Saturday, April 24, 2010

Visiting Kota Lama, Malang, East Java

Last week I had 3 days off from work to visit one of my colleague in Kota Lama, Malang.
His mother was passed away a week before.
I went there with 3 of my friends to say our condolence, and would stay there for 3 days.

We took the last flight from Jakarta and arrived in Malang at 4 PM. The flight took approximately 1 and a half hours.
Abdul Rachman Saleh is the name of Malang's airport. It's just a small airport which located within the Malang air force army area.
After we have our luggages, we booked the airport taxi.

The taxi fare to the Old Town is only Rp 75,000. In a way we could stop at Gundhul, which is Malang Meatballs restaurant. The taste of the meatballs was very great, delicioso........ no wonder this place is crowded by it's customers.
After finished our meatballs, we continued our journey towards Kota Lama. We arrived at 'the funeral home' at dusk.

After we met with our friend and gave our condolence, we decided to find a hotel, and anyway it was a little late.

Fortunately there are several hotels in Kota Lama area, we simply walked a few hundred meters, and found a pretty good hotel. So we decided to stay here.
The room rates per night for a VIP room for only Rp. 200,000, with facilities: air conditioners, hot water for shower, TV and breakfast.

After resting, we walked around the Kota Lama and looking for some dinner. There is a very famous temple in Kota Lama, which is named Eng An Kiong.

We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant not far from the temple. Although it's a small restaurant, but the food taste is very delicious.
So the next day we decided to do a culinary tour in this city.

The next morning, we went to our friend's house to escort him to the crematorium. The location is quite far from Kota Lama, because it is located in Batu tourist area (approximately 1 hour drive).

The weather was very cool with very beautiful scenery.

At noon we were invited to eat at a restaurant called Gang DJangkrik. As you might expect, taste of food in this restaurant is also very delicious (the price also equal to the restaurants in Jakarta). Apparently this restaurant is very famous in Malang, even they have a branch in Surabaya.
In the afternoon we went to visit Malang Town Square to find a snack and then we had dinner at a restaurant with a main menu Sate and Curried Goat.

It's really an extraordinary day ... due in 3 days my weight increased 2 kg (so I need to do my diet again...).

Indeed, the city of Malang is very suitable for culinary tourism, because there are many delicious food here and also its cool weather that makes you feel comfortable.

Well, the experience on the third day I will continue later ... :)
Enjoy your day ...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Untung Java island: The authentic backwater of Jakarta

Staying in Jakarta and being in a peaceful and serene atmosphere is always mutually exclusive. You just can't have both. Weekend trips to Bandung, Anyer or Sukabumi have become dull routine for those who want to find peace of mind.

Pulau Seribu, or the Thousand Islands, to the north of Jakarta has been perennially overlooked yet it is, in fact, the perfect getaway for Jakartans who want to get out of town without breaking the bank.

Untung Java Island will solve your problems in many ways. This is the kind of destination that is a far-cry from the sold-for-tourist spots like Pulau Putri, Pulau Bidadari and some other islands.

The island can easily be mistaken for any other island that dots the waters off North Jakarta. It is home to only a few dozens houses, a mosque and a school building.

Reaching the island is quite easy. It will take you an hour to get to the island from Jakarta on a ferry from Tanjung Pasir, a port roughly 30 minutes from Soekarno-Hatta airport. Ferries leave early in the morning between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and return at 2:30 p.m. A return trip to the island will cost you Rp 20,000.

For an island of its size, Untung Java Island seems to be under-populated. It only hosts 50 families who make their living from fishing, agriculture and trading. What is remarkable about this island is that in spite of its proximity to Jakarta, the water is quite clean.

As I step off the ferry, rows of warung greet me on either side of the port, reminding me of downtown Jakarta. The locals are amused to see an outsider visiting their island, which they hardly consider a tourist destination.

It is easy to find accomodation on the island for those who want to stay overnight. Rooms are easily available on the island. Almost every house has one or two rooms reserved for visitors. Prices range from Rp 100,000 to Rp 120,000. Don't expect the typical air-conditioned room that you will find in a five-star hotel. Consider yourself lucky if you can find a room with a fan. The rooms are clean though, as are the toilets. Western-style flush toilets are not available in every house.

After surrendering my backpack, I set out to go around the island on foot. It is also convenient to travel by ojek, the island's major roads are all paved. Despite this level of development, the island maintains a certain rustic charm. Significant parts of the island are covered by mangrove plantations and monitor lizards can easily be found roaming the island.

Some might find it quite disconcerting to trek alone on this island. The wooden plank that leads to the swamp at the island's interior can easily give you the goosebumps.

It took me about an hour to trek through the island to its northern tip. From there I could see neighboring Pulau Rambut, which is about 10 kilometers away.

Pulau Rambut is a paradise for birdwatchers. Migratory birds nest on the island, many of which are of great interest to local ornithologists. Travel to the island is restricted because of its conservation status.

But even without traveling to Pulau Rambut, staying at Untung Java Island can be quite rewarding.

On Saturday evenings, live music and open mikes are available for all. For those with kids, there is an accessible and fun playground to distract the little ones.

If you are hungry and want something easy, the rows of warung run by locals are about as simple as it gets. And eating directly from the stool is an authentic experience everyone should try once.

You could, on the other hand, join your host working to wash the dishes or cook dinner food. Fresh fish is always available for you to fry or boil while the host serves only the hottest sambal.

You should not worry about the price of the food. The absence of a regular menu also means that none of the food has a set price. My host did not seriously count how much I ate and I ended up paying less than I expected. The hospitality is palpable and, I think, the best thing about staying on Untung Java Island.

The island offers a different kind of tourism, something that has nothing to do with adventure or late night partying. It is a minor, effortless exploration of nature and an encounter with local people who are very friendly and accommodating, and will not hesitate from providing visitors with a home away from home.

Source : The Jakarta Post

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The 10 Worst Ways to Break Up With Someone

Well, when I surfing in Yahoo, I found very interesting article... So I decided to share it into my blog...

The 10 Worst Ways to Break Up With Someone

10. ON VACATION: Who would you most likely want to be stuck on a deserted island with? Not someone who's just told you "it's not working out," we're quite sure. Not only have you now wasted your time and money, but you can’t leave the situation easily without added plane fares and stress. If this happens to you, break away and turn your trip into a rejuvenating self-improvement retreat... you'll need it.

9. IN A TEXT MESSAGE: Ah, the text. The modern-day version of the Post-It. Too wussy to do it in person? Text away, wuss.

8. ON FACEBOOK: Nothing like logging on to find your loved one tagged in a compromising photo with a complete you, at least. Why this is called the "World Wide Web" and some people can't figure out how they got busted is beyond us. Besides, it's way too trendy these days - be original, people!

7. AROUND THE FAMILY: Don't make it a family affair - you'll seriously regret it. Whether at a sibling’s wedding (see #6), a family vacation (see #10), or meeting the family for the first time (really!?), this one is clearly ridden with minefields that will lead to nothing but trouble. If this happens to you, at least you've got your "people" nearby to protect you, support you, and promptly kick your brand-new-ex to the curb.

6. AT A WEDDING: The wedding. The defining moment for any couple. The pinnacle of celebrating relationships and love. The day they'll remember as the best day of their lives. Forever. Guess the pressure got to you, huh?

5. AT YOUR "SPECIAL PLACE": That restaurant where we had our first date...the bar where you told me you loved me...the bench in the park where we'd sit every Sunday... Why on earth would anyone think this is a good idea? Let the special place stay special. Just like there are other fish in the sea, there are other places in the whole world. If they can't find another place, you should definitely find another fish.

4. IN BED: Come again? Talk about ruining the mood. At least wait until you're clothed. This one is so embarrassing that we're having visions of the recurring dream where you're on stage in front of everyone you know in nothing but your underwear. Except you're not even wearing underwear.

3. ON VALENTINE'S DAY: There are 365 days in the year, and ONE dedicated to celebrating love. It's not like you can't claim you didn't "know" it was Valentine's Day - the stores, the ads, the cards have been in your face for weeks. Pick another day. It's that simple. Don't ruin this day forever for someone, unless you're really in need of some bad karma. (New Year's Eve and Birthdays received honorable mentions.)

2. BY DOING NOTHING: It was tough not giving this the Number 1 honor, and we're still not sure. Being forced to figure something out by yourself is sometimes the hardest and most humiliating thing of all. Coming home to find your love gone, with no note, no calls, no anything may just be the worst way to handle a breakup. It is definitely the WIMPIEST. Just remember that. You do this, you are weak.

1. BY CHEATING: Sadly, this is the most common response we received - and the stories ran the gamut, from the one-night-stand, to the ongoing affair, to the ongoing affair that you only found out about via "the new person," to the unspeakable announcement that your boyfriend or girlfriend is engaged to someone else (WHAT?!?). To these we simply say, come ON. Just break it off before you cheat. You won't hurt our feelings, we promise.

Well, I hope all of you never do any of those 10 worst things... Treasure your relationship... :)

Source : Yahoo

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Top 15 Dating Mistakes Guys Make

Okay fellas, the ladies have to hand it to you-- you do a lot of things to make our hearts swoon. You surprise us by taking the initiative to invite us out to dinner-- where we will undoubtedly enjoy a romantic meal by candlelight, talk for hours, spoon feed each other creme brulee-- wait a minute, are those your friends from college about to sit with us? And you wonder why we're mad later. Needless to say, sometimes guys trip up their own game with the ladies without even realizing it. Here's a list of the most common dating mistakes guys make-- so you can keep your game in check.

7 Things in Your Apartment That Will Scare A Guy Away

1. Overly possessive
Stop. Just, stop. If the girl is dating you, she obviously wants to be with you doofus-- there's no need to call her every hour, resort to extreme PDA to show the world she's yours, or be on her back all the time about her guy friends. It's not sweet, it's stifling, and nobody wants to date a guy like that. Except that chick from Twilight-- we guess there are a few here and there that are into that whole creepily possessive, smothering, super jealous deal.

2. Gross living space
Dorm room, apartment, house, condo, parent's basement-- wherever you live, there's no excuse for it to be dirty. No, it doesn't have to be "Suzy Homemaker" clean, but she'll notice the Doritos crumbs from last night's March Madness party, the empty beer cans, and the dreaded dirty socks littering the floor. While your lady friend shouldn't be dating you solely based on your living space, a decently clean room shows her that you not only take care of yourself, but also put in the effort to make her feel comfortable in your home.

3. Acting like a tough guy
Oh, you have muscles and testosterone? We never noticed. No, really c'mon guys-- girls know it, you know it, and other guys know it. You're a man, grrrrrr. So why do some guys start stupid, unnecessary scuffles ("Come at my bro")? News flash-- fights just make us scared, not impressed. So just play it cool and save everyone the stress.

How to Survive the Airport Food Court

4. Acting differently around your friends
The merging of the two worlds of friends and GF is a delicate task (one that most guys seem to bomb). Just as your main squeeze wouldn't want the 411 about the hot chick your ex-frat buddy hooked up with last weekend, the same goes for your bros not wanting to hear about your latest antiquing excursion. Play it cool, keep the conversations neutral, and your friends will like your new girl as much as you do (well hopefully not as much).

5. Saying they'll do XYZ with no follow through
Everyone has a cell phone these days. Seriously, if you haven't jumped on the 21st century bandwagon yet then you probably aren't reading this and are more likely holed up in the mountains catching fish with your bare hands and wrestling bears. Case in point-- we're betting you have access to a telephone. So stop making excuses and just call a girl when you say you will.

6. Flirting with/checking out other women
Most women have a slight case of the "green eyed monster," but it's relatively easy to keep the beast at bay-- unless given just cause. That quick glance at the waitress' cha-chas? Being overly friendly with your knockout coworker? Talking a little too much about Megan Fox? Yep, she'll notice. We get that you have hormones-- trust us we do, too (especially when it comes to anyone whose last name is Badgley, Pitt, or Damon)-- but do yourself a favor and keep them under control around us, or jealousy will rear its head. And yes, it will get ugly.

7. Baby talk in bed
Urban dictionary defines baby talk as "the cutesy gibberish spoken by 1. Babies and 2. Adults speaking to animals and babies." It's a bizarre phenomenon really, when grown adults turn into babbling idiots in the cute faces of their pets. That said, while it's endearing with puppies and bunnies, girls don't want to be spoken to like that-- particularly in the bedroom.

8. Expecting her to act like your mother
Newsflash-- women are nurturing creatures. Sometimes men try to abuse their goodwill and start treating them more like mothers than girlfriends-- especially in a cohabitation scenario. After all, she's not there to be a mommy replacement-- to clean up after you, take in your dry cleaning, or "make you a sandwich" (thanks teenage boys everywhere for perpetuating this sexist comment). In short, man up mamma's boy and get your act together.

9. Letting your friends dictate your life
Ladies get it-- your bros, brahs, wingmen, fellas, buddies, etc. are really important to you. What women find really aggravating, however, is when you let your friends dictate your life. Ever taken a friend's advice like "make her jealous to win her back?" Wow, good one man-- she just broke up with you. See, while their intentions may be good, they're not experts, and girls would prefer that you discuss your relationship issues with them instead.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes to Make with Your Man

10. Threatened by her job
Sometimes it seems as though the best way to test a man's commitment isn't to gauge his reaction when his significant other is down in the dumps-- after all, anybody can deliver ice cream and rented movies-- but rather gauge his reaction in the face of success. If the BF is overjoyed for his GF, he is definitely a keeper. However, far too often, men are threatened by a woman's success-- two words guys-- not cool.

11. Hypocritical standards
Nobody likes a hypocrite. That annoying "do as I say, not what I do" mentality loses its merit fast-- especially when it translates to your relationship. Either adhere to the standards you go by for her, or run the risk of coming off as controlling.

12. Not having your own life away from her
Scientifically speaking, in the first six months of dating, dopamine and serotonin levels peak, creating a form of obsession with your significant other. Once you transition out of this phase, you feel attached to your partner deeply, but often begin pursuing interests that have fallen by the wayside. Just don't forget the step where you start persuing those other interests. Nobody likes a needy guy.

13. Bringing up previous relationships
Talking about an ex a lot-- whether in a positive light, as in "I'm totally at peace with the situation," or in a negative light-- i.e. "I can't believe I dated that w----," sends one very clear, unnerving message-- he's not over his ex. Bringing up past girlfriends to use as ammo in a fight is a terrible idea-- lest you want to start WWIII. You don't have to ignore her existence, but you also don't need to bring up her name in every convo, either.

14. Treating others poorly
When men are first dating someone casually and trying to impress them, one major red flag is when they treat people poorly. While we sincerely hope he won't go as far as to put a fumbling waiter in a headlock, just being rude to a taxi driver or making a scene with the cashier worries ladies that they may be dating a narcissistic psycho.

15. Inflated ego
When it comes to dating, big ego = big turn-off. No one likes a know-it-all with an inflated sense of self. When guys talk a big game or boast about past conquests, it makes girls wonder what they're over-compensating for-- and chances are that they won't stay in the relationship long enough to find out.

Source :Yahoo


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