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Mar 4, 2014 / 1 note

The Next Best Thing To Jakarta

I spent my whole life living in a city where you’d hear cars buzzing and people talking every minute. People call it Jakarta – I call it home. Now, my whole life hasn’t been considered very long, but 17 years of never moving houses further than a few miles, I’ve become used to the loudness of the city. The traffic, the buildings, the cars, the 90F Jakartan heat – all these familiar to me.

Wasn’t until August when I moved into Somersworth. A small town in the middle of the woods. If you lived here you’d find all the easy-going, quiet, and arguably convenient things in life. Somersworth is like refuge from the car noises and towering skyscrapers – something I’ve never really gotten used to.

Fortunately there’s a remedy to my problem. The Beantown. The one-hour-drive away. Boston.

I think there’s something special about busy streets. Amidst the rush of the evening commute, you find how crowded and lively the city can be. Walking in the downtown district is, in a good way, overwhelming with all the lights flashing and people hurrying. And not to forget the temptation some people see when there are so many things to do during the evening: dining in fancy restaurants down to the quick fast-food grab, the occasional café (I mean Starbucks), the upper-class shops in Newbury St., the street vendors, the movies and the theatres, the nightlife – almost everything you’d want to do in a Friday evening.

And all the above mentioned, most of the goers are, in fact, young adults and college students. Boston is a dream college town – statistically one of the most popular destinations for national and international students to go to. Lack of diversity is not an issue in Beantown. Many students would love to study here – including me – because of the incredible appeal Boston has.

Regardless if you’re looking to study or not, any tourist should stop by in Boston during their trip. The younger cousin of New York, Boston is one of the most historically rich, developed, educated, and diverse-cultured cities in the world, with a ton of things to do and with a ton of people to do them with. It’s my favorite city in America and it might be yours too.

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Writer: Jeloy Tirie | Photography © Jeloy Tirie

Feb 8, 2014 / 2 notes

Fall in White Mountains, New Hampshire [Throwback Edition]

Two weeks before Halloween, my cousins and I went on a road trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. It was my first trip discovering northern NH – our destination was a small town named Lincoln. My cousin’s coworker was engaged and wanted a quick photo shoot; seeing my cousin and her boyfriend as photographers, they were asked to carry out the job.

Now I don’t think Americans are usually tardy, but for some reason they were – by two hours. I t was understandable: they had traffic down the I-93. So we had time to kill. We brought cameras. We did the predictable thing.

My cousin’s boyfriend, Michael, was driving us to one of the many (many) spots in the White Mountains region. There were almost no straight roads; we rode along serpentine paths carved around the hills and mountains. Something I found interesting is how stopping areas are placed beside these roads, as if they encouraged passersby to take pictures. We went to our first a half hour away from Lincoln.

The view was beautiful. The trees were like a grid on the hills – there were no bald spots or buildings that left out of place. A large part of New Hampshire’s forests have not been cut down or established on, which makes for very dense, lush assortment of trees spanning miles from the nearest roads. Fresh mountain air surrounded the region – there was almost no hint of pollution at all, apart from the stuff that comes from cars.

The pictures were taken from not one but many places all within the White Mountains territory.

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We went back to Lincoln after my cousin’s friend called to tell she had arrived, around three hours later. I’m actually glad she was late or else I would’ve missed the scenery. 

Writer: Jeloy Tirie | Photography © Jeloy Tirie

Jan 29, 2014 / 1 note

Dieng Plateau – A Land Above the Clouds, Abode of the gods

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Sikunir Hill

Somewhere in central Java, particularly in Wonosobo, there is a place called Dieng. It’s a plateau, known as one lf the biggest plateaus in the world along with Nepal and the biggest in Java itself. I have been waiting to go there for months and I finally got the chance to do so. At 2000 metres above sea level, Dieng has its charm and if you want to see something different in Central Java, this is the place to go because it is very temperate and calming. I was lucky to get rays of sunshine before it got cloudy in the late afternoon and let me tell you, it was beautiful.

As you grt higher in altitude, your eyes will be graced by the rolling, green hills of plantations, vegetable gardens and mountains circling the horizon. It was absolutely beautiful and it felt like you were in the highlands of France, that’s how amazing it all was. Dieng is from the language of Sanskrit “di” which means place and “Hyang” meaning Gods. Therefore, Dieng is a place where the gods reside and as my breath was taken away, I definitely realize how those two words are perfectly symbolized by everything that I saw. It made me feel so proud and blessed to be where I am; I don’t have to always be in foreign plains to experience such beauty where there’s a place as stunning as Dieng in my own country. We stopped by the side of the road for a while to admire the view and as I shivered, I slowly fell in love. So ridiculous how my heart falls so easily for sights like these but hey, if you were where I was that day, head over heels you will be.

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Arjuna Temple

The Sikunir hill is a place to catch the best sunrise. But even though I didn’t arrive on time to witness it, it was still great to see the  in Dieng also has some of the oldest Hindu temples still standing strong through the whipping of time and weather such as the Arjuna temple. Of course these temples are not like the Borobudur and Prambanan counterparts, but they are still in a picture perfect setting. Looking at how sturdy the Arjuna temple was, it gives you a peaceful feeling in the midst of the natural silence of the mountains. Yet Dieng also gives you another dimension besides the calm and peace being a volcanic area. No, the volcano isn’t about to erupt again anytime soon but the place still provides some interesting thermal areas.  One of these volcanic craters in Dieng is the Sikidang crater, bubbling hot with sulphur while spewing gas into the air. The sulphur seemed to jump around like a “kidang” which means deer. I mean, how witty is that symbolism?

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the Sikidang Crater

I loved walking along the plain towards the crater even through the smell of sulphur was strong on my nose. Now I have never personally seen a bubbling crater until Sikidang, and it was really like nature’s live jacuzzi. The volcanic soil is very fertile and when you look at the plains, hillsides and steep valleys, they are so green. But mind you, they were not your usual rice and cornfields, or even tea plantations. A lot of them were full of potatoes. This actually makes the price of french fries pleasantly cheap in the local restaurants which I didn’t mind at all!

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Anyway, moving on. While visiting the Sikidang crater, it got a little dark with clouds slowly creeping up and around the area. But the change of color and hue was still very breathtaking because it gave a very mystic tone which I love so much. That didn’t stop us from continuing our ventures in Dieng. The colored lake or Telaga Warna was the one I wanted to go to most. Even though it was cloudy, the turquoise, blue and green hues of the water due to sulphuric deposits were still very much alive and it gave the lake a dynamic feel. It really looked like an artist had blended the colors so perfectly. Surrounding the lakes, there were pathways with tall trees standing high above and it provided the peace for us to walk around.

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At first, I couldn’t believe that a place like Dieng existed but after this experience, I saw and I believe.

Writer: Cemara Dinda (www.cemaradinda.wordpress.com) | Photography © Cemara Dinda

The Forbidden Palace, Beijing | © Jessica Nevina
Jan 19, 2014

The Forbidden Palace, Beijing | © Jessica Nevina

A City Scape | Photography © Subyanto Anggadibrata A City Scape | Photography © Subyanto Anggadibrata A City Scape | Photography © Subyanto Anggadibrata
Jan 18, 2014 / 1 note

A City Scape | Photography © Subyanto Anggadibrata

Jan 18, 2014 / 1 note

Singapore Art Museum (SAM)

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Visiting SAM, was one of the highlights of my trip. A building that is classic in style, yet modern on the inside. Glass windows cover the open air hallways, and a locker space for visitors to place their items. 

The exhibition will be different every month or so, featuring young Singaporean artists and also curating other artists around Asia, ie. Eko Nugroho. Do check it out if you’re ever in the area:

71 Bras Basah Rd, Singapore 189555

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Writer: Jessica Nevina | Photography © Jessica Nevina & Subyanto Anggadibrata 

Jan 18, 2014

The Marina Bay Sands Experience

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Now, here’s a new experience. The new (relatively new) and iconic building making its mark on the Singapore skyline: The Marina Bay Sands. Its cruise inspired shape boasts three towers, with an infinity pool at the very top of the buildings. Scary, but inspiring. The height of the building amazes me. I stand roughly around 5 feet tall, and this building is 57 feet tall! Mega structure indeed.

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Three hotel towers, and it’s own mall and art & science museum. How amazing is that? The mall is humongous, with it’s own skating rink, garden (although I didn’t get a chance to visit) and a gondola canal. A TWG Tea Room is located in almost every part of the mall (seriously, I had lost count of how many tea rooms were in the MBS). The MBS is the perfect example of a classy mega structure.

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The Skypark Infinity Pool

The infinity pool isn’t just your ordinary rooftop pool. It is the most sought out attraction in Singapore. You can enjoy a 360 degree view of Singapore, and an infinity pool to make you feel like you’re on top of the world. The Skypark Infinity Pool is located on the very top level of the MBS (level 57). If you aren’t a guest staying at the hotel, then the entrance ticket would cost you S$20 (Around $18 or Rp.190K). 

You can’t just dip in the pool on a lazy afternoon though. It is crowded and packed! The only time that it isn’t crazy packed is at dawn. Around 5 am. Don’t worry though, the pool is not cold despite it being in the middle of the sky. The pool has its own heater, so you can enjoy lounging in the pool at night or early in the morning.

There are a variety of restaurants located at the Skypark, such as: KU DE TA Restaurant, Sky on 57, The Cheese & Chocolate Bar and the Infinity Alfresco Cafe. If you aren’t into fine dining and connoisseur, you can enjoy a S$10 (Around $8 or Rp. 95K) hotdog meal with German mustard while sitting cross legged on the floor with the Singapore skyline as your view. A bit on the pricy side for a hotdog, but quite worth it.

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Writer: Jessica Nevina | Photography © Jessica Nevina & Subyanto Anggadibrata

Jan 17, 2014

Singapore: A Second Home for Travellers

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Oh Singapore, 

One of my favorite places on Earth! Singapore holds a very, very special place in my heart. Indonesians are known to visit Singapore on a regular basis, ie. weekends & short vacations. It’s near, visa-free (for Indonesians), and a shopping heaven. 

The attraction of Singapore comes from a variety of aspects, such as the bustling and crowded Orchard Street, the endless variety of cheap and delicious food located in underground cafeterias (Hainanese Chicken Rice is what Singapore is all about) and the intricate yet very simple and fast transportation system (SMRT & Buses). Singapore is also one of the cleanest and safest places I’ve ever been to.

Every time I visit Singapore, I feel like I’m a local. A part of the community. Just blending in with the crowd, walking with my earbuds in. All this is a given when I step foot into Singapore.

Writer: Jessica Nevina | Photography © Jessica Nevina & Subyanto Anggadibrata 

Marina Bay Sands Skypark Infinity Pool, Singapore
© Photography by Jessica Nevina Marina Bay Sands Skypark Infinity Pool, Singapore
© Photography by Jessica Nevina
Jan 17, 2014 / 1 note

Marina Bay Sands Skypark Infinity Pool, Singapore

© Photography by Jessica Nevina

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
© Photograph by Subyanto Anggadibrata
Jan 17, 2014 / 1 note

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

© Photograph by Subyanto Anggadibrata