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3 hours fun from Jakarta

Have you ever heard of Bira island? or thousand island in general? or else, the paradise?? 😉

This place located only three hour boat ride from Jakarta. We can travel from Angke harbour, using the normal passanger boat, and then get ready for three hours sea sickness. The view is great, unless if we count some trash around Muara Angke. The government should really organize this place more, since many and more tourist come in the latest years.

The boat stop at Harapan island, then we continue our ride using a private boat, a non exclusive one, which own by our guide, Mr. Man. Just like the boat, he also own the cottage, the only sea house located in the island. It was once owned by a rich man, or a foreigner, i forgot, but the point is, this place is now left unowned and Mr. Man with his family organize it and made it a new tourist spot. Actually, most of the fishers in Angke did it. They rent their home to traveller to stay and rent their boat for hoping island to enjoy the magnificent view of thousands islands which in fact only consist of 105 islands. They all hyperbola, yes!

The journey straightly begin that day, but we decided to put our luggage first at the cottage. The island was quite, and so beautiful to calm down and sit back. The cottage located right in front of the shore. We can see the waves dancing and enjoy the heat of the sun. But behind the house, we did not want to predict anything since the whole back yard are bushes. There might be some wild animal, or ghost? i don’t know. We are the only person who stayed there.

While walking around the island in the morning, we found out that there is another small deck in the other side of the island. It was used as another quay to get to the island, but now it was broken already. We can still walk slowly on it, but in some part, the woods already smashed. A friend of mine still enjoy jumping from that board strightly into the ocean. Seems so fun!

In the whole two days, we visit Atol island, Dolphin island, Pasir island, Kayu Angin island and Bira Kecil island. All islands show its natural beauty to us. With clear water, tosca into blue colour, and definitely pretty little fish and amazing coral. Yups, the coral here are colourful, big, and mostly alive. It still breath somehow. Many small fish or sea animal-which i dont know what- show up, we all surprised. In fact, this is the most fascinating experience while we are in the water. I like playing with the fish. Catch them in silent and then surprise them with my presence. I took off my life jacket to get deeper in the sea so i can catch them with my hand. But then, while i was so excited and happy to run after those fish, i suddenly arrived at the deeper ocean. I am panic! i cant swim very well. So lucky i still hang one of my hand to my life jacket so that i was not drowned. Right after that, with my heart still beat fast, i always make it sure that the fish wont fool me again. Its so scary.

In the morning, we also hop for another island. But we spent most of our time at the quay. It was so fun jumping right into the ocean that lied in front of your sight. And the view under the deck is not less wonderful. It looks like a giant aquarium. Really! With the stick from quay board, beautiful big coral under it and many colorful fish swimming right in front of your face. Not so far but still looks pretty and you can see it clearly. There also some sea urchin which luckyly quite far from our feet so it wont harm us. And i saw a jelly fish. It’s transparent and small. Looks cute but dont ever get fooled by its cuteness since it might bite and hurt ya 🙂

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Show must go on in Luzon (Phils)

Eversince i read the Naked Traveller, a book by Trinity, i always wanted to go to Philippine. This country which looks mostly like Indonesia somehow attracts me. Trinity described Philippine as a casual country, with several magnificent old buildings and historical area, and not to forget mentioning its beautiful beach and resort. Philippine consists of several islands, and to get to another one, we should use a plane. But then due to our limited leave from work, we decided to just explore Luzon, the largest island in Philippine.

From south to north, there are beaches. But aside from that, there also many beautiful old areas with wonderful buildings like church, museum, and fort. There is this area that we visit on our first day in Manila called Intramuros an integrated area of old Manila and favorite tourist spot. Name it; Santiago Fort, Nasional Museum of Manila, the oldest church St Agustin, Manila Cathedral etc.

One thing that impress me, the people here are so friendly and good for its hospitality. They can speak English, a good one, and some are mix up with Tag Lish (Tagalog – English). But somehow, they often mistaken us as one of them if we forgot to mention that we are from Indonesia.

Anyhow, soon that night me and my friend took a bus head north. The city named Pagudbud in area of Ilocos Norte, which famous for its beach and nature based tourist spots. There is a law here for littering. It is hardly stated that anybody who litter should pay huge amount of fine. Its vary depends on where the location is. Just like Phuket, Thailand, this place hang on their tourism as their prime income source. Just said Vigan old city, Batad in Baguio which is famous for its UNESCO heritage site, a far ranging rice terrace built in during 2000 years!

Luckily we were offered a tour by a tricycle driver named Mr. Ferdinand.For southbound and northbound tours, visiting around 10 places, we should pay 1000 peso for two (20 dollars). Its quite cheap, but we should pay for the entrance fee by ourselves ranging from 20 to 100 peso per people. It was drizzle that morning. We decided to have a breakfast near the bus station but then we got tricked! Actually, seems like not all Filipino was as great as i described before. Just be careful in paying something with no stated price, and always try to bargain for anything. I mean it!

When the rain almost stop, we started our journey. First, the Bangui windmills. The windmills really is big and super giant and its located next to the shore. Compared to my self i felt like an ant really! The sand is not so good, its brown with steep shore. After buying some unique souvenir to bring home, with a good after bargain price, we continued to Cafe Bojeador lighthouse. The lighthouse is not as tall as the one i saw in Belitong, Indonesia, but it still quite magnificent with its dramatic view to the sea. It is located up of the hill but the road was bad, it was in process of renovation.

In the northbound tour its much of a conservation area and beaches. There are Kabigan waterfalls which needs 2 km hiking to reach, and Patapat viaduct, that looks like a sea side road pass with super amazing view. I like the water, its so blue, as also with the clear sky and very bright sunshine. My friend even cover his head with his jackets. Come on, i am the girl anyway.There is also a picnic park named Agua Grande. But it was off season but this place really is pretty. Only two of us there with our driver, and the owner come in the next minutes. We paid 50 peso each to get in. This place is a private places as they claimed, but i am not really sure about that. We also visited another places named Paraiso ni Anton, Timmangtang Rock, Bantay Abot Cave, and see Dos Hermanos Island from the sea side along our way.

We stop finally at Blue sea lagoon beach which so much looks like Nusa Dua in Bali Indonesia. Some area belong to a resort named Hannah’s and the other are free for public. The weather still is hot and heat our head so much but i do love it. Sitting at the beach playing sands on my feet, and then tried to catch the waves while it hit the shores. And there are some fisherman who just come back from the sea. I tried to talked to them but they did not understand English, so yes, i just captured their after fishing activity.

We take another night bus head back to Manila that night. It safe our hostel cost. Next morning, without taking a bath (Opss), we just clean up and change at the nearest Mc Donalds. We get some hot coffee and pancakes and then get ready to explore the south of Manila, Tagaytay. Tagaytay is like Puncak, Bogor in Indonesia which is famous for the cool weather and fantastic view. Many old buildings and memorial thingy lied down here, there also some graves of important hero of Philippine, but beside that, there is this famous smallest active volcano in the middle of a lake which named Taal Volcano.

To reach this small mountain, we need a boat. We can share it with other groups but actually the boat only capable of 4 to 6 people. We rent it for three of us for 1.400 peso. To reach the boat, you need a tricycle or jeepney, and then to reach the crater from the boat harbour, you just need another transportation, say it, a horse! But i did read some review regarding this, and they so not recommended tourists to ride the horse because of its steep road, aside from the abnormal fare around 500 peso per horse per person. We take the walk for 40 minutes and pay permit 50 peso per person and another guide fare for 500 peso per guide. We walked for 40 minutes and then, when we reach the top of the mountain, seeing by ourselves the magnificent scenery of the crater which still eject some sulfur and smokey down there, all the tiredness is just fade away. And then when we turned back, what we saw was something more fascinating. The calm lake with tagaytay city as the background, and another non active mountain on our left. So great! Even though when we get down to our boat again the rain just started to pour, its just fine. We enjoy it!

There was one experience that is new to me in this journey. We did couched or hosted by a real Filipino. One of my friend sent couch request to one of Couch Surfing member in Philippine weeks before we touch down in Manila. And then, with her kindness, she allowed another two of us to join and stay that one night. We talked and shared experience. She has been to 17 countries -i envy her so much. We talked more about places we have visited and the places we would love to explore. She made us breakfast and that whole experiences just started a new friendship  between us. She said we should visit el nino in Puerto Princessa, another part of Philippine. Well, may be next time Brenda! 🙂


Get Lost in Singapore

Never been here, knowing nothing about this place, and get no maps! Perfect!

I arrived at Changi airport in Singapore at 9am. Early morning, yes, and i have no breakfast yet. First things to do, i need to get into the sky train in Terminal 2. I asked the airport staff for direction but seems like they are not as friendly as i expected. Then like an idiot i just say thanks and walked back while looking at the signs because i didn’t understand what she said in sing-lish (singapore english) style.

After getting off from the sky train, i get on MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) to reach the city. People can buy single trip ticket or one day pass for the MRT. In my mind, i really wanna go wild. I tried to buy a single trip ticket, read the instruction in the machine, and thadaa i went blind. I Really have no idea about how to get the tickets. I tried to but its just get more confusing when some people line up behind my back. I cancelled it out, gave up and bough the one day ticket for $10 from the counter :)).

The MRT change route at Tanah Merah interchange. If want to go to the city, i have to be in the MRT to Joo Koon station or the green line. Again, the complete and clear signs everywhere in Singapore really helped me out. I drop off at city hall station and ready to explore! But again, thadaa.. i felt blank! i really did. I just have no idea which way to walk to reach Raffles Hotel where i planned to start my city walking tour. An old man pointed my confuseness and help me.

I decided to enjoy the architecture of an old church near city hall MRT station first. Its hot, almost mid day and i was hungry, so i should be hurry and find some restaurant or cafe. A lot of retail store and department store in Singapore. Some are integrated with a hotel. I dont know, may be they notice that most of tourists in Singapore are shoper. While walking, i found a very tall monument which was built in 1942 to remember the victims of Japanese invasion.  A little walk and then i found suntec city mall where i saw the largest water fountain in South East Asia (they said so). The show started at 8pm so i just skip it since i had schedule for song of the sea at 7.40pm already.

Next is Promenande. I dont know what kind of place is that, i just should arrive there and find Singapore flyer, the giant wheel to see the whole city from above. I should find someone to ask *again*. Well, lately i know that promenade is like a sea side, where people can walk or jog or just enjoy the view. And i am so much love that kind of place. Forgetting my itinerary, forgetting the time, i just sit down and enjoy the wind. So much relieved!

Its quite an effort to find the Singapore Flyer. Really! I asked some policeman and they even did not know about it. I am not sure, may be they just did not speak english or anything, but yeah, it took a long walk for me to get there. Once i was about to give up, thadaa.. i can see it. Far away, i can see the giant wheel, next to the lovely shape of Marina Bay hotel which looks like a plane put at the top of three giant sticks.

People should not stay at that hotel to enjoy that view.They can just buy a drink and enjoy the rooftop. But seems like to swim there would be quite an experience anyway.

I get in the giant wheel with a western couple, an Indian family, and one Indonesian fams. Well, from above, anything looks so tiny and i can see the Merlion! Thats my next destination anyway. Next to it is Esplanade which looks like a giant durian. Its originally a theater hall. From above, Singapore looks so tiny and crowded.

I felt so relieved when i saw the Merlion statue in front of me. It is the symbol of Singapore, and the renovation is done. There is a recommended ice cream stall near the stairs to Merlion statue. Its yummy, and only one buck!

And next stop, is the shopping center, Orchard Road. This month is the season of Singapore great sale. But in my point of view, its not very much a super sale. The discount mostly less than 50%.Some stuff that i like even sold in normal price :(.

I should find the MRT again to get to Musthofa center, or little india, to pray.  I read on the map that there are some mosque in that location. Musthofa center is the nearest one. But to be at the station near Merlion, it really was another effort. A very long walk and i am tired already. There also several bus to reach that place but to wait for the right bus would kill more time i had less.

Getting off in Farrer Park station and then a little walk to Musthofa Center, it felt like i am in India already. The atmosphere and the people, its all different. Singapore is like being thrown out into the outer space. I eat some Indian food here with more expensive price compared to what i had in Malaysia. But the taste quite good.

Suddenly i woken up by the fact that my Song of the Sea show start at 7.40pm. I thought its 8.40pm at first. Its 5pm already, i should catch the MRT to sentosa island soon and change my receipt for ticket. Finally i did late. Thanks to my premium ticket that i bought online, i can get in even the show already started and the door already closed. The story is about a fish named Oscar, the tiger fish who is helping the queen with his great voice. Together with his friend Oscar sing for the queen and kill the curse.

Around 9pm i can be relax, i wanted to eat but did not found the best place to hang. So i just headed to MRT station, going to Kranji Station where i can continue my journey to Malaysian territory. Well, a lot of bus available here, we can choose based on departure terminal and price. I got a good one. 30RM for bus with air conditioner, and i can stop at puduraya station in Kuala Lumpur. There was also another choice with direct bus from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, but its not available until late at night and its a little more expensive than the one from Johor Baru.

Yes this journey ends here, but there would be another one coming up soon 🙂


South Asia – INDIA

India is awesomely Incredible!!

Well, i mean it! Its totally not a lie. India really is incredible as far as i can say. Many unexpected things just happen in India. As a slum area stand tall behind modern metro with super fast train, and as countless homeless people all around the city. It was nice, it was bad, it was disgusting, all were mixed up so that you can not predict anything to be. Cows could walk slowly in the middle of the road, a holy man sleep calmly near the platform. Another time a couple of squirrels might jump right in front of your face. India is where you can saw peacocks like seeing chicken in Indonesia. Indian people didnt eat pig, it was only for pauper who cant even work out some vegetables. Anywhere you can hear honk race against another. The rickshaw driver speed up his auto to catch nearest tourist. The people smile friendly saying namaste and eat capati with their hand and drink Chai, Indian tea with milk and spices. And your choice here, to be non veg, or vegetarian!

Agra: Taj Mahal

Its around 47 degrees. A giant area with big white mausoleum, mosque, guest houses, super large garden, and perfected by yamuna river as the back border. This mausoleum was built by Shah Jahan, the mughal emperor in the late 16 century of India. He built it for his lovely pretty third wife who died while giving birth to their 14th child. The whole mausoleum decorated with precious Persian marbles with Lotus design topped by a gilded finial. Exterior decoration was full of beautiful calligraphy of Ya Sin and another Surah from Al Quran. The gorgeous of Taj Mahal, been described in words by the King:

…Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes…

The entry tickets for tourist are ridiculous, 750rs compared to 20rs for local. No wonder the entry queue  is so long. Security do baggage and body check. And  inside, wow, its no market, No?

Inside the mausoleum, its clear white. The Persian marble looks so precious, with black, red and orange gemstone which were cut and designed to make sun motif in octagonal entry. In the first level, it was the duplicate of the original graves that lied underneath.

Jaipur

In this place, we got a chance to see the real slum area of India. Its not as disgusting as the movie Slumdog Millionare pictured you all -it was in Mumbai though- but this place, which named Bata Basti, also tell much about India at lower level. There is a small sand dunes behind the village and i bet you to guess what did we see. Hell to the No, its people bringing out a bottle of water, finding a place to squat down, and -i am sorry- they just poo! No boundary, no fence and absolutely no toilet. Its and open air area, for real!

We get into one of the house, which thanks God, much much more clean and tidy compared to another one. They served us Chai, and allowed us to get some pictures. Along the road, the other villager just did their routines, brushing their teeth in front of their house -no toilet noted-, another ladies just sit and talks with each other while give us curious look. A man walk down his bicycle behind some goat and cow that walk freely. And the kids, yeah, they ask us 1rs for any picture of them that we take -_-!

Jaipur is the pink city, the largest and capital city of state Rajasthan. In the old time, most of the building in the city were painted pink during a visit from Prince of Wales. Originally there were nine blocks, which consist of road and square. Now, after some restoration, renovation, and the growth of population, the pink fainted and mixed up with another colors. But, still, the old wonderful historical building is in pink, such as the Hawa Mahal, Rambagh Palace, Maharaja Palace etc.

Udaipur

I rewarded this city, as the most comfort city i ever been while in India. The people, the food, the weather, its all just perfect to stay long and relax. The city which also known famously as Lake city or White city has an extensive Palace near the Lake side with several enjoyable cafe and exclusive boat. This place looks like Legian Street in Bali, Indonesia. Lots of tourist choose to stay here since the city center is only that tiny place around City Palace.

City palace consist of Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal. Chandra Mahal houses a museum which need another entry fee, and also royal resident which has limited access. To get into the City Palace Complex, we should pay 50rs each, and additional 200rs for camera *sigh. The palace is total BIG and LARGE. So sad that many people had suffer to built this incredible building back then in 17th century. Inside were crafting, painting, and also memorable item of the king and its army. And to be noted, up there at upper level, there is a garden. Yes, with a pool in the middle and several trees surround it. Classic!

Jaisalmer

This is the city of Desert.  A Far ranging desert lie in this golden city. Its pretty hot, for sure, as the weather can reach 50 degree or more. We run into a Camel Safari, paying around 1700rs or $34 for two days one night tour. Its including the food, the jeep, village tour, camel man, and unlimited water. For us, it also including a free room for the next day before we catch our late night train. The camel safari tour, for me, it felt like riding a horse, with a taller and bigger ride. My camel’s name is Radja, while the kid who was coming with it is Jalu. New things I just know about camel, they love be in the groups and they love each other. When one camel start eat, another will doing so. My camel start walking, the other will follow. Its so unique and its more fascinating when the camel start to run! You should hold tight and feel the bump under your butt.

When the sun goes down, it is no perfect sunset, but i did marked this as one of my precious moment. It felt like in mars, with unlimited landscape which was beamed by the red round sun. For few minutes, the sun looks perfect. Some misty cloud make it even beautiful. But soon later, the sky started to dark, some cloud swinging in, and then we finally  lost the sun behind cosmical line. Then, after having dinner with hot Chai, and a sand mixing capati -i can only swallow small piece of capati and then buried it under the sand-, the camel man suddenly said that tonight might going to rain. We all felt afraid since the wind almost sound like a storm already. They kindly bring us to move to their village, but we should not say any words to the tour agent about it. They worried if the tour agents will cut their fees which only 1000rs A MONTH . Its even less than the amount we paid for one person per visit!

We went on night camel safari, and experience what we appreciate the most, riding camel, under the star, in full dark desert, and listened to some kind of desert musical instrument from the camel man phone. We arrived after one hour ride, and slept outside under a dry tree in front of their dome. I cant barely sleep. Its too dark and some weird bell keep ringing. In the morning, voila, we opened up our eyes and see the sun slowly rise, with the view of large sand dunes, camels, and donkeys, and the shrill voice of Jaisalmer kids.

And the bell i heard earlier was the tag of a cow! hushh!

We all touched by the kids here. Jaisalmer kids less money oriented compared to the one in the city. They ask us to play, and school pen, and never ask for money. Some also tell us about their school, whilst the other have no enough money to pay for the school. Since their childhood, they already asked to help their family, just like Jalu, by being a camel man.

Jodhpur

At my first glance, this city looks so terrible, messy, dirty and full of homeless people. It was because i first saw it on our way to Jaisalmer from Udaipur. It was so early in the morning and we pass through the wide road at the outer ring. Then when we come in, its much more, much more fantastic!

There is this location near the clock tower and the fort where lot of hotels, shop, and restaurants take places. We checked in to get some rest at noon and to get clean. The rooms rate quite cheap, the food taste more regular than what we had earlier in the desert. We got an offer to visit Bishnoi Village, a place outside the city where the people live peacefully with any living things. The people here famous for their self sacrifice while the government about to cut off their trees. They even embrace the city just like it was their family, to stop the clipper. They also love animal so much, killed not one life, eat only vegetables with wheat chapati. Here we can find peacocks and antelopes anywhere like some pet.

To honour the guests, Bishnoi people did a tradition here. They usually set an opium party while celebrating the event such us wedding and tourist visit. We only need to give him some money as compliments and he will prepare us some opium mixed in with a lot of mineral water. After three times filtering, he gave it first to his God, in the look of Goat and Dog miniature, and then he allowed us to drink some with our right hand. Well, it taste like a medicine when i lick my tongue on it. No effect and no sensation at all.

New Delhi

As the country capital city of India, we did expect more from this city. Aside from our very bad first impression when we arrived in India, we really expect another face of India here. New delhi is different slightly with Old delhi, and much different with its previous country capital, Mumbai. Some part of New delhi can be seen near Connaught Place and Presidential Palace or Rashtrapati Bhavan which was originally built for the Governor.Its very clean, well guarded, and tidier compared to another part of India. There is a giant gate in the middle of city with INDIA word on it. Its look like the one in Paris if you know it. And between this giant monument to Presidential Palace, stretch out a large and clean road, with a super large garden at both side, where the couple and raven could play along. I am again so amazed with the architect this country had in the past. The building looks so gorgeous from outside and i cant really imagine how it looked like from the inside. We also give a glance to Jamak Mosque, Red fort or Lal qila, and the square. All are amazing!

We stay long here. Two days and one night just in this city. we plan to visit Akshardham, the larget Hindu Temple in the world but we can not make it. We stay near Main bazaar in Paharganj where there are alot of  hostels, foods, restaurant and accessories shop. The bangle, the necklace, and ring, its all unique and totally cheap. I wonder if i can bring the whole shop back with me to my hometown ;p

There are many unforgettable memories about India. In Agra, groups of monkeys hastily opened up our bag and eat all snacks we had. In Jaipur, a lot of rickshaw driver forced us to use their service. In Jodphur we played and tried to catch some peacocks. . In the market at Udaipur, a seller force me to buy her bracelet. In New Delhi, we watch Transformer 3D in the cinema. The movie was great, the 3D effect was not so great, but what miraculously amazing is the break happened in the middle of the movie. They said, “take ur munchies break for 20 minutes” o.. o.. :))

In India, the woman work harder than men. Some poor women from outside village might seen doing hard labor work. Bringing up some brick with their head, hoeing a pole next to some pedestrian, or doing another hard worker things.

And behind all incredible things, lied down incredible journey with another four members of the team. We set up, we mingle, we laugh, we get mad, we exhausted, while keep protecting each other. Big hug from Indonesia!


Beautiful Phuket

Do you know that Phuket is just a little island attached to the main of Thailand? This little thing really looks like Bali in Indonesia. They have Patong Beach, we got Kuta Beach. They have Temples, we got Pura. Hemm what else?? Well, both of Thai people and Bali people cant speak English fluently 🙂

It was a short trip. Very short actually since i only had 2 days effective to explore Phuket as much as i could. At the first night we explore ‘night market’ near our hostel in Nanai Road. Its near Junceylon, the biggest supermal around Pathong, and also very close to Bangla Road, the one that famous enough for its crazy night and ladyboy show. We tried any food and drinks that looks unique, spent the night taking pictures and enjoying this new place with barely new people. In fact, a lot of Indonesian was there!

I took a tour to Raya Island or some people there called it Racha. It cost us 1300baht after a thorough bargain with the agent. So lucky we were there on early April, that we also got this promotion, a free two way ride from airport to our hostel, and surely a cheaper price than usual.

The tour start at 10am. We got a classy speed boat consist of 20 people from East Asia, Europe, America, and us. There was this one lady with age around 50 or 60 year old and still looks strong. She did sunbathing, walk on her own, and WOW, that amaze me. She must lived so healthy on her youth, and i really wanna be like that. Bye bye McDonalds!

It took about 2.5 hours from Chalong Beach to the Island. Our first stop is Coral island, where people usually do water sports. Its not so recomended for snorkling because we can see almost nothing. People can swim, but the wave quite strong and its better for us not to swim too far from the shore. After one hour, ,we continue the journey to the main island of Racha, its around Batok Bay, and we had seafood lunch plus tom yan (Thai specialty). A lot of marquise along the beach and also some canoes. Peoples, especially bule people, really enjoy it burning their white skin to make it tanned while in contrary, we run away from the sun and searching a shelter to sit in.

About the snorkling, honestly i was so disappointed.There is no pretty coral there as i expected. There are just many fish, too many actually, and with ordinary colour. No nemo! Way better Indonesia from any aspect. Name it, Belitong, Bira in thousand island, and many other place i never been yet. They got Nemo, unsting jellyfish, barakuda, colourful alive coral and also sea stars.

This all people around me, sure not yet ever been to Indonesia. They felt so excited already with JUST that view. Hey its lame, people! Don’t you have a taste? That fishes could not look good in the camera. Nor the coral!

In the mean time i can say quite the tour. It was a nice service back there. Thailand people know well how to treat tourists and they have anything to support the business. Ever since the Tsunami in 2004, they rebuilt the city. Many foreign investor coming in, just like the one who own our hostel, sea blue hotel, an American, and he did his best on it.

On the second night we decided to explore the supermall and finding some little thing as a gift for our family. In Thailand, we really need a strong bargain power. Not just in the traditional market, but also at the mall. Some shop provided fixed price off course, which i guess much better than the one who offered us random prices. They could offered us 300baht for goods which worth only 100baht.

Last day, its time to explore the mainland. We rent a car for 1200baht half day or 6 hours which take us from Pathong to Phuket. Started with Pathong beach in the morning, kata and karon beach in the midday when the sun heat us the most. There is this one place i like so much, Karon View Point located at the top of the hill, so we can see and enjoy the view to Karon and Kata beach down there. The weather was cool, and we also enjoy an eagles photshot by paying 100baht. Their name are laila and peter. I took the picture with Laila and she is so damn cute! Can i get one at home mom? ;p

We continue the journey to Elephant Conservation area. People can do Elephant tracking in here for several hours across the forest, but we again could not make it. No enough time. The place quite looks like Way Kambas in Lampung, Indonesia. But Way Kambas might be a little wilder than here. And they manage it very well (*again, noted!).

Before heading to Phuket Town for our Bus, we first visited Wat Chalong and  the Cashew Nut Factory. There are a lot of Buddha statue inside Wat Chalong. It is a -Palace looks- place. So beautiful! And blazing hot. Its MID day anyway. The sun in Phuket really are numb. We get in the temple to calm down, climb up to third floor, and taking more and more pictures.

People said there are alot of things with historical record in Phuket old town. We get there at 2pm and head to the nearest restaurant we can find. Our car and its nice driver head back to Pathong. We walk down to the Bus terminal. My friends continued the trip to Bangkok, I took the bus to airport and, bye bye Phuket..


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Me being 24

Well, lets see. From a couple years ago i already try to make some revolving resolution. Yet it comes to an end, where i can achieve some, while the others i can not. Its a matter of time i know, but some are not -frankly speaking-. I am pretty sure that i can get that if i try a little hard, walk a little further, and pray a little more. Somethings like boyfriend!.ta-da!!

So my 24 y.o. resolution number one should be finding mr. right, finding a mate 🙂

The next can be counted as this:

– i need to look more like adults. no more unimportant laugh, inappropriate move, and all

– i will try to appreciate people the best i can. torture them like they need to be. no more self egoism.

– i will love my family more. i do love them right now, but i think that i should show them more often. Somehow by just saying ‘i love u’ in one and another way. i am shy i know, but i ll try. That’s what a resolution are for, right?

– i am not going to be picky anymore. In any way, for any aspects. I ll try to learn any good things beneath every people. No matter how big i dont like them in the beginning, i can not just did the judge too early. I will skip the bad part turning to the good sight of it.

– i will clean my room every week. do all the total clean up. yeah i will

– i will travel more this year. Hemm, may be i can not since i dont have the permission for annual leave yet, but i ll take any chance that i might get.

– i will save more money!

– i will try to dress up more. For any special event or just for going to work. May be girl really need this for getting an attention 😛

– i wanna buy a new tv set, and getting a larger room if i could..


First overseas trip: KL-Malaka, Malaysia

Well, the hell to what people say and claim about war between Indonesia and Malaysia. In the end, i just enjoyed the trip, having so much fun and moreover, its not an impossible mission just to get back there soon 🙂

In the beginning i was like troubling my friend’s trip schedule since i joined in the last minutes and told them that i need companion. There is no way they could abandon me, i know, but something i did not know, was that they already had plan which fit 4 people, considering the car they use in the city. Malaysian police officer really concern about the number of passenger allowed in one car. Its not more than 5 peoples including the driver.

Then my other friend who already stayed in Malaysia cant accompany me at that moment since he got some work to do. So, the only option was, to change the plan, and did it in backpacker style. It still was fun for sure.

We started the trip early in the morning in Soekarno Hatta airport. Some of us get a late wake up but it was not ruined the schedule since we still be able to catch it up. This is my first overseas trip, and also my first overseas flight. That is why, we still became a little bit nervous about where to go and what to do in the immigration section. We should come to the fiscal window to take care of our free fiscal fee due to our membership in tax.

We make a queue in the immigration center, most of the passengers were Indonesian, and that’s where i got my first stamp Yippie!. Yeah kind of silly but i did enjoy it. We all did. It took not more than one hour, which is different than my friend’s information lately about which this procedures will need two hours minimum. May be we just lucky or because this was a very early morning flight.

Flying with airasia we got no food in the airplane, thats why the first thing we need to find in Malaysia was FOOD. Hemm, No! Actually we need to get out from LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) located in Sepang, taken a bus and train package (KL express), to be in KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre). Its much cheaper to get this package transportation than using a taxi and or train separately. KLCC was like a central market in Kuala Lumpur where there are a lot of thing centered in one place. This is where the subways, the MRTs (Mass Rapid Transportation) and i guess some buses are (cmiiw). We first fill in our tummy with some special food made in Malaysia. Its not so Malaysian actually since we both, Indonesia and Malaysia, are from the same Caucasian tribe. We see baso, something like kwetiau with another name, hot plate for both chicken and beef, and there were also some pork meal. Well the Thai food also counted famous here since they are from neighborhood.

Our original plan was to visit Genting highland. But its noon already, and since this place a little bit further, it would  make us spent most of our day in the road. Beside, the Skyway cable car was under construction and not yet working properly, then we decided not to come at all. There is also a theme park in that highland, but people said, Dunia fantasi in Jakarta Indonesia still better for the recreation park, so yeah, we decided not to go.

We choose to visit the famous twin tower Petronas first. We get in an MRT, cost us around RM 2, and voila, that was the first time i try MRT. We were sitting around and taking picture of the big giant twin tower. It was fabulous pictures but not so gorgeous since the sun shines too bright at that moment. After drank from some -free to drink- fountain, we get in the MRT again headed to Ipoh street where we gonna find our hostel. Lucky us, we found this Holiday Inn which only cost  us RM80 for one family room, for 5 peoples, but without breakfast. Unfortunately the water did not flowing well. Its not that much matter of us since we just stay there at night. But yeah, in the morning everything be a little freaking out.

We have an afternoon lunch at Kedai Mamak somewhere around Ipoh street. We try its delicious roti cane, nasi lemak and also the my most favorite drink in the world, MILO! yeah its just milo but i like it so much. The Milo here is different, i assure you.

At night, after trying to get some borrowing car from a friend, we headed to Putra Jaya. It is a place for all governmental office of Malaysia. The supreme court, department, ministry, and also prime minister office. All in one huge place, united and also show us the most amazing architectures. Including several big mosques, bridges, and lake. The street they made also consist of some unique shapes, such us for the traffic lamp. Well i dont know what this place looks like at noon, but it surely fabulous at night. They usually cut the electricity at 12am. We going back to town at that time.

Second day, we headed to Malaka, the historical place with so many unique building and nice architectures. There were only four of us going. First we grab some breakfast at kedai mamak and then catching the MRT headed to Bukit Jalil. In that place we should get a bus to Malaka. In the bus we met a travelmate named Soleh. He gave us some information and story. He did help too since he is becoming the only guy at Malaka trip. He traveled more that all of us. He’s been to Europe and another Asia. wow!

The bus take us to a park where there are some church, old building and windmill with Malaysian word around it. Next to the clean river was Joker street where we can found so many accessory for gift and also some snack. A friend suggest us to try the durian ice in here but we have no enough time . Well i guess there is no comparison to durian ice at Padang, West Sumatera though :p

Walking around, we get on this Taming Sari Tower, from where you can see and enjoy the view of Malaka from above. We should pay RM20 to get in, there is this special discount for local by which they were mistaken us as Malaysian 😀 yeah we looks like one somehow. It was only for 15 minutes in the high and since we get the perfect time, we could enjoy the sunset from up there. The gradation of evening sky, from orange to purple and finally darken. The lights from the city, harbor, bridge, we can see it all from above. Its fantastic and amazing but i can’t really get a nice picture since the tower rotated you 360 degrees and its keep moving all the time until we get down to earth again.

Its late night, and we should catch up our last MRT at 12am which mean we should get back to the bus terminal about 2 hours before. We grab a taxi and be in there, all five of us. It will counted as a trespass if we accidentally met the police. We ask the driver to make it faster since its already 9pm. Soleh really help here. As the only guy he help us finding the taxi, make sure about our safety and get us the right bus. Then we say good bye and plan to meet up at Jakarta.

Well, that night journey is not yet end there. We continue our trip to see this Dataran Merdeka, where the light covers most building in the city near central market. It was purple and light. We can not drop off since its almost 12am already and the light was about to switch off. We come to visit I-city, where so many things were rebuilt using colorful lamp and making up so many unique features.  From this place we had the very late dinner, right after midnight, some curry, cane, milo (again), and some noodles and fried rice. We really dig to all of our power to stay awake and enjoy the holiday to the fullest!

Last day, its Sunday, we should begin packing up and enjoy this last holyday for Batu cave. It is around the north of Ipoh Street, we got in a bus and heading to that place paying RM2. We did not know exactly where it was but we can ask, can’t we? So thats it. After a couple walk we can see the giant Buddha in front of a cave which hidden above so many stairs. We should climb up and yeah it take some efforts in here. Inside there are some other Buddha’s statue, people go praying there and some tourist just enjoying the moment and or trying make some pose with living snake.

The light inside the cave was amazing. I mean, with some yellow, green and also red light. They shine the whole place to make it even more mystical. It is a huge cave, more than one kilometers in high. A lot of monkey and pigeon played in there, flying and enjoying some attraction with tourist. We take so many pictures, with us and without us in it, and then going down to see another Buddha that looks like goku from DragonBall movie. We bought some Indian snack, and enjoying the interaction with them. They are fun actually.

Coming back from Batu Cave we hurry headed to Bukit Bintang, go shopping. Hey we are girls! We look up at Vinc, the Malaysian shoes line, and find nothing interesting in it, and then just buying some chocolate for gifts. Two of us need to get back home soon, since their flight was that late night, while me and another two still would be able to enjoy the city for the last night. Our flight was the next Monday morning.

We continue our little shopping time to Central Market and Petaling Street. We did not know where it is and again we count on a map and people around. Shopping at Petaling street was amazing. We can get a lower price of ‘almost’ qualified product. You know, the fake product which made in China or Korea. Having almost the same brand as the real line, and also almost the same features and forms. Tired of shopping we come and visit the central market, buying more chocolate and enjoying white coffee. We do another walk to the nearest MRT and headed to KL central, trying to get the latest KL express. Unfortunately we did not make it. So we need to take on the last train to KLIA and then continue it to LCCT, where our flight is, by bus. It cost us more. Its still night and for the first time of my life, i need to sleep at the airport, WOW!. Sitting at the bench and buying some McD for our tummy. Well, that kind of some experience though. And we found out that its not only us, some other people stayed and take some rest at the airport too, to catch the early morning flight.


path of love

“Love

always is a mystery

never try it so hard, and push it way too strong

u ll just ruin its way,

and break the path”

 

That was the thing i learn lately. Its about love, and it was on my own journey. Somehow i put more power in this relationship. Its not even work that far, i know, but somehow i felt like i dont wanna ruin it. I dont wanna lose it #notagain.

At that very moment, when i felt insecure, the time when i try to make it work faster, that’s the time i almost break it. There was time when i sit alone and singing the old song. Trying to memorize and imagine what was wrong and what i did wrong. I can not understand how could things like this keep happening to me all over again. Thats doesn’t mean that i mad to God for making me the victim again, i just keep wondering, where is the wrong key i put? i cant find a way out, i cant even find if there is any way out.

It just be that way as easy as it comes. I wanna be strong, I dont wanna lose, not now. And then i just found out the quote above in a story i read, “kau aku dan kota kita” written by tere liye. This book teach me so much about love and friendship. And that phase, its just remind me that may be i really was wrong. I try too hard which then be the reason why it break. Heart is so fragile. Do it fine and u ll be just fine. But if u hold it a little too hard, u ll just make it smashed. Its not unbreakable of course. Friendship and love, is like the sand. Grasp it in your hand, and hold it smoothly. Not too tight and not too loose. The harder you try, u ll just make them spread away. But if it is too loose , then u ll lost it even more.

You know what happen when i did loose and ran down my impulsion, that’s the time i get all back in track. Thanks to God i got it again. I promise i ll be patient and calm, and hope so to my heart. That way, i know i ll never lost.


Here i come, Belitong!

I was so curious finding out from a friend’s photo that Belitong is such an amazing island. Its not pleonastic, i just said the truth. What lying there, the unique beach, the big and giant rock, the jungle, waterfall, its all beyond ordinary. Since the first time we landed in the airport of H.A.S. Hanandjoeddin we already love the sky and the clouds very much. Its rainy season actually, but the sky still gave as such magnificent view, which includes the great and white bunch of clouds, i know it has nothing to compare with. Thanks God its not rain all the time so that we can enjoy the sun shine and cool wind through our rented car window.

We already rent the cars from Jakarta -we need two of it since there are 11 of us- already booked the hotel, Martani which is one of the oldest hotel exists in Belitong and also one of the cheapest. Then about the itinerary, hemm, you would not want to know how difficult it was for us to finally made and agreed the decision about the itinerary since none of us really ever been there. Some people said that Belitong is just a tiny island which need only a couple hours to travelled it around -which then we recognized as a lie- since in spending 3 days, from friday to sunday, we only was able to enjoy half part of that dangerously beautiful island. Literally. We only visit West and North Belitong and skip our East and South trip since we have no enough time.

In the first day we did explore West belitong to the North. We came to the capital city of Belitong, Tanjung Pandan, which you may called a town, since it is so small. They use one way route for the traffic line, so we need to turn around and turn over at the same place almost for three times. We cannot turn back at that place to come back to our first place, hence we need to turn it around and once again make a lap. We try the famous mie belitong that looks like a casual noodle with sauce. But what made it special is the taste of its sauce, which contains some taste of shrimp, sweet and and thicky sour. Well its not so bad though. Then there is also ‘jeruk ponci’ with ice, something like lemonade juice, but specialty of Belitong.

The first stop was kawah Kaolin. It is something like a lake, with the green almost white color or we may called it ‘tosca.’ Not so deep but it might captious. Surrounding was tin block and they still do the mining using dredging machine. We was not allowed to get any nearer. We take some pictures in here, but not close enough to the lake or kaolinite crater since the edges might be too weak and we could fall inside of it – for the worst case-. Some rumor said that the lake also might become sucking mud.

We also visiting a unique animal, Tarsius, which only exists in Belitong and Sulawesi, another part of Indonesia. So lucky that we can saw them both in the separate cages which was ever used in a research by a professor from Sriwijaya University. Otherwise, we would never be able to saw them because Tarsius is a nocturnal animal. They only show up at night, and the hunter, i mean, the real hunter, sometimes need more that one night to found them in their real habitate, which is Belitong jungle, which laid in Gunung Tajam, the place where we headed right after this. Based on the information from the guardian we found out that tarsius love light, i mean, something like camera flash. Yup, they ll show up and make a move after being ‘shot’ with a flash. They have a very long tail which slightly looks like mouse’s tail. And it has those pretty eyes that ‘puss in the boot’ showed in shrek movie. They have brown skin or feathers, but its so thin and little. I wonder, dont they feel cold?

Guruk Beraye waterfall is fantastic! The water’s sprinkling is pure and refreshing, and suddenly make you felt like you wanna swim. Its cooling our mind after a quite long journey we made to be here. It was a narrow path, only suitable for one car, gulch in your right and escarpment in your left. Which mean, IF there is another car coming from the opposite direction, we should, i dont know, i cant even think about it *creepy

It was drizzle when we done enjoying the beautiful waterfall. We all decided not to get wet and continue our journey to paramount hill which, i can guarantee you, have nothing related to Paramount Picture home production :P. We did imagine that this gonna be a hiking, a tracking and something like that. But we surely never imagine what we should have predicted from the beginning. Remembering that it is rainy season, the weather changes all of sudden, the land became muddy when the water poured from above. It was just a little rain but quite decelerate our speed. Well, finally we were trapped in a spooky jungle, where we need to climb up and climb down, with so big stones all over the area. Big stones means the really big one, about 5 meter in high and 3 meter wide. I am sure we can say it is a giant rock and i keep wondering where did this whole rocks and stones coming from. I mean, there is no volcano around, which might could throw away such a giant things. There is also no big river to flowed it down. So i guess the most appropriate idea of where its comes from, was to said that it is a meteor rocks. Somehow its just passed out to our Earth from somewhere in the outer space *think

We can enjoy the view of South China Sea from above here, and also the Lengkuas island, the one with very old lighthouse on it. We will visit that place on our second day here. With some mist and clouds, and of course coll wind, we enjoy that little time in one of its giant rocks. But you should be careful for pacet, some kind of leech but smaller. It will cling to your skin, usually feet and toes, and then will only be able to be detached when they are full. They suck your blood you know! Our guide showed us some jungle leaves that can be used as a dill to help some of us that get attached. It called ‘kesemek’ leaves. Exists in some jungle in Indonesia. Thanks God it really help.

On the second day we start exploring the islands on the west side of Belitong. Its not visible in the map, since its so small in size, but it surely unique and fabulous. The water really has nothing to compare with. The gradation from green into blue, started in the shores to the deep sea. Since it was a rainy season, again, we already aware of a huge waves that might comes on our way. Some of us, mostly actually, cant swim. So we put on our live jackets soon when the boat started to sail. Everyone try their goggles, fin, and snorkle. We laugh, we smile, and started the journey through the salty wind and sunshines. Yeah, the sun shines brightly that morning, as it welcoming us to the wonder land :D.

My current group was united with one alumni, which is University of Indonesia. We barely know each other for almost 4 years and more. There are also some other who were colleagues. But all of us can mingle for sure remembering that almost all of us are sanguine :P. Well then, after enjoying the view in Lengkuas island, climbing up to the top of lighthouse, taking some amazing pictures, we started snorkling. Its start to drizzle again so we fasten our move. We received some advice and tutorial from one of our guide which already has diving license. But most of us did not listen well since we already cant wait to snorkling in the middle sea, enjoying pretty corals, beautiful fish and another unexpected sea creature. We aware of sea urchin which already hurt my other friend when we were snorkling at Bira island, jakarta. They have sharp spine which could stabbed your feet if we did not use fin. Actually this animal looks like tennis ball with sharp spine all over its body except the lower part, where their month exists. The body was soft and easy to smashed. But better not swim around them anyway. But if in any case you just get hit by this animal, it can be neutralized using urine. A little disgusting but it did work because urine contain ammonia in it.

We swim around Lengkuas island and then continue our sea journey to Gusong island. Well honestly, i love this island much more than Lengkuas. There a lot of starfish all over the island which only looks like a sand bar in the middle of the sea. So many kind of starfishes from the little tiny one into the big and spiny one. You can touch and play with it, but dont forget to get them back to the water soon after they moved their leg, or arms, which mean they were dehydrated.

Before going back to the island where we are going to stay that night, Babi or Kelayang island, we did one small movement to protect mother earth. We did coral planting which cost us 50k which mean nothing if we used it for something that last may be forever. The coral we plant today might be an adult beautiful coral someday after couple of years later. It was addressed for our grand grand children anyway. And also to protect what had been destroyed in most of sea part of earth. Just mark it as a little step, but we would be happy if many others come and participate.

We can plant it by ourselves. It use cement slurry to be its mediation. We just put that mini coral into the table that has been provided about 4 meters deep in the sea. You can dive by yourself or else, ask for help from the guide to put it there for us. I face the challenge, i did dive! It was frightened but it also fabulous and advantageously in the same time. I should remove my life vest, then i was pulled by the guide to make me IN the water. I have no idea why its hard for my body to dive and be inside. May be i need more weight so that the water pressure wont work that hard on me. And yeah, i officially vanishing my water fear anxiety. Bravo!

It was full moon that night. We were in the middle of South China Sea. Not that ‘middle’ actually but it was part of that huge sea anyway. Well then, that night, under the moonlight, we play we laugh we smile and we gather in harmony. The dinner served by the guide. It was crispy shrimp, roasted fish and also some chips. But it really is delicious. Simple, humble and really far away from city life. The electricity only available from 5pm to 11pm. At night, we really need to stay in quite and dark atmosphere. Accompany by the song of the sea that fling smoothly to the shore and white sand.

Back to the city, or town, we visited the Tanjung Tinggi beach for one more time. It was dark yesterday so we cant explore the beach so much. It was the place where the movie Laskar Pelangi or rainbow troops take place. Still many of giant rock all over the beach. We can even climb up and enjoy the view from above. But for this time, we wont get wet since this is our last costume to get back to Jakarta.

But Belitong really is save the best God creation in that tiny island. We just explored the north and west Belitong but we got so much of experience already. Well Belitong, i shall return. Your east and south treasure were not yet explored by me. Just waita 😀