NUSA LEMBONGAN & CENINGAN: 2 DAYS, 1 NIGHT

When you talked about Bali, you are probably aware of the temples such as Uluwatu and Tanah Lot and you have probably discover yourself while walking around Ubud. You might have stayed at either Kuta and Seminyak simply because of the reviews.

I’ve been working in Singapore for more than 3 years now (Yay?) I love Bali so much that I usually go there once in a while. I honestly think  Bali is an expensive place compare to its neighboring Cities, Towns and Villages but its so beautiful and peaceful and yet it has a wide variety of food to choose from and places to go to.

Since its my nth time in Bali, I decided to visit an island that my local friend recommended a few years back. He mentioned that the beach is nicer and the island is more peaceful because there are only few people in the area compare to the City Center (True enough).

The reason why my boyfriend and I decided to explore the Nusa Islands particularly Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan (we want another reason to go back so we are leaving Nusa Penida in our list)

HOW TO GO THERE?

There are 4 options, you can check this very helpful article by Travel Fish, How to go to Nusa Lembongan from Bali.

If we have more time, I’d like to experience taking the normal boat but we took Rocky Fast Cruise (Fast Boat) going to the island instead because we are also rushing. We paid 500,000 Rupiah (SGD $51.00) for a return ticket (pickup & drop-off included). It took us 40 mins. to reach the island. I hate boat rides, I do not get sea sick but I hate the sound of people vomiting.

I found this list also just in case you want more option. Price ranges from 100,000 Rupiah to 600,000 Rupiah depending on how good you are in negotiating.

Bali Hai Cruises
T: (0361) 720 331
http://www.balihaicruises.com/content/reef-cruise

Bounty Cruises
T: (0361) 726 666
http://www.balibountycruises.com/html/nusa.htm

Perama
T: (0361) 750 808
http://www.peramatour.com/Daily-Bali-Lombok-Shuttle-Bus-Boat.html

Rocky Fast Cruises
T: (0361) 801 2324
http://www.rockyfastcruise.com/

Scoot Fast Cruises
T: (0361) 285 522
http://www.scootcruise.com/

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

WHERE TO STAY?

We are not particular with hotels. Miguel and I believe that we can splurge our money on food and activities but not on hotels unless we plan to not do anything but that is never the case.

In Nusa Lembongan, we stayed at Bay Shore Huts. The thing is there are not much hotels to choose from at this area but I suggest to look for a hotel near the beach. Nusa Lembongan is quite small and you can roam around the area using motorbike or bikes. There are only few cars and is not recommendable due to the road being extremely narrow.

I always check TripAdvisor for hotel reviews and if you want to know more about Bay Shore Huts, you can check this link for reviews Bay Shore Huts.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The hotel is quite nice. You’ll have your own bungalow like a nipa hut, the staff are really nice, the room is clean, bathroom is neat and big enough, the food in their restaurant is quite good and it is located in front of the beach. Happy to have stayed in this hotel.

For a list of Nusa Lembongan hotels you can check this link: Nusa Lembongan Hotels

NUSA LEMBONGAN DAY 1

We took the fast boat at 12 nn from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan, so we arrived at the hotel around 2:30 pm as we have to wait for everyone else to settle their things.

We’re so hungry so we end up just eating at the hotel. After that we rented a pickup truck to tour us around which is quite a bad idea because we could have done it by ourselves, we’re just too lazy. The tour is about 3 hours and we paid about 300,000 Rupiah.

The tour consist of:

  • Panorama Point

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

This is such a nice view but in reality, the surrounding is a pile of trash with lots of kids asking to take selfies so they can ask money from you.

SAM_9747.JPG

Like this one…

  • Yellow Bridge (Connection between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan) 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The bridge is quite unique because of its color but the amazing part is the view from Nusa Lembongan to the next island. I do not have pictures but the view is really good, I had the hard time taking pictures because 1. The car is moving and 2. Keeping it in my mind’s memory.

  • Dream Beach

Dream beach is such a dream. If I’m ever going back to Nusa Lembongan, I’ll definitely stay in this place. Its so magical and unreal. I feel so small being in this place, traveling sometimes makes you realize that you are a just a piece of trash simply because the world is so big and beautiful and yet people in general are so full of themselves.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAM_9788.JPG

We stayed here for about an hour, lying down and talked about life in general. Lucky enough to be with someone who likes exploring as much as I do.

  • Devil’s Tear

We waited for the sunset at Devil’s Tear but too bad Mr. Sun didn’t show up. Even though, its still wonderful to see God’s creation at its finest. The sound of the wave hitting the rocks is like a memory you’ll never forget.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

It was a long day for us so we decided to head back at the hotel.

By the way, you can try these restaurants! J. Hai Bar & Grill (prawns), Sandy Bay Beach Club ( BQ Tuna or Mahi Mahi), Panorama Restaurant ( Nasi Goreng), Dream Beach Restaurant ( Curry), Warung Patu (Nasi Goreng) and finally Bali Eco Deli (salads).

There are other places besides the one I listed that you can visit.

  • Visit the Mangrove Forest!!!!
  • Snorkeling trip… always wanted this but Miguel loves the beach and hates water (odd)
  •   Have a massage. Their massage is relatively cheap and extremely good

NUSA CENINGAN DAY 2

Nusa Ceningan is just a few minutes away from Nusa Lembongan via the yellow bridge. Instead of hiring a pick up truck, we then decided to explore the nearby island via motorbike (Best decision ever!!!) If you don’t know how to drive, you can always ask locals around and they’ll be happy to tour you for a fee of 100,000 Rupiah/ Hour which is about SGD 10.00.

Compare to Nusa Lembongan, restaurants, bars and even hotels are scarce in Nusa Ceningan. But I think its still best to visit the place. You will not regret it!

Our boat back to Sanur was around 5 pm so we still have time to explore. Hence, these are the places worth visiting if you have extra time.

  • Blue Lagoon

Our first stop was blue lagoon, there are no people during the time of our visit. it was actually a cliff jump point but the government decided to close it because its too dangerous.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAM_9988.JPG

  • Mahana Point

This is where surfers do their thing. You’ll see about 15 of them catching the waves all together and it was such an amazing view. You can also cliff jump (legally).

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

our tour guide also decided to bring us to hidden places with good view but I can’t remember the name so I’ll just post the pictures.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

There are other places besides the one I listed that you can visit.

  • Secret Beach – Heard that it is the clearest beach in Bali
  • Driftwood Bar – Infinity Pool + View of the Beach
  • Watch a few dolphins and Manta Rays
  • Scuba Dive or Snorkelling
  •  Check Le Pirate Beach Club for instagram purposes

I still feel like I missed a lot during the trip and should have stayed in the Nusa Islands longer but nevertheless, it was a fun and memorable trip.

We went back to Sanur at 5 pm and the drop- off to the airport or anywhere in (Seminyak/ Kuta)  from Sanur is already included in the package if you take Rocky Fast Cruise.

Then back to reality. Sigh.

 

 

Hidden Paradise in Cambodia: Koh Rong Samloem

Whenever I travel I usually like to explore 5 things in general. 1) temples 2) traditions/culture 3) Mountains  4) Food 5) Beach

I went to Cambodia for a 6 days tour because I wanted to visit Siem Reap (temples), Pnom Penh (history/ culture) and Silhanoukville (beach). – I will probably write a separate entry for the whole tour.

I am doing this entry to remind myself that there are still places unknown to many and that Cambodia is not just all about “Angkor Wat” and “Pol Pot regime”. They also have really nice beach just like those in Thailand and the Philippines.

This might also be my only memory left because they are planning to commercialize the area and yes, Koh Rong Samloem is the best. (Silhanoukville is not really nice unless you just want to drink all night and Koh Rong is a little more commercialize compare to Koh Rong Samloem. – It really depends on your preference)

HOW TO GO THERE?

From Singapore, there are direct flights going to Silhanoukville but I do not recommend because it is very expensive (usually around $400-500 sgd) so instead, take a flight to Pnom Penh – nearest to Silhanoukville, then take a bus from Pnom Penh to Silhanoukville. (Approx. 4-5 hours)

From Silhanoukville, there are boats going to the island (Koh Rong Samloem). Either you take the fast boat or ferry depends on the time as well.

The Fast Boat to Koh Rong Samloem fromSihanoukVille leaves the Serendipity Beach Pier at 9am and 3pm. The trip to Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem takes 40 minutes, and cost $10 each way. The fast boat ferry leaves Koh Rong Samloem Island at 8:30am and 2:30 pm for SihanoukVille.

Suggestion:

From Pnom Penh, you can book a bus going to Silhanoukville – I suggest taking Giant Ibis (safest and fastest). You can check their website, Giant Ibis.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Serendipity Beach Pier – Silhanoukville

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

WHERE TO STAY?

Lazy Beach Resort 

There are actually 2 sides of Koh Rong Samloem, one is The Lazy Beach (we stayed there and I felt like we own the whole island) from The Lazy Beach, you need to pass by a forest to reach Saracen Bay where there are few hotels/hostels.

I will be biased if I say stay in Lazy Beach. But seriously, they have really good food, your own private island beach, hammock everywhere and a priceless view of the beach and the sunset!!!!!!!

Since there is no wifi, you can really enjoy every moment. The stars at night is amazing especially when all the lights are off. (There is usually no electricity at night)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Did I mention, Sunset? I swear, the sunset at Lazy Beach will make you feel good and make you feel a certain level of happiness that is peaceful at the same time. I wanted to go back just for the sunset.

737714_473452359368376_1870677481_o15219554_1212865685427036_4295611241630562858_n

For reservation or inquries you can check their website:

Lazy Beach Resort

You can either book in person or call +855 (0)16 214 211 or +855 (0)17 456 536 to make your reservation.

Saracen Bay

From Lazy Beach, you have to walk around 20 mins. to reach Saracen Bay. – You’ll pass by a small forest (beware of animals – though they are harmless, it is illegal to feed them. You’ll see monkeys, reptiles, insects, etc)

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

But if you want to party, meet new people, and a nicer beach then you must stay along Saracen Bay. There are few hostels there and you can even rent a tent.

This is the island’s official map:

1305401_orig

For those who enjoy the night life, they have a full moon party along Saracen Bay. I heard its the best. You can check their website for the complete schedule and line – up. http://www.koh-rong-samloem-island.com/full-moon-party.html

I heard from my friends that along Saracen Bay, you can check these hotels/hostels as well.

  • The Beach Island Resort
  • Secret Paradise Resort
  • Sweet dreams Samloem
  • Sol Beach Resort

The rate ranges from $30.00 SGD to $80.00 and you must book early because most of the time, all of the hotels are fully booked.

What is nice about Saracen Bay is the beach. I don’t need to say anything, let the pictures do the talking but seriously its surreal.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

They don’t have an ATM machine in the island so you should always have cash with you.

The best food is the restaurant at Lazy Beach (you can find drinks everywhere) we stayed there for a few days so literally order almost everything in the menu just because its cheaper to eat good food in Cambodia if you compare it to Singapore.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

If you have more time you can also visit the fishing villages, the waterfalls, mangroves and a lot more if you are into activities. But for me personally, I’d rather stay in an island, enjoy the sun and the feeling of being away from work.

I’ve been to Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and a lot more beach in the Philippines, I know its probably incomparable but if you want something different, try to visit Koh Rong Samloem, I swear you will not regret it.

There is something about undevelop islands that makes you feel refreshing.

P.S If its your lucky day and you are up for an adventure you can also swim with bioluminiscent planktons. Its like a fairytale where in the glow of the planktons are the only color you’ll see at night. You can swim with them but be careful because they randomly bite.

If you have more suggestions, let me know!

 

Yogyakarta, Indonesia: (5 Days, 4 nigts)

If there is one place in Indonesia that I love so much, it would probably be Yogyakarta (“jogja”). I love temples! Its a part of history that you can’t change. It tells stories of the past and how it differs from the present. You’ll see how simple life is and how important nature is to them.

I arrived around 10 am, from airport to the city it would take you around 30 minutes. I like staying at hostels when I travel alone because I meet a lot of people and its just fun and cheaper to travel with someone.

I stayed at Sae sae hostel! For a hostel, its a 10/10. I heard they transferred to a better location but still around the area so I suggest for you to stay there when you are on a budget and you want to meet awesome people.

Not to mention they are number 1 in TripAdvisor! (The rent is around 19 sgd per night)

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-11-32-35-am

There is a direct flight from Singapore to Yogyakarta but its cheaper if you would take air asia so take a bus from Singapore to KL (around $25.00 sgd) then take the flight from there ( $140-200+) depends on the season.

From the Philippines, I am not sure if there is a direct flight, but you can take a flight from Philippines to Jakarta then either take the train, bus or another flight to Yogkarta (depends on the budget).

Day 1:

You can tour around the City. Instead of taking the normal group tour. I suggest on taking the bike tour (SAESAE offers a city tour) unbelievable because you’ll be able to see  hidden temples around the area itself (w no entrance fee). –Bike tour is around 40-50 sgd 

thumb_sam_3855_1024

  • Plaosan Temple – Amazing Sunset!
  • Sambisari Temple – Formerly buried under lava
  • Candi Prambanan
  • Sewu Temple
  • Sambisari Temple
thumb_sam_3883_1024

Sambisari Temple – It was raining when I went there (it would be a lot better with Mr. Sun)

thumb_sam_3904_1024

thumb_sam_3859_1024

Sewu Temple

You can also visit Prambanan Temple – (consist of 240 temples!) for sunset and watch the Ramayana Ballet.

1

Prambanan Temple -Entrance fee (18 usd)

2

Prambanan Temple

If you are interested to watch Ramayana Ballet – It is also in Prambanan Temple between 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm (35 usd – inclusive of dinner)

(Pictures from Google Image)

Day 2:

Woke up early to have breakfast around the area ( I will make a separate blog post on food – there are too many unique cafes and good food in Yogyakarta)

Took time to visit Kraton and Water Caste (Taman Sari) in the morning. 

If you want culture and history, this is a must! You will know the story, culture and a lot more to learn from this place. – (Takes around 3-4 hours) Met a friend  from the hostel who joined me in touring both Kraton and Taman Sari.

thumb_sam_4572_1024thumb_sam_4589_1024thumb_sam_4559_1024thumb_sam_4570_1024thumb_sam_4602_1024thumb_sam_4526_1024thumb_sam_4507_1024thumb_sam_4511_1024thumb_sam_4580_1024thumb_sam_4530_1024thumb_sam_4534_1024

In the afternoon, I suggest to just explore the food and learn how to ride the motorbike. I love Bali, I’ve been to Bali for more than 3 times already but Yogyakarta is so rich in culture, nature and a lot more but the price you’ll spend would be 1/3 of what you will spend in  Bali.

Why I suggest to just rest and enjoy the central area is because you have a choice to hike Mt. Merapi and hiking starts at 1 am. If you are not interested in hiking then you can take the jeep ride going up in the afternoon (there is a tour guide)  but you won’t be able to reach the peak which is beyond amazing.

Day 3

Hiking at Mt. Merapi is the highlight of my trip. You should try to book as early as your first day – must have at least 3 pax for the tour guide to proceed. The hike starts at 1 am and if you are fast and healthy enough, you’ll reach the top by Sunrise (around 5:30 -6:00 am) and I am not sure why it took me longer to go down we reached the bottom around 12:30 nn- 1:00 pm already.

It was really one of the best experience I have. I mean I’ve been to different mountains in the Philippines and being somewhere else is also a great experience. Too be honest, I wasn’t fit enough so I really had a hard time. In our group, we were around 10 but only 5 of us managed to reached the peak. – I was trying to challenge myself.

PS Its very cold on top. Please bring a thick jacket, gloves and wear thick socks to be able to climb comfortably. The hike was hard for me not because it was steep or dangerous but because it was raining, I was just wearing a hoodie and Its all the way up with no chill.

For more information you can check this website: http://discoveryourindonesia.com/mount-merapi/

Mt. Merapi is a very active volcano and the surrounding area are all mountains.

thumb_sam_4234_1024thumb_sam_4336_1024thumb_sam_4354_1024thumb_sam_4364_1024thumb_sam_4318_1024thumb_sam_4325_1024thumb_sam_4313_1024thumb_sam_4235_1024thumb_sam_4341_1024thumb_sam_4347_1024

thumb_sam_4309_1024

If you are not yet tired and still up for adventure, you can visit Sri Gethuk Waterfall. You can ask Saesae for a bike tour to this place, I think its 1 hour by bike from the City. – Sunset is very nice and my tour guide takes nice pictures.

thumb_sam_4384_1024thumb_sam_4432_1024thumb_sam_4416_1024thumb_sam_4429_1024thumb_sam_4447_1024

You can also go cave tubing on Nature’s lazy river since its near the area, but I was so tired so end up not doing it (a must on my next visit).

At night, there is this restaurant which serves authentic Nasi Lemak and Nasi Goreng. You can ask the tour guide to pass by this place. (Locals favorite)

thumb_sam_4476_1024thumb_sam_4473_1024thumb_sam_4495_1024

I pretty much suggest to sleep early because 4th day requires you to waking up very early for a sunrise tour at Borobodur.

Day 4

The tour guide will pick you up around 3:30 in the morning. You will have to walk and climb stairs to reach the top. Borobodur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Borobudur Temple Compounds is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world, and was built in the 8th and 9th centuries AD during the reign of the Syailendra Dynasty. The monument is located in the Kedu Valley, in the southern part of Central Java, at the centre of the island of Java, Indonesia.

I like chasing temples and I’ve been to Angkor Wat – probably one of the biggest temple in the World but I found peace in Borobodur it was so overwhelming that it made me want to go back immediately. I felt like I can touch the clouds and everything about the place is just pure peace and love.

thumb_sam_3977_1024thumb_sam_3986_1024thumb_sam_4035_1024thumb_sam_4026_1024thumb_sam_4116_1024thumb_sam_4159_1024thumb_sam_4119_1024thumb_sam_4025_1024thumb_sam_4065_1024thumb_sam_4084_1024thumb_sam_4163_1024

The tour ends early so you still have more time to explore yogyakarta. If you have enough budget and time, you can visit the beach or Jomblang Cave ( depends on your preference)

Yogyakarta has beach and nice cliff that is quite similar to Bali. You can check this site for reference. https://indonesia.tripcanvas.co/jogja/things-to-do-in-yogyakarta/

I did not have time to go because I was too tired so I end up spending time with newly found friends at the hostel enjoying beer and good music.

Day 5

I actually don’t have enough time left so I went to visit the Sand dunes probably to experience it and take pictures but something went wrong with my camera so I do not have pictures of the place.

You can still check it out if you have time.

Going back to the airport is just too sad. I swear if there is one place in Indonesia that I’ll be happy to go back its definitely, Yogyakarta.

For reference and things to do you can also visit these websites: