Toji Temple of Kyoto

The Five-Story Pagoda

Saturday, October 7th 2017

After a pleasant flight with Garuda Indonesia from Jakarta-Bali-Osaka, witnessed breathtaking sunrise over East China Sea and continued with Haruka Express Train to downtown Kyoto, I finally arrived in Toji, Minami-ku of Kyoto. A small town in Kyoto suburb famous for its 5-story pagoda.

The weather was a bit chilly. So, I put on my furry brown jacket and walked a bit fast to beat the cold. It was just around the corner from my hostel. In fact, I could see the pagoda’s top from the hostel’s third floor. Continue reading “Toji Temple of Kyoto”


A Week in Japan

Maruyama Park, Gion

Dear October,

Thank you for being awesome. Feeling so grateful.

I just came back from my holiday to Japan (Osaka-Kyoto-Nara-Tokyo-Fujikawaguchiko) within 8 days. Here’s my 10-highlights during the vacation.

  1. Feeding Sika deer in Nara Park
  2. Tasted matcha ice cream in Fushimi Inari-taisha
  3. Donning autumn kimono in Gion
  4. Stayed at Ryokan-type hotel in Kyoto
  5. Tried Kobe beef in local booth
  6. Traveled with Nozomi Shinkansen (Kyoto-Tokyo)
  7. Enjoyed scenic view of Lake Kawaguchiko
  8. Sushi lunch at famous Ryu Sushi, Tsukiji Market
  9. Crossing Shibuya Station chaotic intersection (The Scramble)
  10. Capturing Shinjuku’s vibrant night life

Japan was truly heartwarming. Everywhere I went, locals greeted me with their bow and smile. Sumimasen (excuse me/sorry) and irasshaimase (welcome) might be the most heard wordings. Continue reading “A Week in Japan”

Gunung Padang Megalithic Site


Where do you think I went last week? Up to the hill or down to the beach?

Still a bit traumatized by Lombok’s humidity strike, I need more time not to visit any palces by the sea. Haha.

I dragged myself up on the hill this time to satisfy my thirst of historical knowledge. I sweated myself up to the point of almost fainted, haha.. and visited Gunung Padang Megalithic Site. In Cianjur, West Java. To be honest with you, before that Saturday, I had no idea Cianjur was so freaking far away from Jakarta, not to mention from Bintaro. It drove me insane. Haha.

Because of the remote location without public transportation access, I decided to join an open trip. Cheap and hustle-free (err.. not so much in the end, though). At 6.15 sharp in the morning, I arrived on the meeting point. The next 30 minutes, all twelve of us were on our way to Karyamukti Village. Continue reading “Gunung Padang Megalithic Site”

China: Beijing Summer Palace


Friday, 2 June 2017

Situated in the Haidian District northwest of Beijing, Summer Palace is 9 miles (15 kilometers) from the downtown area. Being the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China, it greatly influences Chinese horticulture and landscape with its famous natural views and cultural interests, which also has long been recognized as ‘The Museum of Royal Gardens‘. –

The combination ticket price is 60 yuan.

Summer Palace can be divided into four parts: the Court Area, Front and Rear Area of Longevity Hill, and Kunming Lake Area.

I had so much fun donning Empress royal dress and taking a boat in Kunming Lake. I will let the pictures speak for themselves this time. Continue reading “China: Beijing Summer Palace”

China: Mutianyu Great Wall


There were several places I visited in China which were mesmerizing but this one was beyond awesome and unforgettable: Great Wall of China. This place was the highlight of my vacation to Beijing. The ultimate privilege.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Through Klook application, I booked one day tour to Mutianyu. Only to the Great Wall, without Ming Tomb or tea shop. I preferred to enjoy longer time in the site instead of wasting time in other activities. The tour was around $USD 39 including transportation, English speaking guide (only in the mini bus and before entrance), lunch, return tickets (luge/toboggan/slideway) and no need for tipping.

Luge view with toboggan slideway below

The mini bus picked me up in the meeting point I informed them before. The tour guide preferred to pick up at hotel lobby, as for me, I asked him to pick me up in front of downtown city subway station. He was punctual with the time. There were already 9 other tourists in the car; Austrian, Germans, Taiwanese, Singaporean and Italian. Exactly at 8.00 AM, we drove our way to north.

I was very lucky with weather and the traffic. The sky was clear blue with no chance of rain and the road was empty. What’s more, it was surrounded by vivid green trees. Parfait!


Vivid green
One of the towers
Empty Mutianyu Great Wall

Continue reading “China: Mutianyu Great Wall”

China: Temple of Heaven

Hall of Prayer

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Dragon Boat Festival. Day 3. The actual 5th day of 5th month in Chinese calendar. We spent the day strolling Chinese restaurants, cooking Persian food and looking for P (K’s brother)’s daughter gift. He’s coming to town! I was excited to meet him. It’s been a while since we met in Jogja.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Temple of Heaven. Built in 1420. It was the place where emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. It is the largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China’s ancient sacrificial buildings. Continue reading “China: Temple of Heaven”

China: Temple of Confucius

Confucius Statue

Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. – Confucius

Monday, 29 May 2017

Dragon Boat Festival. Day 2. I was super lazy today. This was my time of the month and I had cramps. I really didn’t want to go anywhere but I had several unchecked list in my itinerary notes. So, I decided to drag my feet downtown to one of most famous hutongs (narrow lane or alleyway in a traditional residential area of Beijing), Guozijian Street. There are two large temples in the area: Yonghe Lamasery and Temple of Confucius. I didn’t have the chance to visit Yonghe Lamasery. Maybe next time.

Had a miracle happened? The oldman and his wheelchair. Hahahaa..

Ticket price to visit was only 30 yuan. The site opened from 08.30 AM to 6 PM. Getting out of the nearest subway (Yonghegong Station, Exit G) was like getting out of a time machine. Hahaha.. the way this oldie area preserved was remarkable. No wonder Beijing hutongs attract huge number of tourists. Continue reading “China: Temple of Confucius”

China: Beijing Olympic Park

National Stadium

Have I mentioned that China knows how to build eye-catching venues and buildings?

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Dragon Boat Festival. Traditional event which occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of Chinese calendar. It was 3-days holiday in all over China. I was told that it’s not wise to visit touristy spots; plus it’s 37 degC outside. Thus, K, Z and I had lunch in nearby mall, China Resources Dreamport. I was excited to try Beijing sushi in Shotamuni Restaurant. Can’t believe I ate sushi in China. Ahahahaa.. The sushi rolls were delicious.

In the afternoon, K and Z looked for new apartment around the area. I had a plan to visit the famous Bird’s Nest Stadium. So, we took a cab, heading downtown. Continue reading “China: Beijing Olympic Park”

China: Tsinghua University

Old Building of the School of Life Sciences

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Setelah malamnya totally wasted by continuous walking and a little bit of wine, aku kebangun jam 11. Z sama K yang udah berangkat kerja left me a note to come to Z’s campus, Tsinghua University. Yes!

Tsinghua University is a top academic institutions in Asia. Refer to 2017 Times Higher Education, it receives 35th place of World University Ranking. President of the People’s Republic of China and Chinese Community Party Paramount Leader, Xi Jinping, is an alumni with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

Z works as a researcher in its science department. There’s no way I missed the opportunity to visit this remarkable university. Continue reading “China: Tsinghua University”

China: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park and Wangfujing Street


Beijing totally revolves around this place: Forbidden City. Located exactly in the center of downtown. This place can not be missed.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Pagi ini bangun jam setengah 8, lumayan pagi karena semangat mau jalan-jalan di hari pertama. Nengok keluar kamar ternyata udah sepi, aku pikir Z sama K udah berangkat ke kantor, ternyata mereka masih tidur. Jam setengah 9 baru berangkat ke kantor, naik sepeda, boncengan. Suaminya yang dibonceng. Hihihi.. super sweet.

Hari pertama jalan-jalan di Beijing langsung aku rencanain buat visit the most famous palace in the country, Forbidden City atau sekarang disebut Palace Museum. Bahasa Cina-nya: Gugong. All my gears udah masuk ke tas rucksack item andalan: Continue reading “China: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Jingshan Park and Wangfujing Street”