Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pulau Langkawi Trip -Accommodation & Transportation

This trip was such an unexpected trip for me. Me and other 30s other real estate management students actually joined a community service program from my department in Faculty of Built Environment which the notification was announced about one week before the trip its self. As an opportunist, for sure I took this opportunity since the trip was sponsored by my department (Oh, really BIG THANKS for my department. Hehe)

One view of the archipelago in Langkawi

Anyway, because the trip was sponsored, I didn't really know the cost I spent for the transportation from KL to Kuala Perlis. But later I found out it's not more than RM 50 though. The journey is about 6-7 hours. It actually depends on how many times the bus stops in the R&R (Rest and Relaxation). The longer we spend time there, the longer time we will arrive in Kuala Perlis. From Kuala Lumpur, we can get bus from Puduraya Terminal. Don't worry about the bus, It's full aircond-ed and pretty convenient in my opinion.

After around 7 hours journey, my group arrived in Kuala Perlis very early in the morning (5 am). We waited for the first voyage which is scheduled at 7 am. The fee for the ferry is only RM36/person. Don't worry, it won't take long time to arrive in Langkawi. Normally, it will only take an hour. Oh ya, I was kinda afraid to take ferry after the accident happened in Gaspar Strait couple months ago. Well, It didnt happen to me, but my friend did. The ferry was exploded because someone was very indiscipline and throw the cigarette mistakenly caused box of chicks burned and the fire was madly spreading to the whole part of the ferry. The situation was compounded with the not updated life saving equipment. It caused so much troubles for the passengers. So that's how my friend told me about his experience and it kinda scares me. Btw, no need to worry. What I want to say is that the life saving guideline and equipment in the ferry from Kuala Perlis to Langkawi are way more advance. I was surprised at the beginning of the voyage, in the TV showed about the life saving guidelines just like in the airplane. And the journey was kinda convenient as well.
Langkawi Budget Inn

Alrite, in Langkawi, I was impressed when I firstly stepped at the jetty. I think the government is very alarmed and well prepare for the development in this island as the tourism destination. The jetty looks way more modern than I experience in Indonesia. It looks more comfortable because of the well sufficient facilities like restaurants, car park, bus station, surau, groceries stores, etc.

Oh ya, my group went to the location where we had the community service program and to the place where we can stay for 2 nights there. But unfortunately, the place that we stayed was not comfortable. Therefore 4 of my classmates and I decided to find hotel, or inn, or whatever is more comfortable to stay. Then we found this budget inn called "Langkawi Budget Inn". The inn is located in the center of Kuah. At first, we were offered RM 80 per night for deluxe room. The facilities for deluxe room are 2 queen beds, TV, AC, and toilet with water heater. We bargained the rate, at the end we only got to pay RM 65 per night and stayed there for 2 nights. The inn also provides internet service. But it's only available in the lobby.
Btw, there are a loooot more inns, hotels, guesthouses in Langkawi that very affordable and convenient. They are also very easy to find. So, don't worry about it ^_^

For the whole 3 days trip we had in Langkawi, our schedule for the program was not very pact. So, we could spend more time exploring some places in Langkawi by renting a car. We did research on internet and finally found affordable tariff for the car rent. We paid RM50 per day  for Viva Perodua. Not a big car, but as long as we all can fit there, so it's ok hehe. For the whole 2 days we rented the car, we just spent around RM 30 for the gas.

I think that's all about the transportation and accommodation. Later. Hopefully this information will be useful to you guys.

Moment of sunset that can't be missed in Cenang Beach

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Summer Break In Bangka

It's been months without blogging. Since April, of course many things happened, many things have changed.

Let's talk about what I have captured so far in my hometown during summer break since the end of June to early September. Talking about "capture", I don't know why, I think I  develop my hobby about photography now. And It's a good thing I guess. Well ya, I am not that "very good" yet, but I am just enjoying to work on this new hobby since I managed to buy camera and maybe later I will suffice more of my photography tools. Who knows rite? InshaAllah :)

To be honest, I am so proud to be born and raised in such a beautiful hometown. It's like I never be bored to visit some spots in Bangka to just relax my self and take pictures with friends. Fortunately, I usually get "the moment" to capture some nice view. I guess, I prefer landscape to portrait as my object of photography. But I try both to be good in this hobby. I always feel blessed every time I get to the location and very thankful to what God has given to us. Hopefully we can be people who care about the environment and utilize it wisely instead of over exploring by doing such damages to the nature. Amin

 As usual, I will give brief information to pictures I captured in case you guys are interested to visit the beautiful Bangka Belitung :)

Aik Anyer Beach

 I went to Aik Anyer Beach to accompany my cousin's friend from Jakarta who were having holiday in Bangka. It was almost late afternoon like 4 pm or 5 pm and we spent the sunset there. Pretty much happy to see the view here. The beach is not crowded especially during the week days. We spent around 20 minutes to the location from Pangkalpinang. Because most of the beaches in Bangka Belitung are still natural (I mean now there are not many resorts utilize the beach to be developed), so normally the road we pass is not well developed and it takes time sometimes to reach the beach.
Aik Nyer Beach is usually visited by local people on weekend. This beach is gently slope. We don't see any giant rocks in this beach just like Pasir Padi Beach and Penyak Beach. The visitors usually spend time relaxing with family, fishing, swimming, having lunch together etc. No cafe or restaurants available. People prepare foods in their house and bring them here. Some grill the fishes at the beach.
We can also find the source of fresh water from the natural river nearby the beach. The usual habit of local people, after they swim at the sea they will swim to the river where the fresh water is sourced.  Some people are afraid of the salty water from the sea will make their skin itchy and uncomfortable but for some beaches which are facilitated with public toilet or bathroom, people tend to utilize that facility to clean themselves.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Visiting The Harmonious Jogjakarta

I actually had 6 days vacation to Jogjakarta with my Mom in January. It has been 20 years since we left Jogja. My mom said that my parents were just married when they moved there. Ahh, so sweet. Especially knowing that I was raised at such beautiful and peaceful land like Jogja.
The main reason my mom and I traveled there was because we just wanted to track back our memories from the past. It was kinda emotional too for me especially when we visited the house which my parents used to rent. We met our old neighbors in the dense neighborhood of Jogja. Of course they are not young anymore. But they still have that memories when I was a little baby. So happy that I was be loved by so many nice people around me.

Anyway, beside tracking the memories of my past, my Mom and I got the chance to go to a lot of tourism destination in Jogjakarta, shopping, and tasting various kind of Jogja cuisines. I don't really remember what we exactly had, but here I share some photographs I took and short stories during my vacation. ^_^

 She was my neighbor when I was a baby. Kinda hard to get this photograph, she was so shy because I couldn't stop taking pictures of her. Hehehe. Thanks Mbah for taking care of me when I was so young.

 It's located not far from Keraton Jogjakarta (the Royal Palace). We call this place as Museum Kereta Jogjakarta (Cart Museum of Jogjakarta). Those carts are mostly age hundred years old. And they are still very well maintained and being used by the Keraton Family for certain ceremonial events.

 In U.K. or in another countries, you perhaps can't enter the Royal Palace. But here in Jogjakarta, it's opened to public!! By paying very little amount of entrance fee you can explore some parts of the Keraton. There are some museums inside about Batik, Royal's family structure by centuries, and any other informative things you can find only in this Palace.

 He is an "Abdi Dalem" or "the King's Servant" in english. In Jogjakarta, the people are so obedient and faithful to the King and His family. They really respect the Royal Family and work with them for such long time as Abdi Dalem. Suprisingly they only get paid less than RM10 per year!! Can you imagine that!! Such a good servant!! Salute!! (Well, most of them only work part time as Abdi Dalem, they suffice their families by working another job)

 The pedicab driver looked so happy even though he had been waiting for the passengers for such long time  that day. In this beautiful place, I suggest you to take pedicab or "Becak" to feel the atmosphere of the city. The fee is mostly still affordable and negotiable, depends on how far you go.

 This is one of my favorite shot. (I was the photographer, LOL) It's located not far from Keraton. We called this place as Taman Sari. People believe that this place was used by the princesses from Keraton to take a bath.

 When you go to Jogja, don't forget to go to Malioboro to get batik. Batik is Indonesia famous fabric. Actually, each province in Indonesia has it's own pattern and color of batik. These days, to preserve Batik, Indonesian designers  make such innovation to design Batik into several catchy models so people can always wear it in any such moments.

 Not only Penang that is famous with it's street food. You can also find a lot of street foods in Jogjakarta.

Don't miss this food if you are in Jogja. GUDEG!! I dunno how to describe this food. But I just love it! You can find it at any restaurants 

Prambanan temple. It's also a must to visit this amazing old architecture. The uniqueness of this temple made me wondering, how the past people could come up with the ideas to build such incredible form of art into a temple

 You can see the details uh?

 Another famous temple in Java. Well it's very far away from Jogja btw. Borobudur is located in Magelang which is not part of Jogja anymore.

 You must go upstairs to reach the highest level of this budhist temple. You also can get chance to see beautiful nature nearby the temple. Because of it's height, you will feel like you are on the top of hill.

 This artist is very cute!! >_< He is a street artist that looked so happy to act his character. If we can see gold sparkling men in Bukit Bintang Malaysia, we can meet this pantomime guy in Jogjakarta.

 Don't worry, those seniors are not real. They are just the mannequins placed inside the museum Vrederburg. You can feel the nuisance when Indonesians struggling after the independence day in this museum by different scenarios of each stage of history.

This was the last place I went with my mom. It's called Monjali  or MOumeN JogjA kembaLI. Almost the same with Vrederburg, we can see the scenarios of moments during past time after Indonesian independence day. We can also find a lot of vintage stuffs left by the history.

This short visit of me and my mom left such good memories for us. Many things might have changed. But we will always remember this beautiful city no matter what. :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Backpacking to Penang part 2

Here is the second post about Penang. Yeah,  it's kinda late.Cause last month I had so many activities to do.

Food Hunt
From the travel book that Bang Ooc (My backpacking company) bought, we saw list of foods that might be tried. My classmate, Joel also gave me itinerary plan which consist of some famous restaurants in Penang that I can visit. Bang Ooc, Bang Ali, and I managed to try all of them, unfortunately some Chinese foods in the list which are non-halal.
Penang is very famous with its street food. During night and day we can see a lot of people sell the foods with considerably cheap price. Mostly what I found out in Georgetown, the foods are Chinese food. Well, I am ok with any kind of foods but it must be halal :)
To prevent any non-halal foods, we always asked before we try the foods. It took time for us to find the "right" foods. We went around Georgetown to find foods. These are the foods we eat there :

Nasi Kandar Beratur

As I read about Nasi Kandar, it's originally from Penang Island. When I tasted it slightly has Indian food influence because of the taste of the curry. 
The restaurant "Nasi Kandar Beratur" is very wellknown in Penang. It has been operating since 1943. "Beratur" in bahasa Melayu means "Queue'". Just like the name, we must queue to get our food. This restaurant only open at 10 pm. Can you imagine, you have to wait till 10 pm to get nasi kandar and wait for another minutes for queuing. But don't worry you deserve very good food after all. We can choose many dishes offered here. I heard from some people, the special dish here is the fish egg, so i gave my try. Then I also tried shrimp with lady fingers. Do not worry about the price, you can get it about RM 8 - RM 15 I think. Depends on how many dishes you get.

The next morning, we were so hungry but we try to find halal foods that we can eat. We remembered that someone we met in Nasi Kandar Restaurant said that we can try "Jeruk". Well, it's kinda awkward for us as Indonesians, because Jeruk in Bahasa Indonesia means Orange. But never mind, we hunted this food. We were kinda surprised knowing that Jeruk is actually fruits pickle which we call as "Asinan Buah" in Indonesia. it looks so colorful and nice. But, it seems like it's sour. Because it's still in the morning, we were afraid that we could get stomachache. So we tried to find another foods.

Not far from the "Jeruk Pak Ali"-the name of the shop- we found "Penang Road Famous Theochew Chendul Ice Kacang". The name is so long eh? hahaha. This is another "must try" food that we saw in the travel book and it's halal. We got some Chenduls. Well, we can find it in Indonesia as Cendol. The restaurant actually  has 2 main menus of drink, Ice Kacang (Ice with various kind of beans) and Chendul. Me and friends ordered both and shared the drink together. We got served in a small restaurant and it has another Penang Food to be served and luckily it's halal. Because the one who cooks the food is Indonesian too. OMG I can find a lot of Indonesians in Malaysia and even similar the foods. My friend ordered Laksa Penang. It has a lot of veggies and fruits inside. Served with thick fish soup with laksa (like mee but made by rice). I really love this laksa. Bcz I love seafood, veggies, and fruits. My friends said it's too sour and fishy. But I enjoyed eating it. Bcz right after I went back to KL, I've tried a lot of Laksa in different restaurants but still can't defeat the one in Penang. Hahaha.

On the next day, we hung out to the northern part of Georgetown which is facing the sea. There is Fort Cornwalles as the tourist attraction. Then we can find a food court in front of the Fort. We ordered different halal chinese foods + coconut shake. I think the coconut shake here is not as good as the one I had in Melaka.

We continued our food hunting to Little India. Almost the same as Chulia Street, in Little India we can see a lot of restaurants and street foods. But the special thing here all is about India. We stopped in some Street Restaurants and tasted varieties of Indian cakes.

Basically, we tried some other foods and I managed to take some pictures of random street foods in Georgetown. Here they are....

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Backpacking to Penang part 1

This was my first time went to Penang by backpacking. Which means, I only packed all my stuffs into my backpack, shared room in very low budget guest house, budgeted the expenses, even though only for 2 days 3 nights LOL.

Well, this time I traveled with my friends who I call them "bang" (like brother or bro) from Bangka-my hometown. They basically love travelling as well. They had been in some places in Indonesia like Makasar, Lombok, Bali, Bandung, etc. Knowing that I love to travel too, when bang Okta said that he wanted to travel to Malaysia so I accompany him (which later he asked bang Ali to join us) to Penang. Therefore, after their arrival in KL Sentral, I met them up there. Then, we decided to go to Puduraya Bus Station (Puduraya Sentral).

I had very less information about Penang. I planned to go there like long time ago by asking my classmates about it. But it never happened. And I think it's the best time to go there while I have not so much routines in my campus. I browsed from Mr. Google about Penang, ask my Penang friends, and also ask some friends who went there before. Bang Okta also brought a travel guide book that he bought in Indonesia. As the result, I still didn't know much till I was there, Hahahaha.

We went on friday morning, taking bus to Penang which cost RM35 with very good service though we only stopped once to public stop within 4.5 hours journey. The bus is full AC, and the seat is comfortable though. From Puduraya Sentral, we stopped at Butterworth because some passengers wanted to stop there. Afterward, we continue to Penang Island. We passed the Penang Bridge and stopped at Sungai Nibong Bus terminal after all.

As my friends requested me, we took Rapid Penang bus no. 409 to Georgetown and searched the cheapest guest house. My friend told me that at Chulia Street, there are a lot of low budget guest houses which actually very familiar for backpacker. We finally found Banana New Guest House. For 2 days lodge, we just paid RM 100 for a shared room and shared toilet. With that budget, we got a room with 1 double bed and 1 single bed + AC. That's more than enough for us, because we were only in the room at night for sleeping.
Banana New Guest House

At the guest house, we got free Penang Traveller's Map. The information in the map is very simple and understandable. We always brought it everywhere we went. Just follow the direction and lines in the map. We then realized that Georgetown is small. Even Penang is a small island compare with Bangka. We once tried to take free bus called CAT (Central Area Transit) from Komtar-the highest building in Penang- to go to some places. But, actually we could just track the road by walking, LOL. We had asked for bike rental. It's about RM10 per-day. Whereas we must pay the deposit RM 100 to RM 200. Meh, no lah. We were rather walking than biking.

During travelling, the most important thing is our immunity. Being healthy is a first requirement. Because we are gonna be very tired walking around the tourism destination. And sometimes we take the whole day to cover our travel time shortly to see a lot of attractions. Those who are very easy to be sick, better to bring some medicines or vitamin to stay fresh. For woman, we sometime unexpectedly get our period, so we must prepare pads inside our backpack.

Anyway, Georgetown reminds me of Melaka. They both have similarity in term of the architectural building. Georgetown is basically an old town that still utilizes it's old building as the hotels, shophouses, restaurants, and also tourism attractions. I really love old buildings which has unique characteristic, well managed and covered by colorful paint. They look pretty cool though!!

As what we saw everyday there, the population in Georgetown is dominantly populated by Chinese. They open many kind of business there, but mostly as seller at the restaurants, groceries shops, etc. We found less Malay here compare with back in Kuala Lumpur.

Although Georgetown is very crowded, this small town is literally a clean town. This town is also equipped with some directories and other facilities that easy us to explore. The transportation is also easy to access. Money changers are easy to be found. Restaurants and street foods are available everywhere.
Komtar, the highest building in Penang (taken from the guesthouse I stayed)

My friends and I did foods hunt here. We also traveled to some tourism objects. But, I will tell about this in another post. So, see you later ^_^

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Never Get Bored with The Beach in Bangka Belitung

I missed a month to post any postings. Because yeah, I just got the chance to have better internet speed in the campus after the semester break. I actually got back home to Pangkalpinang, Bangka Belitung during this semester break and had so much fun with friends. I traveled to 4 beaches. I've never done like this travelling lol (4 beaches in one month break!! hahhaa). But the time spent pretty well anyway.Here I am telling you about the beach i my homeland, Bangka Belitung.

Technically, as an archipelago province, Bangka Belitung is surrounded by beach so we can just travel to different district of this province and enjoy different beautiful beach. The beach in Bangka Belitung is famous of its uniqueness with giant rocks beautifully arranged by the nature and also because most of all the beach are visited by less number of visitors. So you somehow feel like the particular area of the beach you visit is yours. Because nobody will bother you so you can relax while listening to the sound of weaves.

1. Pasir Padi Beach
This beach is the nearest beach from the main town, Pangkalpinang. The contour of this beach is not ornamented with giant rocks. When the low tide, sometimes some part of the beach is used for rally competition. This beach is wellknown as crowd center especially during weekend and school holiday. Many seafood restaurants like Biru Laut and Aroma Laut are favorites of the visitors to have dinner nearby the seashore with family and friends. Another facilities provided are Kamanja Outbond, children playing area, tourism information center, Serata hotel, and souvenir shop. Visitors can enjoy the morning sunrise in Pasir Padi

2. Penyak Beach
Penyak beach is lied along the way from Pangkalpinang to Koba (District of Central Bangka). While driving along the road nearby the beach, we can feel the fresh wind from the sea. The beach is not too crowded except in the weekend or holiday. Local people sometimes spend their evening to just sit with the family and chill. It's just 45-60 minutes from Pangkalpinang. There are some restaurants nearby the seashore facing the sea.

3. Tanjung Beriga Beach
This beach is located in Lubuk Besar, Koba. About 2-3 hours away from Pangkalpinang. Tanjung Beriga is usually used by the local villagers as a crab home industry. The crab that has been processed traditionally will be imported to another province or overseas. We can see some fishermen's boats nearby the coast. The water is still clean and we can feel very relax here because the visitors coming are not much. The giant rocks are arranged beautifully here. We also can see shells spreading on the sand at some part of the beach.

4. Tanjung Berikat Beach
Not so far from Tanjung Beriga is located, there is Tanjung Berikat beach. It's about 15 minutes driving from Tanjung Beriga. The characteristic of the beach is quite similar though. But the sand in Tanjung Berikat is incredibly soft and makes us feel so comfy to step on it. The water is very clean especially during the summer. There is a tower that can be accessed by walking through the jungle around the beach. The tower is actually operated for certain telephone number provider. But, many visitors go up there to view the beach from the top. In Tanjung Berikat, there are some best spot to hunt some photographs, For example little piece of savannah that heading the beach and the huge and high flat rock where we can enjoy the view of magnificent beach from the top of it and also enjoy the sunset.

Special thanks
...... to CS Bangka (Couch Surfing Bangka), I am so happy to know such amazing travelers like you guys. Cant wait to go travelling again with you all. :)

 .....to Mbak Ayi and Arin, Thanks for accompany me to hunt awesome photographs. Gonna miss you alot :)