Summer Bliss

This week has already been a series of bad luck; starting from a major accident that I got into on Monday morning (which I’d rather not talk about), an ugly allergy reaction and the nasty flu that caught me after. All of this only leads to my organized plans falling apart including work and a medical check-up appointment for a student visa that had to be rescheduled until after I fully recover. I usually get stir crazy after being in bed for more than a day, but I made the right call and opted to get the rest I needed.

Since the days pretty much forced me to stay in my pajamas and bed all day, I decided to try my best to stay positive and reminisce about a picture perfect weekend spent on an island getaway last week. I posted some pictures and videos up on my Instagram and Snapchat, which surprisingly led to so many people commenting and personally messaging me to ask where I went (half actually guessed Bali in the first try). One wouldn’t guess that only two short hours by speedboat from the bustling city of Jakarta, you’d find such a gorgeous and pristine place. Tiger Island, or Pulau Macan as they call it, is a true hidden gem and even that is an understatement.

The accommodation (we were in the Island hut) was the most romantic I ever stayed in with a deck and stairs over the sea. At night we laid down on the deck stargazing for hours and in the morning we got out of bed, stood by the sea and watched the sunrise. One of highlights of the trip I must say was the little island hopping adventure I had with my siblings the next day. At the crack of dawn, we took a little paddle boat out and rowed our way to a nearby island. There were no people occupying it and it was just the three of us snorkeling and swimming on the beach where warm sands meets crystal clear turquoise water. It was so calming and serene that we simply didn’t wanna leave. There were plenty to do – and not to do – involving a lot of soaking in the sun, listening to my Spotify summer playlists (mostly by Kings of Convenience), and taking lots of naps.

While this may or may not be my last official family vacation before I’m leaving for Australia in just the count of days, I’m glad that it was such a bliss and filled with beautiful memories to look back on. Looking forward to sunnier days and recovering real soon. Have a great week.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThis epic cold has me missing sunny days

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetOur eco-friendly hut with no air-con. But who needs one when you have the sea breeze?

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetA private deck to our own side of the beach

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Because if you’re not barefoot then you’re overdressed

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What every morning should be like if I had my way

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Paddled our way across to this breathtaking (unoccupied) paradise and was worth all the sunburn

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My absolute beach essentials (minus my SPF 50 sunscreen) 

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Irresistible naps after mornings spent lazing in the sun, swimming, and snorkeling

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Then waking up to this, I could really get used to.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetTo say I fell in love with this place is an understatement because no words or pictures could really do the place justice

A Day in Bandung

A few weeks ago I went for a little getaway to Bandung with 2 of my girlfriends, which I wrote about in this earlier post. So this video pretty much summed up our trip including all the foods and sight-seeings we managed to squeeze in a day in Bandung. Now that we’re officially on break, it just reminds me of how much I miss their silly company and what a lovely day it was to look back on. Desperately need to have something planned out real soon. I hope you check it out and give it a thumb up.

 

Bandung in 24 Hours

My girlfriends and I had been wanting to plan a quick relaxing getaway and we simply took advantage of our 4-days long weekend last week. Bearing in mind we couldn’t really go far away considering we have final exams starting on Monday (I don’t know what is it with me but going on a vacation right before exam just seems to be my thing), Bandung sounded perfect and our minds were set. We drove up to Bandung on Wednesday right after class and arrived around 8 at night. The drive took about 3 hours with some traffic, in which I switched driving with my girlfriend halfway. We didn’t really plan much, and considering we were on a budget, we decided to crash in my grandma’s house up there.

Since our trip was pretty much unscheduled, we were able to arrange a spontaneous dinner with some friends on our first night in to simply catch up and grab some drinks afterwards.The weather couldn’t have been better and we decided we wanted to spend as much time outside in the sunshine, so we started the next morning with our first stop at Armor Coffee for breakfast. I had been reading a lot of good reviews about this place and the coffee itself definitely didn’t disappoint. We ordered some bites, salad, and coffee and enjoyed them in the middle of a pine forest with leaves falling and birds chirping.

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We went for a little hike afterwards and made it to this historical cave site used back in war times that now serves as tourist attraction. We had conflicted feelings about going in at first but we thought that the whole point of the trip was to explore new places so why not. We trailed our way inside and it was spookily pitch black. The fact that it was broad daylight outside didn’t help, and there were bats actually living inside, so go figure. I’d have to say it was fun and we came back learning new things about the history of the place itself, and we got to watch Z overcame her fear of going in at first!

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We made another hour drive up to FarmHouse in Lembang where were supposed to have lunch, but the place was so packed and we ended up just exchanging our entrance tickets for some free milk and sausages, took a few pictures and left. We eventually found ourselves in Dusun Bambu for lunch, in which they served Sundanese cuisine in our own private little huts with this lake-facing outdoor terrace. I couldn’t think of any better way to spend the rest of the afternoon with my girlfriends, taking countless selfies and laughing our hearts out. We drove back to Bandung and decided to just chill and grab a few drinks on our last night in town (we were still too full for dinner). It was a perfect end to our little getaway with a slight melancholy knowing that we’re already reaching the end of the semester, and later we’ll be going our separate ways.

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But most importantly, I had an absolute blast running around town trying to hit up all of the best places, good foods (I still can’t comprehend how we managed to squeeze in so much food and traveling in three short days), and scenic views to share with my most favorites. And it doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, we always have the best time filled with endless laughs and stories to look back on.

Birthday Weekend Getaway

The last time I visited Singapore was nearly two years ago, when I stayed with my best friend in town for a few days on a short summer getaway. It was somewhat a farewell trip, a few months prior to her moving to Adelaide. My trip this time was almost spontaneous, considering everything was booked only two weeks before. I actually had a lot of conflicted feelings about leaving right before my exam, but after a string of particularly challenging weeks, I simply needed something relaxing to look forward to. Plus, it’s my birthday and that should be good enough excuse – no pun intended.

I’ve always loved the energy of the city – the dynamic mix of cultures, ideas, and histories – sparklingly savvy with a touch of old school. From the bustle of Orchard crossing to the off-the-beaten track neighbourhoods of Haji Lane, the city is a cultural melting pot – a blend of old-world and new architecture. I intentionally left my schedule open, to accommodate for those leisurely afternoons that I’m usually too busy to enjoy. I was able to arrange a spontaneous meet up and watched Batman V Superman together with a couple of friends, and going to church for the Holy-Week Mass. But the highlight of the trip I must say was the casual afternoon picnic we had at the Singapore Botanic Gardens to celebrate my birthday. The weather cooperated wonderfully and we just sat down by the lake for hours – finishing our chips and boxes of orange juice. I truly wouldn’t have spent the day any other way.

I anticipated the typical post-vacation letdown to hit as soon as we got on the plane back to Jakarta. But gladly, that wasn’t the case. The quick getaway has helped me hit my reset button, and I came home with a renewed sense of energy and positive vibes. I wish I never had to end it, but here’s a glimpse of our 4 days in Singapore.

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My window seat series no. 33
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Evening spent after movies with friends, waffles, and a few glasses of winethumb_IMG_6425_1024
Old-town buildings featuring beautifully broken walls
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One of the many vintage boutiques in Haji LaneProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetPlaying tourist for the day, from one vintage shop to the next
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View from the indoor garden of Singapore National Librarythumb_DSC_2552_1024
Orchard bound after a Good Friday Mass where we basically shopped till dropped
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Look who barged into the room & showered me with kisses right when the clock strikes 12IMG_6462
My first bizzare wish-list as a 20 year old: Have Jollibee for breakfast
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The charm of Chinatown that is impossible to miss
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Strolling around the park trying to find the perfect picnic spotthumb_IMG_6583_1024
H&M dress, Kate Spade pouch, Bonia vintage wrist watch, Vans Canvas Authentic (True White)thumb_IMG_6582_1024Chocolate ganache cupcake for a birthday cakeProcessed with VSCO with a4 presetThank you for the cupcake, and for eating them too. I’m lucky I got left one bite.
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I don’t know how you guys do it, but thank you for putting up with me for the past 20 years. 
Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetOne of my absolute favorite spots at the Singapore Botanic Gardens
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Hanging out at Changi before flying back home

Day Trip: Lembongan Bay

On our second day in Bali, we decided to book a day trip to Nusa Lembongan, which is an island located southeast of Bali. It is part of a group of three islands that make up the Nusa Penida district, of which it is the most famous. This marks my second trip there since my last visit with family last year and I am still so in love with the place and what it has to offer. It is just slightly under an hour of ferry ride from Sanur and there were actually several boat services that arrange daily transfers to the island so you have plenty of options to choose from.

We only had 5 hours to explore the island and we rented 3 motorbikes for the 6 of us as soon as we arrived. We took a speedboat to a snorkelling spot called Mangrove Point. It was an easy drift snorkel and a mild current runs along the spectacular reef here. Being the adrenaline junkie that we are, our second stop was cliff jumping.

Nusa Lembongan is still a fairly secluded island and without phone signals, we only depended on a paper map of the island. We had to cross this small bridge connecting to an even smaller island to get to our cliff jumping spot, where we made countless wrong turns. What was supposed to be a 15-minute journey turned into a 40-minute one, and we arrived only to find out that we couldn’t make our jump due to the ugly weather.

We headed back to Nusa Lembongan, where we relaxed and had lunch at Dream Beach. It was raining on the way back, which only made the ride so much more exciting (Not so much for the chauffeurs, sorry not sorry). En route to the harbour my friend and I faced a minor motorbike incident due to the slippery and gravelly road after the rain, where I might have sprained my toenail a little bit. It was pretty bad but hilarious at the same time.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetBillabong bikini top, Forever 21 shorts, Hat from Bali (Unbranded)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with a5 presetYellow floaties for the win! Captured by D.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetPicturesque cliffs and the never-ending turquoise we stumbled uponProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetDefinitely worth all the wrong turnsIMG_5532Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetLate afternoon relaxing in dream Beach, Lembongan BayProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetSerenity at its best if I must say

I know there are tons of lovely beach clubs around Nusa Lembongan (it’s apparently what they are known for), but since we only had a few hours at the island, we didn’t get the opportunity to explore them. From snorkelling experience to a sprained toenail, I will definitely be back for a more in-depth exploring! Hopefully with a sunset to gaze upon, next time around.

x, Amanda.

Bali Loving

Cliché as it sounds, with everything I’ve encountered by far, 2016 truly marks the start of a fresh new beginning for me. While I can’t say that it has been the easiest first few weeks, I’m glad it has already been filled with some of the best memories and spent with the loveliest people.

With that said, I embarked on my first trip in 2016: Bali. And twice already this year. I was there with family celebrating New Year’s and for the first few days of 2016 before flying back to Jakarta. Then after 2 weeks, I flew back to Bali again for another short getaway with friends. I’m definitely not complaining.

I’ve been to Bali a dozens of times and have always been obsessed with the culture, the food, the people, and simply the laid-back nature aspect of the island. From island hopping to Nusa Lembongan (30 minutes of ferry ride), never-ending pork feasts, seafood nights in Jimbaran, rafting in Ubud, and barefoot hopping from one beach to another, here’s a glimpse of our stay.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetDay 1: Discovered this Crispy Rib-tastic spot for lunch (Wahaha Ribs, Bali)Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetDay 2: Exploring Nusa Lembongan (30 minutes ferry ride from Sanur)Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetCancelled our cliff jumping plan due to the bad weather. But with this view, who can complain?Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetDream Beach, Lembongan BayProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetDay 3: Stopped by this cute little beach cafe for afternoon drinks (La Laguna, Canggu)Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetMy talented photographer friend doing his thing. Check him out on instagram.Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetSeafood for dinner by the beach in JimbaranProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetDay 4: Rafting in Ayung River, UbudProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with a6 presetDay 5: Artsy space and masculine vibes in Deus Ex Machina (Deus Ex Machina, Canggu)Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetDinner followed by bonfire by the beach with my plus one (Finn’s Beach Club, Uluwatu)Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetTop from Goods Dept, Forever 21 Shorts, Kate Spade Clutch

Until next time, paradise.

x, Amanda.

Some photos are courtesy of my friends: Aloysius DanielSteffanus RamaVivian Limurti.