Monday, October 20, 2014

Togean Islands, The Next Big Thing on Indonesian traveling market

The Togean Islands are an archipelago of 56 islands and islets, in the Gulf of Tomini, off the coast of Central Sulawesi, in Indonesia. I never thought I'm gonna falling in love with this islands. Togean spoils me too much. When you visit this beautiful destination, you can not resist the beauty under the water, beautiful beaches, and local hospitality. I think Togean Islands is The Next Big Thing on Indonesian traveling market.

I met a lot of traveler across the globe in Togean, from Holland, Austria, France, Canada, Australia, and Germany. Don't be afraid to talk to new people, you'll never know story you might hear. It's a great opportunity to learn from different culture.

Togean is one of my favorite destination now. I am lucky to have my diving buddy to travel with, and spend one week happiness in paradise. I look traveling as investment in life, great opportunity to learn from different cultures, more knowledge, new experience in this amazing world. We're gonna miss so much if we stay only in one place. I don't want it happen to me. We only die once, i don't want to die wondering. So keep traveling and stay happy!

Music: The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) by U2
Shot and Edited by Rama Kristian

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Escapes to Flores

Finally, i arrived in Kanawa Island, one destination that i dream since last two year.  I stay for seven days in Kanawa Island Resort. I never traveled less than five days, but seven days back to island life, i'm looking forward to this adventure. I stayed in bungalow for two nights and bale for five days, i could find beach in front of my room, snorkeling near jetty, and diving around the island.

The reason i travel to Kanawa is i want to get my diving license as self birthday present. Hard to believe, I've met the best diving instructor in my life. Her name is Justine Singleton aka ajust, or nona bean. She taught me not only diving skill but also persistence. I feel so secure when i was under the sea with her. I pray i could meet her again and dive together somewhere in Indonesia.

 My diving experience was so awesome with her and the crew. Kanawa Island Diving has the dopest crew ever. Cello and Thono made me laugh all the time, Alex, Louie, Rüdi, Dhollyn are the coolest dive master on the island.

Back to island life, it's a simple life, no fancy bath room, limited electricity, no internet. I don't mind to live this way but i'm so surprise when someone come to island and complain there's no internet, and too dark when you're sleeping at the night. Come on! You come to an island not a luxury five stars hotel, so embrace it and live it up. They say life is short so try to enjoy every moment and travel as much as possible.

The best thing live in Kanawa are live above beautiful creature and coral, surround breathtaking view, and sleep underneath the stars.

 As you know i always travel with my friend but this time i travel alone come to Kanawa. I admit i never make a friend when i travel but on this trip i've met strangers then become friend: Angie - Kanawa Island Resort Manager, Anna -Anggi's friend, Heru - The Famous Chef, he mentioned in Gwyneth Paltrow's blog, Michel and Aleia, Sebastian and Christina, Mark and his girlfriend, The Ende blogger crew: Tuteh, Ilham, Sony, Poppy, and Elison, The Ladies Group: Sisil, Dhani, Destia, Endah, Debby, Seri, Nita, The Bros: Oki, Bogel, The SOPI crew: Rio, Thiara, Yogi, Sarah, Evert, Mia, and Amalla Vesta, she's an Indonesian fabulous - can i say that?  - travel consultant and host of @liburanlokal and @swankytraveler account. You can call me a lucky bastard.

 Flores store my heart. It gets inside of me, it touches my soul. This trip has been special to me. I promise i will come back one day. Meanwhile, enjoy my two minutes video about my escapes to Flores.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Weekend Getaway

M.I.A for few months, yes i am. I want to share my short trip to Bali on last August. I made video blog to sum up my weekend getaway. Tatha and I went to see John Legend at Potato Head Beach Club Summer Party 2013. It's been fun party and trip. Thanks to Umalasjam (Dita and Christa), we crashed at your wonderful place. hope you like it.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Get out and Explore El Nido!

Mabuhay! It's been five months, i haven't updated the weekender since January 2013. Yes! It's about my adventure trip in El Nido with friends. One of our destination was voted by thousands of travelers as the top 25 beach in Asia this year via online travel guide’ Travelers’ Choice 2013. What?! I’m very excited to share with you.

It was not an easy trip to El Nido. Philippines airlines carried us from Jakarta to Manila in the midnight, transited in Manila for six hours then jumped to our seat on PAL airlines to Puerto Princessa. If you are going to transit in Manila, I recommend to go to Resort World Manila. You will find restaurant and shopping mall but they will open at 11 PM. You also can find MC Donald and Seven Eleven nearby Resort World Manila. There’s free shuttle from airport to Resort World Manila.
Our afternoon flight from Manila to Puerto Princessa got delayed, so we have to take last shuttle van to reach El Nido. Shuttle van left Puerto Princessa at 7 PM. It took five hours to reach El Nido, Palawan. It was dark and bumpy road. If you are leaving in the morning you will see beach and cliffs. Our shuttle van arrived in El Nido at 1 AM in the morning. It was quite morning in El Nido. Shuttle van drop us in terminal in El Nido, in front of the market. 

Our hotel reservation was in Golden Monkey El Nido. It’s in downtown of El Nido. Threecycle dropped us in the main street then we need to walk to Golden Monkey El Nido for fifteen minutes. We passed a cemetery at that night, at the beginning I didn’t feel afraid at all because I feel so tired, I need to sleep on my bed after a long trip. Something happen on our second night in El Nido.

Golden Monkey

I woke up with the best feeling in the world, i saw beautiful scenery in front of my room. I would love to see it every day. One day, i will spend my life in an island. For now, let's go for an island hopping. An island hopping is a must in El Nido. It's easy to arrange your tour - island hopping in El Nido. You can book everywhere, from your hotel to tour provider. Four packages are A, B, C, D. The good news is same price everywhere. I guess there's standard price from government. We started our first day with El Nido Tour A. Tour A is the most famous package in El Nido.
Secret Lagoon is located in small island remiscent of the movie “the Beach” surrounded by limestone karst cliffs. As you enter a small hole, you will see massive caldera that once a cave which collapsed and now is surrounded by karst cliffs. In the middle is lagoon.

paradise hidden on the wall
Princess Sharma IX and punggawa
Small Lagoon is located on the cove of Miniloc Island. As you enter a small swim through a hole on board a kayak or swimming through, you will see turquoise-green waters of  Small Lagoon of its orchid-lined limestone walls, a showcase a kaleidoscope of marine life.

A kayak you can pedal
feel the nature around you
under water stunt
Big Lagoon -  a visit to Big Lagoon is a running tour on board the outrigger boat, approaching the lagoon in the middle of karst limestone formations you are welcomed by water so clear and full of marine life. Big lagoon is a breeding ground for fishes and crustaceans.
we are coming

Our boatman prepared our lunch in front of huge rock looks like a cave. The main course is fish but i love the dessert, fresh mango and pineapple. I would love to recommend you to bring snacks while you wait our boatman cook our lunch. It takes time to cook so you can chat with your mate while eat your snack.

lunch prep
our new mate
Seven Commandos Beach – The final destination after long day on tour. Seven commandos is named after the 7 remining Japanese commandos who lived in the island as straglers after world war II. The Island has a long white sandy beach lined with palms trees.

Laying down while enjoying caprinha, or San Miquel - local beer is one of relaxing activity after an island hopping. Widhi and i always love to taste local beer every time when we travel. We want to embrace local culture.
a cafe
The next day, island hopping with Tour C package. Prepare your swim wear, swim gear, uv protection, sun glasses, and the most important is mineral water. You will exhausted after snorkeling or swim in the sea. It would be great if you have your morning breakfast before your activity. If your captain asked you to wear live jacket, please wear it properly due to our safety.

Tapiutan Island - Further out of the bay facing the South China Sea, Tapiutan's rich marine life provides opportunities for scuba diving and snorkelling. One of the most striking islands in El Nido because of its shape and sheer limestone walls. It is possible to have picnic lunch at the beach area on the southeastern side of the island.
Young, and wild, and free
power nap by the beach
Matinloc Shrine - Hidden among the lush forested island is the Matinloc Shrine (also known as Shrine of Our Lady of Matinloc and Shrine of the Blessed Virgin) a sacred monument built in 1982 to honor the blessed virgin mary.

There is one place that caught our attention on the islands of El Nido, namely Matinloc Island. From a distance it looks like a private resort. The captain took us to the island after lunch, and it turns out that the building is an old church. Church renovated into a hotel - a combination church and hotel. It visited during the celebration of that time. It was said Church is abandoned by the owner due to a ghost. Sometime in the early 2000s there was a ghost of a beautiful woman as a fairy that annoys workers and hotel guests. The captain of our boat is a living witness who had seen the ghost according his confession. 

over there

Apart from that, The view from the top of the cliff were breathtaking, we can see sea with blue and green color degradation in front of you. The view is absolutely beautiful. I feel like I’m in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. 

After returning from Matinloc Island we were discussing about the urban legend in Matinloc. It was cold and humid after rainfall, we need to pass the cemetery for the third time. Everyone looks fine after talking about mystical in Mantinloc, enjoying the way back to the cottages. We heard something fall from the garden next to the cemetery. Tatha asked me go before our friends. As a result, we’re all run together. Towards the end of the cemetery, we heard dogs howled so loud and barking at us. The dog never barked  to us before. The poodle – cottages guardian directly barking into back towards us as extrude something. Since that incident some of us couldn’t sleep all night, some of us feel anxiety, fear and hear something outside. It’s like in horror film.

Dilumacad and Helicopter Island - This island has a beautiful white sand beach stretching to some 300 meters that is ideal for picnic lunches during island-hopping trips. There is an underwater tunnel at its northern side and a fringing reef on its southern end. The island is also called Helicopter Island because its limestone cliffs resemble that of a helicopter when it is viewed from a considerable distance.
look what we've found
under the water
yellow coral reef
green coral reef
One of our friend left El Nido earlier. Lydia should come back to Jakarta due to work. Only four of us survived in El Nido.We're craving for beach, and adventure so we decided to have Tour B. I admitted i am not fit enough because i haven't enough sleep because the urban legend. I was panicking in Pinagbuyutan island because i couldn't wear my masker properly. The day before i did snorkeling by myself and it was okay. I feel something weird on that day, maybe it just my feeling. Tatha almost lost her sun glasses while snorkeling, fortunately we could found it.

Pinagbuyutan Island has soft powdery white sand comparable to the world's best beaches. The water is shallow for about a couple of meters from the shore and then a few meters away you will see a snorkeling area full of fishes. Get captivated by the emerald green color of the water and the phenomenal seascape fronting this island.
we are looking @acewidhi
clear water

Cadugnon Point and Cave - It is an important anthropological site, where jewelry and pottery dating back to the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 BC) were yielded. The anthropologists believe that the cave dwellers were from Borneo, and travelled across the ancient land bridge that connected Palawan from Borneo. A small opening hidden among the rocks near the beach reveals a cathedral like cave inhabited by sea sparrows. Inside you’ll see spectacular rock formations and a way to climb a small limestone hill. A truly wonderful experience.
inside the cave

Pinasil Island and Cathedral Cave - The island has a cathedral-like cavern accessible by dinghy and kayak. Its cool interior is lit at certain times of the day by sunlight coming through an opening at its peak. This one of important sites for the busyadors or the birds' nest gatherers.

the door
victory moment
totally fun
under my boat
contemplation time

Vigan and Snake Island - Located near Pangulasian Island, it is also referred to as, "Snake Island," because of the fine natural sandspit (s-shaped sandbar) that "snakes" off it shores. The sandspit is clearly visible only when the tide is low. On both sides of the sandspit are shallow swimming areas. Climbing the hill of the nearby island provide a glimpse of an awe inspiring seascape and a bird's eye view of Bacuit Bay while the boat crew prepare a sumptuous meal.

Snake island
It was worth climbing, stunning view

I am pleasure seeker, i am seeking pleasure. I tell the truth that i had great time in El Nido. My eyes can not handle the beauty of El Nido. If you ask me why i'm going to El Nido, since i came from a country where beautiful beaches lies, my reason  is i want to enjoy the beauty of nature. Nature's gift to adore. One day, i will not regret that i live my life to the fullest.

"Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world." - Gustave Frank Herbert

Thanks to for content.