The Rest of Sydney Trip

I will post the rest of my Sydney trip now, well only the highlights tho’. This trip was made because Foo Fighters was doing AUS&NZ Tour, and I’m a BIG SCALE fan since I was 13. My sister treat me the concert tix as my birthday gift, what a thoughtful one. Actually since this was sort of unplanned trip, I was broke, hahaha, so no shoppin’ cause it’s killin’!

DAY 2 – WE HIT THE CITY!

The day after Ku-ring-gai Chase, we went of course to the city with my cousin, Kevin. I have a big family here from my mom’s side, they all migrate to Sydney a long time ago, so they can’t speak Indonesian. We went to Darling Harbour area and the CBD area to window shopping.

The weather was a bit cloudy and humid as you can see.

Later that night we hung out with my other cousin and his friends at The Henson. Very nice place! The funny thing is the place serves beers but they have kids’ playground, and all of the parents hang out there drinking beers while the kids play wildly. We drink beers and had dinner, I ordered the pork ribs which came big time but I finished it. Too bad I didn’t take any pictures because I had too much fun and didn’t even touch my phone. But you can check out their website http://www.thehenson.com.au/ . They serves quite a lot of choices of craft beers which was interesting to try. Had fun that night.

DAY 3 – HAPPY TUMMY

The next day, was Saturday. My cousin took us to Three Williams for breakfast, I tried salad : grilled squid + chorizo, rocket, radicchio, crispy chickpeas + balsamic glaze ; toast : sonoma miche sourdough with condiments + smashed avocado + poached egg ; coffee : hot cappuccino, THEY WERE ALL HEAVENLY.

Not really look as complicated as the name
Not really look as complicated as the name

After Three Williams, my cousin took us for window shopping around Surry Hills area, which is known as youngster’s spot. We dropped at some cool shops, I bought a BLUR vinyl “The Great Escape” and a pair of Royal Republiq shoes at Someday Store. What? Did I say no shopping because I’m broke?

After strolling around Surry Hills, my cousin Tim took us for brunch to Bourke Street Bakery, he said it’s really good, hop on! The lining quite long, but actually the place is small, we can sit outside, they put seating on the pedestrian. My cousin ordered us pork fennel sausage roll, lemon custard pie, and ginger creme brulee. The pork fennel is TO DIE FOR! So tasty, cannot describe, seriously! Thank God he brought us here, haha.

After series of delicious eating, my cousin took us to see an art exhibition at Carriage Works, the place before was a railway workshop but turns to a big open space art gallery. Very cool because they keep the history within the original building, we could still feel the old workshop situation. At the moment they preview Sydney Buddha by Zhang Huan.

We were taken back to the city, I really like my cousin, he gets us, he know where to go and all of them is interesting places, places where we are keen to see. I was happy that he took us to Aesop store at Paddington! I am quite amazed by Aesop store designs, I’m digging it on Pinterest before and wondered when I can really experience the store. This is it! If you are wondering how crazy beautiful the Aesop stores concepts, please see this link. And I couldn’t help not to shop, I bought something for everyone I guess.

Around 5 PM, we went to Coogee Beach to meet Tim’s friends again and had dinner together. We tried vegetarian resto, which was interesting and popped out some wines. Always a great time with this guys.

Day 4 – Balmoral and Birdman!

Sunday it was, Tim took us again, we had no plan, just go wherever he took us. We went to Balmoral Beach, it was a perfect day, sunny and a lot of people hung out at the beach. We grabbed lunch, fish and chips and salads. Pick a spot on the greenery with beach view, and just chat. Oh and we went barefoot! I’ve never been to Balmoral, and it was beautiful.

After Balmoral, we were planning to watch Moonlight Cinema, the screening on that day was: BIRDMAN! So excited, and this was the first time for me to experience watching movie in an open space. This program only in summer season, so we were lucky! We chose Centennial Park because it was the reachable and the price was reasonable. Can’t believe I watched it just a day before they win the Oscar.

DAY 5 – TOURIST MODE

This day, we were all alone, nobody companies us. And guess where the first spot we hit on: Bourke Street Bakery, can’t get rid of the pork fennel taste in my brain. So good, better twice than cries. This time, one person got one pork fennel.

We strolled around Surry Hills again, and we went to The Winery for morning wine (!) The place was oh so adorable, love it! And the waitress was so attentive and helpful, she helped us to choose good wine at cheap price. We had 2013 Shiraz, got us a bit tipsy but all good.

Yes! Finally and art gallery, because there was an exhibition “POP TO POPISM” at Art Gallery of New South Wales. Pop art exhibition, never been before, and I always excited to see those kind of things. The gallery is beautiful, but can’t take picture on the exhibition but it was worth the visit. They also have section on classical art, and I found my persona statue!

After the educational stop, we went to Circular Quay area to see Sydney Opera House, but it was failed because there was a concert and the area was closed. So we stranded at the quay looking to Harbour Bridge and city lights at night.

We were so tired, our legs felt almost cut off. But the boys wanted some drinks, and there is a recommended place : Bulletin Place. The bartender won some cocktail contests, and truly is, we were encouraged not to order pure drinks instead of cocktails, they can customise for you, because cocktails are their expertise so if you order just whisky or vodka they will feel sad. The bartender slash waiter slash owner was so kind, friendly, and funny, we had great times because the place was not too crowded also. But so hilarious to saw the boys drink cocktails, strange sight.

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Day 6 – Skipped A Day

Basically we didn’t go much, because the boys were taking skydiving trip almost whole day. So that’s that.

Day 7 – Skipped Again

I forgot what we did this day. What I remembered only my cousins took us to dinner at Jasmine Lebanese Restaurant at Auburn, which was tasty, never tried before. And we did shisha, made my head spin. OH! We watched Fifty Shades of Grey that day, one of the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

Day 8 – The Naik Haji Day

This was the day that I finally met my number one idol, a family member I’ve never had, Dave Grohl. So excited, and I was going so crazy, full of energy, moshing with the crowds. It was a perfect set list, I couldn’t even ask for a better performance. Concert with Australians was interesting, they are all full of energy, and they are all real fans. I mean sometimes I saw a lot of fake fans in Indonesia, no offence but there are. Really enjoy the crowd, even though some people can get crazy, but all good. It was a bit raining but it didn’t matter because I was all sweat! Dave was good at speech, I never doubt my awe to him, it was the best feeling to see your idol so close and he appreciated you. Oh yeah, I was on the third layer from the front *cry!


DAY 9 – LAST DAY

Felt so sad to leave Sydney, I always had a great times here. I always think to moving to Sydney than Europe sections (never been to US so we will see), and now the feeling is getting stronger. Hope to see you again Sydney, always be a great trip.

All the pictures were taken with iPhone and Samsung Camera, edited with VSCO application.

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The Rest of Sydney Trip

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park | NSW National Parks

Just spent 10 days at Sydney, back again. This was how the first day was, Ku-ring-gai Chase! At first we had a bit of jetlag and overslept for 4 hours, so we lost almost one day. But this bush is not so far from where we stayed. Finally I saw kangaroo for the first time, yep, the wild one.

And the first thing announced was “very nice, and we don’t have something like this in Indonesia”

Why oh why.

Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park | NSW National Parks

Earth Laughs In Flowers

Last April, me and my family went to Puncak for a day getaway. Turned out to be fun.

You should ride early (around 5 AM from home), to get perfect traffic to Puncak.

Our first stop is, of course, Puncak Pass!

Still love the place, the fresh air, the view, well the foods were not too pleasing but still ok.

Second stop is Taman Bungan Nusantara.

Much much much better if you can make it around 8 or 9, before it’s getting hot and crowded. You can totally enjoy the big beautiful botanical park, crazy!

We ended this visit around 12, and as expected the tourist buses were coming, keep in mind to come early.

Next stop was lunch at Bumi Aki, you should try! Sundanese restaurant, very delicious!

And then Taman Safari Indonesia, boring.

Then dinner at Cimory, then go home.

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Trip to Aceh, Indonesia

Travelling to Aceh actually never crossed my mind, first because I thought the Syariah rules are very strict and second I thought it’s not so touristic, but after I experienced it, the trip was one of the best affordable and adventurous one.

I will share my trip here, also with all expenses, contacts, and some other things you might needed.

I traveled from March 15th-21st .

Fly to Aceh, you easily can find local flights like Garuda or Citilink. Me and my friend chose Garuda for IDR  2.000.000,-

Day 1  – Banda Aceh

IDR 250.000,-/ride for the whole day (not include gas)

Clean and new Toyota Avanza and the driver really helpful.

  • Hotel
    • Hotel 61 (booked with Agoda)

IDR 360.000,- /night for Standard Room

Perfectly located at the heart of Banda Aceh, they provide internet, towels, air condition,  cable TV, bathroom condiments, and an ok breakfast. The hotel actually a part of a building, which also has a restaurant (AW) and also indoor kids play area, so maybe you will find the place a bit crowded and noisy. Hotel room is not really fancy, no window, small bathroom,  and a bit dirty.

But I think it’s fair since the price is not too expensive.

  • Eat
    • The famous Rumah Makan Aceh Rayeuk

IDR  85.000 until 100.000,- /person

Must try : Ayam Tangkap, Dendeng Daging Sapi, Prawn Sambal (fresh and delicious)

    • Mie Turis

IDR 30.000,- /person

Tried Mie Basah Seafood, but not really fond of it.

    • Solong Coffee

IDR 20.000 until 50.000,- /person (if you want to buy their coffee, they sell it for IDR5.000,- per bag)

Try their coffee, strangely dope (haha), somehow it feels like te coffee contains some alcohol, very unique. Also try their Sarikaya Bread.

  • Sight Seeing
    • Baitturahman Mosque

Free ; Do wear proper dress to respect the holly place, no shorts, no tight clothes, and for women please wear scarf to cover your head (doesn’t have to be hijab). You can’t enter if you’re not on a proper dress.

The mosque is a big gasp for its beauty and whiteness! Also they have pretty details all around the mosque. You can enter the mosque and take pictures calmly. The interior is also beautiful.

    • Aceh Tsunami Museum

Free ; no clothes restriction

This museum was designed by Indonesian architect firm, URBANE. I’ve been waiting to visit this historical and monumental museum for a long time. The museum is beautiful and stand out beside its environment.  The first stops were emotional, we experienced the fear and sadness from the tsunami and they put a bright and airy void, but I think the journey  was too short. The museum gallery is not pleasing, just some of the part interesting. But the museum building itself is very nice.

    • PLTD Apung

Free ; no clothes restriction

This ship was  stranded from the sea to the city because of tsunami, it was an electricity supply ship. The ship now becomes a tourist attraction, we can go explore the ship, also the surroundings now is being built for touristic purposes. Nothing too special, but you can get a good mountain view from the ship.

    • Lampu’uk Beach

IDR 5.000,- /car (entrance fee) ; no clothes restriction

The  beach is a bit far from Banda Aceh, but once you get there, you won’t regret it. The beach is not too crowded and they have also resort on the rock cliff which is very cool. The beach also side by side with a small pines wood, amazing. The sand is soft but beware of buffalo’s waste, it was everywhere. You can swim there but they don’t have a public wash room, so remember that. On this beach you can get a good sunset. Very beautiful, must visit.

Day 2  – Sumurtiga, Sabang

  • Transport
    • Becak Motor – we ordered from the hotel the night before

IDR 25.000,- /ride (from hotel to the Ulee Lheue) ; don’t worry about your baggage they can fit them in!

    •  Fast Ferry

IDR 75.000,- /person

If you want to go to Sabang, you must use ferry. Do check the schedule before you go, because they are not 24 hours a day, and there are different ferries to choose with different schedule as well. We used fast ferry because the slow ferry took almost 2 hours while the fast ferry only took 45 mins. But guys, this ferry is one hell of  a ride, very bumpy and wavy so you can get a seasick in just 5 mins, and trust me it will be a nightmare. At the day we went, actually the weather was not good, so maybe the sea waves became unfriendly.

    •  Rent Car

IDR 50.000,- /person (arranged from our hotel in Sumurtiga, if you need a ride from port to hotel, please ask your hotel to arrange it)

  •  Hotel
    • Freddie’s Santai Sumurtiga

IDR 250.000,- / night for Standard Room

Freddie’s is a well-known cottage in Sumurtiga, recommended by Tripadvisor too. Freddie’s located on a cliff facing a long beach, the cottages spread off and has ocean view. They also have in-house restaurant and café, operated by locals. The price for the room is not include for meals.

Our room can handle 2/3 people,  bathroom inside, condiments, clean towels, drinking water, fan. The room is a mini cottage with bamboo wall, very traditional, love it. The staff also very helpful and nice.

  • Eat
    • Freddie’s Santai Café

 IDR 100.000,- /person

 We ate dinner and lunch here, nothing special, because we were too tired to go out. I can’t stop ordered the ice coffee.

  • Sight Seeing
    • Freddie’s Beach

Free ; no clothes restriction

The sea is full of corals, so careful if you want to go swim.

Day 3 –  Sumurtiga, Sabang

  • Transport
    • Becak Motor          

IDR 150.000,- /day ; You can ask the hotel to get becak motor  

We got a very attractive and kind driver, we don’t know his name, but his son is very famous, the son’s name is Denny. Totally recommend this guy!

Deni : +62852-7088-1964

  • Hotel
    • Freddie’s Santai Sumurtiga

IDR 250.000,- / night for standard room

  • Eat
    • Rujak Aceh

IDR 10.000,- /person (plus drink)

Found on the way when we were strolling around Sabang, just curious how was it taste. Actually almost the same like rujak bebeg in Jakarta.

    •  Mie Aceh

IDR 20.000,- /person (plus drink)

Found on the way when we were strolling around Sabang, just another mie Aceh.

    • Mie Jalak at Pulau Baru Restaurant

IDR 40.000,- /person (plus drink)

Located on Perdagangan Street, this is a Chinese noodle actually. The noodle is very light, they put minced beef and boiled egg too, try eat it with sambal.

    • Mie Sedap

IDR 40.000,- /person (plus drink)

Located still on Perdagangan Street, very similar to Mie Jalak (Jalak Noodle), they just don’t put boiled egg.

    • Freddie’s Santai Restaurant

IDR 60.000,- /person (all you can eat)

This restaurant operated by Freddie’s Hotel house chef, you will be charged but you will get 4 courses from appetiser to dessert. The menu changes everyday, very interesting and unique. I’ve got a fish with banana curry, so delicious!

  • Sight Seeing
    • Japanese Fortress

Free ; no clothes restrictions

The old fortress is creepy, but it is located on a rock cliff on the side of a wild ocean, the wave hits the rockreally hard. Beautiful place for the view, I spent quite a while here just to admire the beauty and taking photos!

    • Sabang Monument

Free ; no clothes restrictions

Nothing special

Basically we were just strolling around Sabang, stopped if there is a good view.

Day 4 – Iboih Beach, Sabang

  • Transport
    • Becak Motor – we used the driver before

IDR 100.000,- /ride (from Sumurtiga to Iboih)

The trip from Sumurtiga to Iboih was interesting and beautiful, dangerous also.

    •  Rent Motorbike – we rent from Iboih’s local guy

IDR 50.000,- /half day

We rent this to go to Zero Point.

  • Hotel
    • Iboih Inn

IDR 200.000,- /night for standard fan room

You can ask the hotel to pick you up at the port, you can walk also but the track is a bit hard and if you bring some baggage would be tiring. We booked standard fan room, the cheapest one, well the room is not fancy at all. Small bathroom inside, condiments, clean towel, water, fan. The room is dirty and full of insects, this room also has no view. Next time I will book for deluxe room, because they have air conditioner. You also get free breakfast here.

The hotel lounge and restaurant is gorgeous, has ocean and Rubiah Island view. I really love the open lounge to relax. They also have their own dock, and you can just swim from there, the water is so clear with fishes.

  • Eat
    • Iboih Inn Restaurant

Lunch

IDR 16.000,- for Chocolate Pancake

IDR 10.000,- for soda

Dinner

IDR 35.000,- for Green Pepper Squids (with rice)

IDR 11.000,- for Acehnese Ice Coffee

  • Sight Seeing
    • Zero Point

Free ; If you want to make Zero Point Certificate pay for IDR 15.000,- /person

Zero Point is a monument, to go there you must go through road surrounded by wild woods, why I said wild because we met wild pigs on our way, be extra careful! On zero point there’s nothing much you can do, the monument facingswide ocean, and if the sky is clear they said we can see Singapore.

    • Iboih Beach

Free ; No clothes restriction

The water is very clear and you can swim with the fishes, because they are not afraid of human because they never been haunted. The sea is not wavy because Iboih is a bay, so snorkelling here is not too dangerous. Watch out of the baby barracuda!

Day 5 – Iboih Beach, Sabang

  • Transport
    • Boat – hotel’s boat

IDR 30.000,- /person (from hotel to Rubiah Island)

It’s quite expensive actually, but have no choice unless you can swim to Rubiah Island.

  • Hotel
    • Iboih Inn

IDR 200.000,- /night for standard fan room

  • Eat
    • Iboih Inn Restaurant

Breakfast

Free

Lunch

IDR 40.000,- for Tom Yam Soup (with rice)

IDR 11.000,- for Acehnese Ice Coffee

All ok

Dinner

IDR 35.000,- for Iboih Inn Fish and Vegetables

Iboih Inn Fish is tuna in hot sauce, very nice.

  • Sight Seeing
    • Rubiah Island

Free ; no clothes restrictions

You can do trekking into the woods, they have a blur pathway but for me was very creepy because we really go inside the wood and I’m a paranoid person. We didn’t make it to the end because the pathway became more unseen, so we went back (haha)

    • Iboih Beach

IDR 15.000,- for fin

IDR 15.000,- for lifeguard jacket

IDR 15.000,- for goggle

All from the hotel, but I just rented fin.

Basically, we just did snorkeling around the beach and got tanned.

Day 6 – Banda Aceh

  • Transport
    • Becak Motor – we used the driver before

IDR 110.000,- / ride (from Iboih to Balohan Harbor)

    • Slow Ferry – ask local for the schedule

IDR 25.000,- / person (from Sabang to Banda Aceh)

This slow ferry is SO MUCH better than fast ferry, took around 2 hours but no bump. I fell into a full sleep without no disturb, you also can buy breakfast from local women on the ship.

    • Becak Motor – we just used a random becak motor at the harbor

IDR 50.000,- /ride (from Ulee Lheue Port to hotel)

  • Hotel
    • Hotel Siwah (booked with Agoda)

IDR 252.000,- for Standard Room

Perfectly located at the heart of Banda Aceh not very far from our first hotel in Banda Aceh, they provide internet, towels, air condition,  cable TV, bathroom condiments, and an ok breakfast. The room is very big and cleaner.So weird I felt this hotel was so fancy since our trip to Aceh (our previous hotels were so budget).

  • Eat
    • Tringgading Restaurant

IDR  25.000 until 30.000,- /person (with drink)

This resto was recommended by a local from souvenirs shop, this resto basically served a lot variety of foods, same like Padang resto, you can choose any kind of foods you desire.

    • Ice Cream Gunung Salju

IDR 15.000,- /person

Located not far from Tringgading Resto, this is an old style ice cream shop like Ragusa in Jakarta. Try durian ice cream.

    • Sate Matang Yakin Rasa

IDR 25.000,- /person (with drink and rice)

Sate matang  is one of Acehnese culinary’s specialties. This warung is one of the biggest on the Peunayong Street, this street is very famous because on the evening it turns to be a food festive. Sate matang totally delicious, they served it with meat stock  and special nut sauce. I ate 2 portions.

    • Boiled Clams

IDR 19.000,- / person (with drink)

Not like any other clams, they have the biggest clams I’ve ever seen! Still located on Peunayong Street, you can find this clams along the street. They served it with tomato sauce, oh I can’t stop eating the clams. If you like it, better try it then sorry.

  • Sight Seeing
    • Baitturahman Mosque

Free ; clothes restrictions

This time we came on evening, and the mosque was just beautiful because it was brightly white.

Day 7 – Banda Aceh

  • Transport
    • Becak Motor – we used the driver before

IDR 70.000,- / ride (from Hotel to Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport)

Our last day, heading back to Jakarta. I love becak motor here, the drivers all very kind and honest.

TOTAL BUDGET     : Around 4.859.000,- (not include souvenirs and tipping)

The budget include : transports, accommodations, dining, sight-seeing.

I must say this trip opened my mind about Aceh, really impressed about the kindness of the people, and also Aceh is very beautiful, will come back for sure.

Trip to Aceh, Indonesia