Postcards From: The Colony Hotel, Bali

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In the heart of bustling Seminyak sits a resort bathed in whitewashed colonial splendour. We’re talking about The Colony Hotel, a quaint boutique hotel offering a tinge of nostalgia along with the natural luxurious comforts of Bali. Hidden beyond a high-walled garden flourishing with bougainvillea shrubs and orchids, The Colony Hotel offers an oasis of calm amidst the harried activity of the neighbourhood’s many star attractions.

Those looking for a quiet, grown-up getaway will find it in the The Colony Hotel, which boasts 20 elegant rooms and suites overlooking a glassy turquoise lap pool. The property stands out for its colonial-inspired design, which extends from all-white exteriors with whitewashed columns and balconies to floor-length French windows and wrought-iron lanterns. With its bar on any guests under the age of 16, The Colony offers an atmosphere of cool and calm that most can appreciate. Interiors too, allude to a colonial style, with dark wood furnishings and black and white wall portraits.

The hotel is also the perfect base from which to explore Seminyak’s main draws. Revel in uninterrupted views of the sunset at the famed Petitenget Beach, just 5 minutes away on foot or enjoy its close proximity to local institutions like La Lucciola, Sea Circus and Potato Head.

 

The Colony Hotel, Bali | Postcards From | Travelshopa
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Jalan Laksmana 22, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia The Colony Hotel Bali

Postcards From: Henderson Waves, Singapore

Henderson Waves | Postcards From | Travelshopa

One of the few places you’ll get an eyeful of green in Singapore is the Henderson Waves. At 36 metres above ground, the Henderson Waves is Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge. It traverses the hills of Telok Blangah Hill Park and Mount Faber Park, undulating across the forest canopies like the curved vertebrae of a snake. This illusion is created by a series of steel arches and curved ‘ribs’ that alternate above and under the deck. The ’curved ribs’ are essentially slats of Balau wood, a dense hardwood that is found only in Southeast Asia. Its undulating pattern creates hidden recesses and conch-like niches where pedestrians can sit and watch the day turn into night.

Standing atop the Henderson Waves bridge yields dramatic vistas of Singapore’s Western coast and offshore Southern islands, and wide-eyed watchers are often rewarded with sightings of a rich variety of tropical flora and fauna. By dusk, the bridge is illuminated by LED lighting, bathing the structure in a warm incandescent glow.

The best way to explore the bridge is as part of the Southern Ridges Walk, a five kilometre hiking trail that takes you through Kent Ridge Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park and Mount Faber Park.

Henderson Waves | Postcards From | Travelshopa
Henderson Waves | Postcards From | Travelshopa

Henderson Waves | Postcards From | Travelshopa

Henderson Waves | Postcards From | Travelshopa
Henderson Waves | Postcards From | Travelshopa

Henderson Waves | Postcards From | Travelshopa

Henderson Waves

Henderson Road, Mount Faber Park, Singapore 099203

By Bus: Take bus service numbers 131, 145, 176 or 648 and alight at the bus stop along Henderson Road before taking the staircase up to Mount Faber Park.

Parking is available at Mount Faber Carpark D (17 lots) and Telok Blangah Hill Park Carpark 1 (17 lots) & Carpark 2 ( 39 lots)

To access the Henderson Waves via the Marang Trail. Take Exit D from Harbourfront MRT to the start of the trail on Marang Road.

50 Truly Singaporean Experiences

Singapore | 50 Truly Singaporean Experiences | Travelshopa

You’ve heard enough SG50 chatter by now to know that this year is a special one for Singapore. As the nation celebrates its 50th year of independence, the little red dot will be lit from within – ignited by a thunderous rave of festivities and special celebratory events. Naturally, all this flag-waving euphoria has us in the mood for some merrymaking of our own, so we thought we’d reveal the #So-Singaporean experiences we have wrapped up our sleeves.

We’re all too familiar with the common refrain: “There’s nothing to do in Singapore”. Hogwash. We’re here to dispel that gargantuan myth with 50 Truly Singaporean Experiences that the nation can jointly be proud of. Free from your average guidebook farces, we’ve included mainstream musts and off-the-beaten-track activities that locals approve of and tourists deign to discover.

Grab your camera and your walking shoes; it’s time to experience Singapore with brand new eyes.

 

Singapore | 50 Truly Singaporean Experiences | Travelshopa

The Flavours of Jakarta

The Flavours of Jakarta | Nasi Goreng | Recipe | TravelshopaIMAGE SOURCE: VikaLinka

You may have hit the hippest restaurants around town but a visit to Jakarta is not complete till you get a taste of the authentic Indonesian cuisine. Many local dishes in Jakarta are favoured by foodies around the globe. One of which is its famous Nasi Goreng.

Dubbed as Indonesia’s national dish, Nasi Goreng, literally meaning fried rice, is an unassuming dish celebrated by locals and tourists. The dish is typically flavoured with a sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), shallots, garlic, tamarind and chilli, accompanied by egg, chicken or prawns. Now for the best part, Nasi Goreng can be varied with different flavours and ingredients – perfect for leftover dinners!

If we’ve teased your taste buds, why not have a go at this scrumptious dish? This recipe by food blogger, Julia from Vikalinka, is easy to recreate and only takes 20 minutes. Fragrant basmati rice is stir-fried with a fusion of aromatic spices, spicy chillies and spring onions, topped with a glorious sunny side up and crunchy peanuts. One word: Yum! Or as the Jakartans say it, Enak!The Flavours of Jakarta | Nasi Goreng | Recipe | Travelshopa

Postcards From: Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta

Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta | Postcards From | Travelshopa

Jakarta is a sprawling city with plenty of sights but none more majestic or visually impressive than the Istiqlal Mosque. A central tenet of life for Indonesia’s Muslim majority, the Istiqlal Mosque stands in stark contrast to its contemporaries with its modern and unorthodox dome and minaret structure. Its name, “Istiqlal” is derived from the Arabic word for “independence”, chosen to commemorate the fulfillment of Indonesian independence from centuries of Dutch colonial rule.

The 1978 opening of the Istiqlal Mosque marked the consummation of then-President Sukarno’s grand vision – a national mosque that would unite Muslim Indonesians and function as a symbol of statehood. It’s hardly conceivable, but the Istiqlal Mosque was designed not by a Muslim but a Christian by the name of Frederick Silaban, who won a national competition held to decide the mosque’s design. Standing adjacent to the Catholic Jakarta Cathedral and metres away from the historic Merdeka Square, Istiqlal Mosque is an extraordinary gesture towards Indonesia’s religious inclusiveness and tolerance.

Safe behind its marbled walls, we are freed from the oppressive heat. The prayer hall’s colossal dome hovers at an astounding height, supported by 12 formidable steel columns. Accessible only to worshippers, the prayer hall can accommodate up to 120,000 people, a statistic that is put to the test each time an Islamic holiday rolls around and the mosque swarms with devotees. Despite its austere appearance, a sense of repose permeates the complex, bridging the chasm between divinity and mankind.

Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta | Postcards From | Travelshopa

Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta | Postcards From | Travelshopa

Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta | Postcards From | Travelshopa
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Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta | Postcards From | Travelshopa

Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta | Postcards From | Travelshopa
Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta | Postcards From | Travelshopa

Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta | Postcards From | Travelshopa

 

Istiqlal Mosque

Jl. Taman Wijaya Kusuma, Jakarta 10710, Indonesia

Nearest station | Gambir Train Station. Feel free to ask the security guard for information or a tour of the mosque. All footwear must be removed before entering the main area.

The Flavours of Bangkok

The Flavours of Bangkok | Beef Massaman Curry | Recipe | TravelshopaImage source: Grantourismo Travels

Apart being one of the best shopping destinations, Bangkok is filled for an abundance of robust local flavours. Why do the flavours of Bangkok satisfy foodies all around the globe? Thai gastronomy hits the mark in effortlessly balancing the blend of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours in most of their dishes.

Beyond the iconic Tom Yum, Thai cuisine boasts a series of succulent dishes that are, believe or not, easy to recreate. One of which is the Massaman Curry. An interpretation of a Persian dish, this curry is a mild yet rich Thai dish that includes a mixture of curry paste, coconut milk, peanuts, a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon. What we love about this delectable dish is that it tastes just as good with any protein!

Forget take-out and try your hand at this recipe by travel writer and photographer, Terrence Carter to enjoy Thai flavours at the comfort of your home. The prep list may be thorough but rest assured you’ll be heavily rewarded. Accompany this flavoursome curry with a baguette or fragrant white rice and you’ll be the star of your next family dinner party.
Beef Massaman Curry | Recipe | Travelshopa

Beef Massaman Paste | Recipe | Travelshopa

 

 

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