Bali’s Most Instagrammable Villa – Cloud Nine Estate

Cloud Nine Estate: Jalan Rsi Markandya 2. Banjar Sebali. Desa Keliki.

Date of Visit: February 2017

Guys, this is definitely NOT a sponsored post in any way, but I just had to share this gorgeous villa with everyone (though a little reluctantly, because I’m definitely looking forward to going back there, and I don’t want them to be fully booked or have their prices increase haha).

Since we travelled there in February for a pre-wedding photoshoot, we were looking for somewhere a little more luxurious (but still affordable) to stay at, so as to complete the whole happy experience. My good friend recommended Cloud Nine Estate long ago, but it was slightly out of budget so I never got around to treating myself.

Until this trip.

Let me tell you, it was so worth it.

It’s literally a little piece of heaven in a quiet corner of Ubud! Every corner was gorgeous and so carefully put together. Most importantly, it was so instagrammable.

The villas are exquisitely crafted with designer pieces, which are, at the same time environmentally conscious. Okay, let me stop gushing about it and show you some pictures.

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The Villa Compound

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My favourite spot to lie and look out into nature

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Even the sofa looks like this!

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LOCATION

It is nestled inside a quiet village of Ubud, about 25-30 minutes away from Central Ubud. You can either contact them to arrange the transport for you, or get a driver to take you there!

Be sure to keep your eyes wide open when you are nearing the villa, there will be a small sign at the side of the road with “Cloud Nine Estate”. Then you have to get off and walk down the steps to the villa. I love that it’s so tucked away from everything else!

Tip: It is quite a distance away from any convenience stall, so if you love snacking, stock up on snacks before you head there!

THE VILLA

They have 3 villas for you to choose from – Star Cloud Villa, Lotus Cloud Villa and another villa which is made of 3 suites (Anjali Suite, Tara Suite and Dewi Suite) which can be booked separately or together.

I stayed in Lotus Cloud Villa, which I absolutely adored. Every nook and cranny was like a dream come true! Even the cutlery were instagrammable, heh!

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Spent the afternoon on this swing bed!

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Instagrammable Bed

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See what I mean? haha!

Even though they had a shared pool (I usually prefer villas with private pools), but since there were only 3 villas in total, there were no issues at all. I went down at least twice, and had the whole pool to myself – I could even nap and float on my unicorn! Oh, and take loads of pictures.

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Unicorn!

FOOD

Yes, the most important for all Singaporeans – how about food?

Firstly, breakfast and tea are provided free of charge. And not just any breakfast or tea – beautiful breakfast and tea.

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Tea time 😀

You get to choose from a menu for breakfast daily (they come by to take your orders in the evening) and there are options like Eggs Benedict, Pancakes and local delights. You can also have coffee/tea AND juice.

They also provide coffee, tea and daily fruits in the villa for you!

For all other meals, they provide you with a variety of different menus that you can choose – Italian, western, local. They will take your order and it will be delivered to you in one hour! In my opinion, the prices were good, and the food was delicious. Just don’t be stupid like us and order ice-cream. What were we thinking, seriously?

WHAT TO DO

I was a little worried that we wouldn’t have anything to do (with me being hyperactive) but once I got there, I did NOT want to do anything.

I lounged around outside, inside, on the sofa, on the bed, by the pool….

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They have a ukelele and yoga mat for you to use..

You can opt for tours (which they will help you arrange), or private yoga classes at the villa itself. You can also go for a long walk in the gorgeous nature. We tried going for a short walk around the area and saw pretty rice terraces, but nothing much.

Another awesome thing you should do is get a massage. Just 5 minutes away from the villa, there are 2 well-known (apparently Ubud’s #1 and #2) spas. We went to Ubud Traditional Spa which was #2 and known for its technique.

It cost about 195,000 IDR for an hour, and although it was a great great experience, I still prefer my go-to spa for Ubud – Jaen Spa.

SERVICE

The service at Cloud Nine Estate was unbelievable – the owners stopped by to check if everything was going well and the staff were extremely conscientious.

They would stop by daily to clean the villa, and another time nearing the evening to do a “turn down” . Anytime we called for assistance or enquiries, they would immediately come over to the villa to talk or help. I felt extremely pampered!

PRICE

So what’s the damage? Prices for the Lotus Cloud Villa starts from SGD$227 per night! Yes, it’s pricier that what I would normally spend on accommodations – but it’s totally worth it.

In fact, I regretted only booking 2 nights there. Most of their customers usually book for a week – and I can totally see why! I’d love to spend a week unwinding in the midst of nature in this peaceful, zen and beautiful villa. #totalgoals

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My dream house for real

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Peace out

Go ahead and book it for your next holiday, you’re welcome!

Watch the vibes here:

 

Bali Sights Part 2 – Hidden Gems You Have To Visit!

Date of Travel: November 2016

It’s been awhile since Part 1, which I wrote about the touristy sights in Bali (Ubud) which I was definitely not impressed with – too much crowd, too high expectations. So I’ve finally gotten around to writing about Part 2 (amidst my crazy renovation planning and ROM shebangs) – the two hidden gems YOU HAVE TO VISIT!

  • Melasti Cliff (Ungasan Cliff)
  • Green Bowl Beach

#1. Melasti Cliff / Ungasan Cliff

Ungasan Cliff

What a breath-taking sight!

After getting super disappointed the day before with all the touristy touch-and-go sights, we spent the night doing some thorough research and digging before we found this spot – and everything seemed too good to be true!

I mean, hidden cliff…gorgeous blue waters… and no one to disrupt your me-time? That’s just too amazing! 

Getting There. This was the only hard part as it was not well-known amongst the drivers. We had to use our google map to navigate the driver – thankfully he was super willing to take the adventure with us!

(We used Mano +62 856 3778 685, who charged us 550,000 IDR for the day and drop-off at airport! Amazing guy, let him know you got the contact from Jeremy!)

Costs: No entrance fees! Nada. nothing! 

It was amazing! Once you arrive there, you will see the cliff overlooking the gorgeous gorgeous blue waters below, and the winding roads on the right.

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Tier 1 of the Cliff view!

If you are feeling more adventurous, there will be a flight of steps which you can climb up to a clearing!

It’s definitely manageable, so don’t worry about the climb! Once you get to the top, you’ll have to go through some shrubs (and rocks) to get out to the clearing. THEN, you’ll have arrived to the top of the cliff.

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Legs dangling over the edge – I was just a tiny little bit scared too haha!

The view here is UH-MAY-ZING. Better than anything you’ve seen.. and the best part? You’ve got it all to yourself. 

On the far right is the Banyan Tree Ungasan Hotel – if you are feeling atas go ahead and drop by there for a meal or stay! If you have extra time, head down to the beaches too, you definitely won’t regret it.

#2. Green Bowl Beach

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From what I’ve heard, this beach used to be a private beach to a resort. But after a natural disaster hit, the resort was never restored and the beach became accessible to the public.

Getting There. Definitely use Google Maps too! You will need a driver, as it’s hard to get there on your own.

Costs: Small entrance fee (5,000 – 15,000 IDR)

*Climbing down: When you arrive, you will need to climb down a long flight of steps (about 300 steps!!) so it will take some effort. I strongly recommend you to get some drinks or ice cream from the shop at the top before you start, and just enjoy the climb down. The climb back up will be more painful, fyi haha!

Tips: The only thing I didn’t like about the beach was the peddlers who WILL harass you. At the top, some old ladies will try to convince you for massages (say no! I’ve read that they are a rip-off) and on the beach itself, quite a few vendors will stalk you and harass you, to the point of not leaving until you buy. Be very firm, don’t give in, and make sure someone stays with your belongings, or if there are any others around, you can politely ask them to help keep a lookout!

Bring beach towels, water and snacks, or you might have to buy some (at a higher price) from the ladies!

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So worth it

Other than that, this place is phenomenal. There are small caves for you to sit under and relax in the shade. The waters are clear and refreshing, and the beach is clean!

What more could you ask for?

xxxx

Heading to Bali soon? Don’t forget to check out these places, I hope you’ll love them as much as I did!

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XOXO

Bali Sights Part 1 – Unimpressive Tourist Attractions but a Crazy Good Spa Find!

Date of travel: November 2016

Recommended Driver: Mano (+62 856 3778 685)
(let him know you got the contact from Jeremy!)

Bali has always been reverently known as the Island of the Gods, aptly so, as almost every corner finds you in a breath-taking landscape you never knew could exist.

Ungasan Cliff

Prior to this trip, I have hardly ever been to Bali, except for a few times MANY years ago, staying at Hard Rock Hotel (what a shame to have missed out on the gorgeous villas available everywhere) and travelling no further than the beach down the road. This trip has been quite an eye-opener and I am certain there will be many more trips soon to explore more parts of Bali!

Check out the video here! (Bump the quality up to HD!)

Although we stayed in a villa 30minutes from Ubud, it took us one day to realize that touristy spots weren’t for us. The first driver we used insisted on bringing us to the usual tourist attractions –

  • Tegenungan Waterfall
  • Tegalalang Rice Terraces
  • Mount Batur (sightseeing only)
  • Uluwatu Temple

I honestly believe that he was probably getting commissions for it, but as we haven’t had time to do much research, we went along with it. Here are the short & honest reviews of the four places.

#1. Tegenungan Waterfall

According to them, this is one of the highest and “prettiest” waterfalls in the area. It was actually really impressive with its height, and the force of the water flowing down is almost scary (feels like it would hurt if you stood directly underneath it, or that your bikini would totally come off heh).

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Tegenungan Waterfall

Costs: IDR10,000 to get in, and they charge you another IDR10,000 to see the waterfall from the top.

The low-down: The water looks murky, slightly dirty (not like some of the others I’ve seen, makes you rethink swimming in them). There are many tourists around trying to get same shot as you, so don’t expect a serene and peaceful experience.

There are also a number of steps to climb down to the waterfall (and up again on your way back). Overall, we weren’t too impressed with it!

#2. Tegalalang Rice Terraces

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I have to admit it WAS pretty!

Again a super-touristy area. It is, however, beautiful to look at and take some iconic photos. I loved the vast greenery of the rice terraces and climbing down to different spots (for different photos) but after a while, that’s pretty all you get!

Costs: IDR10,000 to enter the area.

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Climb down for a nicer shot!

After looking at the rice terraces, there are a number of shops and restaurant places to grab a bite at. Nothing much fantastic, and prices are not that attractive either. There are many street children there trying to sell you postcards and merchandise, do beware of them, as they will gather and crowd you once you give attention to any of them!

#3. Mount Batur (sightseeing only)

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Mount Batur in the distance..

So when we mentioned that we wanted to see Mount Batur, the driver insisted on bringing us to a restaurant that we could see Mount Batur “up close”. Without any much details, he just drove us to a place called “Grand Puncak Sari” where we had buffet and stared out at the view of the volcano from far away. There were many other restaurants along the same stretch selling buffet with a view.

Cost: IDR 125,000 per pax (there is still tax on this)

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The Food

I was definitely not impressed. The food was average and not at all worth the price (there are much better local food around at a fraction of the price) and to be extremely honest, the view was pretty but too far away to be anything special. Had I known it would be like this (or had enough information to google and research before) I would have decided either to climb Mt Batur or not even visit this place to look at it. Gah.

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This was also the deciding factor on changing our driver, as well as his input on the massage place we wanted at the end of the day. (Note: the driver contact listed at the top is our second driver, highly recommended!)

#4. Uluwatu Temple

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The view from the temple

Uluwatu Temple was listed as one of the must-see places on many online forums, and after seeing some gorgeous shots (especially at sunset), we decided to visit as well! Many tours offer this as part of the package, as well as some fire dance and she-bangs after.

The whole area takes about 15 minutes to walk through, which you can look at the cliff and the sea below, as well as some statues and ornaments. However, it was quite packed with large groups of tourists with rude manners (shan’t say where they are from) who will definitely be talking at the top of their voices, pushing people out of their way and preventing you from getting nice pictures.

Costs: IDR30,000 per pax to get in.
*You will need to wrap up with the cloth they provide you as a form of respect, and ladies on their monthly periods will not be allowed up the steps.

There seems to be the actual temple ground further in, but it is not accessible to tourists. So all you will see is the outskirts of it. Is it worth it? I’m not that sure.

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I managed to crop out the people at the sides! yay!

 

**MASSAGE – JAEN SPA

Of course, when in Bali, you must enjoy a massage. Bali is known for amazingly luxurious and very well-priced massages and so, it was a definite must for us! When we first told the driver that we were thinking of getting a massage, he was very insistent on telling us he knew a good place. However, during the day we did our own research and found a gem that we really wanted to try. When we told him the place we wanted to go and the address, he was really reluctant and unhappy to do so. (a big no-no for us!)

But moving on to the good part – Jaen Spa.

By the sheer amount of positive reviews and recommendations we found online, we were totally persuaded to visit Jaen Spa and give it a go. And that was one of the best decisions we made that trip!

PRICING – compared to many other (equivalently luxurious) establishments, Jaen Spa was very reasonably priced.

These were the services we tried-

1 hr Traditional Balinese Massage – USD $12 / IDR 165,000
4 hrs Radja Nenda Spa Package – USD $60 / IDR 720,000

The spa package included a Radja Synchronicity massage (2 therapists work on you at the same time), flower bath, body scrub, facial treatment and hair crème treatment. They also give you a light lunch and drink in the middle! Fwah!

SKILL

I’ve been to many spas, and this experience was definitely one of the best. The therapists were skilled and able to target sore spots and work on it well, adjusting their pressure to your preference.

For the special Synchronicity massage, although there were 4 hands (2 therapists) working on you at the same time, it is amazing how in synch they were. The strokes blended perfectly – it was literally heaven!

SERVICE

Service was fantastic and the cherry on top of the cake. We felt absolutely pampered and taken care of! At any point of time, there is someone with you making sure you are comfortable and happy.

They also have pick up and drop off services which are cheaper than hiring a driver (you can arrange for a pick up straight from the airport!!) and they were very flexible with letting us explore the town before sending us back, allowing us to maximize our time in the Ubud central.

In conclusion, Jaen Spa is a place you definitely need to visit on your next trip to Bali. Everything was amazing at such an affordable price. Although the 4-hour treatment was a tad too long for me, I enjoyed every minute of the pampering!!

(don’t forget to contact them in advance, they are almost always booked out!)

xx

As for the rest of the touristy spots, feel free to visit them but don’t have high expectations.  Also, stay tuned for my next post (soon) where I’ll be sharing with you about the hidden Ungasan Cliff & Green Bowl Beach!

Spread the love, hope you liked it!

Lotte Mart Wholesale in Batam – YES!! (Must-Go!)

Lotte Mart Wholesale – Jl. Engku Putri, Batam Centre Core kel. Gulf Tering, district Kota Batam, Batam, Riau islands

Date of visit: July 2016

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Lotte Mart

Having stayed in USA for a year, I’ve grown to appreciate Costco and their wholesale supermarkets – being able to buy things in BULK (like serious bulk) and feeling like I’ve saved a ton of money. I think I’ve once bought like 60 packets of instant Quakers flavoured oatmeal for $15 or something… cool right??

That’s something I miss in Singapore, going grocery shopping with my friends and buying the staple things in bulk. So imagine my excitement when I stumbled into Lotte Mart Wholesale on a weekend trip to Batam!

WHAT IS LOTTE MART

Lotte Mart Wholesale is a super-sized grocery store aimed to provide businesses (retail, hotels..) and SMEs with quality products at very competitive prices. They use a membership system with these businesses (sending catalogs out and taking orders online, delivering goods to their offices/place), helping them cut costs and save time.

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Everything, everywhere

Although it was meant to be targeted at these businesses, many families also shop here for their daily needs. Oh, and also silly tourists like me who are amazed at these kinds of places.

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

uh, hello? This is like a grocery-shopper’s dream come true.

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Hello, Nutella

Even if you aren’t going to buy cartons of groceries back home (cos too inconvenient for the ferry), most of the things are wayyy cheaper here, from sanitary pads (yes girls) to snacks..

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So I heard you like Indomie

Indomie? Why not buy 40pcs at only SGD$7.60?

They sell almost everything from TVs, washing powder, home needs, to food, vegetables, fruits and snacks. I even saw a HUGE HUGE cream cake going for like SGD$20. It’s huge, I swear. Satisfy your need for a bargain by going there and buying stuff and ridiculously good prices, Singaporeans!

HOW TO GET THERE

If you are staying elsewhere, take a taxi here. If you stay at Harmoni One Convention Center & Suites like I did (it’s getting meh, by the way), it’s just outside the hotel, so you can walk across the road to get there.

It has a huge parking lot space so if for some reason you are driving, parking is definitely not a problem.

CONCLUSION

It’s definitely worth a visit!! I love how this place offers good-quality stuff at wholesale prices, and how BIG this place is. If you are in Batam, don’t forget to make a trip here to stock up on some groceries and snacks!

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70 cents per box 😀

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Don’t say bo jio, share and spread the word!

Ola Spa, Bandung – Cheap & Awesome (Must Go!)

date of visit: August 2015

Address: Jl. Bahureksa no. 23. Bandung – West Java. Indonesia 40115.

Contact number: 62-22- 4234253/ 62-22- 6168898

No holiday is complete without a massage, so we were pretty determined to find a good massage place (at a good price, of course).

We were recommended by the hotel to go to Everyday Spa in Bandung, as they told us it was the most popular massage place. But when we called to ask about the price, it was really expensive, about IDR 295,000 for an hour. That was way more than we wanted to spend on a massage – almost Singapore price!

 

So we did some research and looked through reviews to find a better option. Pinisi Relaxation seemed like a contender, but some reviews stated that it was in a really sketchy, dark building. So it was out (We didn’t feel like getting assassinated).

We, however, found this amazing place called Ola Family Spa & Reflexology. It had great reviews and the prices were super decent. An hour massage was IDR 148,000, half the price of its competitors. Here’s some pictures from their website (I forgot to take pics!!)

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Looks decent and cozy from the front!

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Cozy inside too, clean and spacious.

 

Verdict: Massage was great, therapists were friendly. Definitely worth going (super value for money), and do call to book your session before you head down, as they were fully booked when we tried to schedule a second appointment.

P.S. They also have a couple spa package going at IDR 258,000 per pax, with a list of treats!

Our only regret was not being able to squeeze in a second session before we left Bandung – it’s literally the perfect ending to a day of exploring volcanoes!

That’s it – now you’ve got the full itinerary to visit Bandung on your next long weekend. Check out the links below for the 4d3n itinerary, accommodation and activities to do!

Don’t forget to tell me what you think, and spread the love!

The White Crater, Indonesia (Wanderlust-worthy!)

Date visited: Aug 2015

Entry fee: IDR 150,000 for foreigners/ person & IDR15,000 for locals.

Kawah Putih (eng: White Crater) is located in Bandung, Indonesia – about 1.5-2hr drive from the city center. It is aptly named for its eerily beautiful white appearance.

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A view of the gorgeous Kawah Putih Lake.

Unlike in normal volcano craters, the lake here is highly acidic (ranging from pH 0.5 -1.3 – please don’t fall in guys!), hence the color changes from bluish to whitish green to even brown, depending on the sulfuric concentration. The sand/rocks surrounding these waters are whitish-yellow, due to the contact with the acidic waters.

The result? Breath-taking and beauuutiful – almost like a painting. Light turquoise waters, trees and greenery everywhere – if the waters were not killer-acidic, I would have taken a dip!

We were terribly lucky to have visited in an off-peak season/timing, which meant almost no other tourists except for us. (Tip: We set off at 6am from our hotel to reach here early, partly to avoid the road jams as well. If you are making a trip here, consider setting off early so you can enjoy the morning view with lesser tourists!)

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These waters…

At parts of the lake, you can also see black shrubs (trees) with no leaves at all – giving the place its mysterious, slightly-eerie feel.

Everything about this place is picture-worthy, we couldn’t even resist jumpshots! (Except the little barriers at some parts, but i suppose they are to prevent tourists like us from accidentally jumping into the acidic lake…)

2 things to note:

  1. Bring a jacket – it’s situated more than 2000m above sea level, so it’s always chilly. I was obviously unprepared for this!
  2. Bring some masks – you will definitely smell the sulfuric fumes, and I don’t think it’s good for health. You will probably see some vendors around selling masks as well!
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My usual attempt..

Worth wanderlusting over? Definitely. This truly unique place is gorgeous, you have to see it in person. After all, it’s only a short trip away from Singapore.

P.S. Tempted for a trip to Bandung? Don’t forget to check out my other links:

Don’t forget to tell me what you think, and spread the love!

 

Tangkuban Perahu, Ciater Hot Spring & Floating Market

In my previous 4d3n Bandung Itinerary post, I mentioned these places as the main activities for Day 2. They were actually planned out for us by the friendly staff at Hyatt Regency Hotel (thumbs up!) – since these three places were along the same route.

We managed to also get a great deal for transport – Indra who charged IDR750,000 for 10 hours. Unfortunately I did not get his contact details, as the hotel staff did all the liaising for me! (Tip: if possible, ask the concierge for more options when choosing transport, as they usually recommend Golden bird – which charges about IDR1,250,000 for 12 hours)

So was it worth the while? Let me share some details with you, and you can decide for yourself.

First stop: Tangkuban Perahu

NOTE: Entrance fees are IDR 200,000 per person (while for locals it’s only IDR 20,000). We grumbled a little since we did pay IDR 750,000 for the car ride, but as we were already there, it would be silly to waste it all.

This was actually our main reason for traveling to Bandung – it did seem like a pretty cool thing to see a volcano, especially one that just erupted in 2013!

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Isn’t it gorgeous?

My, the view was undeniably breathtaking, worth the entrance fee in my opinion. We were really lucky that there was not too many tourists there, so it was a relaxing time for us – no squeezing to get beautiful photos.

 

Difficulty level: easy.

Climbing up the steps wasn’t difficult at all, and pretty much a stroll whilst enjoying the view. As you can see, there are many peddlers loitering around, waiting to con/persuade tourists into buying all sorts of things – from volcano sand to animal hats and trinkets. They can be extremely persistent, so do be careful.

You can also find vendors selling food and drinks there, and we did buy some grilled corn because it looked so bright and tasty. Let’s just say it looked a lot better than it tasted, haha! After walking the trail, you will find a little marketplace with vendors selling food, snacks and more trinkets – the stuff there looked less dubious than the ones from the street peddlers.

Conclusion: Worth it? Yes, I think so! It would be such a shame to leave Bandung without experiencing this magnificent work of nature, regardless of entrance fees.

Second stop: Ciater Hot Springs

Entrance fee: IDR 27,000 / person

The place that they brought us to was “Sari Ater Hotel & Resort“. It was frankly not what I had in mind of a hot spring – not in a good way.

The entrance fee gives you access to this entire place of different family-friendly activities, from ATV to golf. It was technically more like a recreational park than a hot springs place. Since we did have a schedule to stick to, and none of the other activities seemed appealing, we headed straight to look for hot springs.

There were a couple of options – if you wanted to soak in the hot spring (full-body), you’d have to pay extra to gain access to “hot spring” pools which looked like swimming pools. Again – they looked like swimming pools, and didn’t look particularly relaxing, so we opted not to pay any more.

The free options were 2 shallow pools side-by-side (with different temperatures) where you could soak your feet in, or if you were more adventurous, try to lie or sit in.

There were (persistent) people offering foot massages/scrubs too. I can’t really remember the price, but I don’t think it was very reasonable since we turned them down.

The water was hot, nice and quite relaxing though – really made me wish for a proper hot spring to soak in and enjoy! Nevertheless, there was only so much foot-soaking we could do, and so we were off in less than 30 minutes in total.

Conclusion: Find another hot spring to soak in, or just skip it altogether. This was not really worth the entrance fee, nor the travel time!

Third stop: Floating Market (Lembang)

Of course, the 2 guys were starving by this time, so we quickly headed to the Floating Market in search for some good local food.

Entrance fee: IDR 20,000/ person  (comes with 1 free machine drink)

I was starting to get used to entrance fees by then, so pay loh. After paying entrance fees, we had to exchange money for tokens to buy food with (Note: don’t change too much, it’s not refundable. There are more kiosks inside to change again if you need to!)

Other than floating food vendors, there were also boat rides on an artificial lake (so pretty), an expensive-looking massage place, and several restaurants.

It must have been an off-peak season, since the place was very quiet. Thank goodness for that! A portion of food costs around IDR 15,000 and up, that was pretty reasonably-priced for a tourist attraction. Apart from cute cartoon buns and these MUST-EAT SATAY (situated near the entrance of the floating market food vendors), the rest of the food we tried was so-so only.

*Don’t order hot coffee – not sure why whenever we ordered hot coffee (other than machine ones) the coffee powder would not dissolve properly, so we were left with powdery gross liquid.

Conclusion: It was still a great experience even though we were not fully satisfied by the meal. Definitely stop by this place to soak in the atmosphere and culture!

Heading to Bandung soon? Check out my other posts:

 

If you have any more recommendations, do drop me a comment! I’d love to hear from you (:

4d3n Getaway to Bandung, Indonesia (Itinerary!)

Date travelled: August 2015

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, this was a pretty last minute plan for the SG50 holidays last year. Because everything was fully booked or way too expensive by the time we got around to planning the trip (even Bintan was crazy), we were resigned to doing a staycation in Singapore. However, after chancing upon this article online, we got really inspired to explore Bandung, Indonesia.

Tickets were $200/pax (last minute prices) and most of the hotels mentioned in the article were fully booked, so we made do with a comfortable one in the city area – Hyatt Regency Hotel. This meant that we would have to take long rides up to the volcanoes, but it also meant that we could take some time to explore the outlets, cafes and food!

So here’s my itinerary overview:

Day 1:

  • Morning flight via AirAsia straight to Bandung
  • Checked in to Hyatt Regency Hotel
  • Visited adjacent mall Bandung Indah Plaza for food & a short walk
  • Planned the next few days (because we were such lazy asses to do any planning beforehand)
  • Massage at Ola Spa (recommended!)
  • Room service for dinner (lazy, again)

 

Day 2

  • 8am departure on a hired car to Tangkuban Perahu, one of Bandung’s Volcanoes (2hr car ride)
  • Ciater Hot Spring, Lembang
  • Floating Market, Lembang
  • Rumah Mode Outlet Shopping
  • Back to the hotel for a quick rest & dip in the pool
  • Out to the streets for some local food

 

Day 3

  • 6am departure on a hired car to Kawah Putih, the other Volcano
  • Ria Ayam Penyet for lunch (tasted pretty much the same as in Singapore)
  • Outlet shopping at Polo Ralph Lauren (Jalan. Ir. H. Juanda 151 Bdg) and neighboring outlets – this shop is quite good, would recommend it for shopping!
  • Dropped JD at the airport
  • Visited Jalan Bragatourist spot with many live bars and restaurants!

 

Day 4

 

Hopefully this is helpful with your trip-planning! I’ll be posting more details on the hotel, Ola Spa, Two Cents Cafe & the volcanoes separately, and these posts will be linked here below:

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Ayam Penyet

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Me @ Tangkuban Perahu

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Gorgeous Crater – Tangkuban Perahu

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The White Crater – Kawah Putih

 

Additional Information on Transportation

So this is where it gets tricky – I booked transport through the hotel using Golden Bird Car Rental from the airport to the hotel (about 20 minutes away) and that cost us IDR 175,000. When we tried to ask him to drop JD at the nearby Fave hotel (barely 5-10 minutes away) he wanted to charge an extra IDR175,000. When we refused, he quickly dropped it to IDR 90,000 which we accepted, because we didn’t know better. When we found out that it would have cost less than IDR35,000 using a metered taxi, I decided we weren’t going to use Golden Bird anymore.

I requested the hotel to give me some alternatives for our next few days’ road trips to the volcanoes, because

  • Golden bird was charging about IDR1,250,000 for 12 hours
  • I didn’t trust them anymore.

Thankfully they found a great deal for us, through this guy called Indra who charged IDR750,000 for 10 hours, which was enough for us.

The rest of the time, we used metered taxis, which we soon realized had minimum fees (IDR35,000 for Bluebird taxis, IDR25,000 for others), not that worth it for super short distances.

JD then discovered angkots – green mini vans which would drive normally at the side of the roads. If you are travelling a short distance, just flag any of them down, and tell the driver where you want to go. If it’s on the way, they’ll let you in. They usually pick up passengers as they drive, so its sort of “public transport” for them. Cost ranges from IDR2,000 to IDR4,000. If you are travelling in a group or pair, give it a shot. But I wouldn’t recommend it for girls travelling alone (be safe ya?)

Other than that, Bandung is really a beautiful place to visit and have some relaxation time. Air tickets and accommodation are all very affordable so keep this place in mind for your next getaway!

Don’t forget to leave a comment and share if you like it (:

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Two Cents Coffee – Bandung Cafe

Jl. Cimanuk 2, Bandung 40114, Indonesia

Date of visit: August 2015

We found this cafe after walking past a few “sketchy” cafes (no aircon, no proper seating and flies everywhere) so it was definitely a highlight for us!

Decor & Seating

Two Cents Coffee looks like a touristy cafe even from the outside, with a hipster, rustic feel. There is both inside (aircon) and outside seating available although it can get quite packed!

Food

Prices were steep for Indonesia – roughly Singapore cafe prices ($10-15 for simple breakfast items), so I was pretty surprised to see many locals in the cafe too! Food was good and quality was as expected for the price. It was definitely also “instagrammable” with the nice plating and tablewares used, haha!

Service

Service was a little slow, but it might be due to the cafe being crowded or just the laidback culture of the place. However, it was still adequate and doesn’t warrant much whining about.

Overall

Two Cents Coffee is definitely worth a visit the next time you are in Bandung! I’ve heard that the cafe scene in Bandung is growing quite rapidly, and I can’t wait to make another visit back and explore. If you have any other cafes to recommend, share it with me below!

Hotel Aryaduta Bandung (Previously Hyatt) – Good Stay!

Hotel Aryaduta Bandung (previously Hyatt Regency Bandung) Jl. Sumatera No. 51, Bandung, West Java, 40115, Indonesia, ‏‎800 1205131

Date of Stay: August 2015 * at the time of stay, it was still called Hyatt!

We were doing up a pretty last minute plan for the SG50 holidays, and by the time we got around to looking at air tickets, it was insane. Everything was either fully booked, or damn expensive. Lombok, Tioman, Redang… even Bintan lol! Then when I was about to give up and book a staycation in Singapore, we chanced upon this article:

https://indonesia.tripcanvas.co/bandung/unique-hotels/

Man, Bandung looked gorgeous, and these looked like a fantastic idea. Tickets were affordable ($200 per pax) although most of the hotels on the list were either fully booked, or too close to a volcano for my mom’s comfort. She was worrying endlessly about a volcano eruption during my trip, but we still went anyway (sorry, mom!)

So Bandung is a great place to go for a short getaway, check out the hotel we stayed at below and the itinerary here.

Since it was our first time in Bandung, Indonesia to “see some volcanoes”, we opted for something a little more lavish. Hyatt was at quite a steal, approximately $100 per night including taxes for a huge room. The reception was lovely, we were greeted with welcome drinks in nice champagne glasses (although it was some tasty pink juice instead of alcohol in there).

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(Image from Hotels.com)

Room

As mentioned, the room itself was HUGE (I could even monkey around) and was clean and plushy. Did not look worn out at all, which is the case for many big hotels overseas. Wifi, minibar, kettle all present, including a nice bathtub! Great pool, Jacuzzi, gym, spa and everything you can possibly need. We even tried out the room service, which was all fancy and wheeled in on a table (even though we ordered porridge and mee goreng). Top notch!

 

Service

Fantastic, staff played a vital role in helping us source for transportation up to the volcanoes, since we wanted more options (drivers are so expensive!). They also tirelessly gave us recommendations and directions, all with a smile. Would definitely stay at the Hyatt again for this reason!

Location

Awesome! It is adjacent to the Bandung Indah Plaza, which has a Matahari, shops, and cafes/restaurant. Perfect for some leisure walking, even though there wasn’t much that interested us. Outside the Indah Plaza there are some local street food snack stalls, in case you want something really authentic. Opposite the Hyatt Hotel there is a K-mart convenience store (which the security staff escorted us across the crazy traffic to get to, we tipped him after of course!)

Conclusion

How often do you get to stay at Hyatt for under $100? This is definitely a comfy stay and we looked forward to returning each day from our adventures for a guaranteed peaceful rest here. #Holidaygoals

 

**Other Accommodation: Fave Hotel at Chihampelas

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(Image from Hotels.com)

JD opted to stay at another hotel close by, called Fave Hotel at Chihampelas (they have other , which was about $40+ a night. According to him, the room was still spacious (3/4 the size of the one at Hyatt) with a decent gym! So if you are looking to save a little, Fave is definitely a good stay as well!