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Friday, March 1, 2013

Island life... Day 2 on Lombok Island, Indonesia

The internet is spotty here, at best, and there's only 1 place we've found with decent wifi and I'm here now, drinking my diet coke and listening to the waves crash 15 feet away!  Not bad, eh?  Aaron and I are having the best time here.  Today we had breakfast at Mimpi Manis (the homestay where we're staying) and hung out with Bob, one of 3 cats and 2 dogs at the homestay!  We're partial to Bob because he's just plain awesome!

After breakfast, we took the scooter, which is only $5.00 a day, to Warung Turtle on TangJung Aan beach and laid out for a while. 

... and had some lunch for $2 each!  SCORE!  We couldn't resist sharing some of it with this little schmooch!

Then, we turned around and looked up at the mountain behind the beach and saw a goat herder with his umbrella at the very top.  We immediately grabbed our stuff and hiked up to where he was, and it was STUNNING! 

After spending the afternoon on the mountain and swimming down below, we went back over to Kuta Beach and had some dinner here at Full Moon Cafe! 

That's where we met Mary, one of the sweetest little girls, selling bracelets.  We fell in love with her and Aaron caved in and decided that he and I needed to buy a bracelet from her.  I picked one out and Aaron asked her if she had another one in the same color.  She didn't, but said she could make it for us in 10 minutes! (AWESOME that she was making them, and they weren't from China!) 

So, she made us matching bracelets in the same color to commemorate our time in Lomok!

and I'll leave you with two sweet cats hugging.  lol  There's a lot of love around these parts!  It's a romantic island, can you blame them?!

Tomorrow we're planning to take a bit of a scooter adventure West to Mauan and Maui Beach! 

Island life... Day 1 on Lombok Island, Indonesia

We made it to Lombok Island in Indonesia and are LOVING it so far!  
Here's what our first couple days looked like!

This is our house that we rented for 5 days for $22.00 a night (including breakfast)! Awesome, right?!  

The girls made us banana pancakes with chocolate syrup for breakfast in the open air cafe!

and this little schmooch layed at our feet the whole time!

Gemma and Madday  are the sweet couple who own the homestay where we're staying and they took us on a little tour of the town, so we knew where to hang out!  I was dying to get out of my dress and jump in the ocean!

So, that's what we did!  After the tour, we changed and headed right back over to Tanjung Aan beach!

We rented a scooter, because it's the best way to get around this area of Lombok Island.  There are gorgeous beaches around every corner, and cows, water buffalo, goats, and chickens lining the streets the whole way! :) 

Now that's the look of a happy couple who's on their second day of vaca!

After chilling on look out point, we hiked down and hung out, literally all by ourselves, on Tanjung Aan beach!

Well, we were all alone, except for these 4 little guys! This little local Indonesian kid was surfing, naked, with 3 of his friends!  

How awesome are these kids?!


There are sweet (and sometimes not so sweet) little girls everywhere we go trying to sell us bracelets that they make to sell for school supplies.

We had dinner at Friendly Cafe, right on the beach, as the sun was setting!  It was the PERFECT way to end our first night in paradise!

Like I said, cute kids everywhere trying to sell bracelets!

Nasi Goreng... how I love you!

.... and anywhere there is food, there is a hungry pup around!

Friendly Cafe, Kuta Beach, Lombok

I'm so happy Aaron found this place when we were researching where to go in Indonesia!  It's the perfect mix of rural, beauty, white sand, turquoise water, CHEAP food, warm weather, and great people!

How to navigate 24 hours in Hong Kong!

We can't resist the official "ticket photo" whenever we go on vacation!  It has to be done!  
*** This is what 2 jobless, homeless, newlywed backpacking Americans look like on the first day of a 4 month vacation!   I sure hope we're a lot tanner by the end!

Cathay Pacific is famous for having long layovers in Hong Kong... sometimes 24 hours layovers, which Aaron and I always love, because you can actually see so much of a city in 24 hours, if you pre-plan everything before you get there!   So, this is how we navigated through our 24 hour layover in Hong Kong!  ENJOY! 

So, our plane landed in Hong Kong at 11am.  We grabbed our bags and headed for terminal B, where we stopped for a $5.00 wrap at this place.  It's definitely worth the stop!  

Then, we followed the signs to the bus, where we bought a round trip bus ticket for the airport bus: A21.  It's $33HK each way, or $55HK roundtrip. (That's about $5.00 USD)  Oh, and the busses in Hong Kong are double deckers!  AWESOME! It took us about 45 minutes to get to where we were going on the bus.

  Get off at stop #14 and walk straight until you reach ChungKing Mansion.

  If you want a cheap hostel, and are okay with it being a bit sketchy, then the hostels in ChungKing Mansion building are your spot!  It's THE oldest building in Hong Kong and I'm pretty sure it's haunted, but luckily we didn't have any problems, thank goodness! We reserved a room with Singh Guest House for $38 per night but when we got there, we were given a key to a room in City Guest House.  Guess that's the way things work around there!

Don't expect a great place for a great deal in Hong Kong!  It's one of the most expensive cities in Asia!  Our room was about 7 feet by 12 feet!  Luckily we had windows... the other rooms in the hostel didn't! :) But the way I see it is... it's just a place to sleep, so whatever!  

After we dropped our stuff, we took the subway a couple stops north to Mong Kok Station to walk through Ladies Market.  

Ladies market is filled with stuff for... well, ladies, of course!  It's basically the place where you can buy any FAKE handbag, watch, bracelet, etc, if that's what you're in the market for...  We didn't buy anything, but definitely loved the people watching!

From Ladies Market, we jumped on the subway and headed for Central Station.  There, we transferred to Shaun Wan and walked to Man Mo Temple.  It only took about 10 minutes to get there.

We stopped along the way to get a couple time lapses with the gopro camera.

The temple is actually on Hollywood Road!

We had wanted to see this temple because of this hanging incense.  It was definitely one of the coolest temples we'd ever seen... completely different than the Buddhist temples in Korea.

From the temple, we had planned on walking, but actually took a taxi to Mak's Noodle, one of the most popular traditional famous noodle restaurant in Hong Kong.  How awesome is it that Hong Kong Taxi's have TVs!?


Then, we took a nice little walk through the city over to the Garden Road Peak Tram Terminous where you can take an old fashioned tram up to Victoria Peak, the highest peak in Hong Kong!

The walk to the tram was really cool and took about 20 minutes.  There are signs all along the road... just follow those, and you'll get there!

Apparently some other people had our same idea, and the line was about 30 minutes long... but totally worth it!

There are lots of different ticket options.  We bought the Peak Tram Sky Pass, which was $65HK per person ($8.00 USD) and gave you access to a roundtrip ride on the tram AND access to the "Sky Terrace 428", which is basically a terrace on the top of the peak with incredible views!   

Here it comes!!!

We weren't so lucky on our tram ride up the mountain.  We were the last ones to board and had to stand!

We got there about 45 minutes before sunset and hung out, watching the sun go down and the lights slowly begin to turn on around the city!  It was one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen!

After the tram, we took a taxi to the Central Harbor, where we jumped on the Star Ferry for $6.00HK (about 75 cents per person) and floated across Victoria harbor, back to the Kowloon side of town!  The ride was beautiful and the 8:00pm laser show began right as we were pulling into the dock!  

It was literally perfect timing because not only did we get to see the buildings all lit up, but we made it for the famous laser show too! After the show, we walked down Nathan Road, back to the hostel, but not before stopping in for dinner and a few pastries to hold for breakfast!  *** We had planned on walking up to the Night Market, but what's the fun in shopping when you can't fit anything else in your backpack?!

We woke up at 7am, happily said goodbye to our ghetto hostel and jumped on the A21 bus back to the airport. Next time you see us, we'll be on Lombok Island in Indonesia! 

So, there you go!  That's how you navigate Hong Kong in 24 hours!