Launceston Day 1

After visiting Ross, we continued our roadtrip in Tasmania and arrived around 4 pm at Launceston, another beautiful city in Tasmania. We went directly to our hostel which is called Launceston Backpackers Hotel. We choose this hostel due to its reasonable price (double room with a shared bathroom cost us AUD 53) and also because it has a free parking which we needed for our rented car. The hostel replied promptly to our emails prior to our departure. Actually we were planning to come late on the Christmas eve, and they have arranged how we could do our self check in. 

The staffs were really helpful. Other thing we like was our comfortable bed and also the spacious room. We also cooked our meals in this hostel as it is only 5 minutes away from Coles and it has a huge and clean kitchen. By the way, we noted that the building of our hostel was built in 1905! Wohooo...

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Roadtrip from Hobart to Launceston: Short Transit at Beautiful City Called Ross

On our second day in Hobart, we rented a car from Thrifty to be used for the next two days. We have booked the car 5 months in advance, so that we have a fairly cheap price for the peak Christmas period. Too bad the GPS we’ve ordered was not available, Thrifty gave us a map instead:p 

We left Hobart at 11 am, and followed a car of our friend Zaratul Khairi and his family, as he got a GPS inside his car. We took the highway heading to Launceston and enjoyed beautiful sights along the way.

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Exploring Hobart by Bicycle

On our second day in Australia, we took a morning flight from Melbourne Tullamarine airport to Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania. We couldn’t manage to extend our car hire, so we were looking for the alternatives on how to transfer from Hobart airport to the Hobart city. 

Upon arrival, we saw this City Hotels Shuttle. We asked the driver, and he said that the seats were still available. It cost us AUD 17 per person, expensive, but we didn’t have any other choice that time. But the driver was really nice, he act as our tour guide on the way explaining the interesting places to visit in Hobart.

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Exploring Melbourne with Melbourne Bike Share

On our 1st day in Melbourne, we went to Queen Victoria Market using tram #57 from Flinders Station. We were not sure whether we had to pay for the tram (we were mixed up with the free circle tram), we asked two person in the bus saying that we wouldn’t need to pay. But we saw everyone tapping their card on a machine inside the tram (oh yeah, we asked the wrong person!). So we didn’t pay anything on that ride, and lucky us there were no inspector:p

Arriving at Queen Victoria Market, we passed the meat and seafood section, the dairy section, and to the colorful section of fruits and vegetables. Of course we also buy the traditional doughnuts cost AUD 1 per piece. Aaah how we love this market!

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Simcard for Prepaid Phone and Internet Data in Australia

Upon arrival at Flinders Station, we went directly to Vodafone outlets located just opposite the station. We asked the guy what are the alternatives for prepaid simcards for phone and internet data plan. The guy showed us a list of alternatives (you may see it in the below picture). 

We choose the first row => package of AUD 30 + AUD 2 (cost of the card), which includes phone calls up to AUD 450, free sms, 500 MB data and unlimited social media. Vodafone also provide micro sim card for internet in Australia (that would be for my Samsung S3), but I told rene that we wouldn’t need two simcards.

Based on our experience, we are satisfied with the performance of our vodafone. Of course there are some other telco operators, we bought vodafone as its outlet was the closest to the train station when we first arrived in Melbourne. You may compare the above table with rates offered by other telco companies, and find the one that best suit your need.

written on December 26, 2012 by @tesyasblog

tag: kartu simcard australia untuk internet, kartu telepon lokal australia

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Exporing Melbourne with Melbourne Bike Share

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The Cheapest Public Transport from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport to The City

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The Cheapest Public Transport from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport to the City

It was our first time ever visiting Australia, we took Garuda Indonesia which flies directly from Jakarta to Melbourne. We arrived just 3 days before Christmas, the airport was not that busy when we arrived at around 9 am. The immigration process was fast, and the officer were really friendly. The only complaint upon arrival in Melbourne Tullamarine Airport was that we had to wait for 30 minutes to get our luggage. I don’t know whether it’s normal or because it’s holiday time? Anyway, we could get out of the airport directly after taking our luggage. There weren’t any inspection as I thought it would be.

Having read the Tripadvisor review regarding the cheapest public transport from Melbourne Tullamarine airport to the city, we wanted to give it a try. We had plenty of time that day and of course we’d like to save our budget. From the review that I read, it cost only AUD 6,20 per person (compare that with a one way ticket of Skybus AUD 17!). I also read that there were no sign at the airport to the public bus stop. It seems that the airport recommend visitors to take the express Skybus which can take you to the city within 20 minutes (excluding the waiting time).

When we exit the international airport, we followed the direction to T4 (Tiger Air Terminal), because it is the closest terminal to the public bus stop. At T4, we were confused where to go, as there was no public bus stop around T4. We asked a guy, who showed us that we should take Skybus. No thanks. Then we asked a lady, who didn’t really know where the bus stop located, but when I told her that it is should be in front of Toll Dnata building, she said that we have to walk a little bit further from T4, and cross the road. And yes we could see a bus stop, with its sign on the grass. Lucky us the bus was waiting for the passengers when we walked to the bus stop.

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Graha Cakra Malang

Stayed there more than a year ago and I haven't posted my review on Graha Cakra Malang. They say it's better late than never, so I would like to post my review on one of the old style hotel in Malang. This is the front look of the hotel.

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Dim Sum Festival Kemang

If you are looking for halal dimsum in Jakarta, this place could be the right place for you; Dim Sum Festival Kemang. From outside, the resto looks very Chinese:p To my surprise this resto is open 24 hours. Actually Yulastri, our bestfriend has recommended this place a long time ago. But we finally visited the place after submitting our visa documents to AVAC.

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Three House Cafe Bandung

We always go to Bandung early in the morning to avoid traffic jam from Jakarta to Bandung on the weekends. We usually arrive in Bandung at about 8 am, and the Three House Cafe is one of our fave stop to have breakfast in Bandung. The cafe is really child friendly, having its own three house, where our kiddos love to play (and coming early in the morning means the three house is only for our kiddos:p).  

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SIM Indonesia di Australia

Karena kami berencana melakukan self drive di Tasmania, maka kami pun mencari informasi apakah SIM Indonesia dapat diakui di Australia. Sebetulnya jika ada cukup waktu (dan tentunya cukup cuti), kami bisa saja mengurus SIM Internasional di Korlantas Polri. Namun karena letak kantor kami yang dipinggir Jakarta, maka kami mencoba cara lain.

Karena rene yang akan mengemudikan kendaraan yang kami sewa selama kami di Tasmania, maka untuk urusan SIM ini saya serahkan ke rene. Rene mendapatkan info bahwa SIM Indonesia bisa dipakai dengan dilengkapi terjemahan dari Kedubes Indonesia di Australia. Tapi karena 12 hari itinerary di Australia kami yang super padat, rasanya tidak mungkin kami meluangkan waktu ke Kedubes hanya untuk minta terjemahan.

Rene akhirnya menemukan web overseas drivers dimana web ini memberikan informasi bahwa self drive di Australia dapat menggunakan:
- SIM Internasional dengan tetap membawa SIM Indonesia;
- menggunakan SIM Indonesia disertai dengan terjemahan yang sudah dilegalisir kedutaan atau pihak yang memiliki serifikasi NAATI atau AUSIT.

Our rented car in Tasmania
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Merbabu Guest House Malang

Whereever you go in Malang, you will find Guesthouse in every street! So how to choose one of the best among so many guesthouses? I checked on for their reliable review as always, and I found out that this Merbabu Guest House Malang is the number 1 guesthouse in Malang. I sent email to book a room in the guesthouse, and they replied promptly. I booked one deluxe room including bfast for IDR 360,000.

This is the front look of the Merbabu Guesthouse Malang, it's really homey. The guesthouse is located on a road with many cafes and restaurant in a walking distance. We rented a Honda Vario from the front desk 24 hour for IDR 80,000. The motorcycle doesn't belong to the hotel, the staff called a motorcycle rental for us, and later on the hotel kept our ID (KTP) at their premises until we returned the Vario.

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Bakso Bakar Pak Man

Whenever I have a chance to visit Malang, I always try to find my fave food in Malang which is Bakso Bakar (grilled meatballs). Usually I go to Bakso Bakar Trowulan, but as it rains a lot during our weekend getaway in Malang (Nov 2012), we went to Bakso Bakar Pak Man on Jl. Diponegoro Malang. 

It was Saturday evening, the place was full but thank God that we got seats for the two of us. We had to pick by ourselves what we'd like to eat into the bowl. While they will prepare the bakso bakar for us.  One piece of meatball cost IDR 1,500, we ordered 20 pieces:p

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Itinerary 12 hari di Australia

Sesungguhnya salah satu hal yang saya suka dari planning suatu liburan adalah membuat itinerary, karena kegiatan ini banyak menambah wawasan dan pengetahuan saya tentang tempat yang akan kami tuju. Saya juga senang membantu teman membuat itinerary, karena dengan begitu saya selalu update dengan tujuan wisata. 

Membuat itinerary 12 hari ke Australia sungguh tidak mudah, apalagi bagi saya yang belum pernah menginjakan kaki ke sana. Ditambah lagi rene yang pasrah menyerahkan itinerary kepada saya, bagian dia adalah menyediakan gadget lengkap dengan aplikasi Tripadvisor Sydney dan Melbourne untuk memudahkan saya melakukan riset:p 

Bersepeda melintasi jembatan ini was not included in our itinerary:p
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Fragrance Hotel Riverside

If you are looking for a hotel with a swimming pool for kiddos in the heart of Singapore with a limited budget, I would recommend the Fragrance Hotel Riverside at Clarke Quay. It's strategically located, brand new and very clean, the seven eleven is next door, and it has a rooftop pool! Read the rest of the post and I will tell you why I like this hotel a lot. 

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Mencari Connecting Flight dari Melbourne

Jadi anda sudah membaca posting kami tentang mencari ticket pesawat ke Australia kan? Nah ayo kita teruskan cerita mencari ticket dari Melbourne.

Jetstar dari Melbourne ke Tasmania

Ticket Melbourne ke Sydney

Karena tujuan kami ke Australia memang untuk menikmati pesta kembang api Sydney pada New Years Eve 2012, segera setelah membeli ticket Jakarta-Melbourne, kami mencari ticket lanjutan Melbourne-Sydney (hunting kami lakukan bulan Juni 2012). Dan kala itu kami langsung riang gembira karena ticket Jetstar sedang promo. Ticket pada tgl yang kami inginkan yaitu 28 Desember 2012 harganya AUD 39 one way! Tapi anda harus menambahkan budget untuk Sita Bus dari Melbourne ke Avalon airport dengan harga AUD 20 one way per person. Mahalnya!  

Oya kami juga sempat konsultasi dengan teman kami Okky dan Martin mengenai hari yang harus kami atur antara Melbourne dan Sydney. Dari Okky, kami disarankan untuk spend more days di Sydney karena kotanya lebih banyak memiliki atraksi untuk turis. Sementara dari Martin kami disarankan untuk sekalian liburan ke Tasmania. Baiklah, mungkin kami sudah salah tanya orang:p
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Mengajukan Visa Australia

Updated: Mengajukan Visa Australia Bulan Mei tahun 2014

Here we go again, saya dan suami, Rene, mengajukan visa sekali lagi ke kedutaan Australia. We took everything for granted: kami pikir syarat paspor berlaku minimal masih 6 bulan, dan kami pikir kantor AVAC masih di Plaza Asia Jalan Sudirman.

Ternyata oh ternyata....

Tulisan ini wajib dibaca oleh Anda yang hendak mengajukan visa Australia. Dan please don't make the same mistake like what we did:p

Apa saja yang berubah dari posting kami 2 tahun sebelumnya?

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Tiket Pesawat ke Australia

Tulisan ini sengaja kami tulis dalam Bahasa Indonesia, karena bertujuan untuk sharing pengalaman mencari tiket pesawat dari Jakarta ke Australia ..

Bekerja di perusahaan yang memberikan cuti pada lebaran dan akhir tahun saja, membuat saya terpaksa melakukan planning perjalanan ke Australia pada saat liburan akhir tahun. Di sisi lain, saya juga memang ingin mewujudkan salah satu mimpi saya untuk melihat New Years Eve Fireworks di Sydney Harbour Bridge. Oya, jika anda pembaca setia blog saya, maka mungkin anda sudah mengetahui bahwa mimpi saya memang banyak! hehe.. karena buat saya, travel begins with a dream.

We've made one of our dreams coming true: NYE at Sydney

Pertengahan Juni 2012, saya iseng awalnya hunting tiket ke Australia. Hal ini terpicu dengan seringnya gambar kartun Sydney Harbour Bridge muncul di film Finding Nemo yang sering sekali diputar our 5 yo Najmi di galaxy tab. Keisengan saya membawa hasil satu file word dengan perbandingan tiket Air Asia, Jetstar, Malaysian Airlines, Qantas, Garuda Indonesia dan SQ! (wah mungkin saat itu keisengan saya memang sudah berubah jadi niat:p)

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Tour from Surabaya to Bromo

I have been dreaming to see sunrise in Bromo. I go to Surabaya and Malang almost every year for business trip, but I have never visited Bromo before. This time, I extended my business trip in Surabaya and took a tour from Surabaya to Bromo. Too bad that the road heading to Bromo is closed during our visit (it will be opened by Nov 28, 2012), so we could only see the sunrise from Pananjakan Viewpoint.

Because we only had limited time, we took a private organized tour from Surabaya to Bromo. We were transferred from Shangri-La Surabaya to Gunung Pananjakan, then to our hotel in Malang. I was recommended by a friend to use the service from Ibu Yuni and I am really satisfied. I had to pay IDR 1,075,000 for two person and I thought it was quiet a bargain compared to other tour I had searched via google. The tour price including private jeep getting to Pananjakan.

A toyota Avanza picked us at Shangri-La at 12.00 on a Friday midnight and we went directly to Wonokitri, the place where we changed our Avanza with a jeep before going to Pananjakan. On the way we stopped by to meet our guide named Rafael. We didn't take the Probolinggo route, because we knew that we could only go to Pananjakan Viewpoint. 

We arrived at Wonokitri at 3 am, and after a while Rafael provided us a jeep. There were people offering hand gloves, scarf, and many things to avoid cold at Pananjakan. I bought myself a hand gloves for IDR 10,000. We had to pay IDR 5,000 per person (for Indonesian) to get to Pananjakan, while for tourist they had to pay the entrance fee as well as camera charge (strange?) for IDR 100,000.

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Micro SimCard for Internet in Singapore

I have just decided to stop using Blackberry and move to Samsung S3 just few days before I had a training to attend in Singapore. Until the day of my departure, I didn't realize that I will need to find a 3G micro sim card card for my Samsung S3:p I started googling where to buy the prepaid 3G micro sim card and I got a good information from travelfish. Indonesian telco company offers many service for BB international roaming, but I had no idea whether they also offer cheap international internet for non-BB user. So I decided to get a preferred tourist prepaid card from Starhub as my "a plan". One thing is, the preferred tourist prepaid card is not sold at Changi.

When I arrived at Changi, I approached UOB foreign exchange booth as what I read from travelfish we could get a Starhub 3G prepaid micro sim card only at their booth in Changi. But the lady offered me a 30 SGD card instead. And she said that the 18 SGD is only for the top up. I left the UOB booth at Changi and I was glad that I did some research, otherwise I would have bought the 30 SGD card. 

I went to Bugis Junction, to find Starhub outlet on the basement level. The Starhub outlet in Bugis Junction located not far from Bread Talk outlet (basement level). I arrived at 6 pm, and had to queue at the cashier. There was no sign where to buy the tourist prepaid card, so once you arrive at the starhub outlet, I would suggest to approach the cashier.

At the cashier I told the guy that I was looking for the tourist prepaid card. But he said, he only had the prepaid card unlimited internet for 5 days for 18 SGD called MaxMobile Prepaid. I had to present my passport, paid 18 SGD and got the 3G sim card.

Once I put the 3G micro simcard into my S3, and yeay I am online :) And I have to say I was really satisfied with the performance of the simcard that I bought.

tips to find Starhub outlet at Bugis Junction: if you are coming by Bugis MRT, take the exit which directly linked to the food court (basement level). Just go straight until you find Breadtalk, and turn left before Breadtalk outlet. The Starhub outlet is at the corner.

written on November 23, 2012

tag: kartu simcard untuk internet di Singapura, kartu simcard untuk S3 Samsung di Singapura 

You may download our ebook travel on Singapore for FREE (written in Bahasa Indonesia) here
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Bali Zoo

Planning your trip to Bali with Kids? There are several animal parks that worth visiting; the Bali Bird Park is our fave, Bali Safari Park is talk of the town but we haven't visited it yet, and the Bali Zoo. We decided to visit Bali Zoo after reading positive reviews on tripadvisor. Back in 2010 when we compared Bali Zoo with the Bali Bird Park, the reviews on tripadvisor weren't as good as today.

We went there on one of Indonesian long weekend, so we arrived early at 9.30 am. We had to purchase 3 tickets for me, rene and najmi, one free ticket goes to our 3 yo arkan. To purchase the ticket, we had to show our ID card. The ticket was IDR 75,000 for one person (this is the price for Indonesian, and later on we found out that Balinese got even lower price). Then we proceed to the gate where all of our hands got a stamp. 

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Pantai Petitenget Seminyak

When we stayed at Cattleya Marbella Seminyak, we also went to Petitenget Beach, which was the closest beach from the hotel. It was a 10 minutes drive with the car. We went there for a sunset hunting session, and we love the beach as it was less crowded compared to the beach in Kuta. 

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Sami Sami Bar Ayana

I visited Ayana Resort for the first time with my friends from the office to see the sunset at the Rock Bar, but ended up seeing the sunset from Sami Sami Bar, a cafe above the Rock Bar. We arrived at 5 pm, but the queue to go to the Rock Bar was very long, that we decided to have juice at Sami Sami Bar and enjoy the sunset. Other than juice, we also had their pizza, and it taste great! Juices and pizza were expensive, but I told myself someday if I go with rene and kiddos to Bali again, I would take them here just to eat pizza and enjoy a bit of Ayana's atmosphere.

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Gusto Gelato

I checked on Tripadvisor regarding the "recommended restaurant in Seminyak" when we planned to spend three nights in Seminyak area. To my surprise the number one recommended resto is Gusto Gelato which is a gelato and coffee cafe. Well, I have been to Bali several times, but I haven't heard about this place before.  Moreover I am an ice cream lover and I haven't tried the Gusto Gelato! Oh noo! it was then our top priority place to visit around Seminyak.

We visited the place for the first time after visiting Bali Zoo, I had my kiddos falling asleep on my lap in the car, so we had a cup of gelato taken away. It was really delicious that we decided to come back on the next day. With the help of google map, rene succeeded to find the Gusto Gelato. Located on Jalan Umalas 2, the road is small, that we thought we had entered the wrong street. We were really happy to finally find Gusto Gelato. It is a small cafe, but always full.

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El Parque Bali

We knew about this place from a tweet RT by LiburanAnak and as the hotel we stayed in Seminyak was close to El Parque Bali, we visited this place before going to the airport. We read travelfish review on El Parque that the cafe opens at 8 am. So we thought we'll have two hours before our departure time to the airport.

When we arrived at El Parque, the little shops as the entrance to the cafe still closed  and we read that it opens at 9 am. Our kiddos were really disappointed, as I have told them early in the morning that we were going to a playground. We went back to our hotel to have our final packing done, and thereafter went back to El Parque. We arrived at 9 am sharp and yes it was already open:)

We had to pay IDR 65,000 per child, expensive compared to our fave Kemang Playground in Jakarta, but hey it's Seminyak:p We paid the entrance fee and our kiddos went straightly to the pool. We were the only customer and this place was very peaceful, looks lovely with the domination of my fave purple color:p

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Cattleya Marbella Seminyak

We stayed at Cattleya Marbella Seminyak with a special price from Disdus, wow a villa with a private pool for IDR 2,685,000 (4D3N)! It was a great bargain. Prior to our stay, the hotel staffs were really helpful, they replied our email promptly. We were picked up at Bali's airport, it was about 30 minutes drive to the Cattleya Marbella Seminyak. 

The check-in process was fast, we were given orange juice as the welcome drink. From the outside, the villa looks small, and the lobby area looks unfinished:p However the friendliness of the hotel staffs gave us a warm feeling at the lobby.

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RM Heni Putri Kaili

After visiting Donggala, we went back to Palu to catch our afternoon flight going back to Jakarta. As we still had time, we stopped by at RM Heni Putri Kaili to have lunch. The resto is located on the Talise beach, so we could enjoy Palu's view from the resto.

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Tanjung Karang Beach

It was my first experience ever visiting a beach in Sulawesi, and glad that I have extended my business trip to visit the Tanjung Karang Beach. We tried to see the sunset, but it was too cloudy that morning. We walked along the beach, but the further we walked from Prince John Dive Resort, we found garbage on the beach. It was really a pity that people left garbage on the beach like diapers! Aaargh! But in the morning I saw people from each of the resort located on the beach were cleaning up the beach.

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Prince John Dive Resort

We were recommended by our friends in Palu to stay at Prince John Dive Resort when we told them that we were planning to stay at Donggala on our last night in Sulawesi. Then I look through its website, the place looks great, that I decided to look no other and directly book the resort by phone. We were confirmed that they will accommodate us at their stone houses, near the beach. A single room cost us IDR 600,000 while the ladies room cost us IDR 800,000 with an extra bed. The room price includes three course meal, what a bargain.

When we reach the resort at about 7.30 pm, we were informed that they could only provide the wooden house, and the ladies room was really small that they couldn't provide us with the extra bed. The worst thing was, they didn't record my friends' reservation! Ended up my friends staying at other hotel next door. 

What about the four of us? We spoke to the manager named Alex, we told him how disappointed we were and that we would have to stay at the stone houses located near the beach (as promised). He said sorry that somehow he missed our booking and offered us a 50% discount and that we'll be moved to bigger room, but located 300m from the beach. We didn't have any choice other than to accept Alex's offer.

The next morning we went up early to see the sunrise. Too bad it was cloudy that morning. Prince John Dive Resort has a direct access to the beach. It has also a common area consist of dining room, a bar and of course a dive center.

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Cafe Desa Donggala

On our way to Donggala from Palu, we stopped by a floating restaurant which called Cafe Desa to have our dinner. The wooden resto is really floating, and looks quiet romantic after the sunset. To reach this resto, you only have to follow the road (passing the Swiss BelHotel), after some km aways you will find this resto on your right.

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The Beauty of Palu

I have never thought that Palu is a beautiful city with sea and mountain as the highlight, until I visited the city in September 2012. We arrived at 10 pm in Palu, the city was really quiet and dark when we came. We were hungry but there was nothing opened around the hotel we stayed in, Santika Palu. So we had to order from the hotel, and that night again I underestimate the city. But the next morning, when I opened the curtain, I saw the view of a quiet city surrounded by mountain. It was love at first sight, I love the city.

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Must Have Food in Palu : Kaledo

My first time ever visiting Palu, the capital city of Central Sulawesi. And my first culinary experience in Palu was eating their Kaledo which stands for "Kaki Lembu Donggala" (may I translate it as "cow's leg from Donggala"?). Well from the name of the food, I knew it wasn't my fave food at all, but I tried it anyway (for the sake of writing this post:p), sharing my half portion with a friend. So here's my Kaledo soup.

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Ulu Juku Restaurant Makassar

This place was introduced by our friends in Makassar, the Ulu Juku restaurant. "Ulu" means head and "juku" means fish. The building of this restaurant is huge, and it was very busy when we visited this resto during lunch time. We had lunch at their vip room located on the third floor.

Even though I was at Ulu Juku, my fave is their fish satay, it's really delicious! It taste like chicken, and I really love the sauce.

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Sunset to remember at Akkarena Beach

As we were waiting for our 9 pm flight to Palu from Makassar, our friends in Makassar took us to see the beautiful sunset at Akkarena Beach before going to the airport. Makassar traffic is becoming very hectic (at least compared to my previous visit in 2010:p) especially after office hours, when people are rushing back home. Alhamdulillah, we made it on time for the sunset at Akkarena beach.

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Somba Opu Makassar

This is a must visit place while you are in Makassar, the Somba Opu market, where you can find cheap Makassar souvenirs. We went there at 8 pm, many shops were closed already, only few shops were opened. Our driver took us to one shop called Sulawesi Art Shop. I was intended to buy Minyak Kayu Putih for my friends, but ended up buying tshirt and Makassar snacks as well:p

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Surya Super Crab

This is our first time visiting this super famous resto for its crab in Makassar; Surya Super Crab. We rented an innova from Clarion Hotel to have dinner, it was about 20 minutes from the hotel to reach this resto. We have just arrived from Manado, check in at the hotel than directly went out for our dinner, for sure the five of us were hungry, that's why we ordered a lot of food:)

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TRS Diner Cilandak Town Square

Another Sunday morning we spent at Cilandak Town Square, actually we went there for our family swimming session, but thereafter our kiddos request to go to the Timezone. It was too early to go to Timezone, so we stopped by TRS Diner to try have our Sunday brunch. We haven't tried this resto before and didn't know what's the menu. But we saw many people inside already enjoying their meal, so we decided to give it a try.

The resto was really nice, I felt like I was having brunch in the US, (well, I only saw it on TV, never been there before:p).

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Sop Buntut Istana Rasa

This Sop Buntut was introduced by our friend Daniel Yosua Ramlan when he was still working in Lombok at the time of our visit. It is located in Mataram city, the adress and the phone number is stated in the below picture. We went there for lunch, the place was full but glad we still got empty seat.

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Mapanget Indah Restaurant

Our friends in Manado told us that up to now, Mapanget Indah Restaurant is the only choice to have lunch before our afternoon flight as it is located only 5 minutes from Manado's Airport. And that's why this resto is always full, though it has a huge dining area. We arrived at 1 pm, although we have ordered our food by phone, still we had to wait for the food about 40 minutes. It was a really hectic lunch time at Mapanget Indah Restaurant.

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Pasar Kue Lili Loyor Manado

I asked my friends in Manado what can I do in Manado early in the morning? My friend recommended us to visit a special market for Manado's traditional sweet treat called "Pasar Kue Lili Loyor", which opens at 6 am and it's a short walking distance from the hotel we stayed in - Aston. The next morning, we went there, looking for a real market, but it turned up to be two shophouses selling all kinds of snacks. It wasn't something I would called "market" but yes you can find so many sweet treats here. 

Although we could find Lalampa and Panada in Jakarta, these two things were my most wanted items that morning. They were sold IDR 1,500 each.

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A short visit to Tomohon

We went to Tomohon which is one hour away from Manado to visit one of our product retailer. Tomohon located on a higher land, we passed over hilly area, and stopped for a while to capture a picture of Manado.  

Too bad we didn't have much time that day, so we couldn't visit Tomohon market which is famous for selling many kind of animals to be eaten by locals (rats, dog, snake:p). After completing our assignment, we visited Gua Bunda Maria. My friends did their prayer there, while I enjoy the greenery of the place.

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Merciful Building Manado

We went to Manado for a business trip, so we had to utilize our time while we were there:p We heard about this place called Merciful Building Manado which opens 24 hours and provide food, snacks and Manado's souvenirs. So early in the morning at 6.30am, we took taxi from the hotel we stayed in - Aston Manado - to Merciful Building Manado. The taxi fare was IDR 20,000 for one trip (for sure it wasn't a metered taxi). But when we arrived there, the building was not on the main street, and we asked the diver to wait for us, so we paid him IDR 50,000 for a return trip.

The area is huge with spacious parking lot, many snacks restaurant, and they also has a traditional Minahasa house. Guests are welcome to enter the traditional house, but as we came there early, the house was closed. The shops which sells all Manado's souvenirs and snacks were not that big and packed with so many stuffs. Glad we came there early in the morning, and we were the only visitors that morning:p

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Wahaha Restaurant Manado

On our previous visit to Manado, we had a seafood dinner at Ria Rio Restaurant, located a little bit off the city. This time we tried its sister resto callled Wahaha Restaurant, located in the Mega Mall area of Manado.

We arrived at Mega Mall area around sunset time, yes it was too early for dinner but the good thing was, we could enjoy the beautiful sunset just outside the resto :)

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RM Rajawali Manado

On my second visit to Manado, we tried very yummy fried Ikan Mas at Rumah Makan Rajawali located just beside Swisbelhotel Manado. From outside the resto looks like an ordinary house, but this small resto always packed with guests especially during lunch time.  

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Anugerah Alam Cibuaya Beach

We had lunch at this resto after our waterplay session at Cibuaya Beach. Frankly speaking we didn't know where to eat, and after passing this resto we saw many cars parking, so we decided to have it a try. We sat outside at their gazebo, overlooking the Cibuaya Beach.

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Sea Turtle Conservartion Pangumbahan Beach

Ensure that you put the activity of sunset hunting as well as watching the sea turtle at Pangumbahan beach on your "things to do list" while you are in Ujung Genteng. This activity takes place at 5.30 pm. If you go to Ujung Genteng with your kids than this activity is a must! Our kiddos love the sandy beach here and of course they were very interested to see all of the baby turtles racing to swim in the sea.

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Cibuaya Beach Ujung Genteng

The Cibuaya Beach is only 5 minutes away by car from the resort we stayed in Turtle Beach Resort. There are so many lodge in the area, but there was no really resort around Cibuaya Beach, made this area looks so "untouch" and very very beautiful. 

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Turtle Beach Resort Ujung Genteng

In a search of a hotel for our weekend getaway, we were recommended by our friend Nia Kurniasih to stay at Pondok Hexa (pondok is Indonesian word for “lodge”). I called Pondok Hexa asking for their new villa, but too bad it was all fully booked and they offered me a room which cost IDR 300,000. Because we were taking our kids, we would like to stay in a nice resort, and lucky us we found the website of Turtle Beach Resort, which was a newly opened resort (opened in August 2012).

I called the hotel asking for their rate, a two bedroom apartment cost
IDR 750,000 including breakfast for four person, the hotel has only 10 units, 5 on the first floor which cost IDR 700,000 per unit, and the other five on the 2nd floor cost IDR 750,000 per unit. We choose to stay at the second floor, and the good news was, the hotel didn’t ask for any down payment at the time of the booking. We had noted the hotel that we might come early, and asked to be allowed to check in early as well.

We arrived at 11 am after visiting Curug Cikaso, I was disappointed that the swimming pool was not all ready to be used, and the water at the pool looks very dark. I even sms the hotel’s owner Ibu Anna, asking whether the pool was ok to be used, and she said it was ok. But ended up we had never used it and prefer to play on the beach and swim on the sea instead.

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Cikaso Waterfall Ujung Genteng

Finally I said yes to rene's invitation to have a weekend getaway in Ujung Genteng, Sukabumi, West Java. Why it took so long to finally say yes? Because I heard from rene that it takes about 7 hours to get to Ujung Genteng by private car! I changed my mind after seeing Nia's family holiday pictures, which showed me how beautiful the beach is. Than I read travelfish journey to Ujung Genteng. All of these finally made me take the risk to do a roadtrip with our 5 yo and 3 yo boys to Ujung Genteng.

We left home at 3 am to avoid the traffic jam, by 8 am we arrived at Cikaso waterfall. It was not hard to find this place. From Jakarta, we took the direction to go to Sukabumi, Pelabuhan Ratu, than Surade. It's all clearly signed, don't worry if it's your first time. To go to the waterfall, turn left after you saw a sign of "Tegal Buleud".

When we parked our car, we were informed that due to dry season, there were no water falling, and he advised us to take the boat to Mutiara beach which took us 1,5 hours for a roundtrip. Because our plan is to see the Cikaso Waterfall before going to Ujung Genteng, we said that we still want to go to the waterfall anyway.

We walked to the ticket booth, where they offered us to rent a boat cost IDR 80,000 and to pay admission IDR 3,000 per person, and for the car IDR 5,000. We have read from other blogs that the boat normally cost IDR 60,000, so we bargain the price. The guy still charged us DR 80,000 but we didn't need to pay other fees. We walked to the place where our boat was waiting for us. 

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Warung Bambu Batu

Again, this resto was introduced by our friend Alisa Haqiqi. I asked Alisa where to have lunch as we were heading from Surabaya to Malang with out rented van. We wanted to go to Batu directly prior to our meeting in Malang, so we followed Alisa’s recommendation and went to Warung Bambu in Batu, which located not far from Hotel Purnama Batu.

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Harmoni Resto Malang

Harmoni Resto was recommended by our friend Alisa Haqiqi, and I agree that Harmoni Resto in Malang is a great place to have dinner or lunch; yummy food, affordable price and it has a very nice atmosphere. 

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