13 November 2017

The First Taste of Celebes: Day 3-4

Hi, this time I am going to write about the rest of my Makassar trip. In my previous post, I have shared places that Lost Wanderer crew (I, my husband and our daughter Nad) visited on our first and second days in Makassar which are: around the city (Fort Rotterdam, Kampung Popsa, Losari Beach) and Maros (Rammang-Rammang, Leang-Leang, Bantimurung). So, where to go next?

On the third day, we went to Milano. The same driver, from the same car rental company as yesterday, picked us up at the hotel around 8.30am. I confirmed to continue booking their car rental service just the night before. The rate to rent car 12hours to Milano was Rp.500,000 (exclude fuel charge), more expensive than the price to Maros. Honestly, I still don't understand why the price is different with the same car and same duration. I know Milano was further than Maros and would spend more fuel, therefore I acknowledged the higher fuel charge we paid, but higher rental car charge as well? I don't get it. Anyway, I was too lazy to find another car rental, so I just stuck with this AnginMammiri.com company.

First, we stopped by at Balla Lompoa Museum, still inside Makassar city but it's on the way to Malino. This used to be a palace of the Sultanate of Gowa, the most successful ancient kingdom in South Sulawesi. Now the stilt house building is used as a museum in where Gowa relics items being kept and displayed to visitors, such as crowns, jewelry, clothes, and weapons. We were the only visitors at that morning, so it was quite enjoying to explore all by ourselves. No annoying photographers and Nad was not cranky being inside that old building surrounding by old stuff (not like when we visited Pagaruyung Palace in West Sumatera :P).

To get more feel of Gowa, we rented a traditional costume, only Rp.50,000/person, and wear it while sightseeing the museum. Its women traditional cloth is called Baju Bodo. Baju Bodo colors have meanings:

  • Orange is used by girls until 10 years old
  • Red is used by big girls from 10 until 25 years old
  • Black is used by women from 25 until 40 years old
  • White is used by nurses
  • Purple is used by widows

I should have worn the black one :p

29 October 2017

The First Taste of Celebes: Day 1-2

Celebes is an old name of Sulawesi, the forth largest island in Indonesia after Sumatera, Borneo (Kalimantan) and Papua. Its biggest city is Makassar, where I and family traveled 2 weeks ago. I've been willing to see the eastern parts of Indonesia, especially Sulawesi, since people praise their beauty a lot. But as you know, the beauty is equivalent with the way to go there. The prettier a place is the more difficult to reach it. Some places are required a whole day to reach by changing more than one transportation. Not just it is exhausting but also expensive. With a small kid like mine, I would think twice to travel to isolated places like that. To have a slight taste of Sulawesi, how about traveling to its big cities first? My choice was Makassar or also called Ujung Pandang, the capital city of South Sulawesi, which had many flight options from Jakarta.

I booked Sriwijaya Air round ways via Traveloka about 1 month before the trip, and it cost me about Rp.1,3millions/person. At that time there was a cheaper flight, Lion Air, but I did not want to take Lion Air anymore after being delayed one hour in my previous flight from Padang to Jakarta. (Unfortunately my Sriwijaya Air flights were also delayed: one hour delay on flight to Makassar, and 2 hours delay on flight from Makassar, eugh!). We (me, my husband and our daughter Nad) arrived in Sultan Hasanuddin Airport in Makassar around 2PM. From Airport to downtown took about one hour. The Airport Taxi cost Rp.150,000 flat price, while I checked Grab only cost Rp.90,000 and Uber Rp.50,000 (with promotion). I tried ordering Grab and Uber in the same time, and finally one Grab Driver accepted my order. He called to instruct me to go to Departure Hall because Arrival Hall is full with Airport Taxi which hate Online Taxi, a common problem in many cities.

We checked-in to our room in Singgasana Hotel. Apparently their room key card reader system was down since a week ago, so receptionists said hotel staff would accompany us whenever we went inside the room. We took prayer and then at 4pm went out to visit the first attraction: Fort Rotterdam. One must have not been in Makassar if one hasn't visited this fort. It is a historical fort in Makassar built by Gowa Kingdom maybe in 15th Century but then overtook and rebuilt by Dutch colonial to be used for Dutch military base in Sulawesi. That's why the buildings have Dutch style, and remind me of old school buildings. Most parts of the fort and buildings are in a good shape. The stones made for the fort were in high quality and seemed everlasting. They came from Maros, an area outside Makassar that is famous with its karst stone (where we would be going on the next day). There are many spots to sit and hangout, including stones and grass fields. Afternoon is the perfect time to stroll around this fort. Fort entrance fee was free during August month to celebrate Indonesian Independence Day, but the officer in front gate asked visitors to fill guest book and ask to donate some money. I don't know to whom the money went, hope it would be for the fort/museum development.

Strolling around Fort Rotterdam

At 5pm we crossed the street towards Kampoeng Popsa to have early dinner. We only ate small breads for lunch, so we were very hungry. Kampoeng Popsa is a nice food court by the sea that offers a lot of varieties of foods from local to international. Of course I chose local Sulawesi food: Cakalang Noodle and Es Pisang Ijo (ice green banana). Cakalang is a kind of tuna fish famous in Sulawesi. Maybe the foods were not that special (taste was ok, price was normal), but the view was. We were sitting in the balcony facing sunset on a port with a lot of small boats parked. This port is used for crossing to nearby small islands like Kayangan Island. Is that island really like Kayangan (heaven)? I did not plan to go there this trip, hope I can visit there next time.

07 October 2017

WTM#1: Perpustakaan Nasional

Welcome to Weekend Tanpa Mall (WTM) series!

Postingan pertama di seri WTM ini akan menceritakan tentang perpustakaan yang keluarga saya kunjungi hari Sabtu lalu. Ini bukan Perpustakaan Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM) Cikini langganan kami, tapi Perpustakaan Nasional (Perpusnas) yang baru diresmikan 3 minggu lalu oleh Presiden kita. Dari postingan-postingan yang beredar di sosial media, katanya perpustakaan ini baru akan dibuka untuk umum tanggal 9 Oktober 2017. Tapi kok sudah banyak yang pamer foto-foto disana? Wah saya pun tidak mau kalah dan penasaran untuk segera kesana.

Awalnya saya kira Perpusnas baru yang disebut-sebut ini adalah Perpusnas tua di Salemba yang dirombak jadi baru. Ternyata bukan, gedung Perpusnas hits ini berada di lokasi lain yaitu di Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan No.11 di samping Balai Kota Jakarta dan di seberang Monas. Saya baru tau kalau di lokasi itu tadinya memang adalah gedung Perpusnas, tapi cuma 3 tingkat dan tidak menarik. Mungkin selama ini ga ngeh karena sejak tahun 2013 ditutupi papan-papan proyek untuk direnovasi, yang akhirnya selesai tahun ini. Dan hasilnya keren. Perpustakaan tertinggi di dunia.

Keterangan semua lantai

Dari parkiran basement, kami naik lift menuju Lantai 2 dulu. Begitu lift terbuka, woah saya langsung takjub melihat display rak buku tinggi dari Lantai 1 ke Lantai 4. Sepertinya buku-buku ini cuma buat pajangan sih, bukan dipinjem. Di Lantai 2 ini ada 3 counter staff dan belasan PC untuk mendaftar sebagai anggota. Suami mengisi data diri di salah satu PC, sedangkan saya yang sudah daftar lewat website Perpusnas, hanya perlu menuliskan nomor anggota di PC lain lalu mendapat nomor antrian. Niatnya sih mau buat kartu anggota plus nanya-nanya. Tapi pas lihat nomor antrian, ya ampunnn... saya dapat nomor 249 sedangkan antrian saat itu masih di nomor 130an. Gatau tuh kenapa, antara pengunjung yang ramai saat weekend atau petugas nya sedikit dan lama kerjanya. Ya sudah kami tinggal deh dan muter-muter tempat ini dulu.

Rak buku 4 lantai

Weekend Tanpa Mall Series

Kota tempat saya tinggal saat ini penuh dengan shopping mall. Mungkin kelihatannya bagus karena menandakan perekonomian semakin maju, tapi mall-mall ini sudah menjamur terlalu banyak melebihi ruang umum lain yang tidak melibatkan komersial seperti taman dan perpustakaan. Orang-orang berkumpul di mall bersama teman-teman dan keluarga. Anak-anak sedari kecil sudah dibawa ke mall dan diperkenalkan dengan membelanjakan uang (consume) bukan dengan berkarya (produce). Mall memang cukup nyaman, sejuk dan ber-AC, tapi ada tempat kumpul lain bukan mall yang nyaman kok. Coba lihat negara Singapura yang sama persis cuaca panas nya dengan Jakarta, banyak shopping center tapi taman-taman nya juga seimbang jumlahnya dan nyaman untuk didatangi bukan cuma dilihat.

Sedang bermain di rumah teman Eyang di Cigombong

Saya dan keluarga agak jarang ke mall. Saya masih sering belanja sih (namanya juga emak-emak :p) tapi online, ga di depan anak saya. Trus kalau weekend ngapain dong? Ternyata banyak loh tempat-tempat keluarga non mall di Jakarta dan sekitarnya yang asik dan seru didatangi terutama buat anak-anak. Kebanyakan pengeluarannya jauh lebih murah daripada jalan-jalan di mall. Di blog ini saya akan sharing tempat-tempat non mall yang saya dan keluarga datangi saat weekend di seri Weekend Tanpa Mall (WTM). Semoga cukup bermanfaat buat keluarga lainnya.

Semua postingan di WTM series biss dilihat disini. Have a nice weekend!

25 September 2017

Rainbow Island

Who says Jakarta does not have decent beaches? It has, but it would take one boat away... to Pulau Seribu (thousands islands). After 4 years ago visited Harapan Island, this time I had a chance to visit another island in Pulau Seribu called Pelangi Island (pelangi means rainbow). Not like Harapan Island which is a populated island, Pelangi Island is a resort. Most islands that can be visited in Pulau Seribu are resort islands, except Harapan, Kelapa, Pari, Pramuka and Tidung Islands. I went to Pelangi Island with my office colleague, just a small group of 15 people.

We booked 2 days 1 night package with Raja-Wisata.com. They are very friendly, helpful and most important thing is very fast response. Our Whatsapp messages are always answered quickly. The price for Pelangi Island varies depends on the type of room we want to book. There are 4 types: Edelweiss, Bougenville, Jasmine dan Tulip. Edelweiss and Bougenville are bungalow like a cottage, each has their own building and separated from other bungalows. While Jasmine and Tulip are like usual hotel room, attached to each other. As you can see from the room map above, all rooms are located on the sea side, except Tulip type. We booked 7 Bougenville rooms: 2 persons per room except 3 ladies in one room.

Pelangi Island Room Map

26 August 2017

The Lost Wanderer Itinerary Series: Busan

Busan may not be as favorite as Seoul and Jeju, but it can be an alternative to explore as the largest port city in South Korea. Except than the beach and port, the city itself almost resembles Seoul (maybe in few years back :p). How lovely the life of Busan people, they are living in a big city with many good facilities, yet they can easily reach beautiful beaches within the city.

Another reason to travel to Busan especially for South East Asians, there is flight AirAsia from KL to Busan which usually cheaper than KL to Seoul, vice versa. Some travelers opt to travel to Busan first then take the local transportation to the other part of South Korea.

For you who wants to travel to Busan and needs some ideas where and how to go around or just wants to read my story (hehe :p), you can download and read my second itinerary series ebook for free in this link (please open it using browser, not Scribd mobile app, because it does not work in the mobile app, I don't know why). 

In this ebook, I share the story of my trip to Busan almost 6 years ago. Long time ago, but the information is still valid. It was a short trip though, only 2 days 1 night, not as long as my first ebook (Gyeongju), but hopefully it would be much useful. If you also read my Gyeongju ebook, you can see that the book format is the same. This is the format I will always use in what I called as The Lost Wanderer Itinerary Series (TLWIS).

Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it, even though it took me more than a year to write haha. Off I go now to write the next one. Hmmm maybe after cuddling my daughter first... and finish that book on the shelf... and.... well, see ya! :)

24 August 2017

Review: M-Griya Guest House di Purwokerto

Tiba-tiba kami menginap di Purwokerto (baca lengkap ceritanya disini). Setelah compare harga dan ratings sana-sini, akhirnya saya booking M-Griya Guest House Purwokerto lewat Pegipegi 3 jam sebelum check-in. Untung masih dapat kamar, dan harganya murah banget Rp.215,000 sudah include breakfast. Was-was juga, kondisi penginapannya bagaimana ya?

Ternyata menginap di M-Griya Guest House itu nyaman sekali. Di dalam kamarnya ada 1 double bed, TV, free wifi, AC dan kamar mandi dengan air panas dan peralatan mandi lengkap. Sebenernya fasilitasnya hampir sama dengan hotel yang kami inapi di Solo (bahkan minus kolam renang), tapi berasa nyaman sekali mungkin karena malam sebelumnya kami menginap di homestay yang sederhana di Dieng, sedangkan malam sebelum kami menginap di hotel di Solo kami menginap di hotel di Semarang yang super nyaman hehe.

Kamar kami yang terletak di lantai 2 ada jendela nya tapi menghadap ke salah satu ruang tengah guesthouse yang mudah dilihat oleh tamu lain atau staff yang lalu lalang atau nongkrong disana, jadi gorden nya selalu kami tutup. Namanya juga kamar standar yang paling murah. Tapi gapapa, karena kami sampai disana juga udah malam dan checkout besoknya pagi-pagi. Walaupun di dalam kamarnya tidak disediakan pemanas air minum, kopi, teh dan gula tapi semua itu ada di ruangan tengah yang bisa diambil sepuasnya. Konsepnya penginapan rumahan, ada beberapa ruang tengah di lantai 1 dan 2. Ruang santai yang paling dekat dengan kamar kami berisi sofa dan kursi unik warna-warni, ayunan sangkar nge-hits dan instagrammable, pantry dan dapur bisa numpang masak, minjem dan nyuci piring gelas.

Salah satu ruang santai

08 August 2017

Review: Homestay Cahaya Sikunir Dieng

Mencari penginapan di Dieng itu susah-susah gampang. Disana tidak ada hotel, adanya penginapan rumahan atau homestay. Beberapa turis kadang menginap di kota Wonosobo, sekitar sejam dari Dieng, demi mendapat penginapan yang bagus. Pilihan di travel apps hanya sedikit dan kurang cocok. Setelah browsing sana-sini, terutama baca review blog orang, saya hubungi beberapa homestay di Dieng baik lewat telpon maupun Whatsapp. Saat kami sudah mulai road trip Jawa Tengah tanggal 12 Desember, kami masih belum tau mau menginap dimana di Dieng tanggal 17 Desember nya. Karena waktu itu kami belum fix juga sih mau berapa malam di Dieng, 1 atau 2 malam? Kalau 2 malam, keduanya di homestay yang sama atau ganti homestay?

Akhirnya tanggal 16 Desember, sehari sebelum ke Dieng (saat itu kami di Solo), kami memutuskan untuk menginap 2 malam di Dieng. Malam pertama di Homestay Cahaya Sikunir, karena keesokan subuh nya mau sok-sokan melihat sunrise di Bukit Sikunir, dan malam kedua di Homestay Serayu. Untuk homestay pertama, katanya perlu DP, tapi sampai hari H saya ke Dieng belum dikirimkan juga no rekening yang bisa ditransfer. Modal percaya saja deh ada kamar yang sudah disiapkan buat kami. Sedangkan untuk homestay kedua ga perlu DP sama sekali, nanti saja katanya langsung bayar pas datang. Tapi akhirnya kami tidak jadi menginap di homestay kedua ini, lihat ceritanya di post sebelumnya. Jadi yang bisa di-review disini hanya Homestay Cahaya Sikunir.

25 July 2017

Road Trip Jawa Tengah: Dieng

Ini adalah lanjutan seri postingan Road Trip Jawa Tengah. Setelah hari sebelumnya menginap 2 malam di Solo lalu jalan-jalan sebentar di Ambarawa, kami melanjutkan perjalanan ke Wonosobo lalu ke Dieng.

Trip ke Dieng ini sebenarnya adalah perjalanan yang tertunda. Saya dan Suami sebelumnya pernah planning trip ke Dieng pada bulan Desember 2013. Sudah booking transportasi dan penginapan dari jauh-jauh hari, tapi gagal berangkat karena saya hamil muda. Akhirnya kami jadi ke Dieng tiga tahun kemudian di bulan Desember 2016 dengan satu personil tambahan yang tiga tahun lalu ada di dalam kandungan hehe.

Sebelum naik ke Dataran Tinggi Dieng, kami mampir dulu di Kota Wonosobo buat membeli salah satu makanan khas sana yaitu Mie Ongklok Pak Muhadi yang terkenal dengan Mie Ongklok dan Sate Sapi. Mie Ongklok berisi campuran mie, irisan kol dan daun bawang disiram kuah dan bumbu kacang, dengan hidangan pelengkap Sate Sapi, yumm! Karena kami baru late lunch dan ga sanggup buat makan lagi di tempat, jadi Mie Ongklok dan Sate Sapi nya dibungkus aja buat makan di homestay di Dieng nanti. Tadinya mau dimakan buat 'snack' sore, eh ternyata kami baru sampai di homestay sekitar pukul 6 sore, hujan deras, males keluar lagi, dan di sekitaran homestay tidak ada tempat makan. Untung sudah bungkus makanan tadi.

Jalanan naik menuju Dieng berkelok tepi jurang dan semakin sore semakin berkabut, jadi harus super hati-hati dan kalau bisa jangan terlalu sore kesananya. Rencana awal di Dieng adalah 2 malam, malam pertama menginap di dekat Bukit Sikunir untuk besok paginya melihat sunrise, dan malam kedua menginap di area pusat wisata Dieng. Bukit Sikunir lumayan jauh dari pusat wisata Dieng. Kalau menginap di area pusat wisata Dieng harus mulai berangkat jam 3 pagi untuk mengejar sunrise di Bukit Sikunir. Sedangkan kami yang menginap di Homestay Cahaya Sikunir di Desa Sembungan, desa tertinggi di Pulau Jawa, bisa mulai berangkat jam 4 pagi. Penjaga homestay sempet menawarkan apakah kami butuh guide untuk pendakian esok pagi, tapi kami bilang akan jalan sendiri saja (pede banget!). Homestay nya sudah masuk dalam kawasan Bukit Sikunir jadi harus bayar tiket Rp.10,000/orang. Awalnya kami bete, ini apa-apaan sih baru mau check-in kok sudah dipalak, tapi ternyata memang valid :P

Kami tidak kesulitan bangun esok subuhnya karena dari jam 8 malam sebelumnya sudah tidur haha abis ga bisa ngapa-ngapain juga, sinyal internet susah dan sinyal TV di kamar juga tidak ada (TV nya sih ada tapi ga bisa nonton haha sama aja). Ada sih TV di ruang bersama tapi males keluar kamar, pengennya gelogeran di kasur, tapi kan ga enak tidur-tiduran di ruang TV di depan tamu-tamu lain. Anyway, dari homestay kami berjalan ke Basecamp Bukit Sikunir yang jaraknya hanya sekitar 600 meter. Ga tau juga ya kenapa waktu itu memilih berjalan kaki saja daripada membawa mobil, mungkin karena males nanti cari parkir nya lagi, baik pas di Basecamp maupun pas balik ke homestay lagi. Homestay nya sendiri sih bagus tapi tempat parkir nya tidak terlalu besar, jadi bisa parkir di pinggir jalan. Semua homestay di Dieng rata-rata gitu sih. Review homestay lengkap nya nanti di next post ya. Ternyata parkiran di Basecamp besar, bahkan banyak bis yang membawa turis kesana. Tapi ga nyesel juga sih ga bawa mobil, karena udaranya fresh banget buat berjalan kaki, terutama di jalan baliknya dengan pemandangan Telaga Cebong, danau yang bentuknya mirip kecebong.

Jalanan antara Basecamp dan Homestay Cahaya Sikunir di pinggir Telaga Cebong

17 June 2017

Road Trip Jawa Tengah: Ambarawa

Ini adalah lanjutan seri postingan mengenai road trip saya dan keluarga ke Jawa Tengah akhir Desember lalu (ya ampun sudah 6 bulan belum juga move on) setelah Semarang, Bandungan dan Solo. Dari Solo, kami menuju ke Dieng melewati Ambarawa. Sebenarnya waktu dari Bandungan ke Solo kami melewati Ambarawa juga tetapi tidak sempat mampir karena sudah kesorean.

Berangkat dari Solo jam 8 pagi, kami tiba di Ambarawa sekitar jam 10. Tujuan pertama dan highlight hari itu adalah Museum Kereta Api (KA) Ambarawa. Niatnya sih pengen naik Kereta Wisata yang katanya melewati Rawa Pening dengan pemandangan gunung yang bagus banget, tapi ternyata hanya beroperasi Sabtu Minggu, sedangkan saya kesana hari Jumat (iyah, 'hoki banget'). Buat yang mau naik kereta wisata di museum ini, ada 2 rute yang disediakan yaitu Wisata Reguler Kereta Diesel Ambarawa-Tuntang dan Wisata Sewa Kereta Uap Ambarawa-Tuntang dan Ambarawa-Bedono. Bedanya apa? Wisata Reguler bisa dinikmati dengan membeli tiket seharga Rp.50,000/orang dengan 3 jadwal berangkat per hari yaitu pukul 10:00, 12:00 dan 14:00. Jalur Ambarawa-Tuntang ditempuh kurang lebih 1 jam bolak-balik dan diberi waktu beberapa menit untuk foto-foto di Stasiun Tuntang sebelum balik ke Ambarawa. Karena kapasitas yang terbatas, yaitu 120 orang saja sekali trip, siap-siap kehabisan tiket kalau tidak mulai mengantri jam 8 pagi saat museum dibuka.

30 May 2017

Review: Hotel Dinasty Solo

Setelah 2 malam sebelumnya nginep di hotel yang asik, pas pindah nginep di Hotel Dinasty ini berasa 'culture shock' *halah*. Kamar Superior kami di lantai 1 dekat resepsionis dan tidak ada jendelanya. Ruangannya sempit karena terlalu banyak lemari yang menurut saya ga perlu. Dinding kamarnya persis berbatasan dengan dinding mesjid sebelah, tapi ga terlalu berisik sih pas Adzan. Mungkin kalau saya mesen kamar yang lebih mahal akan dapat kamar yang lebih nyaman. Menurut saya nuansa hotel bintang 2 ini agak suram dengan warna merah putih (nasionalis sekali).

22 May 2017

Road Trip Jawa Tengah: Solo

Ini adalah lanjutan seri postingan mengenai road trip saya dan keluarga ke Jawa Tengah akhir Desember lalu. Lihat postingan sebelumnya di Semarang dan di Bandungan. Dari Bandungan, kami menuju Solo/Surakarta, dan menginap disana 2 malam. Ngapain aja?

Malam pertama, setelah check-in di hotel, kami keluar mencari makanan khas Solo. Hasil browsing sana-sini, saya kami memutuskan untuk ke Nasi Liwet Bu Wongso Lemu di Jl. Teuku Umar. Pas belok di jalan itu, jeng jeng... banyak amat warung dengan nama Nasi Liwet Wongso Lemu, dan semuanya mengaku asli, yang mana yang beneran asli nih? Suami mutar jalan sekali lagi sambil saya cari tau di google. Saya nemu blog yang bilang kalau warung yang asli adalah yang ada tulisan Cipto Sukani di bawah nya, kalo itu sih memang cuma ada 1 warung tadi. Katanya Bu Wongso Lemu sudah meninggal dan yang meneruskan masakannya adalah 3 orang anaknya dan Cipto Sukani adalah anaknya yang tertua. Ga tau deh bener atau ga, tapi yang pasti perut sudah memanggil minta diisi jadi kami masuk ke Warung Nasi Liwet Wongso Lemu yang ada tulisan Cipto Sukani nya.

Nasi Liwet adalah nasi putih gurih yang disiram kuah santan berisi labu siam, suwiran ayam dan telur rebus, yang disajikan di pincuk daun pisang. Enak banget! Dua porsi nasi liwet, kerupuk, es jeruk dan es teh total 51ribu rupiah saja. Udah cukup murah dibandingkan makanan di Jakarta, tapi katanya Nasi Liwet Bu Wongso ini termasuk mahal di Solo.

Keesokan harinya setelah sarapan di hotel, kami mulai jalan-jalan di kota Solo dimulai dari Keraton Surakarta Hadiningrat. Kami parkir mobil di parkiran Alun-Alun Utara yang dipadati oleh pedagang batik dan lainnya yang pindah sementara dari Pasar Klewer sebelah Keraton yang terbakar di akhir tahun 2014 yang lalu. Harga tiket masuk nya 10ribu/orang termasuk Museum Keraton di dalamnya. Karena saya waktu itu menggunakan celana pendek, saya diberi kain jarik untuk dililit menutupi kaki sebelum masuk ke bagian dalam Keraton. Selain itu alas kaki juga harus dilepaskan. Wah Nadya seneng banget deh nyeker. Kita bisa berkeliling sendirian atau bersama guide disana yang sudah agak tua dan menggunakan seragam abdi dalem Keraton. Tidak ada harga pasti sewa guide nya berapa tapi yang jelas kita harus ngasih tips di akhir tur. Guide nya juga menawarkan kami foto bersama mbok-mbok pelayan keluarga Raja, dan foto bersama dua penjaga Keraton yang menggunakan seragam security Keraton yang cukup gagah. Kami tidak berfoto dengan simbok2 tapi kami foto dengan 'security' Keraton yang memaksa kami memberikan tips. Agak pemerasan tapi ya sudahlah lumayan buat kenang-kenangan.

Lampu gantung ditutup biar ga berdebu, dan hanya dibuka kalau ada acara di Keraton

14 April 2017

Review: Hotel Oak Tree Emerald Semarang

Waktu nyari-nyari penginapan di Semarang, nemu hotel ini, lihat-lihat foto dan review nya, eh kok keren juga ya. Lokasinya secluded di dalam kompleks perumahan elit dan agak tinggi dengan pemandangan bukit. Wow ada ya penginapan seperti itu di Kota Semarang? Jaraknya walaupun bukan di tengah kota, tapi tidak terlalu jauh, hanya sekitar 6km (15 menit berkendara) dari Simpang Lima (yang saya anggap tengah kota nya Semarang lah ya). Sempet mikir-mikir, ambil hotel yang bener-bener di tengah kota atau hotel unik ini ya. Ah yang ini aja deh, kan liburannya santai banget-nget dan bawa mobil sendiri jadi transportasi ga susah walaupun tempatnya terpencil. Next time kalau ke Semarang tanpa kendaraan atau tidak punya banyak waktu, baru deh nginep di tengah kota. Jadilah booking hotel ini di tiket.com dengan tarif sekitar 650ribu rupiah untuk 2 malam.

Namanya Oak Tree Emerald, hotel bintang 3 dengan fasilitas kolam renang dan fitness center. Setelah check-in kami langsung main-main ke kolam renang yang view nya bagusss banget. Pool nya ada 2, satu buat dewasa dan satu kolam cetek buat anak-anak. Ada mainan manjat-manjatan juga, sayang sudah agak rusak dan ga bisa dimainkan oleh anak-anak lagi. Restorannya juga di lantai 1 ini. Ternyata tempat ini beken di kalangan anak muda. Di sebelah restoran ada bar menghadap kolam renang yang kalau malam ada DJ nya... ajeb ajeb. Hmm sepertinya banyak yang mau melewatkan malam tahun baruan disini.

Swimming Pool at Oak Tree Emerald Hotel

Saya minta kamar dengan view ke luar, bukan ke dalam. Sayangnya hanya tinggal 1 kamar dengan view ke luar tapi di lantai 2 saja (jadi pemandangannya ga terlalu tinggi) dan tempat tidur nya twin bed. Padahal kami butuh yang double bed. Ada kamar yang double bed tapi view nya ke dalam. Hummm I chose view than bed ya hehe bisa minta tolong petugas hotel buat satuin tempat tidur nya jadi seakan-akan double bed. Bahkan jadi lebih luas deh dibanding 1 double bed yang (biasanya) berukuran 200x200. Ini satu single bed ny ukuran 120x200, jadi total 240x200, puasss deh si N guling sana guling sini. Kamarnya memiliki balkon tapi kalau mau kuncinya harus tanda tangan dulu surat pernyataan bahwa hotel tidak bertanggung jawab kalau terjadi apa-apa dan surat penyerahan kunci balkon yang kalau kuncinya hilang kita harus bayar (saya lupa denda nya berapa). Wow sampe segitunya ya. Ya saya tetep minta deh kunci nya, walaupun pada akhirnya selama 2 malam 3 hari disana ga pernah dipake karena balkonnya kotor dan ada sisa-sisa batang rokok yang tidak dibersihkan. Sayang banget! Tapi bagian dalam kamarnya nyaman banget dengan lantai kayu parkit dan fasilitas lengkap: water heater, TV cable, hot shower and safe deposit box.

Our room at Oak Tree Emerald Hotel

Biasanya kebanyakan hotel hanya memberikan free breakfast ya, tapi hotel ini juga ngasih kami free voucher buat snack sore dan makan malam untuk 2 hari selama kami menginap disana. Uwow! Di hari pertama kami melewatkan sore di hotel saja jadi sempet nukerin voucher snack nya sambil berenang, walaupun hanya beberapa potong kue dan teh/kopi (yang tersedia juga di dalam kamar). Tapi malam hari nya kami makan di luar dan tidak menikmati makan malam gratis di hotel. Sedangkan keesokan harinya kami jalan-jalan di luar hotel sampai malam jadi tidak menggunakan voucher snack hari keduanya, tapi kami nyobain makan malam gratisnya yang ternyata cuma ada 1 menu yaitu nasi goreng hehe. Lumayan lah ya.

Overall saya dan keluarga seneng banget menginap disini, dan hotel favorit kami di antara 4 penginapan berbeda yang kami nginap selama road trip Jawa Tengah. Saya sangat merekomendasikan hotel ini terutama bagi yang ingin mencoba stay di hotel dengan pemandangan alam yang agak terpencil di Semarang tapi tidak terlalu jauh dari tengah kota.

Baca juga perjalanan kami di Semarang dan Bandungan.

04 April 2017

Road Trip Jawa Tengah: Bandungan

Ini adalah lanjutan seri postingan mengenai road trip Saya dan keluarga ke Jawa Tengah akhir Desember lalu. Lihat cerita sebelumnya di Semarang disini.

Jadi, ada apa sih di Bandungan? Ada Tempat Rekreasi Umbul Sidomukti dan Kawasan Candi Gedung Songo. Dua tempat wisata yang Kami datangi ini letaknya di Bandungan, salah satu kecamatan di Kabupaten Semarang yang bersampingan dengan Kecamatan Ungaran. Letaknya di lereng Gunung Ungaran, jadi banyak yang bilang juga lokasinya di Ungaran.

Si Suami udah pernah ke Umbul Sidomukti sekitar 7 tahun yang lalu, di saat jalanan nya masih jelek, sempit dan mengerikan (kiri kanan jurang), katanya sih. Makanya dia agak was-was gitu pas diajakin kesini (kan Saya belum pernah). Ternyata jalanannya bagus tuh, dan ada alur nya dimana kendaraan yang naik dengan yang turun dibedakan jalannya sehingga tidak akan berpapasan. Wisata alam pegunungan ini terletak sekitar 30km (1 jam 15 menit berkendara) dari Kota Semarang dan berada di ketinggian 1200 mdpl, jadi wajib hukumnya bawa jaket. Di area ini ada fasilitas penginapan, restoran dan wahana-wahana seperti kolam renang (pasti dingin banget!), flying fox, berkuda, ATV, dan lain-lain. Biaya masuk nya sendiri murah hanya Rp.3000/mobil dan Rp.2000/orang, tapi itu tidak termasuk harga wahana-wahana nya. Kami hanya coba masuk ke Goa Tirta Mulya dan makan siang di restoran Pondok Kopi.

Pemandangan di ujung Goa Tirta Mulya

Biaya masuk Goa Tirta Mulya adalah Rp.5000/orang. Panjang goa nya hanya 100 meter tapi suasana di dalamnya gelap dengan sedikiiiit banget cahaya yang masuk, jadi mesti nyalain senter atau handphone. Tapi saat sampai di ujung nya, whoaaa pemandangan lembah dan gunung nya luar biasa bagus! Worth it deh jalan gelap-gelapan kesana (baliknya juga lewatin jalan yang sama tadi). Sehabis dari goa, Kami makan siang di Pondok Kopi sambil menikmati pemandangan gunung lagi yang cantik. Makanannya sih standard yah ayam bakar/goreng/kremes, nasi goreng dll, tapi pemandangan alam di sekitar kompleks ini refreshing banget! Jadi pengen nginep di penginapannya next time hehe.

Hangout di Pondok Kopi Umbul Sidomukti

30 March 2017

Road Trip Jawa Tengah: Semarang

Desember lalu saya dan tim The Lost Wanderer (aka Suami dan Anak N haha) liburan akhir tahun yang tidak terlalu akhir. Biasanya orang-orang liburan di minggu terakhir Desember pas Natal dan Tahun Baru, tapi kami liburan di minggu kedua Desember (tanggal 12-19). Keputusan yang tepat, karena kemana-mana masih belum ramai, dan harga hotel juga belum naik banget. Dan saat kami balik ke Ibukota, penduduk Jakarta akan mulai liburan dan kami bisa menikmati kota Jakarta yang lengang selama beberapa minggu.

Kali ini kami jalan-jalan keliling Jawa Tengah selama 7 hari dengan mobil pribadi, road trip pertama kali hanya bertiga saja, dengan tujuan Semarang, Bandungan, Solo, Ambarawa dan Dieng. Di posting-an pertama seri Road Trip Jawa Tengah ini akan saya ceritakan tentang perjalanan kami ke Kota Semarang, ibukota Jawa Tengah.

Kami berangkat dari rumah sekitar jam 6 pagi lewat tol Cipali ke arah Brebes, dan dari Brebes ke Semarang melewati jalan Pantura biasa. Tol baru ini bener-bener membantu transportasi ke Jawa ya karena perjalanan jadi cepat dan nyaman. Mudah-mudahan tol nya segera selesai sampai ke Semarang deh. Di antara Brebes dan Semarang, kami mampir istirahat setengah jam dulu di Kota Pekalongan, lumayan si Suami stretching badan buat nanti lanjut nyetir lagi hehe. Di kota yang terkenal dengan Batik nya ini tentu saja ada Museum Batik. Dengan tiket masuk Rp.5000/orang kami melihat-lihat ke dalam museum itu. Bangunannya tua (dan agak serem hehe) peninggalan Belanda, terdiri dari beberapa ruangan display yang menampilkan bermacam-macam batik, tidak hanya dari Pekalongan saja. Di bagian belakang ada kantin kecil dan area workshop buat yang mau belajar mem-batik. Di seberang gedung ini ada Alun-Alun Jatayu, atau disebut juga dengan Alun-Alun Batik karena ada pajangan huruf B-A-T-I-K besar di sana yang keren buat spot foto.

Alun-Alun Batik Pekalongan

Sampai di Semarang sekitar pukul 1, kami makan siang dulu di Tahu Gimbal Pak Edi di Jalan Pandanaran dekat Simpang Lima, hasil browsing di internet. Masakan ini berisi tahu, gimbal (bakwan) udang yang dipotong-potong kecil ditambah irisan kol dan telur goreng di atasnya lalu disiram dengan bumbu kacang petis encer. Yang bikin enak ya bumbu siram nya. Kami mesen 1 Tahu Gimbal, 1 Mie Bakso, 1 Es Campur dan 1 Es Jeruk total Rp.43,000 saja. Di Warung Tahu Gimbal Pak Edi ini, dudukannya lesehan, bersama dengan warung-warung lainnya. Letaknya di pinggir jalan sepanjang Taman Menteri Supeno. Sekilas melihat di taman nya ada tempat mainan anak-anak, tapi ga jadi mampir. Biasa deh suka duka traveling dengan balita, tiba-tiba si N pup (masih pakai popok instan sih), dan pas mau bilas di toilet taman nya, eugh toilet nya kotor, bau dan gada air. Jadinya kami langsung meluncur ke hotel yang sudah kami booking, Oak Tree Emerald, sekitar 6km (15menit) dari tempat makan itu.

Tahu Gimbal dan Mie Bakso

14 March 2017

Review: Hotel and Banquet Panorama Lembang

This time I went to Lembang not only with my two best traveling buddies (Husband and Daughter) but also with my Mom and my Sister. For the accommodation, I wanted one villa/cottage that has 2 separate rooms. I found this Hotel and Banquet Panorama which was not far from the venue of my friend's wedding (which was the main reason we went to Lembang).

I booked the hotel via Traveloka around 10 days before the stay. I got price around Rp.940,000 for 1 night in a cottage with 2 bedrooms. When we arrived, we saw many buses parking in its large parking lot. I read in internet reviews that this hotel was indeed used commonly by big group like employee gathering or conference. The lobby is decorated with traditional ornaments with a little bit Balinese and Javanese style. Upon check-in, we received welcome drinks. At first they said the drinks must be consumed in the lobby. We waited a little bit but since we were already too tired we just left it and went to our cottage. Surprisingly not long after, they brought the drinks to our cottage hehe.

Cottages around shady green trees
The cottage is surrounded by big trees and many plants, very relaxing. There are 2 terraces: in front and in the back. We got a cottage near hotel fences. Since this hotel located on the main big road of Lembang - Tangkuban Perahu, it got very noisy with the vehicles sound passing by. Even at night, when all windows and doors were already closed, the sound was still coming in.

08 March 2017

Another Lembang Trip in 2016

There are too many attractions in Lembang that keep Jakartans coming back there. We just went there last October but one visit was not enough. Therefore we were definitely excited when getting wedding invitation from a friend that was held in Lembang last December. Another reason to go to Lembang, yay!

This time I asked my Mom and Sister to come along with us too. I went out from my home around 5am to pick up my Mom and Sister first, then we started to hit the toll road around 5.30am, and arrived in Lembang around 8am, like last time. We wanted to visit Farmhouse first but the gate had not opened yet. While waiting it's opened, we entered a Batik shop just besides Farmhouse which already opened at that time, and relaxed a bit after 2,5 hours trip from Jakarta.

Around 9am, we finally went to Farmhouse. I thought after opening 1 year, this place would be less crowded now, but oh boy, it was still packed with visitors, which is a good thing for the owner but not really enjoyable for the tourist. Fortunately we came very early so we got a spot to park our car in the parking lot inside. If it's already full, the vehicles are usually parked in some additional parking lots outside Farmhouse which is quite far. The entrance ticket is Rp.20,000/person (get free milk) and Rp.5000/vehicle. It's opened everyday from 9am to 8pm.

I understand this place is crowded because inside there are many interesting spots to take pictures: European style building, Hobbit House, Love Locks, small waterfall, cute cafes and animal farms. Visitors also can rent a traditional Dutch costume for about 2 hours and walk around this place with that heavy clothes. Kids will love to see and feed animals like rabbit, sheeps, cows, parrots, chickens and even iguana.

07 March 2017

Review: Beach Hotel Singapore

Looking for budget accommodation in Singapore is a little bit tricky. Especially if you are traveling with family who wants to have a little bit privacy, not like a guesthouse or backpackers hostel. Accommodation in Singapore are very expensive compared to Indonesia. Hostel in Singapore usually has the same price like 3 stars hotel in Indonesia.

Fortunately I found this 2 stars hotel named Beach Hotel located in Beach Road, obviously. I booked 1 double bed room for 2 nights in Traveloka for about 1,5millions Rupiahs, 40 days before the stay. The sooner you book the place, the better hotel and price you can get. The room is well-equipped with TV, microwave, kettle, and fridge. Wifi connection and shower water heater were working perfectly. I have no complain at all regarding its facilities. 

My room @ Beach Hotel

27 February 2017

Hunting Kids Places in Singapore

Last November I went to Singapore with my husband and our 2 years old daughter. That was the first time she traveled abroad, which I showed her the place I once called home (not that she understood tho). We made her passport last June before we even had any plan to travel overseas. It was just a preparation in case we suddenly had business trip abroad in the future so we could bring her along. Then the chance came when my friend invited us to his wedding in Singapore.

Since I already have visited most of the tourist places in Singapore, and I did not have any particular places to go (except shopping in Orchard of course), I tried to find kids-friendly places for my child to play. So here the list of interesting kids-places we went during our 3 days trip in Singapore.

1. Changi Airport
Nothing beats this airport. The most pleasant airport in the world where you can spend a lot of time without feeling bored (read this post). Children love this place too, with some playgrounds and cute displays here and there. By the time we arrived in the luggage belt, ours were the last standing bags that haven't been taken yet. Changi Airport also provides kids stroller, what a convenient!

Stroller by Changi Airport

2. Far East Organization Children's Garden @ Gardens by the Bay
After we checked-in and relaxed a bit in our hotel until around 2pm, we went out to Marina Bay area. What a small country, in Bugis Junction I bumped into my ex-landlady and her kind family. We reunited again for just few minutes. When I said I wanted to go to Marina Bay Sands (MBS), she said "ah yes, there is a nice children garden, it's free!" I did not know that. I was planning to go there to visit Art Science Museum, you know, the one looks like a hand facing up, just because I've been there several times but haven't actually gone inside the building, and besides... where else to go? Fortunately we met her so then we knew where we should go. It is called Far East Organization Children's Garden, located in the far end of Gardens by the Bay. That place was awesome! Toddler (1-5 years old) like my daughter can play in water fountain coming out of fish sculpture (so cute) and a big playground. While older kids up to 12 years old can have fun in water play/shower and tree house. Parents can enjoy the sights of their happy kids and beautiful iconic Singapore buildings. We spent a lot of time there until it was closed at 7pm.

Playing in Far East Organization Children's Garden

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.