On Backpacking, Newbies, and Singapore in 24 Hours

By Adithya Pratama

As all of you prepare for your respective holidays (which, more often than not, will involve travelling), we caught up with two seasoned Indonesian travellers: Trinity, a travel writer with two travel journals and one comic out in bookstores, and Amalla Vesta, a travel consultant with two Twitter accounts especially devoted only for travel-related ideas, both domestic and international. See what the ladies themselves have to say below and who knows, it can even enhance your own trip!

Trinity (left) and Amalla Vesta (right)

Trinity (left) and Amalla Vesta (right)


  1. What is “Traveling” to you?
    Traveling is my passion!
  2. What have started you to do lots of traveling?
    Since I was a kid, my parents used to take me to travel around. When I got good grades at school, instead of being given presents like beautiful dresses or bicycles, the rewards were always traveling to new places. Since then, traveling has always been my top priority and I spent most of my money on traveling.
  3. Why “The Naked Traveler”?
    When I was looking for a domain name for my blog, I wanted a catchy name, so I decided on naked-traveler.com. But philosophically, “naked” here means honest in writing about traveling. Many travel writings in media are about the “beauty” of particular destinations so that people want to come to the places they write, while I myself as traveler don’t really like to see things that media want us to see. Therefore my writings are not really about destinations but more about the journey, be it a good or bad experience.
  4. Domestic or international, and why?
    For newbie backpackers, do domestic first, then international. Indonesia is quite a difficult country to travel independently as a backpacker. There are no exact schedules, routes, information or standardized prices. So if you can handle Indonesia, everywhere else in the world would be easier. Now I still do both, even repeatedly to the same places.
  5. Any other traveling tips for the newbie backpackers?
    Always remember that worrying gets you nowhere. Be well prepared, use your common sense, and you’ll find your own way as long as you’re not illiterate.
  6. Recite 3 best places you’ve ever visited and why?
    That’s quite hard to answer! :)Indonesia is always on my top list. You can find everything here except snow. Indonesia is huge and the tickets (especially to the eastern part) are more expensive so people tend to skip it, when in fact they’re definitely to die for. I always fall in love all over again every time I travel around Indonesia. Since I’m a scuba diver and beach lover, I can say there are no other underwater sights that are as good as the ones in Indonesia.If it’s about the natural beauty then New Zealand is the best. Not many people live there as compared to the size of the land, yet you can find almost everything, such as lakes, mountains, rivers, prairie, beaches – all with breathtaking sceneries.
    If it were about the friendly people and funny experiences, I’d say the Philippines. Been there a few times, lived there for a year and I always found interesting stories to write.
  7. When in Singapore, how would you spend 24 hours here?
    I’d go to Pulau Ubin to walk around in the last forest in Singapore. In the afternoon, I’d go for a swim at East Coast beach. Then I’d stroll on Katong and Joo Chiat Road to enjoy colorful shophouses and enjoy the famous Katong Laksa. Then I’d have a Sri Lankan Chili Crab for dinner in the East Coast Seafood Centre and end the night by drinking at one of the semi-outdoor bar along the beach at East Coast Park.
  8. You’ve given a week fully paid trip to any place in the world, where would you want to use that?
    For a week I should not be going too far away due to the travel time, so I’d say diving in Raja Ampat, Papua.

Trinity is a travel writer/blogger. Her books “The Naked Traveler 1 & 2” and “Duo Hippo Dinamis: Tersesat di Byzantium” are out in leading Indonesian bookstores. Visit her website at http://www.naked-traveler.com or follow her on Twitter @TrinityTraveler.

Amalla Vesta

  1. What is “Traveling” to you?
    Traveling is my passion, the moment to explore the world, or just to have fun, with my spouse, friends, kids, or even on my own.
  2. Which style of traveling suits you more? The Backpacker or The Suitcaser?
    Of course I’m the suit case type of traveler :) Not that I’m against backpacking, but I prefer to pay more if I could. It’s just my way to enjoy life.
  3. Recite 3 best places you have ever visited, and why?
    This is a tough question. Every place has its own uniqueness. But I’m more into beaches rather than mountains. I’m a very urban person –I love hip cities. Well, but if you insist, these are my top choices:

    1. Sydney (the city suits me really well, and I do have emotional reasons for going there)
    2. Singapore (I love the city because it’s the easiest place to live in, it’s

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    3. Bali (Not only does it have beautiful beaches, but also many cultural events/venues and great restaurants that we can enjoy)
  4. When in Singapore, how would you spend 24 hours here?
    24 hours in Singapore will be started with a breakfast at one of these places: Hatched, Privé, PS Café, Halia or Spruce. Then I’ll visit museums (Asian Civilization Museum, National Museum and finally the Singapore Art Museum). Lunch will be at Kopitiam Bencoolen (after my visit to SAM), and I’ll opt for chicken rice. I’ll pay a visit to Borders at Wheelock Place just to browse some new books/magazines –I might buy one or two. And I’ll have afternoon tea at TWG Boutique Cafe at ION for their crème caramel hot tea and French macarons. Let’s go up! I’ll visit the Sky Park at Marina Bay Sands around 5pm to enjoy the sky that slowly fades to dark. Holland Village or Dempsey Hill will be my dinner destination. Then I will seal the day with enjoying the night view of Singapore skyline at Helipad (Central Clarke Quay) or Altitude bar.
  5. For beginners, any advice on how to get the best out of traveling?
    For beginners, go to the easiest place before trying out the more extreme areas. You may hire a travel consultant to give you thorough advice for your trip.
  6. You’re given a week to go on a fully paid trip to any place in the world. Where would you want to use that?
    I’d love to choose Sydney, but I need more than a week in Sydney because to me, Sydney is like my second hometown. For a week, I will use it for Maldives or Tokyo.

Amalla Vesta is a freelance travel consultant, travel guide and regularly writing for LIBURAN Magazine and Travel Xpose. Get all the traveling tips from her on Twitter @SwankyTraveler or drop your traveling queries to SwankyTraveler@gmail.com

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