Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bali, Indonesia : What a fabulous welcome!

I never really had any intention of roaming around Bali for this trip (as I normally do with my usual itinerary-filled trips). I made the decision to join my sister's family at the last minute as they are celebrating my bro-in-law's birthday. But since its the tail-end of their holiday already, we agreed we will just sort of laze around and do nothing for the entire 5 days ---- I'm all game for it!

And so we stayed at the Alila Villas Uluwatu ---- it is a WOW from the lobby entrance, to the welcome drinks, and the resort intro...... We knew we were in for a treat! 

The view is truly superlative!!!!
With a fantastic staff!!!
Definitely looking forward now to my staycation at this 24-hour butler service resort.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Adelaide : Watching a Game of Footy at the Oval

Australians love sports, in any form, that much I can truly generalize from the people I met or worked with. They are so physically active and sporty.

One thing you have to really experience when you are in Adelaide (or anywhere in Australia for that matter) is to watch a game of Australian rules Football at the Adelaide Oval. It really is an amazing experience --- the mass of loyal fans who trek all over the country to watch their favorite team play in another state, the energetic cheering and boo-ing during the game.

The venue itself is HUGE! And since we watched during an AFL Final Series game, the place was jam-packed and tickets were sold out. We were very lucky to get free reserve seats (courtesy of my sister's office lol).

To understand the game, lets simplify the complex rules --- you kick the ball, you run with the ball, and you hit the ball towards the two goal posts. It is like a mix bag of everything, you can tackle opponents like they do in American football, and players must continually touch or bounce the ball on the ground to escape being penalized for "holding the ball". There's a bit of wrestling, running, martial arts (what with all the kicking, you need a little Jet Li spirit with you hahaha), and sometimes, boxing....when the players doesn't like the referee's call.

And since we were in Adelaide, we opted to cheer for the local team Adelaide Crows versus the visiting Richmond Tigers. We even bought AC scarves for authenticity hahaha.....

Cheers to my first AFL game! 

Adelaide : Visiting Museums

Whenever I visit a new place I always try to make it a point to visit at least one museum so I can have  a fast track intro about the city or country I am in. I can really have my fill here with local history and arts as Adelaide is home to quite a few interesting museums and you can spend an entire day just browsing through.

I decided on going to at least the two popular ones --- The Art Gallery of South Australia and the The South Australian Museum.

Once you come out from Rundle Mall and walk towards North Terrace, you will pass by a few statues/sculptures either of famous people (one was of the Scottish poet Robert Burns) and some depicting memorable events for South Australians. I stopped and went to the War Memorial which was built in 1931 to commemorate Anzac Day.

For my first stop, it will be the South Australian Museum (just next to the State Library of SA) --- a natural history museum which features Aboriginal artefacts and has a huge section dedicated to it, also has a Pacific cultures gallery complete with masks and tribal head gears.

It is a tastefully designed museum with a fantastic lighting system that optimizes the artefacts on display, creates the perfect mood for every setting and evokes a more dramatic impact to all the visitors. Nowadays, with people becoming so visual having proper lighting creates a more lasting impact on the onlooker.

Just next door is the Art Gallery of South Australia which was completely obliterated by the huge tarp hanging on its entrance. I went past it initially....then backtracked (coz based on my Google Maps app, it should just be a few steps from the South Australian Museum!
From afar (esp if you cannot see 20/20 lol) can you still guess that it is the Art Galley Museum???

Inside the Gallery is a very formal, hushed interior with a very polished & shiny (amora bag-ong floor wax! hahaha) parquet flooring and a thoughtfully organized and well-displayed works of art (paintings, sculptures, etc) from known Australian painters and even some European artists.

Same as the South Australian Museum, Aboriginal Art is also displayed prominently.
The pirates-themed cafe and souvenir shop

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Adelaide : Botanical Garden

Another must-visit attraction in Adelaide is its Botanic Garden located at the North Terrace which is just adjacent to the National Wine Centre of Australia (which is another must-visit place that I was not able to visit hahaha).

The Adelaide Botanic Garden was opened in 1857 but was first commissioned in 1855 after a public clamor in 1854 which resulted to its establishment in its current location, and its design said to be fashioned after the famous gardens in England and Europe. 

Rounding the corner from the National Wine Centre, if you want to go through the back door you  can continue walking until you pass by this beautiful red-brick house which houses the Museum of Economic Botany built in 1881.

It is supposed to be quite expansive, said to be around 51 hectares of green land that displays native and international horticulture species. It is indeed picturesque and nicely laid out. Some plants or trees are really outstandingly pretty, especially the ones that looks like they came from a Lord of the Rings movie hhahahaha.

One interesting place to visit is the glass-enclosed Bicentennial Conservatory which houses a real tropical rainforest inside complete with plants from different parts of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and the nearby South Pacific Islands.

But the lazy walks around its wide, green spaces is the main draw of this place......you can spend hours just sitting on a bench, reading a book or listening to music.....

I felt as if the characters from Lord of the Rings will jump out from the tree!! lol