All posts tagged: Indonesia

mt agung

When the mountain is calling/ Mt Agung, Bali

Weeks before our Bali trip, we had been eyeing Mt. Agung based on the amazing photos we’ve seen online – where other hikers witnessed the sunrise at the mountain peak. Always up for a challenge, we decided to climb Mt. Agung, the tallest mountain on Bali at just under 10,000 ft. We began our prep by hiking along Singapore Macritchie Reservoir , thinking it would fully prepare us; we were dead wrong. The clear difference was in the elevation of the hike. We managed to rope in our friends for our hike as they have previously accomplished a Mt. Batur hike. Our hike got off to a pretty bad start as the driver who picked us up from our hotel got lost while heading to Mt. Agung. Needless to say, we were circling around Bali for a total of 2 hours in the wee hours of the morning. By the time we arrived at Pasar Agung Temple (one of the 3 routes available up to the summit of Mt. Agung), we were already an hour …

montigo

Montigo Resort Nongsa / Batam, Indonesia

These days, Batam is the third busiest entry port to Indonesia next to Bali and Jakarta. It has become the favorite resort destination to most travelers and locals alike because apart from its hectic development, Batam still offers a leisurely island escape. This is where Montigo Resort Nongsa comes in to offer their exceptional brand of beauty and service. The resort’s vast architectural expanse of white is gorgeously set against the deep blue Nongsa waters. The 88 villas in this contemporary resort each comes with a personal concierge, for starters. Each villa boasts of uninterrupted sea views through its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a private beach area. Though the beach area is not much for swimming, the infinity plunge pool from your personal space would definitely urge you to dive in. The luxurious 3-storey villas are spacious, with details ensuring clientele’s ease and comfort. The interiors exhibit clean lines and a monochromatic color scheme that’s both pleasant and relaxing. Simple paintings adorn the walls and an elegant four-poster canopy bed is the highlight of the master …

luthfi

A little bit brighter / Bali, Indonesia

It was December 2015. My friend Chacha and I thought of going far from home for a holiday. Since circumstances did not permit it, we ended up with Bali as the destination for our first exploratory trip together. And thank goodness it turned out to be the perfect alternative for us. The trip itself gave us 17 days of discovering the amazing gems in the breathtaking land of Bali. Bali is truly just one of its kind. The beauty, the people, the culture, and what we personally addressed as the “goddess” ambiance all came together to welcome us with open arms. The laid-back atmosphere and tranquil environment went beyond our expectations.   Our first destination was Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan. It is an island not far from Bali, approximately 40 minutes of ferry travel time from Sanur beach point. The Lembongan and Ceningan areas are still in the process of land development. We took that as a huge advantage for people like us, who would like to discover a sense of cultural origin in a …

bali

Solitary / Bali, Indonesia

It all started with two words: why not? That rhetorical question gave me my solitary adventure in Bali November of last year. My cousin just came from the island from her backpacking trip-around-the world and she had nothing but praises for the renowned tourist attraction. She said it would do me wonders to travel alone and just let myself be in the ‘Island of the Gods’. I have always travelled with family and friends and deciding to forge ahead by myself suddenly gave me an unexpected thrill. I had money to spare, time on my hands, and a resolve to know myself better, so why not? Thus began my most cherished season to find courage within me and beauty around me. Admittedly, the allure of this Indonesian tropical paradise has been enhanced with Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir (adapted into a film starring Julia Roberts), Eat Pray Love. But as I would find out, the charm of Bali is not only due to its breathtaking sunset beaches, mystical temples, and spa clubs; its real staying power …

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Bisma Eight / Bali, Indonesia

Ubud, long considered as Bali’s cultural heartland, is famed for its shrines, small farms, rice paddies, and dense forests. This mellow rural charm is the backdrop for Bisma Eight Hotel’s holistic ambiance and quiet luxury. This boutique hotel offers all the necessary comforts, but goes beyond basic expectations. From its soothing views of rice fields, a temperature-controlled infinity pool overlooking the Ubud Forest, and an alfresco restaurant/cafe in Copper Kitchen and Bar that serves up organic food sourced from neighboring farms, Bisma gives its guests a good spoiling with thoughtful respect for local context and culture. The accommodations comprise of 38 suite rooms and feature a living room and bedroom partitioned by Sungkai Wood panels for privacy. There are three room types available – forest, canopy, and garden – with differing views. The bathroom showcases a unique Japanese-inspired cedarwood soaking tub and rain-shower. Retractable reading lights in bed, meanwhile, let you in on the hotel’s admirable attention to detail. The spacious suite is designed for plenty of natural light to filter in and furnished mostly …

trikoa

Trikora / Bintan, Indonesia

An hour by boat across the straight plus an hour by land through the gentle slopes of Bintan, hides a refuge that is Trikora. Known for its long stretch of white beach dotted with picturesque huge boulders, Trikora beach is a lovely area to take things slow. From a row of shacks in 2009, the beach resort still keeps a modest charisma despite the big move of redesigning the entire place a couple of years ago. Notwithstanding the bare necessities of furnishings strewn here and there, the cottages’ high ceiling, white-washed fixtures, and reclaimed wood materials give the same old organic feel and open ambiance. Outside the pleasant rooms and cozy nooks, there are hammocks hanging between the trees that barricade the white sand. The same hammocks that keep the salt breeze at bay and mark the line for the radically moving tides also act as a quiet refuge for some serious downtime. After feasting on local catch meal after meal and rubbing the sand between your toes, what else can we do in this …

mt bromo

Worth the climb, Mt Bromo

Two days in Surabaya, then southbound toward the east of Java, and off to Mount Bromo. It was an unforgettable experience. Long drives. Cold nights. A warm cup of strange Indonesian coffee. Packs of tourists. Hardly visible road paths. Sandstorms. 4×4 Toyotas. Tenggerese natives. Sand in your face making you choke. Incredibly thin air making you pant after climbing a flight of stairs. More tourists. Majestic horses. Steep climbs. Layers and layers of clothing. Experiencing the whole universe under a blanket of stars. Still more tourists.   Most people believe in the age-old cliche that it is the journey and not the destination that matters. I beg to differ. Mount Bromo was different. It IS the destination that supersedes any journey. The majesty that can be seen on location of the active volcano is just inspiring. There is something magical about the place. It was like filtered with a VSCO Cam preset or some nature fairy sprinkled pixie dust everywhere.   When morning comes, the sun would lay her hands on the sandy plains. I …