Famous Indonesia Scams

As general, Indonesia is a relatively safe place to visit. The streets life are far less threatening compared to some countries in the west, and most of the people are nice. However, there are always some individuals who want to take advantages of tourists for their personal gain. To prevent that, here is a small list of most common travel scams that you may find during your visit to Indonesia. Thus, always be cautious with your surroundings, travel safe, and enjoy your time wandering around !!

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  1. Taxi Scams

Since taxi is the only transportation mode to get you to the downtown, it is very easy to find taxi drivers that are dishonest. No taxi meter, longer routes, no change, and applying extra charges for unreasonable explanations are common things that scam taxi drivers always do in order to force you on paying more for the trip. That is why it is better to book taxi from credible taxi counters wherever you go and let their staffs help you to find the taxi. Rely on using taxi from Blue Bird or Express, since both of them are trustworthy taxi companies that are majorly used by the local. Alternatively, if you are not in rush, hiring uber or grab for a lift is better since there are plenty of promos that you can use for cheaper rides.

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  1. Sellers Scams

While going on shopping in local markets or at tourist shops, scam sellers are always exist with their thousands of ways to make you have for buying their goods.   And here, these are two common types you may always find. First, the follower. This kind of sellers are very consistent on selling their goods to every tourists by following them until they gave up and deciding to buy. It is indeed irritating and because of it, don’t hesitate to say “No, thank you” as your response once you are not interested to buy from them.   Second, the price increaser.   Some sellers have targeted international tourists for selling their stuffs in much higher price than their usual. Therefore, when you are buying something, go to the stores that have clear price tags on their items or just bring the locals with you to do trades with the sellers.

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  1. Unnecessary Services

Public places such as airports, train stations, and harbors are meeting points for many scammers. They usually work in disguise by offering unnecessary services such as voluntarily offering you to carry on the luggage, selling cheaper fake tickets, or force you to take a stay on newly-open hotels that are definitely not located at a strategic place. At first, those sweet talks and hustles may sounds good to be heard, however it won’t get you to anywhere, since they will take your money after they did their job and looking out for the next potentials. For handling this, keep distance with strangers who tried “too hard” on getting your attention, and ignore them by keep walking through.

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  1. Ticket Scammers

Holiday season especially to welcome eid al fitr days can be so hectic since all transportation tickets from planes until trains were fully booked. In this situation, ticket scammers or usually be called as “calo” are easily to be found. Usually, their modus is to offer you extremely cheap tickets. Never buy a ticket that you think is too cheap from the normal price, especially during holiday season since there are huge possibilities for them to be fake. If you are suddenly have to travel, consider to book your tickets online. It is better to pay a little more expensive price than losing all your money to some scammers.

One surefire way to steer clear of scammers is to engage us at askus@ladyredot.com.


dsc_4705-jpgHello, I’m Jenica from Indonesia.  As a law student in progress, studying law can sometimes become really boring.  That’s why I always like to wander around and exploring new, unusual places to relieve some tension.  I also like to capture my experience through lenses and especially from writing, because it helps me to create memories that will last forever, yet it can also enjoy by a lot of people.  Meanwhile, if I don’t have time to travel, you can find me easily at the markets while trying delicious street foods from various local food stalls.  Nasi goreng, rendang, and martabak are my all time favourite that will never be replaced with anything. For me, diet always starts tomorrow so  let’s enjoy the life to the fullest!  If you want to know more about me, drop me an email now.

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Top 5 Must-Have Travel Apps to Kickstart 2018

Thanks to technology and smart devices, booking hotel reservations, flights, car rentals, planning itineraries, and looking up restaurants and food hubs, have never been so easy. In this article, we will share with you our favorite travel apps for 2018.

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Yuggler

Travelling with kids is never easy. They need constant sensory input and would easily get cranky if bored. If you have kids and can relate to this, Yuggler is your best friend. This app helps you find kid-friendly activities in your destination. It allows you to set filters to check out different places, photos, and even tips depending on your children’s ages. It is currently only available to iOS users but the developer is building an Android version to go live soon.

ME

Sometimes, the travel experience is better without a tour guide. You get to explore and learn the culture yourself. You establish a connection with the locals. You learn how to get to a certain place by asking around, or by reading signs (and using your instincts). If you are that kind of traveller, MAPS.ME should be on your smartphone now. No matter where you are in the world, whether you are in a remote area or a bustling city, you can find your way because it can be used offline. All you need to do is download the maps ahead of time. It is available to both iOS and Android users.

Google Translate

This one is not new, but it never gets old and overrated. Learning a foreign language does not happen in 2 weeks, so this is definitely a great tool for you to be able to communicate with the locals when on a vacation in a foreign land. If you don’t know this yet, Google Translate can be used offline and provides real time translation. All you need to do is choose and download a language ahead of time. Aim the camera at the text you need translated and voila!

XE

It is a fact that many people do poorly in Math. And even if you are a Math expert, it’s no fun to have to manually convert rates into different currencies every time you need to. XE is an app that allows you to punch in the numbers that you need converted. You don’t have to pull up your phone’s calculator every time you need to convert an amount to a specific currency. Want to quickly find out how much 8,945 Vietnamese Dong is in US Dollars? XE does that for you.

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Like A Local

People travel not only to see different places, but also to experience a different culture. Travelling is more memorable if you get to experience how locals live, go where locals go, and do what they do. Like A Local gives you just that. It features tips from locals that give you an idea where to go, what to try, what to do, and where to eat. The best thing? You don’t even need internet connection!

These are my top apps to prep myself with more globe exploring in 2018. What are your favourite travel apps? Come and share with us!


mish

Hello, I am Mish! I used to work as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since I graduated, I decided to give up my corporate job to focuses on my 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. I am a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, I’m tiny but I am an Olympic-level glutton. Let me bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach me at LinkedIn.

The Best Eco-friendly Hotels

With an aim to imbibe sustainability in their day-to-day operations, the number of eco-friendly hotels and resorts around the world is on the rise. Here, we have listed wonderful properties around the world that have taken initiatives to save mother earth:

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, Belize
The property takes the simplest form of sustainability by growing its own organic garden, composting its scrap fruits and vegetables and making rugs out of its old towels and linens. The layout of the property minimised the cutting down of trees during its construction. It also offers diving adventures that minimise the effect of human interaction with nature.

Hix Island House, Puerto Rico
This property uses energy from solar panels. It also returns rainwater and the clean and filtered wastewater from its baths and washing machines back to the environment. The management does not allow distracting gadgets like television sets and cell phones and encourages its guests to allow nature to entertain them, instead.

Chumbe Island Coral Park Eco-bungalows, Tanzania
The property’s architectural design has nearly zero impact on the environment. Aside from deriving its energy from solar panels, its environmental efforts include saving rainwater, composting toilets, and vegetative greywater filtration. They only offer seven bungalows so the place is not noisy and crowded.

The Whitepod Resort, Switzerland
Guests stay in igloo-shaped pods that are built in strategic places that make it possible for guests to connect with nature. The temperature in each igloo is maintained by the use of wood-burning stoves, and the guests enjoy comfortable organic bedding. And oh, getting to your pod from the reception desk means walking for 20-30 minutes so you get to enjoy the view!

Hangaroa Eco Village and Spa, Chile
This property is built using tree branches, clay, and volcanic rock. It recycles its water and has a design that maximises natural light. The best part? Most of the staff members are Rapa Nui, the natives of Easter Island.

Puri Dajuma, Indonesia
This property aims to have zero marine pollution. It also composts its organic waste and recycles glass and plastic. It minimises the use of energy and uses rainwater and catchment.

The Proximity Hotel, United States of America
The hotel boasts almost a hundred sustainable practices. It uses solar panels to heat its water, its bistro bar is made of salvaged walnut trees that came down due to storm, its guestroom shelving is made from 100% post-industrial recycled wood pulp, it recycled 87% of its construction waste, and the property provides bicycles to its guests, to name a few.

Campi Ya Kanzi, Kenya
During the construction of this property, they made sure to leave the surrounding vegetation untouched. The guests’ tents have grass thatch roofing and are elevated on a wooden platform. Its facilities include a 3-chambered wastewater management system, 120 solar panels, and recycling bins for solid waste. The property has a supply of shampoo, soap, and laundry detergent that are made of biodegradable chemicals.

El Nido Resorts, Philippines
The management invested in a sewage treatment plan that guarantees no harmful wastewater makes its way to the sea. It also segregates its solid wastes and composts its organic wastes. Solar panels and rainwater catchment are also installed to conserve resources.

Allawah Retreat, Australia
This property supports the conservation of its surrounding outback bush. It also makes sure to source its food locally to reduce the carbon footprint from transportation. It composts its waste food and is committed to educating its staff to always apply green practices.

There is indeed a budding concern on environmental conservation. With the help of hotel proprietors, it is possible for travellers to appreciate different places while keeping their impact on the environment at a minimum. Do you agree with me? Please share your thoughts with us at the comments below.


 

mish

Mish worked as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since she graduated, she decided to give up her corporate job. She now focuses on her 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. She is a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, she’s tiny but she is an Olympic-level glutton. Let her bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach her at LinkedIn.

Most Romantic Hotels Perfect for Honeymooners

Having a fantastic accommodation during your honeymoon makes the entire trip even more romantic and memorable. If you and your loved one have been hearing wedding bells, or if you have already tied the knot but have not gone to a honeymoon yet because of your busy professional life, this article is perfect for you. We want to help you save time so we have listed the best hotels for a romantic honeymoon.

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Eiffel Suite Classic, Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris, France
The fact that this hotel is situated in Paris should make it unnecessary for one to explain why it is considered as one of the most romantic accommodations in the world. The property offers 1,400 square ft units with terraces that give you a view of the majestic–yep, you got it—Eiffel Tower! Prepare the traditional accordion music!

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Shompole in Kenya
Shompole is a luxurious eco safari lodge which offers only eight alfresco rooms set on the Great Rift Valley. Because the units are open, the guests are exposed to nature and have access to amazing views, and sometimes, close view of the wildlife. This is for you if you’re the adventurous type. But what makes it romantic? Their service includes pampering the guests every minute of the day and each room is designed to make you think you’re the only ones in the entire property. Sweet!

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Ocean Panorama Pool Villa, Six Senses Yao Noi in Thailand
The pictures alone can explain why this place is so romantic. From your bed or from anywhere in your villa, you get a view of the breath-taking Phang Nga Bay. Each villa has an outdoor shower, a private pool and a terrace. Just imagine waking up to that view with your love right beside you!

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Island Romance Suite, Little Palm Island Resort and Spa in the Florida Keys
The fact that this is on a private island which is reachable only by a seaplane or boat already tells you that the honeymooners who check-in here will definitely get the kind of isolation they want. There are no TVs and internet access, which means zero distraction. Zero distraction means you can spend all day together, and enjoy the serenity.

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Tivoli Palacio de Seteais in Portugal
If one of your biggest dreams in life is to be a royal princess in a fairy tale, then this is the place to be. Eighteenth-century murals cover the walls of this spacious, white palace and the pieces of furniture are made to look like they are from several centuries ago. The beds are so luxurious they are fit for royalty and sweet, romantic piano music is played to entertain and soothe the guests every night.

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The Chedi in Oman
This property is quite the opposite of number 5. The property is all about modern contemporary design but still all elements exude elegance. Lovebirds who stay here will be surrounded by palms and splashing water fountains and will be pampered with fresh fruits and Arabic pastries every single day. The rooms boast king-sized beds, luxurious marble bathtubs, and silver and gold bedroom accents.

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Vamizi, Mozambique
This place is synonymous with the word “paradise”. It is surrounded by turquoise water and abundant marine life as it is a conservationist project managed by the Maluane Project. The guests will enjoy quiet moments on spacious verandas, barefoot walks on the sugar-like beach sand, torch-lit pathways at night, and fresh seafood at any time of the day. The property does not have pools or baths, but who needs those when you have the majestic sea right in front of you? And what makes it even better? It is a bit challenging to get here. Transportation is a mix of charter plane rides and dirt road drives. Ah! The memories you’ll make!

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The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur in India
Every single thing in this splendid property is extraordinary. The service includes pampering of the guests, which means they can eat their dinner in their own private garden while cultural dancers perform in the background. Lovebirds can also choose to ride a horse-drawn carriage covered lavishly in vibrant flowers to the Shiva Temple, which is also located on the property, where they can renew their vows if they wish to. Honeymooners can loosen up and swim in the pool which has flowing water from ornate elephants made of manifestly high-priced marble or simply enjoy a quiet evening in a sophisticated claw-foot tub in a luxurious room lit by nothing else but candles. We told you, this place is all about extraordinary luxury.


mish

Mish worked as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since she graduated, she decided to give up her corporate job. She now focuses on her 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. She is a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, she’s tiny but she is an Olympic-level glutton. Let her bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach her at LinkedIn.

Guest Post: Keeping Your Routine While Travelling

Years ago, kept your routine while travelling required a lot of commitment and dedication. I think nowadays we have good options to continue working out if we have to travel. Let´s review a few:
Hotels with gym. Unfortunately, not available for any pocket. But if you can afford it, this is one option you want to consider. Let me tell you it won´t be perfect, it will be a “new gym”. You may like it or not. You´re used to your gym and maybe you´ll miss your favourite machine. Don´t worry, it´s temporary. Get your workout done.
Local gyms. Search “gym, city” on google maps. As easy as that 🙂
If you don´t like gyms and usually workout at home. Then, what´s the problem? Don´t forget your resistance bands or TRX at home. If your room is not big enough, don´t be afraid to go outdoors. There is always a spot where to anchor your equipment.
Last, and most important. Even if you don´t exercise, you should stretch at the end of the day. Whether it´s a business or leisure trip, you shouldn´t skip your stretching routine. After a long day away from home, the best we can do is take care of our body, give some relief to our soreness muscles, getting ready to sleep… or enjoy the nightlife!
One way or another, all my trips include a lot of walking. I use these simple exercises to relief tightness and I strongly recommend you to give them a try. 
 
1. Stand a little less than arm’s distance from a wall.
2. Step one leg forward and one leg back, keeping your feet parallel.
3. Bend your forward knee and press through your back heel.
4. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and switch legs.
 
(I do this one, instead the standing stretch, because I have a lower back injury)
1. Lie on your left side on the floor with your legs extended straight away from your body. Allow your head to rest on the lower arm. Bend your right (top) knee bringing your right foot towards your right hip. Grasp your foot or ankle with your right hand. Keep your spine in neutral position.
2. Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize the pelvis. Exhale and use your hand to gently pull yourfoot and lower leg backward and up toward your tailbone. Keep the bent knee pointing straight away from thehip joint. Hold this position for 30-45 seconds, then straighten the leg and engage the thigh muscles. Repeat the series for 2-5 repetitions; change sides and repeat with the right leg.
 
1. Lie on your back on the floor. Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Keep one leg extended as you bring the other knee to your chest. Hold it with both hands.
2. Exhale and slowly extend your leg to the ceiling by contracting the muscles on the front of the thigh. Pull your toes downwards toward your body and push your heel toward the ceiling. This will increase the stretch in your hamstrings and calf muscles. Do not allow any movement in your hips and low back during this stretch.
3. Hold this position for 15 – 30 seconds. Return to starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
 
1. Lie on your back on the floor, with bent knees.
2. Cross your left leg over the right; resting your left foot on your right knee. With both hands, reach down and grab the back of the right thigh. Exhale and pull your right thigh and knee toward your chest. Try to maintain a ninety-degree bend in both knees while in this position.
3.  Change legs placing the right foot on the left knee and repeat.
4. Exercise Variation: Use a chair (or bed), which will allow your hip and knee to remain at ninety-degree angles. 
 
1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you, toes pointed toward the ceiling. Knees should be straight. Bend your left knee and place the sole of the left foot against the inside of your right thigh. Sit as tall and straight as possible keeping your head aligned with your spine. Place your hands on the top of your right thigh.
2. Exhale and bend forward from your hips, sliding your hands toward your ankle. Do not allow the back to round. Keep your head aligned with your spine. Do not lower or lift the chin. The knee should remain straight with the toes pointed toward the ceiling. This should stretch your hamstrings and calf muscles, with some stretching in your low and middle back.
3. Hold this position for 15 – 30 seconds. Relax and return to your starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg.
 
1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Point your toes towards the ceiling without bending your knees. Try to make your torso vertical to the floor and your head aligned with your spine. Place your hands on the top of your thighs.
2. Exhale as you slowly hinge forward at the hips, sliding your hands down your legs toward your ankles. Try to keep the back flat. Keep your head aligned with your spine, knees straight and toes pointed upwards toward the ceiling. This should stretch your calves and hamstrings, with some stretching in your low and middle back.
3. Hold this position for 15 – 30 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat 3-4 times. 

Things to Take Note When Booking a Hotel When You have Kids

As we move towards summer holidays, this is usually the best time to bring your family together for a well-deserved break. If your children are under the age of 13 years old, you might like the following tips that I am about to dish out regarding things to take note when booking a hotel when you are bringing young children out on a holiday.

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Need not be a five star

Staying in a hotel, need not be excessive five stars with royal treatment, there are equally good family inns and hotels that cater to your need. One thing to be sure when you are trawling the hotel’s reviews is to make sure that it is preferably kids friendly hotel. The staff will be more patient when you child starts bawling his eyes out while you are waiting for your turn to check in.

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Location, location, location

Having a hotel up on the hill when the places you wanted to visit is all at the bottom of the hill is tedious for the parents and tiring for the kids, no matter how beautiful the view is. Take all of the ‘must see’ venues you are going and find a hotel within the vicinity of those venues. If possible, try not to move more than 2 hotels within a week.

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Peace & Quiet

With young kids around, having a late night bar at the foot of your hotel is a big no no. You’ll be sure that the noise will travel up and keep your kids wide awake all night while groggy the next morning when you take them to Disneyland.

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Room Service

Having a hotel that comes with room service is important when you are travelling with kids. Better to have an expensive meal up in the room in the middle of the night than to go around on the streets finding a café or a restaurant that is open that late in a foreign place.

Check on excess charges on kids under 12

Some hotels don’t charge if you have kids under 12 staying in the room but some do. Instead of getting a bill shock, it is better to check with the hotel before you place a deposit. Some hotels even require your kids to have an extra bed. Extra bed means extra charge.

Nearest Medical Care

Maybe it is the in-house medical doctor, or the pharmacy across the street from the hotel, or the hospital around the corner, you need to know where is the nearest medical care you can seek in case of emergency. It is your responsibility as a parent rather than the hotel.

If you take care of these issues when you book a hotel, you should be well taken care of. One important thing to note is to make sure you childproof your hotel room once you checked in. Nothing is more important (not even unpacking your kids’ toys) than to ensure that the room that your child is going to run in, jump in and sleep in is safe. Call the housekeeping department to remove anything you think might cause an accident, rather than to make you pay for the damages, I am pretty sure they are glad to remove it in a jiffy.


 

Writer’s Profile

Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com