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Only in Seoul #2: Building and Monument Attractions

Hello, this is the second post of myOnly in Seoul series. Check it out!

Seoul Tower
Also called Namsan Tower, this is a mandatory place to visit other than Gyeongbokgung. You haven't been to Seoul if you haven't visited this place. It is located in Namsan Mountain where you can see the beautiful view of Seoul city (especially at night). On its terrace, there is a famous Locks of Love area where couples write their name and vow in a padlock to express their love. Better not visiting this tower alone because you will end up being desperate seeing all the couples xD I've been to this place 4 times: first with only myself which I regret it a lot, second with my family when they came visiting me in Seoul, third with my Indonesian friend who's on holiday and her Korean friend and forth with my brother who came to visit me. In all those 4 times, I didn't go up to the observatory hall. This tower is already located high on Namsan Mountain, so we can see the beautiful Seoul…

Only in Seoul #1: Historical Cultural Attractions

This is the first post of Only in Seoul series, my version's list of places to visit in Seoul. I usually give people this list when they asked me where to go in Seoul. This time is about the historical and cultural places you should visit in Seoul. Let's start!

Gyeongbokgung
This is the main palace of Joseon Dynasty, the last and longest-ruling dynasty in Korean history. You haven't been to Seoul if you haven't visited this place. Since I love history and culture, this is one of my favorite places in Seoul and I've been to this palace 4 times! First with myself when I just came to Korea, second with my family (mother, father and sister) when they came to visit me, third with my brother who came to visit me also, the last time with myself again after watching Korean TV show 1 Night 2 Days episode Gyeongbokgung. On that episode, the hosts visited Gyeongbokgung and revealed some interesting facts about this palace which I wasn't aware before, so I went there again…

Interesting Library in My Dream

Last night I had a dream about National Library of Singapore, one of my favorite places in Singapore (nerd!). I had posted about it here 5 years ago, on how I started to join membership in the central library. How was it going then? Well, turns out I used the membership quite often for the whole year. I might not visit the central library anymore (that was the only one time I went there) because it's quite far from my apartment, but I often went to 2 library branches near my apartment.

The first library branch I often visited was Bukit Batok Public Library. The place was not big but it had enough books that made me hard to choose which ones to borrow first. The library was located on the 3rd floor of West Mall, a mall just outside Bukit Batok Bus Terminal and Bukit Batok MRT Station (red line), That was the nearest MRT station from my apartment, so I passed it almost everyday. I usually stopped by that library at night on my way home from office.

While on the weekend or when I ha…

The One With All The Wisdom

I just took a quiz about "What Type of Traveller Are You?" from HostelWorld.com, and I got this result. Somehow it's true.


The other possible results are these:
The YOLO Fiend
People may judge you for using this word, but you don't care. You don't get to travel much, but when you do, everything excites you. You seize every opportunity and you never use the word 'no'...sometimes you can't help but look around and think 'How did I get here?'. Your constant positviity is infectious (you always have a companion cheering you on) and you live every travel day as if it might be your last. That is The Motto after all... The Trailblazer
'Mainstream tourism' is a phrase that offends you more than people who eat in McDonald's when they're away from home. Guide books are for the fearful, and you are afraid of nothing. You're constantly trying to seek out new and unexplored territories and venture as far away from the beaten track as you …

Uber Has Arrived in Jakarta

Last Friday afternoon it was raining hard in Jakarta. As usual, Jakarta Friday night + (after) raining = hell traffic jam. When I got out from office to go home, I found a long queue of about 20 people in Blue Bird taxi stand in front of my office building. I had no choice other than joining the line and waiting patiently, because my husband couldn't pick me up that day, taking buses would be unbearably inconvenient, and flagging non Blue Bird taxi outside the queue would be a chaotic taxi war. With 20 people in front of me, I predicted I would finally get the taxi in 1 hour.

Then I realized I actually HAD another choice. I heard recently that Uber just arrived in Jakarta. Uberis a new way of transportation using Smartphone app to connect customers with car drivers; makes everyone feel like having their own private driver. I had downloaded Uber app from App Store and registered an account the day before but hadn't used it. During registration, inserting our credit card number…

Europe on Screen 2014

Ahh, Europe on Screen 2014 (EoS 2014) was over. This European film screening is definitely my favorite event of the year. This year they showed 71 movies all for free, for 9 days in 8 cities in Indonesia, including Jakarta. In Jakarta itself, there were 7 venues showing those movies. Of course I couldn't watch all of them, because they were screened in the same time in different venues, and most movies were screened before 5pm on weekdays (during office hours). In fact, the total movies I could watch in EoS 2014 is only 14 movies. There were many other interesting movies in EoS 2014 I'd love to watch, so I downloaded them from internet. Now I wanna share my experience going to this festival.


Film Screenings Schedule (click image to enlarge)
About the Venue
Out of 7 venues in Jakarta, I went to 5 of them. I didn't go to Universitas Tarumanegara (UNTAR) because it's quite far from my home; neither to Epicentrum XXI because it's for the Opening Film (Philomena) with in…

Tasting the Unique Indonesian Foods

Last week I went to Festival Jajanan Bango (FJB). It is Indonesian traditional culinary festival made by Bango, a local soy sauce brand from Unilever. FJB has been held every year since 8 years ago, but this is the first time I've been to this festival.



After parked our car and paid no-receipt parking fee to the illegal parking man (this is so common if you visit a big event complex in Jakarta such as Gelora Bung Karno Senayan and Taman Impian Jaya Ancol, you have paid the legal parking fee on the entrance gate but you'd be asked for additional illegal fee inside the complex), we walked inside the festival where a big ship decoration welcomed us. The entrance alley was filled by exhibition stands showing the making process of soy sauce, especially Bango brand, and a stand to buy other Unilever products.

Further inside, the main alley ended with a big stage, where some performances were held. One of the performers singing there was Project Pop. Several small alleys were branch…

Review: April Suites in Pattaya

The common tourist areas in Pattaya are North Pattaya Road, Central Pattaya Road, South Pattaya Road, and Jomtien Beach. There are Pattaya 2nd Road and Beach Road that link North to South Pattaya road, and accessible easily by Songthaew (public transportation). I heard the Songthaew also goes to Jomtien Beach but I don't know for sure because I didn't go to that area.

April Suites is a small hotel in the center of Pattaya. It is just 1 minute walking distance to Pattaya 2nd Road, 5 minutes walking to the interception of Pattaya 2nd Road and Central Pattaya Road, and 10 minutes walking to CentralFestival Beach Mall and to Pattaya Beach. It is located inside a small street (Soi), so it's not noisy at night.
The hotel is really clean, new and nice. Our Standard Room was spacious located on the 6th floor. There is elevator to go up and down (thanks God!). Toiletries are complete. They provide 2 mineral bottles but no water boiler and tea/coffee sachets. They have restaurants o…

See You Again, Bangkok!

It's time to go home.

As promised, we were picked up at 5.30am by Bell Travel Service with a minivan which sent us to bus station. Booking online in their website is so easy (and cheaper than buying ticket in their office). We select the route (for example: Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi Airport), departure date and time, how many passengers and bags, pick up and drop off location, and seats number. Then we input the passengers data, and pay by credit card. When we select pick up location as "hotel", there will be many hotels in Pattaya listed to be chosen. There is no "April Suites" (our hotel) in that list, but the hotel staff said to choose "August Suites" instead. August Suites is so close with April Suites, only 1 minute walking, and they are from the same management. The receptionist of April Suites called August Suites to ask if the driver from Bell Travel Service already arrived. When we got the news that he'd arrived, the hotel porter then help…

To the Beach: Pattaya

Today we checked out from our hotel in Bangkok and traveled to the southeast side of Bangkok, to another city called Pattaya, popular for beach resorts.

The bus to Pattaya is departed from Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai), located near exit of Ekamai BTS Station. When we were looking for the ticket counter to buy the bus ticket, we were approached by a man who showed us the counter for Pattaya. He seemed trustworthy, and the ticket price they asked us was 130 Baht ($4) per person, not too much different than what I read in internet (~124 Baht). So we bought the tickets. He then led us the way to a minivan, put our baggage inside and asked us to get inside and wait (somehow we understood his body language). I was a bit worried, because this was not what I expected, to travel with a minivan. I thought we would be going by a bus!

Not long after that, other people started filling up the minivan, including tourists from Philippines and Indonesia, and some locals. The car would depart at 9.10…

To the Ancient City: Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand from 1351 to 1767, is located in the central of Thailand, about 85 km north of Bangkok. The kingdom is destroyed by Burmese armies, but we still can see the ruins. Since I love history, I put this as one of my itineraries in Bangkok.

We started the day very early, because the tour picked us up at the hotel around 5.30 am. We were the first passengers in that minivan. It then stopped at some hotels to pick up other people before heading to the meeting point in Khao San Road, the center of backpackers in Bangkok. I wonder if all the drivers in Bangkok drove recklessly like that, so scary!

When we arrived there, many people and minivans were already gathered. Each of us was given colorful stickers to stick on our clothes. I, my husband and some people got blue-yellow stickers, and many other got blue-only sticker. We then got inside another minivan with other group of people, and this time with 2 girls as our tour guides and a-not-so-recklessly…

Cultural Day in Bangkok

It was so exhausting for me the day before, so we decided to make today mooooore relax haha. We went out from hotel quite late around 10am. We stopped by the only travel agent we found in Saladaeng Road near our hotel, asking about Siam Niramit show for tonight and one day tour to Ayuttaya for tomorrow. Since we didn't know where other travel agents were around there, we decided to take their service. We paid 1000 Baht ($31) each for Siam Niramit show, and 1250 Baht ($38.5) each for Ayuttaya tour. I know from my friend Elfira, that was a normal price for Siam Niramit show. So I trusted they didn't scam me with Ayuttaya tour either. Hell no, the next day we found out we paid too much overprice for Ayuttaya tour. I will write more detail on the next post.

After dealing with travel agent, and having Thai foods for lunch in one of local food stalls near Saladaeng BTS Station, we took BTS towards Saphan Thaksin BTS Station and transferred to Sathorn/Central Pier of Chao Phraya Exp…

Shopping in Bangkok

My second day in Bangkok was Sunday, and the agenda was shopping! This was the only weekend day we had in Bangkok, and since Chatuchak Weekend Market was only opened in weekends (Friday to Sunday), we must visit this place today. We went there by taking BTS until Mo Chit Station. Not like MRT which is using a token, one way BTS ticket is using a card like this.


Once we got out the train, we saw a big park with lake and many street stalls. This place is huge, and everything is there! I should restrain myself to not spend my money a lot because it's still the beginning of my trip.

Chatuchak Market
Thing that one should try in the very hot weather of Bangkok, and it could be found in any tourist places in Bangkok: Coconut Ice Cream (35 Baht / $1)

Review: Park Saladaeng Guesthouse in Bangkok

Park Saladaeng is a new budget boutique guesthouse, where all the facilities and interiors are still new, clean and working fine. I didn't take any photos, but you can see the pictures in its website, they really look the same: beautiful and neat. Design of the room is nice, except that the air conditioner is directly facing the bed.


Even though the Queen Deluxe Room was a little bit small, only 18 sq.m, but it had everything we needed. They cleaned the room everyday. They gave us 4 free bottles of mineral water per day. There was no water boiler at first, but they provided it when we asked for it. It would be nicer too if they provided me some tea and instant coffee sachets :P

Toiletries are complete, except toothbrush, toothpaste and shower cap. The electric sockets on the wall is universal, so we can plug our cables without any converter.

There is cable TV with a lot of good international channels (but some of them are dubbed in Thai) and the most important thing is free fast w…

Babymoon to Bangkok

Before pregnant, I had planned several trips between December 2013 to April 2014, including Dieng, Penang, Cameron Highland, Bangkok and Myanmar. After we found out that I was 7-weeks pregnant in Dec 2013, we decided to cancel all of the trips for safety. I also didn't feel like going anywhere with my sickness. So, I had missed my trips to Dieng, Penang and Cameron Highland.

However, 2 weeks ago I suddenly thought it was ok for me now to travel. And the next trip would be Bangkok. So here it is, my babymoon to Bangkok for the first time, in my 19-weeks pregnancy, with my husband, with 5 days preparation. Random trip is always fun and exciting!
Tuesday: I visited my gynecology to get her 'permission'. She checked my baby, and she said everything's normal. She wrote a permission letter for the airplane, even though I knew we wouldn't need that. Most airplane would allow pregnant lady to travel without any letter until 30-weeks pregnancy.Wednesday: I asked my manager …