How to Interact with the Locals (Without Annoying Them)

Everyone seeks for local interactions on their travel. Seeing a place from a local’s perspective helps us to understand a place and its cultures. Unless you hire a local guide (in which case they are there to help you answer your curiosities since it’s their job), I believe that when it comes to interacting with a local (in a natural setting), it shouldn’t be forced. Often I travel and have amazing local interactions all because I was in the right time and place. Other times, I don’t talk to the locals at all, and that’s okay too. The thing is that when we are travelling, we are guests to the locals’ eyes so it is our job to respect their everyday life. For places that are flooded with tourists all year long, maybe it is easier for locals to accept tourists but for places that don’t have so much “experience” with tourists, to them we might be intimidating so as guests we should be sensitive to this. Here are some of my tips of interacting with locals without annoying them: Start with a Smile Yes, I believe it is a simple as that. Don’t come and start chatting away like […]

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One Perfect “Unphotographed” Summer Moment in Nantes

We all love taking pictures don’t we? I love taking pictures, especially when I am travelling, it’s my way of immortalising what I saw during that moment. Just look at my Instagram feed from my one week trip to Singapore. I take pictures of whatever interests me (mostly old houses, windows, doors, tiles and street arts!). Yes, there is no doubt that taking pictures are so much easier (and quite addictive) these days but for this week’s #CeritaJalanAsik (or “Fun Travel Stories” for you non-Indonesian speakers), we’d like to reminisce some of our unphotographed travel moments. There will no picture on this post, obviously, so I hope my writing can do justice and transport you to one of my favourite French summer memories. There was a time when I didn’t care less about taking a photo. I could stand in front of a gorgeous old looking house and just admired it with eyes without the need of taking pictures from different angles. I would look at it, admire it and just simply stick that image at the back of of my mind. I bring back this side of me sometimes, but it is getting harder with that itch of grabbing […]

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Bucharest, a Surprising Foodie Destination

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We’re talking about one of my favourite topics this week: Foodie Paradise! Who doesn’t love to eat during travelling?! For me it is one of the most essential things to do while travelling, eating! Trying out new cuisines is a must for me so I always make the time, but it also doesn’t mean that I splurge all the time. I also cook (if I stay at an apartment) and make simple sandwiches too, it really depends on my mood. It is important for me not to get hangry (hungry and angry)! When I moved to Bucharest in 2012 to study there for several months, I was a little worried about the food scenery. I know very little of Romania, I know absolutely nothing of the food there. I was a little nervous when I arrived but was curious of what I would find. I just hope the city/country wouldn’t leave me hangry all the time. I was pleasantly surprised from my second day in Bucharest. I lived at the university dorm, and near it was a shopping complex called Carrefour Orhideea. I spotted a restaurant called La Mama and was told they serve homecooked-like food. So I went and […]

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Alternative Singapore: Heritage Houses at Kampung Bahru

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As you know I have been going to Singapore a lot recently. With my recent condition, Singapore has been my “therapy”, firstly because I get to see my sister and I also stay at her place which is more homey than the place I am staying in Kuala Lumpur during my chemo (which depresses me as it is a reminder of me being sick). Secondly, Singapore is a great place for me to wander around. It has great pavements and easy transportations. As you know, apart from battling with cancer, I am also suffering from some muscle problems and I have been working hard to get back into shape. It was initially very hard for me to walk but now it’s getting easier. Thirdly, sometimes a trip to Singapore is cheaper (from Kuala Lumpur) than going home to Jogja, especially during big holidays like Eid. This time around my dad suggested the Kampong Bahru area as he knows I love heritage house, especially ones with gorgeous doors and windows. So last week we took a bus and explored this area. To my amusement, this place is not crowded at all. Honestly, it has been really hard for me to find […]

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Ramadhan in Yogyakarta

If you plan on travelling during the month of Ramadhan to Yogyakarta, my home town, there are some things that you need to know. During this particular month there are things that may differ than normal months.  As you know during this month Muslims fast for a whole day, for one month, then at the end of their fasting period there will be a celebration (Eid/Idul Fitri). Although I don’t celebrate it, I am used to joining in the festivity. During the celebration usually many people go back to their home town to celebrate with their big family. One of the popular home towns to return to is Yogyakarta. Here are some tips travelling during Ramadhan in Yogyakarta: Eating Out While most people are fasting, most restaurants stay open during the fasting month. However, during the first week of fasting there are some restaurants who choose to stay close until a certain hour, there are also some who choose to do this for the whole month. If you are thinking of eating out during breakfast or lunch, make sure you call first and see if they are open. If you go to the malls then no worries, since most of […]

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Travelling with Friends

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I know that this week’s theme is supposed to be “Most Romantic Travel Moments”, but to be honest I really don’t have one, which makes me kinda sad. Ah well. Moving on. So I’ve decided to turn this post to my best “bro/sis-mance” travel moments and fingers crossed that Febby and Noni don’t mind (I’m pretty sure they won’t because they are good people, right? RIGHT?) Ok, so you know when you’re travelling with your friends is not always as easy as it sounds. You may have a lot of things in common but it doesn’t mean that you won’t strangle each other when you travel together. I’m sure you’ve heard of the old saying “the best test to a friendship is travel together”…is that a saying? I’m sure it is. For me, the best thing you can do when you travel with your friends is to tolerate one another and compromise. It also doesn’t mean that you HAVE to do EVERYTHING together. There were travel moments where I parted with my friends because we wanted to do different things and that is totally okay. So here are some of my best “fromance” (friends + romance, get it?) moments: 1. […]

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The Buried Ones: Herculaneum and Oplontis

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Discovering a hidden gem is something that I always look forward to when I travel. I love hidden gems as they are usually away from the main crowd and gives you the opportunity to enjoy a place more peacefully. Of course the definition of a hidden gem can be different to everybody. My definition is a place that is away from the busy crowd, a place that might not be as popular as other attractions but just as beautiful. I talked about my love for Pompeii before and why the place is so personal to me, however little did I know that when I arrived to Pompeii to purchase a ticket, I was able to choose a ticket just to enter Pompeii, or a ticket for several other sites (at a slightly higher price). When I knew about this I immediately bought the ticket for multiple sites as I have never heard of the other sites before and it was a bargain since the ticket could last for several days. I didn’t have time to see all the five sites listed on my ticket so I settled for Pompeii, which was a must see for me, Herculaneum and Oplontis. Much like […]

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Enjoying the Serenity of Ubud

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I am not really one of those person who pays much attention to movie locations. I do love watching movies but I never really remember any of its locations. However, there are rare moments when I do remember. Like for some reason I remember one of the locations for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is in Santorini, and we all know my obsession with Santorini. When I watched Eat, Pray, Love, I was especially intrigued by the Indonesian section because I’m Indonesian so it was like a natural instinct. I was especially interested in Ubud. I felt a bit embarrassed when I realised that I have never actually been to Ubud so I made sure that the next time I visit Bali, I simply must make my way to Ubud. Although I didn’t do what Gilbert did in Ubud, I was mesmerized by the place. I am not a huge fan of Legian and Kuta, but Ubud had a different vibe. Yes, it was still buzzing with people but I liked the place. For a first timer in Ubud, I was quite satisfied. For one day I rented a bike and decided to check out the rice fields. The […]

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Stories Behind Porto’s Buildings

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If only buildings could talk in Porto, it would tell you stories of romance, sadness and inspirations. It was easy being charmed by the beauty of Porto, perhaps it was love at first sight for me but there was more than just meets the eyes. As I walked through Porto, I could see buildings that have stood for generations, witnessing many tales and events. I was impressed that the old buildings were still well maintained and used until now, something I still wish to happen in my own country. Walking through Porto with a local also extended my knowledge of this underrated Portuguese city. There are stories behind the old walls of each building, each story being passed on from generation to generation. It was interesting to listen to each story, making them more than just a building. The Portuguese Centre of Photography This centre of photography was not always dedicated to photography. The building, also known as Antiga Cadeia da Relação, was once a prison for men and women in the 18th century. One of the well-known prisoners of this place was the famous Portuguese writer Camilo Castelo Branco. He was imprisoned in this place in 1861 for having an affair […]

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Beach Hopping in Santorini

Santorini is known for its relax and romantic vibes. Being a Greek island, it also has gorgeous beaches. Even though I am not much of a beach person, I quite like the beaches in Greece. The beaches in Santorini, especially combined with the extreme heat of summer, are the perfect place to spend all day doing absolutely nothing and just absorb the Greek way of life. There are many beaches to choose from in Santorini but if you are staying for a limited time and want to see the most of Santorini’s beaches then I suggest these three beaches: red, white and black beaches. I was actually recommended by the lady who owned the pension I was staying in. I had one day to spend at a beach and she said “why not see three beaches?”. Why not indeed, beach hopping it is then! So my friends and I took the bus to Akrotiri. There we found a “boat” stand saying it would take us to red, white and black beach. I can’t remember how much we paid then, but I checked again and it is €5 for a return trip.    This boat calls itself a water taxi. Basically […]

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