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 🙂
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! 🙂
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.