When in Singapore

When in Singapore



It's been a couple of days already, and to me it feels like ages ago, but I spent some time in Singapore from the 10th until the 13th of December. I'd never been in this city other than a stop at the airport, so I was quite excited to go there. To be honest, it was quite an impulsive decision to visit Singapore, but in the end I'm really glad I did. 

I arrived really early in Singapore, and because I wasn't able to check into the hostel yet, I wandered around the city and ended up at Starbucks where I sat down for a couple of hours - because I was too tired to walk around. I did go to a museum, but wasn't that fond of it.

The next day I decided to go to the National Gallery, which I absolutely loved! It was massive, and at first I had no idea where to go or what to visit. I saw some amazing Asian art, including art from the colonial period of the Dutch East Indies. Moreover, there was an exhibition of impressionistic art - which I absolutely love. There were quite some paintings by Claude Monet, my favourite painter. I enjoyed wandering around in this amazing museum, and even though it was quite expensive ($25), it was definitely worth going. I spent about four hours in there, and I still didn't see everything.



That evening I went to the Gardens By The Bay, which I thought was very impressive as well. I visited both the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. I must say, the Flower Dome was fun - especially because of all the christmas decorations there - but not too interesting, except for some African trees. The Cloud Forest was absolutely amazing! There was a huge waterfall inside the glass dome, with many different tropical flowers. There was a walking bridge through the dome, so the view was stunning. The entrance for both domes was $16, which was fine. 

The last day I spent in Chinatown, together with a really nice Indonesian girl I met in my hostel. We walked around and bought some souvenirs, and we visited Bugis Street - with many many shops. Overall I really enjoyed Singapore - it is such a clean and organised country, so it was definitely a huge difference compared to Bali. I kind of liked being in a Western environment for some days again, because it was so easy to get around by using the tubes, which wasn't expensive at all. Definitely a nice city to visit!

Bali: Batur Temple and primary school in Klungkung

Bali: Batur Temple and primary school in Klungkung


At the moment I'm waiting for my flight to Singapore, so it's time to say goodbye to Bali. I've been in Bali for two weeks, and to be honest I'm ready to explore another place. Bali is relatively small and although I could have travelled to Lombok or the Gili Islands, my friends weren't able to join me so I decided to stay in Bali. 



Luckily, my aunt lived and worked in Klungkung, Bali, and it was very nice to visit Klungkung and meet her friends and colleagues. I helped at a primary school for a couple of days, which was really nice because I got to learn about their education system. For example, they start class with their hands together saying 'Om Swatiastu', which means 'I hope you are well'. The children were very enthusiastic and energetic, something I actually kind of forgot about since I haven't spend time around kids for a while. To show their respect for you, they take your hand and touch their foreheads with it, which was so sweet and interesting to experience. 


On Thursday, I attended a high school trip to the Batur Temple, close to Mount Batur and a bit closer to Mount Agung, the volcano, as well. The volcano actually looked peaceful, and there is not much going on around it - and even though a lot of people were evacuated, it is still safe! The Batur Temple was beautiful, and luckily I could borrow some traditional Balinese clothing and pray with them. It's interesting to learn more about Balinese culture and their religion, so I really enjoyed this day. 

Now, it's time to go to Singapore! 

Hotspot in Ubud, Bali: Lazy Cats Cafe

Hotspot in Ubud, Bali: Lazy Cats Cafe


When I was staying in Ubud, I came across a cute place to have breakfast/lunch at. I was walking around by myself through the city a bit, and I found Lazy Cats Cafe. I was quite lazy that day and didn't do much, so this cafe seemed like the perfect place for me to stop at. 

I really love how they have decorated the place, as I love the light bulbs from the ceiling, the brick walls, the plants and the old furniture. 

  

I chose to order a green smoothie and a fruit bowl with a bit of coconut yogurt. Especially the fruit bowl look really nice, and both things were delicious! What did annoy me of this place is that they charge taxes for the service, so the prices on the menu always increase. Why not increase the prices and leave the taxes? Personally, I find that quite annoying because it looks cheaper than it really is. But overall, I did like the place and its food! 

Hotspot in Seminyak, Bali: Shelter Café

Hotspot in Seminyak, Bali: Shelter Café


Personally, I love to discover new spots to have a drink or grab something to eat at, and on Instagram I found this cute place named Shelter Café in Seminyak, Bali. Of course that made me really curious, so I decided to go there and have lunch. I must say, this place does not feel like Bali at all, except for the tropical plants hanging from the ceiling. Their menu is quite 'western' with a lot of salads, wraps, fruit bowls and different coffees. But if you're looking for something else than nasi goreng, this is the place to go. 
  

I love the place and how it is designed, with a lot of tropical plants and wooden furniture to decorate the place. It is a rooftop lunchroom, so the view is pretty nice as well. 



Eventually, I decided to go for a salad with a poached egg, avocado, bacon and a lot of veggies. Even though I'm trying to eat less meat, this salad did have some meat in it (shame on me). Along with my salad, I ordered a nice smoothie and I got some veggie chips for free. I really liked the food, so I definitely enjoyed my afternoon there. Of course this place is a bit more expensive and what you're used to in Bali, I think I paid around €7? I'm not sure, but at a local warung you can definitely have a nice Indonesian meal for €2-€3. But as I said, if you're looking for something more western, this is a really nice place to go to!

Visit Monkey Forest, Ubud

Visit Monkey Forest, Ubud


When you're coming to Bali, you've probably already heard of Monkey Forest, a famous attraction in Ubud. It's a beautiful forest with many temples, but of course most people visit the place to see monkeys. Eight years ago I already visited Monkey Forest, but it was nice to come back. 


Even if you don't like monkeys that much, the forest is a lovely place to visit. You can easily walk there for about 30 minutes to an hour, and observe the pretty temples there. To be honest, I did feel a bit nervous going in there, because a friend of a friend got bitten without doing anything to provoke the monkey, and getting all the injections apparently costs a fortune. The monkeys are definitely not scared of you, as they're used to having people around. 

Before going in there, some tips might be convenient. First of all, it is safer to carry a backpack or a bag that you can close off. Monkeys are very curious as well, and they will easily come up to you if they can have a look in your bag. Therefore, keeping your bag closed whilst in the forest is a good idea as well. I was carrying one of my cameras but wanted to take out the other one, but a monkey saw me opening my backpack and immediately came up to me. I'd rather not have monkey too close to me, so I recommend just keeping your bag closed. Moreover, carrying any food or loose objects might not be a smart thing to do either, as monkeys could easily steal things from you. If you carry your phone, just keep it close and do not wear sunglasses or hats. 



Even though I felt a bit nervous sometimes when a monkey came too close, I did really enjoy Monkey Forest as it's nice to have a closer look, and the forest in general is beautiful. I can definitely recommend it. The price is 50.000 Rupiah, which is about €3,50.  

Selamat Pagi Bali!

Selamat Pagi Bali!


Finally back in the most beautiful place of the world, Bali! My grandmother grew up in Indonesia, and I'm glad to be back to enjoy this beautiful island after 8 years. I arrived Sunday night, and luckily my flight was not cancelled due to Mount Agung. The last couple of days I stayed in Seminyak, a small city close to the beach. It is less crowded than Kuta I've heard, and I quite like this place although there isn't too much to do during the day. 


I have visited a temple called Pura Petitenget, a small one near the beach and the shopping mall in Seminyak. Although it was really small and construction was going on, it was quite interesting to see and seeing temples and little offers made me realise how much I've missed this. 
  

Friends of mine were supposed to join me today and tomorrow, but due to the ashes of Mount Agung the airport is closed and today's flight is cancelled. I'm really bummed about this, because I was really excited to have my friends here as well and explore Bali together. 

Even though I'm by myself and I haven't met a lot of people except for some nice locals, I am enjoying myself. Today I'll be travelling to Ubud, where I will stay for at least three days. Hopefully I'll meet some nice people, so that I'm not completely by myself. 

On the 10th of December, I'll be flying to Singapore (if it's possible) and other than that I haven't really made up my mind yet about my travels. I was thinking of going home for Christmas, but now I can travel with some friends of mine so that changes the situation. I might possibly travel with them to Vietnam and Hongkong, but I still need to figure everything out. For now, I'm enjoying Bali!

Hotspot in Sydney: Calabur Cafe & Diner

Hotspot in Sydney: Calabur Cafe & Diner


Together with a friend of mine I was strolling through the streets of Bondi Junction in Sydney, and we decided that we wanted to sit down for a cup of coffee and some food. We were only there for a couple of days, and we didn't have a clue where to go. On Maps I found a cute place to have some coffee and food, and we decided to go there. I absolutely loved the way the cafe looked - it had brick walls, a guitar on the wall, cute furniture and the atmosphere was really nice.

I decided to have a matcha latte and fruit platter with a bit of yogurt, granola and honey. The dish was a bit similar to the one I had at Harry's, but it had more fruit and less granola. The dish looked amazing, and it tasted really good as well. I probably prefer the one at Harry's, but this is definitely a lovely dish as well. It was around the same price as Harry's, $18 (about €12). It was actually a Thai restaurant, so if you'd prefer a warm dish or something spicy, there's something for you at Calabur as well!

Hotspot in Adelaide: Golden Boy

Hotspot in Adelaide: Golden Boy


A couple weeks ago a friend of mine turned 22, and we celebrated this with a birthday dinner in Adelaide. We found this really cute restaurant called Golden Boy, a Thai restaurant in the northeast of the city. The interior of the restaurant was really cute, and the atmosphere was definitely great. 

I chose a Thai green curry with vegetables and chicken as a main course, and we ordered some rice with it. Some time ago I wasn't a fan of the Thai cuisine, but now I love it! The dish was quite spicy, but since my dad's partly Indonesian I grew up with spicy food, and I absolutely dig it. The prices of the food is pretty okay, I guess I paid around $45 in total including a glass of wine (around €30). If you like Thai food, this place might be something for you!

Hotspot in Sydney: Harry's

Hotspot in Sydney: Harry's


Last week I visited Sydney again with a friend of mine, and I absolutely love that city! There's so much to do, and the suburbs have nice cafes, restaurants, coffee places and bars. A friend of mine back home recommended Harry's to me, a lunchroom at Bondi Beach. I took a look at their Instagram page, and all the dishes looked amazing! On Thursday we were at Bondi Beach, and we decided to go to Harry's for a coffee and something to eat.

I chose a chai latte and this amazing lunch/all-day breakfast - coconut yogurt with homemade granola, a lot of different fruits and cute flower petals. It looks stunning, but of course the taste is most important - and personally I loved it. I would love to have this for breakfast everyday! The dish was $18.50, which is about €12,50 - pretty doable if you'd ask me. Definitely a must-see spot at Bondi Beach!

Cute bars in Adelaide

Cute bars in Adelaide


I've been living in Adelaide quite a while now, and although it's actually almost my time to leave again (in about a month or so), I would like to go over some of the bars that I really like or that I still would like to visit!

Clever Little Tailor
The first bar that caught my attention is Clever Little Tailor, at 19 Peel Street. It's actually a wine bar (I believe), but I went there a couple times for a beer. The atmosphere is really nice and cosy, and the bartenders are friendly and fun. Again, I do like the interior a lot; especially the brick walls make it homely. The beers are around $10 I think, which is of course not the cheapest - which. by the way, Australia isn't either. But, it's definitely a nice place to head to with friends. 
Photo: architectureau.com


Maybe Mae
Another bar is Maybe Mae, which is such a cute cocktail bar that's actually a bit hidden. It's at 15 Peel Street, and when you stroll around in the street you can notice its sign. The bar is hidden in a cellar, which makes it more exclusive and fun. I absolutely love the interior of this bar; the dark green in combination with the wood makes is really fancy. It's a bit more pricy (the cocktails are around $16 each), but it's definitely worth going there!
Photo: smudgeeats.com



Belgian Beer Cafe
I actually haven't had the chance to grab a beer here, but a friend and I walked past it last week. This Belgian Beer Cafe definitely reminds me of cafes in Europe, which - sometimes - I do kind of miss. It's at 27-29 Ebenezer Place, another part of the CBD. The atmosphere is really different from other Australian places, because it's of course more European-looking. If you miss Belgian beers, definitely check out this cafe. It's nice - kind of - be in Belgium for a night. The interior is just so cosy, and what I'm used to!
Photo: theaustralian.com.au


2KW
Unfortunately, I have not been to 2KW yet, but a friend of mine has and it looks absolutely lovely. 2KW is at 2 King William Street, pretty close to Peel Street. The bar is on a rooftop, which makes having drinks here much more exclusive and exciting. The bar is quite expensive, but before I leave Adelaide I would like to have drinks here, as it just looks amazing. Especially during sunset it must be a great experience. 
Photo: 2kwbar.com.au


Botanic Bar
Last, but absolutely not least, is the Botanic Bar at 309 North Terrace. Again, I have not been here yet to enjoy some drinks, but I have had dinner at its restaurant called the Golden Boy. This restaurant was lovely, and the food was delicious - I paid $44 for a glass of wine and a green chicken curry dish, which is not too bad at all. I reckon the bar's ambiance is similar to the restaurant, which was pleasantly nice. If I have the chance, I'll stop by for a drink or two!
Photo: southaustralia.com

My Travel Plans for November

My Travel Plans for November


Even though I feel it sounds so surreal, I can say that my semester abroad is almost finished. This is my last week of uni in Adelaide, and the time has flown by so fast. Only a couple months ago I came here without not knowing what the city was going to be like, and how my university would be. I have got a couple of deadlines left, but I'm trying to get them over and done with as soon as possible, and to still explore more of Australia.

Next Tuesday the 31st of November, I'm off to Sydney with my roommate and friend Tessa. I've already been to Sydney, but I really wanted to go again and explore the city more. There are so many nice suburbs that I still want to wander around in, visit museums, the Blue Mountains National Park and eat nice foods. We're going for about six days, so we've got heaps of time!

Friday the 17th of November, I'll be doing the Great Ocean Road with two of my friends, a really famous highway (?) along the coast in the state Victoria. We'll be driving for two to three days, seeing absolutely stunning places like Loch Ard Gorge, the Twelve Apostles, The Grotto and a lot of beautiful beaches. On Sunday we'll be arriving in Melbourne, to go to the Drake concert in the evenings, which we're so excited about! Frankly, I don't listen to his music that much, but it's just really nice to go to a concert here, so why not? We'll be staying in a stunning apartment in the city center until Wednesday, and then we're off to Adelaide again. 

A lot of nice things to look forward to!

My Time in Australia #4: Roadtrip Australian East Coast

My Time in Australia #4: Roadtrip Australian East Coast


In mid-September my roommates and I went on a roadtrip along the Australian East Coast. We flew to Brisbane to spend our first couple of days there, and then drove to multiple places including Byron Bay, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Hervey Bay, Airlie Beach, Townsville, Cairns and Cape Tribulation. Here's a clip of our amazing holiday!



My Time in Australia #3: Trip to Sydney

My Time in Australia #3: Trip to Sydney


Two weeks ago I visited Sydney, which was such a lovely city! I have made a small video about the first few days we've been there, including Circular Quay, the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and a couple of museums! Enjoy! X


Hiking in Hallett Cove Conservation Park, South Australia

Hiking in Hallett Cove Conservation Park, South Australia


Finally, last Sunday the weather's seemed more like spring, which we haven't had in a long time. Of course, this day was the perfect opportunity to go for a hike and explore Adelaide's surroundings. We decided to go to Hallett Cove Conservation Park, where you can go for a coastal walk. It took us approximately an hour to get there, which was totally worth it. The park was beautiful, and we even spotted a couple of dolphins!! Unfortunately, the park was quite small so afterwards we went down south a bit more to visit Willunga Beach. This beach was quite remote and it took us about another hour to get there, but it was beautiful - white sand and the water was incredibly clear. At the end of the day it did start to get a little colder and cloudier/rainier, but overall the walk/hike was definitely worth it. It's really nice to explore Adelaide's surroundings and see a bit more of South Australia. 

  



The last picture's from Willunga Beach!

Hiking in Royal National Park, New South Wales

Hiking in Royal National Park, New South Wales


Last week I travelled to Sydney to visit a friend, and as you might have guessed, it was absolutely amazing. The weather was a lot better than here in Adelaide, even though it was only a few degrees warmer. We've wandered around the city, visited a lot of museums, went for walks on the beach, and on Sunday we decided to go on a long hike in the Royal National Park near Sydney. It was a long day, as we left home at 7am and were at the railway station again around 6pm. The hike was quite intensive, but it was definitely worth it. I'll keep you updated on what else we've done in Sydney, but I especially wanted to show some pictures from our amazing hike last Sunday. 


  



All I can say is that I definitely want to visit Sydney again!

Hiking in Morialta Conservation Park, South Australia

Hiking in Morialta Conservation Park, South Australia


A couple of weeks ago, the weather was amazing so my roommate and I decided to go for a hike on Sunday. We took the bus in the city center, and in about 30 minutes we were at the edge of Morialta Conservation Park. We found out that there were three different routes you could walk, and we decided to walk the longest route that is about 7 kilometres. 

We hadn't really seen much of Australia's nature, as we live in the city and the weather hadn't been that great before. This was the perfect opportunity to get some fresh air and enjoy the peace and quietness around us. Of course there were quite some people was the weather was so good (20 degrees and sunny), but the park is big enough to not run into people every minute of your hike.

I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it, as I finally got to see some 'real' Australian nature. We even got to see a couple of koalas that were sitting in trees, and we sat on a waterfall to eat something and enjoy the view. I'm definitely going back there once the weather is better again!