BANGKOK

As i read from many sources in internet, Bangkok is susceptible for scam act. So i did extra researches about the most common tourist scams.  It happens mostly in Thai landmarks; Grand Palace (Wat Phra Kaew), Wat Po and Wat Arun. The best known ones is a man said that the grand palace is closed and he will offering us transport to another place, like souvenir shop. Just a note to myself, be ware of stranger.

There are two international airports in Bangkok, Don Mueang (DMK) and Suvarnabhumi (spelling: Suwannaphum). I took AA flight heading to DMK. Since there is no Airport rail link which connect airport and the city, so i have to move in several public transport to reach my hotel in Siam. By the way, there are many airport taxi and it takes 250 Baht to Siam, but i really curious to try its public transport.
Turn left from exit door and follow the guideline to the A1 bus shelter (Airport – Mo Chit direction) The bus looks decrepit from outside, but it still proper to ride on. It costs 30 Baht for one person.

From Mo Chit you can take MRT or BTS (Sky Train), if you go by MRT just go to downstair (MRT runs underground) and if you choose Sky Train just follow the crowd to the upstairs. I’m personally more often use Sky Train for my transportation mode than MRT because the station is very close to my hotel.

By the way, this Mo chit station is the nearest station to chatuchak market.

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My first destination is the fame Street food on Sukhumvit Soi 38 (Thong Lor BTS station). I heard this area soon will be demolish so before it has really ‘gone’, i came to visit and this is what i found.

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Only few stalls left

On my second day, i planned to visit Grand Palace, Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market and Jim Thompson’s House.

Grand Palace

How to get there: take Sky Train to Saphan Taksin station that connect to Sathorn (central) pier. Then go out of platform and find the entering gate to boat terminal. The Chao Phraya express boat (orange Flag boat) only cost 15 Bath to Grand palace.

PS: Keep pay attention on your stop, in case of the boat will extremely full of passengers and no one’s going to tell you what next stop is

DSC_1570-01IMG20170113110400IMG20170113104301 Continue reading “BANGKOK”

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BELITUNG

Belitung or it used to be called as Billiton is undeniably well-known since Laskar Pelangi movie which released in 2008. It unveil the magnificence of the island. The government seems take serious action to promote the island and it proven by good infrastructure in almost all region i’ve visited.

By the way, I don’t make any specific itinerary, just following through this G Maps route.

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Day 1

We took the earliest flight at 5:55 AM and by 60 minutes later we’ve already landed at H.A.S. Hanandjoeddin airport at Tanjung Pandan, Belitung island.

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A quite arrival terminal

Outside the arrival terminal, there were some people already waited us to offer transport to the hotel. If you have stepped out the arrival gate, make sure that you already have a ride to your destination then if you don’t, i worries they will  chase you off and charge more than it should be. Luckily, Arief, a friend of Devi’s friend is picked us up to the hotel. We rented a car for Rp 200.000 a day (car only) from his office. He also let us rented his friend motor bike only for Rp 50.000 a day. Thank you Arief

CP: M. Arief Saputra  085267267329; Ig: msaputra1434

PS: I stayed at Maxone hotel in jalan Sriwijaya, Tanjung pandan.

Our first stop is Mie Atep Belitung, located in Jalan Sriwijaya along side with our hotel. The noodle tend to has sweet taste.

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Yellow noodle poured with sweet and thick prawn stock

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We were heading to Penyabong beach which located in south side of the island named Membalong and we got caught in the rain on halfway of our road trip, but decided to keep on going 🙂 At last it took 1.5 hours to reach the beach.

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Penyabong Beach (1)
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Penyabong Beach (2)
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Penyabong Beach (3)
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Penyabong Beach (4)
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We just met some local people here

Considering on bad weather, we skipped our visit to Batu Baginda.

Super late lunch at Belitong Timpo Duluk. As it named, it has old style ambiance

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The interior
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Berego and Ikan bungkus Simpor

 The nearest beach next to Timpo Duluk is Tj. Pendam Beach which is the best place for enjoying sunset.

 

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City view: Batu Satam Monument

Day 2

We started the day with taking breakfast at Kong Djie coffee at Jalan Siburik Barat. It’s already open at 6 AM. Act like natives, we always come here for breakfast till our last day.

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Next road trip is to the east side of the island, Andrea Hirata Word’s Museum. It’s open at 9:30 AM. The entrance fee is Rp 50.000 and we got Laskar pelangi pocket-book as compliment.

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Words!

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About 5 minutes drove by car there were Replika Sekolah Laskar Pelangi – SD Muhammadiyah Gantong. This building is constructed for filming necessity by Riri Riza.

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Just met them in front of the building  and they were very excited seeing us, running to the classroom and singing ‘Laskar Pelangi’ song
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Rumah Keong

On our way to Burung mandi beach, we stopped by in  Vihara Dewi Kwan Im.

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West side of Burung Mandi Beach
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East side of Burung Mandi Beach
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Tanjung Tinggi Beach

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I admit this is not the best spot to take a picture in Tj. Kelayang beach

Day 3

Our island hopping started from Tanjung Binga (Fishing Village) and supported by local man called Abe Hajid. He cost us Rp 400.000 for boat and Rp 20.000 for each snorkeling tool. He also let us use his bathroom to take bath after snorkeling and served us hot tea and pempek.

CP Abe Hajid: 081949324465

So we were visiting Batu Berlayar island,  Kelayang island, Burong island (pass by only) and Lengkuas island.

The snorkeling spot is around Lengkuas Island

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Abe’s House
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Abe’s backyard (Tanjung Binga)
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Old pier – but still strong enough to be passed
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Batu Berlayar island
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Kelayang island

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Burong island
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Lengkuas island
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View from the top of lighthouse
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Window’s view

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Day 4

Took the last flight to JKT, so we had more time to stroll around the city.  We visited Kaolin lake (still in Tj. Pandan), Batu Mentas which located in Badau (about 30 minutes from Tj. Pandan) and KLAPA-Souvenir store (Jl. Air Saga Tj. Pandan)

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Kaolin lake
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Batu Mentas

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View from boarding room

PS: Our vehicles while in Belitung

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Disclaimer: Most videos and pictures are well captured by my friend, Devi Lupita Putri

September 2016

Weekend getaway in Penang island

I don’t take direct flight to Penang (Local people called it “Pulau Pinang”). I flew to KLIA and then  took KLIA Express headed to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS)  to get Bus to Penang island. It takes 5 hours from TBS to Sungai Nibong bus station (Penang’s bus station). The mainland and Penang island connected by bridge, they have 2 connecting bridges.

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The beach view from Hotel Sentral Sea View (Tanjung Tokong)
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Breakfast

The hotel is close to bus stop, it’s easier to take anywhere to the town by Rapid Penang.

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Rapid Penang at KOMTAR

If i feel hard to find direct bus to hotel, i always take Rapid Penang/CAT (free shuttle bus) heading to KOMTAR. It kind of bus hub.

Our first destination is Penang Hill. Long ticket queue made us bought the fast lane ticket. Its more expensive but we don’t need to queue. Well, money talks..DSC_0312Penang Hill train – take us to top hill

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The Railway
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View from the top
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Love Padlock

 

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Kek Lok Si Buddhist Temple
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Inside the temple

 

George Town

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Armenian Street

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Street art
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Me and the famous children on bicycle mural
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Street performance
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Rent bike to stroll around the street of art

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February 2016

South Vietnam – Cambodia trip

Day 1

It takes a long time to define our trip sequence  through these countries (considering on time and budget constraint  🙂 ) But finally we got the best path and they are..  Jakarta – Singapore  – Ho Ci Minh – Mui Ne – Ho Ci Minh – Phnom Penh – Siem Reap – Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta

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Overnight prep in Changi Airport

 Day 2

Safely landed at Tan Sot Nhat International Airport in the morning after our overnight session in Changi, we were headed to money changer and taxi counter in the airport. We planned to book Vinasun Taxi (as i read from some blogs this is the most reliable taxi company in HCMC), but on my way to taxi counter i saw a Grab banner (Grab has just operated in HCMC), so i tried to order grab car through my phone (using Airport WiFi of course) and it works.

Our room in Town House 23 Saigon

Our town house is located in the central of HCMC, we could reach Pho 2000 (the fame Vietnamese noodle stall), Benh Thanh market and Phan Ngu Lao street (backpacker district) by walking distance.

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Pho and super delicious spring roll at Pho 2000
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Notre Dame Cathedral
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Saigon central post office
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Street food  at the park across Notre Dame
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Kind of spring roll ingredients
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HCMC has many parks and always full of people sit around
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Traffic jam

The traffic is so awful, very difficult to across the street because all cars and motor bikes are in high-speed.

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Night market near Ben Tanh Market

Day 3

The hotels man helped us arranging our trip to Cu chi Tunnels.

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Viet Cong hiding spot during the war against American military

Down stair to the tunnel – Our tour group – Inside the tunnel

Back to the hotel at 2 PM, the hotel staff still allowed us to use their bathroom even we’ve checkout already 🙂 We have to catched up bus to Mui Ne at 5 PM. We used Sapaco sleeping bus and it will take 4-5 hours to Mui Ne.

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Sleeping bus

The bus is stopped by in Mui Ne Hills. We just walked uphill about 500 Meters from the main street to reach Mui Ne Bliss Hotel.

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Mui Ne Hills alley

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Our room in Mui Ne Bliss Hotel

Since the only one reason to visit Mui Ne is its White and Red San Dunes, so we asked the hotels man the direction from our hotel and voila they also had early morning tour to White & Red Sand Dunes, Fairy stream and Fishing village. The trip started at 4:00 AM and will be ended at 10:00 AM

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Sunrise at White Sand Dunes

The Jeep’s girl

Red Sand Dunes

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Fishing village
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Local people with their local food

Fairy Stream

Day 4

HCMC – Siem Reap takes 12 hours trip by bus, but we will stopped by at Sapaco office in Phnom Penh to change into minibus (Thero express).

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Stop by at this building in Preah Sihanouk Blvd Phnom Penh

In Siem Reap we stayed in Schein guesthouse ( Bakheng Str, Taphul Village), it has very good reviews in Trip Advisor.

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The owner is really helpful, he arranged our trip to Angkor Wat and explained us the best way to enjoy the temple in one day. We booked our early morning tour to Angkor Wat with schein’s tuk-tuk driver, named Phi. He has good english and a super polite driver yet very helpful too.

Day 5

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Angkor Pass
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Morning crowd, everyone waited on sunrise
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Angkor’s silhouette in the morning
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Ta Prohm -Tomb Rider scenes location
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Bayon Temple
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Ask for blessing from the monk

Day 6

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Phi, Schein Tuk-tuk driver

It only takes 20 minutes to Siem Reap International Airport from our guesthouse.

Ps: All transaction in Cambodia are mostly in USD, don’t forget to bring lots of 1 dollars for meals and tuk-tuk

March 2016

Garut – Explore Papandayan & Curug Orok

Day 1

Ohh this was my first trip to Garut with my beautiful traveling partner Ratih and Desi.
We met up at Primajasa Pool Cililitan at 9.30 am. This pool is located in front of Halte Transjakarta BKN (Cawang).

Selfie at the bus
 The Jakarta-Garut bus scheduled to depart every 45 minutes and we charged for Rp 52.000,00
We arrived at Terminal Guntur Garut at 2 pm after 4 hour long way journey. Decided to go by public transportation , we ride in angkot number 02 (Terminal Guntur-Sukadana route) to Fave Hotel Jalan Cimanuk  http://www.favehotels.com/hotellist/eng/75/favehotel-cimanuk-garut. Apparently its route didn’t pass our hotel  So we contacted the hotel, asking how to get there and they said we should change into angkot number 04 (Garut-Cipanas route).
It was long journey and we were very hungry.  After long discussion with the driver about the best restaurant around our current position, he recommend us to stopped by in Rumah Makan Cibiuk, Jalan Siliwangi (sundanese restaurant). I didn’t take picture so i provide this link 🙂
Cozy place and such a tasty food http://www.cibiuk.co.id/index.php
It was very easy to find angkot 04 near RM.Cibiuk. It delivered us to Fave Hotel Cimanuk. Finally.

Day 2

Planned tracking at mt.papandayan so we got up early and be ready at 7 am.
This is our public transportation route to mt papandayan from Jalan Cimanuk:

Angkot 04 (stoped by in Leuwi Daun/Patung Singa) Rp 3.000,00 –> ELF Garut – Cikajang route (Stopped by in pasar Cisurupan)  Rp 20.000,00  –> Ojek to papandayan Rp 20.000,00

In front of tour guide base camp
Btw we decided to hire a guide to assist and take a picture of us absolutely.
They offered us 2 type tour package:

Pack A : Rp 250.000,00 — 2 hour
Pack B : Rp 400.000,00 — 4 hour
Obviously we preferred pack A considering all of us are amateur hiker 😀

Foggy in the morning

Cantigi plant

Kali Susu

Take a break and snacking
Got back at tour guide base camp at 11 am (1 hour longer than schedule).
And the tour guide suggested us Sari Papandayan restaurant for lunch.
We rent the same ojek and paid for Rp 25.000,00
So here we go..
Lunch at Sari Papandayan

Good View, Tasty but a bit expensive for us 🙂

Our next destination is…. Curug Orok.
Another long way journey, because we are tired enough and sleepy 😀
To reached Curug Orok you should ride in ELF route to Bungbulang
The driver noticed us to got back before 4 pm or will hard to find ELF Garut – Bungbulang route to get back to hotel.
Curug Orok
 The waterfall is reachable by walking distance from the ELF stoppage. It may take 10 minutes walking to find ticket locket.
We paid Rp 10.000,00 for each person.

After entered the gate, we should walking down the stair to reach the waterfall. Watch your step, the stair’s bit slippery.

Closer view of Curug Orok
Afterall, even it was sort trip but such meaningful. Traveling with my very best friend, lot of laugh, bit peevish but no drama.
Thank you to Garut, a friendly yet pleasant city…
May 2015

Nusa Lembongan-Nusa Ceningan-Nusa Penida in 3D2N

Day 1

Trip to Nusa Lembongan/Nusa Ceningan/Nusa Penida can be start from Sanur, near Mak Beng seafood stall in Jalan Hang Tuah or you can go through Inna Grand Bali Beach gate and paid Rp 10.000 as entrance fee. If you go with application based transport (Uber/Grab) you must take the second option (based on my own experience)

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Departure spot at 9:00 AM

We bought ticket on the spot and got Maruti Express heading to Jungut batu Nusa Lembongan. Rp 100.000 for one way ticket per person, i must be got cheaper price if came earlier or reserved ticket one day before my departure date. It should be Rp 75.000 as normal price for local people. By the way they applied difference fare for local and foreign.

There are many fast boat ticket counters along the beach, i also recommend for Rocky  (www.rockyfastcruise.com ), Glory Express and Marlin.

The departure schedule to Nusa lembongan is more often than Nusa Penida. The fast boat to nusa lembongan are depart every hour but fast boat to nusa penida only two or three times a day.

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Fast boat MARUTI EXPRESS

As we arrived at Jungut batu 30 minutes later, the villa’s man already stand by at the boat pier to pick us up to the villa.

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Pick up car
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Check in spot at villa Sedok Jineng
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Comfortable hut with semi outdoor bathroom

We just entrusted our bag at the villa’s checkin area and went around by motor bike that we rent from villa for Rp 70.000 a day.

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Sunset Point
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Dream Beach
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The Devil Tears
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Mangrove Tour

A local people named Pak Juni helped us arranging our snorkeling and mangrove tour. He charged us Rp 50.000 each person for mangrove tour and Rp 100.000 each person for one snorkeling spot.

(Cp Pak Juni: +6282144536765)

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The connecting bridge between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, called Yellow bridge
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Blue Lagoon jumping cliff – Nusa Ceningan
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Le Pirates beach club – Nusa Ceningan
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Sunset at Le Pirates private beach

Day 2

As Pak Juni suggestion, the best time to enjoy underwater view is in the morning time because it less windy and more clear to see. We decided to explore 2 snorkeling spot, Mangrove and The Wall.

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This is the boat

 

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Mangrove spot – This pictures taken by Xiaomi Yi camera

The second spot is The Wall. I don’t take lot of picture there, beside of  sea illness 😦 the underwater view is not as beautiful as Mangrove spot.

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The wall

The Wall is close to Nusa Penida so we asked the boatman to  dropped us in Toya Pakeh. Furthermore,  we don’t need to pay for public boat to cross to Nusa Penida

In Toya Pakeh, we met Pak War to rent a motor bike  and straightaway to our cottages , Manta cottages with sea view.

(CP motor bike rental in Nusa Penida Pak War +6282147665198 or Pak Made Oka +6281359000127)

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Manta cottages with sea view
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Sunrise view from our room
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Unknown place – missing place victim of G Maps
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The road to Pasih uug dan Angel’s billabong
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The iconic Pasih Uug / Broken beach
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Angels billabong

It can be reached by walking distance from Pasih Uug . But we just affraid to get down because some local people warned about the strong and high waves.

Day 3

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Pasih Atuh / Atuh Beach
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Still a hidden gem, we just met a group of people who climbed up while we survive to go down along the rugged terrain

Rugged terrain

Some notes for you guys if you have plan to visit the three of them:

  1. Don’t forget to bring sunblock, sunglasses and hat because there were super hotty
  2. If you plan to stay in Sedok Jineng Villa, find fast boat to Mushroom bay because it is the nearest boat pier
  3. Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan is connected by a bridge and they are smaller than Nusa Penida. It takes less time to reach your destination, but in Nusa Penida you will take more time (up to 30 minutes and more). There are a lot of dirty road too in Nusa Penida.
  4. We feel hard to find a recommended food in Nusa Penida.
  5. More spot to snorkeling and diving around Nusa Penida. May be for the next trip we will start our snorkeling spot from Nusa Penida
  6. Internet provider that running well is Telkomsel (Simpati) its strong enough to run the G maps.
  7. Bring your money in cash, ATM still rare to find and most of them are BRI’s ATM.

July 2016