The Buried Ones: Herculaneum and Oplontis

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 22 June 2016.

Discovering a hidden gem is something that I always look forward to when I travel. I love hidden gems as they are usually away from the main crowd and gives you the opportunity to enjoy a place more peacefully. Of course the definition of a hidden gem can be different to everybody. My definition is a place that is away from the busy crowd, a place that might not be as popular as other attractions but just as beautiful.

I talked about my love for Pompeii before and why the place is so personal to me, however little did I know that when I arrived to Pompeii to purchase a ticket, I was able to choose a ticket just to enter Pompeii, or a ticket for several other sites (at a slightly higher price). When I knew about this I immediately bought the ticket for multiple sites as I have never heard of the other sites before and it was a bargain since the ticket could last for several days.

I didn’t have time to see all the five sites listed on my ticket so I settled for Pompeii, which was a must see for me, Herculaneum and Oplontis. Much like Pompeii, Herculaneum and Oplontis were too buried due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. However, these sites are not as big as Pompeii and also less crowded.Read More »

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Indonesian Breakfasts You Should Try at Least Once in a Lifetime

This post was originally written for my old travel blog Dream Explore Wander on 29 March 2017.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day they say. It is also a great time to try new food. Try getting up early when you travel and discover what the locals are having to start the day.

These are some of my favourite breakfasts in Indonesia, I hope you can give it a try when you come here.

Gudeg

Gudeg is Yogyakarta’s pride and joy. There are probably hundredsof gudeg stalls here. From the famous ones to the small ones. Gudeg itself is young jackfruit cooked in coconut sugar, simmered slowly until it is soft.

A gudeg stall in Yogyakarta

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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 »