What to do : 8 Tips while 8 Hours Transit in Santiago, Chile

Before, I had never imagined myself to visit a country in one of America continent or America latin countries. I knew nothing about it, except when I was kid, I have been exposed by a lot of America Latin’s telenovela.

Yes, I grew up with drama series telenovela, such as Amigos, Maria Bellen, Betty La Fea, etc. I know some of you, too!

Until few months ago, my husband bought me roundway ticket France – Chile to visit him during the end year holiday, because he has to work few months in Patagonia, Chile. When he offered that, I had kind of mixed feelings. I have never been imagine myself to be in America Latin’s country yet to be in Chile and yes, I knew nothing about Chile.

But here I am visiting the 16th country of my travel list.

My flight was direct from Paris to Santiago, the capital city of Chile. And I had transfer time in Santiago for few hours, before I continue my flight to Punta Arenas, to reunited with my husband there.

So I decided to made a short visit to the center of Santiago, even I had a little bit jetlag because of long flight around 14 hours from Paris to Santiago and the weather was pretty different in between France and Santiago. So, in this post I wanted to share my experience when I transit in Santiago for more or less 8 hours, before my next flight to Punta Arenas, Patagonia.

Put Your Luggage at the Airport Luggage Storage. If you have more times during your transit in Santiago airport but you have a lot of luggage that you don’t want to bring, here is the solution. By paying around 3.000 to 5.000 Peso, depends on the size of your luggage, you can store your luggage at the airport Luggage Storage in Gate 1 lobby, on the 1st floor. This price is lasts for 24 hours, yes they open for 24 hours!

Afterwards, you can walk again to the Gate 3 to find the bus counter which go directly to the Santiago center then buy the bus ticket to go to Santiago Central. There are several bus companies which can brings you to several places that you’d wish for. If you want to go to the central, you can buy ticket bus Centropuerto only for 3.400 peso for roundway ticket Santiago airport to Santiago central and return (for oneway ticket 1.900 peso). The bus departs every 10 minutes and stops in several stop.

Once you take the bus, the duration to go to central from the airport is around 45 – 60 minutes and take the stop in Los Heroes, which the last stop of the Centropuerto bus. Take a walk straight from the Los Heroes stop around 900 metres you will find a big square on the left with beautiful buildings of the Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda, La Moneda Palace & Constitution Plaza.

Centro Cultural Palacio de La Moneda
(cultural space for Chilean citizen where they can access to the cultural and audiovisual of the nation)
La Moneda Palace
(the seat of the President of Chile works also places for the offices of three cabinet ministers: Interior, General Secretariat of the Presidency and General Secretariat of the Government)
Constitution Plaza
(its a full square surrounded by other government buildings and the President palace)

Luckily, I visited Santiago during the summer. For your information, Chile starts the summer on December to February. But I was not expected that Santiago was as hot as my hometown in Jakarta. The weather was around 33 degrees. The streets, the people, the street sellers, etc was reminds me very well with Jakarta, especially the Kota Tua area.

Can you imagine I was not used any maps nor the Google map (as I did not have the Internet data) when I visited the town? I just used the street sign and by asking people on the street. But before I arrived in Santiago, I took notes on which places that I have to visit while in Chile and I tried so hard to remember the way.

For me, talking English in Chile was a little bit a challenge, as they did not really talk English that much, even in the big town. Just like when I asked a Policeman, nearby the Palace. I asked how to go to Plaza de Armas by sign language as he also did, but I understand what he said until I arrived there and took pictures of the Chilean monuments in Plaza de Armas.

This Plaza is the main square of Santiago, where you can see several important monuments, such as; Monumento al Pueblo Indigena (Monument to the Indigenous People) where this monument intended to the Mapuche people, the indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile, which fought against Spanish conquerors for 350 years; Statue of Pedro de Valdivia the Spanish conqueror and the first royal Governor of Chile, etc. I really love this square because you can see there are a lot of tropical trees, beautiful statues and many street painters.

Plaza de Armas
Monumento al Pueblo Indigena
(Monument to the Indigenous People)

You can see famous buildings surround the Plaza de Armas also to visit the Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago de Chile which just located in the corner of the square. The Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, which had been constructed with neoclassical style around 1700s by the Italian architect.

Catedral Metropolitana de Santiago de Chile (left) and Oficina Correo Chile, the historic central post office and postal museum (right)
Museo Historico Nacional

Since I don’t have much times to visit the museum, so basically I just admired their city landscape and old architecture buildings with the neoclassical style. It was very interesting for me, because when in the town, I could feel I was in one of European country but with the weather and its people which just like when I am in my hometown. It’s a mixed feeling.

After walking around for almost 3-4 hours, I feel hungry and I was looking for place to eat. There are plenty of choices, when you are in the central. One that I remember so far, Chilean loves to eat everything with meat, either beef or pork. Since I am not eating pork, I looked either for chicken or seafood, instead. As you walk in the town, you will see there are bunch of local fast food restaurants. But I suggest you to try their local food, such as Empanadas (pastry filled with meat, cheese or chicken), Cazuela (homemade stew with beef, chicken, corn, rice and potatoes), etc. My favorite is Empanadas Quesso (cheese empanadas) and Empanadas Pollo (chicken empanadas).

After eat, because of the weather was too hot for me to continue to walk, I finally chose to go back to the airport. Once I back to the Los Heroes stop, I found easily the Centropuerto bus that departed few minutes after I went inside the bus. I slept for awhile in the bus because it was very hot outside and I still a bit jetlagged.

Once arrived in the airport, while waiting for the next flight to Punta Arenas, Patagonia, I decided to take a cup of coffee not to far from the boarding gate in domestic flight. You have to try a coffee product which called Patagonia Blend. It is not a sponsored post, but I love their coffee and cappucino vanilla, if you love the light and sweet one.

The last tips is very optional, but there are some things that they sell in the souvenirs shop at the Airport, which there is not in the town. If you will go to Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, you will find a looot of souvenir shop with cheaper price if we compare with the one at the airport. As usual, it will be a little bit more expensive than the one in other town, but it is still worth to consider.

So that’s my travel tips for those people who may have long transit in Santiago before you will have flight to another part of Chile, it is absolutely depends on the person’s preference. But I wish you will have the best days in Chile, as I do.

#9th Review: The Pod (Boutique Capsule Hostel), Singapore

It’s always nice to welcoming weekend after long busy work-days!

Who’s agree with me now?

Still, about Singapore, this weekend I am going to give you another reference about one of boutique capsule hostel in there. Singapore is very well known for its expensive prices for everything, including for a hotel. Therefore, they have initiated to make and build a lot of capsule hostel in town. Most of the times, tourists who visit Singapore only for short times for holiday, they usually prefer to book a B&B (or bed and breakfast with a bunk bed) hostel.

Image result for bunk bed hostel singapore
Bunk bed hostel in Singapore (Source by Pinterest)

That is why I am going to show you one of hostel recommendation that I ever stayed in Singapore for your holiday reference.

It’s The Pod, the boutique capsule hostel.

The location of this hostel is located in Beach Road area. It is the same area with one of the most well-known areas in Singapore, called Arab Village.

 

IMG_20171019_222237
The Entrance of The Pod Boutique Hostel

IMG_20171019_222933
Check-in Machine System

The entrance of the boutique hostel is just like any other hostels in Singapore, located in a small narrow building. The lobby of the hotel is located on the 3rd floor, where you can find the receptionist. That time, I arrived around 10pm, so I went to check-in directly with the receptionist, but the staff said that in here we can do self-check-in by utilized their machine system. We have to input our name, contact number, passport number, and even paid directly either by the card or cash. I paid by cash last time because I only stayed one night and it cost around SGD 91 or equal to IDR 900.000 or equal to EUR 56.

For Indonesian people, it still considers expensive. As I booked for the Deluxe Single Pod, but the price it’s already included a breakfast and tax.

Then after finished check-in, they prepared my room card also in the machine to activate it. After that, the staff was accompanied me to the room that I booked. It is the same floor as the lobby, and since they used half carpet and floor, so it’s an obligation for us to not using our shoes or sandals, and they even provide the locker to keep our shoes in the entrance.

Then I walked in the alley and my room is located in the same area with other Deluxe Single Pod areas. So this is how it looks…

 

So many doors in there and my room located in the right corner of the room. Don’t be surprised as you will see how small my room is in the next picture.

 

 

IMG_20171019_223155
The bunk bed

 

IMG_20171019_223204
They have a small cabinet under the bed and provide me with the towel and hanger

 

 

IMG_20171019_224044
This is how we access the bunk bed, by the stairs!

 

 

IMG_20171019_223150
The bed is in upper side and the small desk under 

IMG_20171019_224044
This is how we access the bunk bed, by the stairs!

 

Yes, this is how it looks for the Deluxe Single Pod in the boutique capsule hostel, The Pod. Actually, they have a very good and reliable service and very helpful staff!

Yes, it is very unique, right? Actually, I used to stay many times in the bunk bed or hostels like this during my stay in Singapore. Since it is a good option to avoid the expensive price and another way to mingle with another backpacker. I met by accident with tourists from around the world during my stay in the hostel or any bed and breakfast place. Only a few of them I still keep in touch until now.

It is one of good reason whether if you want to practice your language skills or just want to have so many friends during your travel.

This boutique capsule hostel is very good for people who just want to explore Singapore for very short times and wants to go for backpacker options.

Last time, I went to Singapore only for one-day business purposes, so I prefer to stay in the boutique hostel which located in the central area and of course close to the MRT green-line.

Beside very cute and small bedroom, their bathroom also very cute one! I really like the wall and its clean toilet and shower room.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In the Deluxe Pod, they provide 4 bathrooms for us, but still, we have to patiently wait for the queue in the morning as people will go outside and enjoy Singapore!

Their breakfast is so so for me, well it’s a standard breakfast if you stay at the capsule hostel. They provide bread, croissant, instant noodle, orange juice, sausage, cookies, cappuccino machine, cereals, and milk. I met with travelers which came from another country in the breakfast area.

 

They usually start the breakfast from 06.30 until 09.30 am

The location of this boutique capsule hostel is only 700 meters from the MRT Station Bugis area. Which closed to one of the most famous shopping places where you can visit all day until around 10 pm. You can find almost anything in this area, from clothing, resto, cafe, bar, supermarket, souvenir place, etc.

 

IMG_20171020_165957_HDR
Souvenir’s heaven place on Earth

 

 

IMG_20171020_170013_HDR
Bugis Food Street where you can find street food and fresh drink

 

I will recommend to my lovely blog readers to try to stay in The Pod Boutique Capsule Hostel both for holiday and business. I give a score 8.5 out of 10!

The Pod, Boutique Capsule Hostel

289 Beach Rd, Singapore 199552

*

 

Bonus features:

There are a little bit tips and trick an easier way and strategic place where you can stay in Singapore for those who want to enjoy the city to the fullest, but don’t want to take more time on the street to go and back to the airport! The best place to stay is close to the MRT green line because it goes the same line with the MRT to Changi Airport.

Basically, it’s very easy to understand the MRT line in Singapore and you can also easily move from another place to another, since its very small city/country.

But, it’s good if you try to find a place to stay which close to the famous landmark or at least, the shopping place. I’ve ever stayed in Little India, Chinatown, Arab village, and Lavender Street. Those are very close to the shopping places and very close to the MRT station.

Click ‘like’ if you enjoy my review and please write your comment down below if you want to know more about Singapore through my lens!

Best,

Astrid

 

 

 

Another 24h in Singapore

Back in 2013, when I visited Singapore for the first time when I worked in one of architecture and interior design book publisher based in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was also my first time traveled to a foreign country in Asean, as well as in the world. Since then, I often went to Singapore for few months, few weeks, or even just stayed less than 24 hours.

Yes, less than 24 hours.

IMG_20171019_213141
MRT Station in Changi Airport

IMG_20171019_213448
A very clean MRT

 

IMG_20171020_095730
Another very clean area inside the MRT

Maybe some of you also have an experience like me. It was a tough job, I admitted. I had to go to Singapore for less than 24 hours sometimes only brought books to our distributor in Singapore or had a meeting with some architects and partners in there. I even was joined with the architect tour in Singapore, it was an activity initiated and organized by my publisher company. Since then, I am very familiar with Singapore streets, café, restaurant, specifically places which identically with good architecture and interior design buildings.

IMG_20171020_094302
A very clean and well-organized parking lot in Arab village area

IMG_20171020_101111
Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station area and right-part is the Visual Art Centre

And since that too, I feel like Singapore already became one of my favorite countries to visit. Don’t ask me why, because I know you must have said, “Singapore is a very expensive country in Asia!” or “There are so many regulations in Singapore! You will get fine easily with the law enforcement.”

Yes, unfortunately, that’s the truth.

But you have to see Singapore beyond those kinds of things. Beyond expensive prices, high buildings, so many and tight regulations, Singapore has their own beauty.

Well, every country does.

I love the cleanliness of the country, the pedestrian, the environment, and their rich cultures from Arab, India, Melayu, Chinese, Asian and Western! You even can see so many different cultures and races from around the world only in Singapore (at least from my perspective).

I have my own favorite spots in Singapore both for hangout or just to stroll around the city, there are China Town, Bugis, Boat Quay, Esplanade Park, and Kampong Glam (Arab Village).

 

IMG_20171020_154441
Boat Quay with Anderson Bridge views

IMG_20171020_154646_HDR
One of the oldest hotel in Singapore, Fullerton Hotel

For all of you, who already went to Singapore, must be very similar to those places I mentioned above.

But, did you ever try to visit those areas only within 24 hours? I did.

Well, more than 5 times I guessed.

Just a few weeks ago, I went to Singapore and arrived around 9 pm, more or less. That was after 3 years or more, I guess since I went to Singapore last time. I feel good to be back. And I thought I already forgot the street and places in there, but I was wrong. Surprisingly, I still knew very clearly every spot in Singapore and every MRT stations.

Once I arrived there, I went directly to the hostel, which called The Pod. It is located on Beach Road in Arab Village area. The location is very good and I knew this boutique hostel long time ago, but I just had a chance to go there last time. Almost midnight, I felt very hungry because I was not eating very well for dinner, so I went to the Kampong Glam café just behind my hostel. I bought fish and chips and Ice Kopicinno. And oh my God, I really loooooooved the Kopicinno! It wasn’t because I feel very hungry or thirsty, but I really love the taste. Somehow it’s very sweet because of the milk, but the coffee is strong too. It was very good to stay in that area because you can easily get some places to eat or drink during the night.

 

Now, please let me know where is your favorite place in Singapore? And why you liked it?

 

Thanks,

Astrid

 

Must Visit in Stockholm: An Instagrammable Spot in Stortorget

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your great responses on my blog post about “Must Visit in Stockholm: the Most Artistic Subway in the World” both on my blog and my Instagram. I received very good feedback and I am glad to share my travel experiences with my blog readers, as well as my Instagram followers. I will try my best to share all of my travel experiences to you more frequently, so always stay tuned on my blog and my Instagram account.

And now I would like to share about one of a small and famous square which located in Central of Stockholm, in the old city area and in the plateau of Stadsholmen. It is the oldest square in Stockholm and very well-known with their historical centre as it still in the same location with the Royal Palace, the Cathedrals and the Nobel Museum, namely Stortorget.

Stortorget, Stockholm

That was second time during my visit to Stockholm, Sweden. And the two famous landmarks which I took above is good cafe or restaurant. This is a square that usually people or foreign tourists will spend an hour or more to hang out and enjoy the time with their family, friends or beloved ones.

The two famous landmark buildings in Stockholm, Sweden

Nobel Museum or Nobelmuseet

The Nobel Museum above located just in front of the two famous building on my first picture. It is the place where is a museum devoted to circulate information on the Nobel Prize, Nobel laureates from 1901 to present, and the life of the founder of the prize, Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), together with the Swedish Academy and the Nobel Library.

Besides that, there is also many cafes, restaurants, tabac stores, fashion stores, and souvenir shops just around the Stortorget square.

Narrow street @ Stortorget

For me, this is one of a good spot for you who love photography or just want to take some pictures for your travel documentary, or even just to capture your best moment and upload it to your Instagram account!

Just like what I usually do.

And don’t forget to like my blog post and leave your comment down below if you have any questions! 🙂

Picture was taken by: Astrid Maharani

Unexpected journey : Padova, Italy

I am one of a kind of girl who believes a hundred percents that life is (indeed) full of surprises. That’s what I felt during 3-months lived and well-travelled in some Europe countries last summer. My travel plans have changed a lot once I arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, where I started my first living and working abroad experience in 2016. How was it feel? Oh, it was wonderful and unforgettable moments that I ever experience.

Since long time ago, I always believe “what you give to others, that’s what you’ll get back” in return. So if you do good to people, people will treat you exactly the same how did you treat them. It is what I actually felt, during my 2nd trip in one of beautiful country in Europe.

Here is…. Italy!

dsc04099
Palazzo Moroni, Comune di Padova

During my second trip to Italy, I had a chance to visit Venice and Padova (or Padua). I won’t talk more about Venice, as some of you may already know and saw many beautiful pictures about the city of love and plus, you may already know because you have watched movies like The Tourist or even the latest ones, Inferno. But here, I’d rather talked about my unexpected journey in Padova, Italy.

Why I called it the unexpected journey?

Because Padova was never been on my Europe or even Italy bucket-list. But I made it happened because of my Couchsurfing host (you can also add me on my Couchsurfing account) who were very kind to me and invited me to see another city in Italy where the location is 45 mins drove by car from Venice and last time I only had half-day visit time with my host before I flew back to Geneva. Padova is a small city, where located in Northern Italy’s Veneto region. It’s well-known by Giotto’s creation in Scrovegni Chapel and Basilica of Saint Anthony.

Like any other cities in Italy, for me, Padova has the sense of history, art and culture. Just like in Rome. When I have discussed with my host, he shared to me about the history of the city where the city was well-known with the renaissance era and modern architecture. There are some medieval palaces, artistic churches and cobbled streets, the shops, markets and locals, also a vibrant modern life.

These are some must-visit lists that I make for you who wants to visit and passing by the Padova city:

1. Basilica of Saint Anthony

20160828_144350
Sant Antonio Basilica di Padova

20160828_144103
The byzantine-style domes in Basilica Sant Antonio di Padova

This is the Basilica Sant Antonio from outside the building which taken by me, during my travel to Padova. It was a very sunny day around 35 degrees Celsius during the summer. Fantastic, huh? It is a Roman Catholic church which is for me the dome is similar to the mosque dome in Muslim worship place.

20160828_143921
The yard of the Basilica

20160828_143649
Inside of Basilica

Although the Basilica is visited as a place of pilgrimage by people from all over the world, it is not the titular cathedral of the city, a title belonging to the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Mary of Padua. The basilica is known locally as “il Santo”. The construction itself has begun around 1232, just one year after St. Anthony death.

2. Church of the Eremitani

dsc04091
Church of the Eremitani

The Church of the Eremitani, or Church of the Hermits, is an Augustinian church of the 13th century in Padova. I didn’t do much in here because that time I only had very short time to visit so I was just looked around at the Church’s yard which there were many sculptures

3. Piazza dei Signori

20160828_135639
Piazza dei Signori

And this one of the famous and historical square in Padova. Around this square, you can easily found some cafe or coffee shop and many local people or tourists were sitting around the square just for hangout with friends and family.

4. Prato della Valle and Abbey of Santa Giustina

According to Wikipedia, this square has 90,000 square meters elliptical square in Padova, Italy. It is the largest square in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. Today, the square is a large space with a green island at the centre, l’Isola Memmia, surrounded by a small canal bordered by two rings of statues.

20160828_141911
The building of Abbey of Santa Giustina appears on behind

20160828_141541

The Abbey of Santa Giustina is a Benedictine abbey in the centre of the City of Padua, facing the Prato della Valle, which dates from the 10th century. The abbey is attached to the Basilica of Santa Giustina, which was built in the 6th century (Wikipedia). And today, the Prato della Valle square usually use for festival music, to see fireworks during the New Year, or even just have a picnic day with friends and family by the local people.

5. Palazzo della  Ragione

dsc04102
The Palazzo della Ragione is a medieval town hall building in Padua, in the Veneto region of Italy

There were some of the touristic and historical places which you should have to visit during your travel in Padova, like; Scrovegni Chapel, Orto Botanico di Padova, Santa Sofia Church, Padova Cathedral, Ponte San Lorenzo, Palazzo Giusti, and much more. I didn’t have many chances to go to those places and to took a picture, because I have run out of batteries, both my phone and my camera (Yes, poor me!). But as you can see in above pictures, there are some places which very worth to visit once you are in Padova, Italy!