Traveling….When Hobby Turns into Passion

Changing paradigm

Workaholic has become an inseparable character from my personality all this time. In the beginning, “home-office-home” was activity formula which I always did every day. The formula was very effective to bring me into confort zone with ownership of house, car and some investment assets.

Increasingly inevitable, finally boredom struck. For several years, I felt that something was lacking in my achievement. Certainly not about money, but I was never able to ignite my eternal fire in passion bottom.

Then a new thing arrived …

Singapore became the first igniter of passion fire in my life. Starting from a trip was towards there with 18 colleagues six years ago, I finally brought home an impression. It wasn’t an impression about modernity of Singapore, but an impression about feshness of mind and changes in perspective about income allocation. It is actually that investment is not always about goods, but an experience investment must get an equally important in portion.

Singapore changes paradigm.

Regular Trip

The paradigm shift made me have a new behavior amid busy activities in capital city. I began to allocate travel budget as a type of investment. Every 10-15% of income, I use to travel both domestically and abroad.

At every beginning of year, I always set a traveling agenda in one calendar year. The density of work makes me have to be smart in managing leave, using national holidays, and deciding a right time to travel.

In conclusion, traveling experiences which I have done for six years makes me have three traveling categories with a very tight schedule, namely:

  1. Long traveling in 14-16 days duration on year-end holidays.
  2. Short traveling in 3-4 days duration on long weekend holidays.
  3. Fast traveling in 1-2 days duration on extend vacation.
  4. Bonus traveling. This is a bonus if my job reaches a certain achievement.
Visiting Toba lake during year-end holiday.
Marina Beach in Semarang during long weekend holiday.
“Singapore of Java Cruise” in Cilacap when extend vacation.
Bonus traveling to Belitung.

The tight traveling schedule also has a big role in changing my basic character to be more extrovert and easy going. I am aware that whether there are or aren’t travelmate in journeys, I must continue to carry out my every travel plan. Therefore, I need two characters above to always be consistent in carrying out each of my plans.

Managing Trip

What will you do as an employee when your work time is as tight as your travel plans?

In early phase of my journey with a mediocre income, for budget saving, I took an initiative to arrange all my own travel plans. Limited time requires me to be proficient in digital mastery.

How do I do it?

Like this, guys….

If buses, trains and ferries are transportation types with ticket fares which tend to be stable, then planes are transportation types with abundant promo tickets. No doubt, I am a cyber surfer who is persistent in hunting for cheap tickets. And of course, I memorized all Low Cost Carrier (LCC) airlines throughout Asia. To ensure the best ticket prices, I always prepare tickets on a year before departure date. Visiting many LCC airline website and monitoring every promo on several domestic and foreign Online Travel Agents (OTA) became my habit on every weekends. It only needs a tool so I can quickly execute every available cheap ticket opportunity. The tool is a credit card. No need to worry about having a credit card as long as you are obedient in managing your income. Through this ticket search process, I finally had tasted 24 airlines throughout my travels.

Using Citilink airline when traveling to Solo.
Air Asia was very instrumental in helping my adventure around Asia.
Nok Air airline from Thailand while on vacation to Phuket.
Jet Airways even took me to India.

Then what about lodging?

Now I have reached a certain level in membership of the world’s largest travel e-commerce. At this level, I always get the best deals when looking for lodging by online. Besides being cheap, I also always pay attention about flexibility in order canceling process on a few days before D-day, this is important to open opportunities to get the best hotel until D-day of arrival. For information that 80% of my choice are dormitories. Besides in cheap price, dormitory gave me opportunities to expand my networking among fellow tourists from various regions in Indonesia and even the world.

Sleep & Sleep Guesthouse’s dormitory in Semarang has cost about USD 3 per night.

It’s time for me to talks about itinerary. Beside in purchasing ticket and hotel, budget saving can be did by making itinerary independently. If you are a fresh graduate and entering early days of work, persistence in making an itinerary can save your budget when you are a travel addict. I independently always set agenda which I will do when traveling, costing in each agenda and how to reach destination where the agenda will be run. To be able to compile a good itinerary, of course I often browse about destination where I want to go. I will usually read other tourist’s travel stories or look for info in the official travel destination website or in related tourism institutions (both government or private).

Example of itinerary fragment which I made independently.

But along with tourism development, there are several tourist destinations where would be even more cheaper if it is visited through “open trip” tourism type. This tourism type is essentially visiting tourist attractions together in a group so it can reduce cost rather than it’s did alone. I was experienced many times in using “open trip” services to visit several destinations where I targeted.

Taking an open trip when traveling to Pahawang Island in Lampung.

Adventure Atmosphere

Preparation period and waiting period for each of travel agendas which I made will continuously create an adventure atmosphere in my life. And it was really fun and has a positive effect. I became a figure who is diligent in saving money for my travel needs. I am also a person who is always eager to work to guarantee my income.

Of course a lot of scorn when I started travel program. Many people consider that my trips wasted money because they think that refreshing doesn’t need to travel far and spend a lot of money.

Indeed for them who don’t understand how to arrange a trip, traveling is something expensive. But not with me, a consistency of running a traveling program during past 6 years has led me to set foot in 20 countries in Asia and 10 provinces in Indonesia.

After hearing my story, are you interested in traveling?

Hobby Turns into Passion

Success in visiting tourist destinations and impression which I gained during journey made me always excited in making trips on the following year. This routine seems to be addictive to me. There is a thing which feels lack when I didn’t travel within three months.

Then this traveling addiction has another impact. This impact became a very serious thing for me, because later on, I became a someone who was “ambitious” in traveling. Yeah right, I’m already in level which I’m habitual to setting total target of tourist destinations where I will visit it in a certain period of time.

Success in achieving numbers of personal target which I set each year finally creates passion. And finally I have decided traveling as a passion in my life.

Passion Creates Caring

There was a time when I was deadlocked at a tourist spot. This deadlock happened because of lacking informations which I got through browsing in internet. The example of a deadlock which I meant was like when I didn’t have enough information about what transportation which I should use towards Ipoh downtown from Amanjaya terminal in Malaysia.

T30a bus which I finally found in the midst of confusion when was heading to Ipoh downtown.

Then moment like that which made me inisiatively creates travel stories to be shared with other fellow tourists. Finally I decided to make a blog which contains my travel experiences. I hope through this blog, I can complement some missing information in traveling world so other tourists will be helped about pre-travel information when traveling to a destination where I’ve ever visited.

Blogging will be my next routine activity to documenting travel experiences and sharing interesting stories for other young people who have same passion as me.

Finally, be a young person who is rich in experience and brave to explore!

Come on traveling, friends!

Dibalik Penerbangan Air Asia QZ 206 Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur

Baru juga pulang dari ekspedisi ke Garut-Tasikmalaya-Sumedang , lelahnya berkelana seminggu di tiga kabupaten itu tak lantas membuat tubuh lelah. Boro-boro istirahat, Aku lebih memilih menuntaskan misiku menyelesaikan eksplorasi Asia Selatan dengan mengunjungi tiga negara tersisa….Bangladesh, Sri Lanka dan Maldives.

Tiket Air Asia yang kubeli seharga Rp 349.000 sejak 7 April 2018 mampu menjaga asaku dan dompetku untuk terus berkeliling dunia. Yes, Aku harus menjemput Malindo Air rute Kuala Lumpur-Dhaka di KLIA.

Sepanjang masa tunggu keberangkatan, banyak pertanyaan muncul dari teman-teman sekantor atau teman-teman lain diluar pekerjaan.

“Yeeee, jalan-jalan kok ke Bangladesh. Ga elit bingit”

“Lo mau liat apa sih Don di Bangladesh?”

“Tar lo pulang sakit loh, Don”

“Kurang kerjaan….mending ke Ancol guwe daripada ke Bangladesh”.

“Kenapa sih Don harus ke Bangladesh?”

Jawabku: “Ya suka-suka guwelah….duit-duit guwe…kaki juga kaki guwe”.

Eh gak gitu dink….kasar beud.

Hahaha….”Ya gimana pren, duitnya hanya mampu buat jalan dimari”….wkwkwk….Itu jawaban guwe ke mereka yeee.

Kan orang lain ga tau sih isi kepala guwe about traveling…..makin gila makin aseeeekkk…..makan aneh makin nagih…..hihihi.

—-****—-

Biasaaa….Nyegat DAMRI di Terminal Kampung Rambutan aja yang murah. Selain murah juga deket rumah bingit. Kupersiapkan Rp. 40.000 untuk membayar tarifnya dengan jam keberangkatan pukul 15:00. Perjalanan 1 jam 15 menit itu mengantarkanku tepat di Terminal 2F.

Melalui gate 5, Aku mulai memasuki pemeriksaan X-ray tahap pertama. Tak begitu mulus, backpack yang menjadi temanku satu-satunya terlihat dibolak-balik petugas AVSEC, dioles-oles menggunakan tissue basah lalu mengamatinya dengan seksama. Tak perlu khawatir….yang penting tak ada narkoba didadalamnya….hahaha. Kalaupun di tolak masuk, tenang brur….ini masih di kota sendiri. Tinggal balik lagi naik DAMRI….ya toh.

“Mbak, window seat donk !”, seruan memelasku kepada petugas check-in di konter Air Asia. Aduh, udah cantik baik pula, murah senyum…..eh emang tugasnye begonoh dink. “Ini mas”, sahutnya…..2D, yes gagal…..hahaha.

Yuk ngecap passport….geblek, padahal itu kan e-passport, tapi kebiasaannku mengecap passport menjadi tak peduli dengan adanya konter autogate.

Petugas Imigrasi  :  “Kemana?”

Aku                           : Sebutin aja detail satu-satu, supaya ga curiga kek waktu itu, “Penang, Dhaka, Colombo, Maldives pak. Transit Mumbai dan Singapore”. Njir perjalanan macam apa ituh….gile

Petugas Imigrasi  : “Backpacker?”

Aku                           : “Yoi pak”….eh salah, bukan begitu….”Betul pak”.

Petugas Imigrasi  : Lihat muka guwe, bolak-balik passport baru dan bekas guwe. Then….cekrek “hati-hati mas sendirian”.

Aku                           : “makasih pak….tentu saya akan hati-hati”.

Petugas                  : “Hebat nih si Mas”.

Cieeee….Guwe dipuji laki-laki….Alhamdulillah…..hahahaha. Pasti mikir guwe yang engga-engga….GUWE NORMAL KOK.

Kusempatkan shalat di ujung koridor sebelum masuk ke gate. Setelahnya, Aku memasuki pemeriksaan X-ray tahap kedua di depan gate D5….yesss, mulus.

Sedang asyik-asyiknya duduk membaca di sebelah charging station, datang sepasang perawakan Korea. Mengoprak-oprek lubang stop kontak yang sepertinya rusak.

Aku     :  “Hi, Sir. That’s broken. I had tried many times and failed”.

Dia       : “Oh yea….Why put it here if broken” pura-pura menendang pelan charging station sembari tersenyum.

Aku     : “Do you want go to South Korea?”.

Dia       : “Oh, Nup….I’m from California and will fly from KL”.

Aku     :  “Oh Nice”.

Dia       : “What are you doing here? “.

Aku     :  “My profession, your mean?”.

Dia       :  “yeaaa”

Aku     :  “Sales”.

Dia       :  “Good money?”

Aku     :  “If not good, I willn’t here to fly with you”.

Dia       :  “yea…yea…yea”, manggut-manggut sambil tersenyum menatapku.

Sepertinya pacarnya seorang travel vlogger. Ngoceh melulu dengan pedenya….hebat. Aku mana bisa kayak gitu. Lebih baik menulis daripada ngoceh terus macam Dia.

QZ 206 akhirnya merapat ke gate. Beuh….petualangan segera dimulai. Kehabisan air membuatku lari keluar untuk membeli mineral water. Dan sedikit mendapat peringatan dari petugas untuk segera kembali ke gate. Ok dah pak, daripada beli didalam pesawat, kan mahal.

Airbus A320-200 berkapasitas 186 penumpang.

Tepat jam 19:17, Aku mulai boarding.

Dibelakang cewek korean-american itu.

Penerbangan malam yang penuh turbulensi mengingat saat itu akhir Desember. Terlihat bapak setengah baya di sebelahku begitu tegang dan berpegangan erat pada armrest chair sepanjang perjalanan sementara Aku dan seorang perempuan muda yang mengapitnya hanya tersenyum kecut sambil menyembunyikan rasa was-was.

Kabin.

Karena pengetahuan terkiniku mengenai Ipoh dan Penang begitu minim, kuputuskan untuk menjelajah inflight magazine Travel360. Berharap menemukan informasi berharga mengenai pariwisata Ipoh dan Penang. Dan….yesss….Aku sungguh mendapatkannya.

Ipoh di inflight magazine Travel360.
Informasi mendasar tentang Penang.

QZ 206 bersiap mendarat. Tak bisa tidur selama perjalanan karena keasyikan membaca inflight magazine untuk mencari informasi. Kali ini petualangan transitku selama 5 hari di Malaysia bak bonek. Ngelayap tanpa bekal informasi yang cukup.

Bersiap-siap mendarat.

Itu bagasi buat apa ya? Perlengkapan keselamatan pernerbangan kali ya.

Begitu tiba di KLIA2 tentu fikiran yang langsung terbesit di benakku adalah cari free water station, makan malam, sembahyang, tiket bus ke Penang dan kemudian molorrrrrr.

Kamu harus menuju ke Transportation Hub di lantai 1 untuk mencari tempat makan murah. Oh ya…konter penjualan tiket bus juga ada disana

Yuks….siap-siap menuju Penang esok hari.

Mengenal Penang Sentral

Semakin banyaknya direct flight dari Jakarta menuju Penang, membuat para traveler lebih memilih untuk turun di Penang International Airport daripada harus bersusah payah melintasi daratan negeri jiran selama 6-8 jam dari ibukotanya.

Padahal jika Kamu mau saja bersabar untuk melakukan perjalanan darat tersebut maka memorimu akan terisi dengan pengalaman yang menarik dan disertai dengan pemandangan yang mempesona di sepanjang negara bagian Selangor dan Perak.

Lalu….Buat Kamu yang melakukan perjalanan darat menggunakan bus maka mayoritas bus akan berhenti di Penang Sentral yang merupakan gerbang darat wisata Pulau Penang.

Oleh karenanya….supaya Kamu tidak bingung dan bisa mendapatkan gambaran mengenai bentuk dan seluk beluk Penang Sentral, maka Kuhadirkan tulisan ini untuk Kalian.

Yessss….itulah penampakan Penang Sentral.

PENANG SENTRAL….Dibangun pada tahun 2018 sebagai main transportation hub milik Negara Bagian Penang. Penang Sentral secara strategis menggantikan peran Butterworth Bus Terminal dengan sistem integrasi yang luar biasa. Bisa Kamu bayangkan, bangunan besar itu mengintegrasikan terminal bus, stasiun kereta dan pelabuhan ferry dalam satu lokasi. Bangunan terintegrasi ketiga yang kukagumi di Malaysia setelah KL Sentral dan Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS).

Butterworth Bus Terminal sebelum Penang Sentral selesai dibangun.
Sumber: Travel-Penang-Malaysia.com
Pulau Penang dilihat dari Penang Sentral.

—–****—–

Inilah kisahku membedah Penang Sentral….

Jam 13:54, Aku sampai di Penang Sentral….ya iyalah, tentunya diturunkan di Drop Bay lantai 1.

Dan demi menghadirkan tulisan ini, Aku relakan diri menunda sejenak menuju ferry terminal yang bisa melabuhkanku di George Town si ibukota Negara Bagian Penang.

Selama 1 jam 20 menit, Aku akan mengeksplore Penang Sentral.

LANTAI 1

Bermula dari hall ini:

Kamu akan diturunkan di Drop Bay Area ketika tiba di Penang Sentral.

Secara umum lantai 1 ini digunakan untuk menurunkan dan menaikkan penumpang.

Ini adalah platform intercity/express bus area saat Aku meninggalkan Penang Sentral.

LANTAI 2

Yuk, Kita naik ke lantai 2. Ada apakah gerangan?

Begitu naik escalator, Kamu akan melihat sekilas luasnya lantai 2.

So….Apa yang kamu cari?

  1. Bus Ticketing Counter.

Konter penjualan tiket bus berada tepat dihadapanku setelah selesai menaiki escalator. Yang kulakukan saat itu adalah langsung membeli tiket bus untuk meninggalkan Penang dengan jadwal dua hari setelah kedatanganku di Penang. Keberadaan Self Ticketing KiosK yang menempel di salah satu pilar membuatku mengurungkan diri untuk bergegas ke konter. Lebih baik aku mengeksplore harga tiket bus termurah via mesin itu, karena banyak armada dengan tarif bervariasi menyediakan rute menuju Ipoh.

Akhirnya kugenggam lembaran tiket bus Perak Transit setelah memasukkan uang senilai Rp 70.000….Tiket bus di tangan, hati pun tenang.

Itu Departure Board Penang Sentral…. Self Ticketing Kiosk ada di pilar itu. Lihat ga?

2. Information Centre

Standar pertama ketika tiba di tempat asing adalah mengunjungi Information Centre untuk mendapatkan informasi sebanyak-banyaknya sebelum mengeksplorenya lebih dalam. Begitu pun Aku, menanyakan perihal pariwisata Penang, meminta brosur, mencari cara bagaimana meninggalkan kota dengan cara terbaik dan banyak hal lain yang kutanyakan ke petugas information centre.

Mudah kok menemukannya….tepat di depan Bus Ticketing Counter.

3. Ferry Terminal.

Berjalanlah membelakangi Bus Ticketing Counter maka setelah beberapa saat  Kamu akan menemukan linkway menuju Ferry Terminal. Terletak di sebelah kiri arah jalanmu maka akan terlihat dengan jelas direction sign menuju ke Ferry Terminal.

Linkway menuju Ferry Terminal.

Berjalanlah lurus maka dalam belasan langkah maka kamu akan menemukan Customer Service Centre yang menjual tiket ferry menuju George Town. Nama ferry terminalnya adalah Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim.

Murah kok….harga tiketnya Cuma Rp. 4.000. Satu tiket untuk pulang pergi

4. Shopping Counter.

Sebetulnya Shopping Counter lebih banyak berada di lantai 3. Aku tak sempat mengunjunginya karena sudah kesorean dan jika tak segera meninggalkan Penang Sentral maka eksplorasiku di Pulau Penang pasti akan terganggu.

Shopping Counter yang kutunjukkan ini hanya yang berada di lantai 2.

5. Eatery

Kedai penjual makanan ada di dekat linkway menuju Ferry Terminal. Sudah pasti dijamin kehalalannya dan harganya yang tergolong murah.

Iqbal’s Restaurant menjadi tempat makanku saat masuk dan keluar Penang
Cobain cuminya deh….maknyus

6. Stasiun Butterworth.

Satu moda transportasi lagi yang terintegrasi di Penang Sentral adalah kereta. Nah, stasiun keretanya bernama Stasiun Butterworth. Hanya saja bangunannya terletak terpisah dari bangunan utama Penang Sentral.

Untuk menemukan stasiun ini. Berjalanlah lurus melewati Bus Ticketing Counter di lantai 2, maka Kamu akan menemukan lift di ujung lantai. Kemudian turunlah ke lantai 1 melalui lift itu.

Lift diujung ruangan lantai 2.

Tak terlalu jauh setelah keluar dari lift di lantai 1 maka Kamu akan menemukan sebuah lorong dengan tanda KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) sebagai petunjuk menuju Stasiun Butterworth.

Penampakan depan lorong.

Setelah beberapa puluh meter menyusuri lorong maka Kamu akan menemukan bangunan berwarna putih yang tak lain adalah Stasiun Butterworth.

Maksud hati berburu tiket ETS (Electric Train Service) tapi ternyata sold out….ealah.

OKE…Cukup sekian ya. Aku sudah menjelaskan semua hasil eksplorasiku di Penang Sentral.

Jadi, akhirnya Kamu mau ke Penang lewat darat atau lewat udara nih?…….

Traveling to Kampung Ayer, Bandar Seri Begawan.

My curiosity was paid off precisely when my first step down the bus in one of Bandar Seri Begawan Bus Terminal platforms. Unexpectedly, my journey around Southeast Asia took me to Hassanal Bolkiah’s land.

Unique….Terminal is on ground floor of Bumiputera Multi Storey Complex and Carpark.

A step later, I was already in “Afmal Restaurant” near bus terminal to enjoy a portion of “bakso” (Indonesian name of meatballs). Needed something fresh in my mouth to relieve tangling after an overnight stay without bathing in Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (KLIA2). Freshness of “bakso” which I ordered became more meaningful when there was a little conversation with restaurant owner who come from Purworejo, Central Java, Indonesia….It means that He is from similar province with me in Indonesia.

After being full, I rushed to get out of terminal area through “Bebatik” alley to main road (the road name is Mc Arthur Street). Right on other side of Mc Arthur Street, you will find Brunei River which is very clean. And right in the middle of Brunei River, standing a famous village throughout Brunei. It’s called Kampung Ayer.

Every direction sign is always accompanied by an Arabic script.
Precisely on edge of Brunei River.

I always observed every motorboat which splitting Brunei River wide. There was no other way to get to Kampung Ayer, I had to ride that motorboats.

Rushing toward Brunei River edge, I waited a motorboat arrival which heading to small port in front of me. After leaning, that motorboat was immediately filled with 2 other tourists. This boat was very fast in moving and never waited long for get passengers in river edge.

A thing that you need to know is every Singapore Dollar can be used as payment tool in Brunei Darussalam with similar value with Brunei Dollar. So, 1 Brunei Dollar is same with 1 Singapore Dollar in value. But in many transactions, Brunei residents only accept payments in Singapore’s paper money and refusing Singapore Dollar coins. But in several transactions also, this coin can function….I hope you are lucky in using Singapore Dollar coins there….hahaha.

With a 1 coin of Singapore Dollar, I finally arrived in Kampung Ayer Cultural And Tourism Gallery. This gallery is located in front of village. Free entrance made me so happy when filling a guest book in reception desk. Warm greeting from a Malay-speaking receptionist made me feel like I was in my home.

That is Kampung Ayer Cultural And Tourism Gallery.
I got a Free Tourism Guiding Book.

Kampung Ayer itself was the center of Brunei’s government until end of 19th century. Therefore, The Brunei Sultan established his palace here. Another role as an important port in Brunei makes Kampung Ayer as the administrative center for commercial activities in Brunei. Every signing of important government agreements with other parties is done here.

The appeal of Kampung Ayer as government centre made 50% of Brunei’s residents live there in the 1900s.

Brunei “Keris” with 9 curves as a symbol of power.

At exit door, I began to be stunned with neat ranks of houses in Kampung Ayer. I didn’t waste my time then visiting the village. Residents friendliness made me reluctant to quickly leave Kampung Ayer.

Come on !….Go into that village !
Very kindly and funny student, they were in Malay school uniforms.
How can the water very clean like that?

But soonly, I realized that I should immediately look for lodging to stay that night. Online searching for lodging that I did was never got a result. It maybe happen because Brunei Darussalam tourism isn’t been famous in Southeast Asia region.

I decided to pull over by waiting for a motorboat in boat shelter. Didn’t wait a long time until a motorboat was picked me up. Together with a man and his son who are Kampung Ayer residents, I headed to edge of river. Looked like that man had an important agenda, it could be seen from his way in a very neat and smooth dressing.

He: “Where are you come from?” He firstly greeted me with a smile.

Me: “I’m from Indonesia, sir”. I gave a smile and I shook his hand.

He: “Which part of Indonesia?”

Me : “Jakarta, Sir”.

He: “What profession are you doing here?”

Me: “Oh I don’t work in Brunei, sir. I am just traveling now”.

He: “Brunei is very quiet. Why do you visit Brunei? “

Me: “Oh, Brunei is very religious, sir. I deliberately go to Brunei because I intend to travel around Southeast Asia. Glad to be in your country “.

He: “Wow, it’s good to go around Southeast Asia. You don’t need to pay the boat. I paid for you”, He gave 3 Brunei Dollars to motorboat driver.

Me: “Thank you, sir, nice to meet you,” I felt shy, even though I was very happy to ride a free boat.

A little conversation with a local before I finally leaned in river edge.

Boat shelter near Pasar Tamu Kianggeh.

Let’s….Looking for dormitory!

Bus dari Singapura ke Johor Bahru

Sepandai-pandai tupai melompat akhirnya jatuh juga….Dasar Donny si tupai.

Yesss….malam itu guwe di usir dari terminal 2 Changi International Airport….Aseeeeekkkkkkkk….pasport ditandai….yuhuuuu.

Sejak 2014, selalu kucing-kucingan dengan polisi bandara Singapura. Kini si kucing ketangkep basah sedang tidur di balik sebuah kursi tunggu di terminal 2 Changi International Airport….Memalukan.

4 jam sebelum kejadian….

Maskapai “abu-abu bintang orange” dengan nomor penerbangan 3K206 mengantarkanku ke Terminal 1 Changi International Airport pada 00:30.

Karena stasiun MRT Changi Airport berada di Terminal 2 dan baru akan beroperasi pada jam 5:30, maka kuputuskan untuk berpindah ke Terminal 2.

Akhirnya bersembahyang dan sekaligus beristirahat di dalam prayer room hingga pukul 02:00. Tapi dinginnya AC memaksaku berpindah ke deretan kursi di depan ruang tunggu penumpang. Asumsiku bahwa polisi sudah selesai menyisir area itu ternyata salah besar.

Ditengah mimpi, airport security berpengawal dua polisi belia bersenjata laras panjang membangunkanku. Ahhhh….guwe faham….Njiirrr, ketangkep juga setelah 4 tahun kucing-kucingan perihal beginian .

Airport security: “Helo Sir, Can me see your passport and ticket?”

Guwe: (sambil menyerahkan passport)  “Good night Sir, I’m sorry before. I am waiting for first train to downtown. I just arrived 3 hours ago.”

Airport security: “Sorry, How long do you will stay in Singapore?”.

Guwe: “3 Days 2 Night, Sir”.

Airport security: “This hall is only for transit passengers. You can’t wait the train here. Let me take you to immigration counter”….(Cekrek….Syem, passportku difoto. Dikirim pula ke boss nya via wa….Hmmh, Aku sudah ditandai di Changi….ketengkep sekali lagi pasti masalah….hahaha).

Karena diantar tentara, petugas imigrasi wanita keturunan India itu pun menjadi judes dan marah-marah kepadaku ketika mengecap passport….semakin marah wajahnya makin seksi kek Kajol….hihihi.

2 jam ga bisa merem….lah iya, lantai setelah konter imigrasi kan tak berkarpet. Mana mungkin tidur sambil duduk di bangku keras kek gitu.

Di tengah kantuk yang sangat (itu karena siang hari sebelum berangkat, Aku kerja full di Bandung dan sorenya langsung ke Soekarno Hatta International Airport….gile ye, rumah di Jakarta, siang kerja di Bandung besoknya sudah ngelayap aja di Singapura….hahaha), kuputuskan untuk menyantap mie bersertifikat halal di kedai ini:

Terletak tepat di exit gate setelah konter imigrasi terminal 2.
Murah….Cuma Rp. 47.500.

Halah….malah nulis ga keruan.

—-****—-

Yuk ah fokus ke tema….

Tujuan akhir kedatanganku yang ke-7 di Singapura kali ini adalah Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Kenapa lewat “Negeri Singa”?….ya tentu akan lebih murah costnya.

Selepas menyantap mie pagi itu, Aku bergegas menuju platform MRT di Changi Station. Dengan membeli tiket seharga Rp. 26.000 di mesin otomatis, Aku menuju Stasiun Jurong East dengan waktu tempuh 70 menit.

Kenapa Stasiun Jurong East?….Karena disinilah letak shelter bus CW3/CW4 tujuan Johor Bahru via Tuas Checkpoint yang merupakan perbatasan darat di selatan Singapura dan Malaysia.

Terpaksa menahan pipis karena bau pesing toilet dibalik keramaian Stasiun Jurong East. Maklum stasiun ini terintegrasi dengan terminal bus menuju berbagai daerah di Singapura dan bahkan keluar Singapura.

Setelah membeli tiket bus di konter, Aku segera memasuki jalur antrian dan menunggu kedatangan bus. Dan akhirnya Aku kebagian bus CW3 yang datang 5 menit kemudian.

Tiket bus CW3 seharga Rp. 26.000.
Tertib mengantri sesuai jalur.

Aku memilih bangku paling belakang supaya leluasa mengambil foto selama perjalanan.

AC busnya mantab.

Bus terus bergerak menuju Tuas Checkpoint melalui AYE Toll Road. Lancarnya jalanan Singapura,  membuat bus tiba di Tuas Checkpoint hanya dalam waktu 30 menit.

Aku sengaja memilih jalur antrian yang dijaga petugas wanita keturunan Melayu untuk memudahkan pemeriksaan imigrasi. Alhasil proses perpindahan antar negara di perbatasan menjadi lancar.

Ngantri di Tuas Checkpoint.

Setelah melewati konter imigrasi, Aku segera menuju ke tempat menunggu bus yang akan mengantarkanku ke CIQ (Customs Immigration Quarantine) Sultan Abu Bakar Tanjung Kupang yang merupakan bangunan imigrasi milik Malaysia.

Aku tak perlu mencari bus yang kutumpangi sebelumnya karena selama tiket masih tersimpan, Aku bisa meneruskan perjalanan dengan bus CW yang lain dengan tujuan yang sama.

Pemandangan laut sepanjang Second Link Expressway yang merupakan penghubung Singapura dan Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Perjalanan selanjutnya pun dimulai. Kondisi Second Link Expressway dari arah Johor Bahru menuju Tuas Checkpoint macet parah di jam berangkat kerja kala itu. Sebaliknya, jalanan yang meninggalkan Tuas Checkpoint menuju CIQ Sultan Abu Bakar Tanjung Kupang kosong melompong.

Kosong di jalurku vs penuh di jalur sebelah.

Dan hanya dalam 15 menit, Aku tiba di CIQ Sultan Abu Bakar Tanjung Kupang. Tak ada pemeriksaan serius selama proses imigrasi dan akhirnya Aku bisa dengan cepat melewatinya.

Selepas mengecap passport, berarti  perjalanan lanjutan menggunakan bus CW3 sudah selesai.

Stempel masuk Malaysia via Imigrasi CIQ Sultan Abu Bakar Tanjung Kupang dan stempel keluar Malaysia via Imigrasi Bangunan Sultan Iskandar.

Aku pun perlu mencari bus dari CIQ Sultan Abu Bakar Tanjung Kupang menuju Legoland. Beruntung banyak pengendara bus keturunan India yang menanyakan tujuanku. Sehingga Aku ditunjukkan bus CW7 yang melewati Legoland dalam rute resminya.

Main lego di Legoland????……kek guweh.

Sampai Legoland juga akhirnya.

Mudah mendapatkan tiket bus dari Singapura ke Johor Bahru atau sebaliknya?. Cobain aja pesan via e-commerce perjalanan 12Go atau https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Bus dari KLIA2 ke Penang

Tiket ketengan menuju ke Dhaka, Bangladesh mengharuskanku transit ke Kuala Lumpur. Plisssss deh….yang bener aja, Aku harus menginjakkan kaki di Kuala Lumpur untuk ke 12 kali.

Hebat euy si Donny….

Hebat apaan, Guwe bosennnnn….

Aku harus cepat memutar otak untuk menjadikan perjalanan kali ini berkesan.

Fine….Akhirnya Kuputuskan meninggalkan Kuala Lumpur dan memilih mengunjungi Penang dengan cara  memperpanjang waktu transitku.

Hingga 2017, Aku tak pernah kesampaian mengunjungi Penang. Sementara jadwal klayapanku sudah jauh meninggalkan Asia Tenggara. Jadi kupaksakan diri untuk mampir ke Penang sebelum menghabisi Asia Selatan.

Lalu….Bagaimana mencapai Penang dari KLIA2 (Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2)?

Kukasih pilihan deh,

Alternatif 1. Naik ETS (Electric Train Service)

Biaya yang akan dikeluarkan jika naik ETS:

  1. Aerobus KLIA2-KL Sentral = Rp. 40.000
  2. ETS Stasiun KL Sentral-Stasiun Butterworth = Rp. 286.000
  3. Ferry dari Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal di Penang Sentral menuju Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal di Pulau Penang = Rp. 4.000

Tarif keseluruhan = Rp. 330.000

Alternatif 2. Naik Bus

Biaya yang akan dikeluarkan jika naik bus:

  1. Direct bus dari KLIA2-Penang Sentral = Rp. 190.000
  2. Ferry dari Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal di Penang Sentral menuju Pangkalan Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal di Pulau Penang = Rp. 4.000

Tarif keseluruhan = Rp. 194.000

Sudah tahu kan Aku memilih naik apa?….

—-****—-

Malam hari pukul 22:05, Air Asia QZ 206 mendaratkanku di KLIA2. Artinya sudah jelas kan….moloooorrrr lageeeee di bandara….hahaha.

Selepas mengecap passport di konter imigrasi, Aku segera menuju ke Transportation Hub di lantai 1 Gateway@klia2 mall. Dan selanjutnya Aku duduk manis di ujung NZ Curry House untuk menyantap nasi lemak dan teh O seharga Rp. 23.000 sebagai makan malamku….makan malam kok tengah malam….parraaahhhh.

Tengah malam makan beginian….
Menu yang sama kuulang dipagi hari kemudian sebelum berangkat ke Penang.

Dan untuk mengamankan satu tiket menuju Penang. Di tengah malam itu pula, Aku membeli tiket bus StarMart Express dengan tujuan akhir Penang Sentral seharga Rp. 190.000.

Tengah malam pun konter sangat ramai….Awas kehabisan tiket!….Coba deh beli di 12Go
Tujuan akhir masih tertera terminal Butterworth. Sebelum Penang Sentral selesai dibangun, memang bus berhenti di terminal itu.

Yessss….

Makan sudah….

Tiket sudah….

Menjadikan malam itu nyenyak beristirahat di surau (mushola) Departure Hall lantai 3 KLIA2.

—-****—-

Dan perjalanan menuju Penang pun dimulai. Pagi itu tepat pukul 06:00, Aku menaiki StarMart Express di Door1-platform A01 sesuai tiket.

StarMart Express sedang merapat di platform.
Aku duduk di seat nomor 22.

Karena ini perjalanan panjang maka kubekali diriku dengan membeli sebotol air mineral dan snack ringan seharga  Rp. 15.500.

Menyusuri jalanan North-South Expressway, Starmart Express berjalan dengan santai. Dan 3 jam 45 menit kemudian, Aku tiba di Terminal Amanjaya, Kota Ipoh. Ipoh sendiri adalah Ibu Kota Negara Bagian Perak.

Bus menurunkan dan menaikkan sejumlah penumpang di Terminal Amanjaya.
Suasana jalan ketika meninggalkan Kota Ipoh.

Pukul 11:00, Bus merangsek ke jalan Taiping dan akhirnya berhenti di Terminal Kuala Kangsar. Penumpang melakukan toilet break selama 10 menit.  

Terminal Kuala Kangsar terletak tepat di jalan Persiaran Bendahara, kota Bandar Baru, Distrik Kuala Kangsar, Negara Bagian Perak.

Pada jam 11:55, bus berhenti di kantor StarMart Express Taiping di Jalan Kampung Dew, daerah Simpang. Ini adalah tujuan akhir Bus StarMart Express dari KLIA 2. Dan untuk melanjutkan perjalanan menuju Penang,  penumpang akan dipindah ke bus StarMart Express yang lain atau bus yang bekerjasama dengan StarMart Express.

StarMart Express @Taiping Head Quarter terletak di Distrik Laut, Matang dan Selama, Negara Bagian Perak.

Dan kali ini, Aku dipindahkan ke Bus Eagle yang bekerjasama dengan StarMart Express.

Bus “Hijau” ini dimiliki oleh perusahaan Eagel Coach SDN.BHD.

Tak menjadi masalah buatku untuk dipindahkan ke bus lain yang penting sampai tujuan. Tapi tak tahu dengan penumpang yang lain, apakah mereka biasa juga atau mungkin ada yang sewot…..hahaha.

OK lanjut yaaaa….

Jam 12:30, Bus tiba di Terminal Bas Express Kamunting Raya untuk melakukan toilet break kembali selama 10 menit.

Terminal ini terletak di kota Kamunting, Distrik Laut, Matang dan Selama, Negara Bagian Perak.

10 menit kemudian bus perlahan meninggalkan Kota Kamunting dan mempertontonkan keindahan alam dengan melalui jalan yang meliak-liuk menembus perbukitan .

Cakep banget dah alam Negara Bagian Perak.

Terlelap dengan pulas karena jam tidur yang kurang pada malam sebelumnya di KLIA2 hingga akhirnya tak terasa bus mulai memasuki platform Penang Sentral pada pukul 13:54.

Rasa ingin tahu yang tinggi membuatku tak terasa capek menaiki bus selama 7 jam 54 menit untuk mencapai destinasi impian….”Penang”

Aku diturunkan di platform ini ketika tiba di Penang Sentral.

So guys,…..Siapa sih yang ga mau melihat Kota Tua George Town yang menjadi Situs Warisan Budaya UNESCO ?

Ayolah datang kemari….ngeteng aja sepertiku, dijamin murah meriah.

Tiket bus KLIA2-Penang bias Kamu dapatkan juga di e-commerce perjalanan 12Go

Stay in Altitude….Beauty of Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok

If I am asked, how many times have you traveled to King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s country?… Ummh 3 times, guys.…Easy first level question.

Then if I am asked, what is the most memorable thing when visiting that “White Elephant Country“?….Tom Yam or its ladyboy (hahaha….kidding), guys….easy answer for second level question.

OKAY.…before entering next question

All of You have knew, how feel when do “crazy traveling” abroad in version of travelingpersecond.com….maybe, normal people will give answer “nothing nice”.

But, this time I was a little showing off….hahaha. Because I save one story of my bourgeois trip to Thailand.

This is the story….What will you do if you are given USD 740 by your boss and you were asked to spend it all for 3 days 2 nights in Baifern Pimchanok’s country?….This is a third level question.

That’s a lot of money. But, many people bring much money for traveling to Bangkok. Waaw.…I’m really tacky. But swear….USD 740 are very much for me.

It will be memorable thing if it can be spent to stay at expensive hotel in Bangkok.

Yes, I finally stayed at Baiyoke Sky Hotel.

Baiyoke Sky Hotel is 309 meters in height and it be 7th highest hotel in the world. So it doesn’t matter if you must to spend USD 110 per night for staying here.

Baiyoke Sky Hotel located in Khet Ratchathewi (Khet means a district), Bangkok Province. Ratchathewi itself comes from name of an empress, namely Phra Nangchao Sukumalmarsri Phra Ratchathewi.

Besides having a Victory Monument as a landmark, Ratchathewi also has famous landmarks namely Baiyoke Sky Hotel which I am writing now.

This hotel is located in a famous area….Its name, Pratu Nam. It also has other well-known destination, namely Pratu Nam Market. You must visit it if you go to Bangkok.

The hotel itself has 2 main towers. Tower I is 151 meters high and is used for Baiyoke Suite Hotels. While Tower II is 309 meters high, it’s used for Baiyoke Sky Hotel

I paid USD 9 to airport taxi driver after he transferred me from Don Mueang International Airport to Baiyoke Sky Hotel.

Before entering hotel’s door, I observed busy trading activities in commercial shops which located on ground floor of Baiyoke Sky Hotel.

Entering ground floor lift, a queue is so long in front of it. I stood in a tail of queue.

Oh Donny….a bumpkin man. A doorman was approaching me, apparently He knew I had just taken queue behind.

He: “Excuse me, Sir….Do you want to stay in or just go to observation deck?”

Me: ” I want to stay sir ”

He: ” Oh Okay, sir … This queue is for observation deck only. You can use that to go to lobby

Me: ” Oh thank you sir “. Hi Donny, please read the instructions (my heart murmured). Then I began to move to other lift with few queue.

The lift finally drove me to lobby.

Classic reception hall.

Finishing check-in process and get a access card. I immediately went to my room in upstair for a short break. There are three lift corridors on the floor where receptionist is located. The first corridor is used to go to exit door on ground floor. The second and third corridors are used specifically for guests towards their rooms and several interesting places in hotel, such as Baiyoke Floating Market, Bangkok Sky, Observation Deck, Stella Palace, Bangkok Balcony, Crystal Grill and Roof Top Bar.

Walked through a corridor to search my room.

I finally entered my room.

For meals, I didn’t need to eat a toast as usual. Because it’snt dormitory.…keep calm, Donny.

Ate as much as you want….

Besides that, you can also eat in a floating market concept. In this case, It’s no water in 75th floor where floating market is located. All buffets are in a boat style and there are traders at each boat.

Because of second tallest building in Bangkok, it will be very disadvantage if you don’t enjoy Bangkok from 360-degree revolving viewpoint in top floor of Tower II.

Scenery fare is about USD 14,8 for public. This time, I can enjoy it for free as a guest guest.

On first night, I went late and 360-degree revolving viewpoint on 84th floor of Baiyoke Sky Tower had stopped spinning. I wasn’t long at revolving roof deck and I decided to get off. I only get this:

Surprised, Peter Parker is very strong. It was 3 days, he hanged at 83rd floor….hahaha.

There were also champion photos of Baiyoke Run Up International (running race up stairs to top of Baiyoke Sky Tower).

I was able to get view of 360 degree-Bangkok view on second night. The 360-degree revolving point made me stunned when saw beauty of Bangkok at night.

Hunting photos in a 360-degree revolving viewpoint.

Baiyoke Sky Hotel also provides a mini museum to display several Buddha statues and artifacts.

Nearby Culinary

Precisely across hotel, you will find Indra Square Shopping Mall. Open from 10am to 9pm, like most shopping malls in general, you will easily find lots of clothes, accessories, souvenirs, shoes and bags which sold through a bargaining process. Many Indian descents become traders here.

Back to culinary, you can find Indra Food Square on top floor.

Want to Shop on the Street?

Along street in front of Baiyoke Sky Hotel presents a night market which attracts hotel guests to visit it. Try to eat Bangkok durian on left front side of hotel !….really nice.

Actually, luxury staying is very nice….hahaha.

Wallpaper dan Realita

HAHAHAHA….Ternyata wujud kartunku kek gitu….ilernya itu loh gak nguatin.

Sebuah ruang tunggu di Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport yang menjadi gerbang wisata Mumbai sengaja kupilih menjadi background dalam wallpaper ini.

Kenapa Chhatrapati Shivaji ?

Keterpesonaan terhadap modernnya bandara ini membuatku jatuh cinta dan terus mengaguminya. Bukannya Kansai International Airport modern juga?….Narita International Airport gimana?….Lalu Incheon International Airport kamu anggap apa, Don?.

Yup ketiga bandara itu sangat OK….tapi kan ketiganya dimiliki negara dengan ekonomi super maju. Lumrah lah….

Kutanya balik deh. Gimana rasanya ketika kamu menemukan sebuah bandara modern di tengah ruwetnya isi kota di sebuah negeri yang ekonominya belum sebaik Jepang dan Korea?.

Tak tergambarkan rasanya, brur….

Lalu, kenapa memilih bandara sebagai background dalam wallpaper ini?

Sederhana lah….Bandara internasional adalah muka dari sebuah negeri. Dia menginterpretasikan ragam budaya dan tingkat peradaban sebuah negara.

Kembali ke wallpaper yuks….

Berikut filosofi dari wallpaper diatas:

Peta dan Kompas…. Bak seorang polisi yang kemana-mana bersenjatakan pistol di pinggang, maka saya juga punya senjata serupa yang selalu kubawa ketika klayapan yaitu peta dan kompas. Kecakapan menggunakan kedua piranti traveling itu akan meningkatkan kepercayaan diri secara signifikan ketika berjalan di negeri orang dan tentu akan membuatmu menjadi lebih unik dibanding klayaper yang lain.

Botol Minuman….Botol minuman adalah barang penting dalam melakukan penghematan. Mengisinya di water station bandara….di tempat umum….di hotel….atau memindahkan seisi teko restoran ke dalamnya adalah kebiasaan gila yang konsisten kulakukan.

Mangkanye ketika sedang jalan barang sama Ane….jangan suudzan, Ane kaga jelalatan liatin cewek cantik kok,….tapi cari free water station demi berhemat.

Kamera…. “Si mirrorles hitam” itu adalah Canon EOS M10 yang kubeli pada 2018. Jadi foto-foto yang kupublish pada era 2011-2017 adalah hasil jepretan kamera HP biasa, kupastikan artikel-artikel berbahan pengalaman sebelum 2018 akan menampilkan foto-foto beresolusi ala kadarnya….Ga papa ya, yang penting bisa memberikan Kalian informasi sebelum memulai perjalanan.

Tidur….Tidur di bandara adalah cara terbaik dan teraman untuk menyelamatkan budget. Paling tidak menghemat biaya hotel 1 malam. Gilee guweh….total sudah meniduri 10 bandara di kawasan Asia….untung kagak hamil tuh bandara….hihihi.

Lembar Itinerary….Aku adalah orang yang detail dengan itinerary. Selain cermat dalam penyusunan, Aku juga disiplin membawanya selama klayapan. Menjadi sindiran dan ketawaan banyak orang ketika lalu lalang membawa map berisi lembaran kertas itinerary, print out tiket pesawat, lembar konfirmasi pemesanan hotel dan peta jalur transportasi umum. Buat orang lain, ini terkesan ribet. Tetapi hal inilah yang membuatku nyaman ketika bersolo traveling. Persiapan dokumen yang lengkap identik dengan self confidence tauk.

Backpack…. Ya begitulah kondisiku jika berada di bandara. Backpack tak pernah lepas dari badan. Karena semua perbekalanku ada didalamnya. And no more backpack. Oleh karenanya sejauh apapun pergi, Aku tak pernah membeli bagasi pesawat.

Soooo….Semoga wallpaper ini bisa mendeskripsikan perilakuku selama klayapan…..

Bandara mana lagi ya yang akan Aku kunjungi dalam waktu dekat?. Bagaimana kalau Sultan Mahmud International Airport?. Kayaknya OK deh….Mau ikut?

Three Viewpoints in Phuket

My first post about Thailand isn’t about Bangkok as a capital city. But I will make you curious by presenting Phuket.

Imagining beauty of Phuket since 2013, I could really see it by naked eyes in 2019. For six years I could only see Phuket from a photo which was posted on my desk. Many reasons of course, why I must wait very long. Because of time, bustle and of course about budget….hihihi, I think the last one is my problem.

OK, by the way….

PHUKET….is an island-area province in south of Bangkok. If it is measured, its length is along Jakarta-Cikampek (about 70 km) and its width is only along East Jakarta to West Jakarta (about 36 km).

Phuket is indeed famous with its beach tourism. But for your information, 70% of its area are hills. That’s way, you can see the beauty of downtown and its beaches from above.

Based on this, before enjoying all beaches in Phuket, I did one thing that other tourists rarely do.…Yeah, I started to climb its hills to do ” Phuket helicopter view “.

That afternoon, Nok Air airline landed me at Phuket International Airport. Connected by airport bus, I was really dropped off in center of downtown. After checking in at Fulfill Phuket Hostel and lunch around it, I immediately rushed to rent a motorbike and went to a hill in northwest of hotel.

1.Khao Rang Viewpoint.

Khao Rang or Rang Hill is a viewpoint which located in north of Phuket. According to Khao Rang officer who I asked, Khao Rang usually visited by Phuket residents at night after work or on weekend to celebrate their holiday after 5 busy days at work.

Very lucky that I was there on Sunday afternoon, so it was very easy to find Phuket residents who were going back and forth

Needed about 10 minutes from Fulfill Phuket Hostel to actually get into Khao Rang through its south gate (there are two gates to go to Khao Rang, one in south and other one in north).

Parking my motorbike in a hurry because of my impatience to saw how Phuket face, I don’t care about many young couples who are seen sitting in every corner of Khao Rang.

I immediately looked around to determine from which point I will see Phuket. Yes.…that was the viewpoint that I was looking for:

A European style building is displayed at end of Khao Rang.

Oh God….Phuket which is bordered by coastline and insulated by small hills on each view sides makes me stunned for a long time and beat the sun heat.

Nice?….Why are you stunned?….hahaha
How nice is it?
Me and the view.

If you want to stay longer in Khao Rang, You can enjoy Phuket view while eating Thailand foods in Tunk Ka Cafe. If you don’t want to enter cafe because of expensive price, You can enjoy some snacks or coconut water in some food stalls outside restaurant.

Then what did I?….I didn’t buy anything….I prefered to go to next viewpoint.

2. Phuket’s Big Buddha

Out of Khao Rang parking area, I directed my motorbike to southwest. I would explore as far as 20 km towards Big Buddha statue by motorbike.

Through heat of Phuket’s streets, I stopped by in a traditional market in middle of trip. Sightseeing market to see local people trade, slowly I heard faint sound of Sundanese language (Sunda is other name of West Java, Indonesia) among boisterous tone of market.

“I have to find this person”, I thought. Approaching sound until I found two teenagers from Sukabumi (a district in West Java province) who are undergoing students exchange which become their Tourism Vocational School program. They were assigned in a resort at Phuket and were shopping at behest of resort’s head chef.

Leaving the market, I resumed my journey up winding hill to its summit.

I saw Chinese tourists rejoice on ATV to same place, even some European tourists could be seen heading to top of hill by jogging and walking.…It was crazy, that’s really far away.

I can say that it’is “combo venue”. Because besides getting a higher viewpoint, you will also enjoy beauty and sacredness of this statue.

Finally I arrived in Big Buddha.

Located on top of Nakkerd hill, this 45 meters in high statue was built in 2004.

Walk to end of giant statue plaza !, this is what you will get:

Guys.…that’s exotic appearance of Ao Chalong Bay….exotic like Jennifer Garner (upsss….You know my idol….hahaha)

Big Buddha became a closing trip of all my climbing on that Sunday.

I had to be patient to climb again next day.

3. Kao Khad View Point

Next day….

I would longer sit in Kao Khad, so I decided to enter Family Mart across my hotel to prepare some packed beans and soft drinks to enjoy beauty of Phuket.

Heading to south, I went through Phuket’s streets. I would cover a distance about 8 km now. Passing through traffic jams at several points of road which were being renovated and also through underpass project, I enjoyed local faces who were moving towards their respective livelihoods.

Viewpoint which isn’t so high made my motorbike easy to run faster and reached my destination in just 12 minutes.

Here is it, Kao Khad viewpoint :

Seeing from everyhere, the whole island really spoiled my eyes
Kao Khad beach….beautiful

So….after seeing some little scenery that I gave….Will you go to Phuket?

Membedah Sentosa Island Lebih Dalam

Kenapa kebanyakan turis selalu memposting fotonya dengan latar belakang bola biru Universal Studio?….Sudah menjadi kesepakatan informal, jika sudah berfoto demikian maka Dia telah sah mengunjungi Negerinya Lee Kuan Yew.

Lalu pernahkah Kamu berfikir untuk membedah seisi Sentosa Island ?….Eh satu lagi, semua itu dilakukan dengan berjalan kaki….Sanggup?

Hahaha….Edun.

Emangnya Kamu pernah, Don?….yee iii lee, “crazy backpacker” kek Guwe ditanya begituan….ya pernah lah….ampe gempor malah….

Nih ceritaku….mana ceritamu….jangan dink, capeeeekkk!

Turun di stasiun MRT Harbour Front, Aku keluar melalui Vivo Mall. Di dalam mall, plis jangan terlena ama barang dagangan atau bahkan ama para amoy yang aduhai itu. Kamu hanya perlu fokus untuk mencari papan petunjuk yang akan mengarahkanmu ke Sentosa Boardwalk.

Ikon Vivo Mall di lantai teratas….dari lantai ini, exit door ke Sentosa Boardwalk sudah deket kok.

Btw, tar dulu….Kamu tahu kan apa itu “Sentosa Boardwalk”?

Sentosa Boardwalk

Kalau ke Sentosa Island naik bus atau travel car maka Kamu ga bakal nemuin jalan apung ini. Apalagi kalau naik monorail Sentosa Express atau Cable Car….Hmmh, kapan ya Aku bisa naik begituan….hahaha, pernah tauk….baca aja deh.

Yes….Sentosa Boardwalk adalah jalur pejalan kaki sepanjang 600 meter yang dibuat seakan mengapung di atas air laut untuk menghubungkan Sentosa Island dengan daratan utama Singapura….Keren yaaaa.

Titik awal Sentosa Boardwalk.

Jika Sentosa Boardwalk untuk pejalan kaki, maka dimana jalan mobil dan jalur monorail menuju Sentosa Island?.

Ya pasti ada lah….Kamu hanya perlu berjalan keluar jalur di kiri Sentosa Boardwalk, maka Kamu akan menemukan jawabannya

Ntuhhh….

Jalan raya dan jalur monorail menuju Sentosa Island.

Karena sukanya gratisan, maka Aku ke Sentosa Island dengan….jalan kaki lageeeeeeee….

Sedikit dibantu escalator. Walau porsi besarnya tetap jalan kaki.

Plis deh, lepasin kacamata kudanya….ya emang sih cepet nyampai, tapi Kamu ga akan dapat view experience yang yahuut.

Nih….hasil ketika Aku mengkol di salah satu deck Sentosa Boardwalk.

Njirrr….itu Harbour Front Port. Kalau mau ke Batam naik ferry di situ, gaes. Do’ain Aku bisa naik kapal pesiar kek gitu ya….
Viewpoint di pertengahan Sentosa Boardwalk

Automatic Fare Gate di ujung Sentosa Boardwalk itu tertutup kain, pertanda bahwa Aku tak perlu membayar Rp. 10.000 untuk  memasuki gerbang Sentosa Island….Ada promo apa sih?

Trick Eye Museum

Mau masuk situ?….boleh siapin aja Rp. 200.000. Aku sih kagak masuk….

Masuk gerbang Sentosa Island disambut sungai buatan berseberangan dengan museum.

Sentosa Resort World Sign

Alur pajalan kaki mengantarkanku memasuki goa buatan tepat dibawah papan nama “Sentosa Resort World”

Mending sekali foto jadi….ini gagal mulu….ya harus nunggu monorail berikutnya lewat lagi.

Malaysian Food Street

Lama-lama sewot juga….kelaparan mulai melanda setelah mendapatkan foto itu. Tapi Aku tahu, setelah Trick Eye Museum itu ada Malaysian Food Street.

Nah ntuh dia….
Lo kire makanan jalanan….ya kagak lah. Sentosa Island kan tempat orang SIngapura buang duit….hihihi

Untuk berhemat, Aku saranin isi botol minuman Kalian di free water station di sebelah ticketing counter dekat pintu masuk Sentosa Island.

Pintu keluar Malaysian Street Food yang langsung berhadapan dengan bola dunia Universal Studio.

Universal Studio

Walaupun sebelumnya sudah dua kali ke sini, tetap aja kesini lagi buat yang ketiga kali….kurang kerjaan lo, Don.

Maaf ya mbak cantik….Kena candid.

Kebanyakan turis sudah merasa cukup sampai disini kala berwisata ke Sentosa. Nah dibelakang Universal Studio ini ada apa aja ya?

Yuk Kita telusuri….

Lake of Dreams

Berjalan ke selatan dari bola dunia Universal Studio, Kamu akan menjumpai Lake of Dreams. Kala siang memang tak menarik. Tapi kalau datang saat malam, tempat ini akan menyajikan pertunjukan koreografi menarik yang megkombinasikan audio, api, air dan cahaya.

Pertunjukannya gratis….

The Maritime Experimental Museum

Letaknya tepat di samping Lake of Dreams, ini dia:

Ke selatan terus melewati kolam dengan banyak air mancur kecil seperti ini:

Sentosa Merlion

Maka akan terlihat dengan jelas patung Merlion berwarna coklat. Patung setengah singa dan ikan ini sering disebut kembaran patung yang sama di Merlion Park. Kamu bisa ikut Sentosa Merlion Tour seharga Rp. 180.000 untuk menaiki patung dari dalam dan menikmati indahnya Sentosa island dari ketinggian 37m.

Saat malam, ada audiolaser show dengan Sentosa Merlion sebagai obyeknya.

Patung itu akan berubah-rubah warna selama pertunjukan Merlion Magic Lights.

Sentosa Merlion Walk

Di belakang Sentosa Merlion tardapat Merlion Walk sepanjang 120 meter. Pedestrian dengan konsep mosaic theme park beserta air mancur di sepanjang taman akan memanjakan mata di tengah teriknya Sentosa Island.

Sentosa Express Beach Station

Di ujung Merlion Walk terdapat dua bangunan besar. Bangunan di kiri adalah Beach Station. Turis pengguna Sentosa Express yang akan berwisata ke sepanjang pantai selatan Sentosa biasa turun di sini.

Akhirnya mencicipi Sentosa Express gratis ketika pulang dari Siloso Beach.

i-Fly Singapore

Nah, disebelah kanan adalah gedung i-Fly Singapore. Kamu yang mau ber-indoor sky diving harus merogoh kocek sebesar Rp. 900.000.

Untung ga suka sky diving….dompet aman, hahaha

Siloso Beach

Berada tepat di pantai, Aku memutuskan berbelok ke kanan menuju Siloso Beach. Oh ya, jika Kamu berbelok ke kiri maka akan menjumpai Palawan Beach dan Tanjong Beach. Gunakan saja beach tram yang melintas sepanjang garis pantai jika ga kuat jalan kaki !.

Disepanjang Siloso Beach Walk, Aku menjumpai beberapa Machine Gun Pillbox. Garis pertahanan Singapura ini dibangun pada 1936-1940 semasa Perang Dunia Kedua.

Nih….

Perlu berjalan 700m dari i-Fly Singapore menuju Siloso Beach dan bermain air sepuasnya disana.

Tertarik ?? coba deh keliling pulau !….pasti gempor dan kebakar matahari….hihihi.