Tan Son Nhat, Viet Jet dan Noi Bai

Akan kuceritakan bagaimana 8 jam menjelajah Ho Chi Minh. Kota dengan 4 juta kendaraan bermotor dan cuaca panas serta menyimpan sejarah perjuangan gerilyawan Vietkong dengan terowongan bawah tanahnya.

Sejenak Aku akan bercerita bagaimana berdebarnya hati menjelang mengudara bersama Viet Jet. Kenapa ya kira-kira?

Ya….Saat itu Viet Jet lagi heboh-hebohnya memperagakan demo keselamatan penerbangan oleh para pamugari berbikininya. Tapi ternyata peragaan itu tidak terjadi malam itu….Penumpang kecewa….hahaha.

Sepulang dari Cu Chi Tunnel….Jam 18:27 di sebuah jalan, aku mulai menawar harga taxi menuju Tan Son Nhat Airport….Ya, taxi di sana lebih suka tawar menawar daripada memakai argometer. Karenanya bagi yang ga tega menawar bakalan over budget ya kalau berwisata kesana.

Deal 30.000 Dong Vietnam (VND), Taxi mengantarkanku dan teman-teman ke airport dalam 25 menit. Diturunkan di depan departure hall.

Tan Son Nhat Entrance Gate

departure gate

Masih jam 18:48, sedangkan boarding timeku jam 22:00. Lebih baik keluar dari bandara untuk mencari yang murah daripada kemahalan dinner di bandara.

Menyeberang jalan Truong Son dengan cepat karena lampu merah menyala singkat. Kupikir semuanya OK, ternyata temanku “si Gendut” tarik-tarikan tas selempang dengan 2 pencopet bermotor….Aku tahu tas itu berisi paspor dan sejumlah VND. Beruntung kedua pencopet menyerah dan melepaskannya.

Restaurant near Tan Son Nhat

pemilik warung makan

Kembali ke bandara dan duduk lesehan menunggu check-in. Aku melihat beberapa calon penumpang berdebat kencang dengan ground staff….entah ketinggalan atau delay….

Departure Hall Tan Son Nhat

Departure Hall berjubel penumpang didepan mataku.

Selesai check-in masuklah ke bagian pemeriksaan. Penumpang lokal menunjukkan tiket dan ID card sedangkan turis menunjukkan tiket dan paspor. Tentara pemeriksa melihat lekat wajahku sambil mencocokkan dengan foto di paspor. Deg-degan sih….tapi santai saja, terpenting Aku mengikuti prosedur.

Setelahnya masuk Gate 16 menunggu Viet Jet datang. Sambil menunggu, aktivitas yang bisa kulakukan adalah iseng ngitungin penumpang lokal sembari nglihatin tingkah laku para Vietnamese. Bahkan temanku bicarain si Vietnam cantik yang diduduk didepan bangku….kayaknya dia ngerti sedang dibicarakan, senyam-senyum manis menatap kita….wkwkwk

Anggi and Boarding Gate

Si Anggi di Gate..sstt masih single tuh!!!

Backpack and Ticket

Keliling Singapore, Kamboja dan Vietnam dengan tas sekecil itu

Tepat jam 22:00 mulai boarding. Mulailah terlihat sifat asli mereka. Kaki penumpang belakang nongol di sela sela kursiku, pada asik wa-an ketika ada perintah mematikan alat elektronik, dan juga kaki naik ke atas kursi ketika take-off…..asiikkkk, hebat-hebat nih orang….hihihi

Kukira pilotnya bule seperti yang terpampang di web maskapai tapi ternyata keduanya pilot lokal….agak khawatir….berdoá ajalah.

Bersyukur, penerbangan 2 jam itu mulus tanpa turbulensi dan mendarat baik di Noi Bai.

Viet Jet at Noi Bai

Gerimis dan senyum kedinginan saat turun pesawat

Aku sengaja terbang malam supaya bisa tidur di Noi Bai International Airport sampai pagi….Biasa hemat budget penginapan. Pengalaman tidur disana kuceritakan nanti saja ya…..Yang jelas Noi Bai lah perlindungan terbaik malam itu dari suhu 8 derajat Celcius di luar.

Thanks Viet Jet dan Noi Bai…..

Never Give Up for Golden Rock, Myanmar

5 am….Agga Youth Hotel staff whispers woke me up in dormitory …. He worried if 11 other tourists woke up … hihihi.

Prepared for 15 minutes without bathing finally I departed to Aung Mingalar bus terminal in the north by taxi. The excellence of Myanmar public transportation (i.e buses and taxis) are using gas fuel. So you will rarely find air pollution on their streets.

Taxi covered a trip about 24 km in 55 minutes. Because it was still early morning and the first bus would depart on 7:30 am, I finally decided to had a breakfast with omelet fried rice for 1,000 Kyat in terminal with monks, drivers and conductors …. “So I like Burmese now”.

Gbr 1

Bus, thanaka and cheap breakfast

Waiting for 30 minutes inside bus before departing, my attention was on bus conductor, his cheek with thanaka, pacing, chewed betel, occasionally spitting it into a covered small box above dashboard. Looks like he cares about hygiene than other.

Bus departed on time. Instantly left downtown and began to ride through countryside. Bus often passed to farmer’s tractor on street.

At 10:10 bus stopped for toilet break in a restaurant. Stopped for 15 minutes and then resumed the trip.

Gbr 2

Intercity bus and restaurant along with their local artists.

On the way, local passengers one by one began to descended, because I didn’t know where I was, finally I asked to bus conductor. To simplify communicated to him, I showed Golden Rock picture in my phone ….. yesss, he immediately gave me a thumb up as OK sign and he understood what I asked to dropped me there.

11:25 am I was awakened by the conductor …. “arrived,” she said in Myanmar language while pointing to trucks that were carrying people. He told me to rode it… ..I know that Golden Rock was on a hilltop.

Kinpun Station …. the name of the last bus terminal in this trip. Okay, I started to bought a truck ticket to truck conductor who was shouting eagerly to grabbed passengers.

“OK just relax”, I thought … Just got in the truck and I would reach the Golden Rock……

 

Gbr 3

Rode a truck and paid 3,000 Kyats 

After truck departed for 10 minutes, all was changed …. tense face, paused mouth, often breathe deeply …. and actually truck ran across through road without barrier on both sides …. I was surrender and many prayed. 

My panic grew as I knew that one of truck tires was almost bald. I saw it when truck stopped to rest in midway. “for reached hilltop was needed time to rest…so it was long way….Then, how long must I pass this tension?” …. And I must went back to Kinpun Station next afternoon on similar trip….very tense day for me

Honestly….When I climbed to hilltop, I said in my mind,  I shouldn’t need to went there if I knew that the trip was very horrible.

After 45 minutes tension, finally I arrived. Fresh air about 16 celsius degree made me relax and forgetting the tension.

After buying an entrance ticket for 6,000 Kyat and passing a metal detector at entrance gate, I still had to walked through stairs to reached Golden Rock.

Gbr 4

Some children who didn’t strongly walk could ride carrying services

Beautiful Golden Rock ….. a golden-yellow stone that had been in balance for 2,500 years and didn’t fall when it really lie on cliff rim. According the local tale, Buddha hair had blocked this stone so it didn’t fall.

Scientifically I don’t know the theory ….?

Gbr 5

Top Left: Entrance gate into Golden Rock courtyard
Top right: Golden Rock with Kyaiktiyo pagoda above it
Bottom right and bottom left: Golden Rock courtyard

Gbr 6

After looking around and capturing some pictures finally I decided to went back to downhill because I had to catched bus towards Yangon. The last bus was on 4:30 pm according information from a bus conductor last morning.

Holding my breath again while rode back a truck to downhill. In midway of trip, my eyes fixed on a project board that said that it was being built a cable car project to Golden Rock …. actually my trip to Myanmar was on 2015, and based on some information that cable car had been operated since December 2017.

So who wants to go there and ride the Cable Car?
Sharing for your experience if you have ridden it!

Wattay International Airport….A Small Gate of Lao Tourism

Visiting Vientiane was a special gift. How can?, a trip that had got cancellation on 2014 due to my leave letter was refused by my office. And finally I waited for 4 years  to made it really happen.

Air Asia flight AK 552 landed smoothly at Wattay International Airport on 09:14. Seeing airport area from plane that was taxing to airport parking lot reminded me to Adisumarmo airport (Solo) in last 2004 ….. very small.

Even Air Asia AK 552 became the one and only international flight that landed in that morning.

Pic 1

airport parking lot

Within 7 minutes after plane stopped perfectly, I got out through aviobridge. I took time to captured some pictures above.

From aviobridge I turned right into arrival corridor that looked elegant with carpeted floor and minimalist modern style.

Pic 2

arrival corridor

At the end of corridor I turned left to immigration processing hall. The toilet is on left of hall entrance access. There are 14 passport control service counters there. It only took 17 minutes from starting to queue until passport had stamped. Immigration officers spoke english less fluently but quite understandable.

Pic 3

passport control service counter

Out of immigration counter, I was immediately confronted to 2 units of conveyor belt in baggage claim room. Since I didn’t bring checked luggage then I rushed to exit gate into arrival hall.J

Pic 4

baggage claim area

But before I actually got out, I stopped in front of small room to right side of gate. There is an official money changer belonging to BCEL (Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao). This made me easy to immediately exchanged USD to Lao Kip.

Pic 5

BCEL money changer

After that I really got out on arrival hall. There are only two counters in the hall, local SIM card sales counter and Taxi ticket counter. Although I saw an airport bus signage in counter, but airport bus tickets weren’t sold here. It will be paid directly to bus conductor.

Pic 6

arrival hall

Exit from arrival hall, by crossing street you will be directly faced on the car park area. The uniqueness of parking area can see on its roof in the form of solar cell sheets as electricity source for airport lighting. It was cooperation project of Japan and Lao government. I could easily find its cooperation inscription in parking area.

If you turn right from exit door about 25m, you will find airport bus shelter to downtown.

Pic 7

parking area and airport exit

So … When arriving in Laos, Don’t rush to leave the airport …. Make the airport as one of your destinations.

Congratulations for landing at “The Little Pretty” Wattay International Airport.

Overland Trip from Vientiane (Lao) to Siem Reap (Cambodia)

Overland trip from Viantiane (Lao) to Siem Reap (Cambodia) was interest thing. 26 hours trip presented an unforgettable experience.

It was very difficult to hunted an online ticket from Jakarta, it prompted me to immediately bought a ticket when arrived in Funky Monkey Hostel -a hostel that I chose to stayed in Viantiane-. The good news was Funky Monkey Hostel sold it for 420,000 Kip. Although other hostel or travel agents sold it for 400,000 Kip or 410,000 Kip, I preferred to bought in Funky Monkey Hostel because after I checked out on next day, I could use its comfortable lobby to waited for pickup tuk-tuk.

The ticket consists of 2 pieces:

Gambar 1

left: ticket information board to several destinations sold in Funky Monkey Hostel
upper right: first ticket. Used for sleeper bus trip from Viantiane to Pakse
bottom right: second ticket. For minivan trip from Pakse to Siem Reap

The pickup tuk-tuk came late 1 hour from scheduled time on 18:30. Due to traffic jam on Rue Setthalhilath Avenue, the hotel owner finally begged me for walked shortly to caught the pick up tuk-tuk that was stuck in that avenue.

The tuk-tuk would bring me to the sleeper bus shelter. During trip to the shelter, tuk-tuk stopped 5 times to picked up other tourists in several hostels where they stayed.

Tuk-tuk arrived in bus shelter within 45 minutes. When tuk-tuk arrived, the bus staff requested a first ticket (yellow) and he would give you a similar replacement one. Because of in a hurry, it only took 5 minutes for passenger boarding into sleeper bus.

Gambar 2

top left: pick up tuk-tuk
top right: “King of Bus’ sleeper bus.
bottom right: bus interior
bottom left: I got 600 ml bottle of mineral water on board and one wet wipes upon arrived in Pakse

At 21:00 bus left its shelter towards Southern Bus Station and arrived within 30 minutes. Bus took all passengers here for last time. Actually I was a bit worried about my backpack that put into baggage compartment because it mixed with many local passenger luggages. My backpack should be able to brought up into cabin for safety. But finally, I was very grateful when arrived in Pakse, my backpack was found easily.

Here was situations during trip to Pakse:

Gambar 3

During trip I didn’t drink too much after knowing the bus toilet couldn’t be used. 

At 9 am, bus reached Pakse downtown.

Gambar 4

top and lower left: views of Pakse downtown
right: Pakse bus terminal where bus dropped all passengers.

For tourists who would visit Pakse could continue by walking or rode a tuk-tuk for 10,000 Kip to downtown. Well, I would continue my journey to Siem Reap, I just waited in terminal because in 10 minutes I would be picked up by minivan.

I was picked up by a dark blue minivan. It would bring me into Ban Nakasong and would be switched with another minivan to Lao-Cambodia border.

Gambar 5

The first minivan that departed from Pakse terminal was stopping in a rest area.

Gambar 6

1 hour later the minivan dropped off a tourist at Don Khong

The minivan then dropped me off in Ban Nakasong to exchanged my second ticket (white) with the other one (green) and I switched to 2nd minivan into border.

Gambar 7

left: a replacement ticket was earned in Ban Nakasong travel counter.
right: the 2nd minivan from Ban Nakasong to Lao-Cambodia border.

At 11:45 I arrived at Lao-Cambodia border. Although Indonesia is a free visa country for Lao, I was asked to paid USD 2 to got the departure stamp.

Gambar 8

top left: Lao land border gate
top right: Lao immigration building
bottom right: a counter where I got a departure stamp and also as visa payment counter
bottom left: Cambodia immigration building was seen from Lao immigration building

After 15 minute immigration process in Lao, I walked to Cambodia border. Their distance is very close.

Gambar 9

Cambodia immigration building (Stung Treng Border Crossing Station)

At Cambodia immigration, I also must pay a quarantine sheet for USD 1 and an arrival stamp for USD 1.

From Cambodia immigration building, I moved into 3rd minivan that will take tourists to next dropping point as far as 1 hour driving.

Gambar 10

3rd minivan

The 3rd minivan would dropped off  passengers at a dropping point in the form of a restaurant which was also a travel agent. I ate rice with a boiled egg for USD 1.5 here as a lunch. From here I would moved into 4th minivan

After waiting 45 minutes finally the 4th minivan arrived and this was the last minivan that would bring me to Siem Reap.

This minivan would stop once in a rest area around 17:11Gambar 11

a rest area where the 4th minivan took a rest 

Then minivan would continue its journey to Siem Reap. At 20:50 I finally reached Siem Reap and minivan dropped off all tourists here to switched by tuk-tuk into downtown:Gambar 12

dropping point in Siem Reap 

From this dropping point I rode a tuk-tuk, sharing with two other tourists to downtown We had to paid USD 2 per person.

Gambar 13

tuk-tuk only took 25 minutes to got to Hangover Hostel where I would stay

Hopefully  my article can be a simple description for you who will take a similar journey.

Thanks.

 

 

Jangan Menyerah menuju Golden Rock, Myanmar

Tepat jam 5 pagi staff Agga Youth Hotel bisik-bisik membangunkanku di dormitory….khawatir 11 turis lain ikut terbangun…hihihi.

Beberes 15 menit tanpa mandi akhirnya Saya bertolak menggunakan taxi menuju terminal Aung Mingalar di utara. Kehebatan transportasi umum (bus dan taxi) Myanmar adalah penggunaan bahan bakar gas. Sehingga jarang terlihat asap hitam di jalanan kota Yangon.

Taxi menempuh jarak 24 Km dalam 55 menit. Karena masih pagi sekali dan bus akan berangkat jam 07:30 akhirnya Saya putuskan untuk sarapan nasi goreng plus telur dadar seharga 1.000 Kyat (Rp. 10.000) di sekitaran terminal bersama para biksu, sopir dan para kondektur…..”mirip sudah Gw sama orang Myanmar”.

Gbr 1

Bus, Thanaka dan Sarapan murah

Menunggu 30 menit di dalam bus sebelum berangkat, perhatianku tertuju pada si kondektur, pipi ber-thanaka, mondar-mandir, mulut menyirih, sesekali meludahkan sirihnya ke sebuah kotak kecil tertutup di atas dashboard. Sepertinya doi peduli kebersihan daripada penyirih lain yang meludah sembarangan.

Bus berangkat tepat waktu. Dalam sekejap meninggalkan kota Yangon dan mulai memasuki jalanan pedesaan. Sering berpapasan dengan traktor mesin para petani di jalanan.

Jam 10:10 bus beristirahat di sebuah rumah makan untuk toilet break. Berhenti selama 15 menit dan kembali melanjutkan perjalanan .

Gbr 2

Intercity Bus dan rumah makan beserta artis lokalnya.

Di tengah perjalanan satu demi satu penumpang lokal mulai turun, karena Saya tidak tahu berada di daerah mana, akhirnya bertanyalah ke kondektur. Untuk memudahkan bahasa isyarat, kutunjukkan saja foto Golden Rock di HP ku….yessss, doi langsung mengacungkan jempol tanda OK dan mengerti Saya minta diturunkan disana.

Jam 11:25 Saya dibangunkan kondektur…..”udah sampai “, katanya berbahasa Myanmar sambil nunjuk-nunjuk ke sebuah truk yang mengangkut orang. Faham, aku disuruh naik truk itu…..yang kutahu memang Golden Rock itu diatas bukit.

Kinpun Station….nama terminal akhir bus yang kunaiki. Okay mulailah beli tiket truk ke kondektur yang teriak-teriak penuh semangat mencari penumpang.

“OK santai aja”, batinku….naik aja tar juga nyampai……..

Gbr 3

Menumpang truk dengan tarif 3.000 Kyat (Rp. 30.000)

10 menit truk berjalan , semua berubah….muka tegang, mulut terdiam, sering bernafas dalam-dalam….ternyata truk berlari membelah jurang diatas jalan beton tanpa pagar besi penghalang di kedua sisi….Pasrah dan banyak berdzikir (hanya saja aku tak berani berdzikir keras-keras karena saat itu sedang ada pertengkaran kaum muslim dengan kaum Buddhis di salah satu daerah Myanmar).

Kepanikan bertambah ketika Saya tahu salah satu ban truk terlihat hampir gundul. Saya melihatnya saat truk berhenti untuk beristirahat di pertengahan jalan. “Naik ke atas aja perlu istirahat, mau seberapa lama aku harus melewati ketegangan ini”….Belum lagi sore nanti saat turun….naik truk lagi…..Hadeuhhh.

Jujur saat naik ke atas, sempat ngebatin, harusnya ga perlu ke tempat ini andai tahu kondisi menuju sana mengerikan.

Setelah menempuh ketegangan selama 45 menit sampai juga diatas. Sejuk dan dingin seperti Puncak-Bogor. Sesaat terlupa ketegangan itu.

Membeli tiket masuk seharga 6.000 Kyat (Rp. 60.000) dan melewati metal detector di gerbang masuk, ternyata Saya masih harus berjalan lagi menelusuri beberapa anak tangga untuk mencapai pelataran Golden Rock.

Gbr 4Beberapa anak-anak yang tak kuat berjalan bisa naik jasa gendong anak

Ya bolehlah Golden Rock…..sebuah batu kuning emas yang telah mengalami keseimbangan selama 2.500 tahun dan tidak terjatuh ketika benar-benar terletak di bibir jurang. Konon ada rambut Buddha yang mengganjal batu ini sehingga tidak terjatuh.

Secara ilmiah Saya pun tak tahu teorinya bagaimana…..?
Gbr 5

Kiri atas: Gerbang masuk ke pelataran Golden Rock

Kanan atas : Golden Rock beserta Kyaiktiyo Pagoda diatasnya

Kanan bawah dan kiri bawah : Pelataran Utama Golden Rock

Gbr 6

Setelah melihat sekeliling dan mengambil beberapa foto akhirnya Saya putuskan untuk turun karena harus mengejar jadwal bus kembali ke Yangon. Bus terakhir jam 16:30 kata kondektur bus pagi tadi.

Menahan nafas kembali menggunakan truk menuju ke bawah bukit. Ditengah perjalanan mataku tertuju pada sebuah papan proyek yang mengatakan bahwa sedang dibangun proyek cable car menuju ke Golden Rock….Ya, perjalanan Saya kesana adalah tahun 2015, dan berdasar informasi cable car itu sudah beroperasi pada Desember 2017.

Jadi siapa yang mau kesana dan naik si Cable Car?

Bagi-bagi pengalaman ya gaes kalau sudah naik !

Wattay International Airport….Gerbang Mungil Wisata Laos

Menginjakkan kaki di Vientiane adalah sebuah anugerah tersendiri. Bagaimana tidak, trip yang sempat mengalami pembatalan sejak 2014 karena ditolaknya cuti oleh kantor tempat Saya bekerja, akhirnya membutuhkan waktu 4 tahun untuk mewujudkannya.

Penerbangan Air Asia AK 552 mendarat dengan mulus di bandara Wattay International Airport pada pukul 09:14. Melihat area bandara dari dalam pesawat yang sedang taxing menuju airport parking lot mengingatkanku pada bandara Adisumarmo (Solo) tempoe doeloe sekitar tahun 2004…..sangat mungil.

Bahkan penerbangan Air Asia ini menjadi satu-satunya penerbangan International yang landing di pagi itu.

Pic 1

airport parking lot

Dalam 7 menit setelah pesawat berhenti sempurna, Saya mulai keluar dari badan pesawat dan menelusuri garbarata. Saya menyempatkan diri untuk mengambil beberapa foto diatas.

Dari garbarata Saya berbelok ke kanan memasuki arrival corridor yang terlihat elegan dengan lantai berkarpet dan bergaya modern minimalis.

Pic 2

arrival corridor

Di ujung koridor Saya bebelok ke kiri menuju immigration processing hall. Toilet ada di sebelah kiri dari akses masuk ke hall. Ada 14 passport control service counter di bandara ini. Hanya membutuhkan waktu 17 menit dari mulai antri hingga distempelnya passport. Terlihat petugas imigrasi berbicara dalam Bahasa Inggris dengan kurang fasih tetapi cukup dimengerti.

Pic 3

passport control service counter

Keluar dari konter imigrasi, Saya langsung dihadapkan pada 2 unit conveyor belt di ruang baggage claim. Karena saya tidak membawa checked luggage maka bergegas menuju pintu keluar ke arrival hall.

Pic 4

baggage claim area

Tetapi sebelum benar-benar keluar, langkah Saya terhenti pada ruang kecil di sebelah kanan pintu. Ada sebuah money changer resmi milik BCEL (Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao). Hal ini memudahkanku untuk segera menukar USD ke Lao Kip.

Pic 5

BCEL money changer

Barulah kemudian Saya benar-benar keluar di arrival hall. Hanya ada dua konter di hall ini yaitu konter penjualan sim card lokal dan konter pembelian tiket Taxi. Walaupun ada logo airport bus di konter ini tetapi tiket airport bus tidak dijual di konter ini, melainkan akan langsung dibayar ke kondektur di dalam bus.

Pic 6

arrival hall

Keluar dari arrival hall, dengan menyeberang jalan akan langsung dihadapkan pada area parkir mobil. Keunikan dari area parkir ini adalah pada atap area parkir yang berupa lembaran-lembaran solar cell sebagai sumber listrik untuk penerangan bandara yang merupakan kerjasama pemerintah Jepang dan Laos. Saya bisa menemukan dengan mudah prasasti kerjasamanya di area parkir ini.

Sedangkan belok ke kanan dari pintu keluar sekitar 25m akan ditemui shelter airport bus menuju ke pusat kota.

Pic 7

area parkir dan pintu keluar bandara

So…Ketika tiba di Laos jangan buru-buru meninggalkan bandara ini ya….Jadikan bandara sebagai salah satu dari sekian banyak destinasi wisata kamu.

Selamat mendarat di “Si Mungil” Wattay International Airport.

Perjalanan Darat Vientiane (Laos) ke Siem Reap (Kamboja)

Perjalanan darat dari Viantiane (Laos) ke Siem Reap (Kamboja) merupakan sesuatu yang menarik. Waktu tempuh perjalanan selama 26 jam menghadirkan pengalaman tak terlupakan.

Susahnya mendapatkan tiket secara online dari Jakarta, mendorong Saya untuk segera mencari tiket begitu tiba di Funky Monkey Hostel –tempat saya menginap di Viantiane-. Beryukur karena hostel menjual tiket tersebut seharga 420.000 Kip. Walaupun ada agen lain yang menjual dengan harga 400.000 Kip atau 410.000 Kip, Saya lebih memilih membeli di hostel karena setelah check out keesokan harinya Saya bisa menggunakan lobby hostel yang nyaman untuk menunggu tuk-tuk penjemput.

Tiket tersebut terdiri dari 2 lembar:

Gambar 1

 

kiri : papan informasi tiket ke beberapa destinasi yang dijual di hostel

kanan : lembaran tiket 1. Digunakan untuk perjalanan sleeper bus dari Viantiane ke Pakse

kanan bawah : lembaran tiket 2. Untuk perjalanan travel dari Pakse ke Siem Reap

 

Tuk-tuk penjemput datang telat 1 jam dari waktu yang dijadwalkan yaitu 18:30. Karena sedang macet parah di jalan Rue Setthalhilath, pemilik hotel akhirnya memohon Saya untuk sedikit berjalan kaki untuk menghampiri tuk-tuk yang sedang terjebak macet di jalan protokol itu.

Tuk-tuk itu akan mengantarkan Saya di pool sleeper bus. Selama perjalanan menuju pool terhitung tuk-tuk berhenti 5 kali untuk menjemput turis-turis lain di hostel tempat mereka menginap.

Tuk-tuk tiba di pool dalam waktu 45 menit. Setibanya di pool, petugas bus lalu meminta lembaran tiket 1 (warna kuning) dan dia akan memberikan tiket pengganti yang mirip. Terkesan terburu-buru, hanya butuh 5 menit proses perpindahan penumpang ini.

Gambar 2

kiri atas : tuk-tuk penjemput

kanan atas : sleeper bus “King of Bus’.

kanan bawah : interior bus

kiri bawah : hanya diberi satu botol air minum 600 ml saat berangkat dan satu tisu basah saat tiba di Pakse

Jam 21:00 bus meninggalkan pool menuju Southern Bus Station dan tiba dalam waktu 30 menit. Disinilah bus mengambil penumpang untuk terakhir kali. Sebetulnya Saya sedikit khawatir dengan backpack yang ditaruh di bagasi karena bagasi sangat penuh dengan barang-barang milik penumpang lokal. Seharusnya backpack bisa Saya bawa ke atas saja supaya aman. Tetapi bersyukur saat tiba di Pakse, backpack masih utuh.

Berikut situasi selama perjalanan menuju Pakse:

Gambar 3

Selama perjalanan Saya tidak berani minum terlalu banyak setelah mengetahui toilet bus tidak bisa digunakan. Takut kebelet pipis….

Jam 9 pagi, bus memasuki kota Pakse.

Gambar 4

 

kiri atas dan bawah : pemandangan kota Pakse

kanan : terminal Pakse dimana bus menurunkan penumpang.

Untuk turis yang akan berwisata di Pakse bisa dilanjutkan dengan jalan kaki atau naik tuk-tuk seharga 10.000 Kip. Nah, Saya yang akan melanjutkan perjalanan menuju Siem Reap, cukup menunggu di terminal karena dalam 10 menit akan di jemput oleh minivan.

Saya dijemput oleh minivan warna biru gelap. Minivan ini mengantarkan Saya menuju Ban Nakasong untuk berganti dengan minivan lain menuju perbatasan.

Gambar 5

Minivan pertama yang berangkat dari terminal Pakse sedang berhenti di rest area.

Gambar 6

1 jam kemudian minivan menurunkan seorang turis di Don Khong

Minivan kemudian menurunkan Saya di Ban Nakasong untuk menukarkan tiket dan berpindah ke minivan ke-2 menuju perbatasan.

Gambar 7

kiri : tiket pengganti yang didapatkan di Ban Nakasong.

kanan : minivan ke-2 dari Ban Nakasong ke perbatasan Laos-Kamboja.

Jam 11:45 Saya tiba di perbatasan Laos-Kamboja. Walaupun Indonesia adalah negara free visa untuk Laos, Saya diminta membayar USD 2 untuk mendapatkan stempel departure.

Gambar 8

kiri atas : gerbang perbatasan darat Laos

kanan atas : gedung imigrasi Laos

kanan bawah : tempat mendapatkan stempel departure dan pembayaran visa 

kiri bawah : gedung imigrasi Kamboja dilihat dari gedung imigrasi Laos

Setelah proses imigrasi di Laos selama 15 menit, Saya berjalan kaki menuju perbatasan Kamboja. Jaraknya sangat dekat.

Gambar 9

Gedung imigrasi Kamboja (Stung Treng Border Crossing Station)

Di imigrasi Kamboja, Saya juga harus membayar lembar karantina sebesar USD 1 dan stempel departure sebesar USD 1.

Dari gedung imigrasi Kamboja, Saya berpindah menggunakan minivan ke-3 yang akan mengantarkan turis menuju dropping point berikutnya sejauh 1 jam perjalanan.

Gambar 10

minivan ke-3

minivan ke-3 ini akan menurunkan penumpang di sebuah dropping point berupa rumah makan yang sekaligus merupakan agen travel. Saya menyempatkan makan nasi putih dan sebutih telur rebus seharga USD 1,5 disini. Disinilah Saya akan berpindah menggunakan minivan ke-4

Setelah menunggu 45 menit akhirnya minivan ke-4 tiba dan inilah minivan terakhir yang akan mengantarkan Saya ke Siem Reap.

Minivan ini akan berhenti sekali di rest area sekitar pukul 17:11Gambar 11

rest area tempat minivan ke-4 beristirahat

Kemudian minivan akan melanjutkan perjalanan menuju Siem Reap. Jam 20:50 akhirnya Saya memasuki kota Siem Reap dan minivan menurunkan turis disini untuk berganti dengan tuk-tuk ke pusat kota:Gambar 12

dropping point di kota Siem Reap

Dari dropping point ini Saya menggunakan tuk-tuk, sharing bertiga dengan turis lain ke pusat kota harus membayar USD 2 per orang.

Gambar 13

tuk-tuk hanya butuh 25 menit menuju ke Hangover Hostel tempat saya menginap

Semoga tulisan ini bisa menjadi gambaran sederhana untuk Kalian yang akan melakukan perjalanan yang sama.

Terimakasih.

 

Tokyo’s Major Stations….Nijūsanku Tourism Access

Staying two days in Tokyo gave me a chance to felt a hustle and bustle of the city. I got some good morality from interaction with Japanese. I had proved some good stories about Japanese characters that I heard and read from media.

I could approved their good attitudes when suddenly a middle-aged man ran up to me around Nakano station, he gave my wallet that lost there. Also their disciple in using every second was reflected in the regularity of their train network which actually very massive and complicated but seems very easy for them. 

My step for visiting Nijusanku (another name of Tokyo) tourist attractions had delivered me into some main stations in Tokyo as tourism access.

I will tell to you who haven’t visit there yet to become first images before you see it by yourself someday.

1. Tokyo Station

IMG_20161229_125316

 

first moment when I came in Tokyo

The luxurious station in Tokyo I had ever seen. It was “Shinkansen” main hub. It was very strategic because being crossing point of Tokyo Metro (regular subway) and regular JR-East Line (operating above the ground).

Except trains, Tokyo Station is also connected to city and intercity bus network.

Konektivitas Stasiun Tokyo

 

Left: Shinkansen connectivity in Tokyo station
Top Right: Shinkansen Track Gate
Bottom Right: JR Expressway Bus Office

2. Shibuya Station

Shibuya Station2

 

Left: Shibuya Station front view
Top Right: One of Shibuya Station gates
Bottom Right: Yamanote Line track in Shibuya Station

Located about 9 km southwest of Tokyo Station. It is one of the busiest commuter stations in Tokyo. Being vital because mobilization towards and from surrounding cities very dependent on its existence.

Shibuya Tourism

 

Left: Hachiko Statue

Right: One side of Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya itself presents some free tourist spots i.e Hachiko statue –dog that waiting for its owner until dies in the front of station– and Shibuya Crossing as the busiest crossing in the world that able to cross 50,000 pedestrians for 30 minutes.

3. Ueno Station

Ueno Station2

 

Left: Ueno station front view
Top Right: One of Ueno Station gates
Bottom Right: Yamanote Line Track in Ueno Station

Located about 6 Km north of Tokyo Station, the station which in its heyday is a Japan’s long-distance train major station.

Ueno Tourism

You must go to Ameyoko Market if you stop at Ueno Station. It is a market with low price and more discount. Backpackers must visit it if they want to eat cheaply. Even moslem  traveler, they will find halal food here. I saw many kebab sellers there. The first impression when entering this market is fishy smell….. Yes, many trader sell fresh seafood and spices to cook it.

4. Akihabara Station

IMG_20161229_175716

after getting off from a train

Located about 3 Km north of Tokyo Station, the Station is centrally located in Akihabara’s electronics shopping area.

Akibahara Tourism

night situation around Akihabara electronics store

Akihabara is a haven for electronic lovers. This shopping area provides famous brands with cheap prices following fantastic promos and discounts.

5. Harajuku Station

Harajuku Station

frontview and Harajuku Station platform

Located about 12 Km west of Tokyo Station. Harajuku is a region name in east of this station. Harajuku became the sixth busiest station in Tokyo.

Harajuku Station Tourism

 

Left: Takeshita Street
Right: Meiji-Jingu Shrine

Harajuku Station is access to Takeshita Street tourist spot. It’s 350 meters road that becomes young Japanese representative with a uniqueness and interesting clothes. It is also spoiling tourists with culinary and fashion shops.

Then about 700 m north of this station, you can visit Meiji-Jingu Shrine. A magnificent temple to remembering Emperor Meiji. Green and fresh situation of this temple is reflected by environments around temple which is a very clean and well maintained forest.

So. .. .what are you waiting, guys? …. Visit Japan.

 

Tokunai Pass….Traveler Pass in Tokyo, Japan

I successfully moved from Narita International Airport to downtown by cheapest mode of transportation i.e Keisei Expressway Bus for 1,000 Yen (USD 10).

Didn’t happy, because next question appeared i.e “How did I frugally explore city? “

The answer was easy. I must immediately get Tokunai Pass (Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass).

After I got off from airport bus, I rushed into Tokyo station to got it. Of course, I had to went to Automatic Ticketing Machine. Initially, I was confused to looked for Tokunai Pass menu on the machine. After all buttons were punched. Evidently, Tokunai Pass menu was located in “Discount Card” directory. Easy to used it because there were multi language choice that could be used (of course I used English).

Ticketing Tokyo n Shibuya Gate

 

Left: Automatic ticketing machine in Tokyo Station where I bought Tokunai Pass

Right: Gate in Shibuya Station, one of many stations where Tokunai Pass could be used as entry access to train platform.

Tokunai Pass fare was 750 Yen and could be used until 24:00. So to maximize its benefits, You better buy it on the morning and use it to visit Tokyo’s attractions fullday. In fact, I bought it at 13:00 and used it until 21:00.

Tokunai Pass

 

Left: Tokunai Pass
Right: Tokunai Pass receipt

How did I frugally use Tokunai Pass? It was the calculation:

 

If I bought regular tickets towards several attractions below:

  1. Towards Yadoya Guesthouse in Nakano. From Station Tokyo – Nakano Station for 220 Yen
  2. Towards Hachiko Statue and Shibuya Crossing. From Yadoya Guesthouse in Nakano Station to Shibuya Station for 200 Yen
  3. Towards Ameyoko Market. From Shibuya Station to Ueno Station for 190 Yen
  4. Toward Akihabara electronic market. From Ueno Station to Akihabara Station for 160 Yen
  5. Towards Harajuku Street. From Akihabara Station to Harajuku Station for 170 Yen
  6. Back to guesthouse. From Harajuku Station to Nakano Station for 220 Yen 
    Total Overall were 1160 Yen 

Because I bought a Tokunai Pass for 750 Yen so I had saved for 410 Yen.

It was only  an 8 hours journey, If you arrive on early morning, it will be able to visit many attractions and can save budget more.

While using Tokunai Pass, I used only two lines of JR-East Train i.e Yamanote Line (Tokyo Circle Line) which is the busiest line in Tokyo and Chuo Line that connects downtown and Otsuki about 90 km west of Tokyo.

Tokunai Pass can be purchased at automated ticketing machines at all JR-East Line stations in Tokyo. And it can be used for all local JR-East Train Line (in Tokyo) whose rail is located above ground. The train is similar to Jakarta’s Commuter (in Jakarta-Indonesia).

Good luck for using Tokunai Pass when you visit Tokyo…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheap Food for Backpacker at Japan.

Japan had been set by me to be my top destination in East Asia after visited Hong Kong, Macao and Shenzen a year earlier.

For a backpacker who concerns with a budget like me, Japan becomes an expensive place that needs some tricks to spend minimal budget for 4 days exploring its magnetism. Japan magnetism has made every traveler are impressed to Japan.

For minimizing hotel budget, I got a free overnight stay at Kansai International Airport and also got a cheap dormitory at Yadoya Guesthouse (in Nakano area) and Kaga Hotel (in Osaka city).

Transportation budget was also helped by Tokunai Pass in Tokyo and One Day Pass in Osaka.

Well, I will tell how I chose some ways to got cheap food in Japan for saved budget. I did it because I has to save a lot of money for visiting another countries in the world to realize my long backpacker mission.

Lunch

When arrived at Narita International Airport on 11:15 then lunch was something that couldn’t be delayed anymore. It wasn’t possible to waited for lunch in Tokyo downtown. After searched it around Narita’s Arrival Hall, I just found some expensive price at food court, I finally pushed  my steps into Lawson. Indeed many cheap onigiris, but single onigiri certainly wasn’t enough for lunch. Finally it was the best option that I took for my menu:Lunch at Narita

Two onigiris with some companion menu for 248 Yen made me enough satisfied.

Dinner 

My thinking way is simple when being backpacker. I will eat on time to avoid sickness during trip. And wherever is it and when eating time comes then I will try to find the cheapest food around me. I don’t need to go back to a certain place for eating. Just calm and eat something as soon as possible.

My dinner happened when I was enjoying Ameyoko (Ameya Yokocho) Market hubbub near Ueno station. When hungry wasn’t unstoppable I finally started to looked for food around it. A lot of Turkish was opening kebab stall, but it seemed less for my portion.

Dinner at 4 degrees Celsius weather would be better if ate hot noodles like it:

Dinner at Yokoco

Spent for 398 Yen and got a bottle of ice water …. made me could sleep so soundly

Breakfast

I had a breakfast near Yadoya Guesthouse in Nakano where I stayed during visiting Tokyo. Walking around home-based restaurant, I just found a relatively expensive menu. Finally I found Family Mart there. 10 slices of onigiri was being my dish

Breakfast Nakano

Simply paid 298 Yen

Menu in Amerikamura, Osaka

A day later, visiting Amerikamura required me to buy a lunch menu before moved towards Namba Parks.

So hard to found cheap food here, but finally I bought a menu at a home-based Japanese restaurant which selling Thai food.

Here was my choice:

Lunch Amerikamura

 

Slightly expensive to spent for 680 Yen. Because of no other options. But the portion was very much for Indonesian liked me ….. I couldn’t breathe because of satiety.

Well for you who have a minimal budget, don’t worry  for visiting Japan. There is always a solution as long as we tricky faced all condition there.

Let’s visit Japan, friends ……