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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…

Escape to Bali

In the beginning of last October I had a short business trip to Bali and a chance to walk around Bali for one day. It has been 3 years I never been to Bali. Foreigners might not waste opportunity visiting Bali often if they live in Indonesia. Just take a look at one colleague of mine from UK who went to Jakarta 4 times this year for business trip ALWAYS ended his trip with few days holiday in Bali. Yet here I am going to Bali not even once a year.

I arrived in Ngurah Rai Airport around 10.45AM. I heard that we could not find legal taxi easily in Bali Airport that you have to walk outside the airport to get one. Many rental cars are waiting in the arrival halls but need to bargain; not convenient at all. There are online car services in Bali such as Uber and GrabCar, but they could not easily take guests from the airport because they would be confronted by those rental cars drivers. I tried to order Uber anyway, then the appointed driver told me to meet up in Departure hall, to avoid …

Review: Swiss-Belinn Hotel in Malang

This was the second time I stayed in Swiss Belinn chain hotel. The first time was in Cirebon, while this time was in Malang. Both location are inside mall complex. Is that the characteristic of this famous chain 3-star hotel?

First impression when entering the lobby: the receptionist desk was so tiny compare to the huge lobby. It was clean and modern contemporary styled, from the lobby to the room. Although the room was small but it was very comfortable. I always like hotel room with fully carpeted floor, like the one we had in this hotel. The room was equipped with water heater, fridge, safety deposit box, tv cables with many international channels, stable wifi connection and necessary bath amenities. We found the exhaust in bathroom was not working. We reported it directly to front desk and then the technicians came straightaway to our room to fix it.

Our tiny bathroom
The outdoor swimming pool was quite big and located outside the restaurant. Not like in Surabaya and Batu, this tim…

East Java Tour: Malang

This is part of my East Java Tour on 13th-17th August 2016 (4 nights 5 days):
13th August: Jakarta to Surabaya by plane, staying in Surabaya 1 night14th August: Surabaya to Malang by train then to Batu by taxi, staying in Batu 2 nights16th August: Batu to Malang by taxi, staying in Malang 1 night17th August: Malang to Jakarta by plane Back in Malang after 2 nights staying in Batu, we stayed to explore the city for one night. From Jatim Park 2 Batu, I ordered taxi to bring us getting our stuff first in our hotel in Batu, then went we off to our hotel in Malang. The journey takes about 45 minutes. After checked-in and got a rest for a while, we went out to have dinner... in 2 places!

First we went to Toko Oen, an old restaurant in Dutch style that was started since 1930. The furniture inside really pictured the old times such as low chairs made of rottan, plaid table cloth in red and white and Welcome plank in Dutch.The waiters wore a costume used by local people during Dutch invasion. T…

Review: Zamzam Hotel in Batu

During our vacation in Batu we were staying in Zamzam Hotel, a big 3-star hotel. Big, but not too famous among Malang taxi drivers (while Batu taxi drivers know it), because our driver from Malang Train Station did not know where it was. So we relied on Google Maps, which took us passing very small streets, and we got lost. Apparently the best way to go there was follow the road to Kusuma Agrowisata; almost every driver knows that touristy place. Just 200m before reaching the place, turn right for about 50m and voila... we arrive at Zamzam Hotel.

The location is quite good in the middle of Batu, near Museum Angkut and very near Kusuma Agrowisata. We walked to both places. From other attraction places are not far either, less than 1km to Jatim Park 1 and Jatim Park 2, and 1km from Batu Night Spectacular.

I booked 1 room for 2 nights via Traveloka around IDR750,000. I chose this hotel because it had swimming pool and aircon, but in the end we didn't really use the pool and aircon b…

East Java Tour: Batu

This is part of my East Java Tour on 13th-17th August 2016 (4 nights 5 days):
13th August: Jakarta to Surabaya by plane, staying in Surabaya 1 night14th August: Surabaya to Malang by train then to Batu by taxi, staying in Batu 2 nights16th August: Batu to Malang by taxi, staying in Malang 1 night17th August: Malang to Jakarta by plane There are many ways to go to Malang/Batu, and I chose by train from Surabaya because I hadn't been to Surabaya before, and my daughter hadn't taken train before. When the train started to walk, she stared blank and tried to process that new experience. We then sang a famous Indonesian children song "Naik kereta api, tut.. tut.. tut.." (The Train Ride). Since we're new in this Penataran Train, we didn't know how the seats and carts condition. One cart has 4 aircons so economy train is not hot anymore like it used to be. Each row has 5 seats: 2 and 3 seats divided by aisle. Thanks God we got the 2 seats row, because it looked more …

Review: Prime Royal Boutique Hotel in Surabaya

In Surabaya we stayed one night in Prime Royal Boutique Hotel, a 3-star hotel located in the middle of town. I was looking for a hotel near railway station (Gubeng or Semut) and has swimming pool, then finally decided to book this hotel after reading good reviews and the fare fitted my budget. One superior room for one night only cost around IDR360,000 via Traveloka.
We arrived and checked-in the hotel around 8.30pm (see my previous post about Surabaya here). We got a room on the second floor with 2 single beds. I directly called the receptionist because I wanted 1 double bed and I already wrote down that request when I booked the room online. The staff was sorry and very friendly, asking me to wait in the room until someone came to us to deliver the key for our new room. We moved to a room on the first floor which actually also had 2 single beds but they had wrapped them with one double bed linen so it looked like a double bed. Well, that was okay for us, and I like their quick resp…

East Java Tour: Surabaya

This is part of my East Java Tour on 13th-17th August 2016 (4 nights 5 days):
13th August: Jakarta to Surabaya by plane, staying in Surabaya 1 night14th August: Surabaya to Malang by train then to Batu by taxi, staying in Batu 2 nights16th August: Batu to Malang by taxi, staying in Malang 1 night17th August: Malang to Jakarta by plane The trip started with a chaos. We arrived in Soekarno-Hatta airport at 6.30 to check in Sriwijaya flight 8.05 to Surabaya. Suddenly the staff in check in counter said, "this ticket is for tomorrow flight." WHAT?! I just realized that I'd bought a wrong ticket, and my husband did not check it either.

We then hurrily went to Customer Service (CS) Sriwijaya to change the ticket. The staff said all flights to Surabaya for today was full. There are seats available in flight 7.00 to Surabaya transit Semarang, but unfortunately the plane was already boarding and gate closed. We went to CS Lion in the same terminal with Sriwijaya (1B) to buy a new …

When In Lhok

Moslems all over the world just celebrated a big holiday Ied al-Fitr (Hari Raya) 3 weeks ago. During Hari Raya holiday, I went to Aceh again to visit my parents with my husband and daughter. Since there was no direct flight to Lhokseumawe (Lhok), my hometown, we needed to transit in Medan first. From there, we could take another smaller plane for about 45 minutes, or take road trip by bus/car for about 7 hours.

On the flight from Jakarta to Medan, my little daughter (who's still an infant) cried the whole flight. She did not want to sit, and asked us to hug her while standing in the aisle of airplane. My husband had to stand up for the half of the trip (poor him). All the toys we brought, that usually could distract her, were not working at all. It was a nightmare for her, and for us who felt so sad seeing her screaming and crying. This was not her first flight; she had taken airplane last year but not as drama as this time. Maybe at that time she was still too little to be afrai…

Alive Museum Ancol

Like I said in this post, I LOOOOVE trick arts. When I found out there was another trick art exhibition in Jakarta, I was so excited, and directly purchased the tickets. It is called Alive Museum, which is originated from Korea. It already has 14 branches in and out of Korea including China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and now in Jakarta, Indonesia, yay! I guess this exhibition is a permanent one, opened since 30 October 2015 and located in Ancol Beach City Mall 3rd floor.

This attraction contains 2 parts: Alive Museum which displays interactive optical illusion arts and paintings, and Alive Star which displays wax figures of famous people. Each section has entry ticket Rp.100,000, which I think quite expensive, but they have many discounts if paying with some particular bank cards, and also some websites like Groupon offer a good deal of it. To get inside Ancol complex itself, there is also entrance fee for each person and vehicle (around Rp.20,000).

Sunday Morning Walk: Setu Babakan

When we all could wake up early on Sunday morning, and mostly could because our baby daughter wakes up early everyday including Sunday T_T, I'd like to spend the morning by walking outside in some outdoor spaces. From the nearby place like Banjir Kanal Timur (BKT) and Taman Tebet, until further place like Ancol.

Last Sunday Morning we went to Setu Babakan in Jagakarsa, South Jakarta. Using JORR (Jakarta Outer Ring Road) toll, the place could be reached within 30minutes only from my house by car. If you want to use public transport, you could take the train until Lenteng Agung train station then take blue angkot no.58, or you could take kopaja no.616 from Blok M.



Footage 2015

In 2014, I did not travel much because of my pregnancy and then having a baby. In 2015, finally I could do some traveling mostly in the second half of the year when my baby already turned one. This is the list of my footage in 2015:
Hyderabad, India. I went there for business trip but I got one whole day to explore the city and the foods.Singapore. After Hyderabad, I had 3 free days to travel. Many people warned how traveling in India was not safe for solo woman traveler. So, I did not extend my stay in India. I decided to extend my stay in Singapore instead, where my plane from Hyderabad to Jakarta was transited. Luckily my husband could join me to Singapore, so we traveled together, much like honeymoon, and remembering the old days when I was living there. At that time, my baby was around 7 months and left with my Mother. That was the first time I left her for a long time (9 days). Also that was the first time I visited Singapore again after 4 years since I moved out.Bandung, for a …

My First eBook: Gyeongju

Hello, 2016! Goodbye, 2015!

One of my resolutions in 2015 was writing one traveling ebook. This plan was actually begun in July 2012, just after I moved out from Seoul to Jakarta. For the first ebook, I started to write about Gyeongju.... and it finally finished in the end of 2015.

Yeah, this pretty much sums it up
Some reasons I think why it spent 2,5 years to finish this ebook are:
I had not moved on yet from Korea. Every time I wrote something about Korea, I felt melancholy and remembering the old days and then I could not continue writing.I tried to find my best writing style for this itinerary series, which would be a general template for my next ebooks, hopefullyMy life was busy with pregnancy and baby Hopefully writing my next ebooks will not take too much time like this again.
So here it is: The Lost Wanderer Itinerary Series: Gyeongju, can be read and downloaded free in Scribd. It tells the story of my 4 days trip to Gyeongju in June 2012. Quite long time already ya, so perhap…