The Beautiful Lombok!

lombok

ABOUT LOMBOK

Timezone : UTC+08:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Took Air Asia from KLIA2 to Lombok International Airport. Previously planned to stay in Lombok for 6 days 5 nights but 1 day after booking the ticket, Lombok was hit by a strong earthquake (and it keep on happening!). Received an email from Air Asia that they are cancelling few flights (previously was 2 or 3 flights per day but they change to 1 per day) and that we can change the flight date if we want to. We decided to cut the trip short to 3 days 2 nights (basically just to attend my brother in law’s wedding). We regretted that decision and we should have stayed there longer as there are a lot of places we didn’t manage to visit! Including the famous Gili! *cry*. By the way, at the immigration check point (once you have entered Lombok), they will ask for your return ticket. We didn’t print ours so we just show our Lombok-KL passes on Air Asia mobile app.

GETTING AROUND

There are few ways you can get around Lombok: taxi (recommend to use Blue Bird), Grab, rent a car/motorbike or hire a supir (driver). Since we went there in group with my husband’s family, my brother in law hired an agency to pick us up at the airport, drive us to and from the wedding location and also 2 days tour for the rest of the family members. For the next day (since our flight was at 8.30pm) we hired a supir (driver) to drive us around and send us to the airport. Here’s the detail of the supir we hired:

ACCOMMODATION

Since we went there for my brother in law’s wedding, he booked a house for us via Airbnb (you can also book a room there via Agoda). We stayed at Sweet Peach House, which was a nice place to stay in, very cute house, big and clean, and close to convenient stores (I loveeee buying local stuff at the convenient store!). However it is not close to the beach area (around 7km to Senggigi Beach), which is fine as based on our initial plan (to stay there for 6 days), we plan to stay at the house for 3 days and then move to Holiday Resort Lombok, which to our surprise was where the wedding was being held! The house consists of 5 rooms, where 2 rooms act as a dorm which have 3 bunk beds (there’s blind in between the beds for your privacy). So basically the house can fit our group of 16 adults and 2 kids. The owner of the house are Muslims, so there are rules that you need to follow for example only Halal food can be kept in the fridge and cooked using the cookware & utensils provided.

Image source: Sweet Peach House

INTERESTING PLACES

  • Senggigi Beach – the main tourist strip of the Indonesian island of Lombok, stretched out along several kilometers of the beachfront just to the north of the capital, Mataram
  • Pura Batu Bolong – Oceanside temple known for its rocky surrounds, numerous pagodas & statues & sunset views.
  • Pottery Making – you can purchase a pottery or learn to make one. I made a turtle!

lombok pottery

  • Traditional weaving (tenun) – learn how to weave cloth or you can also purchase those colourful handmade cloth called kain tenun

tenun

and here are more (and there’s a lot more if you Google) beautiful places you can visit, which we didn’t manage to *cry*

  • Gili Islands – Gili islands are a group of 3 small island, Gili Trawangan (the most famous Gili), Gili Meno and Gili Air
  • Villa Hantu – Hantu means ghost but its not really haunted. It’s an old house which overlook the Senggigi beach and its a nice photo spot
  • Bukit Malimbu – a nice spot to take photos with green (grass) and blue (sky & ocean) background
  • Mangku Sakti Waterfall
  • Benang Kelambu Waterfall
  • Semeti Beach
  • Pink Beach – pink sandy beach
  • Kuta Beach – yes, there’s also Kuta Beach in Lombok
  • Pantai Tebing
  • Pantai Tanjung Bloam
  • Gunung Rinjani – entrance to Mount Rinjani is close until now ever since the earthquake
  • Gua Bangkang

SHOPPING

  • Sasaku – Souvenir shopping! There’s few Sasaku branches and we went to 2 Sasaku branches. The one in Senggigi was better in terms of choices.
  • Senggigi Art Market – Didn’t manage to visit the market as our supir brought us to different art market in Mataram (if I’m not mistaken) which was not as expected.
  • Epicentrum Mall – went to the mall for lunch and visit the toy store. Bought few Tomica cars, since it is cheaper in Indonesia compared to Malaysia.
  • Mataram Mall

FOOD

  • Sate Bulayak – the sate is similar to the one in Malaysia however the gravy is spicier and instead of nasi impit, there’s bulayak which is a bit similar to lemang

Sate Bulayak

  • Ayam taliwang – spicy roast chicken
  • Nasi Balap Puyung
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Island Getaway 2016 – Bali, Indonesia

bali

ABOUT BALI

Timezone : UTC+08:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Took Air Asia flight from KLIA2, Kuala Lumpur to Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport Bali. Once touched down, I was quite surprise to see the new look of the airport. Big and new! Another new update since the last time I was in Bali (2012) is that, there’s no more airport departure tax! Yeayyy for that! 🙂

GETTING AROUND

There are a few ways you can get around Bali. You can rent your own car or motorbike (you will need to have an International Driving Permit), walk (if within the city), take a taxi (use Blue Bird since it’s quite cheap & the the most reliable taxi company) or hire a driver (I did this for 3 days tour)

DRIVER SERVICE FOR BALI TOUR

My second time hiring Pak Bram as our supir (driver). He drove a Suzuki MPV, which can fit 7 people and the price is per car, not per head. Price includes car+petrol+driver. I fully recommend Pak Bram if you are looking for a driver in Bali. For the itinerary, you can have a look at mine (2012 trip Itinerary), or you can also ask Pak Bram for recommended itinerary.

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Odua Ozz Kuta Hotel. Good location, nice room with comfortable bed and friendly and helpful staff. If I were to go to Bali again, I will consider staying at this hotel one more time! 🙂

lobby-exterior pool-view-afternoon

INTERESTING PLACES

There are a lot of interesting places in Bali to visit. For this trip, I didn’t visit many places since it’s so hot and I bring along my 7 months old baby with me.

Here are some places that I went to this year. For more listing of interesting places, visit my previous post on Bali here – Bali 2012 Trip

  • Uluwatu – Pura by the cliff. Just be careful with the monkeys here. Keep your sunglasses in your bag because they might steal it
  • Jimbaran Bay – a nice & romantic place to enjoy dinner on the beach while watching sunset. This year I went there twice at tried 2 restaurants. I fully recommend to eat at Legong. Their food taste nicer and the staff are way more helpful and friendly
  • Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, Bedugul
  • Pacung – enjoy lunch with rice terrace view
  • Coffee Plantation

SHOPPING

  • Ole-ole Hawaii Bali
  • Agong Bali
  • Krishna (went to 2 Krishna outlet, one is near Agong Bali and another one is near the airport)
  • Discovery Mall
  • Lippo Mall
  • Legian Street
  • Kuta Art Market

 

View my previous post on Bali: My FIRST SOLO Getaway – Bali, Indonesia

Travel Guide to MALAYSIA!!

Planning to travel around Malaysia but not so sure where to head to & what to do? Download Malaysia Travel Guide now!! By the way, did you know that 2014 is Visit Malaysia Year?

malaysia travel guide

Click here now to go to download page and to start planning your wonderful journey!

http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/downloads/travel-guides/travel-guide-malaysia

2014 – VISIT MALAYSIA YEAR!

visit malaysia year

A few more weeks to 2014 & also visit Malaysia year!!

If you haven’t been to Malaysia..you should start planning a holiday to Malaysia! Malaysia is all about the culture, places (cities, beaches, island, etc), shopping, the people and also the FOOD!!! You will be spoiled by all of the choices you will get in Malaysia!

ABOUT MALAYSIA

Capital City: Kuala Lumpur

Currency: Ringgit Malaysia (RM)

Timezone: GMT +8

Language: Malay language, English, Chinese, Tamil

Electricity: 220 – 240 Volt

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Here are some post I have written on Malaysia:

For more readings on Malaysia:

An island getaway : Phuket, Thailand

phuket thailand

ABOUT PHUKET, THAILAND

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Went to Phuket by Air Asia. The flight will take you from LCCT Kuala Lumpur to Phuket International Airport.

From Phuket International Airport to Patong Beach (I stayed there), you can take a taxi (around 800 baht per taxi) or a mini van (180 baht per person). Took a mini van since it is still early & the condition of the mini van is good! Air-condition mini van. However you will need to wait until the mini van is full, only then they will make a move. I only waited for less than 30 minutes (make sure you ask how many people have paid for the mini van so that you can expect how long you need to wait). You can see the taxi and mini van in the image below.

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When flying back from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur, there is no airport departure tax.

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at The Palm Retreat Inn and booked the hotel through Agoda.com. The location of the hotel is quite strategic. It is located opposite Holiday Inn and maybe 2 minutes walk to Hard Rock Hotel. You can get halal food just next to the hotel. To go to Patong beach, it will take around 5 minutes of walking and maybe around 10-15 minutes walk to Jungceylon Mall and Bangla Road. However there are no lift at this hotel. My room was on the highest floor so I need to walk up the stairs. Not a problem though. The room is a big and clean air-conditioned room, they provide free Wifi, complimentary drinking water, mini bar, TV, hot shower, safety deposit box, towel, etc. The staff is quite helpful and friendly especially this one lady but I don’t know her name. I forgot to take photo of the hotel so I use those from their website.

Deleuxe_Double _Room Guest_Room (2) Guest_Room (4)

GETTING AROUND

Since I didn’t really go out from Patong area (except for tour), I just walk. Most of the attraction in Patong are within walking distance. However you may hire a tuk tuk or taxi (you can even hire the taxi driver for a day tour but I am not so sure about the rate), or rent a car or motorcycle.

PATONG

Patong is quite a happening area. The beach, massage center, shopping, food and also the famous ‘Bangla road’.

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TOURS

You can find a lot and loootttts of kiosk providing tour service. Just choose any but make sure to haggle for best price. Booked 4 tours from Fun Infinity Phuket Tour. The lady is very friendly so end up booking all tours from this place.

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  • Fantasea + Buffet Dinner = 1550 Baht (without dinner for 1350 Baht)

For this, you can choose either to include buffet dinner or not. Since the lady charge only 1550 Baht for a package which includes buffet dinner & only 200 Baht more than package without buffet dinner, I chose the one that includes the buffet dinner. If you are a Muslim, you do not have to worry. You can get Halal food at the dining place. When I was there, Halal food was served at Counter B. But please ask around to confirm since they might or might not change. By the way, the food was delicious!! The whole area in FantaSea are beautiful but the show is not as what I expected it to be. A bit dull for me but different people might have different opinion. The package also include return transportation from hotel-FantaSea-hotel.

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  • James Bond island tour = 1000 Baht

A tour that include 2 canoe sessions at James Bond Island and Hong Island, lunch on the boat (Halal food) and swimming (or just relax by the beach) session. Transport from hotel-jetty-hotel included.

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  • Similan Island tour = 1900 Baht

For this tour, return transfer from hotel-jetty-hotel is included. A mini van will pick you up at your hotel early in the morning since it takes around 2 hours+ (from Patong) to reach the jetty. Lunch (Halal) is also included. During this tour, there will be a few stops for a snorkeling session (goggle & life jacket provided). When you reach Similan Island, make sure to go up to the viewing point for a breathtaking view of the island! Just make sure to be careful climbing up & down!

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  • ATV + Elephant trekking tour = 1100 Baht

This tour include return transfer from and back to hotel, elephant ride & ATV. During the ATV session, you will stop by at the viewing point and also Big Buddha.

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SHOPPING

  • Jungceylon: A big shopping mall that carries local and international brand. You can also get souvenirs and massage at the lower level and there’s also Halal food there.

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  • For me, the best shopping would be the shops by the road side. If you want to get cheaper price for t-shirt, magnet, etc., do walk further from Jungceylon Mall going towards Tune Hotel (opposite direction to Hard Rock Cafe). The price at most of the shops there are even cheaper!

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FOOD

When I was there, I can see a lot of restaurants with Halal sign. So if you are a Muslim, you don’t have to worry about food. If you are not confident enough, you can go to Halal restaurant and eat the seafood.

  • Patong Promenade (opposite Jungceylon Mall): there’s a food court upstairs but they sell pork, so not an option for Muslim. However there are a lot of restaurant with Halal sign on the ground floor and rows of stalls selling food. There’s a shops there for shopping!

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  • There’s also a lot of restaurant (including those with Halal sign) along the road. Don’t forget to try our the Pancake Crepe! Quite similar to those selling in Krabi. However here there’s 2 version, either quite similar to roti canai or crepe! And also kebab at Bangla Road going towards the beach is delicious!

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MASSAGE

Don’t forget to go for a massage (I went for a massage everyday!). Tried out several places but I only manage to find one place that really provide good massage. Look out for VIP massage! However after dinner, there will be a lotttt of customer there! VIP massage is located opposite the road of Jungceylon Mall, but a bit further away. Walk towards Tune Hotel or opposite direction of Hard Rock Hotel. When you a reach an area where there are a lot of seafood restaurant, you are almost reaching the place.

Getaway … Krabi, Thailand

Went to Krabi, Thailand (again) last week. I’ve posted a post on it before so click on the link to read and know more about Krabi 🙂

krabi

https://farahzulkifly.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/island-getaway-krabi-thailand/