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04 February 2017

Review: Sapu Lidi Resort in Lembang

During our trip to Lembang last October, we stayed one night in Sapu Lidi Resort. Sapu Lidi, which means stick broom, is bringing a concept of back to nature. The cottages are spreading along soiled street around a small lake. There are few types of cottages, from small to big one, in the lakeside or not facing the lake. I booked Standard Room so our terrace was not facing the lake (but we could glimpse a little of it haha). All rooms have traditional old decoration and stuff but there are modern items like TV cable, water heater and fast free wifi, of course.

The view from our terrace
Each cottage is standing on its own and having distance to each other, so it was quite private. Not like normal hotels that number their guests rooms, this resort put Sundanese words for each cottage. Our cottage is called Kembang Desa (literally means village flower but metaphorically means beautiful village girl). I took a walk at 6.30 am in the morning circling the lake with my daughter, and it was really refreshing!

22 January 2017

Birthday Bash in Bandung

Since I believed that a birthday should be spent well by traveling, I and the family went holiday to Lembang in North Bandung on my birthday last October. We spent 2 days 1 night all in Lembang, so the title of this post should be Birthday Bash in Lembang but let's use Bandung to make it all start with B.

Bandung especially Lembang is a favorite holiday place for Jakartans. More and more Jakartans coming to Bandung for only weekend getaways, or even one day trip since it's easily reachable by toll road. When no traffic, it takes only 2 hours to go to Bandung. Same amount of time with one way commuting time of urban people going to work in Jakarta, right? But because of too many Jakartans going to Bandung nowadays, toll road is sometimes jammed, and Bandung city is often full with B plate cars (Jakarta car license plate) during weekend. My car was one of them on last 8th-9th October.

We started going out of house early morning around 5.30am to avoid congestion in Cipularang toll road, and arrived in Lembang around 8am. We had a heavy breakfast in Saung Pengkolan 1. Why the number? Because there are 3 locations of Saung Pengkolan restaurant around Lembang. In Sundanese, Saung means house, and Pengkolan means turn/curve. Like its name, this first branch is located on a curved road, with a nice valley view. The restaurant is quite big with Lesehan (sitting on the floor) and seating options and many variants of Sundanese foods, plus Rabbit Satay, a specialty food of Lembang.

View from Saung Pengkolan 1 Restaurant

From Saung Pengkolan 1, we went further up passing by Farmhouse, a family recreation that was happening right now. But we did not stop there that morning, because my our primary destination to Lembang, the place I have been wanting to see since Petualangan Sherina movie 16 years ago (I guess it was the same reason with many other people), was Bosscha Observatory. I spent my university life 4.5 years in Bandung but still hadn't had a chance to visit it until now.

10 January 2017

Footage 2016

It is not too late to say Goodbye 2016, isn't it? As I wrote here last year, I wanted to go to minimum 12 Indonesian cities in 2016... and I made it! I am quite happy with my traveling achievement 2016:
  1. Penang, Malaysia. Just me and husband, much like honeymoon.
  2. Korea, solo traveling ha!
  3. Aceh (Lhokseumawe and Takengon), during Ied Fitri holiday.
  4. East Java (Surabaya, Batu, Malang), for my daughter's 2nd birthday.
  5. Bali, for a business trip.
  6. Lembang, for my birthday.
  7. Singapore, for a friend's wedding. This was my daughter's first oversea trip.
  8. Lembang again, for a friend's wedding.
  9. Central Java (Semarang, Solo, Ambarawa, Dieng, Purwokerto), our first road trip together.
My baby was getting bigger so we could travel more together. All above places were visited with my daughter, except #1, #2, #5. There were many first-time-things happened in 2016, such as her first time on taking train. We made her passport and traveled abroad with her for the first time. We also had our first road trip together, just 3 of us, when going around Central Java by our own car.

On May last year I went to Korea again and did solo traveling again after 4 years, not only to Seoul but also visited few other cities. Some had changed, some were not. The trip was not only seeing new places, but also mesmerizing the old times and reuniting with the old friends. My husband and my kid did not come with me. It was excited in the beginning, but quite painful towards the end of the journey because I could not wait to get back home to my little family. 

That time I realized it's nice to have me-time sometimes, but should be not too long. My life has changed, I am not one person anymore. I was one and then two and now three and God knows how many more will come. My traveling style has changed. Before I go, mostly I would ask myself: "is this place child-friendly? Will my kid enjoy this place?" Maybe I missed some good places (because it's difficult to reach with a kid) but I saw another good places too. Do you know Singapore has some places that can be entered only by adults with kid (for example Jacob Ballas Children Garden)? 

I am still half a type of checklist-ambitious traveler, who's marking all the places I should visit. However half again has turned me into an easy wanderer. Many times during traveling, I spent times on changing diapers, feeding my kid, waiting her sleeping... that I could not finish going all the places I planned to visit. I just enjoy the moments being with loved ones. Like people said, traveling is all about the journey, not a destination, right?

That sums up my 2016 traveling journey. I guess my 2017 will be quite the same with my 2016. Motherhood does not mean you have to give up traveling. Motherhood means traveling is gonna be much more fun.

08 December 2016

Review: Ibis Styles Hotel in Denpasar Bali

During my business trip to Bali last October, i was staying in Ibis Styles Hotel in Denpasar for 2 nights. Honestly Ibis Styles, with its too bright decoration, is not a kind of hotel I'd like to stay. But my business partner, who was already in Bali 2 days ahead of me, was staying there, and I thought it would be much convenient for me to go to our customer together from the same hotel. However, it turned out my experience staying there was not bad at all. My office booked it for me using our regular travel agent. It cost around IDR950,000 for 2 nights.

I arrived before check-in time, but the hotel staff could manage for me to get in the room directly. I like the fully carpeted room. Even though the room was small but looked very comfortable and cozy. It reminds me a little of Swiss-Belinn hotel in Malang except this one was too much colorful in green and purple. They said it makes the customers in happy mood, but seriously it does not! Then I found the shower room light was not working. The tehnician was coming right away after I called the receptionist. Apparently there was no problem with the lights, it's just that I needed to turn on another switch plus that shower room switch (some kind of switch combination?). They provided liquid soap and shampoo 2 in 1 like the ones for baby (and this made my hair very hard). They did not provide slippers and dental kit. When I came down to lobby to go out, I approached the receptionist to ask about slippers and dental kit. He said those were being provided free upon request only, and they would bring them to my room. When I came back later at night, those items were already in my shower room.

The contemporary designed room

Shower room