Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 29 December 2014 • Uncategorized
Dang, time sure flies when you’re having fun! And we’ve said that almost at the end of every year.
In 2014 Mumun and I have been full-time bloggers with side projects mostly related to travel and writing. I personally have been able to take longer trips compared to when I was still working full-time for a company (some might call it ‘corporate slave’ but slaves don’t get paid and it’s simply a demeaning term). Overall, we’ve grown in some areas, got connected with more influential people, and still having fun.
Our 12-day trip to NORTH SULAWESI.
A dive trip at Bunaken National Park was my first time diving after obtaining the diving license (sadly that was the only time I dive in 2014). The excursion within Manado city was highlighted by our afternoon hangout at Jarod, and the much-anticipated visit to Tomohon market where they sell unusual ingredients for food, like python and dog meat. Then Mumun went on her first muck dive at Lembeh Strait after our unforgettable visit to one of the northernmost islands of Indonesia, the Talaud Island.
My 5-day visit to PEKANBARU, RIAU.
Having a really tight budget around the mid-year, I almost canceled this trip if not for Hesty, an Indohoy reader, offered me a free place to stay, and my friend Kandi who joined me and was ready to share some transportation cost. With a visit to the Muara Takus temple as the initial idea, I ended up enjoying more of the city’s architecture and the elephant conservatory in Minas.
We haven’t had the chance to write about Pekanbaru on our site, but here’s one we wrote for Jakpost Travel.
Finally, I made it to UBUD WRITERS AND READERS FESTIVAL IN BALI.
I was there for the whole 5 days, plus a day before and after the event. Far from being a bookworm, I enjoyed the various sessions of the event that evolved more around culture rather than just books. Here’s what I thought about the event.
It’s true what they say, nearby destinations can be as fun as faraway ones. We proved it:
KUNINGAN WALK, JAKARTA.
It was our excursion around my neighborhood in Jakarta, (ashamedfully to me) using a guidebook written by an expat, Melanie Wood and Andrew Whitmarsh. Interesting finds: a neat graveyard just behind my apartment complex since the Dutch colonial era.
A video of the walk is coming up.
A tour around TANGERANG’S BENTENG AREA for the Peh Cun celebration.
The tour was organized by Gelar, who, in our knowledge, never fails to have experts aboard to explain the history behing the trip’s theme. Tangerang is only 1-2 hours drive from Jakarta in normal traffic. Interesting find: the private owned Benteng Heritage Museum, which preserves the 4-centuries old building among others.
Complete story: here.
Mumun’s road trip to CIREBON, WEST JAVA.
Having a huge love for driving cars, there was no reason for Mumun not to say yes to a road trip, let alone she was going with her fun Europe gang, Windy and Vindhya. Hence, a 3D2N roadtrip with play-it-by-ear itinerary. Mumun not only happily embraced the freedom, but also realized how much she loved tempe (soybean cake) all along!
Read the story here.
There are times when we just feel like caving in, but reality is we gotta go out there, show up at events, meet people and make deals! These are some of our trips in 2014 as the fruits of our networking.
A campaign for WEST SUMATERA.
West Sumatera province houses a lot of natural gems spread in the whole province. Mumun teamed up with other Indonesian bloggers and social media VIPs to support the program fully sponsored by the ministry of tourism. The campaign was called #Minangkabike, as they were biking at most of the wonder of West Sumatera.
Our piece on the trip has been published at Jakarta Post Travel.
Welcome to the jungle! It’s BETUNG KERIHUN NATIONAL PARK.
We were thrilled upon knowing that we were chosen as one of the bloggers for #IndonesiaOnly #WonderfulIndonesia campaign, sponsored by Google+ Indonesia and the ministry of tourism. Always been curious with less-traveled places, we chose Betung Kerihun National Park in West Kalimantan (Borneo) as our destination. To add the awesomeness of it, we were also supported by the national park office.
Can’t get enough of TUGU HOTELS.
As fans of Tugu Hotel properties, we couldn’t say no to their invitations, really. So before heading back to Jakarta, I made a detour after a week in Ubud. I spent a night at HOTEL TUGU BALI IN CANGGU with its gorgeous villas and surrounding, and took a very interesting cooking class. Then two nights at HOTEL TUGU LOMBOK located in Sire Beach, having an out-of-the-box breakfast and awed endlessly at the architecture.
Mysterious BALIKPAPAN, EAST KALIMANTAN.
Balikpapan has been under the radar in terms of tourism. That’s why we were ecstatic when our acquaintance from jauhdekat.com offered to fund for our travel there! We were sure there must be interesting things and places one can experience in the city that’s said to be one of the most prosperous cities of Indonesia. And guess what. We were right!
Head here to find out what fun you can do in Balikpapan.
BALI still invites us to stay.
Coming to the very end of the year, we were invited by Tjendana Villas to enjoy some of Bali’s air and sea with their luxurious accommodation. It was a grand trip, and we’ll have it all up on our site soon.
In the mean time, here’s our first post on it about our stay at Nusa Lembongan.
TRAVELNBLOG, the workshop.
There are countless travel bloggers in the world, but not enough of Indonesian ones, despite the unevenly distributed Internet connection in the country. So we teamed up with fellow travel bloggers to share what we know to those eager to blog more about traveling in a workshop. Did you miss TravelNBlog year? Expect another one(s) next year!
TRAVELSALE, valuable unwanted things.
Traveling can eat up a lot of your saving. Yeah, we know. That’s why we co-initiated a travel-themed garage sale. Sell your unwanted travel gears and/or buy second-hand travel gears for your next trips. Taking the place at Post in then little known Pasar Santa, Jakarta, we were overwhelmed with the swarming buyers as we told here. Nevertheless, we’re happy that once-loved things aren’t burried and wasted in vain. We will do another TravelSale in 2015, just you wait!
More travel stories at SUA PELANCONG.
We had two Sua Pelancongs this year. One with with random topics and held at D’Marco cafe, Central Jakarta, and the next one we tried to set a certain topic: travel and music. And I think we’re going to have certain topics for the next Sua Pelancongs because we didn’t only have fun meeting new people, the united topic actually mashed people with similar interest and, voila! Collaborations happen! And here’s what The Dustysneakers thought about it.
WRITE A BOOK? We’ll write two!
We’ve been asked a lot, “How come you girls aren’t writing a book? You’ve had so many travel experiences!” As much as flattering, that is also an overwhelming statement. But we finally decided to take the risk. Yes, we are writing a book, actually 2 books, in different formats but both are in travel genre. We suck at keeping our deadlines, so the projects have been pending. We know we’ve disappointed our editors and publishers and we don’t want that again for next year, so we’ll be busier bees in 2015!
What about you? What are your 2014 highlights?