Sunday, 20 July 2014

Finding adventures,

travel quotes adventures

Looking through my travel logs really triggered the nostalgia department, playing around with fonts and quotes seemed perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. This was taken on a domestic plane ride from Chicago towards Los Angeles, and flying over the Grand Canyon was an omega bonus. "Look outside, see what greets you." chimed my seat companion, a middle aged American businessman who went out of his way to bend forward in his seat to get me get a good glimpse. We had a good chat about the evolution of Singapore streets thereafter. It's these little moments like these that count ♥

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Bandung (Indonesia) part II,


Kawah Putih bandung

Continuing from my part I travelogue, which was updated pretty long ago...my apologies for neglecting this space as I've been extremely busy! Work has been catching up with me, but now that I've adapted to the working hours, I feel much settled to continuing my travel writings - something I've been longing to resume after my long hiatus during my final examinations.

Picking up from where I left off, Bandung has a cool climate which accounts for the springing up of strawberry farms around the hilly countrysides. Most farms allow walk-ins and visitors to do some strawberry picking straight from the gardens, complete with a pair of rugged scissors and a tacky looking basket. You get to choose the ripe ones and fill up your basket as much as possible, which will eventually be weighed when you make your exit. We paid about IDR50,000 for a kilogram of strawberries, but depending on where you get them....ours turned out to be really sour. Also spotted a row of field ploughers that looked pretty interesting.

bandung horses

bandung strawberry farm

bandung strawberry farm

bandung strawberry farm

Bandung strawberry farm

Row of ploughers

Bandung strawberry farm

Bandung strawberry farm

One of the places to have lunch in Bandung city that I would recommend would be Alas Daun, an unassuming restaurant that serves Sundanese food. I was pretty skeptical of the place at first, because of its unimpressive front and flies hovering all over the food; but the food was really good. The concept is also slightly different, and you go up to the counter to choose the raw items (i.e. seafood, meat, fish, vegetables) and specify the way you want it to be served (i.e. deep fried, barbequed). They also serve an array of side dishes, presented in pots lined with banana leaves. Admittedly, I was not very impressed with the amount of flies around, but we didn't have any case of tummy aches during this trip! They serve all meals with a basket of a variety of raw lemongrass and leafy vegetables.

We called for some barbequed fish, squid and mackerel otah, complete with rice and vegetables. The side dishes were excruciatingly spicy, that I must have suppressed the names of the items. Alas Daun can be found at Jl. Citarum No. 34 Cihapit Bandung Wetan Bandung Jawa Barat.

Alas daun

Alas daun

Alas daun

My mum had a few colleagues that visited Bandung, and they all recommended the Saung Angklung Udio cultural show - it was encompassed various facets of the Bandung culture, such as the Angklung (their national musical instrument) and snippets of their cultural dances and handicraft. The cultural center was established in 1996 by Udjo Ngalagena and his wife, and the surroundings is based on the traditional Sundanese lifestyle, with bamboo interiors and trees. There was also an interactive angklung playing workshop that followed, which was highly engaging....but I would give it a miss if you are not interested in such performances. It costs about IDR45,000 per person, and can be found at Jl. Padasuka No. 118 (Padasuka suburb).

Saung Angklung Udio cultural show

Saung Angklung Udio cultural show

Saung Angklung Udio cultural show

Deemed to be my sister's highlight of the trip was dinner at Kampung daun, an outdoor candlelight dining concept in the tranquility of the countryside. Dining in private huts was not only a refreshing experience, the surroundings capitalized on the nature around and the food was really good! A nasi goreng (fried rice) set costs about IDR30,000, complete with crackers, drink and many side dishes, while desserts costs about IDR8000. My sister had spaghetti bolognese for IDR29,000, and that was pretty good too. Dessert selection spans from sweet bean pancake to rice aballings.

Kampung daun

Kampung daun

Kampung daun dinner

Kampung daun

Kampung daun

Kawah putih volcano in Bandung is by far one of the most beautiful areas to visit, and is an estimated 3 hour drive from the city centre (dependent on traffic of course). It's manageable, especially if you plot pitstops along the way; there are many tea plantations and roadside stores that you may wish to stop enroute the trail.

Bandung fields

Bandung toilet

"No bird flies over the crater, the sulphuric vapour causes them to suffocate and die". And how true was that, if wasn't the fact for the visitors stepping foot into the vicinity, no wildlife exists in the perimeter of the volcano because of the high acidity. Kawah Putih can be loosely translated to be called the White crater, as it is a crater lake in one of the volcanic craters which make up Mountain Patuha - a composite volcano in Java. The volcano is said to be dormant, as seismological data was only picked up back in the year 1600. However, the lake is still bubbling with acid activity throughout the year.

Despite its origins, the lake is about 2430 meters above sea level, so the local temperature is pretty chilly at about 9 degree celsius (a sweater would be perfect) and it tends to be rather misty, giving it a mysterious aura. The acidity of the lake accounts for its bizzare colour, which ranges from blue to yellowish jade to even brown, entirely dependent on the concentration of sulphur or oxidation state. The rocks originated around the lake are hence bleached, and are often white. At the time when I visited (December period), the lake was a pretty pastel blend of clear turquoise blue and sulphur yellow - it looked almost perfect for a cocktail drink.

On the right lies a former sulphur mine, which has since ceased operations since its former glory days of being the Zwavel Ontgining Kawah Putih under the Dutch rule and Kawah Putih Kenzanka Yokoya Ciwidey under the Japanese rule. Do be cautious passing by the entrance of the mine, as the acidity of the vapour produced can be life threatening, and long contact should be avoided at all costs.

The surroundings are devoid of all wildlide, but Mount Patuha is heavily forested. There are paths and walking tracks which start at the bottom of the lake up to the peak of the mountain, and serve as ideal vantage points to view the area around. The smell of sulphur however, may be disturbing to some and bringing along a mask and umbrella may be good cautionary measures, many locals were seen armed with them.

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih

Kawah putih bandung

Kawah putih bandung

Kawah putih bandung

Kawah putih bandung

Kawah putih bandung sulphur mine

Kawah putih bandung

Kawah putih bandung

Kawah putih bandung

Heading back down through the misty fog before it started pouring cats and dogs.

Bandung fog

Kawah putih bandung

Leaves ceiling silouhette

Love free and easy trips like this where you can just wander about and enjoy what nature has to offer. Even though I've just started work, I'm definitely looking forward to my next adventure - ciao!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Square updates,


Hi everyone! A thousand apologies for neglecting this space for an extended period of time, it feels refreshing to have graduated from college and being thrown into the corporate world. Admittedly, I was rather nervous about starting work and (seemingly blindly) attempting to climb up the success ladder - but I guess it's really how you make it out to be. It's my third week of work and I daresay that my department has been nothing but helpful and inspiring, I cannot be more thankful ♥ While the looming review papers and exponential learning curve may seem daunting, the challenging prospects of applying organizational psychology to my field of work is really exciting and the learning opportunities given to a fresh graduate.

On the other hand, I'm also really thankful for the friends I've made over the years, R who has stayed by my side and encouraged me throughout, my family and loved ones - and last but least, God who has been faithful and gracious through these humbling 4 years of college. I can't say that it has been the most smooth sailing of years, but I can say that it has truly shaped me to the independent lady I am today.

For now, weekends are a perfect sojourn from weekdays (even though I bring my work home) and with R having the car, we get to explore the outer corners of the island which is something we always look forward to :) Last weekend I had to work on Saturday, but he spinned by to pick me up for tea at Wheeler's yard at Baleister and we brought Cathy to a dog cafe near Whampoa. And not to mention how we get to explore brunch places in the east, like Coastal settlement. Hope to update my travelogues soon, but for now here's an instagram square update from Wheeler's yard! ♥ 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

California girls,

Photobooth pictures

It's been a long (final) semester and I'm finally back from under my shell with some updates! College is out, and I'm currently keeping my fingers crossed and waiting for graduation. Hopped onto a plane heading for the U and the S to the A for special reunions - making Chicago my first stop to visit Karen. Met up with Ana to head down the California coast from Los Angeles to Santa barbara and San francisco, having the time of my life in California right now but I'm coming home soon, till then ciao! ♥

P.S. Probably have mastered the art of showering in a bathroom sink
P.P.S Took embarrassing photobooth pictures for the first time!

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