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.
3. What do you like about Stockholm?
4. One best experience/moment you had.
5. Five places/activities/eats recommended by you.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with a little story about the best trip you’ve had in your life.
Below we’ll hear from Veega, a good friend of mine, about her romantic getaway to Maastricht, Holland.
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.
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.
5. Five places/activities/eats recommended by you.
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 email@example.com with a little story about the best trip you’ve had in your life.
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:
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 )
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!
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 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
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 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.
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?
If you’re interested in finding out more about the hotel you can contact our representatives at info[at]hotelkoening.com
Hotel Koening is located on
Jl Tuparev no 85
Cirebon, West Java 45153
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.