Nonton Fireworks #ArmadaDeRouen2019 (Part 2) | AMG! Vlog Cerita #9

Okay gengs, seperti janjiku di vlog Armada 2019 part 1, here we go, you can watch the 2nd part here!

Kita nonton kembang api di acara Armada de Rouen 2019.

Mau tau keseruannya seperti apa?

Let’s watching and don’t forget to subscribe ya!

Armada de Rouen 2019 (Part. 1) – AMG! Vlog Cerita #8

Seneng banget akhirnya bisa melihat dan merasakan sendiri pengalaman naik perahu besar di acara Armada de Rouen 2019.

Hah, gimana? Acara apa itu?

Penasaran-kan apa itu Armada de Rouen dan seperti apa perahu-perahu besar yang kita naiki?

Yuk, lihat dulu vlog kita!

Ps. Jangan lupa subscribe ya.

Merci

#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.

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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.

 

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The Entrance of The Pod Boutique Hostel

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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.

 

 

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The bunk bed

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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The bed is in upper side and the small desk under 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Souvenir’s heaven place on Earth

 

 

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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

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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.

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MRT Station in Changi Airport

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A very clean MRT

 

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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.

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

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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).

 

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Boat Quay with Anderson Bridge views

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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 cafĂ© 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

 

Summer fireworks in Geneva!

Well, hello for those who’s the biggest fan of fireworks! I am gonna show you beautiful pictures of me during FĂȘtes de GenĂšve or Geneva Festivals on last summer 2016! I was very lucky, yes, because I got fellowship during the best season in Geneva, Switzerland. Why? Because you can easily found many nice festivals in the Jet d’eau lake and for being honest, the warm weather during summer much look alike in Jakarta or even some cases, even hotter in Geneva.

And to see the feu d’artifice or fireworks, it commonly held by August each year. The fireworks long last between 45-55 minutes which located in the lake. You need to be sacrificed yourself first, if you want to watch this and get a very strategic place, like what I did last year. So I came to the lakeside, since the afternoon like around 4 pm to get a place right in front of the lake.

And the fireworks itself, just started, at 10 pm.

Yes, it was an amazing experience, to wait for the fireworks for 6 hours in the lake accompanied with crazy windy during the afternoon, hahaha. If you want to get the best place to see the fireworks, you must go to the lake at least 3 hours advance, before the fireworks begin.

And, for the better, you can bring folding chair/cushion/pillow/bean bag or anything so you can sit comfortably and also the blanket, as it will start to get cold during the evening. Not to forget to bring snacks and drinks as you will stay there for hours!

So, enjoy the fireworks, guys!

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The fireworks started to play

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đŸ“· Astrid Maharani (by Samsung S7 Edge)
📍 Jet d’eau Lake, Geneva – Switzerland

Autumn Sunsets in Vasabron Street, Stockholm

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Norstedts – Vasabron Street, Stockholm – Sweden

Beautiful? Definitely! I am so grateful that I had a chance to capture this beautiful sunset in Stockholm during an Autumn season on last 2015. It was very windy evening but dared myself to hold on for couple minutes just to took this beautiful scenery in Vasabron Bridge. And hopefully, I will see this beautiful sunset (or sunrise) during Spring season this year. Bismillah! ❀

Vasabron Bridge or The Vasa Bridge is a bridge over Norrström which located in central of Stockholm, Sweden, that connecting Norrmalm to Gamla Stan, the old city. The bridge is, unintelligibly, named after King Gustav Vasa (1496-1560), perhaps because of the vicinity to the statue of the king in front of the House of Knights.From Vasabron a much smaller bridge, Strömsborgsbron, connects to the islet Strömsborg. Nearby bridges include Riksbron, Stallbron, Norrbro, Centralbron, and Strömbron.

đŸ“· Astrid Maharani
📍 Norstedts, Vasabron – Stockholm

Unexpected Journey #2 : Danau Toba, North Sumatera – Indonesia

Well, weekends almost over now (in Indonesia time). But I have many stories that I would like to share with you about my last business trip to a new island that I ever visited in my life. Yes, that was my first time visited this island, although I am a Sumatera descent from my mother side.

I was very lucky that I had a chance to visit, to see and to feel directly the Lake Toba (in Bahasa, Danau Toba) as our refreshed time after long journey and lot of works to do in the past weeks. This is the most well-known and famous area for a touristic place in North Sumatera or Medan. When we planned this business trip to Medan, I was thinking that we won’t have much time to visit this beautiful and wonderful lake because of our tight working schedule, but in fact and unexpected, WE DID IT! Yay.

For me, the Lake Toba it seems similar to the sea, considering the size of the lake which very large. Did some of you already knew or ever visited Danau Toba?

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Beautiful view of Toba Lake from above

I would like to tell you a short history about the lake. Well, before I only knew few about the lake, I am so lucky that I have a boyfriend who is a geologist (and he knew more about Indonesia than me, I guess) so he was telling me a short explanation about the Lake Toba. Since then, I Googled a history of the lake and this is it what I found.

Lake Toba is a large natural lake occupying the caldera of a supervolcano. The lake is about 100 kilometres long, 30 kilometres wide, and up to 505 metres (1,666 ft) deep. Located in the middle of the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatera. It is the largest lake in Indonesia and also the largest volcanic lake in the world. It was massive supervolcanic eruption estimated that occurred 69,000 to 77,000 years ago representing a climate-changing event. It is the largest known explosive eruption on Earth in the last 25 million years. According to the Toba catastrophe theory, it had global consequences for human populations; it killed most humans living at that time and is believed to have created a population bottleneck in central east Africa and India, which affects the genetic make up of the human worldwide population to the present. (Wikipedia)

Pulau Samosir or Samosir Island, which is the island in the middle, was joined to the caldera wall by a narrow isthmus, which was cut through to enable boats to pass; a road bridge crosses the cutting. Samosir island is the cultural centre of the Batak tribe, the indigenous from North Sumatra. This eruption was estimated to have caused mass death and extinction of several species of living creatures. The eruption of Mount Toba has led to changes in the earth’s weather and the start into the ice age that affects the world civilization. Samosir Island is an unique island for it is a volcanic island that settled in the middle of Lake Toba. The altitude is 1,000 meters above sea level. Although it has becomes a tourist destination for a long time, Samosir is kind of virgin natural site. In the middle of Samosir Island, there are two more beautiful lakes named Lake Aek Sidihoni and Lake Natonang. The area around Toba has pine forests that arranged beautifuly in greenish nuance. On the outskirts of Lake Toba, there are several waterfalls which are extremely fascinating. Furthermore, you will also find a sulfur spring. At Samosir Island you can also find misty mountains, crystal clear waterfalls to swim, and farming communities. The friendliness of Batak society will captivate you because wherever you go then immediately able to find new friends. (Indonesia Tourism)

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Kartika Beach, Toba Lake – North Sumatera, Indonesia

So that’s all about the lake and the Samosir island. Last time, we had a plan to rent a boat to go to the Samosir island, but because the time was already a little bit late in the afternoon, so we decided to go back directly to the city because some of us will have a morning flight the next day. Yes, it’s unfortunate. But I was happy to see and feel the beach sands also the water in the lake. Because most of the local people said;

“You have not been to Medan if you do not touch and feel the water of Lake Toba”.

So we did it!

Me, keep busy operated my new camera :3
Me, keep busy operated my new camera :3

During the journey from South of Aceh to the Lake Toba took around 5 or 6 hours by car. The road? was very crazy for the first timer like me! Hahaha. The road feels like we were in a rollercoaster, ups and downs, many curves because we were passing by the mountain hills. Left and right our cars were covered by many beautiful trees and in some road, we can easily found wild monkeys surround!

It was a memorable and unexpected journey for me. And the best way to start my 2017’s travel journey so far! I would love to come back to Lake Toba and next time will be happy to explore and visit beautiful waterfalls around the lake, like Air Terjun Sipiso-piso (Sipiso-piso waterfalls) ❀

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!

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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

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Sant Antonio Basilica di Padova

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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.

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The yard of the Basilica

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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

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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

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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.

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The building of Abbey of Santa Giustina appears on behind

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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

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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!

Kampung Naga, Tasikmalaya – Indonesia

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Kampung Naga or Dragon Village. Why dragon village? The name has nothing to do with the village or vice versa. In this village there are around 300 indigenous people and in daily life, they chose to not having an electricity for life, even our Government offered free electricity machine several years ago, but they rejected. Because they want to keep the originality of their village and the traditional ways to prove they can survive even without the electricity.

đŸ“· Astrid Maharani
📍 Kampung Naga, Tasikmalaya – Indonesia