travel

My Series of Unfortunate Events at Merbabu Mountain with JanSport Indonesia

The title kinda gives you the impression of a very unfortunate feeling, doesn’t it? Well but that’s what exactly happened and I am going to share it with you which I hope it won’t happen to you in your upcoming trip to Merbabu Mountain!

First of all, I really apologize for the long hiatus. I know it had been a month, I had not posted any blogpost since things were extremely hectic from college, works, and so on. My typical reason, isn’t it? But I am serious!

However, enough with the starter and let’s get started with my very first unfortunate event in my very first experience hiking to Merbabu Mountain in Mid Java, Indonesia. Before starting, here’s the route to Merbabu Mt. from Jakarta.

We took train with 8 hours trip from Gambir Station to Jogjakarta Station. Why didn’t you take plane with 1 hour trip? Perhaps the universe had another plan for us! Here’s how it happened and welcome to the trip of my unfortunate events,

Unfortunate Event 1: We Missed Our Flight

That picture above truly portrayed our just-smile-and-screw-it moment after we had missed the flight to Jogjakarta because we basically had a very strong bond in our friendship. If one of us is late, we should wait for them. Just wait and better be late then risk to miss the flight than we have to separate! Basically that way perhaps. Especially if we set aside about the madness of Jakarta’s traffic that Friday afternoon as a more rational and actual reason we missed the flight.

Lesson Learned
If your friend is late and stuck in the traffic, better leave them instead because you would only pay one extra ticket to catch the other departure.

Unfortunate Event 2: I Made a Wrong Reservation

We decided to take train which took 8 hours trip and missed the 1 hour trip of flight instead. Not to forget, I reserved the online train tickets with wrong date which was supposed to be that night on Friday but Saturday instead since our hiking would actually start at 6 AM in the morning. We rushed to the train station and luckily, it could still be rescheduled to that Saturday night though we got charged because of it. We left at 9 PM and arrived in Jogjakarta Station at 5 AM.

Lesson Learned
Stay sane! Don’t be panicked, and make sure to re-check before making online payment, so you would not make a bank account gets bankrupt because of this recklessness.

Unfortunate Event 3: I Ruined My Turban and Lost My Breath

Well my turban still kinda looked nice there. We, the train gang, made to the budget hotel for travelers, Setia Backpacker, which we had already booked nearby the train station. It only costed around 300 IDR per night. Luckily the range was still in walking distance so we did not have to go by car. At 5 AM, we were so happy to finally meet the other friends who already had comfortable sleep and rest.

This picture really showed that I got my two hands full here. I brought my winter clothings and precisely sleeping bag in my Shotwell Bag from JanSport since I knew it would be completely freezing up there. Loving this Shotwell? Better click this link and add my unique code “JSCHIA10” for 10% off.

We left to Boyolali Village using shuttle as a part of the package we had reserved from MDPL Jogja. It costed around 1M IDR per person included round trip accommodation from Jogja to Merbabu basecamp, mattress, tent, 1 porter/tour guide per two persons, foods and drinks.  The tour guides were really kind and helpful, I would really recommend you guys to have MDPL Jogja team on board.

We made it to the hiking start line in Selo Village, Boyolali. It took around an hour or two from the city of Jogjakarta to this village. Selo Route is well-known to be the most friendly route to reach the summit of Merbabu. Though, I don’t really think so.

I completely almost lost my breath and I ruined my turban. No hidings, my look there was a complete mess of how exhausted I was that time even in the first hour of hiking. Thankfully I got my two best men, Raka and Joel who always had my back. They carried my super heavy bag until the first post and kept motivating me to keep going when honestly I was about to call it off.

Lesson Learned
Exercise before you hike! This is my biggest regret because I should have worked out at least 2 weeks or a week before hiking so my body would not get shocked like I had experienced. However it’s true of what people say, the true personality of a person would appear when they go hiking since mostly everyone there will get pressured and react naturally. I am really thankful for having such supportive friends like them!

Unfortunate Event 4: I Broke My Leather Gloves

I was freezing. Totally freezing. I brought my old leather gloves which I got around 3 years ago. My carelessness had brought me to the realization that I should have bought gloves for hiking than for fashion.

Lesson Learned
Recheck if your gloves are still alright to be used. Screw fashion, get what you need!

Unfortunate Event 5: My Flashlight Almost Ran Out of Batteries

Long story short of the exhausting yet adventurous trip, we arrived in Sabana 1 where we had a camp at. We built a tent and made ourselves warm there. At 2 AM, we had to get ready thus we could continue our hiking to the summit at 3 AM which we absolutely had no lights but the flashlights only. And I totally had a lack of research that cold temperature caused the quick decrease of batteries. I had already prepared 2 pair of batteries for my flashlight, but unfortunately they did not really last longer somehow. It ate a lot of powers thus I had to always stick with friends who luckily got longer batteries than mine.

Lesson Learned
Get a headlamp! Much easier and convenient.

Unfortunate Event 6: I Was Late to The Summit

I was expecting to reach the summit of this 3145 MASL Mountain when the sky was still dark thus I could savor the sunrise like I had in Bromo Mountain. However I am still grateful to finally be able to reach the summit though the sun already took a sneak peek behind the clouds before I had got there. I was too exhausted and I got a bit nausea while reaching the summit.

Unfortunate Event 7: I Could Have Left My Sleeping Bag At Camp

So basically the reason why I was late to the summit might be because I was too well-prepared for also bringing my sleeping bag with me in the bag though I actually could have just simply left them in the camp at tent.

Lesson Learned
Just listen and proactively ask! Even though you are sleepy and tired, stay sane and just think of the possible ways.

Unfortunate Event 8: I Slipped While Going Downhill

One fact I could share would be, I was the last hiker who reached the basecamp. The ground was very slippery and I had to be really careful until I got my toes bleeding inside the nails.

Lesson Learned
It’s a destiny.

There it was the eight of unfortunate events I had while hiking to Merbabu Mountain with JanSport Campus Ambassadors Batch 4 Indonesia. There were a lot of things I could be able to learn from this rare experience since I would have never been interested to go hiking if it was not for JanSport. Hehe! But no regrets after all, and I am so happy!

If you guys wanted to know the flow and the highlight of the trip, kindly stalk my Instagram (@pranichia) and get to know better about my experience in my “merbabu.” highlight. Thank you so much for bumping and reading my blogpost, hope you could learn something about it. Ciao!

Photos and video by Furamingo Creative. Thanks to Jimmy and Abraham for being such amazing documenters!


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fashion, travel

Believe It or Not, I Wore This Outfit Twice

Isn’t it really common for travelers to always wear the same outfit twice or even thrice?

Well probably not for legit fashionista. I wore this outfit twice but only with different scarf. The most interesting is, I totally wore it in the day I went to Bangkok and so did they day I left. Perhaps this is my signature outfit anyway.

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Here it is, me, wearing this outfit, twice. Looks quite complicated yet very comfy! I have always loved wearing this coat from Paper Scissors, a local Australian brand which I have also admired because of their casual-with-a-twist designs.

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The scarf that I am wearing is really easy to wear. I only had to adjust the edge of the scarf so it can pass over the top of my forehead, with the sides draping over my shoulders. Adjust the scarf so that one side hangs down twice as low as the other. Lastly I only had to wrap the long end of the scarf around my chin and over my head then drape the end of the scarf over my opposite shoulder. Voila, you are gonna hit the nail on the head right away!

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This cat eye glasses is totally the cheapest glasses I have ever found! It only costed for ฿200 and you could totally rock any outfit that you like. The other accessories I had there is that pink peacock goldy ring. That is not the real name but I just like naming stuffs. I got it in Siam Paragon around ฿350. Super cheap and very stylishly ethnic.

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Last but not least, my favorite JanSport bag. This bag might look small but you have no idea how many stuffs I could put inside, totally a lot! This black Super FX had always been my good friend while traveling in Thailand.

You can use my code "JSCHIA10" 
to get 10% off for all items on JanSport.

Not only that, my favorite ripped blue jeans from Stradivarius also has an important role in rocking this outfit including my leopard sneakers from Autograph.

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Seeing a little closer to the accessories I am wearing. I have my minimalistic Guess watch, pink embroidered bracelet from Semoet Ketjil, and leather bracelet from The Executive. They are totally my lovely little things that always enhance my look. Thus, never ignore the power of accessories when you cannot afford jewelries. Haha!

That’s all I have for this weekend, I hope this blogpost can give you inspiration for your weekly preference. Speaking of wearing it twice, is it stinky? Haha, you are funny. Totally it is! 

Seriously?

No I am absolutely joking. I definitely do not wear it for outside walks since the sun in Thailand is quite evil and moreover, we have laundry too so no worries. Besides that, actually I really made quite big transformation today, I totally have tanned skin now as you can see from these pictures above. Not gonna be so regretful but I am really happy that I can deal with it gracefully. And I hope you can embrace yours too, anything that you are dealing with right now, I hope you can embrace it with open heart. Have a great weekend!


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travel

Sailing from Koh Samui to Ko Pha-Ngan Island – with Travel Tips

Thailand has left me good memories about everything. This time I will be showing you my sailing trip to one of the islands after Koh Samui, Ko Pha-Ngan Island. Before starting the journey, I think you should catch up with my first trip in Koh Samui.

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Or maybe you have come from that article? Congratulations you made it then! Thanks for sticking with my story.


Apparently the duration between the hotel I am staying to the pier is pretty far thus we took shuttle to go there since it takes an hour to arrive.

The reasons why we decided to go sailing because we wanted to go for snorkeling, swimming, and to also widen our horizon in Koh Samui since it had been days for us to stay in the resort. I went sailing with the colleagues of my sister.

The boat that we rented was Red Baron. Red Baron is moored at Petchetra Pier in Bangrak, Koh Samui. According to their website, the boat is a brand new traditional Sailing Junk Yacht which has been built by the famous Ship Yard Pernor in Suratthani and made from Takien Tong, a very hard and strong wood. Red Baron is the biggest Sailing Yacht around Samui and the gulf.

You can find a lot of great spots in the boat and these are the spot I found,

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taken at the very top of the boat, beware your balance

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Titanic spot for any poses, I did dab instead

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Showing off the big red sail as savoring the breeze embracing every strands of the hair

In the middle of the sailing, we stopped in Amphoe Koh Pha-ngan to swim around and do the snorkeling. I did not jump out of the boat since I never intended to dive.

You either can use the pool stairs or bravely jump from the top of the boat.

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You could swim reaching to the cave like in the picture above for around 200-300 meters from the boat. Since my camera was unfortunately not able to take the pictures below the water, a friend told me that the view below was not as mesmerizing as expected. Truthfully as we were about to reach the Koh Pha-ngan island, the sanitation of the sea was medium.

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As we reached the island, the Red Baron precisely did not stop exactly in the coastal area or we could not go back to Samui. We had to use a small boat which could fit 8 – 10 people.

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I did not take so many pictures in Ko Pha-ngan, I am sorry! There were so many sharps corals and gravels all around the coast until my friend’s foot got cut. There were also small fishes and snake fishes around the coast, it was precisely prohibited for us to step on them. It took so many struggles to walk starting from the small boat to the island. The weather felt much hotter than Samui, especially the sinking sands (not exactly quicksands) all over the coast made me feel pretty stressful. In Ko Pha-ngan island, you can also find resorts which could make you feel much closer to nature, look very suitable for Yoga and meditation I suppose. If you check maps, you could also find a waterfall nearby called Paradise Waterfall. I did not go there since this whole trip was quite draining my energy that quick.

Tips for Sailing:
1. Bring Sunblock SPF 28++, beach hat, personal snorkeling goods.
2. Wear strong and steady rubber shoes, not flipflop. 
3. Do not wear any watch or tight bracelets if you don't wanna leave a mark.

My first trip sailing to Ko Pha-ngan took around 4 hours sailing including departure and arrival. Nevertheless, this trip was utterly full of bliss and it all depends on how you perceive it. As you arrived back to the pier, you would be presented with unexpected souvenirs. You will find your face in at least one of the plates they are selling as souvenirs. They actually took some candid shots while we were on the boat and none of us even did realize about it. It costs ฿200 for each plate.

I hope this trip helps you as additional perspective before you go sailing around Koh Samui. Thanks for reading and have a great vacation!


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travel

Staying in Belmond Napasai Resort – with Travel Tips

Koh Samui, a peaceful island made for a short getaway or perhaps a forever getaway. Moreover, staying in Belmond Napasai would make your getaway to be full of serenity with everything it offers inside the resort. I spent 5 days 4 nights in Belmond Napasai and I utterly savored every single second it gave to me.

That is simply how I define this island. Koh Samui has left me a lot of good memories to remember. Perhaps I will tell you the things I experienced starting from my transfer to Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok which probably will be your itinerary to go to Koh Samui!

Thursday, April 20th

I departed from Soekarno Hatta to Suvarnabhumi. There was no direct flight to Koh Samui from Indonesia thus I had to be transferred from Suvarnabhumi to Samui which only took around an hour flight. If you take Bangkok Airways, there is always flight to Samui every one hour thus you do not have to be worried if you need to have a sudden flight.

As I arrived in Suvarnabhumi, I was precisely presented with Thai alphabets that I certainly do not understand. I only know few basic words verbally which I think might be helpful for you to know,

  • Sawadika (for ladies) / Sawadikap (for guys) — Hello
  • Khob Khun Kah (for ladies) / Khob Khun Krab (for guys) — Thank you

Thai people are unfortunately not really fluent in English thus you simply need to speak with easy words or you will get lost.

Tips for Communication:
1. Download Google Translate App.
2. Let the app speaks for you in Thai to communicate with the locals.

As I was about to land, I was presented with the beauty of the blue sea and beautiful spots where you can see that every single spot in Koh Samui is very worth for a picture. Long story short, I was staying in Belmond Napasai with complexion where my sister somehow lost her luggage. The officer said it was left in Savarnabhumi but fortunately it came back with grace at night as we had taken care of the complaint earlier in Samui Airport.

Tips for Lost Luggage:
1. Directly go to the Luggage Service in the airport / ask the officer nearby.
2. Make sure to know all the details within the luggage for complaint form.
3. Ask for contact and when it will be received in the hotel (24 hrs max).
4. Ask hotel receptionist you are staying in to encounter the rest.
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Studio / Villa in Belmond Napasai

Here is the view of the studio. As far as I am concerned, there are two types of villa that you can stay in Belmond Napasai, Studio and Bedroom. The difference is the bedroom has living room yet studio does not have one.

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Certainly they have aesthetic bathroom view which every room’s direction always faces the beach.

Instagram Highlights:
Koh Samui Trip

What I love the most from Belmond Napasai is their kind service with genuine initiatives. My favorite staffs in there are U and Pim from Lai Thai Restaurant, they are very funny and humble. One dessert that I love from this restaurant is their Mango Sticky Rice.

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Mango Sticky Rice *by request

My first half day in Belmond Napasai was really captivating. Regarding the lost luggage, my sister’s luggage was luckily found and directly sent to the hotel at 11 PM with the help of the hotel receptionists. They were very interactive and had high initiative to keep my sister being updated with the progress.

Friday, April 21st

My first breakfast started in Lai Thai Restaurant as the venue for breakfast. For the breakfast dishes, perhaps I do not need to elaborate more since they were all unexplainably tasty. Apparently they did not have rich options for the breakfast but they certainly had high quality in the dishes they presented.

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After breakfast, I headed to the spot where every visitor would definitely come over. The summer breeze and the hot sunlight utterly made me feel really peaceful.

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Beach, Belmond Napasai

The weather was incredibly hot, you would be relentlessly sweating and get tanned. It is very suitable for those who want to get tanned in a short amount of time because it only takes 2 days for me to get tanned, or perhaps my skin was just pretty sensitive with heat. Besides that, the sands all over the coastal area in Belmond Napasai were really steady thus you could walk straight and still.

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Anne – Malaysia

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Nisa – Indonesia

After a couple of hours, I headed to the pool near the Lai Thai Restaurant accompanying my sister since I was not really into swimming thus I took some pictures of her and her friend instead. I made a collection of the photoshoots I did with these ladies on my Instagram Highlight. Hopefully these spots may inspire you for photoshoots reference in Belmond Napasai.

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Beach Restaurant @ Belmond Napasai

After feeling weary with swimming, we went to another restaurant of Belmond Napasai called Beach RestaurantThe view and the foods they offered were very satisfying. It is highly suggested for you to have a visit on your own experience. I ordered for Ravioli with Basil, the taste was great but in my opinion, as I kept munching and swallowing the dish, the taste got boring somehow. Nevertheless, I would recommend you to order the Club Sandwhich for an amazing American taste in Thailand.

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Free bike rent around Koh Samui

Saturday, April 22nd

I went for a bike this morning. The resort provided bikes that anyone could use anywhere anytime for free, I did not have to fill a registration form and simply had to pull the bike out of the garage near Napasai Spa. Life seems so good when everything is free, don’t you think?

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Body & Mind Massage in Napasai Spa | US$100

Feeling exhausted with the exercise, I went to Napasai Spa for Body & Mind massage. The massage went on for an hour only but the service was utterly satisfying.

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Fruit punch in a pineapple fruit

Feeling refreshed already, I accompanied the cocktail party with the colleagues of my sister. I got a fruit punch with a pineapple fruit as glass. Certainly unique and very Hawaiian! All foods and beverages that Belmond Napasai could offer has always been designed as fine as it could be. While savoring the sweet taste of the drink, here we were presented again with the beauty of the sunset in Koh Samui.

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Sunset view from Beach Restaurant

Sunset in Koh Samui always looked very stunning because the sky always looked clear with the stars twinkling all over the skies every night. Moreover, the moon in Koh Samui did also look very bright as well. Such a good place to heal the headaches, eh?

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Bangrak Pier

Sunday, April 23rd

I did not do much today but decided to sail around Koh Samui islands, specifically to Ko Pha-ngan.

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Monday, April 24th

All packed and extended the trip to Bangkok.

Best Facilities in Belmond Napasai:
1. Strong WiFi connection in every single spot around the resort.
2. Kind, friendly, and full of initiatives service.

My experience in Belmond Napasai, Koh Samui was very mesmerizing and has left me incredible memories. As my sister and I left the hotel, we went for breakfast at Lai Thai Restaurant and bid goodbye to U and Pim by sharing some warm hugs for the last time. From this experience, I hope I can have a visit again in the next opportunity. Hopefully my travel tips are helpful for your consideration to either stay in Belmond Napasai or have a trip in Koh Samui. Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for reading!


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Happy Valentine’s Day!

How’s your day so far? Has anyone confessed anything to you? Have you received any chocolates and flowers? Has anyone kissed you? Has anyone sent a sweet text for you? Those little things we do in the Valentine’s Day have become something very usual yet also very traditional.

I am not so sure if people still celebrate Valentine’s Day since in my way of thinking, the whole culture of either finding or maintaining love has changed a lot. Couples in previous generations only had to communicate through letters (or possibly pigeon?) which took 48 hours to be delivered but they mostly had no significant problem with it whilst in this generation, when he has not replied the text within 3 hours we already have that mini anxiety attack because of that tiny read-and-delivered receipt. Well, the world has shifted really far because of the invention and development of technology. Okay, I think I have been pouring my thoughts about modern love too much.

However, speaking of love and Valentine’s Day, I would like to take you to my staycation experience with Anvaya Beach Resort Bali. I stayed there for 3 days and it felt like home already.

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Let me welcome you to the balcony of my bedroom. Magnificent view with tiny private pool at front. Anvaya Beach Resort Bali actually has two sides for swimming pool. One near Kuta beach and this one right in front of your screen. This blogpost is not sponsored by Anvaya Beach Resort Bali thus I did not take many pictures in my bedroom and around the hotel because I enjoyed the vibes a little too much.

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And here you are in the other side of the pool. You might notice I have been bringing this book everywhere, it is A Work in Progress by Connor Franta which you can find the review here.

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I sat on grass under a tree, I truly loved the ambience there though the sunlight was utterly like a demon which burned my skin as you can see that on my wrist. Behind me was a view to Kuta Beach which you could be able to have a walk around Kuta for jet ski, bike, and temporary tattoos. As I described you these things, it made me want to go back there again.

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Because I wouldn’t just sit and read, I had to have some snack too because I am always hungry. Well, who doesn’t like to eat? I ordered some nachos, melon juice, and a bottle of coke. The nachos was good but it would have been much better if they added some yogurt, mayo, or cream cheese.

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And here I am behind these beautiful aesthetic trees. I really loved hanging out in this pool side because there were so many palm trees that I could post on my Instagram story all the time. They also had nice playlist of Bali traditional songs rather than Pop or RnB musics.

It was an honest review without any intervention of Anvaya Beach Resort Bali. I wrote this blogpost because I was satisfied with the service they gave me while staying in Bali. On a scale 1 to 10, I would give it 9. I don’t give the other one because of the nachos, haha!

However this resort really works well for those who want to have a little escape for self healing and self loving. I wish this blogpost will profoundly inspire you for your weekly preference. Happy Valentine’s Day!

I think I am going to write more and not only gonna post every weekend thus, stay tuned for more!


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