Explore Indonesia #2: Makassar

So another wedding invitation came and I couldn’t resist the desire to book my flight and go. This time I went to Makassar, one of the biggest cities of Indonesia located in the southern part of Sulawesi–the island I’ve never visited before.

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Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport

I arrived so much earlier that day, just to hear that my flight got delayed for 2 hours. Hmm, quite a long time isn’t it. But anyway I had a safe flight, alhamdulillah. My friend picked me up from the airport and took me around the city right away.

The first place we visited was Fort Rotterdam. This place used to be a fort built by Dutch colonies. These days, though, creative people of Makassar often utilize its open spaces to hold meetings and practices. One of the teams we bumped into was some kind of a traditional drama club. Oh, by the way, there’s no entrance fee for this place.

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The gate to Fort Rotterdam
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What’s inside

Next, we headed to Losari Beach. After praying at Masjid Amirul Mukminin a.k.a. the floating mosque, we took a little stroll along the beach and took photos in front of the infamous “Makassar” sign. Apparently, there are also “Bugis” and “Toraja” signs to represent each tribe that lives in South Sulawesi.

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The floating mosque

The next day was the day we attended our senior’s wedding ceremony. Despite arriving quite late, we were lucky that we could taste some food LOL. After that we headed to yet another beach: Akkarena Beach. While Losari beach was developed with modern facilities, this one felt more like a “traditional” beach. Well I don’t even understand what I’m saying, but, yeah.

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Akkarena Beach

After having Cotto Makassar for late-lunch, we went straight to a beach cafe called Ballairate, where we watched sunset while, of course, taking lots of pictures.

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“Follow me to…” kinda pose

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People said that it’s always hot in Makassar, but perhaps due to the rainy season, I didn’t sweat that much. The highlight of the trip to me, though, was the freshness of the air in ¬†Makassar. Oh, and of course, I was also delighted by the delicious food we had, which always came in big portion. *still I could finish everything*

Looking forward to another wedding invitation! ūüėÄ

Bonus: the food we had during the trip

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Pallubasa

 

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Konro Bakar
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Cotto Makassar
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Pisang Epe’

Explore Indonesia #1: Malang

First of all let me wish you all a happy new year! Yeah I know it’s super late but still…

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So two of my goals for 2016 are to visit as many new places as possible and to attend my friends’ wedding ceremonies. Thus when Nasha‘s random message popped up on my phone’s screen I knew this trip to both attend our seniors’ weddings and refresh ourselves from our routines would be a good start.

We went to Malang by executive train called Gajayana. The train itself was quite comfortable, its toilet was quite clean, and the food we bought for dinner was OK. However, the supposedly 16-hour journey was extended 1-2 hours so we were way more tired than we expected.

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Inside Gajayana

Nevertheless, the first wedding ceremony we planned to attend was waiting, so after putting our bags in Raras’ place (and having some yummy breakfast, of course -credits to Raras’ mom!) we went straight to Pelangi Jingga swimming pool. On the way back home we stopped by Bakso Bakar Pak Man, where we tried its famous grilled meatballs. Malang’s cool breeze was a nice addition to the food.

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Venue for the first wedding ceremony
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Forgot to take pictures of the food, sorry

The next day we went to another ceremony. While the previous one adopted garden party concept, this one was held in a hall. After stuffing our stomach with food (well that’s one purpose of attending wedding ceremonies right? LOL), we continued our journey up to Batu City where Museum Angkut a.k.a the newly opened transportation museum is.

After paying IDR 90,000 for Museum Angkut and D’Topeng Museum (I’ll get back to this one later) tickets, we went in and took as many photos as possible LOL. Well I don’t know why but sadly most Indonesians–including myself, sometimes–regard museums more as a place to collect selfies rather than to learn about certain topics. But anyway at least there’s no such thing as “museum allergy” anymore these days, meaning that finally young people have this will to go visit museums.

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Some of Museum Angkut’s old-car collections

Museum Angkut itself was quite interesting, with collections vary from old cars to becak (Indonesian traditional trishaw). Its size was way bigger than we thought. Interestingly, in the American(?) area, they had this DWP-ish outdoor party with a guy wearing Scooby Doo as the DJ (weird, I know). Before the party, there was this mini carnival where fake superheroes rode Museum Angkut’s car collection along the main corridor.

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This is part of the museum, too
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“Money can take you to the outer space” *what a quote*
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The weird party

As for D’Topeng, it was more like a gallery with collections of masks from different places in Indonesia (fyi, “topeng” means “mask” in English). In one corner of the gallery we saw a band of senior musicians playing keroncong songs.

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The keroncong band!

For Dinner we went to an Egyptian restaurant nearby Alun-Alun Batu. The food was not spectacular but still good, considering its price was almost half of the same menu’s price in Jakarta (okay this is sad).

The next day, after getting some traditional snacks as souvenirs, we headed back to Jakarta through Abdul Rahman Saleh Airport. The airport was a small, clean one with a line of restaurants outside (excuse me for talking about food again and again). Oh, by the way, I would recommend crispy tempe and fruit crackers for souvenirs.

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The airport

Well, despite the very short visit, I can say that my second trip to Malang was indeed a good start for my 2016, alhamdulillah. Now, time to prepare for another trip!

 

Festival Lampion Suzhou, BSD City

Even the gate looks pretty!

Festival Lampion Suzhou diadakan dalam rangka memperingati tahun baru imlek tahun ini. Sebenarnya saya sudah beberapa kali melewati lokasi festival di samping Giant BSD City, tapi baru sempat ke sana beberapa hari yang lalu.

Berhubung festival seperti ini jarang diadakan di BSD (yang lokasinya sangat dekat dengan rumah saya), saya sangat penasaran untuk mampir. Dan ternyata, walaupun harus membayar tiket masuk 25 ribu rupiah (plus parkir mobil 10 ribu rupiah), saya nggak menyesal datang ke sana. Selain dapat berbagai kupon diskon untuk makan dan belanja di stand peserta festival, saya dapat minyak angin gratis juga dari sponsor! Lumayan, modal balik ke negara 4 musim yang sering bikin masuk angin hahaha.

Kayak ada yang kurang…?

Makan dan belanja? Yap, selain lampion berbentuk berbagai hewan (seusai shio dalam kepercayaan Tionghoa) dan bangunan yang enak dilihat (dan difoto), ada juga stand-stand penjual berbagai jenis makanan dan pakaian. Setelah berkeliling mencari makanan yang menarik, saya akhirnya memilih makan lontong medan. Hmm… Sedap…

Salah satu stand makanan: lontong medan

Fyi, festival ini masih berlangsung sampai 15 Maret, lho! Jadi, bagi yang berdomisili di BSD dan sekitarnya, jangan ragu untuk mampir!

Lampion unyu (1)
Lampion unyu (2)
Lampion unyu (3)
Lampion unyu (4)

The 90s Festival, Bandung

Sebagai young adult (iye, bukan remaja lagi kan) yang lahir di awal tahun 90an, saya sangat bersyukur bisa menikmati musik yang bermutu dari band-band Indonesia non-alay (hahaha). Dan alhamdulillah, bertepatan dengan kepulangan saya ke Indonesia kali ini, diadakan event besar yang mengundang band-band akhir 90an ini: The 90s Festival.

Gelang tanda masuk

Berhubung acara ini diadakan di Setiabudi, Bandung, saya butuh effort lebih untuk melewati 100an km tol Cipularang. Tapi berhubung ke Bandung bisa sekalian ngeceng (atau cari jodoh? oops), yaudah lah ya. Lagian jarang juga bisa lihat Base Jam, Fatur-Nadila, ME, dan Sheila on 7 ngumpul di satu acara.

Menurut rundown yang dikirim melalui e-mail beberapa hari sebelumnya, acara yang dibagi ke indoor stage dan outdoor stage ini akan dimulai di outdoor stage jam 15:10. Dilanjutkan dengan indoor stage jam 15:40. Sayangnya, saat kami datang sekitar jam 16:00, tak terlihat apa-apa di area indoor stage. Wah, padahal sudah khawatir terlambat dan kelewatan nonton Fatur-Nadila.

Fatur-Nadila, diiringi band klasik dari SMAN 3 Bandung

Akhirnya setelah ngaret setengah jam lebih, indoor stage pun dibuka. Senang banget bisa sing along lagu Kulakukan Semua Untukmu yang sempat di-remake sama RAN itu. Penampilan ME juga nggak kalah asik, meskipun usia memang tidak bisa ditutupi hehehe.

Selama acara, penonton nggak cuma bisa nonton, tapi juga nyobain berbagai jajanan yang kebanyakan bertema 90an. Ada kue cubit aneka rasa juga, lho! Ada juga booth game arcade, sebenernya pengen nyoba main tapi karena antrian yang cukup panjang niat pun diurungkan. Akhirnya saya dan teman-teman mampir ke booth NET TV untuk foto gratis lengkap dengan hasil cetakanya.

Tak terasa waktu sudah semakin malam. Suasana pun semakin panas dengan performers yang makin kece. Oh iya, selain band-band kece, Kak Ria dan boneka Susannya juga naik panggung, lho. Saya jadi ingat waktu kecil sering diputarkan kaset Susan sampai hapal dialog-dialognya. Bisa jadi kejayusan saya sekarang akibat keseringan dengerin Susan. (Alasan aja, sih.)

My old friend: Susan!

Setelah puas teriak-teriak bersama Adon, Sigit, dan Alvin (vokalis baru) dari Base Jam, saatnya jadi fan girl Sheila on 7. Soal band yang satu ini, ah, sudahlah. Tak ada kata yang sanggup mendeskripsikannya (ok lebay). Sayang seribu sayang, penampilan mereka harus dihentikan oleh Polisi setempat karena durasinya melebihi perjanjian. Yang bikin kecewa berat, panitia yang sebenarnya bertanngung jawab atas keterlambatan ini malah diam saja. Nggak ada satu perwakilan pun yang naik panggung untuk minta maaf atau menjelaskan keadaannya.

Biarpun kecewa, saya bersyukur aja sih, masih bisa bernostalgia seharian itu. Semoga ke depannya acara-acara musik bisa lebih dispilin waktu sehingga performers maupun penonton nggak jadi kecewa, deh.

Life in Seoul #13: SM Town at COEX Artium

Welcome to the last post of “Life in Seoul” series!

A yo GG!

This post is about SM Town at COEX Artium, a newly built “heaven” for KPOP fans, especially the fans of SM Entertainment’s artists. The 5-floor building is located¬†right across Exit 5 of Samseong Station.

EXO’s MV played on the first floor

On the second floor, there is a shop selling merchandise from SM’s well-known artists such as TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, SHINee, f(x), and of course EXO. The price ranges from 2000 won for small stuff like pins to 70,000 won for t-shirts and bags. Since I came only one day after the soft opening, the shop was still crowded by dedicated SM fans. I was luck to be able to get in directly because when I left the shop, I saw staffs giving out queue number for new visitors.

SM fans, ready to shop
one of the products

The 3rd floor is for a saloon and a studio, but it is not yet completed. I can imagine how crowded it will be after the launching in January.

under construction

On the 4th floor, there is¬†a pop-up cafe selling desserts and drinks which are inspired by the artists. The one I tried was¬†Red Velvet Cupcake, which is obviously aimed for the Red Velvet fans (even though I’m not). What makes this cafe special is, while reading, visitors can enjoy books and magazines about Super Junior, EXO, and some other artists. Same tables are also occupied with music player that can play SM-produced songs.

the cupcakes! hmm
music player on the tables

As I said before, this place is still very new, so I can’t really judge if it’s really worth a visit. However, for someone who has been a fan of SM Entertainment for over 5 years, I would definitely go to this place again if I ever have a chance to go back to Seoul.

Life in Seoul #12: Blue Crystal Village

The gate

This place, which is also called Asan Mediterranean Village, is located in Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do. There are three ways to get there: by taking express bus, KTX train, and regular Seoul Metro subway. I went there with the last one.

It takes 2.5 hours from Dongmyo station to Asan station by Seoul Metro line 1. It is three times slower than if I’d taken KTX, but the ticket price is also three times cheaper.

After arriving at the station, I had to get out and walk to Cheonan-Asan station, the station for KTX train. Bus No. 777 that took me to Blue Crystal Village stopped right in front of this station’s entrance. The bus ride was about 30 minutes. Getting off at Tra Palace, I crossed the street and went for a short walk before reaching the village.

Tra Palace

The “village” is obviously not an actual village (LOL). There are various cafes, restaurants, galleries, and shops in the relatively small area. Some of the shops belong to famous brands like Michael Kors and Polo.

one of the galleries
MK Store
green tea latte from Casamigo Cafe
it seems like painted walls are everywhere in Korea

As a newly built tourist attraction, this place may not be known by foreign tourists (which explains why I only met Korean young couples there), but I think it deserves to be another choice for a one-day trip outside of Seoul.

Asan itself is actually famous for its hot springs, which explains why some part of the city looks like what I used to see in Beppu.

Life in Seoul #11: Free Shuttle Bus to Jeonju

Jeonju Hanok Village

Jeonju is one of the cities in Jeollabuk-do or North Jeolla Province. It takes around 3 hours from Seol to Jeonju by bus. This time I took the Jeonju Free Shuttle Bus that can be reserved here. The reservation process is very easy, but due to the high demand for this service, there is only a small chance for each person to get accepted. I, for example, applied for four different time spots and only got two of them; both of the slots were on Fridays.

The main destination of the shuttle bus is Jeonju Hanok Village where Korean traditional houses, along with Korean restaurants and street food stalls can be seen. However, the bus stopped at Jeonju National Heritage Center which is located around 10 minutes away from the gate of the hanok village.

To me, the hanok village felt a little bit like Yufuin in Oita, Japan. I found many small shops selling cute stuff there. Other than the shops, I also found unique museums such as Korean Liquor Museum. Apparently there are also historical confucian schools around the area.

Candies, anyone?

Even though Jeonju is famous for its bibimbap (mixed rice), I chose seafood pancake for lunch. The size of the pancake was quite big for me to eat alone. Still I couldn’t resist cheese-lemon ice cream I found after getting out of the restaurant, LOL.

Seafood Pancake
Yummy cheese-lemon ice cream!

And here are some pictures I took around the village…

Painted wall
Jeondong Catholic Church
Hanok (Korean traditional house)
Another hanok
A river across the bus stop