My Time Capsule

12.1.19

2018 In A Nutshell

Seriously guys, don't you think that time goes by faster each year?
Feels like it was only yesterday I posted my 2017 highlights here and now I'm drafting another one for 2018! Looking back, last year I made a resolution to cut down my time on social media and I kinda aced it. I've been spending more time with my parents, family, cousins and my furry kids. I pushed myself to step out my comfy cocoon and to meet new people. Heck! I even signed myself up to some dance classes like hip hop, zumba, waacking and pound fit pro. After a century, I almost forgot how happy I am when I dance, though my matured bones and muscles hated me for this (I can assure you there's lots of 'OUCH'  and 'FFF' in the morning after). Oh well! I believe it's never too old or too fat to start dancing again. Don't you think? 😬

2018 was indeed a blessed year, a much better year than 2017. As usual, some trips started from an impulsive decision. What I realised is that after nearly 40 years of intense travel (OMG! I feel so old! πŸ’€), I am now in slowing down phase. I'm still very much curious about exploring new countries and places but I also don't mind re-visiting same destinations just to chill. My friends used to have a hard time to locate where I was but now I can appreciate more having a quality time at home with my loved ones. Though honestly it feels a bit odd to start with, because I'm so used to always o the move since I was born.

Okay! Enough yadda yadda yadda and here's my 2018 in a nutshell:


January - Bali


I couldn't ask for better team
Kicking off the new year with a collaboration project by iwashere.id and Prasana by Arjani Resorts in Bali. I was invited along with some talented friends for a creator retreat.
*click here to read how we spent our days during the retreat


March - Hong Kong

meat galore 

Temple Street Night Market
A year wouldn't be complete without a visit to our second home to spoil our taste buds on the scrumptious Hong Kong cuisine. This time we ventured to New Territory to visit my grandma's sister who has been feeling unwell. Also I joined two special themed walking tours, the Ghosts & Myths of Wan Chai and Kowloon Walled City & Food Adventure.

By the way, I experienced something spooky when I took the photo above, the Temple Street Night Market. After dinner my parents and my sister were quite tired that they went back to hotel, in the other hand I was having a caffeine high. I decided to walk around the night market and found a parking building where I could take some pictures from above. The view was pretty awesome from the 8th floor (or was it 5th floor? Gosh, I'm so bad with numbers!). I spent probably an hour there, shooting and enjoying the view. But from time to time I would keep looking back because the strange feeling of someone was watching me or I heard footsteps when there was no one around in the dingy parking lot. It was around 9pm when I took the lift down to get back to my hotel. I was all alone inside the dimly lit lift. Suddenly I felt a gust of wind on the back of my neck. A cold wind. I turned back to check whether there's a hole on the wall but I couldn't find any. Then came another gust of wind. It blew harder that some parts of my hair moved. Felt like someone was blowing on my neck. Okay! Probably I'm not alone here. I told myself not to turn around because I could feel that someone (or something?) was there behind me. I cursed the lift for moving ever so slowly and flee faster than Usain Bolt as soon as the door slid open to the side. Phew! What a night!


April - Jakarta

Kopi Es Tak Kie
Stayed in the capital city for a couple days to visit a friend and her newborn twins. Finally I got to visit this famous coffee shop called Kopi Es Tak Kie and tasted some delicious food in Gang Gloria, Glodok.


June - Adopting 2 senior dogs

the Leksonos new members
I keep reminding myself that I should stop adopting or rescuing all the stray dogs I saw on street. But I just couldn't say no when these two came into my house. Both of them are considered senior dogs, Lady the Pomeranian is 11 years old and Arthur the Husky is turning 8 soon. Their hoomom had to move to Bali and it wasn't possible to take them along. So now, I settle with 14 adopted furry kiddos at home. Please don't ask me to adopt more or I will soon need someone to adopt myself too πŸ˜‚


July - Bali

Omnia



August - Yogyakarta


love them both!
Took a train from Malang to Yogyakarta with my sister to meet these ladies. I got to know Aggy and kak Febby long time ago when I was just starting my blog. They are my blogger friends turned sisters. I couldn't be happier to spend some days exploring Yogyakarta with these two 😘


September - Malang Flower Carnival



Kinda embarrassed to admit that only this year I managed to experience Malang Flower Carnival, an annual event which take place in my neighbourhood, Ijen Street. Every year this event is attended by thousands of visitors, not only from across Indonesia but also from more than 40 countries around the world. In total, there was more than 200 participants in striking flower theme costumes made of recycle materials, designed by 150 talented designers. I really enjoyed the carnival and it was beyond my expectation, to be honest. Can't wait to join the event again this year. See you there ?


October - Bali (again)

Tanah Lot, Bali
Another trip to Bali to meet my former workmate slash old friends from London. We used to work together as coffee baristas when I was studying in the UK. It's been ages since we bid goodbye so I was thrilled when they told me that they were going to have a family holiday in Bali. For some privacy reasons, I don't post their picture here. Daniel Craig? Jude Law? Or is it Prince Harry? Keep guessing, guys! πŸ˜‚


November - Myanmar

Hsinbyume Pagoda

sunrise in Bagan
The most anticipated trip of the year! An impulsive trip booked just after my afternoon nap back in February. Found a good deals on Singapore Airlines Travel Fair and decided to have my birthday trip in Myanmar. I didn't even have any ideas where to visit and else but that's the fun part. My sister and I had one of the best trips in our life, exploring this beautiful country. We were venturing to Mandalay, Monywa, Bagan, Inle Lake and Yangon. More post about Myanmar soon!


December - Thailand

Khao Yai

SookSiam
Flew to Thailand with my parents for an early Christmas holiday. We explored Khao Yai for a couple days before drove back to Bangkok for some food and retail therapy πŸ˜‹.
Checked on the newest and biggest mall in Thailand, the Icon Siam and ended up staying the whole evening at their  indoor floating market. I really love the SookSiam stall concept and pretty interior. You can also find a huge variety of Thai food too here. I visited this mall twice only for the delicious food so I can't really say much about the shops.





Happy New Year 2019, guys! Wishing us all a blessed year full of love and laugh!
My resolution this year is to love myself more (along with my family, friends and furry kiddos of course) and to live a healthier lifestyle. I went for yearly blood screening a couple days ago and by looking at my doctor's reaction...grimaced face, shook his head and massaged his temple...I knew the result is far from good πŸ˜…
So let's see how long I will stick on his new rules (less coffee, less fried goodies, less fatty food and less other 1 million items) for, lol.

Do you have any resolutions for 2019? Please share 😘




21.11.18

Japan: Magical Winter Illuminations

December 2017




Anyone going to Japan for Christmas holiday next month? Please, take me! Japan is a year round holiday destination with probably hanami or cherry blossom season is the most popular. Though I've been wanting to experience the beautiful hanami and autumn season in Japan, for some reasons I've always coming back during winter. Maybe I'm too smitten with the magical winter illuminations across the country or maybe I just love slurping piping hot ramen when it's freezing cold outside (I travel for food most of the time) or maybe I'm simply a lousy travel planner. πŸ˜‚

Anyway on my previous trip to Japan last December, I tried to visit as many winter illuminations as possible in Tokyo and Osaka. All of them have different themes and equally pretty so don't ask me to pick which one I love the most. Not to mention that all of these venues are free so you can save your ¥ for a bowl of hearty ramen or a couple of Pucchin Purin later. Here's a photo essay of the events which of course don't do it justice. Go and experience it yourself! I'm sure you will be blown away by the enchanting ambiance like I've always have...



Shibuya Ao no Dokutsu 



the Blue Cave in Shibuya

The first few nights I was staying around the famous Shibuya Crossing, at Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu to be exact. When I found out it was merely 1 km to the 'Blue Cave' or Shibuya Ao no Dokutsu venue, my sister and I went for an early dinner then we walked towards the NHK headquarters. The street along the way was decorated with sapphire blue lights as a preview of the main venue. So it was an easy walk just like Hansel following the trail of breadcrumbs.

Welcome to Avatar world! I said it to myself. Well it did feel like that because my skin turned blue under the 600.000 blue LED lights along the avenue. It was crowded as expected but pretty nevertheless. This year Shibuya Ao no Dokotsu will be held from November 30 to December 31, 2018. Started at 17:00 until 22:00.


Omotesando

Omotesando


photoshoot in Harajuku

Next day I explored the stylish shopping street of Omotesando and Harajuku area which is just a couple station away from my hotel. I arrived a bit early so I waited at a nearby cafe before all the lights were lighted up. Omotesando was super packed with both tourists and locals that it was pretty difficult to get a seat at most cafes.  Finally around 5 pm, I got to see the colour of millions lights that decorated the trees along the street. Blue hour made those goldish LED lights pop out and looked more appealing. It reminded me of those sparkle bubbles after you pop a champagne cork.  It will start soon next from November 29 to December 25, 2018. Light up around sunset until 22:00



Shinjuku Minami Lumi

Takashimaya Shinjuku

Shinjuku Terrace

I checked on Google map and decided to keep walking towards Shinjuku station which is about 3km from Omotesando. Many people raved that the Shinjuku illumination is one of the prettiest. I was actually tired and famished but my curiosity won.

Last year marked the 12th year of the Shinjuku Illumination and the concept was 'making people smile'. The theme colour was baby pink of cherry blossom. It was indeed pretty and made me smile from ear to ear (and my eyes welled up with happy tears). It was so mesmerising and romantic that I almost grabbed a random guy and kiss him. Errrr...okay, maybe that's not a brilliant idea πŸ˜‚
Shinjuku Minami Lumi starts from November 14, 2018 to February 14, 2019. From 17:00 until midnight.

Oh, hai! 😁

on the other side of the station
Shinjuku clock tower

After walked more than 8 hours since morning, it felt like my calves were going to explode anytime soon. With both arms full of shopping bags, I hailed and hopped on the infamous Tokyo taxi. It was expensive but I couldn't care less. My legs have given up and refused to move. Please just whisk me off to bed. Arigatou gozaimasu! 


Odaiba

Odaiba



Partire Tokyo Bay Wedding Village

Though in my opinion the illumination in Odaiba, the artificially created island in Tokyo Bay - not as grand as in downtown Tokyo, it was still enjoyable. Taken place in some major mall like Aqua City, Diver City, Venusfort and also the Decks Odaiba.

I was walking back from Aqua City to my hotel, Ariake when I saw a place that reminds me a lot of European cities. It has a chapel, a Romanesque fountain, restaurants, cobblestone streets and some shops in the complex. For a moment it felt like I was strolling around the Old City of Luzern, Switzerland. I asked Mr. Google and found out that the name of this place is Partire Tokyo Bay Wedding Village. Apparently this place is pretty popular amongst love birds who fantasise Western style wedding. It's kind of a one-stop-shopping wedding thingy. It provides everything from wedding gown, make up and all the stuff....including a (fake) Caucasian priest. Interesting place and pretty too!


Osaka Hikari Renaissance


Osaka winter illumination 

Osaka Central Public Hall

lampions

food vendors around the venue

Winter illumination is pretty big deal too in Osaka. One of the popular venue is at Osaka City Hall until to the Eastern tip of Nakanoshima Park. One of the programs is wall tapestry lighting show at Osaka City Central Public Hall. I loved it too much that I sat in freezing temperature for nearly 2 hours and watched 5 shows non stop. Each lighting show lasted about 10 minutes, every 15 minutes with a break in betwwen. I only decided to go back to my hotel when my hands turn blue and almost caught a hypothermia. Seriously it was just mesmerising (don't forget to turn the volume up when you watch the video below). Good thing there was food bazaar too in the venue so I could grab some food and drink to warm up my body. Don't miss this when you are in Osaka. Starts from December 14 to December 25, 2018. 17:00 until 22:00.





If you are heading to Japan for Christmas holiday or in Japan right now, please tag me on Instagram or Twitter. Make me jealous with your beautiful pictures of the winter illumination.
Happy holidays!😘


PS: For latest updates and more information about winter illumination in cities across Japan, please check the details in japan-guide.com


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