Friday, September 28, 2018

Ende - maumere city

*Ende :
  early morning trekking Kelimutu lake
  We woke up at 4am and our driver made our way there. Rushing as we woke up late but thankfully the sunrose at a later timing supposedly. Highly recommend this place. Easy trek up and fantastic scenery.
Its cold though. Especially if you want to stay up there for a long time to capture photos. The lake changes colors as the sun light hits it. So...there is really alot of scenery changes to capture. Love this place. Totally worthwhile!

Tanjung kajiwulu Hill
Love this breathtaking scenery too.
Few tourist. Clear skies. Golden hills.
Whats more to say.

Overnight at maumere City 
  Fly to Bali

Furthee up the road to ruteng and bajawa city

 Overnight at denge village

*early morning trekking to waerebo village
  overnight at Ruteng city
Waerebo village is a unesco heritage and deservingly so. Hidden among the hills and lots of ups it took us close to 4 hours of climb up. Reaching there the sight is breathtaking. Supposedly we are suppose to wait at the hut and have the elders come and pick us up as they have to indicate to their ancestors that we are visitors and not intruding - so we are protected and doesnt break the unity. We are then brought to a hut where a local communicates with an elder and does some translation for the above message. And we then wait for lunch which was a simple fare. Its a good thing that it isnt very touristy. Just eco tourism where you can roam around freely and just do what you want. One can choose to sleep in those warebos by reaching earlier and trekking up in noon. I think the sunset scenary there would be fantastic. Not sure if everyone is comfortable with the communal sleeping on mats though.

*Padang savana mausui
Untouched nature. If it wasnt blazing hot we would have took a climb /trek up slowly appreciating the birds and open fields.
It has a sort of serenity and innocence which was great for photo taking.
(Our driver took us up in the car but i believe not all drivers would because ermm lots of dust and uneven rocks -not v good for the tyres and didnt feel v safe either)

  Ogi waterfall
  Overnight at Bajawa city

*Bena traditional village

Mangaredu Hot-spring
Blue stone beach
We had a very good meal there. And price very affordable. Awesome place to chill for the day

  Overnight at Moni Village

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Ferry trip around komodo island

Whenever people talked about komodo island i always thought one will stay on an island filled with komodos. Okay
 So it was a misconception
 Its just one of the pit stops of a ferry trip. And ok one of the highlight for some

For us our friend made arrangements through recommendation by prior friends who visited the island.
The more people on the ferry the more worthwhile i would think.
It will set you back around 160usd to 300 usd per person. Depending on the kind of boat and amenities for a 2 day 1 night trip.
Other blogs have also mentioned that one can go to the harbor and ask around and get a good price. So then where is this harbor. Its beside the containers. Entrance is beside komodo cruises. You will see alot of boata parked there. Probably can ask around

 So here was our 2 day 1 night itinery 
Day 1*
- Kelor island ( trekking )
- Rinca island ( trekking and meet Komodo )
- Kalong island (Bats come out of mangroves in the evening )
*Day 2*
- Padar island ( trekking/best view )
- Pink beach (beach n snorkeling )
- Kanawa beach (snorkeling)

What i love most about this other than the serenity out at sea ( i think its a good place to bring someone you want to get close to because other than talk lots of the time spend out at sea is in silence. - oh yes back to the favs - i personally like the pink beach and the simple snorkeling. Few people and less touristy i felt. And for trekking padar island was splendid. However will be quite difficult for elder folks so the climb is quite a bit. But that said i saw many elder folks climb to the first tier scenery lookout which was also beautiful. Oh i also personally like kelor island because its also less touristy and it feels as though you have the whole place to yourself.

For the actual komodo island you see a few lazy komodo when you start the tour but after that none for us. So i was frustrated by that but well.. at least i saw the komodo i guess. ( previously in othet parts of indonesia i went to an animal safari but did not see any animals after driving for 3 hours that was hilarious frankly) and for this tour its max 5 to 1 guide. The guide is a must supposedly.

The highlight of the ferry trip would be the sunset and sunrise and the bats returning home in the evening :) 

Pricing wise. Local and foreigners has a huge price difference which well i guess is common in most places. 
Still manageable i guess. If one can afford the ferry trip....

Friday, September 21, 2018

Reached labuan bajo (land before a boat to komodo island)

From singapore i sat garuda indonesia (which frankly has awesome service) > singapore-jarkarta-labuan bajo.

About jarkarta airport. Pls note that all the yummt food is outside. Nothing much in the transit area. And for this flight you will need to go through customs then go to 2nd floor and go to sector f. Have signs and friendly immigration staff to guide you all the way.

Landing in labuan bajo on a small flight on a land of nowhere, its sums up the smallest of the island. And this place where you land at is a boat ride out to komodo island. Once you reach the exit of airport there will be taxi operators exclaiming taxi. The cost to the city is around 50000rupiah.

For our first 2 days, we decide to just chill on land.

First day
Passing by the roads it totally felt like phuket. Full of diving and tour operators that line the streets. And erm bars? And lots of foreigners? I didnt have a good feeling about the place. But thankfully it was not as bad as i thought it would be.
Checked into our accomodation beta bajo which had very good reviews. Very friendly staff too. Then we made our way to a cafe that had a fantastic atmosphere and view of the place. Love that place. And they had yummy food and drinks too.

For dinner within walking distance but supposedly famous Kampung Ujung - it is a culinary center of Labuan Bajo at night- identify it by the huge fire base they have in front of each store. There are about thirty food stalls that serve a variety of seafood, from grilled fish, squid and crab which you decide whether you have it stirred fried or fried or grilled. Price wise you kinda have to bargain around with the price. 

2nd day 
We hired a driver for one whole day and he brought us to cunca wulang waterfall whose highlight would be the 10m jump into the clear green blue waters below. It was a nice place to chill around and some good exercise but the view not very impressive i would say. Its a good place to have a picnic and chill though. Next we went to a village which was supposedly razed to ground in 2017. There was a friendly uncle explaining to us the story in indonesian. But as mentioned since it was razed to ground we were primarily looking at photos. I suggested him to have an eatery there so at least people can chill there haha. Then we made our way to batu cermin. The cave also abit of a disappointment but the scenery along the way of the leaves and trees were awesome accessories for photo shots. We had a lunch there and had a gigantic plate of batu cermin mee goreng. And gigantic it was. Quality rather than quantity. But i would say the gado gado was quite yummy.

Finally we made our way and dropped by love hill ( bukit cinta) which was the best place i visited for this town. I can stay there all day ( of course if the sun wasnt blazing). Breathtaking :) and its an easy climb.  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wuxi 无锡

Was in Shanghai and had the weekend free.  So I was fretting where else can I go since I've been to most places around Shanghai (eg  Suzhou  Hangzhou  etc)  and I didn't have that much time.
And someone recommended wuxi and yangzhou.  And I went online to research.  And haha.  There were more street food photos in wuxi.  So my decision was wuxi.
There are many frequent trains from Shanghai to wuxi so I took my time.  Made my way to the station and off I went.
*note for hostels foreigners can stay is limited mostly with the yha  logo.  For the rest it caters to mostly locals.  So I made my booking for 无锡徐霞国际青少年旅社.
From the speed Railway Station walk along with the rest of the locals then look for exit a then you will find bus 203 and stop at 梁青路 then walk straight around 15 minutes and it's inside the building beside 小岛佳苑. It's inside the compound all the way at the side.  Not inside the building.  (frankly it's location is convenient for one to get to the tourist places oh and it's near a mall but I find they aren't very helpful. But it could also be that I could speak Chinese. And erm  because I could speak Chinese they placed me with local Chinese students/workers who were there staying on long term so the desk was filled with their items. I am OK with it but not sure for the rest of you who have gone to better hostels. But overall reasonable value)

As usual food is the highlight of my every trip, determining eventually if i fall in the place or not.
 I made my way to the nanchang  bu xing  jie  南昌步行街 with high hopes in search of good street food.  was disappointed as they were no street food at all.  And Because the period that I was there temperature had suddenly dropped to icy temp and many shops were closed. But the good side of it was that I could take a quiet walk and just be reflective among the streets.  Same goes for huishan old town 惠山古镇. Thankfully however, I walked around the nearby streets and manage to find some good local street snacks.
The salted pork ribs, And this mei hua gao with sesame.

And the much raved about dumplings. Which hmm. I think was ok. 
With nothing much to do in town I went around the tourist places.  And decided to take the long ride bus to 灵山 ling  mountain to get a scenic worthwhile bus ride ( it was a flat fee at a public rate) 

And boy I was glad I went there.  Because it was at a higher elevation there.  The blossoms were in full view. Not interested in the statues I just went around taking photos of the blossoms.  And I spotted there was a tourist bus that was stopping by somewhere called 拈花弯古镇.(lingshan town nianhua  bay) 

 And that became the highlight of my trip.  And for this,  I would definitely make my way back there again!!  Nature.  Flowers.  Good food.  Cute baby monks that we use to see in those comedies. Love it! 
*note the ticket covers the trip to lingshan  then to nianhua  bay  then to one of the train station

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