Singapore : Birds of a Feather

** Apologise for no pictures / less pictures as reference for this post.  As i mistakenly deleted some photos on my media blog and could not recover it back. =( **

Hello Singapore, it has been a while!

I was talking to one of my friend earlier this day, and just realized that we have known each other for 10 years already. Gosh, how time flies. I still vividly remember how i moved to Singapore early July, 10 years ago. Back then, i did not know much things. University life was pretty busy with projects as well. So all i can eat was foodcourt foods like chicken rice, mixed rice, mee pok, and fast foods like McD and KFC. HAHA.

Thankfully, God gave me great friends who i can rely on during my period in Singapore, which some of them are still good friends of mine up till today, who love to bring me to new places to try new things. ❤

and one of new places they brought me recently was BIRDS OF A FEATHER in Amoy Street. A nice cafe which has a very cozy feeling. The ray of natural sunlights and the wooden contemporary design made it more relaxing. The rather big size is a plus point as well, makes it easier for us who often come a big group.

When we talk about cafe, food is another important thing to consider other than the great ambiance. Birds Of A Feather is quite a rather unique eating experience, where they marriage chinese delicacy with italian and western dishes. and amazingly it taste great! even though some of them created a shock unfamiliar taste at first. Haha

A Bowl of Healthiness (SGD 20)

Love the aesthetic serving of this little cute bowl. Housemade Granola with assorted fruits and berries with greek yoghurt. Perfect way to start my meal. Haha. Even though the berries are all a little bit too sour, but i still enjoyed it though. Well, maybe because i always love a granola bowl. It is just a little too pricy for a small bowl. But, worth the try.

Oriental Bolognaise (SGD 20)

My Favorite amongst other dishes. al dente Angel hair, with pork ragout in sichuan style, with onsen tomago, wilted kale and sakura ebi. Was weird at first, but loving this all the way. it’s like chinese style aglio olio. The tingling taste is not bothering at all, and it smell good too. And ohh, the onsen egg really enhanced the flavour of the pasta.

Crispy Gyoza with Truffle Soy Vinaigrette (SGD 16)

A quite crispy outer, yet tender meat on the inside. My second favorite item after the angel hair. I can eat a lot of these too! haha. The dipping is soo good as well, never know that vinegar will goes well with truffle oil. It makes a rather sour taste and savoury at the same time. Perfect for sharing.

Avocado with Shredded Roasted Chicken with Sichuan Pepper Dressing (SGD 23)

This is a the most unique meal that we tasted on that day. Avocado toast with sichuan dressings. Haha.. It created another shock for the taste buds, but it was pretty okay after a few bites. Really a whole new experience of having an avocado toast.

Hong Shao Beef Ragout Orrechiate (SGD 26)

I think this is the only modern chinese dish that goes normal with sichuan style. Haha. A nice tender beef with parmesan foam, spinach, black fungus, pine nut and egg confit.

Overall it was a nice experience hanging out in this small rather big cafe. *What an oxymoron. Haha. Well, it looks small from the outside, since the front look is literally that small, and i did not realized that i already passed it by, till i need to call my friend and ask her to go out. Haha. But it turns out to be a great cozy place inside with awesome service as well.

*And oh, you need to request for tap water if you prefer not to have still / sparkling. Cause they will automatically serve you with the fancy mineral waters when you asked for only water. (well, at least that’s what happened to us)

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

115 Amoy Street #01-01, 069935

Open Daily : 10am till late

(+65) 6221 7449

 

National Gallery Singapore – The ‘Louvre of Asia’

I still remember vividly, about 6-7 years ago, one of my senior in my Singapore church took her pre-wedding pictures in front of this Supreme Court Building. Back then, pre-wedding photos just started to be popular amongst the newly-wed couples. I remember that me and one of my friend were so ‘Kaypoh’ that time, tailed them from the St. Andrew Cathedral to this classic pretty building. Well, for an 18 years old (then) me, pre-wedding shoots was somehow ‘dreamy and extravagant’, it made the younger me hope that i’ll have that kind of photoshoot when i turn 23, and get married by 24. But yeah, too bad.. i have passed that age monthss ago.. and here i am, Independent (read:single) and still dreaming to have a beautiful photoshoot soon with my future husband to be. hahaha.

Okay. enough about me. haha.. Let’s talk more about this newly opened museum in the heart of Singapore. After 10 years of renovating and SGD374 millions of expenditure, ‘The Louvre of Asia’ is finally unfolded on 24th November 2015, and it is Uh-mah-zing! Indeed, The prettiest museum in SE Asia.

I came to this ‘few-months-old-museum’ twice, the first one was planned and the second one was not. It is free to come here and take pretty pictures in the hallway and the classic-elegant bridge, but you need to pay SGD 20 dollars/ person for foreigners and free admission for PR and Singaporean to see all of the exhibitions.

On my first visit, I did not enter at any of their exhibition, but on my second impromptu visit, i accidentally entered one of their exhibition named ‘Siapa Nama Kamu’ – A Painting and many other artwork gallery that represents the development of modern arts in Singapore. I was so lucky, the staff was quite lenient that time, so they let me to quickly finish the entire gallery.#rejekianaksoleh

This marriage of two-buildings, City Hall and Supreme Courts is amazingly beautiful. I can stay there one whole day just to enjoy its classic yet modern architecture, and stare at paintings that i may not even understand. haha.

National Gallery Singapore is surely a must visit when you are in Singapore. Why?

  • They simply have a nice architecture to admire
  • Then you can take loads of instagramable pictures
  • Enjoy the 8,000 art pieces from old and new Singapore, and SE Asian arts
  • Nice cafe with a great Singapore landscape and MBS view
  • Cute museum shops – I can assure you, it’s not a boring ones

Okay, i guess enough of talking. Just see the pretty pictures below that were captured by Me and my lovely friend, Amanda Lorena

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National Gallery Singapore

1 St Andrew’s Rd, Singapore 178957

Nearest MRT Station : City Hall

**Taken by Iphone 6 (edited by Vscocam)

Zaanse Schans : The Pretty Windmill Village

Zaanse Schans (read in indo: zanzeskan, agak rempong ya bacanya. haha), is one of the highlights when you are going to Netherlands. It’s like a village where they still preserve the traditional windmills, even though the big modern windmills are everywhere now to be seen.

After we pleased our eyes with the beautiful tulips in the morning, we boarded the bus and went our way to this cute place. When you entered this so called village, there will be someone who will take a photography of you, and ask you to take a look at it when you finished the trip. At the end of the day, they will sell your pictures at 10 EUR, but it’s up to you whether to take it or not. such a tourist place. haha.

The Windmills

Once you with the pictures, you will see this pretty scenery of Zaanse Schans.

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It seems so serene and historical to me, like all the windmills and the colorful houses trying to tell us some stories from the 18th century, the era when windmills were one of the strongest income for the Dutch.

I guess this is how Netherlands supposed to be like back then.. so classic isnt it? it really feels that you have been gone to Netherlands if you see the windmills and the cute houses. haha.. oh. btw, That cute houses is real house. so you cant go in and see how it looks like. you can just see it from afar.. But not to worries, if you are interested to see the windmill, some windmill are open for us to see, but of course with some price to pay.

And, do you know that Netherlands are one of the food suppliers for the western Europe?

so my tour guide said that Netherlands is one of the biggest importer for meats, milks, cheese and other things. He said, we can compare it from the hotel’s breakfast. as we are going down from Netherlands to Paris, Switzerland, and Italy, the best breakfast should be from Netherlands and Swiss (he included Swiss just because they are a rich country. haha).

Well, that’s what he claimed. since i dont really eat breakfast, toasted bread with nutella and milk with cereal will do just fine for me. But it somewhat true.. Of all the 4* hotels that we stayed, The variety of the breakfast is lesser as we go down to Italy. I dont know if it’s just the hotel standard in each countries are different or the rumor is true. haha.

The Cheese factory

This little windmills village have their own museums and shops as well. one of them is the Catherina Hoeve cheese factory / cheese shop.

so, in this factory, you can learn how to make a cheese! Exciting, right? well, it’s not a hands on program. but u can see the real machine and listen to some stories on how they make the cheese.

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i think making a cheese is really difficult things to do, and required a lots of milk.  they said we need about 10 litres of milk to make 1 kg of cheese.. can you imagine how much milk wasted if you failed to make one. haha.. They also said they need to add some bacteria to mold the cheese.. and to mold the curds into cheese, you need to maintain at 29 degree celcius for the curds to mature correctly.

gahh.. actually i dont know how they do it. hahaha.. i just wrote stuffs that i remember. haha.. and the nicest part after that is, cheese tasting! hehe.

They have a lot of flavors, from the normal cheese, smoked cheese, truffle cheese, cream cheese, cheese dip, rosemary cheese, lavender cheese, etc.

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After tasting here and there, i brought back the truffle cheese! taste nice and smells niceee.. its like the most savory cheese that ive ever tasted. =)

Klompenn (Clogs)

After the cheese galore, we went to see the clogs Museum, where we can see their a demonstration on how they make their clog shoes back then and now.

I cant imagine how difficult it was to handmade all the clog shoes from just a wooden plank. Compared to today, the technology is already very advanced. They just need 1 shoe sample, and the machine can duplicate the same exact ones.

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Hundred years ago, they are using this to protect their feet when they went to mines, factories, and to the field. They said it’s very good in rain (well water absorbent) or shine, and in cold or hot weather. Even in the modern days like now, they are still using the Klompen for everyday shoes, and they still use it for their Dutch national dance. The locals said it is very comfortable for them.

after you watched the the demonstration, you can proceed to the souvenirs shop to bring back some memories. IMG_1822 IMG_1826 IMG_1825 IMG_1821

I tried the Klompen, but its not comfortable for me. Maybe im just not used to clogs shoes. So, i just took a photo with them. haha.

All photos taken by Iphone 6 unedited. =)

The Majestic of Mount Bromo

10 of us were very ambitious to visit 2 mountains in 2 days.

so right after Mount Ijen, we rest awhile, and drive immediately to Mount Bromo. The journey from Bondowoso to Mount Bromo is about 4 hours drive. Same distance from Surabaya airport.

Mount Bromo is located in Probolinggo, East Java, Indonesia. a part of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. with a height of 2,770 above the sea levels, just slightly shorter than Mount Ijen.

What do to there ?

Sight-seeing of course! haha.. To see a beautiful panoramic of the mountains, and dramatic landscape view from the Top of Mount Bromo.

OR

if you have this adventurous spirit, you can hike up to Semeru ! they said the hike is about 3 days 2 nights for normal Asian people to climb up.. and about 2 days 1 night for Fit Caucasian.. haishh.. definitely not my forte for now. haha.. but they said the hike now can be easier, by hiring a porter and a cook. so, they will bring and put up the tent, put up the portable toilet, and they will cook for you as well for the whole 3 days.. all you got to do is just to hike up that mountain. haha..

OR

IF you are ultra-fit,  you can do 100 Ultra Run Race, or the other word is, Mountain Marathon Run! *goshh.. as i know they have 3 categories, 50km, 100km, and 165km.. *faint.. apparently they do this to many mountains in the world, and Bromo is one of it.

OR

For you Jazz enthusiast, you can catch ‘Jazz Gunung’ or Jazz concert on Mount Bromo. This is a yearly event since 2009.

Where Did we go ? OR what place you must visit when you are in Bromo ? 

– Jeep Ride! 

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Well, actually this is something that you must ride, cause you cannot go there by normal cars. Normally all the Jeep will start to go up at 3am. Most hotels and home-stays will have a Jeep and a driver to rent out. so not to worry for the transport. A jeep can fit to 5 people, and you can share it with other visitors also if you dont mind. The Jeep cost about RP 300.000-400.000 / trip.

– Viewpoint / Penanjakan

Normally it’s the first place to go to see the Sunrise!

After 30 mins of Jeep Ride, you must go down and walk up to the Viewpoint. The distance is about 1km. There will be many ‘ojek’ / motorcycle taxi once you got down from the Jeep. Just be-careful because it’s so many of them and the road is so narrow. Ojek Cost is about RP 10.000-20.000 one way.

When we reach the Viewpoint, the sky is rather cloudy =(.. so we cant see the sunrise much.. and we decided to go off from there immediately.. or else it will be so darn crowded to go down to find your Jeep.

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– Mount Bromo / Bromo Crater

This is the place to see a dramatic landscape and great panoramic mountain view. We need to walk about 1-2km to reach the crater. if you want easier way, you can ride a horse as well. me and 2 other friends tried to ride the Horses, but i was so scared that i will fell off from the horse. haha.. the trail is not bumpy.. just that there are some uphil an downhil that scare me so much. haha. so i hold tightly to the horse-handle, and end up i did not enjoyed the scenery at all =(..  *dulu sok2an mau belajar horseback riding.. ini naik bromo aja gw takut. muahhaha*

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If you go by horse, it only take about 15 mins to reach the peak. If you are walking, it takes about 30-45 mins? depends on your pace. After you reached a hill, you need to climb up 198 stairs to get to the peak of Bromo, where you can see the Bromo crater. Not to worries if you got tired, there are a few stalls that sells water, instant noodle and coffee/tea when you reached the hill. There are a few pit-stops also if you got tired in climbing up the stairs.

and only 1 thing that i can say from up there, it was AWESOME!

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and after you got back, you can enjoy a bowl of ‘Bakso’ / Meatballs. So nice to eat this warm local food while it’s cold out there. Bakso cost RP. 10.000 / bowl.

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– Teletubbies hills (Bukit Telltubbies) / Savana

After the good food, we immediately go to Savana / Teletubbies Hill. For Nature Lovers, im sure you will love this greeneries pasture that seems no end.

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– Sea of Sand / Pasir Berbisik

This Bromo land is so so unique. if Teletubbies hills are all full with greeneries, Whispering Sand are sea of sands. We never got down from our Jeep, because everyone was still very exhausted. so we decided to go back to our Hotel. But it is indeed a great place if you want to have some photo-shoot.

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– Viewpoint II

Was so sad that we never go to Viewpoint II. People said it was quite a new view-point and it’s a better viewpoint, but still less people go to the second viewpoint. They call it Mount Kingkong, not sure why they name it ‘Gunung Kingkong’ haha. If i got a chance to go there again, surely im going to ask the jeep driver to go to this Viewpoint II.

 

Where to Stay ? 

– Actually you have an option not to stay in Bromo area. You can go from Surabaya / Malang at night, and reach Bromo around 2-3pm. Just a cheaper alternative.

– But if you want to stay and feel the cold breeze, there are many hotels and home-stays around there.. ranging from RP 200.000 – 1.000.000 / night. Please do your research or call the hotels first. because most of them dont have hot water for you to shower. If you have more money to spend, to can try to stay at Java Banana , The most expensive and the decent Hotel at Bromo.

And dont be shocked if the place that you are staying are full of Caucasians. That what happens to us. haha.. we were eating our diner at our hotel cafe, and we were like, ‘Where are we? it doesnt feel like we are in Indonesia.’ haha..

 

What to Eat ?

– Normally for lunch / dinner, most hotels or home-stays will have their own cafe.

– At Bromo itself, there’s a lot of local things to eat. Bakso / Meatball, Rojak / Fruit Salad with peanut gravy, Tahu Gejrot / Stinky Tofu with vinegar sauce, Siomay / Fishcakes with peanut gravy, Ketoprak / Rice Vermicilli with peanut gravy, Pop Mie / Instant Noodle, etc.

 

Tips

– Bring warm clothes, its cold up there (around 5 degree in the morning). I wore 3 clothes and 1 jacket. haha

– Dont go on weekend if you want to avoid crowds.

– Best Season is June – October, because it’s not rainy season.

– If you are renting a Car, ask them if the car price is inclusive gas, and toll charges.

– If you are signing up a tour package, as a few tours as they have different price even though they are offering same hotels and itinerary.

– Bring your own cloth to sleep in the hotel, because the bed and the blanket itself is very cold.

– Bring a mask. Dont know why when there’s a lot of Jeeps going up to Bromo, the gas smell is very strong.

– Bring More Cash. There’s no ATM up there.

– Bring you own shawl / gloves / beanie if you want to save money. The local people are selling the beanie and other items for RP 15.000 each. alternatively, you can buy from them also to support the local stuff and local people.

– Bring your own water. The water there can be quite expensive. The local people are selling around RP 10.000 / bottles

– Double check the horse price. Normally one way is about RP 50.000 and return trip is about RP 120.000.

 

* i got cheated by the horse guy. =(.. one of my friend already ride the horse up. then the rest of us were still thinking to ride or not. Then i decided to ride the horse.

Me : Bang, berapa kuda.nya ? // how much to ride the Horse?

Him : Samain aja Neng.. 125.000 kyk temen.nya.. // Rp 125.000, same price as your friend

Without hesitant, i immediately said OK and ride the horse. When i got down, suddenly i met the other friend who took the horse right after me.

Her : Jen.. gw capee. jadi gw naik kuda juga.. lu kena berapa ? // Jen.. im so tired, so i finally ride the horse too, how much did the guy charge you ?

Me : RP 125.000

Her : Mahal amat ?? Bolak balik // Why so expensive, is it return ?

Me : No, only 1 way.. =(

Then i met the other friend who went before me. He told me that his horse guy charged him RP 125.000 for return trip. huaaa.. there gone my money. haha.. but its okay.. i treat it as a blessings for the horse guy. =)

– The last and the most important Tips. JUST HAVE FUN !

 

Hopefully this is useful for you, who knows Bromo can be your first holiday choice for 2015. =)

**All photos are taken by Iphone 6, unedited. Only 2 pics edicted by VSCOcam. How i love my new phone. ❤