Category Archives: Travel

5 Peculiar Things in China

building collapse hangzhou china 2012 december

During our China trip, we noticed many peculiar things about China. Some are similar to what we see here in Jakarta, others are different, and more dramatic.

These are our findings, let us know what you think. To read 5 Peculiar things about Jakarta, click here.

1. Can a 6 floor tall building collapse overnight? Yes, it can, in China

We were in Hangzhou when this happened. And ‘horrified’ will be an understatement of what we felt.

It was one early crispy winter morning, we had just woke up in our nice hotel in Hangzhou, China. All was fancy and lovely. Then we turned on the TV, and saw this:

OMG, a residential building in Ningbao, a city near Hangzhou where we stayed,  had just collapsed. A 6 floor tall building built in about 1987? Only 20 odd years old, and it collapsed, right before our eyes on the TV screen!

building collapse hangzhou china 2012 december1

It was like 911 happening right in front of us. What happened to the people living inside?

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First Snow

snow, first snow, beautiful snow, winter snow

Hi, how are you today? Has it snowed in your city today?

Miss D really wanted to see snow during our trip to China. But during the time we were there, it only snowed a tiny bit while we were in Shanghai, the biggest city in China. It was so little that Miss D was quite disappointed.

But it was very cold in Shanghai, and we saw this:


Miss D was lucky. On the last day of our trip, prior our boarding our airplane, we finally saw snow. Miss D was so happy.

Look at the first hand print she made on the snow at the airport.


And here’s Miss D with her first snow ball!

snow ball, making snow ball, winter snow ball, first snow ball

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This is China – Developing or Not

fashion girl china, tv show girl china, online fashion girl, online fashion woman

We were on the bus in Hangzhou, China when Miss D asked if China was a developed country or developing country.

When Mr. D asked Miss D what she thought the answer might be. Miss D told us that China looked like a developed country to her.

Well, we were only in China for two days at that time, and admittedly we had pampered ourselves a bit: living in a nice hotel, and eat in nice restaurants, so yeah all were pretty fancy in Miss D’s eyes.

china lamp shop, lamp shop china, trip china shopping, hangzhou shop

But, what made Miss D thought China was a developed country was this:

‘There are so many elderly people in China, mama. Japan is a developed country and Japan has many elderly people. Does this make China a developed country?’

(We met a lot of Elderly Chinese on the bus in Hangzhou, and they can ride bus for free if they are over 70 years old. Believe me, half of the buses were with these elderly people during the time we rid the buses. BTW, buses in China are clean and nice, with proper doors, too :D)

‘Besides, there are lots of rich people in China.’

(OK, we were in a China bank one day, and we saw people coming into the bank with bags of money, no kidding. Do you know how much cash this lady’s black bag can carry? Well, we saw a mid-aged Chinese lady came into the bank with a bag like this and it was full of money!)

black lady leather bag, black bag with money, black lady bag, lady bag

‘And people here wear nice clothes, too.’

(People, especially young people, wore fashionable clothes in China, very trendy. Girls have nice hair, too.)

chinese couple christmas tree shanghai trip, china trip, fashion couple, young chinese couple, trip to china

There you go, these are the 3 reasons Miss D thought China is a developed country.

Our experience in China later on soon changed her mind. Miss D agreed very quickly that China is a developing country. We will tell you the story in ‘5 Peculiar Things About China’ soon.

Stay tuned.

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A Hat Day – Hatter’s Paradise

Miss D loves to read as you all know by now. One of her favourite book is Alice in Wonderland. She loves the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of hearts, Two, Five, and Seven, and the white rabbit.

Guess who she likes the most? The mad hatter! He is hilarious!

To have a bit of fun this Christmas, why not have a Hat Day?

To go to our official A Hat Day website, click here

We love the mad hatter in Alice in Wonderland. He is such a cutie. Why not catch some photos of what hats people are wearing  this Christmas?

This Christmas, we are creating a Hatter’s Paradise on the MidnightVisitor website. Please submit any hat related photos to us.


  • Send us an email with your hat photo attached. Our email for A Hat Day is at ahatday (at) gmail . com
  • Email us with the location of the hat photo was taken, that will appear as your post’s title. Unless, of course, you want a different title for your hat photo. Email us that as well if you do.
  • If you have a story to tell about your hat photo, do include it and we will publish it with your hat photo.
  • Have a blog or website of your own? Why not include your link in your email and we will post it with your hat post in our hatter’s paradise.

NOTE: We reserve the right to refuse posting of any images that we deem inappropriate. Yep, we have the final say on picking the images that are fitting for our blog: ie a family fun paradise for us, our family and our friends.

But wait, before you submit,



Images in the form of photos, paintings, drawings, sculptures, video and more.

Images that include a hat, hats or at least a glimpse of a hat so we can see they are hat related.

This can include the wearing of a bandore, biretta, bonnet, busby, cap, coiffure, coronet, crown, hat, helmet, hood, miter, tiara, toque, turban…

We don’t care if you have taken the images from your own home town, or while you are traveling (travel photos not necessary).

We don’t care if they are outdoor or indoor images.

Most Important:

You can submit as many times as you have a hat (hats) ready. Sky is the limit for our hatter’s day.

Our goal is to share photos from around the world and have fun.

Jakarta 7 day itinerary

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31 Days In Jakarta Day 27

Good morning, our dear readers. How are you today?

Hope Saturday puts a smile on your face.

Well, we have certainly enjoyed our Jakarta Itineraries so far.

How about a 7 day itinerary? Actually how about a 7 – 10 day itinerary? Spend a bit more time in this exotic Metropolitan City, or pay a visit to a nearby town such as Yogyakarta?

Our journey will begin on Day 6, picking up from where we left before. If you want to read the Jakarta 1 Day Itinerary, click here. For Jakarta 3-5 Day Itinerary, click here.

Day 6

Visit Tangkuban Prahu crater and Ciater hot spring.

Indonesia volcano, Tangkuban Prahu crater

Indonesia volcano,  Tangkuban Prahu crater, volcano indonesia

Are you brave enough to hike down a volcano with sulfur fumes emitting continuously? If yes, Tangkuban Perahu is for you. Don’t worry, Tangkuban Perahu is a non active volcano and won’t eat you up.

Tangkuban Perahu is about 2-3 hours drive from Jakarta and it offers an astonishing mountain view. It is the only crater in Indonesia that you can drive up to its very rim. Wear a mask if you are allergic to the sulfur fumes.

Some of the fun activities down in the centre of the crater are egg boiling (where the hot spring boils an egg in a few minutes) or having a mud message by the locals. Gee, who would bring an egg with them? Don’t worry, the friendly locals will sell you a dozen or two if you’re gaming enough.

How about some hot spring bath after visiting the Tangkuban Prahu crater? Go visit Ciater hot spring. You will be fully energized after a hot bath.

Day 7

Depart to Jogjakarta by airplane. Settle down in one of the many Hotels in Jogjakarta. Explore the city or go visit a few shops for batik or silverware. They are very famous in Jogjakarta. Some shops offer workshops for making batik or silverware as well.

Day 8

Explore the Borobudur complex and Prambanan temple. Borobudur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trust us, these sites deserve a whole day’s explore.

English: The main Stupa crowning the Borobudur...


Day 9

Explore the Royal Palace and Jogjakarta city. Return to Jakarta by airplane at night.

Day 10

Go buy a souvenir or two. Indonesia is famous for its Batik, coffee and local antiques among other things.  Alun Alun, Batik Keris, Pasaraya and Sarinah Department Store are a few good places to start. You can see interesting local fashion as well.

jakarta must see, jakarta must visit

After shopping, why not relax and treat yourself with a genuine Balinese massage? Jakarta has some of the best massage and spar parlous on offer. Enjoy the pleasant natural ambiance, with soothing music, skilful therapists, and the freshest materials. Get pampered. Those soured legs deserve it! They would love you for the massage.

Jakarta must do, Jakarta must see, Jakarta massage, must do Jakarta

Jakarta must do, Jakarta must see, Jakarta massage, must do JakartaJakarta must do, Jakarta must see, Jakarta massage, must do Jakarta

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Jakarta 3 Day Itinerary

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31 Days In Jakarta Day 21

Dear readers,

How are you today? It is a cloudy day here in Jakarta. The raining season has truly kicked in. How is the weather like in your city? We hope you have a relaxed Sunday.

Okay, we understand that our love for Jakarta is growing and one day trip is not nearly enough for this city. We get that.

So below we present our very own MidNightVisitor’s 3 day itinerary for Jakarta.

We hope you enjoy it.

Day 1

Please refer to Jakarta 1 Day Itinerary here.

But when think about it, actually, if you plan to stay in Jakarta for 3 days, you might want to give Taman Mini a chance. Spend one whole day there so that you do not have to rush yourself. It deserves one day as there are also Bird Park, Reptile Park, Water Park and other attractions in Taman Mini. There are live performances at certain time of the day or week as well.

Taman Mini, Jakarta, Indonesia, Taman Mini Performancers, Taman Mini Park, Indonesia Tour

Day 2

Now we have two options here,

A) On the second day, you might want to go to Taman Mini and spend a whole day there.

Taman Mini, Jakarta, Indonesia

You can hold a huge snake in the Reptile Park here if you’re brave enough. More on this later.

Taman Mini Reptile Park, Jakarta, Indonesia


B) Even better, go to Taman Safari.

This is a must visit attraction. We have been there many times and Miss D really likes it. In fact, all of her friends like it. Of course, the most fun part is you get to hand feed the animals from your car window. How good is that?

Taman Safari, Taman Safari Jakarta, Indonesia, Jakarta tour, Jakarta trip

Taman Safari is an open range zoo featuring a live drive by into the safari itself. It is located in the middle between Jakarta and Bandung, takes 1-3 hours to go there, depending on your luck on the traffic :D.

Go on a weekday if your schedule allow as the traffic can be really bad during weekends or holidays.

Oh, riding elephants is second best to actually hand feeding deers. Miss D loved it.

Taman Safari, Taman Safari Jakarta, Indonesia, Bogor, Bandang, Taman Safari trip

Day 3

Why not go to Ancol, the beach side of Jakarta? It will certainly take a whole day and it is actually closer to the airport. There is a maritime museum in Ancol and some nice beach walks. Ancol is also the home of Dunia Fantasi (meaning Dreamland in Indonesian), a theme park with lots of carousel, roller-coasters, and some extreme ride. It is a really big place and make sure you carry a map if you visit. Beware, it can be really hot if you spend the whole day there.

If Ancol is not the best choice for you, why not spend some time on the museums in Jakarta. Like many other metropolitan cities, Jakarta has many museums on offer, such as the National Museum of Jakarta, Jakarta History Museum, Jakarta Fine Arts Museum and many more.

The former Stadhuis of Batavia, the seat of th...

(Jakarta History Museum)

The National Museum of Jakarta is our pick. It is in the center of the city opposite the Monas. The National Museum of Jakarta is an archaeological, historical, ethnological, and geographical museum. The museum has a very good collection of artefacts from all parts of Indonesia, and the displays all have informative explanations. There are free tours in English but we missed it the last time we visit as the tour guide didn’t show up. But, it is for free, so you might try your luck and let us know if the free tour is good.

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Still got energy after the museum? You might want to go to Glodok (the China town), the older part of Jakarta for a quick visit. If you want to feel the hustle and bustle of an older part of Jakarta, this is the place. The sights and the smells will linger long in your memory. Be aware of the pickpockets, though. Go visit Café Batavia in China town and chill out. Lots of expats go there at least once during their stay in Jakarta.

You can get cheap electronics in Glodok. But bargain hard as the prices on offer is very inflated when you are not a local.

We also bought our turtle, Indah, in Glodok. They sell all kinds of animals on the street of Glodok, from rabbits, birds, mice, to monkeys. You can easily spot them along the main street of Glodok.

Want something quieter than Glodok? If you happen to be in Jakarta on the weekend, you might like to try many of the buffets that Jakarta’s 5 star hotels offer either for lunch or dinner. These are real value for money and a must have if you love to eat like we do. Try the buffets at Ritz Carlton, Shangri-La, and Marriott. They all range at around IDR 288,000 per person (++ meaning add about 25% on top of the price for taxes and fees) with free flow soft drinks. If you enjoy free flow wine or alcohol, the price starts at IDR 488,000 (++, 1 USD = IDR 9,600)

For some of our readers, 3 days is totally not enough. Actually, this 3 day itinerary is so fully packed that you can easily extend it into a 5 day itinerary. So should we call this Jakarta 3 – 5 day itinerary?

Still not enough? Don’t worry, we will do a 7 – 10 day itinerary for Jakarta and beyond soon. These are also must visits for Jakarta and Indonesia.  So stay tuned.

Jakarta One Day Itinerary

Jakarta one day itinary, Tamam Mini Jakarta, Street performers Jakarta

31 Days In Jakarta Day 15

So you are in Jakarta, for just One Day!

Maybe you are having a business meeting in Jakarta and have a bit of spare time. Or maybe you live in the next city or country, and come by for a quick visit. Whatever the reason, here you are, in Jakarta, for only ONE DAY.

How exciting! What’s your plan? Anything you must see or do so that you don’t miss out the best part that Jakarta can offer?

Here is MidNightVisitor’s Jakarta One Day Itinerary:

Most likely you will arrive at Jakarta via the Soekarno International Airport. It is about  90 minutes to the Jakarta city centre.  Some will take a DAMRI Shuttle Bus to the heart of Jakarta.  But for us, we will just ride a taxi with a mere IDR 100,000 (1 USD = 9,600 IDR) taxi fare. Very good value for money, we would think.

Why not indulge yourself and stay in one of the excellent hotels in Jakarta. We like the Hotel Mulia Senayan because many of our expat friends stay there.

Hotel Mulia Jakarta, 5 star hotel Jakarta, Jakarta hotels, Jakarta accommodation

But really any other 5 star hotels will do. Jakarta has most of the world’s renowned 5 star hotels. Try the Shangari-la, the Grand Hyatt, the Marriott, or the Mandarin Oriental. They all have complete amenities, pools, gyms, beautifully rooms, and most importantly excellent restaurants and services.

For one day, chances are you will stick to the centre of Jakarta. Not a bad idea, as the city has much to offer.

We recommend you start at Merdeka Square (Independent Square). The National Monument (aka the Monas) is in the centre of the Merdeka Square. It is a tower of 422 feet tall and has a 35kg 24 carat gold tip. You can’t miss that if you are in the center of Jakarta.

Monas (National Monument), Jakarta

From there, you can drive around and see the Istana Merdaka (the Presidential Palace), and the Istiqlal Mosque. The Istiqlal Mosque is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, and can hold as much as 120,000 people. It is a spectacular building. Well worth a visit.

Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, Indonesia (with the Jakarta Cathedral in the background)

After that, you can go shopping at one of the shopping malls in the city. Grand Indonesia and Pacific Place are the two shopping malls we frequently visit. But there are many more. That will cost you the rest of your day for sure. Watch out, credit card. Here we come!

Shopping is not for you? Then go to Taman Mini: Indonesia in a park. It is a huge park over 250 acres and show cases full sized Indonesia buildings from 26 provinces in Indonesia. We normally spend a whole day there. But for one day visitors like you, please allocate at least half a day in this park. Admission is IDR9,000 (1 USD = 9,600 IDR) last time we visit.

Indonesia Taman Mini, Indonesia miniature park, Jakarta park, Jakarta tourist spot

Dinner time. There are so many restaurants in Jakarta. You sure will have a delicious dinner in no time. Try some local food, or any of the Italian, French, Japanese and Fusion food available. You won’t be disappointed.  There are so many trendy restaurants where you can eat while enjoying the night lights of the Jakarta city. Have fun.


Hi, We are an expat family from Sydney, Australia. We are currently living in our adopted city Jakarta, the big Duran. ‘Mid Night Visitor’ is the title for the first published article that our daughter Miss D wrote in 2011 (Book tittle is ‘King of The Trees – Young Writers Award 2012′). We use this title as our blog name to celebrate her achievement. Besides, we believe ‘Mid Night Visitor’ is quite a proper name for our blog. Blogging is something we often do at night when we have time to reflect, after the day’s work has been done. After all, we blog to celebrate our life’s adventure, we do not wish to run our lives by blogging itself. Please come to have a visit when you have a moment and join our family’s adventure with us.

Want to know a bit more about Jakarta? Have a read below. These are a few popular posts among our readers. It will give you a glimpse of what it is like in the Big Duran: