This is my first blog post in 2020!! Although a bit too late but still I wanted to wish you a happy new year😜😜 May 2020 will bring better luck in everything we do and also a good health 🙏🏼🙏🏼
The boys and I just recently got back from the island of paradise for some relax and chill time before school and all the chaos of life start again next week. Le hubby couldn’t come for he has to go offshore.
Bali is always a good idea. It’s not too far away to fly from Perth, so the flight is much cheaper. I actually wanted to go home to Jakarta. But flights were still so insanely expensive!! Also, this was the first time we flew with Citilink. The outbound flight was pretty good and smooth. Citilink is Garuda’s sister company. It’s a budget airline with 20 kg free baggage and meals are provided. Pretty good I reckon.
We stayed in Ubud for the first 3 nights and then moved to the Seminyak area. In Ubud we stayed at Adiwana Svarga Loka, check it out if you’re after some peace and quiet and jungle vibes atmosphere 💚
Even though the heat is still killing us, especially after climbing so so many stairs at Nungnung waterfall. But at least the traffic was very good, no traffic jam at all. Actually, the weather in Ubud was much cooler than in Seminyak, love it!
We also found our fave beach in Bali, finally. The water was so clear blue, white sand and it was not crowded at all. Well, I hope it would remain like that.
Amed beach was disappointing. The beach is very dirty with rubbish. At one stage I was swimming and there was dirty nappy floating near me. That put me off.
Thomas beach in Uluwatu was good too. Not as good as our fave beach tho 😜 There was no crowd at all when we got there. It felt like our own private beach.
The Uluwatu Cliff beach club was very nice too. Price was moderate not as expensive as other beach clubs I’ve known. The view and the service are excellent.
We drove about 2 hours from Ubud to Lempuyang temple, in the hope to see the magical and instagrammable so-called “the gate to heaven”. I won’t say exactly what I think here because I fear for my life😂. But, in my personal humble opinion, it’s not worth the drive, though. Or maybe I have high expectations about this temple, I still think Besakih Temple is way cooler. The temples around Lempuyang are actually more interested than ” the gate to heaven “. I couldn’t care to wait around 2 hours to get my pictures taken by the official Lempuyang photographer, so I asked my own personal photographer to take one for me. Just so that I can say, I’ve got the picture at Lempuyang!😃
Instead, Jatiluwih is impressive enough. Maybe I’m more attractive into real nature than a man-made one 😛
Despite all the sight-seeings what I most love whenever I come to Bali is the food! Nasi campur, sate ayam, nasi goreng, babi guling, all the fresh juices and smoothies and coconut juice are all my favourite. Since we were always so hungry often I forgot to take pictures of the food we ate. Here some pictures that I managed to snap before they’re all gone to our hungry bellies.
So yeahhh…. Bali never fails me so far.
A short video made by my son capturing our fun-tastic time for you to watch. If you’re interested in his other vids, you are more than welcome to subscribe to his video channel 😍
How about you, do you love Bali as much as I do too? What do you do when you’re in Bali? Are you the type that just lazing around, shopping and eating? Or you like to do some adventures or sightseeings then chillax in the evening, or both … adventure and shopping like me 😜 Share, please 😍
It’s spring in Australia. But here in western australia we are having very wet wintery weather at the moment. I still need my sweater and jeans and we light the fire almost every night. Sometimes we light the fire just for the ambience, while it’s actually not really cold 😀
In the wintery spring weather like this I am dreaming to be somewhere warm near the beach and a bit remote aka not so many people around. And I wish I could be in Sumbawa again, staying at this beautiful Kalimaya resort.
We accidentally found this hidden gem on our way to Labuan Bajo from Sumbawa Besar. Our ferry from Sape to Labuan Bajo was delayed almost 8 hours, without warning, of course. The full story about that you can read here. So, after all the alternatives way that we could think of, we decided to kill time in this resort. After about an hour got lost in bumpy and rocky winding road, voila we finally got to this beautiful secluded place!
Kalimaya resort is actually a dive resort. But of course, even though you don’t dive you still can stay at this gorgeous resort. You can swim at the beach, snorkel, paddle board, walk the 400 meter sandy beach of their private bay, and of course dive.
The owner is a Canadian couple who are very friendly and accommodate. At that time we were there, they only have 7 or 8 bungalows. And they were building a new ones.
The place is untouched, raw, peaceful, and stunningly beautiful. Each bungalow was constructed using materials from local farms on Sumbawa island.
I can imagine myself waking up to the sun rising over Komodo island and fall asleep to the sound of waves lapping on the ocean. Heaven!
Meanwhile, I am just gonna enjoy some of the pictures that I took while we were there six months ago and sharing them with you all.
Where would you prefer to spend your holiday? Are you a beach, mountain, or city person? Do you like crowd or peace and quiet place? Care to share with me?
……. So, instead of 8 hours journey from Sumbawa to Labuan Bajo we made it in rather fast and posh style, 2,5 hours by fast boat. Straight from the harbour we went to the dive shop to get all the papers done and got fitted for wet suit, fins size, etc, for the next day we were to board the Ikan Biru for three nights and four days.
All we did while we were on Ikan Biru was, get up as early as 6 am, went for diving/snorkelling, came back for breakfast and relax time, then mid-morning went for another snorkelling or diving, came back for lunch, then another afternoon snorkelling or diving or trekking, then relax time before dinner. In between the boys did the wake boarding and the fathers of our children did the night dive. Then repeat.
Getting ready for my dive
Us on our way to dive & snorkelling
In the beginning I was skeptical that I would be bored and was not gonna enjoy the journey on the boat. Turned out, I did enjoy it very much. When we were not in the water, we spent our days either reading books, playing games, taking photos, snoozing, and talking. It was so good for the kids as they didn’t touch their Iphone/Ipod whatever gadgets they had, instead they played chest, games, read their book, or just had a conversation between them. No fightings at all. It’s proofed that life is more fun and less chaos when there is no gadget involved!
Ikan Biru or Blue Marlin boat itself has a spacious upper deck, where we dine and sleep under the stars. Each night the crew will set up our bed with luxurious mattresses that give you absolute comfort. The two decks below are guest bathrooms with hot fresh water showers, and kitchen area. And the lower front deck is for preparation for diving/snorkelling, and it’s an ideal place for catching some sun in between dives.
Our highlight was swimming with Manta Rays, literally, oh my God there were so many of them, it was really amazing! And also for me climbed up the Padar island. Though it was hot and the trek was pretty hard but it worth it!
After spending three nights and four full days on boat, we spent the last three days in Labuan Bajo exploring the area nearby. We visited Todo village, Cuncan Wulang waterfall, did some volunteer at Rainbow Reading Garden library, and went to Rangko cave.
Back to Labuan Bajo
On our way to Todo village, we were scheduled to visit the spiderweb rice terraces. The trekking oh my God! It was a very hot and humid day, and the trek was very difficult and so far, it took us or me should I say almost an hour! The tour guide said it was only 30 minutes trekking, liar liar pants on fire! 😎 Then after saw the spiderweb rice terraces, we gotta trek down again…ughhhh!!
Hot and bothered!
See the hills behind me? I just climbed that to the top!
And after we had lunch we continued our journey to Todo village. Todo village is only about 1.5 hour drive from Labuan Bajo. There was only one traditional house that we could find. So, we were not so impressed with the village at all.
The next day, we went to Rangko Cave. It’s called Rangko cave because it is located in village of Rangko. From Labuan Bajo we drove to Rangko village, it took about 30 minutes, then from Rangko village we need to take local wooden boat to get to the beach of Rangko. Then from the beach we had to walk about 10 minutes to the cave. I think in Labuan Bajo every where we went we always had to trek or climb, or walk miles and miles before we got to the destination. There was no easy way, man! 🤓
Rangko Cave or famous as Secret cave is the most beautiful caves in East Nusa Tenggara. The water is very clear and it contains high level of salt. Stalactites and stalagmites were very beautiful. The children jumped from a height of 10 metres cliff to the water. My picture here could not justify how blue and beautiful the water and the cave, it’s worth to see!👍🏻
We also visit another Rainbow Reading Garden library in one of the school in Labuan Bajo. Though it was pretty hot and humid day, we were happy to see all those faces light up when we gave them books and read for them. Priceless!
Then, we had to say good bye to the dusty and hot Labuan Bajo. I left a little piece of my heart in Labuan Bajo, and I hope to go back one day to collect it.
Here is a compilation of our Sumbawa and Flores trip. Compiled and stitched together by my darling boys 😍
Sampai jumpa lagi beautiful!
Note: For some part of Labuan Bajo dan Sumbawa road trip we used Travel Spark to arrange and guide our journey. Thank you to Travel Spark and Nila Tanzil, your people were amazing and very helpful.Check them out, guys!
So, for the Easter holidays we decided to explore Sumbawa and Flores. This time we went with another family who are very good friends of both my hubby and I. So total there are eight travellers. That will be fun!
We left Perth on early Sunday morning to Catch a 8 am flight to Bali. The flight was on time, thanks Garuda! We spent a night in Bali and the next morning we got picked up by our fast boat operator Wahana Gili from our hotel about 10 am and continued our journey to Padangbai where we boarded our fast boat to Lombok.
Wahana Gili fast boat was ok, not flash, there was no aircon and not much room upstairs too. Basically it was like a crowded bus in Jakarta, they tried to squish as much people as they could. For USD 34 I would expect a little bit better condition. Anyway, it brought us safe and sound to Bangsal harbour, Lombok.
We stayed one night in Puri Bunga, just right the opposite of Sheraton Hotel. After a cool down in the pool and some drinks, we headed for a nice dinner at Asmara.
The next day we checked out from Puri Bunga, and on the way we stopped at a weaving village and some pottery shops, then had lunch. After lunch we made our way to the harbour. We caught another fast ferry that runs by Newmont mining company and it only took 1.5 hour to get to Benite harbour in Sumbawa. If you catch a slow ferry it would take about 6 hours or so.
We stayed at Baha Baha villa, it’s a very nice place to stay. Simple but clean and I love the pool and the outdoor shower. A very recommended hotel to stay if you happen to be in Sumbawa. Unfortunately we only stayed for one night since the next day we had to travel for about 4 hours to Sumbawa Besar. Not much to see though. Sumbawa Besar is pretty plain and rugged, but some places are beautiful.
In Sumbawa Besar there’s not much attraction. We went to Istana Dalam Loka or also called “Wooden Palace” by the locals. The sultan of Sumbawa used to live in this palace but now he’s living in Jakarta. A little bit disappointed with this palace as it is only the wooden building that left and it is badly maintained. There is no furniture or any antiques, ornaments or decorations. Nowdays the palace is used for learning or practising traditional dances by locals. The children attracted lots of attention from the local kids. They were crazy to get a picture with the children, as if the children were movie stars. Both ways were having good fun though! 😀
The next day we got up as early as 6.30 which was early enough for me on holidays, and by 7am, off we went to donate children books to one of the local schools. More stories about this will be written separately. After donating books we were off to Moyo Island for snorkelling and a visit to Mata Jitu waterfall later.
So, from Samawa Beach Cottage, we hopped on to a boat and before we reached Moyo island, we stopped for a snorkel. It was a nice snorkel, the water was so blue with colourful fish. After snorkelling we had lunch at Sunset Moyo bungalow. If I’m not wrong the bungalow is the only accommodation in Moyo island. Unless you can afford Amanwana resort which Princess Diana stayed during her visit to Moyo.
Then, we hopped on motorbikes (ojek) heading to Matajitu waterfall. The track was pretty bumpy and rough, surely we all had sore bums! But it was worth it! The waterfalls are so beautiful and magical. Princess Diana went to this waterfall when she stayed at Amanwana, but of course she had a special jeep provided by Amanwana, not on motorbike😂
Lots of people don’t know about this waterfall, according to our guide. It’s because people think that Moyo island is a privately owned island and therefore the accommodation is very expensive and there are not many, and difficult to reach. Well, yes it is difficult because you need to hire a boat to get there and it takes about an hour or so. There is Samawa Beach Cottage hotel and Sunset Moyo bungalow for accommodation. Sunset Moyo is pretty affordable but also very simple. While Samawa Beach Cottages is middle to upper range price but also depends on what type of room you choose. I love Samawa though. If you stay there, they can transfer you to Moyo island by their boat.
After Moyo island, which was the highlight of my Sumbawa trip, we had to travel the next day about 6 hours to Bima to get closer to Sape where we caught our slow ferry to Labuan Bajo. We had a not so nice experienced in Bima. Bima itself is just very plain and bit ugly. And our hotel, oh my dear Lord! If we could, we would move hotel but apparently Lambitu hotel is the nicest and modest hotel in Bima! I won’t elaborate about the hotel, but if you can, just pass Bima or do not stay in Lambitu.
Thanks God we didn’t even stay for 24 hours in Bima and Lambitu hotel. Since our ferry was supposed to leave at 8 am, we had to leave Bima as early as 5 am , because there’s still about an hour and a half drive to get to Sape. And, guess what!? Got to Sape harbour around 7nish there was no sign of the ferry! Then we were informed that the ferry was still in Labuan Bajo and wouldn’t get to Sape until 4pm!! Ffs&$#+#*!!!!!! We were speechles!!
Luckily somehow my hubby managed to call the dive shop in Labuan Bajo (that we were staying in later) and they suggested us to go to this nice dive resort about 30 minutes drive from Sape, to kill time while waiting for the stupid ferry. It took us more than 30 minutes because we got lost and there wasn’t a proper sign to this resort. Finally we got to the resort and it was a really nice place to hang out and stay. The owners, a Canadian couple, were very friendly. But Guess what? The owner managed to get us a fast boat to Labuan Bajo that got us there in only 2.5 hours instead of 8 hours by the slow ferry. Yaaaaayy, we were so blessed!!!
So, after a nice swim, a play on the paddle board and a yummy lunch, off we went to Labuan Bajo on a fast and flash (for us) dive boat which zipped through the beautiful Komodo islands.
And that’s the end of our Sumbawa trip! What an experienced! I’m so grateful that we were all safe and sound. Kids were excellent which was also a bonus. Some parts of Sumbawa are really remote and beautiful but some parts are not so nice.
Last December my family and I went to Indonesia, Jakarta precisely, to spend Christmas with my mother and brother. I know it’s a bit late to write about this, but as life gets a bit busy here I finally managed to post this now. Like the saying, better late than never….
Anyway my boys and I flew together, for hubby still got work to finish. He came five days later and left a day earlier before us. Six days is enough for him, since he doesn’t like Jakarta. He doesn’t like the crazy traffic jam, the pollution, and no beaches or parks nearby, and he is not into shopping malls and night life 🙂 We stayed at my mother’s house, it was the first time the boys staying at their Oma’s house since my mother moved to a new house three years ago.
While we were in Jakarta, beside visiting some relatives and catching up with my dearest friends we also went to Bandung and Tanjung Lesung. Two weeks was short enough when I tried to squeeze every thing in, from meeting with my friends, family, taking the boys to some places where they can be wild (definitely not the shopping malls!), pampering myself in this case, massage and creambath, eating here and there, and of course a bit of window shopping tee hee 🙂 I’d like to apologise to some of the bloggers in Jakarta that I’ve known that this time I didn’t make time to meet up with some of you. I guess being in the festive season it was a bit hard to try to catch up as everyone was busy or was on holiday. Next time I’m in Jakarta, surely we gotta plan to catch up!
So, here are the highlights of our holidays and pictures for you to enjoy.
1. Bandung, West Java
Sindang Geulis Kahuripan
I haven’t visited Bandung for such a long long time. I can’t even remember when was the last time I went there. We left Jakarta as early as 7 am, my brother was the designated driver for the whole trip, while my mother, the boys, and myself were the passengers. Before we reached Bandung we stopped at this place called Sindang Geulis Kahuripan . I first saw this place in IG and it looked so gorgeous. Little that I know that this place is not touristy at all (which is better) but also it’s so hard to get there. First, after asking so many people for the direction we finally got to the area close by. Some of them said that we should hire an ojek (motorbike) because the access to go there is so rocky and hard to reach. Being a smart city person who thinks they just wanted money, I refused the offer. So, we continue until about 2 km then my brother’s car could not get up anymore. The road is so rocky and muddy. Unless we have four wheel drive then we’ll be ok. So…what to do? Again, being a stubborn me I declined my brother’s idea to just forget it and continue to drive to Bandung. No way! I got to see this place and took an amazing pictures like those I saw on IG hahaaa!!
While my brother tried to get park and looked for someone to help us with an ojek or something, the boys and I started to walk. Then it rained. Yay, good idea! We kept walking in the rain until further and further away from where my brother parked his car. After about 20 minutes walked, we heard the sound of motorbikes. There were two motorbikes with three young men on it. I stopped them and asked how far is this place called Sindang Geulis. They said, it’s still very far away, if I wanted to keep walking it would take about 2 hours, WTH!? I asked them where are they going, and to my delight they actually heading to the same place as us. Then they asked if we would like to come with them on the motorbike. I was happy but also a bit worried. Because you know why? There were only two small motorbikes how on earth they gonna accommodate all of us? But, anyway…we managed! So, twin 1 and I hopped on one motorbike, while twin 2 hopped on with another 2 guys. Off we went! In between rocky little winding road and float here and there, I hung on tight for our life 🙂 Those three guys are from Bandung, they were university students who also never been to this place. After about 45 minutes on the back of motorbike we finally got to Sindang Geulis Kahuripan.
Sindang Geulis Kahuripan in Sundanese means a pool in the mountain with beautiful scenery that gives life to those around. Sindang ; pool Geulis ; beautiful Kahuripan ; life. The place was not crowded, there were few people swam in the pool. Maybe because it had been raining before. We had to pay Rp.12.000 for the entrance fee which I think it’s a bit pricey. As for my thank you to the three guys that took us on their motorbike to this place, I paid for their entrance fee as well, they didn’t ask for that. All they asked was for me to say something on their vlog and of course a selfie pictures with them 🙂 🙂 🙂
Personally I didn’t think the place is worth to visit, especially after all those rocky roads! But we enjoyed the scenery. On the way back, this time I hired two ojeks/motorbikes to bring us back to where my brother and mum were waiting. The boys thought what we did was COOL, hahaaa…!
The Sangkuriang House Dago
We finally got to Bandung around 3pm. For two nights we stayed at The Sangkuriang House in Dago. We booked two rooms and they gave us an extra bed as well. The hotel is good, room is clean, shower is strong. The price we paid is also included breakfast. The hotel is pretty cosy with a nice garden and has two swimming pool. We like it.
That night we had dinner ala lesehan somewhere up in the hill. Then went to Paris van Java for ice cream and coffee.
Grafika Cikole, Tangkuban Perahu, The Lodge Maribaya, Dusun Bambu
The next day we went to Terminal Wisata Grafika Cikole where the boys did some flying fox, climbing, and paint ball. The place is very nice, very green and tidy. There are also two types of accommodation in this place, one is like a cabin type and the other one is tent. So I guess you can choose either you want to stay in the room or in the tent, glamping :p
Then we stopped at Tangkuban Perahu. This place changed so much since the last time I went. Now we can’t go to the very bottom, they put fence around it. And so many sellers around and so many people too! So we didn’t stay long here.
Next stop is Maribaya Lodge. Again I first saw this place on IG and FB group. The place is situated about 5 km east off Maribaya waterfalls. Here you can do trekking in a beautiful natural surroundings close to pine forest, camping, flying fox and also it is famous for pictures taken, where you can sit on the high swing with pine forest below you, or you can try ride a bike on a string! If you want your pictures taken with those props, you gotta line up and pay. The fee is not dear but the queue oh my God! So of course, we skip this, I honestly can’t be bothered just for the sake of Instagram cool 🙂
We had our early dinner at Dusun Bambu, a very nice place to end our day.
Kawah Putih (White Crater)
After breakfast and check out we continue our journey to Kawah Putih before heading back to Jakarta later. Kawah Putih is a striking crater lake and tourist spot in a volcanic crater about 50 km south of Bandung in West Java in Indonesia. The lake is 2,430 meters above sea level so the local climate is often quite chilly. This makes a little change from the humidity of Jakarta. Kawah Putih is a sizeable highly acid lake which changes colour from bluish to whitish green, or brown, depending on the concentration of sulfur and the temperature or the oxidation state.
After Kawah Putih we went to have our lunch before heading back to Jakarta.
Tanjung Lesung, West Java
On Christmas Day, right after we had breakfast and opened all the presents we started our 5 hours drive to Tanjung Lesung. Lucky, that day the traffic was good. We rented a villa through AirBnB for one night only since my husband had to go back to Australia the day after. Our rented villa situated right in front of the beach and we can see the Krakatau very clearly.
We had pretty relaxing time in Tanjung Lesung. Walked along the beach, swam, and had a nice dinner at the one of the resort’s restaurant. Food was good and they also had a fire dance performance. I tricked the boys by saying they could try the fire tricks after they go up and dance on the stage :p So, they were dancing chicken dance with another 10 or so kids! 🙂 🙂
The journey back to Jakarta was pretty tiring and as usual traffic was so baaad!
Overall we enjoyed our time spending with family and close friends in Jakarta. I have managed to meet up with Mindy two days before we flew back home. Mindy and I have been online friends since Multiply until now, it was great to finally see her and her husband and cute little Medea in flesh 🙂
I hope I won’t bored you too much with this very long posting 🙂 Life is back to normal now, kids go back to school and swimming, basket ball game, surfing, and rowing are also back on our daily menu….yay welcome back reality!
How’s life treat you so far? I hope it’s good, and even if it’s not so good, I do hope it won’t be forever. C’est la vie isn’t it?
Well, mine has been busy (as always) with the kids’ schedules. Though it was school holidays, but I seemed even more hectic arranging the sleep-overs, play-dates, taking them here and there. Thank God today they are back to school, yaay! Don’t get me wrong I love school holidays, I love sleep-ins, and lazy days. But, at some stage I love them being back to routine, back to school they go!
Labuan Bajo is a small fishing town located at the western end of Flores, in the Nusa Tenggara region of East Indonesia and gateway to the Komodo National Park. This little port town is the launching point for trips to Komodo Island and Rinca Island, home to famous komodo dragons. Diving, snorkeling and islands hopping in the Komodo National Park are also famous activities for tourists who visit this island.
My children and I only spent three days in Labuan Bajo, which was very short I know. So, as expected we didn’t see as much as we would like. But, not to worry, we are planning to come back there again on a road trip from Lombok, one day, fingers cross! While the father of my children and his two brothers spent four nights on a dive boat, my boys and I had a fun-tastic four days in Bali surfing, water-booming, and eating yummy food before we flew to meet the rest of the crew.
Where we stay
We stayed at Golo Hilltop Hotel, only about 10 minutes drive from the Komodo Airport. The hotel is ok, not posh but not shabby too. Just comfortable should I say. There’s no tv in the room but full on AC and fan, and the bathroom is clean and spacious but the shower is not so strong. The view from the rooms upstairs is spectacular because it’s located quite up in the hills.., but the stairs! Oh my my my! In a positive way, it’s a good exercise for your thighs and legs! Also the view from their restaurant where you have breakfast, ( and if you want lunch and dinner ) and from the pool side is just gorgeous, especially when the sun is setting and cold Bintang in hand! 🙂
Batik is an art and a fashion. Batik is one of Indonesia’s ancient traditions. The word batik is originally from the Javanese tik, meaning “to dot”. It is made either by drawing dots and lines, with wax, using a tool called a canting, or it can also be made by printing with a copper stamp. The batik of Indonesia is the most well-known.
The last time I was on Lombok Island was a very long time ago, before marriage and kids. This is the first time I have returned to the island for more than a decade, now with two kids in tow. Oh and a husband, of course! 🙂
Lombok Island hasn’t changed a lot. The island is still quiet and no traffic…yay! The only change perhaps more hotels and villas, both budget and flash ones. We flew with Jetstar which flies direct from Perth. It’s rainy season in Lombok so almost every day rains. Usually during the afternoon. But we love the temperature as its not that hot and humid. Continue reading “[ travel ] lombok in 9 days”
Today, Indonesia is celebrating its 68 years of independence. Happy birthday, selamat ulang tahun Indonesia!
Though by law I am not an Indonesian anymore but in my heart I am still. There’s something special about 17 August for me. On this special day I feel closer to my origin country. I miss a bit more about my homeland, a place where I was born and grew up. I am longing for its chaos and madness and smell. I guess no matter how poor and or broken my country is, it still holds a special place and bitter-sweet memories of my childhood. Continue reading “for you indonesia”