Mesmerised by Lombok – day one

Lombok is a small island in East Indonesia, next to Bali. Unlike Bali, it only became popular as a tourist destination around 5 years ago, mainly because of the much-talked-about Gilis. Yep, a lot of people mainly associate Lombok with the three Gilis – Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno. But you know what, there are just so many pretty things in Lombok island other than those three Gilis!

I went to Lombok last week in a group of four, my friends from work. We booked a private tour with a local instagrammer, Ingga – widely known as @debucung. He does private tours for a living and let me just say it straightforward… he will take you to AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL places! No joke. So what places did I went to? read along and follow my journey! 🙂

Day one 

We flew Batik Air from Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta to Lombok international Airport. I remember it was rather hard to fly to Lombok, around 5 years ago when my friends first went to the Gilis – they had to transit in Bali first. But worry not, nowadays it’s getting easier to fly to Lombok from Jakarta (and I believe from other cities too?).

We arrived around noon and met Ingga – our trip planner straightaway. He then took us for lunch and went straight to our first destination. It was beach day today! First stop was Mawun beach in south of Lombok.

Mawun Beach Lombok
Mawun Beach Lombok

It was love at first sight. Though it is not too big, but it has white sands, clear sea, plus amazing hills in its surroundings. Yes, we went there during dry season, so the hills were not green… but imagine if we came around April, it must be even more beautiful! It’s not crowded too, there were only several foreigners and although there are some food stalls/vendors but I still found it serene. Too bad I did not jump into the water because I haven’t got my swimsuit and all that ready since I just arrived from the airport. Hmph. Lesson learned, always keep your beach wear handy for places like these!

Second stop was nearby Selong Belanak beach.

Selong Belanak Beach
Selong Belanak Beach

Selong Belanak is as pretty as Mawun, but less crowded. There were barely anyone except us and few locals there. We did not stay long there, but I surely spent enough time to capture some images, and just enjoyed the stellar view. It was such a refreshment for my eyes!

From Selong Belanak we went to Semeti Beach and Mawi Beach in Central Lombok, which happens to be located next to each other. Semeti beach is not as famous as the first two, there is no Trip Advisor page about it yet! It took us over 30 minutes drive from Selong Belanak to get to the area,which was rather deserted and it made me feel like we were in the middle of nowhere! The road was not smooth either, but the view was really pretty ..

Road to Semeti and Mawi
Road to Semeti and Mawi

Compared to the first two beaches, Semeti to me was more of an ‘adventure’ beach rather than a leisure one. why? because we climbed these rocks!

Semeti Rocks

The rocks were hard for me to climb because, well, it has been awhile since I last been outdoor! 😦 I haven’t been very active nowadays and to be honest I didn’t expect that kind of “trail” to climb. But seeing that my friends started to climb already motivated me… until I managed to make it to the top! YEAH! I got a wee bit emotional up there because the view was spectacular!

Made it to the top! 😀
Locals collecting rocks @ Semeti

After Semeti, we went to its neighbour – Mawi, which was also our last destination for the day. Similar to Semeti, Mawi beach also does not have sandy beach, instead the beach is full of rocks. During broad daylight it may not look as pretty as the other beaches I’ve been that day…

Mawi Beach

But it’s a complete different story during sunset! It was rather cloudy so we did not get that spectacular orange, but still.. the view was quite something :’)

Sunset @ Mawi Beach

So that concludes my first day in Lombok. Afterwards we went for dinner and then to our hotel in Mataram area.

I actually wanted to write all of my stories in one post but here I am just finishing day one with over 700 word count already.. hahaha. So I guess I’m going to separate the stories in several posts. I think day two will need a separate post for sure as we went up north to the villages underneath Mt.Rinjani!

So for now, here’s a sneak peek of my day two adventure.. until then! x

Hello from Sembalun Village!
Hello from Sembalun Village!

Hello October

Is it just me, or time really does fly? I can’t believe it’s October already! 😀

Well my September was packed. I got busy with some projects at work (my first in-store activation since I moved to this new team!), got hospitalised, became a bridesmaid twice.. and also, waited anxiously for something. I thought I would get to hear a good news at the end of September, but God decided to let me wait a little bit longer. I was disappointed and got really sad for a while, but realised I had to keep my faith and keep praying. In the end it was not a rejection, only delayed decision 🙂

Image from:
Image from:

Now, in the midst of my disappointment and sadness, I spontaneously said yes to an invitation to travel during the upcoming long weekend. Ooops. Hehehehe. I immediately bought the plane ticket after I said yes, and had my name registered to the tour package. YAY! Read it somewhere that travel cure sadness (or maybe I’m just making it up :p), so I’m going to give it a try… 😉

Ok so where will I go? it will be a place that I’ve never been before.. and I won’t be needing my passport so it is still in Indonesia. It is an island, approximately 1,5hours flight away. The island is called… Lombok. YEP, I am going to visit Lombok! Yayy! I’ll stay there for 4 days in which it will be a mix of island hopping and trekking trip. In short it will be a nature trip, and since it’s been a while since the last time I bask myself in nature.. I am so looking forward for this trip! Let’s just hope everything will go as planned. I am excited for my October, and hopefully I will get the good news I’ve been anticipating this month. Fingers crossed!

What are you excited for this month? hope you’ll have a great month! 🙂

Hotel Breakfast 

To me, hotel breakfast is mostly a luxury. As a budget traveler, when I travel on my own I either opt for hostel or hotel that provides no breakfast most of the time.

So whenever I got the chance to stay in a hotel that provides hotel breakfast, the inner child in me always jumps in excitement! Hehe. Not 100% sure why, but having breakfast in a hotel, especially buffet, always makes my day. I guess it’s true what they say, “eat breakfast like king”, and I feel like a queen whenever I eat hotel breakfast buffet.

Which is a bit weird actually, because I don’t normally eat much during breakfast. I can’t even have nasi + soto ayam or lontong sayur for breakfast, I think it’s too much for me. My daily breakfast is either bread, cereal, or just fruits.. all things light, nothing too fulfilling.

But it’s a complete different story when I happen to stay in a hotel that provides breakfast. Hohoho. The rest is history 😉

Breakfast Menu @ Grand Whiz Hotel Kelapa Gading

Last weekend I was one of the bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding. It was held in Kelapa Gading area, and her family booked us a room in Grand Whiz hotel. Lucky me, they serve breakfast buffet! I can’t even remember when was the last time I had one. So before I checked out on Monday morning, I managed to have a complete breakfast meal! YAY!

It was nothing fancy – just eggs, bread, cereal and fruits. It tasted alright too. But still, nothing beats the excitement 😀

What about you, do you like having hotel breakfast or do you opt for no breakfast when you travel? Which hotel has the best breakfast to you?

My stay at Teduh Hostel Kota Tua

Though I don’t consider myself as a pro backpacker, I have stayed at hostels several times. The first time was in Edinburgh, then in Ho Chi Minh, and Taipei. The latter gave me interesting experience, so I had this idea to stay at a hostel during my Jakarta trip last weekend.

My friend told me about this newly opened Hostel – Teduh Hostel Kota Tua. I googled it and it has 9.3 ratings on and 96% on, sounds really promising, right? Plus, they offer pods instead of bunkbeds, and I figured it will be more convenient. So I gave it a try. Me and my friend each booked a pod for one night, and let me tell you my experience.

The hostel is located within walking distance from Kota Tua’s main attractions – Jakarta Kota station, Kota Tua, Museums, Pasar Asemka.. very convenient. It’s hidden inside a SOHO complex so it could get confusing but worry not, they have clear banners in front of the gate.

After I walked in, I instantly love the interior. It looks sooo comfy! We were greeted by the friendly staffs then had our bookings processed.

Front Desk

While waiting, I had a look around and took some pictures. The common room and kitchen area is pretty small so there’s not much to see, but it’s really neat, clean, and looks very comfortable. Like many hostels, you are free to use the kitchen, basic utensils are available so you can cook as well.

The Kitchen + Common Room

There’s also a TV equipped with Playstation and TV cable, which is located in front of a comfy sofa beds. It’s not La-Z-Boy, of course, but it’s pretty comfy for a hostel standard. In addition, the hostel also provides a separate smoking area, so the common room is smoke-free. Yay!

TV + sofa in the common room (picture is taken after I finished checking in)
Smoking area

To my surprise, after we checked in, we were each given a (what I like to call) “starter pack” before we were escorted to the room on second floor. I’ve never received this kind of perks when staying at a hostel before! It’s a blanket, reading light, and your keys. Interesting 🙂

Starter Pack

Now, what about the room? and the pod?

My room – room number 2 is located in second floor. When I reached second floor, this is what I saw :

Second Floor – Going to the room

Again I’ve never experienced this in the previous hostels that I’ve stayed at. Never before I had to take off my shoes before going inside the room, and sometimes it does get annoying when my room-mate has dirty shoes. This solves the problem!

And here’s what the room looks like :

The room

Having pods instead of bunkbeds give you extra privacy. Plus, even though it’s a mixed dorm, you can be assured that you won’t ever have to feel awkward to wake up next to a stranger because each pods are covered with curtains!

And this is what my pod looks like .. comfortable, right? It was, indeed, the comfiest hostel bed I’ve ever slept in!

The Pod
The Pod

Moving on to the bathroom. Hehe this is a tricky one. One of the most important thing for me when choosing a hostel is the bathroom’s cleanliness. Because I like to take a shower twice a day and I got irritated when the bathroom’s not clean.. hehehe. Lucky me, Teduh Hostel’s bathroom passed my expectations. It’s very clean and the hot water works well so I could enjoy my hot shower, just like at home 😉

Bathroom area
The bathroom

The next day, we got free breakfast. By breakfast I mean bread, jam, butter, and cereals. They don’t serve milk though, but you can buy a carton for Rp.5000 or bring your own. Not a problem because convenient stores are located nearby. Anyway, my breakfast that day was toasted bread with cereal. And yes, I bought the milk there. Hehe.

Free Toast, Jam and Cereal for breakfast!

After breakfast, we checked out, feeling happy. Not only because I enjoyed my stay, but I met some interesting people – fellow travelers and had a chance to have interesting conversation with them despite my short stay. Now you might wonder, how much did I pay for a night? Rp.120.000 only. Definitely worth the price! Be sure to check it out when you’re in town 🙂

Teduh Hostel Kota Tua
Jalan Pintu Besar Selatan No.82M
Jakarta 11110, Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 6900939

Being a tourist in… Jakarta!

Last weekend I did something out of the ordinary. With a friend of mine – Della, I became a tourist in Jakarta. Yep, we had a mini-holiday and ventured around town! 😀 So what did we do?

First, we took the train.

We started our journey not too early, around 10.30AM in Sudimara station close to our houses. Our destination was Jakarta Kota station in North of Jakarta. It was, indeed, a long train ride as we had to change 2 lines. First was Sudimara – Tanah Abang which was an approximately 35mins ride. Then at Tanah Abang we had to change to Manggarai line – took us another ~30mins.

Manggarai St.

To our surprise, Manggarai station was interesting! It’s vintage, big, and clean. Plus, it has a Starbucks store. A vintage one! We stopped for awhile to have coffee and snacks, because it’s lunch time already.

Vintage Starbucks

After resting for awhile, we continued our journey to Jakarta Kota station. We had interesting view on our way, such as this iconic landmark of Jakarta…

Passing through Monas on our way to Stasiun Kota

With that kind of view, our train ride was very much enjoyable and we almost did not realise when we reached our destination, Jakarta Kota Station. It was around 1PM when we got there.

Jakarta Kota St.

Second, we had lunch plus a little bit of sightseeing at Kota Tua Batavia.

Though we had some snacks on our way,  we felt hungry again so we rushed to Jakarta’s Kota Tua Batavia to find something to eat.

Kota Tua Batavia
Kota Tua Batavia

Since it was mid-day, the weather was soooo hot! We did not get to do a lot of sight seeing and went inside the first air – conditioned restaurant that we could find. It was Historia Food and Bar. The exterior looks very interesting, right?

Historia Food and Bar

The restaurant, which has vintage interior, serves Indonesian food. The food was good, and the atmosphere was very cosy. I guess it’s either because we were very hungry or we enjoyed the atmosphere very much that we did not complain when each of us had to pay around IDR 75.000 for food and drink. Not so much a backpacker’s meal but we did not complain, hehehe.

Historia Food and Bar
Historia Food and Bar

Third, we travel through time at Museum Bank Indonesia.

After having our lunch, we went to our next destination – Museum Bank Indonesia. Both me and friend never been to this museum before. We did not have a lot of expectations when going in, but feeling very much excited when we left. The museum was really interesting! It was about Indonesia’s monetary activities and currency, started with a history of the nation’s trade, until the latest monetary crisis. I took Social Sciences major in High School but there were a lot of historical facts that I did not know before. Plus, the building was unique as it’s a vintage building.

Museum Bank Indonesia

Fourth, we took the Transjakarta bus to Sarinah.

From Jakarta Kota Station, there’s a straight busway line to Sarinah, where we spent some time to wander around Jalan Sabang. We then decided to watch a movie because we had nothing else better to do in mind, hehe. We watched The Imitation Game at Djakarta XXI (Previously Djakarta Theatre), and I have to tell you… the movie is class!

Sarinah Busway Shelter

After the movie, we went back to Jakarta Kota area (this time using a taxi because it was quite late) because we are going to spend the night in the area!

Fifth, we spent the night at Teduh Hostel Kota Tua.

Yep, since we are playing tourists, we already made some plans to stay at a local hostel. The name’s Teduh Hostel and I highly recommended this hostel for all the travelers out there. Since I’m very much satisfied, I’m going to write a separate blog post about this 🙂

Sixth, we wander the busy streets of Jakarta’s Chinatown in order to try one of the town’s oldest coffee shop.

The next morning, we checked out of the hostel and based on the hostel staff’s recommendation, we walked to Chinatown to find what was said to be one of the best and oldest coffee shops in Jakarta – Kopi Es Tak Kie.

East meets West at Jakarta’s Chinatown

It is nestled in small and busy alley which is known as Gang Gloria, might be a bit hard to find if you’re not familiar with the area like us. But worry not,  it’s easy to ask for directions from people in the area because it’s famous.

The busy alley

Serving you coffee since the 1920s, Kopi Es Tak Kie do not have sophisticated menu. When we sat down, the waiter only offered us iced or hot coffee, with or without milk. We both ordered Ice coffee with milk and boy… it tasted so gooood! Worth the walk and the confusion to find this shop.

Kopi Es Tak Kie

Last but not least, we made another trip through time at Museum Nasional Indonesia.

Before we went home, we decided to stop by another museum – Museum Nasional Indonesia. The museum is huge! Again, I have never been there before so I had little expectation. But, I left feeling very much inspired.

Museum Nasional Indonesia

So that’s how I spent my weekend! Definitely not a usual one, and very much enjoyable. Oh, if you would like to see more pictures, do search for #ThisJakartaTrip hashtag on Instagram by yours truly ;). Hope you had a good weekend as well! 🙂

Halo halo Bandung!

Hello! How’s your weekend?

I spent my weekend in Bandung with family. Though Bandung is a popular weekend destination for Jakartans, it has been two years since my last visit! That’s why I was very much excited to go.The main reason to visit Bandung was to attend my brother’s event. He’s a final year student at ITB’s art faculty and the event – a Japan fair which was held on Sunday – showcased his design.

Of course while we’re in town we did not forget to enjoy Bandung’s two obvious “attractions” i.e food and shopping. Hehehe. Despite having little time there, we were able to eat a lot! Hahaha.

Our first stop was Warung Lela. Located up north of Bandung, I think the homey restaurant serves the best Mie Ayam/Yamin. Going to this restaurant brings me memories from my high school and early college days as I always ate there whenever I visited Bandung with my friends, back in the days. Afterwards, we visited Rumah Mode, a famous factory outlet store in Setiabudi area. Lucky us, unlike usual, it’s not too crowded. Mum enjoyed her reflexology massage while me, my brother, and my cousin enjoyed a little bit of shopping spree 😉 If you happen to visit Rumah Mode, don’t forget to try Rumah Tahu, a snack vendor located in its food court which sells the best Tahu Mendoan!

Like I said before, Bandung has become a very popular weekend destination. Hotels are mushrooming in town, from budget ones until those with luxury. This makes finding a hotel in Bandung an easy task, especially when you’re searching for it online. But… I would suggest to avoid North Bandung area, especially around Jalan Dago, Cihampelas, or Setiabudi. The traffic there can get frustrating on weekends! Of course Bandung is not a big town so even though there’s traffic, it wouldn’t get as bad as Jakarta. But still, for me personally, I left Jakarta on the weekend to avoid traffic, so that’s the very least thing I would like to experience while in Bandung.

Our choice of hotel last weekend was Hotel California Bandung. Despite its rather-funny name, it met my expectation very well. We stayed in their Suite room for IDR.900.000 a night which accommodated the four of us conveniently. We got complimentary breakfast for two person, and the amenities in the room worked well. Perhaps there are many cheaper options since we only spent very little hours in the room (read: only came there to sleep and shower, left early the next morning), but I love the fact that the hotel is located in Jl.Wastukencana, which is still close to jl.Dago but not as crowded.

After we checked in to the hotel, we went out again to have afternoon tea, which followed by dinner. First, we went to Oza Tea House in Jl. Diponegoro.

Oza Tea House
Oza Tea House

This, ladies and gentlemen, is heaven for you tea lovers (like my mum)! Really, she was in awe the whole time we were there. They sell serious tea as in they really know the tea business.. not just selling ordinary “ice lemon tea” or “green tea with something something”.

Oza Tea House
Exquisite Tea Selection!

Unlike my mum, I’m not that much of a tea fan but I have to admit their tea is good stuff. Here’s what I ordered.. genmaicha tea with strawberry.

Oza Tea House
My order : Genmaicha with Strawberry

It has a unique blend of green tea taste, sweetness (from the sugar), and sour (from the strawberry). Overall, if you want to chill while enjoying high quality tea, this is the place!

For dinner, my brother recommended  Perky Pedro in Jalan Riau, so we went there. What is it? I’ll write a separate post on it!

After dinner, we went for coffee at Two Cents at Jalan Cimanuk, not far from Jalan Riau. The place does not only offer coffee but also a selection of delicious desserts and food.

Two Cents Brew Believer
Cosy place!
Two Cents Brew Believer
Scrumptious desserts and lite bites..

I ordered raspberry + White chocolate eclair, croissant bread butter pudding (both are very yummy but I forgot to take a picture), and… Bacon Piccolo Latte. Yep, you read it right! At first I was very much hesitant to order it, but then I remembered, life’s too short and I’m on holiday, so I did it! I ordered it.

Two Cents Brew Believer
Bacon Piccolo Latte (!!!)

It turns out to be very good! It’s basically a latte + a strip of beef bacon. The saltiness of bacon compliments the bitter taste of latte. Though it’s not gonna be my favorite kind of coffee, but I would surely order it again.

The next day, we started our day by having breakfast at Miss Bee Providore at Jl. Rancabentang, in Ciumbuleuit area. It was love at first sight. I love everything that is about this place, and I’m going to write about it in a separate post as well.

After breakfast, we went to my brother’s event, stayed there for a while and bought last minute snacks at Kartika Sari & Bawean before going home to Jakarta… It was a short visit, but I’m happy to be able to spend time with my family, it’s been a while since our last weekend getaway 🙂