Start from today I have a new project called "Starbucks Hunt". Why? because recently wherever I go, if there is s Starbucks store I'll visit it. 

On my first blog post under "Starbucks Hunt" label, I'll tell you about my first Starbucks store hunt in Dubai and my first Starbucks item. 

Starbucks store in Burjuman Mall, Dubai

During my trip to Dubai, I visited 2 Starbucks stores, in Burjuman Mall near my uncle apartment, and in Souk Al Bahar, Dubai Mall. I run out Dubai and United Arab Emirates tumblers on the first store, but luckily when my friend accompanied me to Dubai Mall I found another store. This "Tumblers Fever" spread from my office-mate. She already started that hobby since 2008 and she always brings Starbucks tumbler to the office everyday. On my first Starbucks hunt, I didn't buy the tumblers for myself, it was for my friend. This what I kept for my self;

My first Starbucks items
Dubai - United Arab Emirates Demitasse Mug

Since then I becoming a Starbucks Items collector. I admit it, at the beginning I collected Starbucks mug or demitasse mug from country I've been visited, but lately I focus on Tumblers only. Well, sometimes I still buy the mug :D.


Neuschwanstein Castle Miniature
Mini Siam - Pattaya

Dikarenakan ada beberapa teman yang rikues tentang itinerary selama kami (saya dan 2 teman) trip ke Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam di awal April lalu.
Kami menghabiskan waktu selama 6 hari 5 malam. lalu apa saja yang kami lakukan? berikut ini itinerary lengkap yang kami lakukan selama di HCMC.

Day 1 Jakarta - Ho Chi Minh City


Karena flight kami sore dan baru tiba di HCMC pada malam hari, di malam ini kami hanya berkeliling district 1 untuk mencari makan malam dan tentunya saya mengajak kedua teman untuk berjalan *agak jauh* mengunjungi gerai starbucks. Fyi, gerai ini baru masuk ke Vietnam pada bulan Februari 2013 ini loh. Apa yg saya cari? tentu sajaah si tumbler dan mug :)

Day 2 Mekong Delta Tour


Hasil dari semalam muter-muter district 1 dan sibuk konsultasi dengan staff hotel. Kami memutuskan untuk ikutan tour local saja ketimbang trip sendirian naik turun angkot disini. Jujur yang kami takutkan lebih ke fakto bahasa, agak sulit berbincang-bincang dengan orang lokal yang masih banyak tidak begitu mengerti bahasa inggris. (dan benar saja, beberapa kali kami salah tanggap).

Akhirnya kami memutuskan mengikuti one day full trip ke Mekong Delta, option yang kami pilih adalah My tho - Ben tre. Untuk cerita lebih lengkapnya tentang tour ini bisa dibaca di potingan Mekong Delta Trip. Saya merekomendasikan tour ini buat teman-teman yang akan wisata di Ho Chi Minh, kenapa? karena dengan $10 kita benar-benar disuguhkan full tour seru dan asik, kaya akan ilmu pengetahuan dan pengalaman seru.


Day 3 Cao Dai Temple - Cu Chi Tunnel


Sebenarnya kami agak ngeyel sih untuk tour yang ini, padahal sebelumnya sudah sempat baca di beberapa blogpost yang memberitahu untuk ikut tour ke Cu Chi saja tidak usah dengan ke Cao Dai Templenya. Dan benar saja, ternyata perjalanan ke temple amat sangat melelahkan dan menghabiskan waktu, sedangkan waktu kami disana hanya sebentar :( untuk ikutan tour full day trip Cao Dai Temple - Cu Chi Tunnel kami harus membayar $8 diluar tiket masuk ke Cu Chi Tunnel. Tour ini belum sempat saya tulis di blog ini, mungkin baru bulan depan.



Day 4 Crazy Trip to Mui Ne


Kenapa crazy? karena kami menghabiskan waktu 12 jam di jalan PP, sedangkan di tempat tujuan hanya kami habiskan sekitar 6 jam untuk tour sedangkan 6 jam berikutnya untuk cafe hopping dan menunggu bis hingga jam 1 malam. cerita lebih lengkapnya bisa di baca di postingan Playing on sand dunes.





Day 5 Lost in District 1


Paginya saya kurang sehat sehabis 6 jam menunggu bis di pinggir jalan dan menghabiskan waktu 6 jam juga untuk menempuh perjalanan Mui Ne - Ho Chi Minh City. Begitu selesai istirahat dan sudah sedikit baikan, saya memutuskan untuk keliling ke daerah wisata di district 1 seorang diri dengan bantuan peta yang diberikan hotel. Apa yang terjadi? baca selengkapnya disini




Day 6 Museum and Shopping in local Supermarket


Berbekal nyasar di hari sebelumnya, saya malah menemukan supermarket lokal bernama Co.Op mart dan dihari terkahir ini kami memutuskan untuk pergi ke tempat tersebut, mencari oleh-oleh untuk dibawa pulang. Hasilnya pho instan dan cemilan-cemilan sudah siap untuk ikut di packing ke koper. Untuk cerita tentang Fine Arts Museum sudah pernah saya post sebelumnya. Sedangkan untuk museum Ho Chi Minch City belum sempat saya tulis postingannya.



 Look at the architecture

Need another place to visit in Ho Chi Minh City? Why don't you try to visit Fine Arts Museum? Actually I didn't put this place on my itinerary list. How funny when I found out that the gate that I used to go inside the Museum was actually the backside of the building, there was a staff assisted me to go to the ticket counter on the front gate. The ticket price for foreigner visitor is 20.000 VND or equal to 11.400IDR (rate 1 VND = 0,57 IDR).

In Vietnamese this Museum called Bao Tang My Thuat Vietnam (Fine Arts Museum Vietnam). This museum located in 97A Pho Duc Chinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. There are two Fine Arts Museum in Vietnam, the other is in Hanoi. Fine arts Museum in Ho Chi Minh City has two main buildings, the building on the left side is mostly used for temporary exhibitions, such as; photographs, or paintings exhibitions. Meanwhile in the building on the right side it shows us some permanent exhibitions like, Fine arts in prehistoric and ancient times, Fine Arts from 11th - 19th century, Fine Arts from 20th century up to now, ceramic collections and many more.


Most of the paintings theme in this museum affected by civil war time and post-war. How was civilians survive from the war, how was the army protect their country from colonialist.

There are also many paintings show how painful was in Agent orange time where many children was born with defect. Some children was born with no eyes, no arms or no feet. It's heartbreaking right? I even cant stare at those paintings, I moved fast to another section.

Outside the building, we also would find many sculptures made by local artist.   


Building on the left


Building on the right 

Some of the collections


 My favorite

I wonder how old is this elevator


I came from that gate that actually the back side of the museum

Some of the sculptures
   
My Borther : "What is the landmark of Singapore?"
Me                : "Merlion"
My Borther : "We will go there, right?"
Me                : "Yup"
My Brother : "How many Merlions does Singapore has?"
Me                : "Many, I think"
My Brother : "How come? landmark suppose to be one right?"
That was a short conversation between me and my brother, before we traveled to Singapore last February I asked him to research about the country by himself. It was his first time to go to Singapore and it was my third time. I don't wanna be just a guide, I wanted him to make his own itinerary. He pointed out the Merlion that he wanted to see and I show him another Merlion that I've found in Singapore.

Well, what is Merlion anyway? Merlion is a mythical creature with lion head and fish body shape, a half lion half fish. It is a symbol of Singapore, It said that the lion head represents "Singapore" itself (Singapura) means lion city, meanwhile the fish body of Merlion represents the Singapore's origin as a fishing village. 

Finally we hunted these Merlions around Singapore, do you know where are they?


1. Merlion Park

I think this is a must visited Merlion statue in Singapore

Merlion statue miniature near Merlion Park


The famous one available in the city center of Singapore, located between Esplanade, Singapore river and Marina Bay Sand, using MRT is the easiest way to reach it. We can use North South Line or East West Line and alight at Raffles Place station and then walk to the park. There are 2 Merlion statues in this park, the big one is the Tourist most favorite photo spot who spurts water from its mouth and the little one near it who don't spurt water.

2. Merlion Plaza

a Huge Merlion

This huge statue located in Sentosa island. How to reach it? well, there are many kinds of transportation to reach sentosa island, Bus, Sky Train, Taxi or we just can simply walk. I chose Sentosa sky train from Vivo city 3rd floor, it costed me S$ 3 4 for round trip. To visit Merlion Plaza, alight at Imbiah station. There is also a Museum inside that huge Merlion.

3. Merlion Cartoon

eh? what is it exactly? hehehe I named it myself, because this Merlion is becoming a cartoon and colorful. It also located in Sentosa Island, if you want to visit USS, Hard Rock Cafe, or SEA aquarium you may find it. It located between Universal Studio globe, Candylicious and Chilis restaurant.

Merlion Cartoon with the models in front of it :D

Maybe there are another Merlions in Singapore and perhaps you can find one on your visit to Singapore.




Monas stands for Monumen Nasional (National Monument) is one of the landmarks in Jakarta. It has an observation deck that can be reach by an elevator from the bottom of the monument. The entrance gate to visit observation deck or the museum inside the monument is located around 100 meters from the monument itself. I don't really remember the ticket fees to enter the building. All I can remember was standing for an hour before entering the elevator that brought me to the observation deck.

There are 4 levels on this monument; basement, ground floor, level 1, level 2 or the observation deck

Here are some pictures taken from basement with museum inside it, ground floor where we starts to queue before entering the elevator, observation deck where we can see Jakarta from the height, and level 1 we can visit this level before or after going to observation deck, because to visit level 1 we can use staircase near to the elevator.

Jakarta from the Monas (observation deck)

 the view from observation deck


 queuing line =.= *sigh* (ground floor)

 Some people decided to take a rest (ground floor)

Museum in Basement area 


One of the display in Museum


At the time I visited Monas it was cloudy and I can't get pictures of a BLUE sky *so sad*, but in the afternoon finally the sun came out and the sky looked so blue and bright *loved it* 

Finally sunny outside 
(with my friend Rani as the model) hahaahha



How to get there :

From Blok M Bus Terminal:
Take Transjakarta bus (corridor 1 Blok M - Harmoni) and alight at Monas (MOnumen Nasional) station, fare Rp 3.500

From Gambir Train station:
walk around 10 minutes to National Monument

Ask me for another route via comment box :D

As I walked down the street heading to Jonker street, all I can smell was Durian. I tried to figure it out where was that smell came from. Then I realized there were many tourists eating Durian Ice Cream around me. 

Me : "Why there's so many Durian dish around?" 
My Cousin : "This place is famous with it"
Me : "Really never heard it before"
My Cousin : "Welcome, then"

This kind of fruit wasn't a new for me, since I live in Jakarta. Beside rain season and dry season, we also have durian season hahahaha *kidding*, however this is true that it is a seasonal fruit. When the Durian season comes, we can easily find Durian stall along the street. I didn't think that Malacca famous for this fruit in the first place. Look around and we can easily find stall which sell Durian dish.

Suddenly I remembered my last trip to Vietnam, the guide show me Jackfruit, Dragon fruit and Durian. Then she was confused why I didn't look curious to those fruits just like other tourists. I said, "I from Indonesia maam, I can easily find those fruits in my city" then she laughed and understand my reaction before.  

Durian Ice Cream - Just Berrys


Durian Cendol - The Tree



They are Durian Big Fans, My aunt and My cousin

Durian Fire Ball - Durian King

How if I don't like Durian? So, you have the same problem like me. I don't like it nevertheless I used to like it, confusing huh? it's a long story. Well, my cousin said Durian in Malacca is really good and I will regret it if I don't try it some, still I didn't taste it :D

If you like Durian go ahead and try some kinds of dish with Durian around Jonker Street. Durian Ice, Durian Ice cream, Durian Snow Ice, Cendol Durian, Durian Chips, Durian Spring roll, Durian Fire Ball and Durian Crispy Roll you choose people :).