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Tips to enjoy Nyepi Day in Bali

 

Nyepi or Silence Day is a very unique holiday that you will only find on Bali and its neighboring islands Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. Its purpose is to celebrate the Balinese New Year. Since Balinese people follow a different calendar system, and this year Nyepi (Silence Day) takes place on March 7, 2019.

Despite of all the rules to be followed, such as wandering restriction around outside of your house, and not to be seen or heard, The Silence Day is a unique experience you could try and enjoy during your stay in Bali. With some useful tips below, your Nyepi experience will be fun and memorable.

1. Plan your arrival; Ngurah Rai International Airport is perhaps the only international airport in the world that totally ceases its operations for a full 24 hours every year. Due to the closure, all flights both arriving and departing from the airport will be inoperable. It’s always a good idea to plan your flights in or out to avoid the actual Nyepi date. In other words, arrive early – perhaps in time to watch the lively parades of Nyepi Eve!

 

2. Find yourself a nice accommodation, with a swimming pool, to enjoy the tropical climate even on Silent Day. Hotels in Bali are well geared up to offer their guests the best experiences during Nyepi, which basically confines them to their resort grounds, as traveling is one of the restricted rules during Nyepi Day.

 

3. Ogoh-ogoh Parade, a cultural highlight you don’t want to miss. The evening before Nyepi each village will have a huge parade presenting large artfully crafted monsters, made from bamboo and recycled paper, called Ogoh-Ogoh. They will be carried through the streets, accompanied by traditional music and mostly even a performance act. It is really impressive watching this cultural Highlight.

 

4. Stock up snacks & DVD. Visitors are exempt from the Nyepi restriction of lighting fire (for cooking – as long as the light and fire is not visible from outside your room or villa), so it’s okay to stock up on snacks or food for your kitchenette. The same goes for in-room entertainment such as DVDs (entertainment and other luxuries are also restricted among the Balinese during Nyepi). The local government has pushed for TV stations to cease broadcasting over Bali’s airwaves over Nyepi. Your hotel’s satellite channels will mostly remain available, including internet and Wi-Fi.

 

5. Book a full spa treatment. Nyepi is a great opportunity to make good use of its silence and seclusion, so why not spend some quality spa time with a full-day treatment? It’s a perfect time to reflect, reconnect and truly unwind.

 

6. Stargazing. Despite, having a relaxed day and just enjoying doing nothing, you will see the most amazing night sky during Nyepi Day. Since every place is supposed to shut down the lights, you will be able to see a million stars!

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Travel Tips to South East Asia

Planning a holiday all the way to South East Asia might be an exciting thing to do in your vacation agenda. But what if you have never been to Asia before? What things you should be preparing for an excellent journey to Asia?
Here we share some tips for everyone who will travel to South East Asia:

1. Essential Documents
Prepare your passport and its digital copy. Some countries are free visa entry, some will apply Visa on Arrival. Don’t forget to check the immigration information in advance, for every country you will be visiting. If it needs visa in advance, you can arrange it in your home country.

2. Travel Duration
If it’s your first time to South East Asia, my tips is: don’t rush! Many traveler choose to travel fast in order to fulfill their bucket list in such a limited time. 1 night here, 1 night there, and then cross the border to the next country. It’s exhausting, besides you could not get enough experience of the places you are visiting. Spend at least 3 nights in each city to know more about the area, the culture, the local life, and the culinary. Because traveling is not about how many places, but it’s about how much experience you get during the journey.

3. Eat like locals
Want to experience an absolute travel? Try the local street foods! South East Asia is so famous with its street foods. Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, you name it. All of them have their own authentic street foods to offer. Almost in every city, there’s a street foods market, both day and night. Make sure you do at least once, roaming around the packed night market and eat the local foods in one of the stall. I’m sure you will not end up with 1x visit only!

4. Drink from the bottle
To avoid any bacteria or germs infecting your liver, try to drink only from a sealed bottled drink.
We don’t say that South East Asia is dirty and has a high risk of diarrhea, but the different climate between Northern hemisphere and the South East Asia could also be the main factor your body immune needs to deal with. And if you are not in your peak performance, the risk of getting sick from any germs is still possible to happen. So protect yourself.

5. Light packing
Traveling to the tropical South East Asia doesn’t require any of bulky outfits. As the weather is relatively warm all year long, light clothes would much work for entire occasion. T-shirt, casual shirt, short, light dress, and sandals are the essential, plus a sun glasses. Only in the rainy season you might need a hat or umbrella. But if you are a kind of who love to dance in the rain, you probably don’t mind to get a bit wet. In some areas of SEA there’s winter season (like in Hanoi), but the winter in SEA is still relatively warm for the people from Northern hemisphere. It’s around 14-20’c.

6. Join in at least one cultural exchange activity.
By joining in an activity that has some culture activities to offer, you will get a new unforgettable experience during your travel. For example visit a farmer’s house, traditional market, join in an art workshop, lunch with the royal family in the formerly palace (in Bali), join in one hour teaching at the local school, farming with local farmers, and etc.

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Best thing to do in Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya is the former capital of Thailand and is renowned for its temple ruins and historical sides. Ayutthaya is the perfect place if you want to see the Buddhism culture. Ayutthaya attracts many backpackers by its historical sides and this place is a must-see when you make a round trip through Thailand.

Temple of ruins
During your stay in Ayutthaya, you have to visit is the Wat Phra Si Sanphet. This temple has served as the royal monetary for the Thai king in 1350 till 1448. You can make a walk through the monetary and you’ll end up in front of the royal palace. Nowadays, this temple is a ruin which is impressive for the eye. This temple has also served as a modal which is now located in Bangkok. Back in the days, the Wat Phra Sanphet used to be the most important temple in the whole Ayutthaya region.

Dutch sights in Thailand?
Yes indeed, there is a big Dutch monument in Thailand which is called Baan Hollanda. This house keeps the Thai-Dutch history. It has been opened since 2013 by the former queen of the Netherlands herself “Beatrix” and the Dutch government. In this building, you see the Dutch history of the VOC. You see the lifestyle of the Dutch residence during this period, how they worked and how they integrated with the Thai culture.

Exhibition of Buddhism
The Chao Sam Phraya National Museum is a museum you have to visit during your stay in Ayutthaya. This museum has many artefacts from different temples across Ayutthaya. At the first floor, you’ll see Buddha images which show you the fortune of the time they were built by the style of the images. At the second floor you’ll find many gold and wooden Buddha’s and at the third exhibits the traditional houses of Thailand.

Shopping under the locals
If you want to see true Thai culture, you must go to the Krungsri Night Market. You’ll find everything you can think of when you visit this market. The market has also plenty of traditional food choices. The food is also fresh which makes the taste of the Thai dishes only better. You’ll also hear Thai sounds the whole evening to make the Thai experience complete.

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Best things to do in Bangkok

Bangkok “the capital city of Thailand” is a city which have several great things to offer to many tourists across the world. Bangkok is well known for its cuisine, great nightlife, friendly residence who are always willing to help you even when they cannot speak another language then Thai, floating markets, authentic sights, spa’s and much more.

Visit the king in the Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is home of the king of Thailand. This palace is the biggest mark of Thailand and as a tourist, you have to see it. The Grand Palace is built in 1782 and it was the home of the king of Thailand for more than 150 years. The Grand Palace is also home to several other buildings like the Pra Ubosot which is home to the emerald Buddha. This Buddha is the most important Buddha in Thailand. During your visit, you also have to see the Phra Asadha Maha Chedi. This complex is built of 8 different towers and each of those towers refers to a different concept within the Buddhism religion.

Buying your souvenirs on a boat
Ever visited a floating market? Now is your chance. There are 3 floating markets in Bangkok which will give you a totally different experience than what you used to. The first market is the Bang Ku Wiang Market , the second market is the Tha Kha and the third market is the Damnoen Saduak. The Damnoen Saduak floating market is the biggest one of Thailand. You can buy here many souvenirs, food and drinks.

Visit China in Bangkok
Chinatown is a neighbourhood in Bangkok which is really old. This Neighbourhood was once the economic centre of Bangkok, but it has changed to a place where you can buy your supplies for the lowest prices in the whole city. Furthermore, you can have a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner for a very low price. The street is very narrow and crowded and because of this, the street is authentic to the Chinese culture. When you arrive at the train station, you’ll see the biggest golden Buddha of the world.

Party your way through the Khao San Road
After sunset, this street will become a big party street. You’ll many mobile bars which sell buckets of cocktails which you can enjoy to start the night. After you drank your bucket, you can go further and choose one of the many bars to go. Every bar has its own music genre and because of this, there is always a bar which you can enjoy.

Be amazed by the Reclining Buddha
Every first timer in Bangkok has to go to the Wat Pho. When you are at the Wat Pho you’ll see a Buddha which you have never seen before. This Buddha is called the reclining Buddha and this is one of the biggest Buddha statues. The Buddha is 46 metres long and is fully covered in leaf gold. While visiting the Wat Pho, you cannot forget to take a massage, because this temple is well-known as the centre relaxation.

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Best things to do in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai “the capital of the province Chiang Mai” is the second most popular city in Thailand. Chiang Mai is a city which is very big, but the city has a laid back atmosphere. The city is located in the north and it has various activities which you can do during your stay in Chiang Mai. You can go to the city centre to enjoy the art which the city has to offer, live music which is played in all of the streets, or you can travel through the surrounding area.

Interact with elephants
The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai sanctuary is one of the first sanctuary’s for elephants to live in good circumstances. This sanctuary function as a retirement and care home for elephants which are used as a touristic attraction. People can interact with the elephants by bathing them. Due to the health state of the elephants, it’s strictly forbidden to ride at the back of the elephants.

Explorer the famous half-built temple
One of the biggest tourist attractions is the Wat Chedi Luang. This is one of the most popular temples in Thailand which is visited by many tourists from all across the world. This temple has been destroyed by an earthquake which is why the temple still isn’t rebuilt to its former glory. UNESCO (the renovators of the temple) quitted the restauration of the temple, because there is no example how the temple has to be rebuilt.

Enjoy the view over Chang Mai
When you go to the north west of Chang Rai, you’ll arrive at the Doi Suthep. Here, you’ll have a view over the province of the whole city of Chang Mai. The Doi Suthep is also home to one of the most visited. This is the forest area of 162 square metres and this forest is the 24th national park of Thailand. At the top of the mountain, you’ll find the Wat Prha That Doi Suthep. This place is a spiritual favourite of locals and foreigners.

Zip lining through the forest
Glide with a speed of 40 km/h through the forest and see all the flora and fauna just within a few minutes. Feel the rush of adrenaline through your whole body while making fast turns through the forest. If you’re really adventurous, you should try out the zip lines in the forest. You’ll have the feeling that you’re flying while you are going through all the green trees.

Do you have a long neck
If you go to Padung, you’ll meet the Long Necks. The name of the tribe already explains why this village is a must see under many tourists. The women of the tribe wear rings around their neck which let their necks grow till a height you thought it’s not possible. If you want to enter the village you have to be respectful for the tribe and if you want, you can also show your respect by buying a souvenir, but this is not required if you want to visit the tribe.

 

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Best things to do in Bali

Bali is a paradise for tourists, because of its natural charms which are amazing for the eye. One of the favorite destinations of Indonesians and all over the world offers enchanting natural beauty and makes anyone fall in love with the island. The amount of excursions will certainly fill your holiday with a lot of activities. Here are our recommendations of activities you can do during your Holiday in Bali that you don’t want to miss.

Relax on Kuta beach
The beauty of Bali’s beaches has been recognized all over the world, and Kuta is one of the beaches that is famous for its beauty. Tourists who are celebrate their holiday in Bali will surely spend a lot of time at the beautiful beaches of Kuta. The beach of Kuta is well known for its wide beaches with white sand. You can bask under the gentle warm sun while enjoying a glass of fresh drinks, or learn to surf on the waves of Kuta beach which are not too big. That’s why Kuta beach suitable for newbie surfers. Kuta beach is also the perfect place to enjoy the beautiful sunset at the beginning of your evening.

Relaxation at the spa in Ubud
Ubud is famous as a traditional tourist attraction in Bali, due to its location between rice fields, forests and surrounding mountain cliffs that makes the landscape an amazing sight to see. You can enjoy the natural beauty of Ubud while pampering yourself in a spa that refreshes the mind, body and soul. The surrounding area where the spas are located are filled with exotic forest which will prevents you of fresh air. The spa’s in Ubud are also supported by expert therapists who will refresh your body with aromatic massage including distinctive essential oils.

Enjoy water sports in Benoa
Many people think about water sports when they are thinking about Benoa. This place is a paradise for water sports, because there are a lot of water sports activities which you can do, like gliding in a banana boat, parasailing, jet skiing, fly fishing, and excursions to the turtle island. Feel the excitement of sitting on a rubber boat that sways crashing waves or flying using a parachute pulled by a boat that runs above sea level. In addition, you can also see the beautiful underwater scenery and interact with several species of fish encountered.

Enjoy a delicious dinner at Jimbaran
Visiting the beach is incomplete if you don’t taste seafood, and the best choice for enjoying it is in Jimbaran. Have a taste of delicious seafood with a view of big waves which will provide you from an experience which you will never forget. The atmosphere during your dinner will become more romantic due to the sparkling candle light on your table and a sky full of stars. Furthermore, there are also acoustic bands which will play relaxing music. Enjoy the delicious appetizing grilled shrimp, flour fried squid that has a crispy texture, grilled scallops with special spices, and other exotic foods.

Stimulate adrenaline by rafting on the Ayung River
The Ayung river is the longest river in Bali with its length of 62.5 km. The river ends in Sanur. The Ayung river has enough rapids which are suitable for beginners. With a course of 12km, your adrenaline is going up due to the excitement of rafting which will test your guts. Along the road, you will also pass a fresh waterfall. Another attraction of rafting course on the Ayung river is the relief sculpture of the Ramayana story along 1 km of the river wall. After arriving at the end of the course, you can rest for a while and then continue to enjoy a filling lunch.

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Best things to do in Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta is a special region in Indonesia, because this area is the only area that is led by a sultan. With its Javanese customs and culture that are still thick, this place also has many tourist destinations that are no less exciting and interesting than Bali or popular tourist attractions in Indonesia. The following are recommendations for activities that you can try while on vacation in Yogyakarta.

Studying History in Borobudur and Prambanan
Borobudur and Prambanan have become icons of Yogyakarta, so your visit to Yogyakarta would not be complete if they did not visit both. The magnificent Borobudur architecture and also its history make this temple one of the world’s biggest cultural heritages. The history of the Borobudur temple is estimated to be around 750 AD and was built by king Samaratungga of the Syailendra Dynasty, one of the great and powerful dynasties that once existed in the Nusantara. Turning to Prambanan, a temple that tells the story of an eternal love. The story speaks about Bandung Bondowoso who struggled to build a thousand temples to be able to marry his idol, Roro Jonggrang. Visiting these two places can be a medium for learning history and admiring the great culture and abilities of the forefathers of humanity.

Admire the Yogyakarta Palace
Kraton Yogyakarta, also called Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, is a kingdom complex located in the heart of the province of Yogyakarta. The palace, which was established in line with the Giyanti agreement in 1755 which split the Islamic Mataram Kingdom into the Kingdom of Ngayogyakarta “Surakarta” kept the undoubted beauty of Javanese architecture. You can take pictures with the background of Javanese buildings which are beautiful for the eye. In addition to admire the architecture, you can also watch art performances ranging from gamelan music, puppets to traditional dance.

Enjoy the iconic dish of Gudeg
Gudeg is a traditional Javanese dish of Yogyakarta’s cuisine which is made from raw young jackfruit boiled for several hours with palm sugar, and additional spices with coconut milk. Gudeg is served with rice, chicken, eggs, boiled, tofu or tempeh, and krecek which is made from fried sambal existing of crispy cow skin. Spicy flavor becomes sweet and has a distinctive and delicious taste. For culinary lovers, it is a must-eat dish which you have to try when traveling through Yogyakarta.

Surrounding Malioboro by Becak
One of the fun things to do on vacation in Yogyakarta is to travel around Malioboro using a Becak. Becak is traditional transportation which you will sit in the front while the driver sits behind while pedaling. One of the advantages offered by a Becak is a minimalist seat, which can only be occupied by a maximum of two people. Thus of course you can enjoy quality time while enjoying the beauty of Malioboro. The Becak is driven by human strength and because of this, the Becak won’t be fast. Thus you can hunt more photos than usual.

Explore the beauty of Parangtritis beach
Parangtritis Beach is indeed famous for its legend, which is related to Ratu Kidul as the ruler of the southern sea. Apart from the legend, this Parangtritis beach area offers beautiful natural scenery and doesn’t make you feel bored looking at every inch where you can have a look. This beach is undoubtedly beautiful due to its wide beach in Yogyakarta which offers a big variety of activities, such as driving around the beach using an ATV motorbike, horse or delman riding, doing sports such as soccer at the sand, playing on the edge of the waves, playing kite surfing, or just sitting while enjoying the atmosphere of Parangtritis beach which is so charming.

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Best Things To Do in Jakarta

Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. This huge city holds a lot of history that you don’t want to miss. You will already see the history when you take a look on the buildings in the colonial era and government buildings. The artificial tours represent the history of Indonesia. Do you want to visit Indonesia in the near future? Then you have to put Jakarta on your list. Here are some activities you can do while on vacation in Jakarta.

Go back in time in Kota Tua
The Kota Tua, located in West Jakarta, is one of the historical and cultural tourist destinations visited by many tourists. There are many spots that can be visited in this Kota Tua tourist area. One of them is the Fatahillah Museum which has a very strong historical value, due to the reason that this building is used as a town hall, court, and civil registry office during the era of the Dutch colonialization. These buildings are located in Dewan Kotapraja. In addition, there is also the Sunda Kelapa Harbor, which in ancient times was often used as a place to lean on commercial boats from China, India, Arabia, and others to trade or visit in Indonesia. There is also the museum of Wayang, which, as the name suggests, holds a variety of wayang on display. This museum may be a dedication to the people of Java and the world of wayang in Indonesia.

Visiting Monas, the legendary Indonesian landmark
Tugu Monas (Monumen Nasional, in English: National Monument) is a monument in the form of a obelisk monument, built on the orders of the first President of the Republic of Indonesia, Soekarno. At the very top of this monument is a flaming torch shaped crown which is coated in gold which has a weight of 50kg.This tongue of fire symbolizes the unending fire, a symbol of the spirit of the Indonesian people that will never fade. The monument is surrounded by an open and green city park. The environment is green and shady, and there is also a jogging track and land for exercise. In some spots, there are also beautiful works of art in the form of sculptures and there are also reliefs that illustrate the history of Indonesia in every corner of the courtyard outside the national monument. Inside the monument there is also the National History Museum which shows the history of the archipelago and holds the original manuscript of the independence proclamation of the Republic of Indonesia which is stored in a glass box framed by a gold-plated gate in a room called the Ruang Kemerdekaan (Independence Room).

See the Indonesian miniatures in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) is one of the largest recreational parks in Indonesia. Standing on an area of 150 hectares, TMII contains a picture of Indonesian culture. You can learn various things about Indonesian culture at TMII, from traditional houses and clothes, regional dances, to houses of worship of every official religion in Indonesia. There is also a large lake in the middle which lies a park that forms islands resembling the Indonesian archipelago from Sabang to Merauke is located. This lake is referred to as a miniature of the Indonesian archipelago. In addition, there are various kinds of museums that you can visit, such as the Museum Indonesia, the Indonesian Museum of Komodo, Fauna and Reptile Park, and other museums. Want to get to know Indonesia more easily? TMII is the answer.

Play challenging rides at Ancol Recreational Park
Ancol Recreational Park, commonly referred to as Taman Impian Jaya Ancol, is a recreational park that stands on an area of 552 hectares. Ancol has several interesting parks, beaches and recreation areas that you don’t want to miss. However, among the recreation parks offered by Jakarta, Dufan is the most famous recreation park. Dufan (uptake from English: Do Fun) is an amusement park that has many rides and is well known throughout the country. Not only does dufan offers various interesting rides, Dufan also has an interesting physics education center to study. If you like playing with water, then Atlantis Water Adventure is a good place to visit. There are eight main pools in this waterpark, and the highest ride is called Crazy Highest Longest will make your adrenaline reach is maximum. If you are curious about the underwater world, don’t forget to visit Sea World where various marine life live in giant aquarium. In addition, there are many other recreational vehicles that you can try in Ancol that you won’t be able to visit all in one day.

Admire the splendor of the Istana Merdeka
Istana Merdeka (Merdeka Palace) is one of the many state palaces owned by Indonesia where the President works and has government activities. Besides from being a place for presidential activities and receiving state guests, Merdeka Palace can also be visited by tourists. The tour can be carried out when there are no presidential activities carried out at the Merdeka Palace. You will be invited to look at the front page of the President’s office, the corridors next to the state guesthouse, and many other destinations with rules that do not interfere with the work of the President and his apparatus, and do not compromise the security of the President, First Lady and his family. Remember to follow all the rules that have been set to honor the Merdeka Palace and remember that this is the place where the President lives and is active for his duty for Indonesia.