And maybe this time they won't slip like an insubstantial thread, too fine to hold.

3:53 AM

I am back from my 7D6N vacation in Indonesia!! This is probably my longest vacation since 2008 cause I don't remember ever being overseas with so much clothing baggage to pack. The trip was truly god-sent, because I really needed the breather in the midst of hectic semester 2.2. Now that I'm back though, I really have a lot of work to catch up on.

So my family (my sis, dad and mum) and Brandon went to Jakarta and Bali (Kuta & Ubud) over the past 7 days from the 23rd to 29th December. We took off at 8am on the 23rd and landed at Changi Airport (now that I've been a few other airports I really love Changi for it's cleanliness, aesthetics and all) safely last night around 11pm.

I think we generally spent about a day travelling to different locations. Though the packing could be quite the hassle, I think it's honestly fun to be living in a different hotel room after every 2 nights. So it was Jakarta for 2 nights, and then leaving in the afternoon to reach Bali, Kuta in the evening to spend another 2 nights, then leaving again in the afternoon to reach Ubud in the evening!

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Jakarta was some crazy fat-venture for me. I ate like 7 cakes in 2 days and drank quite the amount of liquor. We were staying at Artotel, which is this artistic hotel with the works of many designers coming together. Every spot is simply pleasing to the eye and picture worthy. I couldn't take much with my prime lens because the hotel was relatively small, but it does add to the cozy factor.
They have a rooftop bar (BART) located conveniently above Artote, so I went there both nights to try their drinks with Brandon after reading its reviews via the hotel wifi LOL. Mostly just cocktails like pina colada, tequila sunrise, Singapore sling and mojito. I did try one of their in-house drinks, Spicy Rita. It was quite cool, with the black pepper that surprisingly compliments the beverage.

I guess we hardly did anything more than eating there HAHAH and they have really good truffle fries no matter where I went. Plus most of the cakes I had were not too bad?? I love Japanese patisseries the most though so I can't wait to cafe-hunt in Japan!! I definitely got fatter after this vacation and I'm quite depressed over it but I will get back in shape!!!! Just give me another day of alcohol binging on 31st...

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Bali was really the eye opener. I LOVE the beach so the fact that everyone was just walking around in sundresses, board shorts, singlets and tanks giving off ultimate beachy vibes is one of the most pleasant experiences ever!! The weather was ridiculous (and I thought Singapore's heat was unbearable but Bali really takes the cake) but thankfully, I get the excuse to wear less cloth around Bali without being labelled as inappropriate HAHHA.

We stayed at AmanKulKul which was directly located in front of the beach. Kuta was crowded, and bustling with tourists and street vendors that are always trying to sell something to you. We did A LOT of shopping at Kuta even though I thought I'd spend most of my time at Bali just chilling at the beach, tanning or sipping some ice cool coconut. But no, I shopped way more and even my sister and Brandon had the hell of a time shopping. Got myself a couple of tanktops, batik/floral shorts, pretty rompers and sundresses. I don't know if I'm ever gonna have a chance to wear them in Singapore but they are pretty cheap if you know how to bargain hehe.

The food there was alright, but Kuta beach was quite disappointing. Idk why I had the impression that beaches in Bali are super clean with crystal clear waters but they don't. The beach is dirtier than Singapore's and their waters are somewhat murky... The view was meh because it was quite cloudy that day so I didn't get any nice shots of the sunset sigh.
The best beach is still the one at one of Bintan's ulu no-man island (called White Sands Island by the villa) which I went with Brandon and his parents in 2013. I miss their soft white sand and super clear waters!!!!!!! And abundance of pretty seashells.

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The next early morning before we went to Ubud, we headed for water sports which I believe is out of Kuta since the car ride was kinda long. We tried parasailing, flying fish and tubing and it's damn fun!!!!
I think everyone should try parasailing at least once cause the view is really breath-taking (if you've no fear of heights) though I spent half my time wondering what would happen to me if the rope tying me to the boat were to break... LOL.
Flying fish was damn awesome. You basically go in pairs, so I went with my sister and we had the hell of a ride because the local that was riding with us was some yolo shit. But the best out of them all has got to be tubing!! We went as a family of 5 in one huge tube and man that was so crazy. I swear if I didn't gripped as tightly as I did, I would have bounced off the tube and died a terrible death at the sea. It's the crazy thrill you get you know??
But seriously if you ever try water sports, you need to go for tubing!!! Hopefully your ride will be as kickass as my family's because the local that was manning the boat was quite the sadist - he constantly laughed at our screams, and then increased speed to make another crazy swift turn in response to our hysteria.

I got sunburnt so damn bad after that. My shoulders hurt like hell with just cloth brushing against it and my face is now peeling. What a smart decision not to bring sunblock or aloe vera lotion belle.

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Our last destination was at Ubud, which is another spot in Bali that is less happening and more peaceful. We resided in this beautiful villa at Munari and even though they have super slow wifi and a shitty TV, the villa was so darn beautiful inside out!! Then again, it's quite small so I didn't capture much with my prime lens ):
But it was two-storeys and I really love that!!

While in Ubud, we went to tour around the villages, looking at paintings, wood sculpturing etc which the locals are really good at. Walking through galleries full of paintings really inspires me to paint myself, but god knows when will I have the time for these leisurely activities. And obviously, no cameras in the galleries so I didn't take any photos while we were inside.
We also went to see the making of the highly-raved and expensive Luwak Coffee, which are basically made through a civet cat's droppings of coffee berries. It was a damn cool process, looking at how they kind roasted it's shit (LOL) to become "the best coffee beans around".

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On the last day, me and Brandon made it a point to brave through the heavy rain to try out the BBQ which we went past the night before because it smelt so damn good. So we had our last lunch at Naughty Nuri's and we have no regrets getting our legs soaked on our way there. Their square ribs are so good!!
Our departure was quite peaceful, aside from the terrible traffic (like in Kuta and Jakarta) that could last up to a couple of hours. It was another 2 hours plus flight before we landed back in Singapore.

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Life is really slow-paced at Bali. That made me feel so at ease, being able to do things at my own pace though work was constantly at the back of my mind (what a spoiler). It's such a huge contrast to the hustle and bustle in Singapore and I'm really thankful for my parents for planning this vacation, and for inviting Brandon to come along.
It definitely costs a bomb though, considering how they are paying for every one of my expenses while I was at Indonesia (food, shopping, drinks). It actually feels kind of weird not having to pay for anything myself for 7 days because I'm so used to spending my own hard-earned cash if I wanted to splurge on cakes or shopping but this time round, my parents only told me to save up for Japan and that they'll pay for this trip.
I am so damn grateful and during such occasions, it only reminds me how I really need to work harder. I should really start counting my blessings.

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So that's about all for my 7D6N long kickass vacation!! I really had a lot of fun just eating, playing around without a care in the world with the people I love. Brandon is such a cutie you know and I finally got to travel with him again!!! Okay I'll save you the mushy crap but it's coming to the end of 2014 already OMG time really flies.

For today (or rather 30th since it's already past midnight), I spent it with Brandon and his group of poly friends for a late xmas celebration! I thought it was gonna be awkward as hell but his friends are all so nice and welcoming hehe. It's probably the first time I received this much presents at one go for Christmas. I'm really thankful for the invitation from Brandon's friends, and for having Brandon taking me out for the day.
I've been in my comfort bubble for far too long so today's social gathering was kind of nerve-wrecking initially, since I'm always too awkward when it comes to meeting new people. This is a step out and I'm glad I did so.

I wonder how the last of 2014 will follow. I haven't made any plans for 31st, but I hope it's going to be one crazy night - just like 2014 has been such a crazy year, though definitely not as bad as 2013. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

On a side note, this post took me more than 3 hours because of the uploading of photos and then coding them in -___- God I don't even know where I found the motivation to go through with blogging about my 7-day vacation. Gotta be my undying love for writing I guess.

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