Welcome to my humble blog. This is actually a combination of my old blogs in multiply and friendster. That is the reason why many posts are outdated. They were as old as 2007. Warning, english is not my native language so forgive me if there is any typo or wrong grammar.

This blog will contain all the things I love. First and foremost, I love traveling because I love observing new cities and how the people interact there. I don’t have much opportunity to do so but anytime I have the chance, I will post the city review. I’m a huge manga fan so expect much manga review here and perhaps some anime and dorama review. I’m also a movie addict so whenever I watched good movie I usually review them. I love listening to the music but the meaning of the lyrics is my muse regardless of their release date so those songs might be out of date. I’m also a fan of good food and whenever I dined out at a good resto, most likely I’ll write about it. Oh, and if you have spare time, please read my original fiction and fanfiction. They’re so rare, haha.

In the end, have a pleasant stay here and any constructive comments will be highly appreciated ^_^

megane hiru

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So out of the blue, when I was in a zumba class in Celebrity Fitness, this song was played during the cooling down. I was instantly struck! Both the lyrics and melody are what I call the perfect wedding song. Yeah, I so can see this song being played in my wedding day. Love the lyrics to the max. Come and read it yourself ^_^

All of Me – John Legend

What would I do without your smart mouth?
Drawing me in, and you kicking me out
You’ve got my head spinning, no kidding, I can’t pin you down
What’s going on in that beautiful mind
I’m on your magical mystery ride
And I’m so dizzy, don’t know what hit me, but I’ll be alright

[Pre-Chorus:]
My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

[Chorus:]
‘Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I’ll give my all to you
You’re my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I’m winning
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you, oh

How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you’re crying you’re beautiful too
The world is beating you down, I’m around through every mood
You’re my downfall, you’re my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues
I can’t stop singing, it’s ringing, in my head for you

[Pre-Chorus:]

[Chorus:]

Give me all of you
Cards on the table, we’re both showing hearts
Risking it all, though it’s hard

[Chorus:]

All of Me is a song by American contemporary R&B recording artist John Legend from his fourth studio album Love in the Future (2013). Legend co-wrote the song with Toby Gad and co-produced it with Dave Tozer. The song is a dedication to Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen. All of Me impacted American mainstream urban radio as the album’s third single on August 12, 2013. (source: Wikipedia)

I’m in a sappy mushy mood and I just can’t help but hoping someday there’ll be someone out there that feels this way about me. When the day come, I know I’ll be the happy bride ^_^

It’s not about being perfect, it’s about accepting all that is given by your other half, the goods the bads, the perfect imperfections… When a couple can do that, I know there will only be happiness ahead the marriage life. I just pray and hope that mine will be filled with such acceptance and happiness. Noting the years are passing by but I won’t lose hope because Allah is good and everything happens for my best interest so I will patiently wait with a faithful heart.

Phew, it’s been ages since my last post here. I’m sorry for taking such a long break, but thankfully I finally had another vacation and this time I will show you the mesmerizing Belitung! Ever since I watched the movie Laskar Pelangi (translated as Rainbow Troops in US), I’ve been wanting to visit Belitung, a place where the movie was shot. Thanks to my friends Cippy and Kenari, I finally set foot on this lovely place.

We used tour agency service for this trip, Sunburst Adventure (www.sunburstadventure.com). We took the first flight to Tanjung Pandan which departed around 6 am from Jakarta. The flight only took an hour. When we arrived at Tanjung Pandan, the first thing that caught my attention was how quiet and deserted the town was. I was near 8 am yet it didn’t show any hustle and bustle. The travel time is precisely the time needed to cover a certain distance, unlike Jakarta in which most of the travel time is due to traffic jam. It’s a good thing that we were using tour agency because apparently, there is no public transportation in Belitung. People mostly travel by motorcycle and the only means of transportation for visitors is by renting a car.

It was five to eight am in the morning, and we were hungry so the first stop was the signature Belitung’s noodle at Sriwijaya Street, Mie Atep (2). It opens at eight am sharp but there were people already queuing in front of the restaurant waiting for it to open. Eight am sharp and the restaurant was open. The noodle has thick broth, not too spicy and a bit on the sweet side but it has perfect harmony (1). The serving size is for breakfast so it’s a bit small but you can always ask for second. The signature drink there is jeruk kunci, a variety of orange with a size of a small lime. To visit the restaurant, you have to book in advance so make sure you do before you drop by.

With a full belly we headed to our hotel, Mindanau Belitung Hotel at East Siburik Street. Just in the opposite road of the hotel, there is a must visit coffee shop for breakfast, Warung Kopi Kong Djie (5). It was established in 1943 and the interior is still very traditional (3). It opens from quarter past five am until ten or eleven am. The coffee there has distinct chocolate flavor which I love so much. If you love less milk, than you can order ordinary white coffee but you can always ask for more milk if you think the coffee is too bitter. Small glass of coffee cost five thousand rupiah while the medium glass cost eight thousand. What I love most of this coffee shop other than the coffee is the morning snacks (4). My favorite is the mung bean fried bread, traditional doughnut, peanut sugar filled bun, and bika bread and each snack only cost thousand rupiah.

For foodies enthusiast

For foodies enthusiast

Moving on to the cultural side of Belitung, we went to Traditional House in the city center. Typical traditional house in Sumatera, it has stilts that support the house (7). The main attraction of this house is the wedding’s offerings display (6, 8). Too bad overall, the house is not really well kept. There are parts of the house that is used by the keepers thus reducing its authenticity.

Next destination is Kwan Im Monastery (9) in East Belitung. It takes two hours to reach East Belitung from the city center. The monastery was under renovation so it’s a bit untidy with tools lying here and there. There are several gazebos in the area and at the main hall (10) there is a fortune teller that can read your fortune, be it in financial, education, and even love life.

In East Belitung, you can also visit the first literary museum in Indonesia, Andrea Hirata Museum (12, 13). Andrea Hirata is the author of Laskar Pelangi novel and he grew up in Belitung. Inside the museum you can find information regarding achievements of Andrea Hirata and Laskar Pelangi novel that has been translated in 30 languages on 100 countries. There are also snippets of the novel contents. There were some parts of the museum that were closed due to renovation though. The museum is free of charge and it sells souvenirs related to Laskar Pelangi such as tote bags, shirts, hats, etc. At the back of the museum, there is small coffee shop (11). I didn’t visit it so I don’t know the price and what it offers.

Just few minutes drive from Andrea Hirata Museum, there is one of the filming sites of Laskar Pelangi, the elementary school building. The building looks old and in a severe condition. What’s interesting here is the soil in that area is white sand. It is said to contain tin since Belitung is a major tin producer.

Cultural Side of Belitung

Cultural Side of Belitung

Talking about Belitung, it’s incomplete without the natural rocky beach. One beautiful spot in East Belitung is Bukit Batu (16, 17). The natural big rocks gather in several spots creating a breathtaking view. Not to mention the lovely sand that is soft to your sole. Don’t hesitate to walk barefoot because the wet sand beneath you gives some soothing effect. Although Belitung is famous for rocky beach, there is one beach that is free from rocks, Pantai Burung Mandi (14, 15). It’s a typical beach with clean water and sand but for me, it’s not as breathtaking as Bukit Batu.

There are several small islands near Belitung and our destination on the second day is to visit some. It only took less than half an hour from the hotel to reach Tanjung Kelayang. We will board a wooden boat to reach the small islands around. Too bad they don’t really develop the place for tourism. The only bathroom/shower room available is below standard in my opinion. They could actually get extra income by building some decent shower room and charge it for guests that have returned from the day trip on the sea. Too bad they haven’t thought far ahead.

Anyway, the first island we visited was Batu Berlayar Island (20). There are big rocks in this island similar to Bukit Batu. This island is pretty small though. Then we made a quick stop at Pasir Island. It’s just a mound of sand with nothing on it but the water is so clear around it plus there are easily seen big starfish lying around. The beautiful sea blue water and clean sand just tempt you to take a dip there and I did 🙂 Half an hour from there, we stopped at Burung Island (19). Named after after the fact that there are lots of birds in the island even though I saw none when I was there. The sand is not as smooth as Pasir Island but there are some photo spot worth it.

Another half an hour trip from there we arrived at  Lengkuas Island (21), a relatively bigger island that houses a lighthouse. There are eighteen staircase levels in which each level consists of around 20 ladder steps to reach the top. The view from above is beautiful but the space is pretty limited. There is entrance fee of five thousand rupiah even though they call it fee to wash your feet so the lighthouse won’t be dirtied by the beach sand from the guests feet. This island is pretty lively. People are sitting on the picnic cloth and simply enjoying lunch/snacks. The island also has some entertaining water sport such as jet ski, banana boat and snorkeling. Rental fee for snorkeling equipment is only thirty thousand rupiah. The view under water is so breathtaking. It was my first snorkeling experience and I’m grateful to have the ability to swim because the water is pretty deep and despite the life jacket, it’s still pretty intimidating to the non-swimmer. Forty minutes was too short to enjoy the beauty but there is one other destination for the day so we took the long trip back to Tanjung Kelayang.

We took the land route from there to Tanjung Tinggi (22) to visit another filming site of Laskar Pelangi. The rocks are naturally arranged to form a narrow pathways in between. Too bad the sun was almost set so instead of those narrow pathways, we focused on the setting sun. Again, the rocks there provides challenging courses for the braves. There are restaurants lining up along the shore there and they have the delicious young coconut fruit for ten thousand rupiah only.

Beautiful Beaches in Belitung

Beautiful Beaches in Belitung

With full stomach we set to the last destination for today, souvenir shop at Pattimura Street. OK Shop sells signature snacks such as the famous telur cumi chips, squid crackers, fish crackers, and also packed food like fish floss, coffee, honey, and the famous shrimp paste. The shop also sells souvenirs like shirts, key chain, and other handy craft made of sea shells. The price is pretty reasonable. I got beautiful key chain for ten thousand rupiah and there are cheaper selections also.

A must buy signature snack of Belitung is fish dumpling or what they call cakian. It’s a fish cake wrapped by bean curd sheet and eaten with a thin sauce of vinegar and chili. The size is pretty small, only 3 cm x 2 cm and it’s so yummy I can’t get enough!

All in all, the trip to Belitung is so worth it and next time I go there, I want to take a longer time snorkeling and maybe swimming in the lovely blue sea water. Belitung, it is indeed mesmerizing ^_^

So we’re coming to the end of the Hong Kong – Macau Trip. We checked out from the hotel around 9.30 am but we had the hotel car service drove us to Coloane. Our original destination was the Go Karting Arena but it was closed so we proceeded to Panda Pavilion. Unfortunately, Panda Pavilion is closed every Monday. To say we’re disappointed is an understatement because we’ve been wanting to see the panda since before our departure. Anyway, Panda Pavilion is located inside Parque de Seac Pal Van and it requires admission fee of 10 MOP while the park itself is free. There’s a vending machine of pretty cheap drinks such as water for 2 MOP, milk and tea for 5 MOP.  Here’s some snapshot of the park.

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Parque de Seac Pal Van

Dejectedly we went to the bus stop to get to Coloane Village. You can take bus 15, 21A, 25, 26, 26A, 50, or N3 to Coloane Village. It’s only 2 stops from the Panda Pavilion and the fee was 3.2 MOP. We missed our stop and ended up at the Hac Sa Beach where the beach is not as beautiful as beaches in Indonesia and the said cheap BBQ grilled stands also sell pork so we skipped it. From there we took the return bus to the village which costs 6.4 MOP. The first shop that greet us is The Lord Stow’s egg tart bakery which is the first founder of the now well known Portuguese egg tart. We were saving the visit for later because we weren’t hungry yet. Instead, we walk to Tin Hau Temple. Seems like temples in Macau is not extravagant because this one is also very simple as shown in this photos.

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Tin Hau Temple

We skipped the Tam Kong Temple and returned to the bus stop but upon stumbled on The Lord Stow’s Cafe, we stopped for a light lunch consisting of the famous egg tart which is so delicious by the way, and a homemade lemonade. The egg tart only cost 8 MOP and the lemonade is only 15 MOP. The cafe also sells sandwiches complete with salad, soup, pastries, and even main course. Here’s the snapshot of the bakery and the cafe.

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Lord Stow’s Bakery and Cafe

From there, we took bus 26 to Macau Tower which costs 5 MOP. Macau Tower is the tallest building in Macau and it has the highest bungee jumping site. The entrance fee to the observatory deck is 130 MOP and there are activities such as sky walk, bungee jumping, tower climbing, or sky jump which each has its own fee. I was chickening out and my companion wanted to save money so we didn’t even enter the observatory deck. Maybe next time we I have the guts to at least do the skywalk I will visit Macau again.

From Macau Tower we took bus 23 and exchanged to bus 10A at the Praca de Ferreira do Amaral with the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf as our destination. And boy, in general I’m not impressed with what I saw in Macau but this complex is stunning. It has a replica of Rome Amphitheater and volcano, underground gaming center, restaurants and shops. We spent good hours to take photos and just sat at the park looking at the Harbour. There’s a shop which sells Macau’s snack with reasonable price but once again luck wasn’t in our side because it’s closed.

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Macau Fisherman’s Wharf

We walked to the Lotus Flower for quick photos and then stopped at the Grand Prix Museum and Wine Museum. Both museums don’t require admission fee but they’re well kept, very impressive. I don’t know anything about Grand Prix and wine, but I love the setting of the museums especially Wine Museum which has clear path and seeing sequence.

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Wine Museum

That ended our sightseeing in Macau. We took bus AP1 to the airport for 4.2 MOP to get our luggage and check in to the airport. It’s been interesting journey and alhamdulillah despite times we were lost and tired feet plus aching back, we still enjoy the trip. Now here are some glimpses of Macau for the last time. Until next post, everybody =)

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Glimpses of Macau

Second day in Macau and we left the hotel around 9 am. Golden Crown China Hotel actually provided the hotel’s car to take us to Ruins of St. Paul’s for free. They told us to call their number when we’re ready to be picked up. The ride to Ruins of St. Paul’s took about 15 minutes. We had to walk a few meters from the drop off point. Today is Sunday so the place was crowded with so many tourists. Ruins of St. Paul’s is actually one side of a wall so there’s not much to see. There is a room of sacred arts but the collection is not too many. Here’s how it looks like. An interesting event happened here. A pair of marriage couple, from China I assumed, asked me to take a picture with them each. Maybe because it’s so rare for them to see a moslem wearing jilbab like me =3

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Ruins of St. Paul’s

Close to Ruins of St. Paul’s is Mount Fortress. A little bit of hiking to reach its top but not too tiring in my opinion. There’s not much to see in here as well, only few canons being lined up the walls. At the top, there is Macau Museum. For all museum antusiasts, like me, I highly recommend to spend some time inside. The admission fee is only 15 MOP or 15 HKD because many shops/spots take both currency in equal rate. In this museum you will see the old tradisional Macau’s culture such as the marriage attribute, from the clothes, carriage, even to the certificate. There are many interactive exhibition here such as a more or less 15 minutes video showing the old Macau’s people’s life as fishermen, audios of many hawkers shouting their merchandise, explanation of each tradition such as drinking chinese tea, etc. I love this museum ^_^ Oh, and I recommend you to buy souvenires on the museum’s shop because it is cheaper than the shops outside.

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Macau Museum

The map said that there is tourist information center between Ruins of St. Paul’s and Mountain Fortress but we’ve failed to find it so we move on to the next cluster of Macau World Herritage which is centered on Senado Square where a tourist informatuon center is nearby. A review in Trip Advisor said that we can take a booklet there and ask a stamp of every site we visit in the booklet. Apparently now they’re not providing such an interesting promotion again. Anyway, we’re a little bit lost on our way to Senado Square because of the poor map and perhaps poor map reading skill as well ^^; A very nice middle age guy was kindly helping us to find our way but still we were a little bit lost but we finally reached iur destination anyway.

From Senado Square we walk through the world herritage path and saw St. Dominic’s Church, Lou Kou Mansion, Cathedral, Holy House of Mercy, Kuan Tai Temple, St. Augustine’s Church, Dom Pedro V Theater, St. Augustine’s Square, St. Joseph Seminary and Church, St. Lawrence’s Church, Mandarin’s House, Lilau Square, Moorish Barracks, and A-Ma Temple. We were done with our sight seeing around 4 pm. The path needs a little bit climbing and we even got lost and have to take a round trip to get back to the correct path. Many of the sites are below my expectation but it was fun to locate them all. Except for Mandarin’s House which truly amazed me. All the sites don’t require admission fee but only at Mandarin’s House we were welcomed as if we paid to enter. There’s also a video telling the construction of the house but I only stayed for a few seconds. Here are some photos from the trekking we did.

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Macau World Herritage Path

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Mandarin’s House

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A- Ma Temple

It was raining half time of our trekking but it stopped when we’re ready to go back to the hotel. We couldn’t contact the hotel because our Hong Kong number failed to be used so we waited for bus no 26 to Macau International Airport for 40 minutes before it actually came. The ride took around 45 minutes.

We returned to the hotel around 6 pm. After resting for a few hours, we’re ready to see the night glamor of Macau. We take the Venetian shuttle bus from the airport. The ride took less than 10 minutes and boy, how the hotel lobby totally amazed me. It’s so glamor and expensive looking with a huge casino and connecting corridor to Gran Kanal Shoppe where there is a man made water ways mimicking Venetian complete with the gondola and its rider. We just made a quick round for about 1.5 hour before we take the same shuttle bus to the airport. Here’s a little glimpse of the casino and the mall.

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The Venetian

Tomorrow will be the last day of Macau Trip and we’re planning to visit Coloane so stay tune for more stories =)

Still on the same day with day 4 in Hong Kong, the ferry ride from Shun Tak Center to Taipa took an hour. From Taipa Ferry Terminal, we tried to find our hotel, Golden Crown China Hotel, which is said to be at the opposite of the airport. Thinking the terminal and the airport is side by side, we confidently passed the free shuttle provided by Cotaijet. Well, that and worried if the shuttle wouldn’t stop at our hotel. So, we walked with our luggage in tow, exiting the ferry terminal and lost. The first guy we asked didn’t know our hotel, the second middle aged man perhaps misunderstood especially with his less than adequate english so he told us to return to the oil storage for aviation located next to ferry terminal, the security at the oil storage gate told us to follow the departure sign, and lastly a policeman told us the same thing as the security. So we walked, tired and battered, until we saw the hotel building’s. Alhamdulillah! The bitter part is that we spent almost an hour going in circle while actually we witnessed the shuttle provided by Cotaijet was dropping passanger right in front of the hotel ^^;

The ground floor looks good but when we approached the seemingly receptionist, she told us to go to the 9th floor where the hotel lobby is. The lobby is pretty lavish and apparently this is 4 star hotel. However, both of the receptionists only know standard sentences in greeting the guests and their english is actually very limited, really unbefitting the hotel’s appearance. Reviews on Agoda regarding this hotel shows many disappointment regarding the room but ours is perfectly fine. What was lacking was the wifi connection which I’ve verified to the receptionist to be working at yje the lobby only. But at the beginning, even at the lobby, there’s no internet connection. Defeated I returned to our room but when I didn’t expected it, the wifi suddenly connected and provide internet connection.

Such a hectic day and it seems transportation will be quite challenging in Macay especially with the language barrier. Anyway, see you tomorrow on the next post.

Last day in Hong Kong but the trip is not over yet because we will depart to Macau in the evening. We packed and checked out from The Cityview Hotel at 9.30 am but we left the luggage at the concierge becausr we still want to explore Hong Kong. The exploration theme for today is shopping. Well I basically just accompanied my travel companion while buying unplained things impulsively. First stop was Fa Yuen Street which supposedly sell sports good. It’s located right next to Ladies Market. Unfortunately we were too early so the stores haven’t opened yet. We’re lucky to find a good bite for breakfast though, cakwe. Here’s the photo for you because I don’t really know what it’s called in english.

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Breakfast Shop

Failed in the first destination, we continued to Yen Chow Street which is a fashion market. Just go to Sham Shui Po MTR station and go to exit C1. The stores are located along the street. For me, they are more into Hong Kong fashion so the only things that attracted me were the knitted cardigans and the likes which cost around 70 HKD above. There are cheap clothes for 30 HKD as well but they’re not my taste. I got patterned stockings for my sister which cost around 38 to 48 HKD.

Just when we were ready to move to the next stop, we stumbled upon another market at Fuk Wa Street.  This market sells daily necessities from clothes, shoes, electronic, and even toys and hobbyist shop. I met a lot of Javanese women here whom I assumed are the Indonesian women labors (TKI). I also finally spotted a halal restaurant which sells curry. I didn’t visit the restaurant but I predict it’s indian food. I also found a shop that sells Indonesians products. We even bought rice bento there. It only costs 15 HKD with egg, fish/chicken, spicy potato, and vegetable. Here’s the sneak peak of those markets.

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Street Markets at Sham Shui Po

From there we went to Festival’s Walk located at the exit C of Kowloon Tong station. Apparently it’s just another mall. We didn’t even explore the mall because it’s the same as the other malls and even similar to ones in Jakarta. We find a good sitting spot and enjoy the rice bento we bought from the Indonesians shop. From there we continue to our next destination, Jardine’s Bazaar which located at the exit F of Causeway Bay MTR station. It’s Saturday and the streets are closed from cars. People flooded the streets and I was overwhelmed. We also visit the Times Square even though we didn’t quite enter it other than when we got back to the MTR station. See how packed the area was in the photo below.

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Times Square

From there we once again went to Ladies Market because I still have some souvenires to buy. We returned to the hotel with aching back and feet. After resting a bit we kicked off to Sheung Wan to catch the ferry to Macau. When we exit the station through exit D, we were brought to Shun Tak Center and the signs directing to the ferry terminal suddenly vanished without a trace. After spending some times being confused, fortunately there were other people with same destination so we follow them. The hint is to take the escalator up up and up until you reach ticketing office in the Ferry Hall. If you want to go to Taipa, you can get ferry tickets at Cotaijet while Turbojet provides tickets to Macau. During weekend, the ticket to Taipa is 196 HKD. The ferry is pretty big like shown in the photos below. There are ferries for every 15 minutes to Macau and every 30 minutes to Taipa.

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Cotaijet Ferry to Taipa

Well, it concludes the adventure in Hong Kong but I will start with Macau Trip – Day 1 after I arrive at Macau. Stay tune for more posts ^_^