Vertical Exploration

I just came back from Bali and this time, I didn’t do the usual beach trip. I trekked up Mt. Batur.

To be honest, this is my first real mountain-hike. Mt Bromo was not a hike at all. Jeep covered 80% of the trekking and horse did 15% and I just used my feet for 5% of the whole journey.

Trekking Mt. batur was a very unique experience for me. It’s not a surprise for me that I love outdoor activity, I’ve always enjoyed hiking, but so far I’ve only done horizontal hiking, like in Italy (Cinque terre hiking) and some national park in Australia. Yes, Blue mountains was vertical too, but Mt. Batur was raw. No man-made steps or anything. It was just me and the mountain. It’s raw. The feeling was mixed between exciting, scared, curious and amazed. It’s personal, intimate.

The path from the "New Crater"

The path from the “New Crater”

Technical stuffs first!

If you want to trek mount Batur, you need a car and a guide. If you want to pay around US$80 then you can book online and some tour will pick you up from hotel.

But we don’t wanna pay US$80 of course. :p we rented a car and drove from our villa in Ubud. The journey supposed to be 1-1.5 hours until the carpark of Mt Batur Trekking guide association, but we were lost so it took us 2.5 hours. :(

We finally reached there abour 4:30 am and immediatelly found a guide. Don’t worry there are plenty of guides, you won’t run out of guides. Our guide, Made, was a cheerful and humorous person and he, of course, knows a lot about Mt. Batur. Throughout the journey he told stories about the eruptions (there are several eruptions) and how once the whole village was swept off just like Pompeii.

We dealt for 750K (S$75) which shared by 5 persons. Bandi, I, Ricky (Bandi’s groomsman), Wai Sie (Ricky’s gf), and Klemens (my childhood friend). It’s super cheap if you compare with the tour that costs US$80 per person!

The guide will provide torch and he will bring your stuffs if you’re tired (just try not to bring so many stuffs!) and of course they will open the trek for you.

The journey

Trekking Mt. Batur is no joke. I’m not super fit with six packs but I exercise regularly and I consider myself fit, however… I still huffed and puffed all the way up. The trek was quite challenging especially yhe part between the first stop-base to the first summit (the one with so many monkeys).

Ain't it kiddo cute!?

Ain’t this kiddo cute!?

So the first part of the trekking was from carpark to the stop-base. It took about 1 hours, at first it was flat and then became quite steep. We left Klemens in the stop-base coz he was not fit that day and he decided to stop. The four of us continued going up and it was really tiring for me. First of all, I haven’t eaten anything, that’s probably my biggest mistake. Learn from it. Eat something before challenging Mt. Batur!

It took me another 45 minutes full of 42 degrees of steepness and total rough rocks. Super difficult for me as a newbie in mountaneering. But once I reached the top, it was worth it. :) the view was amazing. Universe is awesome, eh? I met so many cute monkeys too!

Oh life's good.

Oh life’s good.

We made it!

We made it!

There is actually another summit (maybe another 45 minutes up) and I rejected the proposal. I was effing tired. So the guide proposed to explore other area, the new crater. It was another 45 minutes to the new crater and another 1 hour to another viewing point. The journey was much more interesting than going up. We walked around the mountain to the other side and went up to the crater. It was not so difficult but dangerous as some wrong steps could lead to falling down.

I enjoyed this part so much. When we went back down, there was one part of the area that was full of sand and we had to run in order to go down and the sand would suck our feet while we ran and it seemed like we were flying down the mountains like a ninja. It was super fun!!!

My friend, Ricky made this image below as a memoir of our adventure. The four of us made a pact to trek to Mt. Agung next year!

Photo 25-11-15, 11 29 34 AM

The aftermath

Of course I slept like dead once I reached the villa, just right after I stuffed 1 huge pack of nasi padang into my mouth. Oh wait, we’re not talking about that aftermath, are we?

I swore a lot in my mind when I climbed up the trek why did I do this? How could I end up here, gasping for air to breathe? This will be the last time! Etc. But then I felt a foreign feeling when I reached the peak and I wanted more. It’s like addiction. It’s like that annoying TV commercial that plays in your head. It’s annoying but it comforts you strangely.

It’s not the mountain we conquered, but ourselves.

– Sir. Edmund Hillary

I always wanted to see the world. It turns out we can explore the world vertically ad well. I’m still unable to face my phobia of being drowning hence no diving, but I can keep exploring mountains.

Cheers,

May, keep exploring.

#30daysblogging Where to, next?

Day 13

Post is an idea from El Tandiono

After the amazing-tiring-moneysucking Europe Trip, Bandi and I had been some kind of travel immunity movement… We tried to ignore all the emails from airlines flashing about their promo prices, until… we couldn’t handle it anymore. LOL. We got a very very good price for only $200+ (I didn’t remember how much exactly) per person to explore Darwin, Australia. And we impulsively bought it. It’s for next August. Come to think of it, we didn’t really know what to explore in Darwin, we didn’t know whether we would have the approved leave, the time to apply visa and the money by then, but we did buy it anyway. LOLOL. So let’s see what’s gonna happen.

Our  next ambition is actually to resign and backpack across Indonesia. We planned it for 30days but if we ever had the guts to quit our jobs, we probably would do it for 2 months. But well, we have house mortgages and everything, we don’t know if we’re really gonna do it. :p

Remember this plan?

Remember this plan?

I’ve always had this imagination in my mind that someday we’re gonna do it. Now it’s just either we have the guts or not.

If we really couldn’t leave our responsibilities for that long, maybe we’re gonna shift to plan B: which is take different short trips for different destination. But honestly I like the long trip better. I love to be on the run, to be constantly moving everyday. It’s tiring, but it’s ADVENTUROUSLY AMAZING. :)

But it’s still a dream now. I hope it’s coming to be true one day. :) But for this year, we’ll just settle for a week at Darwin. (oh, and a possible honeymoon :))

What’s your travel plan for 2014? I hope it’s exciting!

Cheers,

May, si kaki gatal.

Impromptu

I woke up feeling awesome today after yesterday’s blue so I make a post about awesome thing today.

One thing I love the most about life is impromptu moments, of course I don’t like the bad ones, but I’m still willing to take the risk for such “Surprise me!” moment to a meal in the restaurant, a choice of cake flavor, or a simple “how do you want your eggs?”

The most awesome moment of life closest to surprises is an impromptu trip. I have done it three times in my life (and still counting).

First was in March 2009, I was renting a house with my two bestfriends, Strawberry and Avocado (I name them anonymously based on their favorite fruits. Why must anon? Dunno, just seem cool) in Bandung. We were finished college just months ago and Avocado was still looking for a job. She texted me and strawberry in the middle of our work saying that she got a job interview from an NGO’s that she was so excited about. The problem was that the job was in Jogjakarta.

So later that night, Avocado and me went to the train station and took the midnight train from Bandung to Jogjakarta while Strawberry (was in Jakarta) took another train from Jakarta. We met in Jogja the next morning and stayed in a freakin cheap hotel that didn’t even have proper door. We ate Lontong Sayur for breakfast that costed only about 50cents and it was freaking delicious! The three of us ended up having a blast and Avocado ended up getting the job. =)

Here’s a photo of them posing with random Bule.

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The second impromptu trip was in November 2011, it was Saturday morning and I was so stressed at work when my Strawberry told me that she’s going to take off to Bali to meet up with our other friends and have a holiday. She actually already told me about this Bali trip months before and kept asking whether I could join but I said I can’t because I had work and I didn’t have any leave left.

I’m texting with my Strawberry on regular basis so she usually will tell me almost everything (I know this sounds like lesbian relationship, especially when I said my strawberry). She texted me, “Ok, I’m off to Bali now. Talk to you later.”

And I replied, “wait. I wanna come.”

She knows me so well to know that I’m serious. “Buy a ticket now and I’ll wait at the airport.”

Then I did the craziest thing ever, I opened Jet Star website, book  the flight on 3pm that day and costed me about $300. Well, not so bad for a last minute flight. I went back home from office in noon in a rush, met Bandi to kiss him goodbye for the weekend and off to Changi Airport, 2 hours later, I was already in Bali. Four friends were there waiting for me at the airport and it turned out, it was one of the best holiday I had ever had!!!

Five of us stayed at my Cininta’s house, the one on the far right in the picture. She’s a Balinese, she’s one hell of lucky bitch, Bali is her hometown!

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We were five single girls having carefree time on one of the most beautiful island in the world. We spent afternoons on the beach and nights on bars and mornings on beds. And that, my friend, is the kind of holiday a girl must have at least once in their life.

I’m so glad I followed my guts.

The third one was last Saturday, January 2013So it started on Friday night when I hung out with friends and they asked me to come along to Batam the next day. I told them I couldn’t because I had NDP audition in the afternoon and it was a very serious thing that I couldn’t miss or skip. However on Saturday morning, Bandi asked me, “why are you so grumpy today?”

I said, “I don’t know. Maybe because the Hougang Gang is going to Batam today and I can’t come along.” I have been living in Singapore for more than two years and not even once I ever went to Batam. So the idea popped up, “Hey, let’s just go there after your work finished.” (Because Bandi worked overtime on that Saturday) And Bandi said yes. So I called the ferry booking hotline and booked the same hotel with my friends who already went off to Batam.

I went for NDP audition that started on 2pm and only took about one hour, while my other friend who also went for audition was still stuck there for the next two hours. I was so lucky, I went straight to Harborfront and reached there on time like I promised to the ferry hotline, to take the 4 pm ferry.

IMG_3402

Again, my impromptu trip was a blast! I ate Seafood, nasi warteg, martabak manis, martabak telor, nasi padang, bubur ayam, lontong sayur and everything that’s still possible to go into my already-big-tummy. We were karaoke-ing for freaking four hours until we lost our voices and at last I went to saloon for a hair spa, after about one year! (I never go to saloon in Singapore because they are freaking expensive!)

The bottom is, I had a great time during my 24 hours stay in Batam. Good food, great friends and 4 hours non-stop singing? What could’ve gone wrong!

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Why impromptu moments are always a blast?

Impromptu, (not only a trip, it could be spontaneous moment like a dance, a movie night, hang out with friends or cooking session) is always a blast. It is because we don’t have any expectation. When we plan something, we must have an expectation, and if the moment turns out to be below our expectation, we’d be disappointed. That is why unplanned things are always the best. =)

im·promp·tu [im-promp-too, -tyoo]: made or done without previous preparation

The impromptu trip: How and When?

  1. Eliminate the excuses. It is surely appears at first, such as: But I don’t have any leave left, but I must do laundry tonight, but there’s a season finale of Glee tonight, or whatever. There are always ways to figure it out. You can always reschedule unimportant things, ask a friend a favor to cover something, take unpaid leave or anything! This might sound irresponsible, that is why I don’t do this every month (gee!) so once in a while, just live your life like today is your last day.
  2. Money matter. I used to think going on a trip must be expensive or at least will cost my allowance or my lunch for one week. Yes, it needs money, but again, you can always compromise. If you don’t have that much of money in your saving account, then don’t go so far or take the cheapest train, stay in a very cheap hotel. If you don’t want to lose any money at all, then don’t go on a trip at all, or find a sugar daddy. There’s always a way. I myself always spare some amount of money on my payday to be transferred to my travel account. (Yes, I have one bank account specially made for my travel purposes. Haha)
  3. It is always the right time. There is no bad time for an impromptu trip, trust me! It is always the right time. Don’t think too much! Regardless the people, the place and the season, If it feels right, then it probably is.
  4. Don’t look back. When you already book the ticket, don’t think twice for pack and go to the train station/airport/ferry terminal. JUST GO, don’t sit and think “what the hell did I just do?” JUST GO. Once you’re inside the train/airplane/ferry, there’s no way of going back. Yes, there is always the scary feeling once you hit the book button, it’s normal. Just don’t look back and go ahead with plan A.
  5. Tell at least one person. This is very important! Either you’re going with friends or alone, ALWAYS tell somebody about it. Just in case something happened, somebody would know where you were going. I know impromptu trip is a little reckless, but it doesn’t mean you must be stupid.
  6. No what ifs. When the trip is finally happening, don’t think about what is the thing you supposed to do on that time, like what happens with Rachel on Glee, or Is your dirty laundry being eaten by rats or any stupid worries. Just enjoy your time and get ready to have one memorable time when you can tell your grandkids all about.

Bandi said I’m the kind of person who lives life more of the moments I have than the things I’ve achieved, while he’s the other way around. I guess he’s right. Without Bandi, maybe I will be just living my life from one moment to another without motivations for achievement, and without me Bandi will just work work work without having real adventures. I guess universe had introduced the two of us for a reason.

There’s a silver lining that I’m holding Indonesian passport, because if only I held one of those black passport, I would probably spend my salary for the impromptu trip every month and live the rest of the month eating only Indomie. =P

So, any impromptu trip you wanna share with me? ;)

Cheering with kuah lontong sayur,

May.

Being an Indonesian who wanders around the world

My goal in my life is Travel around the world.

I gave up my idealism to teach and move to Singapore, doing office work just to get more money so I could save more for travelling. Yeah, I gave up teaching, the job I love the most. But I have to stay focus. I support my parents financially you know, so being a teacher won’t make me go anywhere.

I always take long trip on summer (May-July) even though I know in Southeast Asia, the whole year is summer. But at least, rain won’t likely to pour on those months.

Last month, I took a long trip from Kuala Lumpur – Siem Reap – Pnomh Penh – Bangkok – Hanoi – KL – back to Singapore. I already prepared myself to make so many review posting in my blog, but being an Indonesian really ruined your standard of travelling. I am hard to please.

I tell you why.

Angkor wat is not Borobudur

So, after I read so many positive reviews about this place, I had a big expectation. I arrived at Siem Reap in the morning, picked up at the airport by my tuk-tuk driver who speaks Malay! (Anyone wants his contact I’ll happily give. Just leave me a comment or tweet me.) He brought us to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, and some random temples that I forgot the names because too much temples name to remember with such foreign name. After time reached 3 pm, the tuk tuk driver asked whether I still wanted to visit Bantey Srei (because I already insisted since morning). He told me that it’s very far. I replied that I don’t mind and I also don’t mind to pay extra dollars because the pictures I saw in the internet are very mesmerizing.

The Famous Angkor Wat

Reading the history and map of Angkor Wat from “The Rough Guide” Book

The tuk tuk driver was right. It’s very far and I slept all the way there. I woke up with a major headache because I slept with natural fan blown upon my body! (In Bahasa called masuk angin.) When I arrived at Bantey Srei, I was like… JENG! JENG! Is this it? Why all the pictures in the internet look so pretty?!

The Famous Bantey Srei for “It’s worth the trip” motto. Well, NOT worth the trip.

Angkor wat sure was big, but I told you, I’m Indonesian. I saw Borobudur when I was 11 and I couldn’t sleep for the next week because it was sooooo gorgeous.

I took shuttle bus to Pnomh Penh, that was about 5 hours journey full of sudden break and extreme maneuver by the driver. Thank god again, I’m Indonesian. I had worse with Kopaja driver. LOL

I cannot say many things about Pnomh Penh because that city is so depressing with all the history. I had a nightmare sleeping after visiting the Genocide museum (used to be the actual prison where all the victims were tortured) and Genocide Center or Killing Fields where all the victims were killed massively.

So, there goes my Cambodian trip. Not what I expected from a holiday.

 

Halong Bay is not Padang Bai

Another excitement I was looking forward to is Hanoi and of course the legendary Halong Bay. Let me cut you to the chase of Hanoi. It sucks. It’s just Jakarta 10 years ago, with worse taste of food and more rude people.

The only good thing about Hanoi is the museums. I love all the museums. I visited Vietnamese Women Museum which was great and Ho Chi Minh Museum which was remarkable, one of the most artistic and weirdest museum I’ve ever seen.

Ho Chi Minh Museum

Vietnamese Women Museum

So if you love museums, Hanoi won’t be such a bad idea. But you know how much I hate crowded and messy city. I ran away from it, I live in one now, so I don’t ask for one again on my holiday. But anyway I could only blame myself.

The next day, I went to Ha Long! The legendary village of the dragon and took a cruise to Ha Long Bay. Highlights: Even my trip from Padang Bai to Lembar by 15,000 rupiah ferry has much better view than this!

The Famous Halong Bay, the path after visiting the colorful cave (don’t even bother to remember the name.)

We cruised through the limestone (that is similar to one when going to the Phi Phi Island in Phuket) and visited caves (great but not that great) and stopped in the floating village, which is originated from Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The Floating Village, NOT Photoshopped.

After going kayaking, and saw the floating village, we all cruised back to Ha Long City. I really couldn’t believe my eyes that the water in the ocean is not blue. It is greenish kind of dirty. Oh my god it’s too bad to be true. I can’t even compare with the water near Lombok Island.

This cruise supposed to be a breathtaking cruise. :(

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the whole journey. I did. I tasted new food, met new people and learned new things. It’s just that sometimes it pissed me off when they exaggerate about something . This place is not breathtaking. Maybe for some people it is, because people has different standard and level of bitchiness (well mine is sure high). I hate when things are overrated. Halong Bay is definitely overrated. There goes my only review for the holiday.

Call me hard to please. I’m sorry for having high standard of scenery since I am an Indonesian. I’ve so many universe great creations in my country, and I’m gonna live up to that.

Even for Bandi who has gone to so many places on earth, he still agree that Indonesia has it all. Sometimes I wonder why Indonesian (including me) loves to go to abroad when our country has it all. The answer would be… The beautiful places in Indonesia are not tourist friendly. Government doesn’t care so much and don’t bother to start to care.

A lot of potential hidden in every part of Indonesia. We’re so huge for god’s sake! But sadly, all of our neighboring country is smarter than us to attract tourists. They have their advertisement everywhere and those pretty pictures which I bet photoshopped. When I took picture in Gili Trawangan with my pocket camera, the photos were already breathtaking.

So many places in part of Indonesia I haven’t visited. And guess what? The air tickets to those places could be twice or three times more expensive than going to Phuket or Hong Kong. But I guess price doesn’t lie, does it? :p

 

Love,

May.

 

Once upon a time in Bandung

Let me introduce you to Bandung, a city situated 768 meters above sea level which make it so cold and breezy, and it could reach up to 17 degrees on the coldest days. Don’t forget to bring your sweater!
I lived once in the north area which has 3 favorite collage and of course my college was the best. ;)
Bandung is an artistic and esthatic city full of youth, because of its famous universities. It’s full of dorms, good (and  cheap) foods and drunk people. :p Bandung is like the Boston of USA, it’s like the Busan of Korea and a Cambridge of England.
I’m so glad I spent my youth there. It was the best four years of my life.
Every faculty will have their own party and events, so every weekend there are surely party to crash. So many of my friends living in different dorms, so when it’s too late to come back to my dorm and the door is locked, I could crash anywhere.
Until I finally moved to this amazing yet spooky house who host 9 crazy ladies, then I knew what home is. It’s not a place, it is people. I had never felt so homey in my entire life.
The house was so huge and old, it felt spooky sometimes. It has a huge garden and balcony so we could make garden party or balcony party or terrace party, wherever and whenever we want to.
I met the love of my life in college, got broken hearted, dumping and being dumped also in college. I was consistently riding an emotional roller coaster and all I could do was yelling, “OWYEAAAAH!”

Braga is a beautiful street in Bandung, the place where he, the love of my life,  took my breath away for the first time.
I worked a temp job at the ticketing booth. It was raining in the afternoon before so the road was wet. I could see the moonlight showering the wet road and it felt so poetic.
Just when I looked down and read my journal, a guy stood in front of my ticket booth, putting a bottle of water and a red rose.
It was my first red rose ever in my life.
Out of the blue, he put a red rose in front of me, took my breath away.
There are moments that you will never forget for the rest of your life, moments that you will tell to your grandchildren. And this moment is one of them.
I made friends, I lost friends, I took chance, I gave up dreams, I learned how to live life, I stumbled a couple of times, I managed to get up, all happened in Bandung, once upon a time.
Bandung is a place I could never get enough for. It’s like an endless addiction I’ll never get bored of, no matter how many times I come back.
Bandung is a medicine of my insanity. Going back there once every some time, keeps me sane, keeps me grateful and happy.
I love being grateful and happy.
Everyone should be.
Well,
Speaking of Bandung, I just came back from there. Yeah!
I took one day leave and spent my long weekend to eat good food and visit one of my best friend at his dorm, just like the old times. He’s still staying in his old dorm, the place I used to crash on, and sleep in when I was bored and tired with my life. He was always be there for me, lending me his bed and he would sleep on the floor. :)
I’m a super lucky lady to have a best friend like him.
We used to chat all night until we accidentally fell asleep. Everything from relationships, parents, dreams, and life.
This time, I thought I would only had an hour or two hours chat, just to catch up a couple of things. However he’s a lecturer now, holding shining degree and lecturing young people. I thought talking to him would be different. But minutes turn to hours, one bite of Bak kwa to finishing the whole sack, one piece of cigarette to a box.
Trust me, working May is not fun. I never could be awake until this late since I worked! Somehow, that night, I turned back into College May. The fun unbeatable college May.
I had the most fun and amazing college conversation in my 26th age.
That night, I somehow realized, youth is not how old you are. It’s how you act and think. I couldn’t feel any younger now, knowing that, I could always buy tickets and fly to Bandung anytime, drinking my youth juice and being rejuvenated.
I couldn’t tell the details of our conversation coz maybe I would have forgotten 90% of what we talked about. But we always remember the memories, the feeling of that night.
I believe everyone has their own friends who can stay up all night with you just to talk non-sense and giggling together. Those are the moments to remember. And good news is, it’s never too late to re-live the moment.
Nobody is ever too old and nothing is ever too late.
For me, Bandung is my magical city.
It’s the place I met best friends, I studied how to face real life, I did something real for society, I partied hard, I made drunk calls, I had my first kiss, I saved environment, I gave scholarships and received one, I stalked guys, I danced under the moonlight, I had the most amazing birthday in my life, I found what home is, I created my family, and it will be the place where I marry my man.
Sunrise in Bandung Airport
Well,
Now that I have introduced you to Bandung, the best place on earth, you should pick up a phone to book a shuttle now! Don’t forget to bring sweater!
Love,
May.

Gili Trawangan: A little piece of heaven.

I put Lombok on my itinerary last Summer Holiday, although I was only excited about Bali because Bali seems to have everything I need for holiday: Great beaches, great foods, great night clubs, interesting culture and hundreds other reason to go. But it turned out I got a surprise! :)

I arrived at Denpasar in the afternoon of a rainy May, bargained for 80.000 rupiahs with the cab driver to take me to my friend’s house near Sanur Beach.

When I told my friend Cininta about my plan to Lombok, she was very nice to drive me to Padang Bai that night. Padang Bai is the harbor where you can find ferry to Lembar, Lombok’s harbor. I decided to leave all ofmy things in Cininta’s house but some cash, one spare shirt, camera, and of course,bikini!!! :D

It was a 2-hours drive from Denpasar to Padang Bai. I didn’t know it was actually far. It was about 10 pm when we arrived. And we didn’t know that the harbor was quite scary. My man, Bandi planned to take the midnight ferry so we’ve waited about 2 hours. However, I thought it was a bad decision to take a midnight ferry coz we were the only traveler here and everyone seemed suspicious. We walked around the beach in Padang Bai and thankfully found an inn to stay.

The next morning, we were ready to say bye bye to our Lombok plan and looked for shuttle bus back to Kuta. Bandi was bargaining price with a travel agent when a Canadian guy asked me, “Where you’re going?”
“We were hoping Gili, but I don’t—“
“It was GORGEOUS!!!” and he was unstoppable of telling me how gorgeous the island was and his experience of trekking the Rinjani Mountain in Lombok.

However, again, we changed our mind, and til this time, it was the best decision ever!

There are 3 Gilis in the northwest of Lombok Island. Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. Gili Trawangan is the biggest one and the most visited, so we picked it.

We got quite low price because we’re Indonesian people and could bargain the price in bahasa, but the Canadian guy said some western people could get our price when they’re lucky, including him. It was about 450.000rupiahs (2 persons) for the whole transport from padang bai to Gili and back to Kuta. I will explain later about how to get thereThe ferry was surprisingly comfortable and if the weather is great you could see this the whole day.. I hate long trip but thank god, it’s worth it. The ferry was surprisingly comfortable and if the weather is great you could see this the whole day.

View from the Ferry. It's a 6 hours trip!

Arrived at Lembar, Lombok, we still had to take the shuttle bus from the harbor ro the other side of the island, to Bangsal harbor. But this harbor is only for small boat like fast boat and fisherman boat. We took the fisherman boat and it was pretty cool!

15 minutes in fisherman boat

I will fast forward to the moment when I finally arrived to this awesome Island and the first thing I said was “don’t you think God was reaaallly serious when he created this island?”

A little piece of heaven

The water was clean so we can see shells on the bottom of the sea, the sandy white beaches seem to welcome me when I first stepped off from the boat. The color of the beach was gradation form white-green-turquoise-blue-dark blue. It was breathtaking. I stopped for a while and took a mental picture of that moment.

The first thing we did was renting a bike. well, it wasn’t really a good decision coz it turned out that you can walk around the island for maybe an hour (if you walk fast), and the path was mostly sandy so it was hard for riding a bike.

If you had so much time, you can try my way. I was going half round the island just to find a perfect bungalow to stay. Well, it cost a little bit more but I loved that place, it called Grasia. Most of the hotels or inns are run buy expatriate and Indonesian people works for them. It was a sad fact actually, coz Indonesian government doesn’t really care about our tourism. The funny thing is the local people speaks English very well, I think even better than they speak proper Bahasa. They speak local language (which I didn’t understand at all) with local people, and English with the travelers.

Let the picture tells

The food was average. It was mostly grilled seafood and woods burnt pizza. My favorite was pizza from Coral Beach 1. It was definitely not the best pizza I’ve ever tasted but, on that island, that pizza might be the best. :p

There are tons to do on the island. You can go diving with the diving community, or if you can’t dive, you can take a lesson there. It was about 800.000 rupiahs. Or if you’re afraid (like me), let’s justsnorkel. It wasn’t my best snorkel experience, but Bandi said it was pretty good. Well, Bandi swam way further to the sea so I think he got better view.

view from the hut.

You can also just stay on the small huts and read a book. If you ate in Coral Beach 1, you could stay in the small hut andlay down or just sit there watching the gorgeous beach. You can trek around the island, you can bike, you can get drunk at night or eat the ‘magic mushroom’, which is the must-try-local-mushroom. You get what I mean, right?

This might be the best tip I would ever give to you so listen, don’t eat dinner far from your hotel, coz at night, there aren’t lights at all. WHY? I stayed at the east side of the island and ate dinner at the west side of the island, so when I walked back after dinner (about 7:30 p.m.) to my bungalow the path was REALLY scary! Seriously it was creepy! And remember, Asia has so many creepy ghosts. (I can’t believe I said that). You can take ‘andong’ (a two wheel carriage drawn by a horse) but the cost is 50.000!

Imagine this, at night, complete dark.

So, no! I’d rather walk and took the risk of anything it was. Thankfully everything was ok, but it was the longest walk I’ve ever had, especially in some path where there were no buildings at all. I could only walk as I was blindfolded, hearing the sound of waves and crickets and feeling the grass all over my calves. IT WAS BEYOND SCARY!
So the bottom line,

“Don’t eat dinner far from your hotel!”

How to go there:

  • The easiest way is taking a fast boat from Padang Bai, Bali straight to Gili Trawangan, but the cost is 600.000 per person. It’s one hour trip.
  • Or you could fly from Denpasar to Mataram, Lombok and take a shuttle bus and boat to Gili Trawangan. But I think it would be waaayy more expensive. It will also be a one hour trip
  • Or you can take my way, which is the cheapest way of all:
  1. Shuttle Bus from Kuta to Padang Bai : IDR 60.000 (two hours)
  2. Ferry from Padang Bai to Lembar, Lombok : IDR 31.000 (5-7 hours, depends on the wheather)
  3. Shuttle bus from Lembar –Senggigi – Bangsal (or you can go straight to Bangsal): 45.000 – 60.000 (1,5 hours)
  4. Boat from Bangsal to Gili Trawangan : about IDR 10.000

And going back to Bali with the same route. I got a good deal with paying 450.000 for two persons for a round trip. Try to bargain!

I would like to go back to Gili Trawangan one day and stay there for a month and forget about works and stuffs. Just lay down on the beach, watching waves, and fishermen’s boats come and go…

The night then falls.

Of all the places I’ve gone that summer holiday, Gili Trawangan was the only place I crave for more. Definitely will  go back there! :)

Mental Picture, CLICK

Love, May

Discovery from the Treasury…

I love travelling! Not the trip with the vehicle, but the times I’ve spent in different place, especially with best friends.

I’ve discovered some amazing things during my times there.

1. Indonesian culture is gorgeously breathtaking! It’s sad to see the heritage has been wrecked by the earthquake. =(

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2. Indonesian people are extremely creative!!!

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3. Sea is still scary to me, yet beautiful.

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4. I’m deeply concern that since “wisata kuliner” has been aired on TV, I’m food-oriented. But still, Palembang’s food is the best baby!

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5. Abang-abang Becak in Jogja are freakishly strong!

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6. He’s always on my mind everywhere I go. So… I think it works both ways. =)

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