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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Parking Lot

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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 atΒ 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)

 

 

First Time Living On Board For 3 Days With Travel Society

How do I survive Jakarta’s crazy hustle? By constantly trying something new every now and then. I remember this urge of keeping myself from insanity of living in concrete Jungle like this started to pop out last year. From then, I (seem to) subconsciously walked into the path of exploring this and that.

For example, I signed up myself for a muaythai class (something I thought I would never enjoy doing). End of last year, I joined a broadcasting class to expand my network and develop my public speaking skill. That’s only the simple regular things that you can do as well. But I didn’t stop there, I took it extremely.. from climbing Rinjani, to hiking Kawah Ijen alone. From flying to New Zealand alone, and spending only a day in Bali recently. Not forget to mention, living on a ship for three days in Labuan Bajo last September on my 30th birthday.

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The perks of living on board for three days: breath-taking views everywhere you turn.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, yes this is in Indonesia.

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This reminds me of a set from Game of Thrones.

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Good life!

At first, the thought of living on a ship in the middle of an ocean was kinda creepy for me. I literally couldn’t imagine myself floating around in darkness with only few centimetres of woods that separate me from the deep ocean. Add to that picture is the super humid air and mosquitos!

BUT, the curiosity of simply doing it and giving it a try is just beyond containable. Besides, I’ve bought the ticket to LabuanBajo, so cancelling the trip was not even an option.

Fast forward to my first encounter with my “above-the-water-hotel” for three days at the port of Labuan Bajo. It was a two storeys motorboat, with two small bedrooms (at the lower deck) that has air conditioner, and would fit for 6 people. It was not really that spacey, but it was comfy enough for you to sleep.Β  The captain and guide were uber friendly, and the crew cooked really delicious home-made Indonesian foods! Travel Society did not only serve us breakfast, lunch and dinner, but also afternoon snacks. Yaaas!

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Our guide, Stefanus, and the captain.

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I kid you not, they taste GOOD! And, they serve different menu every day.

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I stopped capturing photos during the next meal time, because I was too focused finishing them.

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One of the afternoon snacks: fried banana with sweet condensend milk and meses. This is very very very luxurious after a day of snorkeling!

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Enjoying the afternoon breeze from the upperdeck, captured by: Janice.

I slept at the upperdeck using only mattresses, pillows and blankets with about 5 other people (they were all my friends by the way). Okay, the island-hopping trip was fun. The breeze was very enjoyable. The view was amazing especially during golden hour. Until the night came and it was time to sleep.

Apparently, all the picture I had in mind were false. First of all, the boat stayed quite near to the beach along with other boats. And, the best part is, it has genset (diesel generator)! So the lights were on, I could charge my laptop, powerbank, camera battery. There was no mosquito. And, it was not humid. In fact, it was rather breezy at night we had to use a blanket to keep ourselves warm.

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The upperdeck.

How about the bathroom? Now, this is a fifty-fifty perspective. Some of my friends were okay with the bathroom, some of them were not. There was only one bathroom with limited clean water to be used. It was not a dry-floored bathroom so you can had to wear your flip-flops while doing everything in there (for some people this might be annoying, but I was fine with it).

Overall conclusion? If you are up for a bit of adventure and new experience, just go for it! Besides, it’s only a three-day and two-night experience. The whole memory that you can collect and bring home would last longer than that. (insert a wink emoji).

Btw, here’s some tips if you are going into a sailing trip like me:

1. Pack lightly! The rooms are not that big to contain a huge suitcase, besides it’s three days of swimming you only need swimwear, shirts, toiletries, and towel!

2. If you’re a guy, you don’t need to bring too much underwear. I only packed three swim shorts (one for each day), and wear it all day so that I jump into the water anytime.

3. Aloe vera gel or sunblock is a must! I got quite a bad sunburnt on the first day.

4. If you’re a heavy-muncher like me, there’s no harm in bringing extra snacks!

5. Last one, brings a cable connector so you can charge multiple devices at the same time at night. There’s not much to see at night, so you might wanna bring a speaker to play your favorite Spotify playlist. Or like me, to binge-watch Game of Thrones before sleep haha.

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Enjoying the boat life, a little bit too much.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

 

 

Postcards From Labuan Bajo: A Birthday Trip With Travel Society!

I still remember last year strolling around several Instagram accounts, hoppin from one photo to another, and stumblin upon many photos of the beautiful Labuan Bajo. That was when I decided to intentionally find more infos on how to travel to this part of Indonesia. Particularly as I was craving for a good holiday day on the beach, yet was so bored with Bali. I was keen to explore more hidden gems of this country.

Travel Society was like that thirst-quencher in the middle of a sunny day. Our convo begun with warm greetings and ended up in a collaboration as they invited me to join one of their sailing trips to Bajo! If you are looking for an affordable travel experience to Labuan Bajo and some other places in Indonesia, yet with comfortable place to stay and friendly guides to accompany you, Travel Society should be on your call list.

They have regular dates every year for an open trip to Bajo that you can check on their Instagram account. Out of the dates they provide, I picked the one in September not knowing that it fell right on my 30th birthday!

Celebrating your birthday with a new experience was definitely a great idea. As for me, I celebrated it with a living on a boat for 3 days and 2 nights, visiting 9 islands (Kelor, Manjarite, Rinca, Padar, Namo, Taka Makassar, Gili Lawa, Kanawa, and Bidadari) in total, trekking several hills to watch sunrise and sunset, snorkeling to find manta, getting up close and personal with the Komodo dragon, laying on a pink beach, and swimming in a clear turquoise sea. Well, I got a pretty bad sunburnt as a birthday gift, but it was definitely worth the experience!

I’ll share more about these trip, but for now, please enjoy my postcard series from Labuan Bajo!

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First island in the itinerary, Pulau Kelor

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Menjangan (deer), which is the Komodo dragon’s lunch menu.

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Enjoying the sailing trip a little bit too much.

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Fishermen ready to go to work.

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A convo at golden hour.

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That beautiful hue of gold behind a hill.

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Sunrise watching from the top of Padar Island.

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One of the best islands, Taka Makassar, which pretty much reminds me of Maldive.

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Floating hotels at Gili Lawa.

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Resting to catch a breath.

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Sand-dipped toes on Bidadari Island.

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I was so tempted to say “Dracarys” LOL!

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Sunset at Labuan Bajo.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

 

Postcards From New Zealand: 9 Days, 7 Cities, 6 People, 5 Hotels, 2 Islands, 1 Car!

The trip to New Zealand last August was loaded with plenty of remarkable “first time” experience for me. For example, it was my first time..

flying solo in a long hours flight with two layovers
going on a road trip (this includes being a good co-driver, trying so hard not to fall asleep while paying attention to the GPS, and also surviving hunger and the urge to pee when there’s no gas station and mini mart anywhere near us)
seeing snow
hiking a mountain, which was located in the middle of a city
staying in a cabin hotel (and had to walk at 6.30am in the morning to the toilet, fighting the winter breeze, and end up shivering, thinking I might die of hypothermia, while doing number two).
experiencing flood in other country (LOL).

I kid you not, road trip in New Zealand should be the thing you must do before you hit 30. Or, at least before you die.

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Along with 5 traveling companion, we started the road trip from Auckland (North Island), dropped by at Hobbiton, then went all the way down to Wellington (exploring Martinborough, the city of winery), then took a ferry ride to the South Island, arrived at Picton, passed Nelson – a very beautiful city, I might wanna spend my old days there -, stayed at Hanmersprings (where I shivered (almost to death) in the toilet), moved to Christchurch, dropped by at Lake Tekapo, Mount Cook, ended the trip at Queenstown, and made a 7 hours trip to visit Milford Sound (which pretty much reminds of Kong Island movie).

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The NZ Road Trip Buddies: @demasryan, @yolandelwanda, @arisleonardo, @wisiannysusanty, @felwijaya.

I’ll share more stories in the upcoming post, so please stick around! Feel free to comment or reach me via Instagram if you want the full NZ itinerary along with budget planning, and hotel recommendations!

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Postcards From Sydney: Fallin’ In Love For The Third Time Around

“Sydney? Again?”
Most people reacted like that when they heard that I’m going to Sydney for the third time. They failed to understand why on earth would I keep coming back and forth to Sydney.

“If I were you, I would use the money to travel to other cities on earth,” so they said. As much as I agreed on their comeback, somehow, there’s something about Sydney that makes me feel like it’s always a trip to second home (probably, partly because I still have a close family who lives there).

Now, after the third visit, I departed from Sydney shedding a little tear wondering whether I can come back for more or not. How about I just spend the next season of my life in Sydney? It’s all in my head. Not sure whether I should act on it right away.

This time in Sydney, I found comfort and felt confident in wandering around and exploring the city alone. I enjoy every single experience of getting the wrong bus, walking a bit too far because I took the wrong turn, hopping on and off the trains all by myself. Will tell you more details about this trip, but for now, please do enjoy some photos I captured from this beautiful city.

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First time witnessing double rainbow at Shelly Beach. 


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Captured this by iPhone 5S. One eye-spoiling sunset!


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Symmetrical. Captured this when I took the wrong train to Macquarie.


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Stumbling upon this “urban”-ish and “instagenic” train tunnel.


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In Indonesia, I had to hike to high places to watch sunrise. In Sydney, I woke up and opened my eyes to this beautiful sunrise from my cousin’s apartment. 


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Marchin’ on a hill.


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Sunbathing. Not On A Sand. But On A Grass Field.


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Climb Up, Climb Up.


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Nap Time At The Park.


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Should I Dip My Feet On The Water?


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Architectural.


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Temptation For A Munching Machine. 


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Reminds Me Of That Groceries Store Corner That I Saw Once In Monocle.


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The Popular Bondi Beach.


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What You Lookin’ At?


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Will I Find Love Inside?

 

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)