Posts by Maurina

I am a blogger from the sleepy and peaceful Brunei where nothing ever happens. Or so u think... The fundamental thing about Brunei is the fact that it is full of unexpected treasures. So while you are here, live by it. Expect the unexpected. :)

#tripofwonders Bandung, Jakarta & Goodbyes

What a fabulous morning yet what a bittersweet day. Today, is officially the last day of the trip of wonders and sadly, we’d have to say goodbye to participants of the trip as they make their way back to their countries or onwards to the next part of their journeys.

For us, our day starts in a bus.


Marul is so lucky to have sketches from our favourite Motulz (find him on IG – @motulz).


Our first stop of the day is Armor Kopi, an indie cafe, located within a national park.

So clever! They put a hipster cafe inside a national park, and made it a must go destination in Bandung hahahaaaa. Coffee is supergood! 

BTW in case u ever wonder how we get awesome photos, it’s at least half and hour of this:


After Armor Kopi, we went to the famous Dusun Bambu!

From the entrance, we go up to our restaurant on this floral car:


So cute!

Dusun Bambu is actually like a glamping area, and have seen it featured many times on articles shared on Facebook about places to visit before u dieπŸ˜‚ so happy I managed to visit!


After it was a tearfull goodbye, and we all made our way back to Jakarta.


Bought this cheeky banana for snacking on the bus!


Soon arrived at Jakarta and it’s the final goodbye.

Sad!

But believe it or not the group whatsapp is until today still beeping at least 40-100 notifications per day lah!

😍😍😍

Upon arrival in Jakarta, Marul and I decided yo hit the malls.

So no photos πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Until dinner time!


Made our way back to the hotel and omg we have to wake up in few hours.

Here we are at 3am:

Made our way to the airport via the free shuttle bus and checked in. TO OUR SURPRISE WE REALISED WE HAVE BEEN UPGRADED TO BUSINESS CLASS 😍😍😍😍😍

I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! 

I slept the whole way and tadaaaaaaaa sampai Brunei!!!!!!!!


The end of the #tripofwonders. Thank you so much to Tourism Indonesia who sponsored this trip. I had soooooo much fun and I am soooooo looking forward to to come back to Indonesia againnn especially to Lombok and Bandung!!!! Eeee suka!!! 

Thank you all for following my journey. 😍 I hope it was entertaining at thevery least. If you have any questions leave a comment. Have an awesome night!

#tripofwonders Off to Bandung!

Beautiful cloudy day today as we wake up in Hotel Santika, Banyuwangi.

Phew. Unfortunately this day I have a bit of a tummy upset and I keep on needing to use the toilet! 😫😫😫


Tummyache tapi still looking good haha.

Anyway, we were supposed to rush to the airport for a 730am flight – and we actually arrived in the airport at 725am πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Upon arrival to Bandung, all I wanted to do was to find a toilet. But the queue was super long and omg apparently we were supposed to find blue Alphards in front of the airport waiting for us???

So I was in the toilet and everyone was yelling MAURINAAAAA FIRSTAAAA FARAAAAHHH JESSICCAAASA (all the ladies names still in toilet) because the all the Blue Alphards was already waiting!!!!

Then we were looking for blue Alphards which turn out to be:

Angkut!


Beahahahahahaha.

We had to go on these Alphards as buses were not allowed at the entrance of the small airport haha. 


No safetybelt no door! All convenience. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Anyway, this brought us to our bus, and off we went to the lunch place. 

Me, at that time can’t stand the smell of food haha so I went straight to the hotel, Sheraton Bandung.

Hermit mode as I need to recover asap.


I am not exactly too sure why I have food poisoning also since I’m eating same food as everyone. I think I’m just allergic to exercise lah πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Sheraton Bandung took care of me and the next day I was feeling great and ready to visit Kawah Putih!

Kawah Putih is another crater lake, very near to the city of Bandung. 

Bus ride for 2 hours. Sleepytime.

Upon arrival we had to go up the mountain with this Angkut (Alphard) haha.

With Motulz an awesome sketch artist I met on this trip. 

The trip up is similar to Ijen, except this is by car haha.


Lucky people got their Photos taken by a professional haha. This is Edgar, @eazytraveller who is from the Phillipines. 

I find it amusing that they asked him in Bahasa Indonesia and he simply obliged and even said “lagi satu” to which they gave him another pose. Haha.

I suppose we are all children of ASEAN and we all somehow look similar.πŸ™‚

Anyway, from the above location, which is where our Angkut/Alphard dropped us off, it’s another 200m to get to the actual Kawah Putih – much like walking to a mall.


Must be the most accessible crater lake ever. So many people here. Mostly weekenders from Jakarta!

Btw if u want to visit Bandung, visit on a weekday cause omg human traffic, car traffic and traffic all around!


Bought these yummy and sweet strawbies   for about $2 πŸ˜‹ so cheap!


Leya bought cireng! Also so yummy.

😍😍😍

Then had lunch at Ciwidey Valley!


Lovely place 😍

After lunch headed back to Bandung. Tummies full, slept on the bus.

Then, woke up, still on the bus. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


Gosh! Traffic!


Enjoying traffic. Di Brunei nada. πŸ˜‚

Finally arrived at the hotel.


Needed some time to decompress near the pool! 

Then Marul texted and said lets have pizza πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


Yummy! 

Hahaha.


Ready for farewell  dinner😭 so sad! Tge programme is almost over.

Dinner is at Sierra, Bandung.


Awesome food, and awesome view!


Bandung night sky. After, it’s sleep time and tomorrow, people start saying goodbyes :((((((

#tripofwonders Conquering Ijen Crater & Baluran National Park

Ijen. 

I am completely ashamed to say, when I was packing in Brunei for this trip, I completely underestimated Ijen. 

We don’t know each other very well, we were not acquainted yet.

At 12am, I was suited and booted and ready.

New shoes bought specifically for Ijen. Blue for the blue flame.

At 12am we assembled inthe lobby. Masks were distributed. 


Why masks? The crater lake is reportedly one of the most acidic in the world – and that means terrible sulfuricbsmell that will pierce your eyes. 

Then comes the safety briefing.


This is when I realise OMG I’m not ready for this hahahah.

We filed into 4WDs and off we went. The journey took 1 hour over precarious dark roads but was very calm, cool and windy. 

Arrived! Ladies ready?

We were given face masks, but if you want to go down to the crater lake, you can rent better gas masks. I bought gloves though cause cold haha. 

The total hike is 3km. 2km is supposedly flat land, easy walking, and last 1km, is more of a climb.

I disagree.

Eventhough it is dark:


I can certainly confirm that the first 2 km is a 45 degree incline and the last 1km is maybe 50-55 degree climb! Only the last 50m is somewhat less flat.  

Half way up, there’s a lovely tuckshop.


Here I bought bananas and celebratory drink 😍

Kira aku cam confident lah nda lagi lama sampai. Haha.

The lady selling at the tuckshop said she’s there everyday and goes home every 10 days – what a life.

So onwards to the journey and everyone kept on saying flat land soon. Noooo its not flat hahaha. Just less steep!!!

My advice is just take it slow! And eventhough it’s so easy to just GIVE UP, I didn’t and so I continued up. 


Eventually u will get there and that feeling of achievement and accomplishment is something that you can never buy. 

Angkat tangannnn! 

With my “escorts” hahahaha. I think they were worried I’m gonna faint or something hahahah. Talked to them the whole way, asked about their lives, which part of Indonesia they were from, where their wives are from, what they do if not on this trip. Haha

Actually I love to hear about other people’s lives and love to ask questions. Apologies if u were ever in the mercy of mine hahahaa.


When we arrived, I had a choice of going down hill for 45 minutes to see the turquoise crater lake. 

By the time I arrived, there was already a queue at the entrance so I didn’t and chose to see the sunrise instead.


So amazing 😭😭😭

This is the moment when I realised: I’m on Mt Ijen. 

If I did go down, this is what I would’ve seen:

An amazing crater lake & Ijen’s signature blue flame.

Beautiful and turquoise.


Gosh.

This trek down is a precarious 45 minute descend which requires u to wear proper gas masks so be sure to rent them back at the base camp otherwise u can’t.

Anyway, as I sat down waiting for the sunrise, these are the things I saw and observed.


Sulphur miners were hard at work. And they carry up to 60kgs of sulphur daily down the mountain. Plenty of them overtook me on the way up (cause I’m so slow innit).

The sulphur is sold to agents who will in turn sell them in Surabaya.


As I was sitting and resting, Marul joined me and we made friends with these lovely ladies from the Netherlands.

Then sadly it was time to walk down.

When we went up, it was so dark so u can’t really see a thing. But on the way down, i realised that there were so many beautiful plants!

Spent so long just documenting and taking photos of them!

How is it that I didn’t see this big ass trunk on the way up??? This is why I’m so accident prone lah πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ 

So beautiful and never seen in Brunei. Hehe. I guess these are cold weather plants.

Also on the way down, saw another mountain beyond the clouds.


Looks so far.

Sulphur sovenirs were also for sale.  Unfortunately u have to hand carry them if u bought them as they’re not allowed in your luggage when u board the plane. 


Anyway, we went down and drive back to the hotel, showered, skipped breakfast and slept for an hour before checking out. 


Had lunch at this restaurant that overlooks Bali. Ravenous.

Also felt like my knees were made of jelly haha.

Then travelled on bus to a place called the Baluran National Park which made me feel like huh??? I’m in Africa????


Baluran is I feel so interesting. From the entrance we had to travel about 10km through an evergreen forest to get to this savannah. 

We saw deer, and the biggest buffaloes I’ve ever seen in my life!

Read more here.

Then left Baluran and checked into our hotel, Hotel Santika. Really beautiful and modern.πŸ™‚


At this point it was about 9pm – I remember I was just SO READY TO PENGSAN. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

But it was definitely one of the best days of my life! Slept with a big big smile on my face.

Hashtag #mountaineer! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Bye! 

#tripofwonders Gili to Bali to Banyuwangi in one day

Hi guys, I dunno how many times I can say this creatively πŸ˜‚ – today I woke up super early again cause we needed to gather by 5am in the lobby of Ombak Villa. OMG.


So early even the hotel staff were not awake to prepare breakfast yet πŸ˜‚

Anyway this was necessary because we had to catch a fast boat to: BALI!

From Ombak Villa we had to walk to Gili Harbour – a 15 minute walk away from the hotel, in a more local part of the island. I was happy cause I decided to wear my sneakers that day so walking was definitely no problem.

When we arrived turns out the water was on low tide and what that means: we all need to board the boat from shore! πŸ˜‚

So much for my sneakers!

So I had to take my sneakers off, chuck them in my bag, walk on the sand, into the cold morning water and climb precarious metal ladder to board a fast speedboat which was swaying at the mercy of the waves haha – bearing in mind it was so dark u can’t really see much.

Of course, as I climbed down these stairs to get to my seat, I slipped! Fell straight on my butt! πŸ˜‚


Recovered a little too quickly and had to explain it happens a lot (way too often).

Anyway, here we are all seated. Naturally I chose the front seat, a choice that I don’t know – is it smart? Is it?


Here are the things that happen after I sat, in chronological order:

  1. The trip organizers start distributing motion sickness pills
  2. I refused
  3. The boat started to move
  4. I tried to take photos of outside
  5. Failed cause boat too fast – camera not awesome enough.

  1. Boat swayed 
  2. Horror when realised the seas are choppy and rough 
  3. Its a 2 hour ride and it’s only first 5 mins
  4. Offered motion sickness pills again
  5. Did not refuse
  6. I ate 2
  7. Tried to sleep 

I napped for a while – and would’ve continued to if not for one thing: THE HEAT.

Wind was blowing so hard outside yet we cannot feel a thing! 

The boat was also apparently caught in a net so it had to stop in the middle of the open sea (Lombok Straits). 

I tell u it was like sitting on a rapidly swinging hammock.

It’s soooooooooo hot + dark.

That’s not all: it was also reeking of engine fuel. 

It was extremely uncomfortable.

So smart us (all of us sitting in front) thought hey, lets open the door – we opened the door. A gust of wind came and it felt so so goooooood. 

Napped again for maybe a good 20 minutes. Felt the boat moving again and it was so yummy with the wind UNTIL the waves started to get bigger and the seas became rougher!

We kept on getting splashed with seawater sure but ok nvm since we were hot. As I was napping, and trying to ignore my seasickness, I guess we ran over a particularly big wave and omg did I mention the door was open? A waterfall gushed over us and we were screaming and I am sitting in front and soaked wet till my panties.

At the moment I felt like I was witnessing a disaster movie hahaha. And i was actually thinking what I should do in case the boat capsizes πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

HAHAHAHAHAHAH. 

Anyway the scene happened again few times but eventually we arrived hahahahaahah- soaking wetas u can see. 

Travel tip: dont sit in front. If u do, use waterproof bag haha. 
Sunrise as we approach Bali.


Cool boats!

In Bali, caught a bus to the airport- Ngurah Rai International Airport.


Then a flight to Surabaya.


And another to Banyuwangi.


FINALLY IN BANYUWANGI!!!

Here’s the airport. 


It’s definitely a different scene than past few days of sea scapes.

Just few metres from airport: padi field.


Had a delicious lunch at Ikan Bakar Pesona.


Then checked into the hotel – Ketapang Indah! 

Welcome to my house!


And as u can imagine, I showered cause remember I was soaked till my panties with sea water from the Lombok Straits???

Then skipped dinner and slept!!!!!! Cause the next day is even more hectic. 

Stay tuned.

#TripofWonders Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Ombak Sunset

I am so charmed by this island. 


Woke up early today, and sans makeup went off for breakfast. Shared sunblock with these gentlemen because we are today going off for SNORKELING!!!! 

Yes we were ready! Bought the waterproof casing, bikini on, snorkel ready, and I was ready for action!

A boat will be taking us to the snorkel spots. There’s a few really lovely spots near Gili Air.

Off we go!

Here’s the funny story. Remember I said I bought an underwater casing?


Moments after taking the above photo our guide yelled TURTLE!!!!! So I quickly rushed towards him and saw whee he was pointing the loveliest turtle! 😭😭 I love turtles! 

I held my phone (in the underwater casing) in place and lo and behold, I couldn’t take a photo cause MY PHONE CANNOT DETECT MY TOUCH UNDERWATER.

Why why why why why?????????????

Here is the turtle, however as captured by Edgar who is part of the group.


Check out his ig!

Anyway, Gili has quite nice snorkel spots and fishies. 😍 I was really impressed- so beautiful. 

After snorkeling, we were brought to Gili Air and lunch was at Scallywags!


I was a bit seasick after the boat trip so was definitely feeling glad I was back on dry land.


I even ordered a brownie! Nice too!

Then it was lunch time!!!!

Caesar Salad πŸ˜‚ and a burger! #heavylunch

Then it was time to leave 😭😭

 
Back on the boat again. Wanna relax some morre!!!


Haha konon.

Then what did we do?  Upon arrival back to Villa Ombak, we freshened up in the room and agreed to meet at 4pm for sunset.


Fresh and ready!


This is what my villa looks like btw.

Some sights of Gili Trawangan that afternoon.

But our ultimate destination isssss the sunset point near Excile Bar!


Me love!!!


Got tattoo from Uchiet a fabulous local lifestyle blogger.

Walked further down and saw this place. So creepy. Selling death themed stuff.


And finally we reached another sunset point.


Love it. Last sunset at Gili Trawangan and I will most definitely miss it so much! 😍

At night I pampered myself with a spa package.


Fresh and ready for a super gruelling day ahead!

#TripofWonders Lombok and Gili

When I woke up this morning at Golden Tulip Mataram, I was greeted with an AMAZING view of Lombok.


Oh my goodness so beautiful. Unfortunately it was a rush, so I had to hurry between packing, putting on my face, getting dressed, taking photos. Omg!

Thankfully I still had time to eat breakfast. πŸ˜‹


Got on the bus super early too! 


Marul drove!

Our first destination was: Sasak Sade Traditional Village.


We were greeted with a gift of woven scarves and very expressive traditional dances.

  • Tarian Gendang Belek/Big Drum Dance – Welcome Dance
  • Petuk Dance – Common performed by boys before circumcision 
  • Perisaian Dance – To celebrate Indonesia Independance Day and to appoint a warrior (if I’m not mistaken)
  • Amak Tempengus Dance – another Welcome Dance

This was followed by a tour around Sasak Sade.

The 

Our guide mentioned that Fauziah Latiff came to Sasak Sade recently πŸ˜‚ Our guide also kept on making kidnapping jokes which I didn’t really get at first until someone told me that it’s a wedding custom here haha. U kidnap a girl that u want to marry!

Some more scenes from the village.


However, the nost memorable is this one:


This mossy green paste she is polishing the floors with is COW DUNG. 😫 it keeps her house free of mosquitos. Nyamuk oun nda sanggup.

Leaving the Sasak Sade behind, went back on the bus to Taliwang for lunch!


Freaking SPICY Ayam goreng Taliwang is a special culinary identity of Lombok! 😫πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ Can’t taste anything else!

Back on the bus and now shopping time! Sasaku is a one stop souvenir shopping here in Lombok.


From there we drove for maybe 45 minutes on the bus to Teluk Kodek to catch a fast boat to Gili. 


😍😍😍

Boarded and rode for 15-20 minutes.


WE HAVE LANDED IN GILI!!!!!


Had a welcome drink too! A drink attached to wooden woman no less.


Checked into the lovely Villa Ombak, rested a bit and soon, it was dinner time!

Dinner was at Scallywags and we enjoyed a salad bar and BBQ dinner! 




So full after so I jalan jalan.


Lapas atu aku tidur and didn’t join any parties. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ ESUK SAJA PASAL KALAT MATA!!! 

#tripofwonders Leaving Makassar and Off to Lombok

It’s a long day of travelling today but we started relatively late at 945am with a baggage drop.


Here are all my bags. Hahahaha. 

First destination was Fort Rotterdam. It has an interesting history where it was actually a fort which was originally part of the Gowa Kingdom, then the Dutch came to colonise Sulawesi and made themselves right at home.

This wall below was part of the Gowa, if I remembered correctly.

As mentioned, I myself am not such a big fan of Dutch architecture- they’re bulky and I always feel do not allow a lot of light into a space. A bit zzzzzzzz haha, however, somehow the buildings in the fort really made me feel that old world charm.


Cute windows.

Also, I went in to the La Galigo Museum. 


After the Fort, we were treated to a culinary delight, Es Pisang Ijo.


Yummy!! Recipes I found online smashed any dreams of making my own. Looks so difficult haha. May as well fly again to Makassar lah!

The table also ordered Kroket, Jalangkote and Lumpia. 😍

Then other food start coming in and I was soon lulled into a food coma.


Then, I realised that I have all these nice food photos but NO INTERNET?!!! What is the use?

So we went to a Toko and bought pulsa! So interesting the shop!


Kenyang + Internet + panas = cranky πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


But finally at the airport it was time to leave Makassar! 


Thank u so much for the hospitality!


Then arrived in Jakarta, ran to another gate and caught another plane to Lombok.

An hour drive later, we arrived at Golden Tulip Mataram.

Ordered room service and now I am ready to sleep! 😍😍😍