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Six Days in Ubud

The first time I set foot in Ubud was in 2009 but it was just a drive through its town and villages en route from Mount Batur in Kintamani to Kuta in South Bali. I remembered I was knackered from the mountain hike that I wasn’t interested to stop for sight-seeing except for one photo stop at the popular Tegallalang rice terraces. Suffice to say, I hardly saw Ubud until recently when I took the opportunity to attend my friend’s wedding and to explore in and around town for nearly a week. Places to visit and things to do in

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tegal sari ubud bungalow blocks and rice fields

Tegal Sari, Ubud – Review

When I was travelling in Ubud in early May, I promised myself that I would stay in an accommodation with expansive views of rice fields. That’s because Ubud is surrounded by verdant rice fields and I’ve always loved such views for they evoke a sense of peace and calmness in me. But the question is, which accommodation should I choose that gives me those views and go easy on my pocket as well? Well, I found a place that ticks all the boxes in my checklist – rice-field views, spacious and quiet property, good location, superb customer service and value

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jiwa jawa resort bromo

Jiwa Jawa Resort, Bromo – Review

As we were driven up the winding roads of Cemoro Lawang, the village near Mount Bromo, we could feel the air was getting cooler and fresher. Maybe a little nippy, slightly colder than what we were used to but we were excited to see rolling green hills and mist. Therefore, there was nothing like arriving at a warm and inviting hotel accommodation especially after an early morning flight from Kuala Lumpur and a three-hour journey on the road from Surabaya in East Java to Mount Bromo. *Related Post: Mount Bromo, Indonesia – A Weekend Getaway We stayed at Jiwa Jawa

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mount bromo indonesia three mountains view landscape

Mount Bromo, Indonesia: A Weekend Getaway

I mentioned in my New Year post that I would be focusing on domestic travels in Malaysia or destinations within Southeast Asia for the first half of 2017, and Indonesia was the first country that I planned for this year. Indonesia comprises 17,000 islands and is the largest island country in the world. There is no way I would be able to explore all 17,000 islands but ever since I explored some of their hidden gems back in 2009 and 2013 (before they became ‘hot destinations’ now), Indonesia has been one of my favourite destinations in Southeast Asia. Moreover, it

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Breathing In The Fumes On Mount Ijen

The second leg of my mountain-climbing adventure in Indonesia created some trepidation. The first leg of my adventure started in Bali when we climbed Mount Batur in Kintamani.  There, I struggled and took an hour longer than my friends to peak, and my fears almost crippled me to a standstill when I slipped on scree while coming down the mountainside. My experience created personal embarrassment because I had slowed down my friends who were more fit and brave. As a consequence, I was nervous about climbing another mountain, Mount Ijen on the eastern part of Java. I did not want

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The Island of Gods

The first time my blog post was featured in a publication magazine was the Paris post for the magazine’s Feb 2014 edition. Now this is the second time in which my feature on Bali and Komodo Island was published in the March edition. Here’s the text format for easy reading: THE ISLAND OF GODS In debunking the romantic myths of Bali, Kathleen Poon and friends realise an adventure of a lifetime trailing Komodo Dragons in Indonesia. Hey guys, how about we go to Komodo? “Komodo? You mean the Komodo Dragons?” This conversation was over pints of beer and as usual, part of

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Sunset at Senggingi Beach Lombok: A Canvas of Art

People have called Lombok many names and mostly are tied to Bali somehow. It is called “unspoiled Bali”, ” the quieter side of Bali” or “the 2nd Bali”. Although I feel the former two names are more appropriate for Lombok but I reckon it’s not fair for this island to be constantly tied to Bali despite its own beauty. Lombok has a lot to offer in terms of pristine beaches (probably one of the best in Indonesia), magnificent waterfalls and mountain climbing activity (Mount Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesia) but quieter. Lesser hotel accommodation and amenities for tourists

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Being Lazy In A Kebun Resort Lombok

Lombok is an island in the West Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia with the Lombok Strait separating it from Bali. Lombok has beautiful beaches, waterfalls and it has the second highest volcano mountain in Indonesia, Mount Rinjani. Less commercialised than Bali, and in some places, almost untouched by commercialism, Lombok is often called the “unspoiled Bali” with relatively fewer tourists. Five adults and a two year old boy were on this Lombok trip with three different agenda: two adults wished to climb Mount Rinjani; the boy’s parents just wanted an island holiday; and yours truly wanted to chill out at

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In Pictures: The Beaches of Gili Trawangan, Lombok

My friends and I travelled to Lombok, Indonesia in Nov 2013 and just off the northwest coast of Lombok is a cluster of 3 small islands called the Gili Islands. The Gili Islands consist of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air (pronounced as Ah-yer). If you’re searching for a remote island experience in South-East Asia, then the Gili Islands is recommended. Gili Meno and Gili Air have a few accommodation for tourists, perhaps with a small pool and a restaurant. But Gili Trawangan, the largest of the 3 islands, is the most developed and leaning towards tourism. In the

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Breakfast Above The Clouds On Mount Batur, Bali

I am high on Bali! I had truly enjoyed my first trip to Bali and the Komodo Islands. Since then, I have been in awe of the Island of Gods. As soon as I arrived home, I knew I had to return to Bali again. For the second trip to Bali, my friends suggested that we climbed mountains. I was not exactly fit but was desperate to return to Bali (it was probably post-vacation-syndrome), thus any agenda was fine by me even though I was not the outdoorsy type. Nevertheless, decision was made very quickly and within two weeks, we made all

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