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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing 90s Vibe To The Digital Era.

How was your New Year Eve celebration? Partying hard? Or, were you just like me, binge watching until I finally fell asleep. Whatever it is, just make sure that all the “New Year New Me” stuff is not just a one time euphoria. Make time to be grateful about everything (highs or lows) that God has allowed to happen to you in the past year, and write down every single thing that you want to see happen in the new year.

What’s more important is to actually keeping your hope alive, because you know sooner or later reality is gonna happen to you. Sometimes your plans will be delayed, postponed, or even canceled, but never stop believing that the journey of life is actually a constant road to better places.

Geesh what a long opening. I’m sorry. First post of 2018 will be about my current obsession over everything 90s. So I’m gonna compile some of my recent #OOTD photos and give you some useful tips plus what are the brands that I’ve been wearing (mostly locals). Gotta say thank you for my amazing photographers friends, Didi and Joel, who have been willing to help me in taking these ootd shots.

  1. Invest in accessory. By the way, prime colors is trending this year. Thus, the orange cap and yellow jacket.
  2. Oversized and tucked-in t-shirt is back. Balance your tee collection between the plain one and the printed one.
  3. Find something that can be your signature style. As for me, socks, apart from rounded-glasses, have been quite of my signature. I have plenty of them from any colors and patterns.
  4. Invest in basic outerwear like denim jacket and hooded pullover. Mine has a pair exaggerated sleeves that is really a head-turner. Oh, don’t forget to also invest in other basic stuff like a pair of black skinny jeans and white canvas shoes.
  5. Track pants are back. Enuff said.
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Cap: Locale, Oversized Black Tee: Anders, White Strut Bag: Suddenly Good Life, Jeans: Topman, Shoes: Converse

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Glasses: Karamata, Glasses Strap: Wasteland, Jacket: Pull & Bear

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Printed Tee: The Goods Dept

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Track Pants: WellBorn, Shoes: Vans

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Denim Jacket: Pop Meets Pop, Striped Shirt: H&M, Skinny Jeans: H&M, Socks: Topman, Shoes: Converse

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Hooded Pullover: Moral, Pants: H&M, Socks: Topman, Shoes: Converse

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Cap: Topman, Tee: Adidas, Shorts: H&M; Socks: Topman

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Tee: Broken Echo, Scarf: Topman

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Tanks: H&M, Bag: Erigo, Shorts: H&M, Glasses Strap: Wasteland, Socks: Topman

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Jacket: Erigo, Track Pants: H&M, Shoes: Converse

Check out some other photos in the slideshow below, happy shopping! LOL 😉 Don’t forget to my Instagram account (if you haven’t) to follow my current fashion purchase and ootd updates.

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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)

 

 

While In New Zealand: A Visit To The Breathtaking Lake Tekapo

As I’m drafting this post, the stats have shown that the total readers of this blog, for 2017 only have reached more than 10,000 last November. Combined with last year stats, the number is now almost reaching 20,000. That’s quite a lot for a blog that exists for only two years now. Well, I’ve never really expected such appreciation, and it was never my goals to have lots of readers and visitors. I just really enjoy storytelling my experiences in the hope of giving inspiration to others 20something out there to do the same.

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Anyway, speaking of sharing experience, in this post I’ll share a brief story about my visitation to Lake Tekapo, located in the southern island of New Zealand. After days of road trip in New Zealand, my friends and I made it to visit this beautiful Lake Tekapo, which surrounded with rows of dramatic snowy mountains at the Southern Alps.

I remember hopping out of the car feeling hungry while at the same time feeling this uncontainable excitement. Since it was our first time in New Zealand, we relied so much on TripAdvisor and Zomato kinda apps. They recommended us to have a stonegrill luncheon at the Mackenzie Cafe Bar Grill. However, the moment I entered the restaurant and looked through their window glass, which separates the interior from the mesmerizing outdoor area that leads to a huge wide open grass fields and the enormous Tekapo.

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As soon as I finished telling the waitress what I wanted for lunch, I grabbed my camera and walked out through their backdoor. It was cold, but at the same time, it was warm enough for me to walk around comfortably without shivering. Photo opp was definitely next!

While plenty of other tourists were busy getting their perfect shot in front of the Church of The Good Shepherd, which was crowded at that time, I preferred to go and enjoyed the shimmery, sun-reflected lake. For a moment, I really wished that I had Hiro Nakamura’s superpower – the ability to stop time.

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Lake Tekapo, the second-largest lake (83 square kilometres) in the South Island of New Zealand is about three hours drive south-west of Christchurch in the Mackenzie Basin. The town faces north across the remarkable turquoise colored lake to the mountainous drama of the Southern Alps.

If you are happen to be visiting New Zealand next year, this place is definitely a must visit!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

Weekend Is Best For: Trying Out New Hang Out Places!

Well, the title is not entirely true, but it’s not entirely false either. I don’t know what about you, but for me weekend is always best for:

  1. Binge-watching while munching on my favorite snacks.
  2. Staying all day in my comfy room accompanied with books and a box of pizza.
  3. Hanging out with my favorite people while at the same time trying out new places.

I’m now a bit reluctant to go out on weekend, particularly on Saturday since the traffic is normally CRAZIER compared to weekdays. So, number 1 & 2 are definitely for Saturday, while number 3 is always a routine on Sunday. My friends and I (always) started out with having zero clue about where we are going to hangout, and (always) ended up on a random newly-opened coffee shop or restaurant in Jakarta.

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This post will feature some of the new places that I got to try in the past month. I was originally planning to make a single post out of every coffee shop or restaurant that I visited, but on second thought I think it would be better to just compile them in one post.

Let’s start with the first one, which is my favorite Go-Food (food online delivery service in Jakarta) meals: HONU Poke & Matcha Bar. I know this is not new anymore, but I legit love this place and the menu! So here it is.

Located in Kemang, Honu serves a very yummy poke bowl consists of fresh and healthy ingredients like tuna, salmon, tofu, edamame, etc. I normally ordered the Super Bowl (Salmon, Avocado Crispy Kale, Edamame, Wakamame Carrots and Cucumber), or the Two & Two (Tuna, Salmon, Lettuce, Carrots, Tempura Crunch) with extra Salmon (yes, that’s how much I love salmon). Normally it would cost me about 75k – 100k per visit. The place is quite small, but still feel quite spacey and comfy with a smoking area on the back. I just really love the pastel colors they used as part of the interior with all those kinfolk-ish green plants.

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Look at that colors!

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Second one is DomaDona Coffee. I was there one Sunday to interview Greys Polii. The only reason we picked this place was because it was quite new, and we wanted to check out the hype. Surprisingly, unlike many other new coffee shops in town, which mostly are crowded in the first few weeks of their opening, DomaDona was a bit.. empty.

First thing that really turned me off was that they used a yellow-ish lamp instead of having big window panes for natural light to penetrate easily into their tiny space. It was a bit challenging to take photos with such lighting. Second of all, everything that we ordered taste rather plain. The highlight though, if you are looking for a nice place to sit and talk for hours, this is quite a good place.

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Third one is the new branch of 1/15 Coffee located in Menteng. Their first outlet in Gandaria was definitely a nice place for hanging out with your friends or having a meeting. However, I always felt like it’s a bit too far from where I live. Voila, they seemed to hear my wish. The Menteng outlet is definitely nearer for me! Unlike the Gandaria one which offers very spacey room with high ceilings, the Menteng one feels more packed. Located next to Kaum Jakarta, 1/15 Menteng still serve you with the best of their coffee game and also foods, although honestly the foods and desserts in Gandaria taste way better.

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Glasses: Karamata, Black Nehru Shirt: Zara, Tee: H&M; Pants: H&M; Shoes: Vans; Accessories: Tha Collection; Watch: Aark Collective

Last but not least is Paradigma Coffee. I think is the most worth-visiting new coffee shop in town, simply because it offers.. *drumroll* a wide outdoorsy area with bean bags and green grass (synthetic though). Other than the coffee shop, this whole location also offers a co-working space, public library, local artisans shop, and also bakery. So it’s like a one stop place for any urban people to have fun, whether with friends or family. Having an outdoor public room in this overpopulated city is indeed a luxury, so to have one coffee shop which offers you a comfy place to sit outside is really a blessing.

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Shades: Karamata, Patterned Shirt: The Collin Store, Jeans: Topman, Socks: Uniqlo, Shoes: Vans; Watch: Hypergrand

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Sunday Squad

Besides these fours, I have also stumbled upon the new Starbucks Reserve at Pakubuwono, Pizza Place at Como Park Kemang, and also Crumble Crew (you must try the Iscaketory!) at SCBD area. If you happen to have any new coffee shop, desserts place, or restaurants opening feel free to let me know so I can drop by and give it a try!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

While in Sydney: Getting On Top Of A Wedding Cake On A Winter Day

“Do you have any particular place that you want to visit this time?” My cousins (Omar and his wife, Berra) asked me via Whatsapp when they knew that I have arrived in Sydney. Since it was already my third visit, I kinda felt like I had no specific place that I should put in my itinerary. All I wanted to do was to meet my family who live there and spend a good time with them.

My cousins ended up recommending me some good places for trekking and sight-seeing: Blue Mountains, The Wedding Cake Rock, Barrnejoey Lighthouse, Balmoral Boatshed, Lincolns Rock, Wentworth Falls Lookout, Zigzag Railway and let me decide which one to visit. So, I ended up Google-ing those places and chose the Wedding Cake Rock. It promises a nice view through a short-trekking route. And, since I’m always a fan of going to high places, might as well doing it in a new place like Sydney. Besides, I’ve explored the cityscape quite enough during my last two visits.

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The route to the Wedding Cake Rock took about one hour by car from my cousins’ apartment, which was in the Sydney Olympic Park area. We dropped by at McDonald’s to get some soft serve and light bites. The entrance to the wedding cake rock was located within a real estate. We parked our car at the nearest empty parking spot that we could find.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I picked my outfit that day. It’s like I completely forgot that I was about to go for a trekking. I wore the wrong shoes, I wore a three-layers of knitted t-shirt, short-sleeved shirt and a parka (considering that it would be windy and cold), completely ignoring the fact that hiking would make me sweat. While my cousins walked comfortably wearing running shoes, training pants, tee and jacket, I was busy regretting my choice of outfit. Especially the moment I saw the entrance, which was a narrow path of sandy floors. Well, the city was one hour away and I couldn’t order a Gojek to bring the proper outfit for me. So better make it count!

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The Entrance.

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Oi Oi Oi!

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The Tasman Sea

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Berra with her selfie-stick

 

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The trekking took about 30-40 minutes depend on how fast you walk. On your way there, you will pass The Balcony, a nice stop for you to enjoy the scenic view while (of course) taking photos.

Wedding Cake Rock (also known as White Rock), is actually a sandstone rock formation located in the Royal National Park, near Bundeena, New South Wales, Australia. The height is only about 25 metres above sea level, but still, falling from it would cause you death. The rock was actually fenced due to safety concerns, because according to a survey, the rock was unstable and it would collapse into the Tasman Sea within the next decade.

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The Balcony

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Omar and Berra

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Posing at the balcony with the Tasman Sea as my background

However, when we got there, all the tourists were already on the other side of the fence. Apparently they climbed it and already queueing for photo opp. There were even little kids and old people (I wonder how did they climb the fence). Anyway, of course my cousins and I joined the crowd. While at the same time hoping that there will be no security whatsoever.

Trust me, I’ve been on the top of high buildings, volcanoes, hills, etc, but this one is different. It’s a cliff! With an edge, where the only thing that separates you from death is your balance. I started to walk very slowly and cautiously towards the edge, carefully placed my ass until I sat comfortably and couldn’t even dare to look down. We spent quite some time there to get all the beautiful photos we could possible get.

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I rarely hold my phone with two hands, but this is an exception. Sitting on the edge of that cliff was scary enough, holding my phone with one hand was scarier that’s why.

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Do you guys see any resemblance?

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Berra was the most excited one to see the wedding cake rock. But not until she had to sit on that cliff. She crawled her way to the edge, and almost cried sitting on top of it. 

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Missing these two already, even though I just met them last week in Bali.

After about half an hour we decided to walk back, this time we walked faster because we were all hungry. On our way back to the car, Berra spotted this swing inside a house. Berra wanted to take a photo with the swing, and insisted that the owner would let us get in. Omar refused the idea, but as always.. happy wife, happy husband. Next thing I knew, we were already inside the front yard, while Omar knocking on the front door. There was an old man showed up and with his permission, we were allowed to take some photos in his property.

What a good day to be remembered indeed!

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)