SUN-KISSED LAZY DAY AT PINK BEACH, FLORES – WITH TRAVEL SOCIETY!

As most of you (might) have noticed, I’ve been posting a series of my first encounter with the “oh-so-amazing” Labuan Bajo with Travel Society. What do you think so far? A lot of my friends and Instagram’s followers kept on giving me the same respond, which either:

“I literally want to visit Labuan Bajo soon after seeing your posts!”
or
“Is it really that beautiful?”

I mean, YES. My whole perception of the touristy spot in Indonesia changed from the moment I witnessed the untouched beauty with my own eyes. Especially, when I put my feet for the first time on the soft cotton-candy sands in Namo Island, Flores.

All the girls from my travel group was immediately fell head over heel with the pink beach. Camera was out, snapgram-ing was a necessity. The pink hue apparently was a result of erosion that happened to large numbers of pink coral that can be found in the sea of Flores. The tiny particles then got carried away onto the beautiful islands and created a pampering view.

We spent a good few hours just playing on the beach, swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing on the beach. It was definitely a good time indeed! Here’s some good photos from the Pink Beach!

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

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Sunrise Watching From The Top Of Padar Island with Travel Society

March has been so fun for me as it’s filled with plenty of traveling. I started out this month in Bali for a friend wedding. Few weeks later, I’m drafting this post from Juanda Airport, Surabaya (again, for a friend wedding.). And next week, guess what.. I’ll be flying back to Labuan Bajo for office outing!

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Dawn.

I’m so thrilled about this Bajo trip when the HR team in my office announced it a few weeks ago. I mean, who wouldn’t want to come back to Bajo? Those beautiful islands and priceless experience. If you haven’t been to Bajo, I highly recommend you to book your seat right now for an open trip with Travel Society. Seriously, my trip with them last September was beyond fun!

Particularly that sunrise-watching moment at Padar Island. The whole trip includes living on board for 3 days. Padar was the first place we visited on the second day. I remember waking up super early, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and started to climb up the Padar hills vigorously.

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Serenity.

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The View Was.. Put Any Word That Best Describe Beautiful To You.

I’ve witnessed sunrise before from the top of Rinjani, from the top of Bromo and Sikunir, and even from an apartment in Sydney. None of them provide an ocean view, unlike this one. The trekking was not difficult because they already made a clear path for you to go up. But at one point, as you reach the higher ground, it will become a bit steep and rocky, but still feasible to be done. At least, most of the people in my open trip group who were first-timers in trekking, managed to get on the top safe and sound.

Not a single word could nearly describe a sunrise-watching moment. Like I could throw in some beautiful words, it won’t mean a thing unless you’ve seen it yourself. I’m just gonna let the photos do the justice.

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Hello, Sun!

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Local Guide

I don’t care if you are the adventurous type or not, if you are into traveling or not, this particular activity should be on your bucket list, because it’s so worth-trying (time and penny included)!

If you’ve seen a sunrise before, or quite an avid sunrise-hunter, what’s your best experience? Who knows we might bump into each other on the top of any hill one day. 😉

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

LAST SATURDAY IN 2017: ONTHREE

Have you ever stopped doing something for only about a few weeks, but then when you wanted to start doing it again, it just felt like you’re starting from zero. That is me with this whole blogging thing.

The past three weeks had been one of the busiest days of my life, with my company having a merger, and I got my capacity stretched from every direction. And I was completely lost in the midst of it all. This blog was neglected. I even forgot when was the last time I visited my own blog. Not until today.

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Some of my favorite people: @saskiatingkir, @runmoreno, @jepherjepho, @didiantonius and @silvia_via

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We’ve been friends for more than 7 years, can you believe it?

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Is there anything in your life that has been shifting lately due to your changing season? What is it? And how do you deal with all the changes? Do you completely neglect some stuff? Or do you like try to balance it all, keeping the old stuff while making room for the new ones? Sorry for too much asking, I just couldn’t help the journalist side of me. Besides, I haven’t been writing for so long I literally couldn’t stop typing.

So welcome back to this blog. Hope you gained new wisdom, new lesson in living the twentysomething season. In the meantime, here are some photos of my last coffee time in 2017 at the newly opened coffee shop: ONTHREE (Senopati Suites, 3rd Floor).

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It’s a nice spacey place with big window pane, cozy sofas, and white-dominated interior, PLUS, it has quite a huge alfresco area with bean bags, and synthetic grass floors for smoking area. Somehow you would feel like you’re not in the midst of Jakarta’s high-polluted area. I forgot what I ordered, but it was tasted good. The coffee was nice, and they also have meals to fill up your hungry tummy. I would definitely come back to this place!

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Pajama Shirt by: Kloud Studio, Pants & White Tee: Topman

Write to you later,

 

HG. (@gersonhenry)

Seeing Things From Behind A 40 Year Old Lens

“The camera doesn’t matter – the eye does,” says the anonymous, blurred person who speaks only in my hazy memory. This is a quote heard by millions of photographers, possibly in a million, different, often misquoted ways. They all seem to drive a point, however: that the camera is only a tool that is as good as you are able to project your visual ideas and images with.

To test that ubiquitous theory, I recently purchased a 40-year-old lens, after a convincing demonstration from a friend and coworker. This one cost a fraction of what newer lenses charge, thanks to age and time working in my favor. I immediately bought the lens from a second-hand online store, along with a cheap adapter for my Canon 60D (which in itself, is an aging camera, according to every photographer ever).

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The Setup

I had to admire the lens for a while as it came out the box a few days after. Here was a creation that stood the wear and tear of 40 years, through time and space, that landed on my pale, white desk of mine. I will never know the story it went through, or how many hands have grasped and pulled its aging handles, or how beautiful the pictures that were taken by many eyes and clicks of the shutter. These things, it seems, I can only wonder.

So to stop wondering, I decided to test this gizmo of mine on a trip to Bandung, in West Java.

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A visit to a limestone processing factory in Bandung

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Before lifting heavy rocks

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Empty

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On standby, without workers

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A local-favorite. Kue ape

I immediately noticed a few things: how sharp the images were, how different the colors appeared, and how hard the lens was to operate! Here was a photographer, so used to modern marvels such as auto-focus and exposure compensation, receiving a vintage welcome from his own camera. It was a bare-bones experience, having to manually set the aperture and the focus ring every time I had a subject in frame. But it was eye-opening, as it was unfamiliar

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Visiting the night street market

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Look at all those chickens (y’know, that one vine)

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Famous Martabak Andir

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Coincidentally, the man behind the stall has been making Martabak for 40 years

The lens worked wonders in night time, thanks to its wide 1.4 aperture. The images managed to stay crisp as well. It was hard to focus, though, without the automatic function I was so used to having.

And then there was this certain dreamy character to the bokeh, as the blurred edges of the images never seem to stay symmetrical and perfectly round. Yet the depth of the areas that were in focus almost seemed that they can pop out, like a cutout character from a story book. This lens, and its images, are a trippy piece of work.

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A self-portrait that ‘pops’ out (taken by a good friend of mine, Moses – @moosesronaldo)

I felt responsible to show what an old, jaded lens can do, since this is my first lens I bought with my own savings. And it to see how much it has gone through, it’s an honor, in a strange kind of way, to own something that has its own mysterious story.

So, I do think to dismiss a cheap and aging piece of technology would be a tragic story to tell. I think something like this offers a portal to see the peculiarities of imperfect items of yesteryear; a sort of back-to-your-roots experience. With all the new technology coming to our screens and doors in 2018, it would be nice to step back and recall on older things that we haven’t explored. Here’s me just starting out into that journey, and with good intentions, I ask that you come along too.

Jeloy. (@je.loy)

 

Exploring Gunung Kubing: Dippin at One of Indonesia’s Infinity Pool

How many of you have experienced swimming in Singapore’s most famous infinity pool, located at the Marina Bay Sands? Back in 2010, when it was first opened, every one I know was like racing to take a cool photo at the new symbol of luxury. I was one of them of course. Sadly, I haven’t started blogging at that time, and Instagram was not even existed yet so I couldn’t find the legit proof that I had been there in 2011.

Anyways, I’m here not to post about that, but about this super cool hidden infinity pool that I found in Belitung! So I had trip with SanaSiniYo to visit Belitung, and the guide asked me whether I had any particular spot that I wanted to visit. I googled some legit touristy recommendation and stumbled upon this waterfall at the bottom of Gunung Kubing that has a sort of pool with a great view of Belitung’s greenery. I told the guide it would be great if they could take me there, because there were not much people who know about it. Not even the guide himself who was a local guy. LOL.

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Belitung was a beautiful island in the south area of Sumatra, surrounded by turquoise sea and plenty of other smaller islands (I’ll share to you my island-hopping experience in Belitung one day). We had to drive for like 2 hours from the city to Membalong Village, got lost once in a while due to bad GPS connection. Went through a very narrow path where it stopped at point because the car couldn’t continue on any further. So we had to walk, or hike to be exact, for like 300 m (probably about 10-15 minutes) to get at the top at the waterfall.

Once I got there, it was incredibly breath-taking and seriously mesmerising. It’s like I couldn’t believe my own eyes that Indonesia has such a hidden gem as beautiful as this place! It was all worth the trip. So as usual, I started to take photos, got shirtless and dipped into the clear water. I went beyond the border, which made out of rocks and enjoyed the view. I kid you not, it was one of the best traveling experience I had so far! Thank you SanaSiniYo (Timothy and Erick) for making this happen!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

ps. check out some delicious local cuisines that I fancy from Belitung.

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Meeting The Dragon Clan at Rinca Island with Travel Society

Although I was born and raised in this county, and have Indonesian written as my nationality on my passport, I’ve never traveled and explored this beautiful country, at least not until two years ago. The idea of traveling and spending a great holiday was always filled with images of going overseas, or at least, to Singapore and other ASEAN countries.

Thank God for Instagram, I was finally exposed to the idea that traveling domestically is worth more my time and money than actually going overseas. Some of my friends who have visited Europe and other beaches in the world admitted that Indonesia has some of the greatest views. Especially the eastern part of this country.

One of the remarkable trips I did recently was a sailing trip in Labuan Bajo with Travel Society. I’ve shared few posts before, and this time I’m gonna post about the third island that we visited during the trip, Pulau Rinca.

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Welcome to Rinca!

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Entering The Nest

This island is filled with the Komodo dragons, the largest species of lizard that can only be found in Indonesia, and would creep you out just by looking at its enormous size. The large ones are actually not that dangerous, because due to their heavy weights they don’t move around that much. You will find plenty of them just laying around on the ground.

However, the local guards did not encourage us to walk separately from the group. There are also the littler ones who can run really fast, and could bite you. Scary, huh? They could also smell the scent of blood from women who are on their period. Yeap, they are carnivore! But don’t worry about stumbling upon a hungry komodo, because their lunch is scattered everywhere.

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Meet the dragon!

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Selfie Attempt #1 with the Dragon Clan

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Selfie Attempt #2 With The Dragon Clan. I was actually scared thinking that they might have run to me and eat my legs or something.

Guess what their lunch menu is! The first time I entered this island, I saw so many beautiful deers roaming around freely. The thought of them living so free like this in their natural habitat is just wonderful. That was until the local guard told me that, they are here mainly to be served to the komodo as lunch. Gulp. Poor thang.

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Lunch Menu

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And another one 😦

The unique thing about the Komodo is that their existence is slowly becoming a rarity due to cannibalism. The male would only come meet the female during mating season, which is like once a year. He would then neglected her with so many kids to be taken care of. The bitter female would then eat her own children simply to survive. Or, perhaps out of bitterness because her kids would remind her of that scumbag male who left her alone. LOL.

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Headband: Topman, Floral Shirt: The Collin Gangstas, Bag: Herschel Supply, Shorts: H&M

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When in Bali part 1: Doncaster Eatery – A Mixture of Health and Guilty Pleasure Brunch

Have you ever done an impulsive action for once in your life? I have. And most of the time, my impulsivity includes a spontaneous vacation. Last year, I went to Bandung for two days just to escape Jakarta’s hustle bustle. Earlier this year, I took a solo trip to Ijen Crater and Surabaya. And just last month, I decided to spend a day in Bali. Just because.. I feel like doing it. Well, and partly because I knew that my favorite cousins, Omar and Berra will also in Bali. So I purchased the flight ticket on Monday, and departed on Saturday.

If you know how to ride a scooter or motorbike, then it’d be best to rent one. It’s cheap (about 3 – 5 USD per day), and they could deliver the scooter to the airport. However, if you’re traveling in a group and brings some luggages then you need to rent a car. What I do normally though, is to order Uber from the airport to the hotel. And then, I rent a scooter once I’m finished settling in my hotel room.

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Anyways, I took the first flight to Bali (5am from Jakarta) and arrived in Bali at 8am-ish. The first thing on my itinerary was to have a big brunch at this new openly placed, Doncaster Eatery. Kudos to one of my good friends, Yossico, for actually making her dream come true. It must not be easy opening up a restaurant in Bali while you’re still working full time in Jakarta.

I was starving like a Godzilla and wanted to get proper foods as fast as possible. Sadly, I got lost. I mis-read the Google maps, and ended up wasting about 30 minutes for nothing. Long story short, I finally arrived at Doncaster Eatery, located at Jl. Kayu Aya No.17, Seminyak, North Kuta, just inside a flea market.

Honestly, deciding what to eat when you’re like ultra hungry was a total struggle. It’s like that one last question that you can’t answer during a math exam. Especially, when everything written on the menu sound delicious. After a few minutes of being super indecisive, I picked the Chopped Kale Salad (I’m not sure why I picked that especially when I’m not a big fan of Kale) as a starter and to balance the healthy salad I picked the Crunchy Skin Pork Belly as the main dish.

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The Chopped Kale Salad was tasty! This coming from someone who is not really into the green stuff, yet got tricked into considering to have more of them. It was served with roasted sesame dressing, chicken breast, shredded corn, bean sprout, and (this one is my favorite) extremely crunchy tempe crackers. A bowl of health that only costs you about 5 USD!

The Crunchy Skin Pork Belly was everything that I expected it to be. Juicy pork belly layered with crunchy skin was definitely heaven! This one costs about 7 USD. I wished I had more time to try their other enticing menu like Grilled Octopus, Mushroom Toast, Pulled Pork Sandwich and Peanut Butter Cheeseburger!

If you’re happen to be in Bali right now, this one is worth your time and money. More post about my impulsive trip to Bali will be up soon! As far now, thank you for all of you who have been reading this website for the last two years. Wish you have more exploration and discovery in 2018!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)