Mount Bromo East Java – Volcanic Gateway

Thanks to Bromo Marathon organiser, otherwise I wont get my ass to this fantastic place. It was my first time to bromo. There wasn’t enough courage before. But the marathon gave more courage than I need. Took a flight to Surabaya from Denpasar. It was CHAOS in Bali airport. Lion air just ruined my day, almost 6 hours delayed! We should arrive in Surabaya around 10AM.. but in fact we got there by 4PM! I really felt sorry for the rent car driver who waited us from for 6 hours too. Lion air now is in my last list to fly.

I used my smartfren android to navigate me to Bromo Cottages, the place we stayed for the 2 nights. Two important things to note if you are going on your own like me.. First, google map will give us the shortest route.. there’s only choice to exclude toll or highway on your route but there’s no choice to exclude tiny road or even soiled road.. Second, Bromo is in high and rural area. You could hardly get any mobile phone signal..

Get lucky! I realized this JUST 1 night before I go.. otherwise, we might have to sleep in the car because being lost.. I managed to take the route with the biggest road.. It’s longer but saver for us.. the route was from surabaya airport to pasuruan.. then we took jalan raya tebas.. about 20 minutes after.. we started to lose the mobile signal.. and it was dark already.. we then prayed and hoped to see any signs.. haha.. thanks lion air to make our journey much more challenging!

Bromo only has 1 attraction.. the mountain and view around it.. that’s all.. but it’s STUNNING.. search for pictures in google.. it’s truly amazing.. Life in bromo begin at 4AM and end around 2PM.. after 2PM, it’s only hase.. can’t see anything.. radius 50m.. that’s all you can see..

Mount bromo is surrounded by mountains and hills.. and the best part.. it’s surrounded by large sand field.. So the best view of the mountain is from surrounded hills or mountains.. Normally.. you took the jeep to some certain sunrise point.. I was there around 4.30.. and it was packed!.. it’s truly STUNNING.. I went to the mountain itself.. the view was amazing also.. but I like the one from the hill more..

This is what I want to do if I got a chance to go there again.. I went here for marathon.. I got the chance to see the village, the people who actually live there.. next.. i want to explore more.. ride around with bike seem nice.. from hill to hill..

Indonesia and Bali Public Holidays

Bali is an island and a province of Indonesia. Some people get confuse as Bali is more famous than Indonesia. As a part of Indonesia, Bali is enjoying the Indonesia public holidays. Bali has its own public holiday also in addition of the Indonesian public holiday. It’s more likely to be Bali Important Days instead of public holidays. If you are more dealing with local balinese people, you should pay more attention to the bali important days also. This includes eating balinese food. They are mostly closed on bali important days but open on indonesia public holiday.

Indonesia Public Holidays are as follows:

January 1, 2013 New Year’s Day 2013
January 24, 2013 Birthday of the Prophet Mohammad SAW
February 10, 2013 Chinese New Year – Imlek 2564
March 12, 2013 Hari Nyepi Cakra 1935 (Bali Day of Silence)
March 29, 2013 Good Friday
May 9, 2013 Ascension Day of Jesus Christ into Heaven
May 25, 2013 Hari Raya Waisak 2557
June 6, 2013 Isra Mi’raj Prophet Mohammad SAW
August 5,6,7, 2013 Shared Holiday
August 8-9, 2013 Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1434H
August 17, 2013 Indonesian Independence Day
October 14, 2013 Shared Holiday
October 15, 2013 Idul Adha 1434 H
November 5, 2013 Islamic New Year 1435 H
December 25, 2013 Christmas Day
December 26, 2016 Shared Holiday

Bali Important Days / Public Holidays are as follows:

March 11-13, 2013 Hari Nyepi / Bali Day of Silence ceremonies
March 26-28, 2013 Galungan
April 6, 2013 Kuningan
August 10, 2013 Saraswati
August 14, 2013 Pagerwesi
Oktober 22-24, 2013 Galungan
November 2, 2013 Kuningan

Normally, on these dates, local balinese people will busy the ceremonies. Yes, only the local balinese people. Other local people, which are a lot from other part of indonesia, will work as usual. Tourist area won’t be affected.

Ayam Betutu Bali

Ayam Betutu is one of original balinese foods. It’s not for everyone tough. The taste of the herbs are really really strong. If you don’t like tasty food, you won’t like this. But if you do.. you’ll loveeee this ayam betutu. Mostly it consists of turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, onion, garlic, cassava and chilies. The taste is quite different between places. You can find its receipt here.

You can find this ayam betutu everywhere in Bali from low class warung to stand at the mall. I listed some nice one that I have tried here:

First and the best is Warung Makan Bu Kadek Wati.. phone: 0361.7441495.. google maps -8.635758,115.216455. The chicken is so soft, the taste is nice and strong and it’s really really cheap.. only 8K! photo above was taken at this warung.. the place quite small.. it’s like 4 x 12m.. with 2 long tables on the side facing the wall.. 1 big long table in the middle.. normally very busy during lunch time.. and the food normally finish around 1 – 2 PM..

Second, Warung Bu Adnyana.. google maps -8.64889,115.219738.. the chicken is also soft.. the taste is quite different.. softer than the first one.. but still so nice.. it’s 35K otherwise.. the place is like 5 x 16.. not too busy.. they normally close around 5 PM..

Third, Ayam Betutu Men Tempeh Gilimanuk.. it’s in old Gilimanuk Terminal.. I haven’t eat this food for quite a while.. it’s really far from Denpasar.. it’s like 3 hours drive.. but if you drive from Denpasar to Java or vice versa.. you should go to this warung.. Chicken is so soft and nice.. it’s specially super HOT.. hot but you can’t stop haha.. last time the price around 70K for 1 whole chicken.. not sure now..

Forth, Stand Waybe at Beachwalk Eat n Eat area.. if you are not a typical food hunter.. you can go to beachwalk mall in Kuta Beach.. top floor where the food court is.. you’ll find stand waybe.. they sell balinese food.. the taste is ok.. price quite high.. but at least you know..

to be continue..

 

Slippery Stone Seminyak Bali

I love this place to spend the night.. really cozy.. not too crowd.. nice ambiance.. very relaxing.. what’s best for me are their interior design.. simple but modern artistic.. spaces between tables are far enough which make it more comfortable.. the last but not least.. their staffs were super excellent.. Google Maps: -8.6711,115.159378

Slippery Stone serve western, indonesian and balinese food. I tried the steam barramundi (110K rupiah), ikan bakar (110K), super chrispy chicken wing (50K) and soft shell crab burger (70K). They were all OK for me.. not too special.. but not bad either.. they were just too too small for me.. I had to eat at least 2 main foods.. and you have to add 10+10% for the tax and services.. I felt the price was a bit too expensive for the foods..

For drinks however, the prices were ok.. small beer bintang for 25K.. draught for 28K..

Come back? I will !

Sate Plecing Arjuna

This is one of the most unique food in Bali.. Sweet pork sate with chili / sambal sauce.. can you imagine that? Before I went to this place.. I never imagine mixing sweet pork sate with sambal sauce..

If you’re afraid of sambal, it might look scary. Well it is scary. But it’s sooooo so damn nice. This is one of the must food you eat in Bali.

The pork is so soft.. the taste really nice.. not to sweet.. although they’re sweetened.. the smoke taste also there.. The sambal sauce is the best of all.. it’s in the middle of medium to super hot (for me).. I can taste the shrimp taste but not too strong.. just perfect..

If you don’t like sambal.. you can try the sweet sauce.. but for me.. it’s just standard.. they also have beef and beef  ball soup.. pretty standard also..

The place is a warung.. low class restaurant.. no aircon.. seat on the bench instead of chair.. long table.. packed of people.. super hot especially when the satay smoke come inside.. limited tissue.. no smile.. the worst.. you can’t ask for additional sambal, soup or anything.. but.. the food is just too nice.. which keep me coming back.. haha..

Some tips if you want to come here.. if you come during holiday season.. don’t come during lunch time.. they open 10 – 5.. some times they close earlier when the satay finish.. some times later than 5 if they still have the satay.. bring your own tissue.. when you eat chili in a hot place.. you easily get super wet inside and outside.. if you are not used to spicy food or bbq ashes.. you might want to take at least 3 yakults..

Price is OK.. last time I ate 35 satays, 2 orange ices, 2 beef ball soups.. 2.5 rices.. I spent less than 100K..

New Year 2013 in Bali

New year is here againnn.. time pass really damn fast.. It’s always been confusing for me.. where to go.. will it be good.. nye only comes once each year.. I don’t want to ruin it.. So I’ll list some of nye parties in Bali to give better thought..

Waterboom Bali
Waterboom will have some concerts performance by MICHAEL FRANTI AND SPEARHEAD, NAHKO AND MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE, THE SOUL DOCTORS, JIM LARKIN AND THE SAUCY SOUL BAND.. from 7-2AM.. Price USD 35..
more info http://www.stayhumanstore.com/1000tickettofundraiserfortikahick.aspx

Skygarden
I know this place will be rocking.. will definitely be packed.. they have some overseas djs performing..
Price: 250K, 350K and 2.5M for table reserved..
More info go to http://www.61legian.com/component/content/article/285

Mint
This is the latest hottest club.. 100% fully packed.. bottles promo 10 – 12 PM from 700K.. go to https://www.facebook.com/mintbali for updates..

Potato Head Beach Club
Claiming would be the heaviest nye party tunes.. performing some international djs.. should be around 800K.. they haven’t post the event details on their web.. but should be around the same price as Kudeta..

Hard Rock Cafe will have one night in rio with sem thomasson..

Nammos will have A Nigh of Decadence and Hedonism with Bert Bevans.. 1M for couple inc 750ml F Vodka..

Akasaka Music Club will have Pirates of The Akasaka with some jakarta djs..
Eikon will have Sarah Robertson (Oz Dj former playboy bunny)..
Boshe will have DJ Winky.. 200K..
Pyramid will have12 hours party journey..
Cocoon will haveblack and white party with some performances..
Komune Beach club will have DJ Tony Montana – Ibiza with free entry.. http://www.komuneresorts.com/keramasbali/library/New-Year-Eve-FP6W.pdf
W will havelondon beats party from 4PM – 4AM..
Kudeta will have Diamons Are Forever… 800K – 900K tickets.. with DJ Danny Marquez – Space Ibiza
Club 27 will have Pool Party.. 200K – 250K..
District will have El Paradiso Del District with Remy Irwan and Ninda Felina..
Rooftop @ the101 will have Hawaii Party.. 250K..

Venues that can accomodate for huge number of people are Waterboom, Skygarden with their club dome and roof garden, Potato Head, Hard Rock Cafe, Nammos, Akasaka and Boshe. If you wanna see a lot of people.. there are the only choices. Waterboom will have concert instead of dance party, it’s not for me then.  I don’t really like the crowd in Hard Rock Cafe, Akasaka and Boshe, they are normally not party people. Nammos is just too far, and I believe they won’t have enough crowd to make it fun. It left me with Skygarden and Potato Head.

Skygarden is just like my normal saturday night with more crazier people of course.. but it’s a lot cheaper.. 2.5M if I go with 4 friends.. might order another 2 bottles + some snacks.. maximum end up 5M for 4 people.. Potato Head on the other hand, 800K (not sure) for entrance.. bottles at least 2M.. with some snacks.. easily get 10M.. About double.. but hey.. it’s new year eve.. I might go to Potato Head.. See you there guys!

Credit Card Reward Points: How it worth

Always in my mind, which card give the most of their reward points. I have many credit cards myself, always wondering which one to use every time I buy expensive things. So this is my analysis, I’ll discuss 2 cards I have: Danamon World and Citibank Rewards.

Danamon World

Every 1000 rupiah spent, we’ll get 1.5 reward points. 100K voucher for carrefour is worth 25000 reward points. So the rupiah amount of that voucher will be, 25000 / 1.5 *1000 = 16.666.666 rupiah. You spend 16.6M+ rupiah, you got back 100K.. it’s about 0.6%.. I calculate for redeeming IPAD is about similar percentage..

For millage it looks better. I use the Kris Flyer mileage point since they have the calculator available on their web.. 1 KF (Kris Flyer) mileage point is equal to 12 reward point.. A trip from Singapore to Bali round way needs 12.750 miles.. so it needs 12 x 12.750 = 153000 reward points.. which is equal to Rp. 102.000.000,- of spending.. you get a 2.3M rupiah worth of ticket.. it’s about 2.25%.. taxes and surcharges are excluded..

Another plus point.. we can enjoy the airport lounge using this card, free annual fee, 5% cash back on petrol and bill..

Citibank Reward Card

Every 2500 rupiah spend, you got 1, 2 or 3 reward points.. depends where and when we use the card.. Lets say it’s 2 reward points since mostly we will get these. I took an example of redeeming PS3 500GB.. it needs 323700 rewards point.. it costs Rp 2.750.000,- in some online stores.. 323700 is about Rp. 404.625.000,- of spending.. so it’s about 0.67%..

The best with this card.. when there are some promotions with some venues.. We can use our reward points as cash discount.. such as in Sushi Tei, Planet Sports, Carrefour, etc.. I calculate.. it’s about 15 rupiah for each point + some reward points + more discounts (sometimes).. you spend 2500 rupiah… you’ll get 30 back.. it’s about 1.2%.. double compare if you take the gadget..

For millage.. 7 reward point = 1 millage point.. as above.. 7 x 12.750 = 89250 reward points.. which is equal to Rp. 111.562.500,- of spending.. we get Rp 2.3M worth of ticket.. taxes and surcharges are excluded.. it’s about 2%..

Please keep in mind.. we can get sometimes only 1 instead of 2 reward points for each 2500 rupiah we spend which make all percentage above worst..

Well in conclusion.. danamon looks a bit better on the redemption value.. but citibank has better value if you don’t like travelling and like to spend money to certain places they are partnering..

Note:
– I can’t find any information about point getting expired.. it might not get expire.. but have to confirm that..
– This calculation is based on my monthly statement and some information on their official website..
– Disclaimer ON always..

Kris Flyer mileage calculator.. click here http://www.singaporeair.com/travelplanner.form

Sushi Q Teuku Umar Denpasar Bali

What a lucky day! So hungry after a long massage session.. I went to Jalan Teuku Umar to keep my big belly happy.. I was a little confuse between Mie Bandung or something heavier.. Accidently.. found this brand new restaurant called Sushi Q.. The Q is stand for qombi.. It’s the old minivan of VW.. The car is parked in front of the restaurant.. not sure if the sushi was made inside the car.. Google Maps: -8.681557,115.19935

I arrived around 9.30 PM.. I was explained that they were not opened yet.. today is for test food only.. everyone will get one food and one drink for free.. everyone means everyone.. including me who was no-one to them.. I only have to pay the second food.. sound good!.. The place is very typical teuku umar restaurant.. you only come to eat and go.. they have air conditioner and non area.. it’s good.. clean..

All sushis were fnisihed! I ordered beef yakiniku, udon soup.. tasted ok.. to much black pepper for the beef yakiniku.. but ok for me.. the soup for udon was nice.. I could feel the seaweed taste.. normal tea was served instead of typical japanese ocha tea.. why?.. They’re really panic for the first day (that’s why they give the food for free :).. hopefully the next day they will be better.. It’s only 20K for each food.. and 50K for 3 foods.. really cheap! really value for money.. recommended!

Sambal Shrimp Seminyak Bali

Brand new restaurant just opened in Seminyak area. The name is Sambal Shrimp. It’s located in jalan drupadi, seminyak. Google Maps: -8.682979,115.164365. The place was japanese restaurant before. It’s fully renovated while still keeping the old wooden house style.

The place is on second floor.. parking area is ok.. can fit around 6 cars.. the security guys are excellent.. they bought me cigarettes haha.. They have 2 outdoor areas.. quite large one at the front.. small one at the back.. the main area in the middle.. quite large also.. low dim light.. all wooden furnitures.. it’s nice.. no air conditioners however..

Their best menu is the sambal shrimp of course.. as the name says.. I tried it with some additional sambals like sambal matah and terasi.. if i’m not wrong.. This shrimps was really really nice.. the taste of the prawn and herbs was perfect.. I also like both sambals.. really nice..

But.. it’s expensive.. The sambal shrimp itself was 150K.. about 300gr.. see the picture above.. You have to order min 300gr.. I spend 230K for the prawn, 2 little sambals, 1 bowl of rice and 1 coke.. the portion was not even 1/4 of my stomach.. i’m big anyway.. other foods was also expensive.. fine dining restaurant prices..

I like the food but not the price.. the place is nice but not good enough for fine dining.. If they are cheaper.. like half of their prices now.. I would go three times a week!

Nanny’s Pavillon Beachwalk Kuta Bali

Beachwalk Kuta is the latest mall in Bali. It’s huge. Some areas are still under development. But mostly they are running and selling. One of the nicest restaurant is The Nanny’s Pavillon. It’s located in the front area, near the beach, separated from the big building.. It’s a bit confusing which is the front part of this mall. Too hugeee..

They have outdoor and indoor area. When it’s not too hot, it’s really nice to seat outdoor. Otherwise full conditioner indoor area provides 3 big sofas, some tables and bar tables. Nice place to spend some times eating and chit chat before movies.

Their favorite foods are their baked rice menu.. it’s a rice with some herbs and melted cheese on the top.. it’s really nice.. Not to forget their spaghetti tuna.. it’s so damn nice also.. it’s so tasty.. Their blueberry pancake and chocolate waffle are also greatttt.. drinks were ok.. I can’t remember what I took.. but it was standard.. i might have chosen the wrong one..
Nanny's Pavillion Baked Rice
The price is good.. most of the food below 50K.. the portion is nice for ladies.. a bit smaller for man.. but again the price is right.. you can order another one.. A lot of time I went.. They are really full during lunch and dinner time.. specially in the weekend..