29 November 2016

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 rental car drivers in Arrival hall. We then safely went out from the airport.

It took about 30 minutes and IDR50,765 to my hotel in Denpasar city. I checked my Uber receipt and surprised to see discount IDR50,000 on my trip. I practically paid nothing for that trip. I just found out Uber gave me discount IDR50,000 each for 5 trips on that day! Was that because I used Uber in another city for the first time? I was so excited. Today's journey was gonna be sponsored by Uber, yayyy!

26 November 2016

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 time we finally could enjoy dipping into the pool longer because the weather was not that cold. After swimming, we had very nice breakfast foods in the restaurant while watching some guests playing games held by the hotel to celebrate Indonesia Independence Day. Maybe because of public holiday, at that day there were many guests that made me almost not able to get a table for breakfast.

The outdoor pool has children pool

This hotel is located in the middle of town, so it's near to go to any tourist places or restaurants in the town. It is about 14km to Abdul Rachman Saleh airport and 5km to Malang train station. It is located just behind Mx Mall and Malang Town Square but fortunately the way to the hotel is separated from the malls so the hotel entrance is not crowded. Even though just walking distance to the malls, we were not interested to visit them.

I booked one standard room for one night from Tiket.com 2 weeks before staying there and it cost around IDR530.000. I think it was quite cheap, with all good facilities this hotel offered.

Read also our journey in Malang.

10 November 2016

East Java Tour: Malang

This is part of my East Java Tour on 13th-17th August 2016 (4 nights 5 days):
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. The menu written in Bahasa Indonesia and Dutch. We ordered its specialty ice cream and Oxtongue Steak. Ice cream price varied between 13k to 30k, while steak price ranged between 60k to 70k.There were also other foods such as appetizers and Indonesian dishes. Please note that this restaurant also served pork, so it's not halal. They served quite long and not too friendly, but the Oxtongue Steak was nice tho.

Oxtongue Steak and Ice Cream Oen's Special

Toko Oen is located near Alun-Alun Merdeka. After spending such a fun time in Alun-Alun Batu the other night, I thought we would visit Alun-Alun Malang right after we had dinner in Toko Oen. But when we passed by it, it was dark and quiet, not as crowded and live like the one in Batu. Maybe it was crowded only in weekends and on the day, not in the evening. Hmm didn't know what to do in Malang at night accept dining (and clubbing?). OK then, we went eating again!