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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Three things to do for a full night in Phuket: #2 – Get your massage on!

Everyone knows that massages are super expensive in North America. The prices can be sticker shocking even for people who’ve never left the continent. I can only imagine what South East Asians must think when they come to places like NYC and Toronto and see what these people charge. Yet another reason, I don’t go to spas back home. However, when I come to Asia – I go “buckwild” on massages. #1 : Get some food in your system #2 : Get your massage on: #3.1 :Ride a Tuk Tuk So when you finish your dinner on Rat-u-Thit, then wander ... Read More »

Three things to do for a full night in Phuket: #3.1 – Ride a Tuk Tuk

As the last thing to do on a night in Phuket … after you’re done with your eating, shopping, massaging and drinking on Bangla Road, then you need to cap it off with a drunken Tuk Tuk ride back to your place to crash.   Read More »

Three things to do for a full night in Phuket: #1 – Get some food on Rat U Thit.

So you’ve had a long day touring the Phi Phi islands, or Phang Nha or speedboating to Krabi. You’re sore and tired, possibly sunburnt and dehydrated … you now have two choices Be a sucker and call it a night, by hitting your hotel/hostel/resort/camp – ULTRA WEAK!!! OR Make a hardcore long night of things on Bangla Road, cause you put the “S” on Superman’s chest! If you’ve met anything who has visited Phuket, then there is no introduction I think is needed for this place. Phuket’s nightlife is storied but Bangla Road is on a next level of things ... Read More »

Borobudur is a wonder … even thought the sunrise tour is overrated …

In my first post about Borobudur, I mentioned my lack of enthusiasm for the whole “sunrise” experience. This being said, one of the main reasons for me coming to Yogyakarta, was to photograph and see Borobudur. After the morning debacle with our guide Daniel (who you can email directly here … he is awesome, friendly and well known at Borobudur – since he works there - danielwaluyo@rocketmail.com :P ), he felt really bad about the poor sunrise, so he took us through the employee entrance (i.e. “We didn’t pay again to get in“) … VIP style. It was awesome not getting hassled ... Read More »

Monday Morning Consultant – Bali Edition – The Lagoon Resort and Spa Nusa Dua Review

Heading into Bali, I tried to book for 4 free nights at the W Bali Resort in Seminyak, but due to the lack of availability of “standard” rooms, I couldn’t get the first night in – so instead I had to book 1 night at the Lagoon and 3 nights at the W Bali. Plaudit #1 … Sheraton Towers, Singapore Plaudit #2 … Le Meridien Jakarta, Indonesia. Plaudit #3 … Sheraton Mustika, Indonesia Hotel #4 … No upgrade for the one night here at the Lagoon … damn Hilary Clinton’s posse ended up booking a rack of rooms at this ... Read More »

Hiking to Candi Selogriyo / Selogriyo Temple with some more rice terraces

2011 will be my year of Rice Terraces. The last couple months have been rice terraces in Philippines and Indonesia. After going to Borobudur, we head up to an “obscure” temple in the mountains. Candi Selogriyo is a small Hindu temple, built earlier before Borobudur temple. It is located at the head of a small valley, with many terraced rice-fields on the slopes.  This is the Java scenery one sees in magazines. Selogriyo is about 30 km. away from Borobudur, and journey by car or motorcycle takes about one hour (each way), over paved, winding country lanes. Walking through the ... Read More »

5 Misconceptions I had of Yogyakarta and Prambanan …

A couple misconceptions I had before I got to Yogyakarta … since I think every preconceived idea of Indonesia has been shattered with my arrival into Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta is some dusty temple town that will be easy to get around. FALSE : “Yogya” is pretty god damn big and you will need a driver to get around. Since Yogya is a small town, I will be able to saunter into town, see 10 main attractions in 3 days and leave full satiated never wanting to come back FALSE : There is so much around Yogya, that one could spend two ... Read More »

Tuesday Morning – Overrated!!! Sunrise at Borobudur

Tuesday Morning – Overrated!!! Sunrise at Borobudur

In typical fashion online, when one person has a great opinion of something, it tends to spread viral, especially if those people have a smaller frame of context. In the true tradition of overpriced and overrated, watching the sunrise from Borobudur would fall into this category. On a sunny, clear morning, you’ll get the “mystic” sunrise from Borobudur – but this is just a sunrise from a high place with a jungle background. You get fantastic descriptions like this  … A white mist shrouds the plain and the first birdcalls across the valleys announce the imminent arrival of another dawn. ... Read More »

Monday Morning Consultant – Yogyakarta Edition – Sheraton Mustika Review

For the next couple days, we’re going to be in Yogyakarta, hiking up and down temples and monuments. Again, using the SPG promo and points, we have a couple nights using “Cash and Points” at the Sheraton Mustika – which amounted to 30$ and 2800 pts a night. Plaudit #1 … Sheraton Towers, Singapore Plaudit #2 … Le Meridien Jakarta, Indonesia. Plaudit #3 .. This hotel is nice!! It’s gets two exclamation marks for service, lobby decor and a quite decent lounge. The security coming in wasn’t too bad at all, unlike Manila or Jakarta.Usual check-in procedure shows that the ... Read More »

Getting my inner Muslim on … Istiqlal Mosque travelogue

Generally Mosques aren’t the most elaborate of places – they tend to be open spaces where the masses can congregate and worship together unless there is some reason to make a ridiculously opulent and large mosque, as was such for the Hasan II mosque in Casablanca. The biggest Mosque in Jakarta and South East Asia is the Istiqlal Mosque. The idea behind it was that the largest Muslim population in the world, should have a Mosque befitting the size of the community. Getting there: It is definitely a building of stature and getting there in Jakarta is quite easy. From ... Read More »