Friday, September 25, 2015

Marina Bay After Dark

What can you do when the sun set at Marina Bay Sands and its surrounding area? A lot apparently. Whichever side you're on, be sure to capture the amazing view of Singapore skyline after dark.

Marina Bay Sands
Stepping out of Bayfront MRT Station, I walked around the premise until dusk. It was almost 7 (the sun sets quite late in Singapore) and I was checking out what's on the Art & Science Museum to plan a visit with Andrew when he arrived the following day. Then the view started to steal my attention. Maybe because it's a Thursday and there was almost nobody by the bay. So I went down and started taking picture. Coming from the crowded Jakarta, the tranquil Marina Bay is really something to treasure on.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Redefining Transit at Changi Airport

Changi Airport is the happiest place on earth. At least for us who often had to spend hours waiting for boarding (and yes, waiting has never been a fun thing). But this international airport, well-known for its facilities on both transit and departure/arrival area makes transit more than just fun, it’s educational! So, when our recent flight to Jakarta got delayed for over than 2 hours, we’re more than glad to be patient.

There’s something for everyone at Changi Airport Singapore. Be it dining, shopping, movie, playground, even a walk-in a-park kind of thing. Most of them are free (except dining and shopping) so leave your worry behind. If you have extra hours in Singapore, checked your luggage in and have fun. Much better than dragging your suitcase around town. Once you’re in the transit area (the ones after immigration), scan your boarding pass and see how much time you have left before boarding and plan ahead.

Here are the list of our favorite things to do at Changi Airport.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Food Fighters Melawai

We stopped by a place called Food Fighters today. Located at Blok M Square complex, this supposedly Pasar Santa extension offers interesting (Western) food selections. Of course, it still comes with an unique marketplace, open food court concept.

No AC, but they do put big blowers everywhere, so it wasn’t as hot as the outside world. Parkings are okay too, but you better come from the right door, otherwise you have to do a little walking to reach this area. And you wouldn’t want to do that in the middle of the day. Oh, speaking about parking, this place is at Blok M Square side, so don’t enter from the Blok M Mall gate (which connects to the bus station) cos you won’t be able to drive across and ended up had to drive out and pay an hour worth of parking.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Jungle Fever Bazaar PIK

If I have to mention one thing that’s currently trending in Jakarta, it’s bazaar. 

Don’t think about the big Jakarta Fair or something like the ones held at Balai Kartini (JakToys Fair or Mother & Baby Fair perhaps?). Think of them on a smaller scale held at a limited space inside or by a prestigious shopping mall. But this time, the one we’re attending, Jungle Fever, is a bazaar organized by All Access Jakarta which was held at Marketing Gallery Pantai Indah Kapuk.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

AEON Mall BSD City

While Jakarta is already too packed with shopping malls, its suburban, Serpong, is still growing. A new mall called AEON is attracting everyone’s attention with the light-up Sakura Garden and low-priced sushi.

The mall is family friendly. From it’s elevator, stroller rental, family and kids toilet to the different playgrounds and seating areas available throughout the mall. Arriving at the mall before noon, we got a parking by the department store door. The closest ones are reserved for priority parking. Entering the double doors, which remind me of malls abroad, the AEON department store gives a different ambiance compared to those of Indonesia. AEON is a Japanese brand (I’m most familiar with their credit services), and it’s currently developing services in lifestyle area. AEON Mall BSD City is the first AEON in Indonesia.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gummybox Endless Creativity Inside

What if a box full of creative surprises arrived to your doorstep, just in time to safe your children’s holiday (and your sanity during their out-of-school days)?

Gummybox is a briliant concept. All you have to do is subscribe on and those boxes filled with thematic art-and-craft activities are sent to your door every month. The different themes like Starry Night, Medieval, Underwater, Construction, Postal Services, Monster Mania and many more, is a surprise for each children. Each box consists of three different activities and one workbook. I’d say it’s shareable with siblings and cousins.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jakarta Food Bazaar Adventure

Bazaar is trending in Jakarta. Mainly dominated by food and fashion, these collection of pop-up markets are taking over the shopping centers. So, on one occasion, I took Dudu to a Mom and Kids Market called Shophoria at Grand Indonesia and going through the food tenants. And this is what we have to say about the unusual yet delicious bazaar food.

What makes bazaar popular is the unique concept offered by the food tenants. Each booth is competing to be the most singular store that everyone would talk about whole year long. Often started with online (mostly instagram) store, these food and beverages concept go offline on the weekend when there are chances to meet their customers personally.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Traffique Coffee

An unnamed building at Hang Tuah street, a stone throw away from Senayan area is Traffique. A coffee shop slash working space slash hangout spot. My first visit here was with an event. Then I came here with Dudu and his homework.

The decoration is nice and homey, we liked it right when we opened the door. Parking is a little problem though, but if you come on Sunday afternoon after lunchtime, then there would be spots open. They have wide variety of cakes, desserts and drinks. The gelato was attractive but we just arrived from a huge lunch so there was no more space.

On our menu:

  • Americano
  • Butter Croissant
  • Banana Bread
We got a spot on the corner by the listening bar. It was quiet and when the rain falls, we can see it through the glass window. There’s a small garden (really small) but was nice if you’re sitting by the patio. The coffee was great and the banana bread was heavenly. Andrew finished his Butter Croissant in no time. Needless to say, as a working space, the wi-fi was smooth.

Curiosity sparked and Andrew got the people behind the counter explained to him about the tall brewing machine. In the afternoon, as we’re about to leave, he got to watch the machine got filled up even though it would take a long time until the coffee comes out at the bottom jar. After finishing his homework, Andrew got to try different earphones, watching movies on gadget while I’m working on my laptop.

Andrew says: “I like the place, it was perfect for doing homework. The croissant is quite good too. I like the coffee machine, it was interesting, but the uncle on the counter said it would take at least a day to finish brewing. I was sad I couldn't see the end result.”

Jalan Hang Tuah Raya No. 9, Jakarta Selatan 12120
0878 8984 8004

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Discovery Hotel and Convention Ancol

Staycation is the answer to the short-period holiday time. Well at least for us. A sudden invitation to stay overnight at Ancol Dreamland brought us to the doorstep of Discovery Hotel and Convention which is located right next door to Dunia Fantasi.

Upon online booking and phone confirmation, we're set to go for a weekend stay with office colleagues. When you book a room at Discovery Hotel and Convention Ancol, they will send you a free entrance pass for two adults and a car to enter Ancol Dreamland for free. But because I came with a colleague, Andrew is extra charge at the gate. 

The room is spacious, large enough for young kids to wander around. A working table at the corner makes it more business-like than family fun. Bed is comfortably, the type you'd wanna go under the blanket right away. It's a little squeaky, I found out because Dudu moves around in his sleep, but doesn't really disturb his sleep. It has Dufan view although the theme park itself is rather hidden by the trees.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Jakarta Toys and Comic Fair 2015

Jakarta Toys and Comic Fair is something we always enjoy. This year we arrived with a specific mission: FINDING ANDREA.

Dudu had been planning since before Chinese New Year, so I've decided to try buying the pre-order ticket at a convinient store. We got a bunch of free drinks vouchers from the store as a bonus. But on the day, the line for pre-order is longer than when you buy on the spot. The difference isn't much but it was enough to cover the parking.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Heavenly Temples: Candi Gedong Songo

The province of a thousand temples. That’s how we called Central Java. One set of these temples is located close enough to the capital city, Semarang, right on the highlands of Bandungan. It’s called Candi Gedong Songo (9 Temples).

According to literature, the nine temples were built in the 7th century, during the ancient Mataram era. Candi Gedong Songo is categorized as Hindu temples, based on the characteristics found on other Hindu temples in Indonesia. The temple images found here are including different manifestations of Siva, one of Ganesha and one of the Vedic Sage Agastya. The temple was discovered by Joan Gideon Loten, a Dutch serving the East India Colonies in 1740.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Museum Ceria Family Weekend Special: Aku Diponegoro

If you haven’t been to a Museum Ceria event, you probably should. We’ve gone twice on the past three months and each event is equally educational and fun! This time, we visited the temporary “Aku Diponegoro” exhibition at National Gallery, finding clues and learning how to behave in a traditional museum.

Aimed at kids aged 5 to 12, Museum Ceria brings another fun craft, detective game and storytelling to “Aku Diponegoro,” an exhibition held from February 6 to March 8 at the National Gallery. The Special Family Weekend is free of charge and was held four times over two days. We signed up for the one on the morning of March 1st.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

How to Have Fun Mall Dates in Jakarta

It’s rainy season and mall seems like the best weekend destination. If you're in Jakarta (or most big cities in Indonesia), going to a mall is unavoidable. Be it for food, movie or checking out the latest sale. Despite the different shopping center selection, we're never that fond of malls. But when we do have to end up in a mall, this is what we do to make an out-of-the-box trip:

  1. Takeover Oma’s shopping list. Mama can’t really cook and is clueless when it comes to groceries. So, if we’re going to a mall with a large supermarket, we try to play detective by taking Oma’s shopping list. This was a favorite when Andrew was younger because it’s like a show-and-tell of fruits, vegetables... and seafood.
  2. Hit the game center. The gadgets at home are hard to resist but game center doesn’t deprive you from social interaction. At least not for us because once we’re at the game center, we always find something we can both play. We learn to tolerate each other’s preferences because we have to play together. From basketball and bowling to racing and zombie shooting games, game center dates are always awesome! P.S. Challenge yourself with a dancing game.
  3. Bring your homework. When it’s hard to concentrate at home, just bring your stuffs out and hit the corner of your favorite cafe in the mall. Set an hour or two only for homework.
  4. Bookstore stop. Checking out the latest books and comic collection, English-language publications on sale, or just sit and read for the rest of the afternoon.
  5. What’s on. In “winter” some malls like our favorite Pondok Indah Mall has ice skating. Others may offer seasonal attraction as fun as snow fall, mobile planetarium, cartoon shows and different events at different time. So, check out the calendar before starting your car.
  6. Sign up for holiday classes. Some malls have playground and kids informal school of some kind. Check out what they have to offer for the holiday and if there's anything that might spark an interest, why not giving it a try?
  7. Mix and Match. I did this with Dudu sometimes when there are sale at the department store, where clothes are dumped in large baskets. We have to dig in to see what's available and to prevent Dudu from being bored while waiting for caught-up-on-a-sale-mom, I would give him task such as "find a green shirt." He would be busy treasure hunting and I'd be happy to have another pair of hands searching for the item I wanted.
While we don't go to malls, if we have other places like park, nearby zoo or science museum we can visit any weekend, these places never cease to amaze us. The never-ending attraction, like they're trying their best to win visitors' heart. Some malls are more family-friendly than others, simply because they have labelled themselves as "family mall." 

A research and forecast report released by showed 27 new malls on the pipeline for at least the next three years. Not only Jakarta, shopping centers are expanding to the suburban area of Bogor, Depok, Bekasi and Tangerang. So, hopefully, when these malls are being more creative, we can actually see them as a destination instead of merely an extension of shopping and another branch of stores we have in nearby shopping centers.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Museum Ceria Family Weekend 10 Niewslezer

After a few conflicting schedules for previous events, we finally participated in Museum Ceria Family Weekend. The event this time is called Niewslezer, teaching the children about communication and journalism before the internet era. So it’s like showing Andrew what news was like when Mama was a little girl.

We arrived at 9 AM for registration and the program started right away. As this is our first time participating at a Museum Ceria program, we didn't know we can start right away after given the mission. We thought there were a briefing or introduction from Museum Ceria. But watching other participants eagerly completing the mission, we decided we can start.

This is what Dudu has to say about out date: 
"Today, me and Mom went to Museum of Communication at Indonesia Miniature Park. When we arrived there, we line up to get out mission by the museum door. The mission is to find items spread out in the museum like Morse code machine, golden pen, old TV camera, famous people statues and others. We also have to read using the old Indonesian spelling, like my grandpa! The old spelling is like code! I also made a bookmark using magnet and reading a story..."

The story is a radio drama. Each kid got a role in a fable and they have to act out like they’re playing a drama. It’s a great way to introduce today’s children with how the parents enjoyed radio back in the days. Aside from displaying items from the old days of media and communication, there are also some history, pictured through diorama spread out in the museum.

The smaller children got a storytelling, singing and dancing while going around the museum and seeing different artifacts. Andrew totally enjoyed the adventure – never been to Museum of Communication before. I found this fascinating too as I couldn't recall if I ever been to this museum. But, here in Indonesia, we often need a reason and an extra push to visit museum. And the Family Weekend Program gives us just that.

Contact Museum Ceria at:
Twitter: @MuseumCeria

When: December 28, 2014
Where: Museum Penerangan (Museum of Communication) at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Indonesia Miniature Park)
Fee: Rp120k for kids and Rp20k for the accompanying parent, excluding TMII entrance fee. There’s also a fun storytelling program for younger children with different registration fee. 

(This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia: Museum Adventure, Museum Penerangan TMII