Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bintan 101

We had a short getaway to Bintan over the weekend (weekends: also the only times I get anything done) and I've been up to nothing much apart from binge-eating at sumptuous buffet spreads at every meal, warily check the waters for jellyfish, and lounging on a float on the pool much to the chagrin of other envious pool-goers. In my defence, the float was rented at the beach house by the pool and not my ideal of an orca or a donut, much to my dismay. 

We stayed at the Nirwana Resort Hotel and not the Mayang Sari Beach Resort (as pictured here), but we stopped by the second for lunch at The Spice - an Indian restaurant with a on-the-scene prata chef to boot. It was almost a dream come true for me - yet another buffet but specifically of Indian cuisine and a private chef all to ourselves, except that he kept forgetting my orders. As it turned out, I got way too full after only 2 pieces of prata and the remnants of the morning smorgasbord, so instead of tearfully forcing more of the best prata I've ever eaten down my throat we went to hang out at the distracting and  adorably cow print patterned beach hut opposite the restaurant.

Anyway, both resorts are set within the same parameters of Nirwana Gardens - the parent company that owns them, and they are within walking distance (if stepping onto pebble shaped black tar blobs by the water is your thing). I very much preferred Mayang Sari because it's a lot more chill without a pool and with those cute little sea view chalets. The beach was relatively cleaner; it was so at the point where we were at anyway, and the waves were... more enthusiastic. As much as I love the calm ocean, subject to the holiday mood and in awareness of the jellyfish alerts, I was won over by the sandy stretch over at Mayang Sari instead.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bukchon Hanok Maeul, Seoul

Tourists and travellers - there is always a distinction between the two, like rival campers at a summer camp. As if the tourist is at no point in time the traveller and the traveller, never the tourist! As much as how I'd love to label myself a traveller, I find myself drawn to tourist attractions at times. Sometimes it's because it's much easier  to plan an itinerary based on tracks left by others, but often, these charming sites bewitch tourists and travellers alike. Bukchon Hanok Maeul (Maeul is Korean for Village) is certainly good-looking; I say this because I am extremely fond of brick and mortar and traditional pads, but judging from the massive crowd that filled the main stretch of the village, it sure as eggs appeals to many others.

Most of these shots were taken from what I would call the outskirts of the village; from when we were first setting foot in and when exiting the main street. It's very tranquil here in the purlieus and we moseyed around here for a much longer time, away from the noise from the troops of tourists being utterly gobsmacked at the sight of their surroundings.