Showing posts with label traveling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label traveling. Show all posts

Postcards from Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

Welcome back and hope you all have a great break after Lebaran Day.

For me, it's straight back to work at the Embassy and I even had a sudden assignment to Indonesia, supporting the 42nd ASEAN Summit at Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara. 

Cheers from me and mini-me at ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting

I have to say I am totally blessed with this opportunity to see this amazing part of Indonesia while getting a rewarding experience of an international conference with the team from my office.

morning jog at Marina Komodo, Labuan Bajo. East Nusa Tenggara

This is not my first visit to East Nusa Tenggara province, as I have visited Kupang, the capital of the province, and Atambua, the city bordering with Timor-Leste, before. Nevertheless, I was so excited to come and visit Labuan Bajo, which is famously known for its spectacular landscapes, amazing underwater world, unique cultures and traditions, as well as friendly, warm-hearted people. I bet you have heard of Komodo, Pink Beach, Padar and Rinca Island, Manta point diving site, and more! Those are some of the amazing spots in Labuan Bajo.

one of the traditional boats near the marina

So, before I share more stories, let's enjoy some photos I took during my stay in Labuan Bajo.

Let's say, some postcards from Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

busy Marina at Labuan Bajo

Pink beach, babe...

morning jog at Labuan Bajo

dancing with the manta at Makassar Reef, Labuan Bajo

Pink beach in one fine afternoon

saying hi to one female Komodo at Komodo Island

taking picture with the Komodo from the safe distance

Nanti saya akan ceritakan keseruannya saat berada di Labuan Bajo dengan segala aktivitas dan tempat - tempat yang luar buasa untuk dikunjungi.

See you on the next post!

Enjoying Bula and Aki Mata at Trader Jacks Bar & Grills, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Trader Jacks Bar & Grills, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Welcome to Trader Jacks Bar & Grills, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

I haven't really shared my great adventures in Rarotonga, the capital city of Cook Islands here in my blog. Although the visit was done in May 2022, but I guess the stories and memories stay for a lifetime.

We were there for 5 days on the occasion of Ambassador Fientje Suebu's presentation of Letter of Credence to the Queen's Representatives. We stayed in the Edgewater Resort and Spa and it's a lovely villa indeed that we got there. The villa can accommodate the 7 of us and  and it's complete with living room, kitchen, dining room, terrace and even washing machine. Not to forget, the direct access to the beach! Heaven indeed! I will share more details on the next post. 

Waka at rader Jacks Bar & Grills, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
ready to cruise with this Waka?

During this stay, we had series of meetings as well as the opportunity to browse and scroll around the island.

rader Jacks Bar & Grills, Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Welcome to Trader Jacks & Grills, Rarotonga

In one of the occasions, we stopped at Trader Jacks Bar and Grills in Avarua district, Rarotonga. This is really a lovely restaurant with great food, lovely vibe and amazing view of the ocean!

one corner at Trader Jacks

We came here for lunch and really enjoy the food here. Although at that time it was a bit cloudy, we saw the waka or traditional boat ready to sail. I feel like jumping here and joining them! You can see how wonderful this traditional boat is. Here we ordered the fish & chips, onion rings, Bula Fiji style curry complete with rice and roti, the catch of the day, and of course Ika Mata, the traditional Cook Islanders dish made of fish. So ika mata is basically fresh tuna soaked in lime juice and coconut milk, adorned with capsicum and spring onion. I really love it for sure!

I also enjoyed my Bula, Fiji style fish curry. One big, complete tray I have here with the roti, steamed rice, fish curry, yogurt and tomato dipping, plus fresh chili. Yummy and very fulfilling.

Not to forget, I also love their home-made sauce! The ones with mango and coconut chili sauce is so good! They also have pizzas and burgers and more choices as well.
The service is good and staff is friendly. We chatted a lot with some of them, asking about the area as well as the food and beverages being served there.

It is also a bar and it is very strategically located. I guess that is why it is becoming one of the favorite hang out spots. I saw many people waiting for their drinks while enjoying the breeze by the sea.

We stopped by twice during our short stay in the island as we really enjoyed the food and drink here. Price wise, it is also friendly and pretty standard. So, what do you think? Like this place as well like me? Hopefully so. Highly recommended indeed if you do come to Cook Islands!

WW: Catching Sunset at Sky View Walkway, Karori, New Zealand

I won't be saying too much here.

Let's just enjoy some of the photos I took while catching sunset at Sky View Walkway, Karori, New Zealand.


As you know, the walkway is pretty close to my house and we basically walked every 2 days around this area, especially since we still have long days and some sunshine. The hills, the path, the win turbines, the sky.. everything is just in perfect balance.  Wellington is indeed a pretty little capital when the sun is shining!

So, what do you think? Is the sunset gorgeous? It is, isn't it? Join us on (almost) Wordless Wednesday and have fun with the link party.

WW: Visiting Napier, New Zealand - the Art Deco Haven

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Let's continue our trip around New Zealand!

This time, I have the opportunity to enjoy Napier, Hastings and Hawke's Bay, three lovely cities in the region of Hawke's Bay, at the North Island.

The Daily Telegraph Office

It takes us around 5 hours drive from Wellington to reach this area. We passed Palmerston North and the wind farm of  Te Apiti. We saw lots of wind turbines and stopped for a while.

Welcome to Te Apiti Wind Farm

We went through this wonderful, quaint city in the coastal area of Hawke’s Bay, famous for its rich soil, wonderful beaches and agriculture fresh produce. Plus unique art deco dominating architectures in many parts of the city. Truly a lovely place to visit.
one corner at the city center

We have series of meetings with Indonesian community here who will be hosting Batik workshop and fashion show in April. We briefly visited the Creative Art Napier which will be the venue of the workshop. We had dinner at Restaurant Indonesia, one of the oldest restaurant in town, with homey decoration and fantastic, authentic Indonesian food. After a while, I enjoyed nasi bakar komplit, with sayur asem, ayam goreng, ikan jambal roti and sambal, plus pepes kakap and wedang ronde. Heaven!

beautiful snapper pepes! Super yum...

our lavish dinner

Restaurant Indonesia from outside

We also met the Mayor as well as the local business. Although we haven’t really got time to explore the city and its lovely corners, but we managed to stop here and there. We got a tour in the District Council and the Opera House as well. I really have to share more in details in the next posts! 

For now, here are some photos we took along the way. Enjoy!

one mural in the city center

Napier Road

St. Columba Church

Join us on (almost) Wordless Wednesday and have fun with link party.

WW: Rimutaka Crossing Outlook, Wairarapa, New Zealand

Ready to explore Wellington more with us? 

We spent one lovely weekend to stop by at Rimutaka Crossing, Wairarapa, New Zealand

Summer is on and we really are so excited to see more of this country. Rimutaka Crossing is a historical spot where the march of New Zealand Expenditionary Force infantry took place in 1915 - 1918, during the First World War. The military training camp was located in the nearby town called Featherston. Some place we can explore further as well.

As it is situated in the hilly parts of the area, it has amazing view as well.

It took us around one hour drive to reach this place from our home in Karori and since the day was nice and bright, we had a great walk. Once we arrived here, We parked our car and strolled around the area. We walked up along the path and we could tell that the paths have different routes and levels, some are long and quite strenuous. We took the short one and just had a brief climb to get a better view.

I love to see all these flowers

The path is not that difficult, so you can still walk around with the kids, although you are of course welcome to walk further across the hills. The path we took was not too steep but best to wear your comfortable shoes and the proper clothes that would be fit for the weather. We were lucky it was not that windy when we were out there.

I really enjoy the clean air, blue sky, beautiful flowers and some native plants we saw during our walk. The plants remind me of those in the dry or dessert areas. If we were lucky, we could meet a wallaby, a marsupial which is normally seen in the area. 

We definitely take a some pictures as you see above and I wish I brought my action camera to get more footage and photos. 

But we can always come back here next time, as it's located in the famous SH 2 highway taking us to various towns and spots in the area, including Greytown, Martinborough, Casterton and more. My husband and I have put quite a long list of places we plan to explore in North Island, including the one in Wairarapa region, where all these towns are mostly located. 

Some flowers are so pretty

I sincerely hope all is well and the pandemic is way more manageable in the future. Meanwhile, stay safe, happy and healthy, wherever you are.

Join us on (almost) Wordless Wednesday and have fun with link party!

WW: Enjoying sunrise at Pinggan Village, Kintamani, Bali

Enjoying sunrise at Pinggan Village, Kintamani, Bali

Love watching sunrise?

That makes the two of us then!

On my last trip to Bali, I managed to visit Kintamani, one of the mountainous and hilly parts of Bali, and spent a night there. We chased the sunrise at one of the famous spots in Kintamani called Pohon Cinta or the tree of love, located near Desa Pinggan or Pinggan Village. 

the view that morning

Here are some photos I took, together with some friends from Jakarta and Bali Local Guides. We took turn to take pictures one by one while enjoying the lovely sunrise and watching the village beautifully  engulfed by the mist.

I have to say I fell in love instantly and really hope I can go back here again. It is quite far from Nusa Dua, Bali, though. It took me around 4 hours drive to reach Kintamani. But for sure, it's worth it. And we woke up at 3.30, took the short drive to the spot, stopped for a while at the local mosque and continued the trip until we reached the place.

one misty morning

happy me :)

still misty morning indeed

Join us in (almost) Wordless Wednesday and have fun with the link party

Floridita Restaurant and Bar, Havana, Cuba - Home of Daiquiri

Shall we continue our fun, virtual trip to Havana, Cuba? 

Come and join me here and let's go to Floridita Restaurant and Bar, Havana, Cuba - Home of Daiquiri! 

Maybe many of you have been to Havana, Cuba before and stopped by at this lovely place as well. But some are probably not yet have the chance to come and visit, or even tried Daiquiri before.

Mungkin ada teman - teman yang sudah pernah mampir ke kota Havana, Kuba, sebelumnya. Biasanya, kalau berkesempatan mampir ke Havana, banyak yang mampir ke restoran dan bar yang terkenal karena minuman khas yang diciptakan di sini, Daiquiri. Tapi kalau belum pernah, atau juga belum tahu apa itu Daiquiri, mari kita simak ceritanya di sini.

Floridita Restaurant and Bar, Havana, Cuba

To those who had a chance to come and visit Havana, they might be strongly advise to visit Floridita Restaurant & Bar. Not only that it is uniquely known as the original home of Daiquiri, but also because Ernest Hemingway, one of the famous American novelists, who spent his life for around 10 years in Cuba, was a regular here. This restaurant is being well-known as one of his favorite hangouts, it has his life - size bronze statue on Hemingway’s corner. 

But besides that, the interior design of the restaurant is also beautiful. Its classic murals depicting incredible view of Cuba as well as elegant upholstery and accents make you feel comfortable dining or hanging around here. Not to mention delicious food they serve here, along with the refreshments.

When we first passed this lovely pink restaurant, my dear friend Erma and I just started our walking tour + salsa class session. That was on the second day of our visit to Havana, Cuba. As our tour already included lunch in the local restaurant, we planned to come back here again on the next day. As it is situated in a popular area of Obispo calle, you will see many antique cars in various make, colors and types. Interesting to watch indeed.

When we first passed this lovely pink restaurant, my dear friend Erma and I just started our walking tour + salsa class session. That was on the second day of our visit to Havana, Cuba. As our tour already included lunch in the local restaurant, we planned to come back here again on the next day. Besides, we had to walk around the old square or Plaza Vieja, and there are so many things we had in our itinerary, including having salsa dancing class. Yeaaah! 

As it is situated in a popular area of Obispo calle, you will see many antique cars in various make, colors and types. Interesting to watch indeed. Before I share more, let’s enjoy some of these photos first.

Floridita is also known as ‘la cuna del daiquiri’ or the cradle of Daiquiri. Here’s the famous bar, initially open back in 1817. It was used to be called La Piña de Plata and still famous till now. As you can see in the photos below, the bar is very vibrant indeed. The bartenders and the waitresses are very friendly indeed! The statue of Ernest Hemingway is located in one of the corners near the bar. It was a long queue when I tried to get there so I didn’t really go near.

Busy bar.. this is before the pandemic, though

When we came here for our late lunch (I was super hungry at that time), after visiting Santa Maria Del Mare beach and Musee de la Revolucion, this place was packed, especially the bar. Well, we came here before the pandemic so you can imagine many tourists were flocking at the same time.

As you can see, the bar is very festive! Big mural in the background showing pictures of sceneries from the past, with majestic ship sailing in the bay. It was busy and vibrant, with a lot of happy chatters and giggles when we arrived. Some were even dancing to the music being played in the background. Again, the waitresses were very bubbly and smiley. 

The cradle of the Daiquiri

At one corner, you can see a special stand selling merchandise of this famous restaurant, like t-shirts, aprons, glasses, mugs, ashtray and more. Perfect for those collecting memorabilias.

As for the dining room, as I mentioned above, you will be transported back to the golden era of the 40's and the 50's. Big round tables with comfy chairs for family or group as well as table for two are available. 

the ambience of the restaurant

the busy bar seen from the dining room

the menu... noce the Gran Plate Hemingway? His favorite!

it has soups and entries as well


How about the famous Daiquiri?
Let’s see how it looks!
Looking fresh indeed right.. no wonder this is one of the all-time favorite beverages of the Cubans and many others. With hot and humid weather Cuba, this drink will be perfect.


Daiquiri itself is originally a cocktail, composed of rum, lime juice (or any fresh juice.. and I chose strawberries. Super fresh!) and super fine sugar. As it originally has alcohol on it, good thing is you can still order the ‘virgin’ one or the one without the alcohol. That’s what I got here 💜.

The original Daiquiri (the white one) and the virgin one 

Of course besides Daiquiri, they have other choices of  food and beverages as well. Don’t worry.. they also have many non-alcoholic drinks for us to choose, like soft drinks, juice and shakes. 


Can you guess what we ordered?  For sure I ordered the soup and I chose the Sopa Noche de Paris. Soup of the night in Paris! Sounds very intriguing right. It is basically broth with onion, cheese and baguette on the side.

delicious salad with fresh dressing and veggies

For sure, Erma and I really enjoyed our food and drink after spending some times on the beach and in the museum. As we walked out, we joined other visitors who were dancing in circles. What a day indeed!

Well that was one fine afternoon we had in Havana, Cuba. Enjoying fine dining in such a vibrant and historical place surely becomes one of my unforgettable experience. As we continued walking around the area, we found more attractive alleys and friendly people. 

And the story is to be continued..