve it in Mexico, as an Indonesian, I dont eat big plates, so I share it with my friends, fair enough :P.

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Lemme take a selfie (again.. ;p)

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Hello Kuta Beach! Heaven for surfers

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Starbucks anytime, anywhere

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Long way to (tummy) heaven

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Ohhhh, crab!!! Heavenly Delicious

This is one of my favorite, crab!

Few hours before I flew back to Jakarta, me and my friend have a delicious lunch in a authentic crab restaurant near the highway to the airport of Denpasar.

This is more satisfying for me than any western restaurant I’ve been dine in around Bali. Not just because I love crab but the restaurant itself stands on the crab farm. Isn’t it great?! We ate fresh from the holes! And also we can choose the size or the crab we want, with some different variation of cooks. Its awesome, totally! But for those who can’t stand the spicy ones, be careful, it might burns your mouth! In a good way hehe.

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I love my tan :p

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See U soon Bali

I dont care how many times I already come to Bali, i just never get enough..But next time, I will try the party scene of Bali that everyone probably already known of, Kuta, yes, it will be great.. See u soon Bali.. I will never get enough of u.. 😉

The place that I will keep coming back

 

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Heaven that I will keep coming back!

Beach!! The most place that I am gladly visit over and over again. And for the second time of my life, I was coming back to Gili islands, my favorite place on earth that happen to lays on my country! Its a yay!

Where is Gili islands?

Not a surprise, this place I called heaven must be famous amongst the Europeans. How so? becoz almost 90% tourist coming there are Europeans, and I can tell lots of them speak french and others maybe Dutch and Deutch and something else, I feel like an expat in my own country.

Gili islands is a perfect destination for couples. Consist of 3 island, Gili Terawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Most tourist choose Gili Terawangan for their main destination coz this gili is the crowded one and the place for party, the second one is Gili Meno, less crowded and the best choice for honeymoon. I’ll think about this one for my honeymoon if one day I got married :p. And then the third one is Gili Air, the most beautiful one for snorkeling and diving spot, calm water and perfect underworld. Too bad I have no underwater camera :(.

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blue sky, white sands and crystal clear water my favorite for all time

If anyone wonder how to reach this triple Islands, here’s the clue.. First of all, we have to landed to Lombok first, the main island before we go the the triple island gili’s. Why Lombok, cos there’s where the plane landed, hehehe. If U want to go to the triple islands Gili, pf course u got to landed to the nearest airport and the get to land transportation to the harbor to cross to the island.

Lombok International Airport (LOP) in Praya, Lombok Island

Lombok International Airport (LOP) in Praya, Lombok Island

Beautiful scenery along the way to harbor from airport

Beautiful scenery along the way to harbor from airport

the harbor and the boat to go to Gili islands

Bangsal, the harbor and the boat to go to Gili islands from Lombok

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this is inside the boat!

That’s the boats! yea nothing fancy but believe me, its all worth it!

yea, we sailed also with banana! lol. But cant U see that man is smiling? 🙂

The special thing about this boat is, its not only can transfer people, but also can contains food, gallons of water for drinking, vegetables, even a mattress! Too bad I didnt snapped that one. But this boat is all in one transportation device, really cool!

And one more special thing I can tell from many other special thing about this island is, in Gili, all we got is only fresh air. Yes! totally fresh air. U can free your lungs here from all the residue from vehicle, coz all they have no vehicles at all in Gili Islands. They only operating horse cart and bicycle for transportation. No cars and no motorcylce, superb!

lunchtime

lunchtime

This is a commong thing to see a view like this, shirtless men or bikini top women having lunch in cafe nearby. Well I can say in Gili, the food is not really special. Since they have expat tourists coming here, they serve many western food. But nothing special about it. But people come here not to enjoy the food, but the atmosphere and the priceless scenery.

Who cares about the food if u have scenery like this?

Who cares about the food if u have scenery like this?

I feel like in baywatch! ;p

I feel like in baywatch! ;p

my lodge

my lodge

open market to have dinner if u want to keep your budget tight :)

open market to have dinner if u want to keep your budget tight 🙂

my snorkel gear

my snorkel gear

 

See U soon, Gili.. I will always coming back to U... :)

See U soon, Gili..
I will always coming back to U… 🙂

 

The Abandoned Paradise

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Bintan Island, The Abandoned paradise

By the end of 2013, I closed the year with a great journey to my very favorite place on earth, the beach! And the two things that made my journey more interesting was coz I made it a little bit round way from Singapore where the beach itself located in my beloved homeland, Indonesia and I got a special companion from my favorite man in the world 🙂 (thanks J). Lets see our journey to the beautiful Bintan Island, the abandoned paradise.

The journey started from Singapore, because Bintan located in the northwest of Singapore strait, and it took around 45 minutes by ferry from the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal from Singapore to Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal in Bintan.

Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (Singapore)

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Inside the TMFT Singapore, we are the early bird

We arrived a little bit earlier coz Singapore has a strict regulation to arrive at least  one hour and half earlier before departure time, so instead of coming late and having a risk to lost our precious time just to wait for another departure, we found ourselves arrived in the terminal where still no one around :p

Its not only because of we came earlier, the terminal looked a little bit spacey becoz we had our journey on off-peak season. It had some advantages going on off-peak days instead of peak days, beside of getting a valuable discounts for the ferry’s tickets, we also have the cruise of our own, we can pick our own seats! Then of course we picked our seats by the window.

The ferry was quite comfortable and clean and becoz of its a big ship, the wave felt so smooth and didnt cause any seasick at all, at least for me and J. But for a 45 minutes cruising the sea, maybe it would be a good advantage if the seat can have a back flip just like in a plane so we can rest our back along the way to Bintan Island, but it just my opinion. 🙂

bye bye Singapore

bye bye Singapore

Inside the ferry

Inside the ferry

Around 45 minutes later -more or less- we arrived in Bandar Bentan Telani Ferry Terminal in Bintan resort, the ambience is a little bit different from Singapore. Felt no strange coz I was coming back home and used to the athmosphere of Indonesia, but J felt a little bit different, he felt like back from the future, or in the other word is, back to the land of nature from the futuristic island :p .

Welcome to Indonesia!

Welcome to Indonesia!

From the ferry terminal, we required a rented car to reach our resort, and it took few hours by car and we were fascinated by the nature. Beautiful scenery along the road and thanks to our driver that we found accidentally becoz of our resort forget to picked us up, we got a good bargain of rented car and a very friendly driver. And from his experience being a driver and also a tour guide in Bintan for several years we have many interesting story about the island and the resorts, and how the place is not like it used to be in the last two years ago, this paradise is abandoned and lost its popularity so its hard to maintain it to raise its golden age again.

pretty but forgotten

pretty but forgotten

Our guide/driver told us that Bintan island lost its charm over two years ago, and since the land itself is not farming material, the land is destined to be a resort, but too bad my government not really aware of its potential and not surprisingly, lots of lands and resorts own by expats, too sad to be true. 😦

Our hut

Our hut

Like our resort that we stayed in, frankly owned by a Ducthman, and I feel like I am not the landlord of my own land 😦

Well, in spite of that, we choose this place becoz of its the closest of natural beauty and look at that hut! pretty amazing even according to J, the wood might already aging ;p, but still its classic and good.

And the price also reasonable than other fancy resort that cost beyond our pockets. This place quite satisfying with the direct view to the sea, comfy bed with a mosquito net (just like princess bed), good shower (only J complained about the non existence of hot water in the shower ;p) and beach only for our own, literally for our own! The off-peak season gave us advantage not only for lower price but also lower civilians that stayed there at the resort, sorry everyone, this beach closed for public and this hammock is mineee ! ;p

My private hammock, just in front of our hut

My private hammock, just in front of our hut

I dont really know is it becoz of the ownership of the land and resort or is it becoz of the geographical location that close to Singapore, we pay with dual currency, of course its unwritten regulation coz Bintan is part of Indonesia regardless how close it is to Singapore but once again, my government has lost grip upon this pretty paradise. No doubt Sing dollar giving more advantage than Indonesian Rupiah but that advantage cost the pride of this country. I just cant believe I have to pay in foreign currency in my own land.

And as we walked along the shore, I got a little and more sad facts that the sands are contaminated by lots of trash. Too many dead sea grass, dead sea shells that being left by its living being, and even I found some dead fishes. What happen there mother earth? how could u been abused like that?.

Even the sky is crying

Even the sky is crying

But besides that, there are still many pretty things about the island and we were lucky enough to get more sunshine in the beginning of rainy seasons.

We also enjoy our trekking to the village nearby, where we can find the natives and also fisherman’s boats and fishing huts.

Fishing hut

Fishing hut

Traditional fishing boats

Traditional fishing boats

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knock-knock mr.crab!

And its so magical that I also found lots of crab’s digging holes, I even see myself a hole with a medium crab inside of it! Too bad I didnt captured it, but I still have the pic of the crab homey holes 😉

After spending three days in our own private beach by chance ;p, we end our journey indulging our views to the fancy resort. With the help of our driver/guide (with extra paid in generosity of J :)) we sneak peek the fancy resort and having a priceless views.

How the sea little creatures can draw the sand like in canvas and making it like a fire works, beautiful, beautiful rain forest, sound of the waves (the sea we stayed in our resort very calm and almost wave-less) and also pretty sunset, priceless…

beautiful rain forest

beautiful rain forest

The rain forest at the end of the edge, but not quite edge actually. I really want to dip in my feet into the sea but too bad I wore sneakers ;p

fireworks!

fireworks!

I dont know how they did it but almost the entire shore being drew like this. Just like somebody draw a painting in a canvas, J even made some for creating happy new year greeting! 😀 Magical!

it just amazing!

it just amazing!

Unbeatable sunset! And I give myself a credit for capturing this pretty sunset through my camera phone :p

I never lost my affection to the place called beach, even the touch of humans sometimes left a bad trace, but the beach always give me something to be pleased, no matter it has lost, it still be a paradise..

We really did enjoy our time :)

We really did enjoy our time 🙂

I always love the sun,the sands,the waves and the smell of the shore that build the sea…