Summer Palace in Winter

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When I went to Beijing few months ago, I didn’t really know about the tourist destination there. I did some browsing in the internet to find out what’s happening in Beijing and stumble upon Travel China Guide. The website and also my Beijing-living friend suggest to visit Summer Palace, so I put Summer Palace in my itinerary.

Summer Palace listed as UNESCO world heritage sites for being the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China. The park was built in 1750 as a retreat park for the royal families so they could rest and entertained. Then it became the main residence of royal members in the end of the Qing Dynasty.

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Skiing in Beijing

Badaling Ski Resort

I have visited four seasons countries before, yet I never experienced to ski. The reason are whether it is to cold or no one (means my family) wanted to accompanied me. So when I visited Beijing with my two other friends, we decided to go skiing. It was our first time ski experience!

I have research all over the internet on ski resort near Beijing. The result there were several ski resort names, Huaibei Ski Resort, Nanshan Ski Resort, Jundushan Ski Resort, and Badaling Ski Resort. From all the resort, I still did not understand how to get there. I even asked about which resort is nearest from downtown Beijing in several forums, from backpacker group in Facebook, Trip Advisor, Travel China Guide to Quora. All the answers did not well explained, so our plan to go skiing was quite blurry.

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Explore Beijing: Jingshan Park, Forbidden City & Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square

My first impression on Beijing was, “Wow pollution in Beijing are real!” because I could see all the pollution fog even at 5 am in the morning. But then as I explore the city, I had my second impression which I don’t even expected, that Beijing is seriously neat. My expectation of Beijing is that the city is crowded and messy with traffic everywhere, just like Jakarta (well, I have to say this). The reality is, Beijing is unlike Jakarta!

I am impressed with the transportation system which are so integrated. Beijingers mostly use metro and bus as their main transportation. Metro station and bus stop are everywhere in Beijing. It is also connected with most of the main road and building. If you often use this two kinds of transportation when you are in Beijing, then I suggest you to buy Beijing Transportation Smart Card (Yikatong). With the card, you don’t have to buy single ticket everywhere you go on a trip and also it offers 50% fare discount!

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Finding Mosque & Halal Food in Beijing

Niujie Mosque

When I decided to go to Beijing, I have some concern about the food. From what I read in the internet, they said that it is kind of tricky to find halal food in Beijing. So, to avoid that I opt to brought some food supplies. Since I went there with another 5 people, so each people need to brought different kind of food. I, myself brought instant cream soup and dried anchovies. My friend brought instant sausage, corned beef, and meatball. And of course, all of us brought our favorite instant noodle and sachet beverages. All of the food is supplies was intended for breakfast and dinner, so we still need to find restaurants for lunch.

Since I arrived in Beijing on Friday, so all of the men need to do Friday prayer. I already research about mosque in Beijing and found this famous Mosque in Beijing, Niujie Mosque. It is located in Niujie area. If you take the metro, you have to get out exit C1 at Changchun Jie station, then continue with bus no. 10 for four stops. The mosque was surrounded with some of halal restaurant and supermarket. So, I decided to have a stop at the supermarket first to buy some foods.

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Short Gateway in Malang: Museum Tubuh and Museum Angkut

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Last September, my cousin was having a wedding reception in Surabaya, East Java. Even though it was out of town, I decided to came because I was so tired at work and needed some time away. I asked for two days off, then flew to Surabaya. The wedding was held at Thursday, so I had 3 days to spare before going back to reality. We decided to go to Batu, Malang.

We (me and my parents) went to Malang on Friday afternoon and arrived around 5 pm. After reached Batu, I immediately open pegipegi on my phone browser, because I haven’t book a room yet. I really like to use pegipegi.com everywhere I went travel, because the hotel price was cheaper compare to others (beside, you could also get a cash reward!). You could find so many hotels in just one two tap. After browsing around pegipegi.com, I chose to stay in Kartika Wijaya Heritage Hotel.

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Review: The Westin Hotel, Jakarta

bedroom

One weekend, me and my family decided to stay at The Westin Jakarta, because my cousin was getting married there. She opened us a room so we could stay the night before the wedding. I was so eager to spend the night in Westin because it was a brand new hotel. Everything new is always nice, right?

The hotel is built in the Gama Tower. So, all the guest have to take the access from The Gama Tower lobby and take the Westin lift to their sky lobby in 52nd floor. The sky lobby was stunning with big panoramic window, beautiful  classic furniture, and high ceilings. Since, I got the room in 56th floor, I have to take another lift.

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Review: The Sahira Hotel, Bogor

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Setelah libur idul fitri kemarin (well I know it was months ago), saya dan keluarga memutuskan untuk berlibur sebentar ke Bogor. Selain silaturahmi ke rumah Om yang memang berdomisili di Bogor, kami memilih Bogor karena ingin cafe hopping, karena sekarang Bogor cukup terkenal dengan cafe yang lucu-lucu. Rencana awalnya memang pengen glamping, tapi sayangnya resort yang kami mau sudah full booked. Jadi, saya harus mencari alternatif lain.

Setelah browsing di Booking.com, saya menemukan The Sahira Hotel. Lokasinya di Jalan Ahmad Yani, jadi tidak terlalu jauh dari pusat kota dan Jalan Padjajaran yang banyak cafe itu. Akhirnya, kami pun memilih deluxe twin room dengan harga Rp 850.000 untuk semalam. Harga tersebut sudah termasuk pajak dan breakfast untuk dua orang.

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Gapyeong City Tour: Nami Island & Petite France

nami path

If you are in Seoul and about to have an escape to somewhere more quiet, then Gapyeong is the perfect place for you. The city is surrounded by beautiful landscape, mountains and river. In winter, the city will be more beautiful as the snow covers. Gapyeong is not really far from Seoul, just about an hour train ride from the downtown Seoul. I went to Gapyeong to visit the famous Nami Island and Petite France.

For you the K-Drama lovers, you must be familiar about Winter Sonata. As for me, I remember this drama back when I was in elementary school, but never a fan. But I must be have take a look at this drama, because I remember that the drama’s screenplay was beautiful. Taken somewhere in the wintery South Korea and the location was just really dreamy.

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