Travel

Wanderlist Stockholm, Sweden | DESIGN IS YAY!

Below we’ll hear from Thania, owner of The Spot Bali, about her honeymoon adventure in Stockholm, Sweden. 

1.    Are you a local or a traveller?
I’m a tourist. The moment I landed at the airport and boarded the train to the city, I bought the Stokcholm City Card (Stockholmkortet) that would allow me to board to any public transportation facilities and free entries to several places of interest for three days. 

2.    When were you in Stockholm, and on what purpose?
People said that I should have visited Stockholm in the summer to witness their midnight sun that can’t be seen at anywhere else in the world other than Scandinavian countries. But I never regret the decision that I made to visit the country in the December winter. The wind might be a little too strong but the occasional snow shower is lovely. With all the Christmas decorations, lighting and the natural pine trees, it’s like a winter wonderland dream come true. A girl who lives in a tropical country surely will not want to miss this moment, especially for her honeymoon. 

Wanderlist Stockholm, Sweden | DESIGN IS YAY!

3.    What do you like about Stockholm?

The People. Swedish are friendly, knowledgeable and they have a very root on being a Swedish.
Stockholm is beautiful. With islands interconnected by sea waters and bridges to create a city, people often rely on ferries to get to other parts of the island, which is interestingly different. The city is planned like a town, with each island has its own “downtown”. The roads are small and there are a lot of small alleys that bring you to a bridge where once you cross over, you will be at another island.
The Swedish truly take pride in their bilingual education system (English and Swedish) and thanks to that there were barely any language barrier.

Wanderlist Stockholm, Sweden | DESIGN IS YAY!

4.    One best experience/moment you had.

The moment I had in Photography Museum. My husband was asking for recommendations on which places to visit, and one of which he suggested us to go to Photography Museum. I thought “ah, this might be boring”. I’m not into photography, but my husband kept on insisting going there.
If you’re not into photography, like me you can skip the exhibitions and proceed to the cafetaria (of course I didn’t skip. We were on our honeymoon and we were practicing our “for better for worse” while he enjoyed the pictures of African Wildlife). The Cafetaria has a big window overlooking at the one of the many waters that connect the islands which make up the city of Stockholm. We were very lucky to get the seats by the window. We bought a cup of coffee and cakes in the afternoon and watched the sun set at 3pm in the winter afternoon. It was a “zen” moment to sit and watch all the movements across the island laid before your eyes through the big glass window.
Wanderlist Stockholm, Sweden | DESIGN IS YAY!

5.    Five places/activities/eats recommended by you.

Have a “Fika”
A Swedish term that basically implies having a cup of coffee accompanied by sweet pastries. The Swedish love the idea of chit-chatting in the afternoon or post-office hours over a cup of cafes and cinnamon buns, so why not be a Swedish and enjoy their yummies pastries and cakes? Café Art at Västerlånggatan 60 (Gamla Stan) serves the best rhubarb and blueberry pies. Their location under the basement can be easily missed. Urban Coffee (also at Gamla Stan) has some good tea lattes and home-made cookies. 

Museum Hopping
Stockholm is a city that hosts more than a hundred museums in its city, by far it is the city with the most number of museums in the world. The birthplace of Nobel Prize, Nobel Museum is then a must to visit. Otherwise, a walk around Djurgården island will bring you to a lot of fascinating museums from ABBA Museum (Thank you for the music!) , The Nordic Museum (Nordiska Muséet) and Vasa Warship Museum which showcase a very impressive warship that was shamefully sunken before dedicating its service. A lot of the museums are free with the Stockholm City Card. 

 Shop some Swedish Design 
Sweden is known for its notable designs, it may be fashion, home or furniture. Independent artists open up their shops and galleries in busy shopping streets of Stockholm like the Östermalm area. Ikea might be something you want to skip, though I’m sure a visit to one of the biggest furniture chain won’t hurt to sate the curiosity of how an Ikea looks like in its hometown.
Uppsala
A college town located north of Stockholm will give you a glimpse of Swedish college life. If you ever read a book “The Girl with Dragon Tattoo” (and its sequels) by Stieg Larsson, the name may sound familiar. Traveling to Uppsala requires less than an hour train ride and a walk around the town is too lovely to be passed.
Christmas Market
We were indeed lucky to be there during the holiday season and we did not pass the chance to visit one of the many Christmas Markets in the city. The Christmas Market at Gamla Stan sold home-made traditional lingonberry juice, Christmas home garlands, and chocolate fondues while a group of teen schoolers sing the Swedish Christmas folk songs and Christmas popular songs. Oh, what a lovely moment!
Wanderlist Stockholm, Sweden | DESIGN IS YAY!

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All images are taken by Thania.
Thanks Thania for the beautiful story about your journey! Love travelling? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at submissions@designisyay.com with a little story about the best trip you’ve had in your life.

Wanderlist Maastricht, Holland| DESIGN IS YAY!

Below we’ll hear from Veega, a good friend of mine, about her romantic getaway to Maastricht, Holland. 

Wanderlist Maastricht, Holland| DESIGN IS YAY!

1.    Are you a local or a traveller?
I’m a traveller

2.    When were you in (Maastricht, Holland), and on what purpose?
My husband and I were visiting some relatives who lives in Holland in October 2013. While we were there, we decided to have our own getaway to this little town called Maastricht for 2 days.

Wanderlist Maastricht, Holland| DESIGN IS YAY!

Wanderlist Maastricht, Holland| DESIGN IS YAY!

3.    What do you like about Maastricht?

It’s a very old town with beautiful riverbank that split the city in to two. Although most people would say that Paris is the most romantic city in the world, I personally think that Maastricht is. The town is surrounded with beautiful old architecture and antique shops. To me, it’s heaven on earth.

4.    One best experience/moment you had.
I live in Jakarta where I don’t really have the chance to walk in the city. So while we were in Maastricht, the best experience for me was to have the chance to explore the town by foot, especially with the cool weather and beautiful buildings that surrounded me.

Wanderlist Maastricht, Holland| DESIGN IS YAY!

5.    Five places/activities/eats recommended by you.

  1. Do a walking city tour.
    Start from the Maastricht train station then passing the city walls, park, Jekerkwartier, Vrijthof square and many other highlights of Maastricht.
  2. Patisserie Royale – Have slice of cake or bread from this old bakery in Wycker Brugstraat.
  3. Il Giardino – a great Italian restaurant with great choices for pasta, meat & wine located in Onze Lieve Vrouweplein.
  4. Douwe Egberts – it’s a famous coffee brand from Holland. Sit and enjoy a cup of coffee after your long walk.
  5. Design Hotel – boutique hotel with modern design near Maastricht station. Very convenient and just like the name, the rooms are well-designed.

Wanderlist Maastricht, Holland| DESIGN IS YAY!

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All images are taken by Veega.
Thanks Veega for the beautiful story about your journey! Love travelling? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at submissions@designisyay.com with a little story about the best trip you’ve had in your life.

Printable Travel List | DESIGN IS YAY!

If you are the type who gets anxious before travelling, here’s a tip for you: writing down your checklist helps. When you’ve got them written down, you spend less time worrying about forgetting something, and spend more time imagining all the fun you’ll be having in your trip.

On this printable Travel List, I’ve included in the checklist some of the most essential items for your trip: passport & visa (if you need one), currency or cash, tickets (might it be plane, train, bus tickets or car rental voucher), phone & tablet (hands up if you can’t life without them!), chargers (because your gadgets might as well be bricks without them), voltage converters (this goes hand in hand with chargers, unless you’re only travelling domestic), toothbrush (I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS forget to bring my toothbrush. You might be able to find toothbrush in any convenience store, but FYI, “convenience store” in some smaller towns might not be too convenient), medications and of course your trusty ol’ camera. You can write down your own personal needs on the empty list on the right.

I have also included “Travel Priorities”. I know this sounds like something that your therapist might ask you, but it’s important to have list of priorities in everything you do, including travelling! When you booked that air ticket to Bali 3 months ago, you wanted a relaxing and pampering holiday, spending your 5 days in Bali lazing by the beach, swimming in your villa’s pool, drinking cocktail and getting Balinese massage we all love. However, as soon as you stepped onto that “Ungodly island of God”, you went straight to Seminyak for a shopping spree, eating all those delicious (and fattening) Balinese food you’ve seen in food blogs, and spend the night partying and waking up the next day with massive hangover (somewhat based on true story, ahem). By day 5 you’re anything but relaxed and pampered. It’s good to have priorities so that you won’t end up missing out on experiences you wanted the most.
The other two pages are for you to list down what you’d like to see and do, and what you’d like to eat and buy.

This travel list is the same size as regular boarding passes, therefore they will comfortably fit into your travel wallet. Here are the things that you need to assemble your travel list:

  • 3 pages of the travel list trimmed according to crop marks available
  • x-acto knife
  • double sided tape or any other adhesives
  • pen/marker to write
  • washi tape for decoration (optional)

Printable Travel List | DESIGN IS YAY!

Printable Travel List | DESIGN IS YAY!

Printable Travel List | DESIGN IS YAY!

Adhere the sides where it says “Adhesive here”, and paste the pages on top of each other. The top page should be the one with the illustration, and the bottom should be the checklist page.
Carefully score the dotted line underneath the Adhesive part, and fold them into three. At the end, the checklist page should be in front.
You can be as decorative and as creative as you like with your list! I decided to be more visual with mine, by adding stickers, colourful washi and doodles.

Have an enjoyable trip! (and don’t forget your Travel Priorities ;D )

Printable Travel List | DESIGN IS YAY!

Download Here | DESIGN IS YAY!

Wanderlist 01 - Queenstown, New Zealand | DESIGN IS YAY!

Welcome to a new travel segment for Design is Yay: Wanderlist!
I love travelling. My happiest moments in life happened mostly when I travel. I can’t stand being in one city for a long time and always have the urge to go somewhere, even if it’s a place just 1 hour away from home. Before I started writing this post, I actually listed down the year and countries I have been to (other than Australia and Indonesia, of course, as those two are basically my homes), and I’m surprised to realise that I have been to at least one overseas destination each year. I went to Malaysia in 2009, Turkey in 2010, China in 2011, New Zealand in 2012 AND 2013 and U.S.A in 2014. Not to mention my short trips to Singapore. This makes me feel pretty lucky being and Indonesian, because even though we don’t have the freedom of going to place without visa like most first-world nationalities do, but we have budget airlines and awesome neighbouring countries. In fact going to Singapore, for us, is like……. a Canberran going to Sydney (in terms of cost and hours to travel). I kid you not.

However, sometimes I feel that once a year is not enough. So how do I tame this urge to travel when it’s just not possible to travel? I create imaginary trips. I read travel blogs and magazines. I go to Agoda and AirBnB and search for good accommodations, just in case I get to go there one day. There’s nothing wrong with making a Wanderlist :)

So if you are a Wanderlust like me, you will definitely love this segment. I will be interviewing someone who has actually been there, whether as a local, a temporary resident, or a tourist. For the first Wanderlist post, I will be sharing about my wonderful Honeymoon in Queenstown, New Zealand in 2011. Off we go!

Wanderlist - Queenstown, New Zealand | DESIGN IS YAY!

1. Are you a Local or a Traveller?
Traveller.
2. When were you in Queenstown, and on what purpose?
I was there in September 2012, and again in August 2013. The first time I was on honeymoon with my husband. Before the wedding, I was flipping through a honeymoon destination magazine, when I saw this beautiful photograph of a lake with mountainous backdrop. Turns out it was Lake Wanaka, a place not far from Queenstown. We decided to go there for our honeymoon. I loved it so much that I went there again with my parents the following year.
Wanderlist - Queenstown, New Zealand | DESIGN IS YAY!
Above: Crystal Clear Water of Lake Wanaka
Below: A herd of sheep crossing in front of our bus on our way to Mount Cook Village
Wanderlist - Queenstown, New Zealand | DESIGN IS YAY!
3. What do you like about Queenstown?
Other than the fact that it is So-Freaking-Beautiful, Queenstown has a lot to offer for such a small town. There are so many things to do and many places to visit. And also, no matter how many times I look at The Remarkables, I never get tired of how beautiful it is.
Wanderlist - Queenstown, New Zealand | DESIGN IS YAY!
Above: The Remarkables viewed from somewhere around Beach Street
4. One best experience/moment you had. 
It’s hard to pick just one, but I love the road trips that we took from Queenstown. While we were there, we went to Wanaka, Arrowtown, Milford Sound and even Mount Cook. But there was one moment on the road when I thought to myself “this is probably what heaven looks like”. I know that sounds corny, but everything in New Zealand seems really pure and perfect. The famous saying: “the grass is greener on the other side” is very true for New Zealand.
Wanderlist - Queenstown, New Zealand | DESIGN IS YAY!
Above: TSS Earnslaw, an iconic steamship leaving Steamer Wharf
5. Five places/activities/eats recommended by you 
1. Yakitori Daruma – it’s a little Japanese bar with cosy and authentic Japanese atmosphere. I love their ramen noodles and sake-based cocktails. People who came in groups seem to always order Sake-bomb.
2. Wanaka – Wanaka is one or two hours drive away from Queenstown. Lake Wanaka has the most clear water I have ever seen, and the town is great for those who wish for some peace and quiet for a change. Definitely a great place to visit for those who live in chaotic cities like Jakarta ;)
3. Gibbston Valley Pinot Gris – Best Pinot Gris ever. Go to Gibbston Valley for a winery trip while you’re there.
4. White Water Rafting  - I have always loved rafting, so I couldn’t miss the chance to go rafting while in Queenstown. There are two rivers – Shotover and Kawarau. Kawarau is for first-time rafters and Shotover is a grade 3-5 river. As I have rafted in Bali before, I went for the Shotover one, and I have to say that the current is nothing compared to Bali rivers. However, the scenery is definitely much better!
5. Chalet Queenstown B&B – I took an airport shuttle to this B&B, and when we arrived at the Chalet, the shuttle driver said to me, “you’ve made a great choice!”. She was absolutely right. The host, Alex was nice and friendly, the room was warm, cosy and so very clean, and the breakfast is five star quality. Depending on which room you get, you can see The Remarkables from your balcony. I stayed at Chalet Queenstown during both visits.
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Love travelling? I’d love to hear from you! Email me at submissions@designisyay.com with a little story about the best trip you’ve had in your life.

Hotel Koening Cirebon | DESIGN IS YAY!

Hello from Cirebon, Indonesia. If you’re a non-Indonesian reader, chances are you have never heard about a city called Cirebon. Cirebon is a small town located in West Java, 200 km from our capital city, Jakarta. Despite its small size, Cirebon is quite well known in the business world, as it produces quite a number of quality local products. Cirebon is famous for its signature Batik pattern (Google Mega Mendung and there you have the signature batik pattern of Cirebon), rattan, and many more. It’s definitely not the city to have fun, but it’s definitely the city to make money. Lots of business people in Cirebon have houses in Jakarta or Bandung as well, and that’s where they spend their weekends at.

Over the past few years, Cirebon has been developing really well. My family used to live in this city, in fact here is where I spent my Primary School years before moving to Singapore. However, my dad decided not to sell our home in Cirebon because he always knew that he was going to make something great out of it. Due to the popularity of Cirebon city among tourists and business people, hotels are in high demand. Even big name hotels are starting to open their doors here. My dad has decided to build a hotel on the land where we used to live. As an antique collector, he has a lot of vintage chinese/Indonesian chairs, tables, wardrobes, tiles, windows, doors and many more. Indonesian/chinese antique goods are personally NOT my cup of tea. When I was growing up I used to complain when they dragged me in my sleep (literally, because they usually start the trip at 4 am in the morning) to the car and went to villages to search for old stuff. Even until now, I have no love for chinese/indonesian antiques.

My dad was an architect student in the 1980s. His dream to become an architect was pushed away by the need to make money. However his love for buildings and houses never died. I always thought that he has a unique taste in houses. So because of his passion in architecture and home building, he decided to build his own hotel. Therefore now we have Hotel Koening.

Hotel Koening Cirebon | DESIGN IS YAY!

Hotel Koening Cirebon | DESIGN IS YAY!

Hotel Koening Cirebon | DESIGN IS YAY!

Hotel Koening is a 39- rooms hotel located on Tuparev, which is the up and coming business district of Cirebon. My dad (finally) finished building the hotel early this year, and he opened its door to public in March 2014. Due to his love for antiques, he has “ethnic peranakan” style in mind when he was planning and building the hotel. And when it’s done, the hotel is furnished with his beloved antique furnitures. Lucky for him, he has a graphic designer as a daughter (me! hehe) who is able to create Hotel Koening’s branding design. Despite its ethnic look, he keeps the room simple and minimalist.

So even though I’m not a fan of Indonesian/Chinese antiques, I have to say that Hotel Koening is a beaute! These photos don’t do the hotel any justice (most likely because I’m not a good photographer). So, well done, dad #prouddaughter

Hotel Koening Cirebon | DESIGN IS YAY!

What is “Koening”? Koening is an old spelling of Kuning, which means yellow. Yellow in mandarin is Huang, and Huang is our chinese family name. So that’s the simple explanation behind the name.

Hotel Koening Cirebon | DESIGN IS YAY!

Hotel Koening Cirebon | DESIGN IS YAY!

Hotel Koening used to be our home, the place where I grew up in, and we’d love to make others feel like home during their stay. Thankfully, that’s what a lot of our guests say after their stay. We might not have a five star quality restaurant or pool facility, but we have clean and comfortable rooms with nice bed to sleep on, and home-cooked Indonesian style breakfast in the morning.

Hotel Koening Cirebon | DESIGN IS YAY!

Hotel Koening Cirebon | DESIGN IS YAY!

Hotel Koening Cirebon | DESIGN IS YAY!

The story about how my dad built Hotel Koening is actually an inspiration for all of us. No matter how old you are, you should never stop working hard to make your dreams come true. Even though his dream to be an architecture didn’t come true when he was younger, but because of his perseverance and hard work, in the end it came true in an even better form. He might not have built houses for other people as he planned, but he build a hotel that he now owns, isn’t that even better?

Hotel Koening Cirebon | DESIGN IS YAY!

So if you happen to find yourself visiting Cirebon, we welcome you to stay at Hotel Koening. Visit our website at www.hotelkoening.com, and you can make a booking through our Agoda page.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the hotel you can contact our representatives at info[at]hotelkoening.com

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Hotel Koening is located on
Jl Tuparev no 85
Cirebon, West Java 45153
INDONESIA

Phone: +62 231 202007
Email: info@hotelkoening.com
WWW.HOTELKOENING.COM
Make a Booking

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/hotelkoening
Twitter: www.twitter.com/hotelkoening

 

 

A little update about my work. I recently created Canberra Illustration, and it is now available as A4 prints and postcards. The response for this design has been pretty great, people are telling me how much they love it. I thought this might appeal to Canberra locals, as well as people who used to live in Canberra. It could be something to remind them of the city they used to live in (and loved). I’m thinking of offering local newsagents and novelty shops to stock the postcards. It will be great for tourists to come across this postcard and send them to someone back home or buy as souvenir.

There are some new stuff and restocked items in my etsy shop, including the much-loved Maneki Neko and Bonjour French Cat greeting card.

Link to my shop. 

Shop Paper Goods by Wita Puspita | DESIGNISYAY.COM

Canberra Illustration Postcard & Print by Wita Puspita | DESIGNISYAY.COMCanberra Illustration Postcard & Print by Wita Puspita | DESIGNISYAY.COMCanberra Illustration Postcard & Print by Wita Puspita | DESIGNISYAY.COM