December 25, 2011

Tanah Lot

Besides beaches, Hindu temples come to mind when talking about Bali. There are many temples in Bali since by customary law, a village must have at least 3 temples (temple in Indonesian = Pura).

One of the more popular temples is Pura Tanah Lot. This temple is perched on a rock. When high tide, the temple looks as if it is "floating" in the middle of the sea.

When I came here, it was still low tide, thus we could walk until the bottom of the rock. Before reaching the rock though, there's a cave where you can see a snake which is believed to be holy. Once reaching the bottom of the rock, there is another cave with streaming water also said to be holy. You can receive blessings here for a small donation.

Besides its unique location, this temple is also flocked by tourists because it offers a stunning view during sunset.

During High tide (Pic source:

During Low tide

Tanjung Benoa

When I was still living abroad because of my father's assignment in various countries, Bali was more famous than Indonesia. And I think this is still the case. Most people have heard of Bali as a beautiful holiday destination. While Indonesia is known as the chaotic country ;)

Anywayss....In my opinion, Bali is a perfect holiday destination. You have beaches and mountains, creative cultural art and city party scenes...anyone can find something to
his/her liking. Whether you are young, old, traveling alone, with family... Bali has something to offer you :)

Although it is a small island, there are many points of interest. On my last trip, I went to one of the newer tourist places: Tanjung Benoa.

Tanjung Benoa lies near to Nusa Dua (a famous beach & resort area). The main reason people go to Tanjung Benoa is for the various water sport activities that they can do. The more popular ones are: jet skiing, banana boat rides, parasailing and snorkeling. There are a few operators to choose from, so it would be best to look around and choose the one you are comfortable with.

For those who are not keen on getting wet, usually the operators offer you the chance to go on a boat trip to a nearby area called "Turtle Island", which is named because there is a Turtle farm there. Since I wanted to avoid the hassle of having to change clothes, when I went to Tanjung Benoa, I only went on the boat trip to Turtle Island. Here, not only do you see turtles of all sizes, you can also take a picture with it, as well as other creatures such as an iguana and a snake.

However, there is one activity that I'm quite curious about but didn't have the chance to do: Seawalker. Here you are geared up so that you walk on the bottom of the sea! Well..maybe next time..

November 5, 2011

Europe on Screen 2011

A nice alternative to spend your leisure time:
Europe on Screen 2011

This event will take place in Yogya, Bandung, Jakarta, Bali, Aceh, Surabaya and Semarang.
Tickets are free (yippee!) but you still need to get a hand on one, which you can do 45 minutes before the movie starts.

I'm already eyeing on a Czech film Vrchní, prchni! Hope I get the chance to see it!

September 11, 2011

"Rahmat" International Museum & Wildlife Gallery

Address: Jl. S.Parman No.309, Medan

I found this place very interesting and I would definitely recommend you to go here when visiting Medan. This museum showcases preserved wildlife animals such as elephants, bears, orangutans, deers etc. The skin, teeth and nails of all the animals showcased are real. It is owned by Rahmat Shah, a successful business man and professional hunter. Some of the animals are hunted by Rahmat himself.

At first, I was a bit apprehensive seeing all the animals in the museum (there are many!). However then one of the staffs explained that only a small portion of the museum's collection is from his hunting trips. And when hunted, it is based on conservation regulations: only hunt animals with large populations, or ones that are old. She continued explaining that most of the animals at the museum died in zoos, or were donated or purchased legally.

The museum consists of 2 floors and is divided into sections depending on the species. Nearing the end of the trail, it did get a bit weird with trophies of his sons & daughter on display which had nothing to do with wildlife conservation
(?!?!). But overall, hats off to his dedication in keeping this museum up and running!

Entrance fee is Rp. 25,000 for adults.

September 4, 2011


Medan is the capital city of the North Sumatra province. There are a few landmarks that are the must sees of the city.

1. Istana Maimun
(Maimun Palace)
Address: Jl. Brigjen Katamso, Medan

This palace was built by the Deli Sultanate which used to rule over Medan. It's yellow facade makes it easy to spot from afar but unfortunately, the last time I went there in 2008, the palace looked quite neglected upon closer look.

Maimun Palace ca. 1890-1905

Maimun Palace 2008

2. Mesjid Raya (Grand Mosque)
The mosque's name is actually Al-Mashun mosque, but it is better known as Mesjid Raya.
It lies not far away from Maimun Palace. This mosque is still actively used until today however, again I saw signs of "insufficient funds" :(

I skipped these landmarks during my trip to Medan this year. Instead, I went on "safari" :) Will blog about it in the next couple of days....

September 3, 2011

Pulang Kampung

Busy busy busy...that's my excuse for neglecting this blog. June-July was a HECTIC period at the office as usual, because it were the months leading up to the Ramadan (the Islamic fasting month - many clients commissioned product testing projects which needed to finish before the Ramadan started).

Each year, the Ramadan period differs because it follows the Islamic calendar which is based on the moon cycle. It usually moves backwards by about 10 days. This year, the Ramadan was from late July - late August. So next year, it would probably be from mid July - mid August.

We then celebrate the end of the Ramadan with a Muslim holiday: Idul Fitri (Eid ul-Fitr in english).
In Indonesia, the official holiday lasts for 2 days but then in recent years, the government imposed a "joint holiday" a few days before and after the official Idul Fitri holiday.

This year, the calendar marked Idul Fitri to fall on a Tuesday & Wednesday. But...Monday, Thursday & Friday was announced as a joint holiday which means that we had the entire week off! Actually, the joint holidays are taken off of your annual leave so actually it is not something "free".

In Indonesia, the Idul Fitri holidays are like Christmas-New Year holidays. People go back to their hometowns to celebrate it with the extended family. We call it: pulang kampung (literal translation: go back to hometown). During this period, travel fare skyrockets, if not sold-out.

If you want to see Jakarta a bit less crowded, then this is also the time :) However, restaurants are very crowded because of course all the help has gone pulang kampung. Ahhh...Jakartans :P Quick side note: there are stories that some families even stay at hotels because they don't want to be bothered with all the chores!

Because my grandparents are no longer alive, usually my family and I don't go back to our hometown for Idul Fitri. But this year, we did. So I have a couple of posts coming up ahead to make up for all the time I haven't written anything :) Stay tuned...

Typical: Traffic jam because everybody is on their way pulang kampung

April 23, 2011

Art in Malls

Many art pieces are now showcased in malls. I personally quite like it since many of them are very interesting. Going to the mall is one of urban Indonesian's favorite pastime, so I guess it makes sense to have art pieces smack in the middle of it...I mean, if they don't come to you, you should come to them, right? Maybe museums should start doing something like this too to gain more interest from the public?

Photo from: -
Art at Pacific Place

Taken at Grand Indonesia

I find this piece of a "melting" Borobudur very beautiful. And I bet this took quite some time to make!

Taken at Gandaria City

These window shutters are put together to form a wall which leads to a space displaying antique wooden tables. I love the colours...

April 16, 2011

Solar Energy baby..!

Just a quick post before I head off to see a movie at the French Film Festival (yup, it's that time of the year quickly time goes by).

Yesterday, I was quite surprised to see this ad in Kompas.

Now this is more like it. Nuclear energy for Indonesia? OMG...I can just imagine the disaster in that!!

With the abundance of sunshine (unless the polluted air of Jakarta is blocking its path), solar energy is the way to go. Learning from the past, I hope PLN plans this programme thoroughly & then execute it accordingly...otherwise it will be just another great idea that goes down the drain :(

March 29, 2011


Like in any country, Indonesia has several local brands that are synonymous with certain products. Here are a few Indonesian brands which I loveee...

1. Chocolates
Ok, please don't compare our chocolates to Belgian ones. But still, there are two Indonesian brands that I love: Silver Queen and Beng-beng. These brands have been in Indonesia since I was a child (in the age where malls were still scarce in Jakarta and I still often see rainbows after a pleasant rainfall).

Silver Queen is a chocolate-nut product. You can choose from several nut types with cashew nut being my favorite (I think this was also the first one they produced). For a long time, it was associated with its flat rectangular shape, but now they have a new variant that is "chunky". Even though I have been a long time fan, but I never paid attention to who produces this product. And surprisingly, they don't have a website?

Beng-beng is a chocolate wafer bar. While Silver Queen cashew nut hasn't changed its flavour (according to my tastebuds), I think Beng-beng has had some product development done. But still, a value for money product, it won't hurt you to try it! It is produced by Mayora, one of Indonesia's biggest FMCG companies.

2. Flip-flops
"Quick, I need some flip-flops!". Just head to your nearby warung & and for just Rp. 9,000 you can purchase some Swallow sandals. They're cheap, easily available, and considering the price, quite comfortable and sturdy. Nowadays, the brand also produces a more stylish line (which is of course a bit more costly). What else could you want from a pair of flip-flops?

3. Instant Noodles
Why I can't live without it: the smell... when someone is cooking instant noodles is so tempting; and then of course the MSG taste...even though noodles are essentially tasteless (?), marketers have come up with a variety of chemical flavours.

Why I can't live with it: it is not nutritious and not good for your health. Of course, some people may not agree with this, even the effects of MSG is still debatable. But the fact is, if I go to a doctor when having digestion problems, somewhere during his examination he would ask whether I have been eating lots of instant noodles lately. *word has it that your stomach needs 5 days to digest the noodles*

Anyways, all the controversy aside, Indomie is the market leader in Indonesia. Actually, the brand has become a generic name for instant noodles. The company that produces it is Indofood which is also one of the biggest companies in Indonesia. Word has it that Indomie is exported to many African countries as well and is quite popular there too.

February 5, 2011


As usual, the end of the year is a hectic period at my office thus my absence from this blog. Things have now slowed down though, which means...after working hard, it's time to play hard! Starting with the office's family gathering event to DuFan.

Dunia Fantasi a.k.a DuFan is an amusement park in Jakarta. It is part of Taman Impian Jaya Ancol (or j
ust "Ancol" for short), a resort destination in north Jakarta which houses a number of attractions among others SeaWorld and Atlantis Water Adventures. Its large area is often used to host events such as Java Rockin' Land (an annual rock festival).

DuFan has the typical rides such as the merry-go-round,
ferris wheel and roller coaster.

For a guide on the rides, I found this blog post quite useful. (Note though that since it was written in 2009, it hasn't included DuFan's newest ride: Hysteria). Please check it out: Guide to Dunia Fantasi

Since I don't have a strong stomach, I only went on the "easy" rides and avoided the challenging ones such as the Tornado
where you are twist and turned while dangling in the air.

Tornado Photo by Garnieri (
Even a few of the boys looked sick after going on it

But I was intrigued with Hysteria after seeing it didn't involve any spinning around, just a few "freefalls". So...I gathered the courage and went on it and well...words can't explain, you need to try it yourself ;)

Hysteria Photo by Nadiloo
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