September 7, 2014

Bogor Botanical Garden (Kebun Raya Bogor)

Last week I went to the Botanical Garden in Bogor (in Indonesian: Kebun Raya Bogor). Bogor is just a one-hour drive from Jakarta so it is a nice alternative if you want to get away from Jakarta during the weekend. 

The Botanical Garden is hugeeeeee. Coincidently, the presidential palace (Istana Bogor) with its famous deers roaming around the ground can also be found here, although you need special permission to enter. Besides that, the Orchid House is also one of the places people come to see. There is even a Reflexology Path.

With a lot of ground to cover, walking around can be tiresome. Luckily, you can also bring your car. 

We entered through Gate 1 (there are many gates). The entrance fee was IDR 15,000 per person & IDR 30,000 for the car (August 2014). You can also join the mini tour carriage to help you navigate around this huge garden (since there seems to be a lack of signposts!). 

For this trip, we wanted to have a cup of coffee at the cafe which lies inside. It used to be called "De Daunan", but has now gone through some management changes and is called "the Grand Garden". 

In front of the cafe, there is a pond which is very serene and man-made looking, but just straight ahead you can enter back into the "wild forest" with tall trees and large roots crawling above the ground. I loved it!!

Pond in front of the Grand Garden Cafe

   

Some cute myths:
- The red hanging bridge. Legend has it that if you cross the bridge with your lover, your relationship will not last. 
- Pohon sejodoh (meaning: soulmate tree). Two trees standing side-by-side form "pohon sejodoh". They say anyone single should sit on the bench in front of it and pray so that they will soon meet their soulmate. Beware, those already with a partner should never sit on this bench! 


For more information, please go to its website: http://www.bogorbotanicgardens.org/
A general map is also there to print out (seriously, there is a major lack of signposts in the garden!): http://www.bogorbotanicgardens.org/intsite.php 

If your timing is right, you might catch a glimpse of the giant flowers blossoming (Rafflesia patma, Amorphophallus titanum).

July 2, 2014

Surabaya Heritage Track

As I mentioned in a post wayyyy bacckkkk, if you're in Surabaya, you should visit "House of Sampoerna museum". And while you're here, you should check out its Surabaya Heritage Track (SHT) program.

SHT is a free short tour around Surabaya. The tours are held regularly 3 times a day, every day except on Monday. For the detailed schedule, please follow this link: http://www.houseofsampoerna.museum/e_sht_main.htm
The starting and end point is at House of Sampoerna.


SHT tour bus
Last week, I got the chance to join this tour. It was unplanned, so luckily there was still a seat available on the tour bus. I would recommend that you book a seat in advance especially if you are going in a small group, or on the weekends. For reservations, please contact the following number: +62 31 3539000 ext. 24142 or e-mail: hos@sampoerna.com 

Once you've entered the House of Sampoerna complex, you should go to the Tracker Information Centre (TIC), which is the room in front of the cafe, to get your ticket. 

The tour I joined was the weekday morning tour and we went to two places. A guide was also on the bus, pointing out and explaining to us some of the historical buildings we passed along the way. At the places, we stopped for 10-15 minutes to explore and take some photos. All in all, it was a great way to spend time in Surabaya!!

December 30, 2013

Galeri Indonesia Kaya

Last week, I went to Galeri Indonesia Kaya which is located near the Blitzmegaplex movie theatre at Grand Indonesia mall. Basically, it is a place where you can know more about Indonesian culture.

The venue is a bit small but there are a few fun interactive attractions. 

From the moment you enter the location, you are greeted by screens of couples wearing traditional clothes. And then you get the chance to "try on" these clothes and even upload it directly to your facebook page.

Further along, there are touchscreen monitors which hold information on the typical cuisine, musical instruments and landmarks of various areas in Indonesia. 
 

You can also play some traditional games such as the congklak or more modern ones with augmented reality features.
 

Overall, it was a nice place to stop by - Nice alternative to spending hours at the mall ;)
Btw, Galeri Indonesia Kaya has an auditorium room with free performances on the weekends. I have seen them being advertised on Kompas newspaper.

December 26, 2013

Tex Saverio: Indonesian designer behind Katniss's wedding dress (The Hunger games)

I must admit, I didn't see the Hunger Games when it was in theatres, so I wasn't excited when its sequel came out : the Hunger Games - Catching Fire. But I had some spare time, so I decided to watch it this time. 

Maybe it was because I didn't have any expectations, but I thoroughly enjoyed the movie!! And of course, Katniss's wedding dress caught my attention - how can it not, it was so beautiful!
Source pic: http://blbride.com/?p=1652
And to my surprise, this wedding dress was from an Indonesian designer named Tex Saveriowho presented a similar dress at Jakarta Fashion Week in 2010.
Source pic: http://blbride.com/?p=1652
This was not the first time he had international exposure. In 2011, Lady Gaga wore one of Tex Saverio's design for Harper's Bazaar. I think this was also absolutely gorgeous.
Source pic: http://gagafashionland.com/2011/04/lady-gaga-for-harpers-bazaar-tex-saverio/#sthash.bFWLKSwy.dpbs
And these are the latest design by Tex Saverio at Jakarta Fashion Week 2014.
Source pic: http://photo.sindonews.com/view/4248/rancangan-tex-saverio-pukau-penonton-jakarta-fashion-week-2014#3

Source pic: http://female.kompas.com/read/2013/10/20/1551452/Jakarta.Fashion.Week.2014.Tex.Saverio.Persembahkan.Busana.Siap.Pakai

Source pic: http://wolipop.detik.com/readfoto/2013/12/04/123452/2432194/941/3/

December 17, 2013

Monas again...

It has been awhile since I've gone to Monas. But last weekend I went there to see a housing exhibition - which turned out not to be there.

Failing to see the exhibition, I walked around and it was interesting to see the crowds of people (local & some international tourists) taking photographs and just having a fun day out with their families.

Since Joko Widodo (known better as Jokowi) has been appointed as the new governor of Jakarta, various events have been held at Monas. The most recent ones were the 19th Jakarta International Kite Festival and the World Royal Heritage Carnival 2013. It's a shame though that Monas doesn't have its own website to check the events, so you need to really search on the internet to know what is/will take place there.

The downside of Monas being more popular is of course the litter. We really need to be more disciplined in throwing our trash in the trash cans. But anyways, here are a few photos of my day at Monas.

Monas

Free train to get you to Monas' entrance
Souvenirs sold by sellers on the sidewalk
Horse-drawn carriage rides
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