Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lunch @ MEDZ (Mediterranean Food) in Orchard Central

After the McRitchie trail walk, we took bus 167 to Orchard Area and walk to Orchard Central to try out this place. MEDZ (Mediterranena Food). We past by the place a week before but was not able to have lunch there and decided to drop by the place this week. The place is quite interesting and well-decorated. The restaurant concept is just like Mache, where we were given a card for each person for our food ordering purpose. We picked a seat with nice Turkish light, big table and nice cushion seats. Ordered rosti with sour cream and Seafood Paella. Total bill about SGD25 dollars but with POSB Go card/Everyday card or DBS credit card, there will be 10% discount on total bill. 
Overall the food is quite nice but if compare with Mache, I still prefer the rosti from Mache as its not oily and not too thick. (MEDZ sell the rosti in cheaper price, only SGD5.90 for plain rosti with sour cream).  How about the paella? 1 prawn, few slices of fish (watch out the fish bones), few pieces of clam. I dont really like the paella as the rice is too soft. We were thinking to have desert here but ended up we decided to walk to 313 and have the mango pamelo desert from Honeymoon desert house (4th floor) to ensure the satisfactions. :D
Well, I still prefer going to Mache as they have more variety and choices but still this place is worth to try. 
MEDZ @Orchard CentralMEDZ @Orchard Central

Rosti from MEDZ @Orchard CentralSpain -Seafood Paella from MEDZ @Orchard Central

Monday, August 27, 2012

Nike+ Display Corner - Peranakan

Nike Singapore had created a innovation space at Peranakan Place Level 2. I visited the place with my friend few weeks ago (the place end on 12 August 2012). Mainly went there for the run reservation. Yes, its reservation for the Nike Run. They have not announce when and where yet.  Well, they had 2 treadmill in the place and their house products such as the latest Lunar Running shoes, the GPS watch and some sports wear & attire. The one which caught my attention is the cortez turns where they display the Nike sneakers.
Kind of cool.

Nike factory outlet at changi point

Went to changi point with friend two weeks ago and bought some sales item.
A sports bra(sgd69.90) become sgd29.90
A long sleeves running shirt (sgd 45) become sgd19.90

Great buy?! Yes for me. More than 50% discount.
But with limited pierces and size. Good luck and happy shopping.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Buckaroo BBQ and Grill

This is not the first time I visited this place, Buckaroo BBQ and Grill at Andrews Avennue, Sembawang Singapore. But always forgot to blog about it or snapped photos to share with others online here. This time, no more miss out. 

Andrews Ave Sembawang Singapore
How to get there: We took SMRT bus 882 from Sembawang Interchange (just behind the Sun Plaza which located just next to the Sembawang MRT), the bus will make a loop from Sembawang Bus Interchange to Sembawang Park and back to the Bus interchange. You can choose to alight at Bus stop B58081 (Opp Jalan Janggus) or wait after the bus make the turn at the end of the Sembawang park and alight at bus stop B58089 (After Andrews Avenue). Alighted at bus stop B58081 will take about 1-2 mins more for walking towards the Andrews Avenue.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My First Outdoor watch - Suunto Quest

Here is my first outdoor watch suuntoQuest Running Pack(come with mini foot pod and Heart Rate Belt). Bought it last week from Runnings Lab at Novena. (Citibank card entitle to 10% discount)  Thanks to my friend who registered for the NorthFace 100 and that make her entitle for 20% discount and she is willing to share the 20% with me.
At first I was planning to buy polar either FT60 or RS300X. But once I saw the shoe pod and the GPS device, I asked the sales girl is there any other choice. The foot pod is quite big and that scared me off. My friend recommended me to get the suunto watch which is quite reliable and the sales girl introduce us this Suunto Quest. She is having the same watch as well and is so generous to lent me her watch to try on my wrist. After compare the shoe pod (which is ~4x smaller) I decided to get this stylist big watch (the watch size slightly bigger than polar but both the watch is very light).
I am still trying to get use to the watch and learn the functions in. Read about how I calibrate my foot pod here.
Have no issue get connected with my foot pod for the first time but having issues with my HeartRate belt until I google and realized there is a missing steps. Here is the video that may help. Its really simple and easy to use. 

Ads: Where to get SuuntoQuest?
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Suunto Quest Heart Rate Monitor
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Trip to Indonesia: Where we eat in Yogyakarta?

We mostly eat in a few places for dinner. Went to Malioboro Mall on the first day for KFC dinner (they served rice in KFC) and the KFC taste better than the one in Singapore.
We went down to Sosrowijayan Gang 1 and Gang 2 and visited a few places such as Superman Restaurant at Gang 1 and Bedhot Restaurant at Gang 2 and there were another place we visited but I forgot the name and from my phone, the photo I snapped was too blurry. I think thats due to I was too hungry during the dinner time and my hands keep shaking :D
Tea break at Jco in Malioboro Mall, YogyakartaSuperman Restaurant at Sosrowijayan Gang 1 Street YogyakartaInterior Superman Restaurant at Sosrowijayan Gang 1 Street Yogyakarta

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Trip to Indonesia: Day 5 - Taman Sari and Relaxation at Yogyakarta and fly back to Singapore

I had spent most of my money and not much things todo on the last day in Yogyakarta as we will be taking early morning 7.30am flight back to Singapore. As usual, after our breakfast, we went out for Jalan-jalan. Decided to go Taman Sari (The Sultan Villa). We paid RP7,000 for entrance fee. Nothing much inside the Taman Sari as portion of the Kraton place now been occupied by the locals and local art stores (for batik and drawing). The place is full of local guide at the entrance who will just follow you around even you had told them you do not need any guide. We had to told the guide many times mentioning we do not need any guide. (as we really dont want to pay for the guide and mainly here for some nice photos and walk around). Only two things that caught my eyes in the Taman Sari. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Trip to Indonesia: Day 4 - Bordobudur and Prambanan

Woke up early on day 4 and took becha all the way from our hotel to Sosrowijayan Street and waited outside the travel agency office. We reached there around 9am (an hour before our departure time), went in the stores beside to send our postcard (they provided services to post your postcard, its always nice to send your family or yourself a postcard from the place you travel as souvenir with the local stamps and chop). We just stood there and wait for the pickup. When the time get closer and the office still remain closed we got worried and called the office with the display number, the girl mentioned this office was not operate during morning (but its showing started from 8am from the office glass door) and the person who incharged to pick us up soon will be there. Sharp on 10am, a guy appeared and checked on our booking tickets and guided us to the car and introduce the driver to us then they hand over the snacks to us (a small bottle of mineral water and a chocolate bun). After a few pickup from some nearby hotel (a barefoot guy and a couples), we headed to Prambanan. Arrived there about 45mins journey and the driver hand over the entrance tickets to us. There were coffee serve in the ticketing office and thats really surprise me. (but I did not took the coffee as we were rushing for the shooting). We shoot some photos and the weather was really hot in the noon. 
Prambanan, YogyakartaTourist waiting for sunset, Borobudur Yogyakarta

Friday, August 10, 2012

Trip to Indonesia: Day 3 - Walk around at Yogyakart- Malioboro Street

This is our first day in Yogyakarta. After breakfast from the hotel, we got our first colour printed map from the hotel staffs and we decided to walk back to the shopping mall (Malioboro Mall) and explore the place.
We dropped by to the Malioboro Street, where you can see a lots of becha and horse cart (Andong) to bring you around the place. You always can bargain the price. We walked straight up along Malioboro Street and that bring us back to the Tugu Train Station. As previous night we arrived there quite late, hence we decided to go there again and snapped a few photo of the station.  As usual, the station was full of becha and taxi drivers asking do you need any ride or tour package or not.
After snapped a few photo, we walked back to Malioboro Street where we found a lots of stalls and shops selling souvenirs . You always can bargain to get a good deal. We were trying to find the places where we can get the package and go to Borobudur and Prambanan. As we read from online, taking public transport to Borobudur required the change of bus 2-3 times. Wantet spot a street (from Malioboro Street) that a lots of tourist (whites) heading into. Both of us followed them and that brought us to Sosrowijayan Street (tourist street) and from there we found a lots of agency where we can book the transportation to the place we want. The price offer from the agency are almost the same, just pick one which you think is reasonable.  The package also provided hotel pickup around the centre area but due to we were staying way far off, we had to come to the agent shop on the next day. We booked for Prambanan and Borobudur Sunset package from Paradizzo including snacks and entrance fees. From the agency we found out that they also provide the package to Mount Bromo (transportation & hotel ) and bali. (Next time, maybe we will consider take up this all included package (quoted in the package leaflet, about RP500k travel from Yogyakarta=> Mt Bromo=>Yogyakarta. Just for the transportation, they offer to take bus with 11 hours ride.

Becha under sunset lightning
Tugu Train Station, YogyakartaTugu Train Station, Yogyakarta, the young lovely couples taking photo as well
Train go into Tugu Station, all of us have to stop and waitMalioboro Street, YogyakartaSosrowijayan Street, A tourist street

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Trip to Indonesia: Day 3 - Walk around at Yogyakart- Kraton

Before went down to Malioboro Street, we visited the Sultan Palace (Kraton). On our way to the Kraton area, we saw some street hair barber. This is really interesting as for me, this is part of my childhood memory as we used to have that in my Kampong as well. Besides that, you will be able to see a lots of colourful becha along the way as well. We paid RP12,500 per pax for entrance fee and RP1,000 for camera. We did not took any tour guide as we mainly want to find something interesting to shoot. The palace with nice architecture, consist of a few different halls where there are rooms for the Sultan used items, Palace culture and ceremony, exchanged items from different country and Royal family trees. Quite interesting to walk around this place before our lunch. 
Street Barber, YogyakartaBecha, Yogyakarta
Sultan Palace, Kraton, YogyakartaQueue for entrace ticket, Kraton Yogyakarta
Kraton main entrance, YogyakartaKraton main entrance, Yogyakarta
Music Hall in the Kraton YogyakartaCeramics in Kraton Yogyakarta
Staffs in Kraton YogyakartaNice roof architecture, Kraton Yogyakarta
Entrance ticket and camera permit, Kraton Yogyakarta

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gregory Jade 50 - My first backpack

Bought my first backpack from Campers' Corner Outdoor, Gregory Jade 50 (Himalaya Green) about 2 weeks ago before my Mount Bromo Trip.
I was introduced with Gregory backpack by my friend wantet as she mentioned this brand have special design backpack for female and the bone structure for guys and girls are different where the design of the backpack for girls will be having the weight loaded into the hip instead of the shoulder. I know nothing about the backpack and asking for a recommendation from the staffs there. They suggest me  to take up Jade 34 for my 5 days trip but after understand from us that we may need to use the bag for some other longer trip, they suggest to take up Jade50. I really like the Campers Corder store as the staff are very friendly and willing to advise you accordingly (even we had visited the place many times but never buy anything).  After that they helped me to loaded the bag and teach me how to use the bag (well, there are a lots of straps around, at least you will need to know how to make the backpack hug you so that you will not suffer during the long walk for the trip. 
The bag is really good. I loaded about 9~10kg for my trip and was walking around with the backpack (read more about my Mount Bromo Trip here). The backpack cost me SGD350. But with the POSB Everyday card, I got the cash rebate of 15% and I only pay for the backpack SGD297.50.

Once again, thanks to wantet for bringing me to the store and I had just registered my backpack warranty from the Gregory Official website.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Transportation DIY -Surabaya - Probolinggo - Cemoro Lawang - Mt Bromo (2 ways)

As mentioned in my previous post, we think that the transport package offered by the hotel and agent are too expensive for us as we are travelling budget this time. Below are some sharing on the cost.

From Surabaya to Mount Bromo, you have to go to Probolinggo, then from Probolinggo take the mini bus/bison to Cemoro Lawang. You can either take bus or train to Probolinggo from Surabaya. Based on our previous research, the train from Surabaya to Probolinggo only have two timing - 9 am estimate to reach Probolinggo on 11.09am OR 21:30 and estimate reach time 23:21 and the ticket are in range of RP32,000 to RP55,000. For bus, you can either take air-con or non-aircon bus from Bungurasih Bus Terminal.

*if you able to get someone to share the mini bus/bison from Probolinggo way up to Cemoro Lawang, you would be able to save even more.

From Surabaya to Cemoro Lawang

Rp (,000)
cab from airport to terminal
bus from Surabaya to Probolinggo
mini bus/bison from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang (we paid for immediate departure)
Hotel (1 standard room at Cemara Indah during peak season)
jeep to mt bromo (share)
Total (for 2 pax)

From Cemoro Lawang to Surabaya

Rp (,000)
mini bus
bus from probo to surabaya
city bus to Gubeng stations
Total (for 2 pax)

Total transport + hotel for 2 person =RP1,178k.
Total for 1 person = RP589k
Total spending per person = ~SGD79.06

Quote by the hotel:
1) Hotel = RP450k
2) Two way transport from Surabaya <=> Cemoro Lawang = RP1,200k
3) Jeep (Sharing ) = RP250k
Total quoted by the hotel : RP1,900k  (for 2 pax)
For 1 pax = RP950k (~SGD 127)

Quote from a local travel Agent:
1) Two way Transport + Hotel (cemara Indah) + Jeep (sharing) = RP2,200k (for two pax)
For one pax = RP1,100k (SGD 147.70)

**Exchanged rate for us 7,450 from SGD to RP

Other Post about Indonesia

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Trip to Indonesia: Day 2 - Mt Bromo and From Surabaya to Yogyakarta

Day 2 - Mt Bromo

1) The Jeep
Woke up 3am IDT, we could not sleep well as it was too cold (even I was with my thermal wear and under the two layer thick blankets). Still, I took a quick shower(as my habits, the hotel heater was not consistent, the water was too hot and sometime too cold). After the shower, wantet and I went out to the hotel lobby area where we waited for others since we purchased for jeep sharing and we were assigned to share with a korean family (4 of them). The driver took us to the Penanjakan 1 (first view point as this is a better view point and higher), on the way there, we passed by Bromo Permai Hotel and Mount Bromo. The sky was so beautiful (full of stars). The driver kept on pressing the horn (I think that maybe due to the local believe as driving there is not easy and quite dangerous). We saw quite number of jeeps along the way, some even broke down and all the passengers had to get down (I just crossed my fingers and prayed that would not happen to us).  
By the time we reached the view point, the area was full of tourist like us. We had been told to get back to the jeep by 6am so that we can proceed to Mt.Bromo Crater. Along the walkway from the parking area to the view point open area, there were some stalls selling hot drinks and jackets renting. I was thinking to hang around there as it was really cold but my friend, wantet told me we better get to the view point in order to get a better place. Luckily wantet got her pen light with her as the walkway up to the place is really dark. I was shocked to see the place already full of people by the time we get there and we were not able to get ourselves squeezed in the middle (the best spot). After got the place (at the side), now what we have to do is only two things, 1) wait the sun rise. (2) stand the cold from the wind.  We were accompany by not just the other tourists but also the sky which full of stars and the sunrise was awesome. (I was not able to snap any photo as I  was freezing and not willing to take out my hands from my jeans pocket). After seeing the sunrise, I felt that all the hassle are worth the value. The Mt Bromo Sunrise view worth more than what I paid for either physically strength or money.
After the sun rise, the driver drove us to the side of the Mt Bromo. Where we need to walk for 2km before taking ~247 stairsteps to the crater. There are some horse services provided. But since we are budget traveller, we decided to walk. The place are cover by soft sand and horse poo (no kidding, we got to watch out the poo when we walk). The dust are flying all over and luckily we did prepared for that and covered ourselves with pashmina and although it just a 2km walk but the dust and the sand slow us down especially we were walking up hill. We took short break once a while (as when the horse passed by, the dust wills tart to fly all over the place) and finally we reached the staircase. When we got nearer to the crater, you hardly can see the steps as the stair case was covered by the soft sand but with the staircase handles, you still able to push your self up. We managed to snap a few photos with Mount Batok as background (personally I prefer mt Batok as it looks prettier and not dusty). We had been given an hour for the climb and even we kept stopping a long the way up and down, we took less than 45 mins. 
After got back to the hotel and had our COLD breakfast and a quick shower (as we really cannot stand the dust), we heading out from Cemoro Lawang back to Surabaya to continue our journey to Yogyakarta.

Mt Bromo and Mt Batok, Bukit Bromo dan Bukit Batok, IndonesiaMt Bromo Crater, Lubang Bukit Bromo
locals selling flowersstanding on Mt Bromo with Mt Batok as background

way down to bromo, turun dari bukit bromoour hotel room, karma di cemara Indah

2) Down to Probolinggo
While we were packing and preparing to check out. There were a guy knocked on the door asking do we want to join the shuttle bus services from the hotel to Probolinggo with RP35k per person (extra RP10k to save the waiting time). We paid RP70k for two person and joined the mini van which locate just in front of the hotel lobby. The mini van departed right after we got in and stopped by Yoshi Hotel to pick up some passengers before all the way down to Probolinggo. Although its already passed 10 am IDT but the air was still fresh and cosy and we were able to see the view as last night went we get up the hill, it was dark and we could not see anything except the sky which full of stars. Other passengers maybe head down to bali / Ijen and the driver dropped us at probolinggo bus terminal where we got into the air-corn bus (paying RP25k per person, yes only 25k which 5k different from non-aircorn bus). The bus conductor was so kind to help us placed our backpack in front (just behind the driver seat) so that we do not need to hug our backpack for 2 hrs bus journey. 
Along the way to Surabaya, it was heavy traffic where we passed by a furniture area (the area full of shops with bali style craving furniture). My friend and I both find Surabaya is dusty and again we get into bus terminal Bungurasih in Surabaya.

3) From Surabaya heads down to Yogyakarta
After we got in the bus terminal, there were an uncle (taxi driver approach us). We asked about Stesen Gudeng (train station) and the guy quoted us RP70k. Its consider too high for us and we rejected him, then he offered us another deal, how about using meters? and we said no as we were not familiar with the route and just worried that he will took the long route in order to get extra miles. During that time, the officer in the bus terminal approached us asking where we are heading to and told us we can take city bus from the other side. Thanks to the officer and this is really out of my expectations as the people here actually are quite friendly and helpful to guide us around. Even the bus conductor were so patient with us (as for local, there will be chase to move faster to get up and down the bus and they had to move to the front when they want to get down from the bus). 
The other side of the station showing City bus, from here you can get all the bus which run in the city. We got up to one of the bus and paying only RP4k per person for the fare from Bungurasih terminal to Station Gudeng.  We reached the station 2:45pm and direct bought the 3pm train ticket by paying RP135k (for executive) for each. (taking the bus from Surabaya to Yogyakarta definitely cheaper but it took ~8 hrs). Due to rushing, again, we were not able to had proper lunch. But during the train stopped in some of the station, we managed to buy a nasi (pack of rice RP3,000) with some vegetables, a small packet of curry, small pack of crackers and the rice was surprisingly delicious. (they do sell food in the train but both of us dont like the food hence we did not ordered anything from the train).
After reached Yogyagarta, I will post that later. Please stay tune.

Train ticket from Surabaya to Yogyakarta, tiket keratapi dari Surabaya ke Yogyakarta
From Cemoro Lawang to Surabaya

Rp (,000)
mini bus
bus from probo to surabaya
city bus to Gubeng stations
Train from Surabaya to Yogyakarta
Total (for 2 pax)

Other Post about Indonesia

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Trip to Indonesia: Day 1 - Singapore to Mount Bromo

I just came back from a trip to Indonesia with my friend, wantet. The trip was awesome. Based on our planned, we should dropped to Surabaya, then travel down to Mt Bromo for the sun rise view. After that, we will be travelling down to Yogyakarta and will fly back from there. This is my first time travel down to somewhere without prebook everything. As I am a package person (book all the package before go to a place to ensure everything well prepared before I went down) and I am so not use to backpack travelling. But this trip, both my friend and I agreed to go for a backpack. I have to thanks my friend wantet to be so patient with me and calmed me when I behaved panicking asking about the transportation arrangement for the trip. As she told me, 
"getting lost is part of travelling"
After some survey, we decided not to get the transportation offered by the hotel (RP1,200k/2 ways from Surabaya to Cemara Indah Hotel in Cemoro Lawang, not including hotel (RP450k) and jeep to Mt Bromo ) or from agent (RP 2,200k from Surabaya to Cemara Indah hotel include share jeep to mt Bromo the next morning) as we really think the package  exceeded our budget. So we decided to have our DIY transportation. (Surabaya - Probolinggo - Cemoro Lawang).

Day 1: Travel down to Mount Bromo.
We took the flight from Singapore to Surabaya (the nearest city to Mt Bromo) on 13:35SGT and estimated will be reaching Surabaya, Indonesia at 14:55IDT and we purchased a baggage checkin of 15kg. Total flight cost = SGD100 + tax SGD 28 + baggage SGD 15 = SGD143 per pax.
Our flight reached about 10 mins earlier that day. Without wasting any of our time, we collected our baggage and heads out from Juanda International airport to the bus terminal (Bungurasih Terminal). We took the taxi services which cost us RP60k for two person.  (Transportation down one way was quoted RP700k).
The driver dropped us not in the bus terminal but some where outside telling us there will be people grabbing us around in the station and he advised us to just wait beside the road and he will help to stop the bus for us. But this make us worried as we were travelled there just two of us (both girls).  After about 5-10 mins wait, there was a bus stopped by, we asked about Probolinggo. The conductor said yes and wantet asked me to ask how much, its only RP20k and while I was still hesitating, wantet asked me to aboard the bus as we should be rushing as we still need to take the mini van from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang. After got up the bus, we realized that this is a non-aircorn bus and the bus ticket, is our first map in hand in Indonesia. On the way to Probolinggo, we kept our eyes on the address from the shop pass by to ensure we went to the right directions. Maybe due to Ramadan, the conductor gave us free drink (cup of mineral water). Along the journey, there will be locals who will hop on the bus, selling drinks/snacks or singing. After 2 hours, the bus reached Probolinggo bus terminal and we asked around to get to the mini bus area (just need to walk out from the station and turn left, you will see a row of shops on your right, walk along the shops and you will be able to see some mini van). Indonesia time is 1 hour behind Singapore time, by the time we reached Probolinggo, it is about 6 plus and it was dark. We asked about where we can buy the local sim card (phone card) so that we can make a call to the hotel asking them to reserve the room for us as we will be late while we are waiting for other passengers. (the mini bus/bison will only go when there is 10 person/RP25k each or you paid RP250k to have immediate departure). The driver of the mini bus is so kind and drove me to the mini shop near by with a bike to purchase for the local phone card (RP5,000). After about 30 mins, there were still no other passengers (maybe due to the day is late), we decided to pay RP250k to have immediate departure so that we can rest earlier as we still need to wake up 3am IDT for the Sun Rise at mt Bromo. We reached the hotel Cemara Indah and checked in the standard room (RP450k) around 8.30pm IDT, after took a quick shower, we dozed off immediately after setting the alarm at 3am. (as what mentioned by others who visited the place, we stayed there just for the mt bromo view, the hotel room definitely not worth the value (serving cold breakfast/room with no heater/hot water is not consistent either too hot or too cold) except for the view. (there are three places with great view Cemara Indah Hotel, Lava View and Bromo Permai, all this 3 places just near the entrance gate to Mt.Bromo).
Forgot to mentioned, now is peak season, hence we get to book the shared jeep trip to mt Bromo which cost us RP125 per person.

From Surabaya to Cemoro Lawang

Rp (,000)
cab from airport to terminal
bus from Surabaya to Probolinggo
mini bus/bison from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang (we paid for immediate departure)
Hotel (1 standard room at Cemara Indah during peak season)
jeep to mt bromo (share)
Total (for 2 pax)

Bus Ticket from Surabaya to ProbolinggoSitting on a bamboo waiting area at Probolinggo

Stalls near mini bus waiting area at ProbolinggoMini Van from Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang

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