Oh Buda(Pest)!

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 19 November 2015.

Budapest overwhelmed me. I was not surprised though, this is the kind of effect most huge capital cities did on me. The city is huge, consisted of previously two different cities, Buda and Pest, with the glorious Danube streaming proudly in between. There is always something to do and you will never grow tired of it. It is a city like no other.

Budapest felt like it embodied two personalities, and of course no shock there given its history, it was after all two cities combined as one. I can only describe Budapest like two women with very different characters.

Pest would be that popular girl you’d want to hang out with. She would be the one with a sexy black dress with long wavy hair which she would let loose and high stilettos which clicked whenever she walked, making heads turn. Her bright, red lipstick would seduce many, and her bracelets would make soft jingles every time her arms swayed, telling stories of where she got them from. Yes, Pest would be vibrant, loud, talkative, modern but she was not one who would forget her root.Read More »


Alternative Singapore: Heritage Houses at Kampung Bahru

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander.

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.Read More »

5 Places to Eat in Porto, Portugal

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 15 April 2014.

You all know how much I love Porto, and one of the reasons is its food. I was lucky during my trip I met so many people in Porto who were friendly and passionate about their city. I could tell from their genuine smile and excitement when explaining their town. The people I met were also extremely passionate about their food, and as I tasted with them, I could see why.

Here are 5 places I recommend for you to eat while in Porto. Enjoy!

Restaurante Casa De Santo António
Rua São Bento da Vitória 80, 4050 Porto, Portugal

When I was in Porto, I stayed at Nasoni Guest Hostel where I was greeted by their friendly staff. My friend and I were starving so we asked for a good restaurant to have lunch. She recommended Casa de St. Antonio. Trusting her, we went to the restaurant. The interior of the restaurant is clean and bright, they had just opened. We were greeted by a woman, whose smile and warmth made us feel welcome immediately. She couldn’t speak English, only a few words here and there, so we trusted her in choosing food for us. We didn’t regret giving her that power. We ate rice with red beans with fried codfish and pork in beer sauce. It was so delicious. A very cozy place with friendly staff and amazing food, I could not ask for more!Read More »


Exploring the Wine Village of Saint-Émilion

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 23 September 2014.

After a failed road trip plan, my friend surprised me with a spontaneous getaway to Bordeaux. It was February and we had some days off from school. The weather was still chilly and I couldn’t find a better way to enjoy my days off than to visit a city so famous for its wine.

Bordeaux in itself is charming and I loved the pub scenery downtown. Initially we wanted to do a wine tasting tour, preferably in a charming small town with gorgeous vineyards but since it was the holidays everything was booked up. We were a little disappointed but the lovely lady at the tourism centre suggested us to visit Saint-Émilion, which was not far from Bordeaux and we could easily catch a train to go there. She told us we might not get a wine tasting tour there either but at least we could see what a wine village looks like and maybe snatch a bottle or two of the best wine there. This option sounded amazing and we were a little excited to explore the wine village of Saint-Émilion.

Saint-Émilion got its name from a monk named Émilion who settled in the area back in the 8th century. Émilion had a gift of healing and people believe that his spirit still lingers over this medieval village. Vineyards in this area has already existed since the Romans but it was Émilion the monk and his friends that started the production of wine.Read More »


Bucharest, a Surprising Foodie Destination

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 13 July 2016.

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. Trying out new cuisines is a must 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 also 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 tried it. I loved their simple dish with its familiar taste. They had the perfect rosemary oven baked potatoes that I can still remember its taste until this day, and the chicken schnitzel was just the perfect combination with the potatoes. I also ordered their homemade iced tea lemonade which was refreshing. To top it off, the cost of my meal was not expensive (compared to Western Europe where I resided before).Read More »


Spending a Day at library@orchard

Last year in December my dad and I did a quick trip to Singapore. My sister was moving to a new place and she was moving the day after I did my bi-monthly infusion in Malaysia. So we thought we’d drop by to help her out.

(I didn’t exactly help her out in the end as I was down with a really bad migraine. Woopsy. I gave her my moral support though :D)

We had a day spare and we decided to spend it at library@orchard. I already went once with my mum but it was too short of a trip. This time I wanted to spend more time and read more books. My dad was excited too as he had never been here before.

It started to shower when we got there, so we were happy to be inside this awesome library. This is a public library and it is located inside Orchard Gateway. Apparently it is a boutique library meant to attract young adults.Read More »


The Olive Trail and Gandria

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 19 July 2013.

After finishing everything, I decided to give myself a one week break to enjoy Switzerland. I wanted to do a trip to Interlaken, or anywhere nice, by myself. The great thing about being a travel blogger is that you always can rely on your fellow traveller friends to give opinions on where to go. Some places besides Interlaken were suggested, but my partner in crime, Aiko, suggested Lugano. She wanted to make a trip there when she was in Geneva but never had the chance and she managed to talk me into it.

I searched for Lugano and picked up some keywords including charming, villages, walking, beautiful scenery, old town.

And so it was decided, a day trip to Lugano. I have never been to the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland so this was a great chance to do it.Read More »