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! 🙂
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Heuu.. this really is my first time be in Bali. i never been here before, i dont have quite a strict plan right now, and i have no fixed walking buddy afterall. Well, my basic planning is just one round ticket, and courage 😀
The journey started from Soekarno Hatta airport, where i should check in and wait for the boarding time all by myself. While keep contacting a connection i just had in Bali, to pick me up at the Ngurah Rai airport. Well this man, i never met before, i just know him from a networking site, couchsurfing. In the end, this site really help me alot. Help me find a walking buddy, a transit friend, and a guide!
On May 22 i departed, after contacted that person i barely knew which i surely have no idea what he looked like and neither he was.
He picked me with his motorcycle once i arrived, and then introduced me to another friend of him which -with a big luck- ride me around the next day. i didnt know him too. Its just a quick connection and trust did work in here. If i am not believing in him, then i wont be able to see and enjoy the beaches with his motor cycle. Moreover, i could get kidnapped or cheated or even worse.! But trust me, u can trust Bali more.
Both of them help me find a cheap hotel around legian and poppies. Those places famous for its cheap and international hotels, which means, alot of tourist from abroad live there. It really is a touristic spot since they have it all there. There are travel agents, internet cafe, restaurant, car and bike rent, board surf rent, and accessories. But in Bali, just dont trust the seller too much. The price they offered you might be alot too much than average. Your bargaining power might help in here ;).
On the first day i did not need to rent a bike or car since this friend offered me a full day ride. i just need to pay for his gasoline and paid him lunch which wont cost me much. and that was so nice of him, and i really appreciated that. He ride me from beach to beaches, visited some national monument called GWK in bali, and also helped me get the best price for water sport activity. He has bunch of friend in travelling world. i tried this parasailing thing which cost me Rp80,000 (they firstly give me Rp150,000 price, weww). But unfortunately it was just too short and ended about 5-10 minutes in the air. The first time ur feet off the ground, u will feel a little sensation of fear. But then , when u see view from the top, its just way too wonderful and fascinating that u could forget ur own fear and started to enjoy the dance of the wind. Later on, when u still trying to figured out things, the operator already shouted loud out to u which mean u should end the tour and pull the trigger to land soon.
i am not interested in trying the banana boat things, or flying fish since thats not my top priority in Bali. I departed with low budget and backpacking style. But next time, may be i ll try all of that 😛
From Benoa (the water sport centre), we continue our ride to another beautiful beaches and paradise, like dreamland, padang padang beach, blue point, padang bait, nusa dua (i love this beach most) and finally to uluwatu, to see a view of “pura” built on the top of escapmen, a mountain side with steepy rock. Far under this mountain side, waves dance beautifully, with interesting color gradation of water. from aquamarine in the shallow coast, into perfect and prussion blue water in the deeper sea. Slowly but sure, the sun going down, resting in peace with yellow ride twilight dispersed into the sky. Such an interesting escape to meditate and making peace with nature.
Well, that night i met another traveller from taipei. We knew each other from couchsurfing too. She did call me even i doubt that in the beginning. The we met up in Kuta beach McDonalds, having a late night meal, chatting just to know each other well. She is an english teacher, so that i can easily understand what she said. Its so much different with another ‘bule’ guy i met after that. He is an australian and he speak so quick, fusing words and make my ears only hears blablabla.. :nohope
We make a sudden plan for tomorrow. Lauren -my taipei friend name- love nature and culture, and so did i. So we decided to visited Ubud, and having lunch in Kintamani, a peak mountain place with cool air, and a big misty mountain in one side. There was a lake far down there, which based on my driver information, did a strange and so much unique culture regarding corpse. They did not buried the dead body. Instead, they just wrap him in a winding sheet, and then hang that body on a tree. Until all their physical evidence dissapear, and what left is just bones!
We also visited a traditional market in Ubud called sukowati. This place really is famous but what i can see is just ‘it’. There is only a few shops, some balinese who sell it traditionally, and a plus plus mark up on price. We should really bargain in this place if we did not want to get cheated or felt fooled to pay more that it should.
Ubud has a very authentic handicraft and sculptor. They made this fascinating statue. Some of it were made of one whole stem. Some are big, some are small but full of details. We just walked around and adore the whole creation, because we surely have no enough money to buy. Its quite expensive of course, since they made in 3 months for the fastest. The other might need years, because they also need to process the original tree into a good condition and solid wood.
On the third day, we separated. Lauren try to find another walking body and so did i, already have a catch up promise with my junior high friends. She work there almost for one year. We rent a bike, she drove :P, for only Rp 55,000. So much cheaper compared to our car rent the day before which cost me Rp 200,000, and Lauren for the same amount. Well, the comfort level should be different too, but thats fine for me.
We visited the famous tanah lot, shopping at Joger (this one is like dagadu from jogja), an authentic young man creation originally from Bali and also shop for souvenirs in the one stop department store. The building is big, contain many kind of souvenirs, foods, and all. I bought some for gift, and spend quite a bunch of money :D.
Tanah lot really is wonderful. We found a couple of japanese who took a pre wedding picture in there. Kawai! But unfortunately its rain when we were about to enjoy the sunset. Many balinese young boy and also some foreigner who have extra courage challenge the big wave beside the hills we climbed up. With tinge orange around the water – air space between sky and sea, in the horizon. Perfect!, even with mizzle around us.
I also love to jog and walk throughout Kuta beach in the morning. at 6 am, before the night’s guys waken up after a till drop party the day before. I brought my camera with me. Picturing the glory morning in Bali, through Kuta to seminyak, with so many different etnics mill about. Feels like i was in the other part of the world. Dogs walk with their masters, surfers catching up early morning waves, some old man and his wife walked in peace near the coast holding into each other hand, and also some new married couplse (seems like that). The other professional photografer also brought their camera with a super tele lense, trying to capture the surfer who surf far from side. I felt a little inconfidence with mine 😦 but thats fine. There also some other man and woman who just walked and jog, breathing the fresh air and enjoying the sound of waves splashing into beach sand. When the sun rise a little more, i get back to my hotel and packing and preparing to get back to the real world again..
Sayonara Bali. I ll be back for more 😛
We came late! And its rain. That’s when the mess or what we later called an amazing adventure is up..
It beginned around 1pm when we started our wild tracking to reach “Kawah Ratu” (Queen Crater). It surely late enough since to get there we will need to walk for three hours or more. We already prepared for a slippery track, but never could imagine more for what we’ve got later.
After 100 metres walk, the weather started to change. We cant predict accurately what we might face nowadays. Rain can falls into a sunny day and vice versa. And thats what happened on Saturday June 12, 2010 when we walked through this trip. Fortunately i brought my rain coat, so that i can keep my camera and clothes dry. My other friends bring umbrella, which was not effective enough considering the path we passing through. The other could only rely more on their jacket which still surely soaked into their whole body.
Its a torrential rains and last quite long. We walk next to some stream by our right or left. It depends on which path we choose, since we also need to crossed the stream more than one time. Totally wet but seems like no sides to escape. Walk in a quite medium flow of water, hold hands one and another just in case u got slipped, while our feet already tremble. There are several prick post which showed us how far we had gone. Those were counting down from our starting point until we reach the crater. Sometimes, it gave us hope, the other times, it just made us back to the fact that we still had long way to passed before arriving.
Well, by the time we get to the crater, it really is not much worthed of the journey. Its just looked like another crater u might all ever seen. Some indentation which covered up by lot of haze and fog. The water inside the crater seems hot since it produce foam which actively blowed plus the additional scent from sulphur which evaporate to the air. Our guide really unsuggested us to stay longer than half hour. This queen crater located on Mount Salak on West Java. Around the mountain are preservation area covered by alot of pine trees. Good weather for sure, and also chilly air, with a refreshing view from all side. But, for my own opinion, “Kawah Putih” in the north of Bandung (another area in West Java) still more beautiful than this one. Minus the tracking for sure since its so easy to get there.
And then, this is when the journey became more and more attractive than before. We tough thats all, but in fact, its far from all! We still have to walk down the hill to get back to our base camp. We started the tracking at 5pm from up there, which is soo much late, remembering that we need no less than 3 hours walking to reach the nearest camp. We all were not well prepared for the upcoming night, since from the 18 of us, there were only 3 lighters (phone and flashlight), which made us still lack of beam for the entire night walks.
We saw some firefly through our way home. Those animal are so tiny and what beaming actually was it’s butt. My friend said that only the male firefly have beam which used to attrack the female one.
When the sun settling down, we could only relied to the light from stars, which luminescent from the sky. There are alot of them and each have different sparkling quality. However, that light still far from enough to enlighten our way, moreover when some of our lighter diing down. It bring us holding more tight to each other so we can rest on our friend for the rest of our way. Walking down seems a little difficult then climbing up several hours ago. The only good thing happen that time was, no rain anymore, and the stream dry already. So at least we were not trembling and wet.
Along the way, it just spookier than we tough. Some of my friends felt like there were something else around us. It made us come closer to each other. Some strange sounds coming up while we just try to convince our selves that all of those are nothing. We were in a dark forest, in the middle of nowhere, so there was no need to add another additional fear.
Soon we see the light which might comes from the nearest resident. But still, the more we walked, it looked like we never get closer. We forgot our starting track post number so we just guessed. And our guessing is not good enough since we still need a few more walk after we tough that we were finally arrived. Well, seems like God has another plan for us, we got loss! We finally made it to the nearest camp but thats not where we started our journey for the first time. We left far behind our guide with who some of us gathered. So our team like being separated into two. Fortunately most of the boys stay in the last team so we did not worry that much. We just walked down and ask for our camp direction to the local community. Its another fortune since its not so far from where we standed. Then we just did a little more walk and voila! We were all there again 😀
In this too simple camp, we gotta cleaned up in a limited water and no electricity around. There is only one kerosene lantern in the middle of us. We ordered some hot tea from nearest coffee shop. They also provided noodles and fried rices, so we just ordered some since our stomatch almost empty and our stamina almost reach its lowest level. Not comfortable enough with the water and lighting condition, we decided to find a villa or local home to be rented and we got it for 250,000 IDR per night. Thats enough for all of us to stay. 9 girls sleep in the two room provided while the boys stayed outside. Its cold, too cold actually and we should fight the night with the only thing available in that place, two blanket for all and several pillows, no bed for the boys, and luckyly some of us bring the sleeping bag. Before going to sleep, we did some games to keep our body moved and warm, and then fell asleep aroung 2am.Sleep under the stars, thats the theme of the night. 😀