A Travellerspoint blog

CHIJMES - nice dinner outdoors

overcast 29 °C

Last night I had dinner with James and Elaine. They asked me to meet up at a place called CHIJMES - apparently it's just across my hotel. And the place is very nice. It used to be a monastery, but now the rooms have become restaurants, cafes and shops. The garden inside is a very nice place to sit and have dinner while enjoying the outdoors.

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We met up at 7:30pm at Hogs Breathe Cafe, having some snack while chatting. Then we walked along to find a place for dinner. We ate at a Brazilian restaurant called CARNIVORE. It's interesting - how they serve the food. Two chefs come in turns with different kinds of meat sticked with a metal bar(?) like kebab and ask if we'd like that. If so they would slice it to our plates.

After stuffing ourselves and walking to leave the place, James reminded me that it used to be praying halls - it made me imagine what it was like back then. The main hall of CHIJMES is now used for events such as weddings etc. We took a look at it. It's beautiful but spooky (in my opinion). I asked them if it was haunted. Maybe.

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Posted by zags 06:58 Archived in Singapore Comments (0)

Singapore

semi-overcast

Left Jakarta last Sunday. At the airport got a new acquaintance, a guy working for Pfizer who was also flying solo to Singapore. We spent waiting time chatting. He got news from his colleagues who arrived earlier that 2 of the 3 of them were taken to the Immigration office - the 3rd one who was 'safe' happens to be of Chinese ethnic - what was going on? We arranged to meet at Changi after landing and got in the immigration line together. He was almost certain that he was going to be questioned as his colleagues was. But he was not - what a relief. Then we exchanged money, reconfirm our flight back, and said good bye - went our separate ways.

Posted by zags 18:46 Archived in Singapore Tagged business_travel Comments (0)

Like vacation

It was kind of sudden. I went to join Didi for the weekend. After an hour of waiting for the check-in counter to open, I found that all Air Asia flights were delayed. There was even a flight to Batam which was supposed to leave at 3pm that was delayed to 9pm. My flight was supposed to be on 8.40pm but it was delayed to 11pm! It's a boring place, the terminal for cheap flights, so maybe I shouldn't complain? There wasn't even a book shop there. Only a few snack shops and, strangely, a T-shirt shop. They would be closed before we board and the terminal would become even dimmer.

Luckily my cousin, aunt & uncle who live not far from the airport were so kind they picked me up after I checked in for the flight to their house. They even opened their doors for my new acquaintance. We had dinner and spent time chatting. At 10pm my cousin & her husband drove us back to the airport.

We arrived at around 2am. There is no airport shuttle from Le Meridien hotel :( so we had to pay to use the hotel car & driver to pick me up. We arrived at the hotel at 3am. I was very tired and sleepy.

Day 1

Got up late and had breakfast just before the breakfast time was over. I could see the temple of Tanah Lot from my table but I couldn't get a good angle for a photo because I didn't have a zoom lens. After breakfast and shower, I just couldn't believe that Didi got a call from his office and he had to work! He was supposed to be on days off. So worked on some presentation slides (yuck) and I went around the swimming pool that has curves and slides, then went around the back of the hotel.

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Later we had to check out and paid for a car & a driver from the hotel to take us to our next accommodation in Kuta beach. Alam Kul Kul is a nice boutique hotel. It's like a garden with rooms and villas closed to each other. There is a swimming pool and a "garden" pool. The soap bars were jasmine-scented, which I loved. So were the shampoo & conditioner. And we got a complimentary body moisturiser placed on a couple of small basins made of banana leaf - also jasmine-scented. I loved it!

Starving, we walked to find something to eat. We had a very late lunch at a "contradictive" restaurant called "Ketumbar". It's a name of a kind of Indonesian spices, but they serve Italian food, which I think is not spicy at all.

Later in the afternoon we went to the beach watching people surfing and the sunset. I found something familiar: a red flag saying "no swimming in this area" with a skeleton (check out Lonely Planet's BLUE LIST p.32).

In the evening, believe it or not, Didi flew back to Jakarta for an important thing the next day. After dropping him at the airport by taxi, I met up with Aswin at Bali Discovery. He picked me up and we drove on the bike for dinner at a reasonable price: where locals eat. It had been a long time since the last time I rode a bike, so it was fun. He drove me back to the hotel after dinner, and picked me up again at 11 pm. We went to Hard Rock Cafe to see one of a nice jazz group perfomed, Maliq & d'Essentials. It was fun.

Day 2

Aswin's supposed to join me for breakfast (after all I had a coupon for 2) but he didn't wake up and answer my sms until it was late. I had breakfast then exercise by myself on my room's balcony, getting sweaty, taking a break, then having shower. By then it was already too hot to go out so I just relaxed in my room watching TV until I got starved. Aswin came and picked me up again. Dropped off some laundry on the way and had lunch.

Late afternoon he was supposed to pick me up with a rental car, but something came up and he didn't make it. So I went alone. Took a taxi and went to Uluwatu. I was just there for half an hour enjoying the view from the cliff to the ocean and taking a few photos.

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Beside the cliff, the monkeys are interesting subjects. A monkey jumped on the head of a tourist, who then couldn't stop screaming while it stayed on her head.

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Didi arrived past midnight. I was awaken by the ring on my phone, opened the door for him, and fell into a deep sleep again.

Day 3

It was like the first day he could be on vacation. He wanted to go somewhere. After doing silly things like having temporary tattoos and 4 braids on my hair, we got a rental car and went North to Gunung Kawi Temple in Tampaksiring. It was located in a rice field area, with many stairs down to reach the site. Rock cliffs are carved to form a temple. It was my first time there and I think it's a creepy place.

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Somehow we met a couple who offered to take our photo for us in return for us to take their photo for them. So here it is:

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From there we drove South past Kuta to Uluwatu to watch the Kecak Dance performed when the sun was setting. It was like magic.

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When the dance finished it was already dark. We left Uluwatu and drove back to Kuta and had dinner. Then we came to see Aswin at Harris Resort and watch the live performance of a music group called Saharadja. Their music is unique and interesting. Sometimes it's jazz, sometimes it's ethnic.

Day 4

As planned the night before, we came to Harris Resort again to learn to surf. After some theory and paddling practice in the pool, we went to the sea. It was fun!

Day 5

Breakfast, went to the beach, went swimming, packed and went to the airport. :( Vacation was over. I went back with dark and burned skin, but I was happy.

Posted by zags 21:03 Archived in Indonesia Comments (1)

Bali

semi-overcast 29 °C

Just arrived in Bali late this afternoon
now am leaving Tanah Lot for dinner.

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In bali but didn't feel like bali.
Spent the whole next day on "team building" program with colleagues and bosses... :-|

After team building was over I was so starving my room mate and I ate lunch in our room silently - each busy with our own lunch. It was good! Nasi Wardhani - yummy... After that: shower, packing.. Some went out for some shopping, but since I was leaving I stayed for a while longer at the hotel before heading to the airport. And off I flew back to Jakarta. Later I heard stories from colleagues who spent another night and day there visiting places with the boss...

Ah.

Posted by zags 03:35 Archived in Indonesia Tagged business_travel Comments (0)

World of Ghibli

overcast 12 °C

On the day of our last trip to Kamakura and Yokohama, Ken said he wanted to go to Ghibli Museum with us. I went back to Utsunomiya with my sister, put down my backpack (what a relief!) and relaxed for a few days after the long trip from Tokyo to Fujigoko to Kansai region (Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya) back to Kanto around Tokyo, Yokohama and Kamakura. We finally set our time to visit Ghibli Museum. Beside Ken, there was someone who was willing to go with us - Toshi, whom I know from an online travel community. He lives near the museum so he'd like to meet up with me.

So I contacted Ken and Toshi and let them know about our plan. On the night before we went, we bought the ticket at a Lawson convenient store for the 4 of us. Too bad Hide wouldn't be able go with us to Ghibli Museum.

November 24, 2005

My sister and I took a pretty long train ride from Utsunomiya to Tokyo and then to Mitaka. We met up with Ken at the station, and took the cute Ghibli bus to the museum. There was a long line, and Toshi was there.

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Totoro in ticket box :)

The museum was like a nice home. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos. There's one room where they display things "animation", another room full with sketches and drawings from Studio Ghibli works, another is a book store about Ghibli animations, another is a souvenir shop with Ghibli merchandise including soundtrack CDs and books of music parts, and so on. I wish I wasn't on a tight budget (or I wish Japan was not so expensive)...

The cute one is NEKO-BUS! Maybe it's the real size of "real" neko-bus as Hayao Miyazaki imagined. Unfortunately I couldn't take a photo of those children playing on and inside the "makkurokurosuke"-filled Neko-bus! (Note: Neko-bus and Makkurokurosuke are characters from "My Neighbor Totoro".) We also climbed upstairs outside to the top of the building where it's decorated like the situation on Laputa.

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With Laputa robot :)

It's getting very late in the afternoon. Outside the museum is Inokashira Park. I wish we could take a stroll for a while but it was getting cold. The 4 of us took a Ghibli bus to the station, and found a small cafe to warm ourselves and have some chat. After that we said goodbye to Toshi, and the 3 of us took a train back to Tokyo. Ken got off at a station somewhere (I can't remember) and I knew that was it - I don't know when I would see him again. It could be the last time we saw each other. We'd had fun together, he'd been very nice to us and we had spent good times with him exploring some parts of Yokohama, riding to Tokyo, going on day trips to Kamakura and Mitaka. I hope to have fun with him again some day.

Posted by zags 00:17 Archived in Japan Comments (0)

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