Thursday, 31 March 2016

Museum Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB)

Museum Negeri Nusa Barat Tenggara

Museum Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB)
Jl. Panji Tilar Negara No. 6,
Mataram, Nusa Tenggara Barat,

Operating Hours
Sunday - Thursday : 0800 to1400
Friday : 0800 to 1100
Sat : 0800 to 1230
Close on Mondays and public holidays

Entrance Fee : IDR 5000 per adult foreigner

Museum Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat

There was a group of men playing traditional musical instruments at the lobby when we arrived. After buying the tickets, a staff took us around the museum and explained the exhibitions, walls and even the buildings/statues in the garden.

It was a well-curated museum and the staff was knowledgable. The museum seemed to be popular with school kids so you might want to avoid weekends. We visited on a Monday and there was only one group of school children.

Museum Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat

Museum Negeri Nusa Tenggara Barat

I'd recommend visiting the museum. Hopefully you'll get the same lady guide I did :)

Friday, 25 March 2016

Dayang Spa, Gili Trawangan

Dayang Spa Gili Trawangan

Dayang Spa is situated along the main beach road. It is nothing fancy but the massage was good.

I found this place after my sunburn treatment in Les Villas Ottalia. 

Dayang Spa Gili Trawangan

The treatment room is up the spiral stairs. I was taken to a bathroom/changing room to change. There was no treatment room, only curtains separating beds and neighbours can probably see you :)

Dayang Spa Gili Trawangan

As you can see, the rate is much cheaper than the other spa I went to and the massage was definitely better. Recommended. Just don't expect fancy foot bath and tea.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Les Villas Ottalia Spa, Gili Trawangan

Les Villas Ottalia Spa

Les Villas Ottalia (spa)
Gili Trawangan

Hello! This entry is about the spa, not the hotel/accommodation. I found this place listed as one of the best spa in Gili Trawangan. My girlfriend stayed there a week before my visit and she really loved the place.

  It was a bit (just a little, not much) of a let down for me. From the online reviews, I had imagined a proper, luxurious and comfortable sanctuary. In reality, while the service was acceptable, the outlet was... Idk... just below my expectation.

Les Villas Ottalia Spa
A treatment area nearby the lounge
  Les Villas Ottalia is somewhere in the middle of the island. The location means that it is away from the noisy main street. I used Google Map, signages along the road and a local man to help me find this place. 

  When I finally found the place, a staff in the lobby escorted me to the spa and since I had no booking, we found the staff having a meeting/pep talk. I waited for a few mins and they were ready to serve me.

   I was given a menu book and the usual questionnaire/health check stuff. To be fair, the spa is better than those on main street in terms of service and the exras like welcome drinks, cold towel, foot bath and the air conditioned treatment room. Their rates explained those sweet extras. Those raving about the spa probably haven't experience Thai spas :)

Les Villas Ottalia Spa
Tea and cold towel

Les Villas Ottalia Spa

Les Villas Ottalia Spa

Above is the treatment room that I got. It is a room with glass sliding door next to the spa reception. It has that curtain for privacy BUT the door to shower room is behind those curtain and people from outside can still see you when you enter/exit the shower room.

  What really ruined the experience for me was... flies. 2 or 3 flies got into the air-cond room and couldn't get out. The staff did nothing except swat them away IF the flies landed on me. Otherwise, they buzzed merrily. I was already slathered in cucumber and aloe when I realised that there were flies in the room so there wasn't much that I can do. My girlfriend (who went a week earlier) was lucky and experienced a fly-free treatment.

  I took the sunburn treatment while my partner had a massage. Total was IDR 700k for 2 pax. 

  Should you try Les Villas Ottalia Spa?
  Yes. But curb your expectation. And make sure there's no fly in the room before you lie down on the massage bed.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Bale Sambal, Gili Trawangan

Bale Sambal Gili Trawangan

Bale Sambal 
Trawangan Main Beach Road

Finding this place is easy. It is located somewhere along the main road of Gili Trawangan. It is between Gili Divers and Trawangan Dive, in front of a grocery shop.

  Recognizing it however can be tricky. All you'd see is a small food stall/mobile kitchen in front of  a grocer. At first, I thought we can only tarpao (take-away) the food as I didn't see any table and chair. It turned out that they have two separate dining areas. One is upstairs of the grocer and another is right across the road, just beyond a souvenir shack. Right by the beach :)

Bale Sambal Gili Trawangan

Bale Sambal Gili Trawangan
Fav! Fried noodle. Simple and tasty

Bale Sambal Gili Trawangan
Fried rice + fried egg

Bale Sambal Gili Trawangan
View from the table

Taste - Good!
Price - Fair. Details below
Ambiance - Choose to eat upstairs (recommended for dinner) or by the beach (recommended for day) 

Total first dinner for 7 pax - IDR264k

Average Pricing
Goreng (fried) - 20k/dish
Cold drinks - 10k
Juice - 15-20k
Hot coffee- 5k

The shop is owned by a nice pak haji. No pork served. Service can be a bit slow even if you order in advance so just buy something to munch from the grocery shop while waiting. 

Thursday, 17 March 2016

3 Gili Snorkelling & Fish Feeding

Gili Snorkeling

Have I ever posted about me snorkelling here?
I doubt it.

  Honestly, it has been years since I last went snorkelling. I used to love the sea, sand and swimming so much. We had our own snorkel gears and then... I grew up. I get red and darken very easily. Plus it takes too long to get to my natural colour again. Choosing clothes after a sunburn isn't just tricky, it can sometimes be a painful process. Nothing is worth the sunburn.

  When mom said uncle charted a boat and will pick us up in the morning to go snorkelling, I wanted to excuse myself. But everything was paid so we might as well go. Uncle chartered the boat from Lombok main island because he was staying at Senggigi Beach so I don't know the rate. You can expect to pay about IDR 75k - 100k per person but do ask around and compare prices.

Gili Snorkeling

Pick up was at 9 am. It was a bright and super sunny morning. Then, we were taken to a spot between Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno- the one near a sunken ship. Everyone went into the water and after a while, I got bored so I took a dip. Not even 5 minutes, I managed to get a cut in a feet. I wasn't using fins, you see.

  Luckily, dad brought band aid. 
  Unluckily, it didn't stick.

  Next spot was near Gili Meno. I didn't go down.

  Lunch was at Gili Air. I had fish and chips (uninspired), the fella next to me had something sea bass and it turned out to be a DELICIOUS dish with gravy and rice. So unfair!

Gili Snorkeling
THAT sauce *salivating*

Gili Snorkeling

Gili Snorkeling
next door

I'm not sure how many stops we did because at one point somebody had an emergency and needed a proper bathroom so we had to make detour. While the somebody went to do his thing, the rest of us simply jumped off the boat and snorkelled as we wished. Don't do this if:

1) You go with public tour
2) You aren't good swimmer
3) Your tour guide said no

Anyway, the highlight of the trip for me was the fish feeding. After lunch, we got back on the boat and was taken to a spot very near Gili Air.

  When somebody said, "the fish are eating the boat!" I got curious and jumped into the water. Along with my band aid which promptly got lost. I was amazed when I saw that true enough, there were tons of fish nibbling on the algae (?) under the boat!

Gili Snorkeling

Gili Snorkeling

After a while, I got bored of snorkelling (plus the tour guide already snapped a great pic of me) and went back onto the boat. Turned out, our guide and my cousin brought some bread for the fish so I started to feed the fish.

  For a loooong time. Until I realised that the guide was waiting for me to finish but probably too polite to stop me and tell me that time's up. If not for the grey clouds, I'd probably go on until we run out of food. By the time we head back to Gili Trawangan, the water was choppy and it started to drizzle. I heard that my uncle braved the rain and rough sea to reach Senggigi.

Gili Snorkeling
Our little chartered boat

Gili Snorkeling
Swimming with the fish- nope. Not me.

Yes. I ended up at least 2 shades darker than my usual colour and until today (over a month since the trip) you can still see my swimming suit tan lines on the arms, back and thigh.

  Girlfriends hosted a surprise party for me after I got back and the dress code was PASTEL-COLOURED DRESS. I had to go shopping.

  So yeah. I don't see myself doing anything under the sun some time soon but I'd totally recommend snorkelling in Gili Trawangan and the nearby islands (gili). Almost worth the sunburn!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Chicken Party, Gili Trawangan

Chicken Party Gili Trawangan

Chicken Party Gili Trawangan

Short version - Don't bother

Chicken Party Gili Trawangan

Taste - The best thing in the picture above was the fries. Delicious, salty, hot french fries.
Price - Expensive. IDR 445k for 7 pax (about RM20/person for grilled burger/fried chicken/insert main, fries and small soft drink )
Ambiance - Idk what style the decor was. Aircond was not on, poor ventilation so we had to sit outside with the flies.

You're better off eating at the warung (local eateries) or nightmarket (if you can find a seat). It was our first night. Don't make the same mistake I did. Unless you see they've switched on their air-conditioner or revise the exorbitant price. I didn't like the taste of the chicken patty so I can't recommend this place. Except maybe for the fries.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Trawangan Dive, Gili Trawangan

Trawangan Dive, Gili Trawangan

Trawangan Dive
Gili Trawangan Main Beach Road
Lombok, NTB

Phone #: +62 (0) 370 6149 220

The walk from Gili Trawangan jetty to Trawangan Dive took less than 15 minutes with luggage. You can take a horse cart (cidomo) if you have small kids/many bags but the rate can be pretty hefty (fair rate according to hotel's email is IDR 50k). Alternatively, you can skip the jetty and get your boat to stop right in front of the hotel. However, depending on high or low tide, you might have to wet your clothes and bags :)

Trawangan Dive is first and foremost a dive centre so it is a good accommodation for divers. However, it is not without its own resort hospitality. We were given cold welcome drinks and cold towels upon check-in and I thought the establishment was as good as any regular hotels.

Booking- Easy via multiple platform. Mom used AirAsiaGo.
Rate - Good rate. IDR2.29 mil++ for 4 days 3 nights in Luxury Double Room
Location - Excellent. By 'main road' but wasn't noisy at night. Only the 2-bedroom villa faced main road and yet minimal noise.
Dining - Average
Service - Great. Friendly, courteous and helpful staff.

Overall 4 <3<3<3<3 of 5

Trawangan Dive, Gili Trawangan
Luxury Double Room

Trawangan Dive Gili Trawangan

Trawangan Dive Gili Trawangan

Trawangan Dive Gili Trawangan

Trawangan Dive, Gili Trawangan
Luxury Double Room

Trawangan Dive, Gili Trawangan
Luxury Double Room - private garden

Trawangan Dive, Gili Trawangan
Luxury 2-Bedroom Villa - shower room and sinks

Trawangan Dive Gili Trawangan
Luxury 2-Bedroom Villa - verandah
The package I took came with free breakfast. The Trawangan Dive Restaurant/Bar is right across the road from swimming pool. It's by the beach.

Note: The restaurant serves pork and clearly labeled

Trawangan Dive

Trawangan Dive
Breakfast view

Trawangan Dive
Breakfast area

Trawangan Dive Restaurant

There are several convenient shops nearby if you need alternative food. Bale Sambal, a halal restaurant is also within walking distance, just a few buildings away from hotel towards the main jetty.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Ginger-Lemongrass Green Tea

Ginger-Lemongrass Green Tea

I haven't share drinks recipes here, have I? Hmmm... I love mocktails, teas, frappes and such but maybe because they are super easy to make, I didn't think sharing here is worth it. Pretty sure I posted them in my private Instagram though.

  Anyway, here's a delicious tea for you to try...

Ginger-Lemongrass Green Tea (GLG tea)

• 4-5 cups water
• 1-inch ginger
• 3 lemongrass
• 2 teabags green tea
• honey/brown sugar

1) Peel, wash & slice ginger. Wash & bash lemongrass using flat side of a knife/pestle. 

2) Boil ginger, lemongrass and teabags in water.

3) Let cool or drink hot. Add honey/brown sugar to taste.

Ginger Lemongrass Green Tea

Ginger Lemongrass Green Tea

I added 2 tsp of honey and some Sprite ice cubes which I happen to have in the freezer. What a way to ruin a healthy drink, right? 

  Actually, I'm trying to consume (somewhat) more healthily. So, on cheat days when we had fast food, I didn't want to drink the soft drink. What I did instead was poured the soft drink into ice cube trays and use them when I want to jazz up my infused water or tea. Still not healthy but better than  a whole cup of soda at one go, I think :p

  So, try the recipe and happy... making!? Drinking? Idk... just enjoy! Let me know if you like it.