“The Dashing” Bank of China Tower and “The Face Savior” Starbucks

“Bitter coffee suddenly became sweet….You was beautiful”.

Setelah 1,5 jam menikmati The Hong Kong Observation Wheel dan AIA Vitality Park di sekitar Central Ferry Pier, akhirnya Aku mulai menyeberangi Connaught Road Central menuju Bank of China Tower (BOC Tower).

Connaught Road Central which fluently.

It wasn’t difficult to find that famous tower. Because from a distance, the building with a distinctive triangle frame was visible. The fourth tallest building in Hong Kong.

Let’s go to entering BOC Tower.

Whattt….All men/women who entering and out of the building looked handsome, beautiful, fashionable in a tie and metrosexual style….I momentarily stopped hesitating and watched its main door from a distance. OMG….No one looked like backpacker or tourist who entering it.

Doubt…. Embarrassed….Nervous.

Going in or not?????

I would enter it…Step forward.

Ups, I canceled my steps…. stopped and turning back.

I must brave to entering it….Started to stepping again

Waited….Stop stepping….Bowed to thinking …. Scratching my head #lookeddramatic.

You are timid, Donny….Come from far away, when arrive in destination then you run away….You must embarrassed with your jargon, Donny“, the heart whispered to the brain.

Embarrassed, bro….Crumpled t-shirt, dirty trousers don’t be change for 4 days, cheap shoes from sidewalk store, and my bag shoulder strap is torn….I think, it will be many tourists there….Apparently it isn’t“, my brain defended.

Yes, Donny…Can we directly go to Victoria Park? … Many Indonesians gather there” the heart confirmed.

Well, right, what did I say….Come on go to Victoria Park while it isn’t late….” the brain began to ally with heart.

Finally,

“I am salesmen, it should not have shame in my face”, my mouth began to kick out my heart and brain.

executive man in tie and some blond haired expats strangely saw me when they entered building’s door. I smile as sweet as possible, hoping someone was interested in my exotic black skin….Hahaha.

Test….Test….Practiced smile before entering. The door is on my right.

—-****—-

A few steps entering building, I stopped and stared at whole room…. Confidence…I looked for front desk location.

Yes….That, in the middle of room.

Me: “Can me ask?“….Oh, wrong question “Excuse me Miss, Can I get information about observation deck on 43th floor?

She: Ouch, smiling sweetly, “Hi sir, our observation deck was closed

Me: “Since when, Ms?“, My bad english, the important was she understood.

She : “It closed since May 2015, Sir”.

Me : “Oh Okay, Thanks you Ms”.

She : “You are welcome Sir. Happy journey in Hong Kong. Where are you come from?“.

Me : “I’m from Indonesia. Again, thank you for your kindness”……”Can me know where do you stay in Hong Kong?, I want to meet your parent”. #fictionquestion

Failed in got destination but feeling contented in overcoming my own fears, I turned to leave the building.

Suddenly….

Braaaarrrrrrrrrrr……..

Rain….Whatttt….What must I did?.

All office employee went back into lobby. Imagine!, one backpacker style in the middle of a lot of tie and suits….God.

—-****—-

Okay….Okay….I looked around again.

Ahhhhaaaaa….That, Starbucks at left of room. With my confidence, I stepped to Starbucks. #rememberwallet

You aren’t the only man who has money?” I arrogantly muttered…..Hahaha, I was sorry (tonight, I didn’t eat because of starbucks).

There was a voice behind me….

Beautiful blonde: “Hello, do you queueing?“.

Me : “Oh No, I just seeing the menu. You can queue first”, God…..I too long thought to find the cheapest coffee prices in front of cashier.

Beautiful blonde : “Oh thank you, handsome”.

Me : “You are welcome, sweety”.

Finally ordered a long black coffee for USD 2.

Very Bitter….Just swallow it…… because of lots of style.

Just sat in a row of empty chairs so that other people weren’t uncomfortable with my existence.

Chairs was getting full because other people also drank coffee and waiting for the rain to stop. And my luck came.

Bitter coffee suddenly became sweet….looked like sprinkled with 5 spoons of sugar. Because of she sat in front of me….

Slow down drinking, Donny“, Satan began to whisper.

One sipping…..glancing……sipping again….then glancing again.

Instead of just being stunned, It was better if I asked.

Me : “Hi, Ms….Do you know WiFi password here?”

She : “I’m sorry, I’m using my own Wifi”, while smiling.

Me : “The hard hit” to me as free WiFi hunter….Hahaha.”Oh Ok, Thank you Ms”.

No longer glancing and no longer asking. Pretending to enjoy coffee which is actually very bitter…. #whilewhistling.

My silly adventure in the BOC Tower ended with quite a number of hooks and uppercuts….Sad.

Rain had stopped….It was time to headed for Victoria Park. I exited the building and lunging at soft drizzle which exposed my face.

Come on, using Ding Ding Tram!

Behind of Air Asia QZ 206 Flight from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur

Just after returning from expedition to Garut-Tasikmalaya-Sumedang, my fatigue after a week traveling in that three districts didn’t make me tired. Didn’t take a break, I prefer to complete my mission for complete South Asia exploration by visiting the remaining three countries.…Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Air Asia ticket which I bought for USD 25,8 since April 7, 2018 was able to keep my mission and my wallet to continue to travel the world. Yes, I had to caught Malindo Air on Kuala Lumpur-Dhaka route in KLIA.

During waiting period of my departure, many questions arise from work colleagues or other friends outside of work.

“Yeeee, why are you traveling to Bangladesh?. It’s not elite”

“Donny, what do you want to see in Bangladesh?”

“You will go home and sick, Donny”

“Wasting time….Better you go to Ancol (a beach in Jakarta) than go to Bangladesh”.

“Donny, Why does have to go to Bangladesh?”

I answered: “Yes, up to me … it’s my money … It’s my steps“.

Ups, I didn’t answer like that….That’s impolite.

Hahaha …. “Yes, guys, my money is only enough to travel there“….Hahaha….That’s my answer to them.

Other people don’t know about my mind about traveling….more crazy, more better….more weird, more amazing…Hahaha.

—-****—-

As usual…Using DAMRI bus at Kampung Rambutan Terminal. Besides being cheap, it is also close from my home. I prepared USD 2,9 to pay the fare with departure time on 15:00 hours. 1 hour and 15 minutes trip drove me in Terminal 2F, Soekarno Hatta International Airport.

Through gate 5, I started entering first X-ray screening. Not so smooth, my backpack which became my only friend was seen flipped by AVSEC (Aviation Security) officer, smeared with wet tissue and then watched closely. No need to worry…. the important thing is no drugs in it….Hahaha. Even if denied entry, it’s calm…. this is still in my city. Just go back to home with DAMRI again….If I denied to boarding.

Hi Ms, can me get window seat, please!“, My seduction to check-in staff at Air Asia counter. God, She is very pretty and kind, always smile …Hahaha, It’s be her duty to smile to everyone. “Hello, It’s your boarding pass“, She said….I got seat 2D, yes I failed….Hahaha.

Let’s stamped a passport! …. Even though it’s an e-passport, but my habit of stamping a passport make me didn’t care about existace of autogate counter.

Immigration Officer: “Where do you go?

Me : Just mention in detail one by one of my destination, so he wasn’t be suspicious, “Penang, Dhaka, Colombo, Maldives, sir. Transit in Mumbai and Singapore“. What kind of trip trip is it? … crazy.

Immigration Officer : “Backpacker?”

Me                           : “Yes sir”

Immigration Officer : He saw my face, checking my new passport and old one. Then….He stamped it, “be careful, sir“.

Me                            : “thank you, sir….surely I will be careful”.

Immigration Officer : “You are great“.

Yuhuuu…..I’m great like he said

Then I prayed at end of corridor before entering gate. After that, I entered second X-ray screening in front gate D5….Yess, very smooth.

While I was sitting reading near charging station, came a couple of Korean. They tried very hard to use it too.

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

He       : “Oh yea….Why put it here if broken” ostensibly kicking charging station while smiling.

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

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

Me     :  “Oh Nice”.

He       : “What are you doing here? “.

Me     :  “My profession, your mean?”.

He       :  “yeaaa”

Me     :  “Sales”.

He       :  “Good money?”

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

He       :  “yea…yea…yea”, nodding while smiling at me.

Looked like his girlfriend was a travel vlogger. Always speak with her confidence….Great. I thought I could not be like that? It’s better to write than to talk like her.

QZ 206 finally leaned to gate. Yup ….my adventure started immediately. Thirsty made me out from gate to buy mineral water. And a little warning from gate officer to immediately back to gate. Ok, sir, instead of buying it on the plane, it’s expensive.

Airbus A320-200 with a capacity about 186 passengers.

Exactly on 19:17 hours, I started boarding.

Behind korean-american girl.

Turbulence night flights on end of December. Seen middle-aged man next to me was so tense and held tight to the armrest chair throughout flight while me and a young woman who flanked him only wryly smiled while hiding misgivings.

Cabin.

Because my latest knowledge about Ipoh and Penang was so minimal, I decided to explore Travel360 inflight magazine. Hoping to find valuable information about Ipoh and Penang tourism. And …. thanks …. I really got it.

Ipoh in Travel360 inflight magazine.
Basic information about Penang.

QZ 206 was preparing to landing. Could not sleep during the trip because focus in reading inflight magazine to find information. This time, my 5 days transit adventure in Malaysia was foolish. Traveling without enough information.

Getting ready to landing.
What is the baggage for? It maybe a flight safety equipment.

Once arrived at KLIA2, a thoughts which immediately occurred to me were looking for a free water station, dinner, prayer, bought bus ticket to Penang and then sleeping.

You have to go to Transportation Hub on 1st floor to find cheap food. Oh yeah….Bus ticket sales counter is also there.

Come on…Got ready to go to Penang tomorrow.

Exploring Penang Sentral

The increasing of direct flights from Jakarta to Penang, making traveler prefer landed at Penang International Airport rather than do travel overland for about 6-8 hours from Malaysia’s capital.

And if you are patient to do overland trip, your memory will be filled with interesting experiences and accompanied by breathtaking views throughout Selangor State and Perak State.

Then ….For you who travel overland using bus then majority of buses will stop at Penang Sentral which is tourist gateway of Penang Island.

Therefore….So you will not confuse and can get detail preview of Penang Central, so I present this article to you.

Yessss … that’s Penang Sentral appearance.

PENANG SENTRAL …. Built in 2018 as main transportation hub owned by Penang State. Penang Sentral strategically replaces Butterworth Bus Terminal role with an exceptional integration system. As you can imagine, this large building integrates bus terminal, train station and ferry port in a location. Third integrated building which I admire in Malaysia after KL Sentral and Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS).

Butterworth Bus Terminal before Penang Sentral is completed.
Source: Travel-Senang-Malaysia.com
Penang Island is seen from Penang Central.

—–****—–

This is my story of exploring Penang Central.…

At 13:54 hours, I arrived at Penang Sentral … yes, of course, I was dropped off at Drop Bay in 1st floor.

And for presenting this article, I delayed towards ferry terminal which can anchor me in George Town, capital of Penang State.

For 1 hour and 20 minutes, I would explore Penang Sentral.

FLOOR 1

Starting from this hall:

You will be dropped off at Drop Bay Area when you arrive at Penang Sentral.

Generally, 1st floor is used to drop and take passengers.

This is intercity/express bus platform area when I left Penang Sentral.

FLOOR 2

Come on, we’re going up to second floor. What are there?

After you go up escalator, you will see 2nd floor view.

So….What are you looking for?

  1. Bus Ticketing Counter.

Bus ticket sales counter is in front of me after I go up with escalator. I immediately buy a bus ticket to leave Penang with schedule about two days after my arrival in Penang. Existence of KiosK Self Ticketing which stuck to building pillar made me stop before reach sales counter. I am better to finding cheapest bus ticket via that machine, because many buses with varying fares provide routes to Ipoh.

Finally, I held Perak Transit bus ticket sheet after putting USD 5,2 in KiosK Self Ticketing machine….Bus ticket was in hand, my heart was calm.

That’s Penang Sentral Departure Board….Self Ticketing Kiosk is on that pillar. Do you see?

2. Information Centre

The first standard when arriving at a foreign place is visiting information centre to get as much information as possible before exploring it more deeply. So did I, asking about Penang tourism, asking for brochures, finding ways to leave the city in the best way and many other things which I asked to information centre officer.

Very easy to find it….It is in front of bus ticketing counter.

3. Ferry Terminal.

Walking on back side of Bus Ticketing Counter, in several meters you will find a linkway to Ferry Terminal. Located to left side of your steps, you will see clearly a direction sign whinch leading you to Ferry Terminal.

Linkway to Ferry Terminal.

Walk straight for about dozens of steps you will find a Customer Service Center which sells ferry tickets to George Town. The name of ferry terminal is Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim.

It’s cheap….ticket price is only USD 0,3 for a round trip ticket

4. Shopping Counter.

Actually more Shopping Counter are on 3rd floor. I didn’t have time to visit it because it was already late and if I didn’t leave Penang Sentral soon, my exploration in Penang Island would be disrupted.

Shopping counter which I showed was only on 2nd floor.

5. Eatery

Food stalls are located near linkway to Ferry Terminal. These are certainly guaranteed halal and relatively cheap in price.

Iqbal’s Restaurant is my place to eat when I enter and leave Penang
Try the squid….Delicious

6. Butterworth Station.

Another integrated transportation mode in Penang Sentral is train. Train station is called Butterworth Station. The station building is located separately from Penang Sentral main building.

To find this station. Walking straight pass Bus Ticketing Counter on 2nd floor, then you will find an lift at end of floor. Then go down to 1st floor via lift.

Lift is at end of 2nd
floor.

Not too far after exiting lift, on 1st floor then you will find a corridor with KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) sign as a guide to Butterworth Station.

Front corridor appearance.

After a few tens of meters down the hall you will find a white building which is none other than Butterworth Station.

I rushed to hunt for an ETS (Electric Train Service) ticket but it was sold out.

OK…That is my story. I have explained all results of my exploration in Penang Sentral.

So, finally, you want to go to Penang by land or by air?

Garden of Stars atau Avenue of Stars?….Ah Sama Aja, Asal Ada Bruce Lee.

Pagi-pagi sekitar jam 8, aku mulai menuruni lantai Chungking Mansions Building yang menjadi tempat menginapku selama 3 hari di Hong Kong. Hong Kong memang gila, aku tak bisa melihat matahari pagi karena begitu rapatnya jajaran para pencakar langit itu. Jalanan juga penuh dengan warga yang lalu lalang dengan aktivitasnya masing-masing…..Puadettt bangeeettttt. Ingat dulu Hong Kong kena virus SARS?….Pantes lah, padat dan ga kena matahari. (Yeeee sok tahu lo Don, emang itu penyebabnya….Ngawur ih).

Nathan Road menjadi nama jalan yang paling kukenal karena selalu kulalui setiap pagi, siang dan malam selama di Hong Kong. Pagi itu….ya, Nathan Road lagi….Aku berbelok kekiri menuju Salisbury Road. Sambil melihat di pertokoan pinggir jalan, Aku berharap segera menemukan minimart untuk mencari sarapan murah. Gile emang….Transportasi Hong Kong boleh murah, tapi makan dan hotelnya gelo ratenya.

Pertigaan Nathan Road dan Salisbury Road.

Kemudian tiba tepat dipertigaan Middle Road dan Salisbury Road, aku menemukan 7-Eleven minimart. Yes, pagi itu aku memakan sekerat Ham & Egg Sandwiches dengan harga Rp. 19.000. Cukup dipanaskan di microwave, aku bisa dengan cepat menikmatinya. Hanya saja aneh, si kasir tak mau menerima lembaran 100 dolarku, Katanya itu uang lama….Waduh, ya mana guwe tahu kan nukernya di bilangan Blok M Jakarta. Lega, beberapa lembar 100 Dolar lamaku itu masih laku untuk top up Octopus Card di stasiun MTR.

Berdiri di ujung jalan sambil menikmati sandwichesku yang masih berasap, Kunyahanku diinterupsi dengan kehadiran seorang pengembara Jepang yang sedikit susah berbahasa Inggris dan dengan gadgetnya menunjukkan gambar bangunan berwarna orange dengan jam dinding di atasnya. Oh itu kan Hong Kong Clock Tower, Aku langsung faham….Cerdas kan guwe, siapa dulu donk….Donny!.

Aku: “Do you want go there?”.

Dia: “Yes….Yes…”, Ngangguk-ngangguk dan senyum.

Aku: “Do you have a map?”.

Dia: “What…What…”, Kayaknya ga faham.

Aku: “Wait….Just wait”….Kutaruh santapanku di bangku trotoar, kuturunkan tas dari punggungku, lalu kurogoh selembar peta yang merupakan teman setia perjalananku. Aku tahu itu adalah jam yang terletak di Star Ferry Pier, Mungkin dia mau menyeberang ke Hong Kong Island. Yes, kutemukan titiknya dan kutaruh kompas di atas mapku…..Okay, I know

Aku: “Hi Buddy, you just go through that road…You must across that road towards left side….Just walking straight for about 1 km. You will find it in the left side….Okay”…..Guwe jelasin sambil menunjukkan jari kesana kemari karena dia tak faham English kayaknya

Dia: “Okay…okay, thank you very much”.

Aku: “Arigatou Gozaimasu…..”. sambil membungkukkan badan

Dia: “Oh…Oh, yea “, Dia tersenyum lebar dan ikut membungkukkan badan. Sepertinya dia merasa tersanjung.

Selesai meyantap sandwiches, Aku segera melanjutkan perjalanan ku menyusuri Salisbury Road.….arah yang berlawanan dengan si Jepang tadi. Dalam 5 menit, Aku tiba di pelataran sebuah tunnel yang akan mengarahkanku ke Garden of Stars. Free….tak perlu mengeluarkan uang memasuki destinasi ini. Memasuki Garden of Stars Time Tunnel, Aku disuguhi cerita-cerita perjalanan kota Hong Kong dari zaman dahulu hingga sekarang. Wah, cerita bergambar yang dipajang di sepanjang dinding terowongan itu membuatku terpana akan pesatnya perkembangan Hong Kong….Keren.

Keluar dari terowongan maka tibalah Aku di luasnya Garden of Stars. Wahhhh….itu patung-patung terkenal itu. Patung itu sedang dipindahkan dari tempat asalnya yaitu Avenue of Stars di pinggiran Victoria Harbour karena proyek renovasi.

Sebetulnya geli juga sih, foto-foto bersama patung-patung itu….Hahaha. Jauh-jauh cuma foto sama patung….Wkwkwk.

Nih dia beberapa jepretan di Garden of Stars:

Sculpture Mc Dull….si tokoh babi kartun.
Sculpture sang legenda….Bruce Lee.
Sculpture Anita Mui.
Hong Kong Film Awards Sculpture.

Selain patung, Aku juga menemukan Star Handprint Plaques. Mencoba menyentuh handprint milik Michelle Yeoh….Ya Allah, imut banget sih tangannya….Keciiiilll mungilll bangett.

Lupa itu handprint milik siapa?.

Di ujung taman baru terlihat patung-patung yang menggambarkan kegiatan perfilman di Hong Kong.

Lighting crew sculpture.
Sculpture of sound assistant.
Donny as cameraman.

Garden of Stars sendiri menyuguhkan pemandangan Victoria Harbour yang sangat mempesona. Tak mau meninggalkan pesona itu, kuputuskan untuk menikmati secangkir kopi dan duduk menghadap Victoria Harbour untuk menikmati indahnya Hong Kong di pagi itu.

Victoria Harbour view….Indah banget.

Keren kan perjalananku……..

Bus from Singapore to Johor Bahru

Squirrel which cleverly jumped finally also can fall too“…. Oh, Donny is that squirrel.

Yesss….that night, I was kicked out of Changi International Airport terminal 2…Niceeee….My passport was marked by Aviation Securitty….God.

Since 2014, playing cat and mouse role with Singapore airport police. Now, the cat was caught when sleeping behind a waiting chair in terminal 2 of Changi International Airport … Embarrassing.

4 hours before incident.…

The “gray with orange star” airline with flight number 3K206 landed me in Terminal 1-Changi International Airport on 12:30 hours.

Because Changi Airport MRT station is in Terminal 2 and will operate on 5:30am, I decided to move to Terminal 2.

I finally prayed and then rest in prayer room until 02:00am. But coldness of air conditioner forced me to move to a row of waiting seat in front of passenger lounge. My assumption that airport police had finished patrol in this area was wrong.

Amid my dream, airport security who guarded by two young armed policeman and soldier woke me up. Ahhhh….I was understood….I finally caught after 4 years always avoid them.

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

Me: (while handing in a 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?”.

Me: “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”….(Click….Oh, my passport was captured with his camera. It was sent to their boss via whatsapp…. Hmmh, I’ve been tagged at Changi …. If I was caught once again, it will be a serious problem….hahaha.).

Because I came into immigration counter with armed soldier, Indian descent immigration officer became bitchy and angry to me when she stamped my passport ….Oh God, more angry then her face became more sexy like “Kajol” (beautiful Indian artist)….Hihihi.

2 hours can’t sleep….Yes, floor after immigration counter isn’t carpeted. How could I sleep while sitting on hard bench like that?.

In midst of sleepiness (it was because on noon, I worked full time in Bandung. And in afternoon, I directly went to Soekarno Hatta International Airport….cool yes, my home in Jakarta, working in Bandung on noon, and in night I was in Singapore….Hahaha), I decided to eat halal-certified noodles in this restaurant:

Located near exit gate after immigration counter of terminal 2 .
Cheap …. Only USD 3,5.

Waow….Please focus to the theme, Donny!

—-****—-

Let’s focus on the theme.…

That time, The final destination of my 7th visit to Singapore was Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Why did I go from “Lion Country”?…yes of course, the cost will be cheaper.

After eating noodles in the morning, I hurried to MRT platform in Changi Station. By buying a ticket for USD 1,9 on an automatic machine, I headed for Jurong East Station with 70 minutes travel time.

Why must be Jurong East Station?….Because this is a place where CW3/CW4 bus shelter which will go to Johor Bahru via Tuas Checkpoint which is the land border of Singapore and Malaysia.

I forced myself to hold pee because of toilet smell behind Jurong East Station crowd. Understandably, this station is integrated with bus terminal to various regions in Singapore and even out of Singapore.

After buying a bus ticket at counter, I immediately entered a queue and waited for bus to arrive. And finally, I got a CW3 bus which came 5 minutes later.

CW3 bus ticket costs USD 1,9.
Orderly waiting in line according to the path.

I chose a back seat so I could freely take photos during trip.

Bus’ air conditioner was great.

Bus continued to move towards Tuas Checkpoint via AYE Toll Road. Singapore’s streets smoothness made bus arrived at Tuas Checkpoint in just 30 minutes.

I deliberately chose queue line which guarded by Malay descent female officers for easy immigration checks (because I am Malay descent too). As a result, the immigration process at the border became very smooth.

Queueing at Tuas Checkpoint.

After passing the immigration counter, I immediately headed to the bus waiting area that will take me to the Sultan Abu Bakar Tanjung Kupang CIQ (Customs Immigration Quarantine) which is a Malaysian immigration building.

I didn’t need to find bus which I boarded before because as long as a ticket was still saved, I could continue my journey with another CW bus with similar destination.

Sea view along Second Link Expressway which connects Singapore and Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

The next journey begins. Second Link Expressway condition from Johor Bahru to Tuas Checkpoint was severely jammed during work hours at that time. On other side, the road from Tuas Checkpoint to CIQ Sultan Abu Bakar Tanjung Kupang was fluent.

very fluent in my side vs jammed in other side.

And in 15 minutes, I arrived at CIQ Sultan Abu Bakar Tanjung Kupang. There weren’t serious checking during immigration process and finally I was able to get through it quickly.

After stamping my passport, it means that the continued journey using CW3 bus has finished.

Immigration stamp when entering Malaysia via CIQ Sultan Abu Bakar Tanjung Kupang Immigration offfice and immigration stamp when exit from Malaysia via Sultan Iskandar Immigration Building.

I tried to find a bus with a route from CIQ Sultan Abu Bakar Tanjung Kupang to Legoland. Luckily, there were a lot of Indian descent bus driver asking to me about my destination. After talk with them, I was shown CW7 bus which passes through Legoland on its official route.

Playing lego in Legoland ????….Like me.

I finally arrived in Legoland.

Easy to get a bus ticket from Singapore to Johor Bahru or vice versa. Just try to ordering via travel e-commerce in 12Go or https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Bus from KLIA2 to Penang

A connecting flight ticket to Dhaka required me to transit in Kuala Lumpur. Oh….Really, I had to set foot in Kuala Lumpur for 12th time.

You are great, Donny….

No, It’s not about how great I am, but about I am who very bored

I had to quickly rack my brain to make this trip became memorable.

Fine….Finally I decided to leave Kuala Lumpur and chose to visit Penang by extending my transit time.

Until 2017, I never visit Penang. Because my travel distance is far from Southeast Asia now. So I forced myself to stop by to Penang before starting South Asia trips.

Then….How to reach Penang from KLIA2 (Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2)?

I’ll give you some choices,

Alternative 1. Using ETS (Electric Train Service)

Cost which be spent if you use ETS:

  1. Aerobus from KLIA2 to KL Sentral = USD 3
  2. ETS from KL Sentral station to Butterworth station = USD 21
  3. Ferry from Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal @ Penang Sentral to Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal @ Penang island = USD 0,3

Overall fares = USD 24,3

Alternatif 2. Using Bus

Cost which be spent if you use bus:

  1. Direct bus from KLIA2 to Penang Sentral = USD 14,1
  2. Ferry from Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal @ Penang Sentral to Raja Tun Uda Ferry Terminal @ Penang island = USD 0,3

Overall fares = USD 14,4

I think you know what kind of transportation which I choose?…..

—-****—-

On 22:05 hours, Air Asia QZ 206 landed me on KLIA2. The meaning is clear, right….Sleeping again in airport….Hahaha.

After stamping my passport in immigration counter, I immediately headed to Transportation Hub on 1st floor of Gateway @ klia2 mall. And then I sat at NZ Curry House corner to eat “Nasi lemak” (Malaysian originally food) and “teh O” (tea without sugar) for USD 1,7 as my dinner menu….dinner in midnight.

Eating it in my midnight.
I repeated a similar menu in the morning before going to Penang.

And to secure a ticket to Penang. In midnight, I bought a StarMart Express bus ticket with its last destination i.e Penang Sentral for USD 14,1.

In midnight, that counter was very busy…. Beware if tickets sold out!…Just try to buy it on 12Go
The final destination is still listed Butterworth terminal. Before Penang Sentral was completed built, the bus stopped at that terminal.

Yessss….

Eat….Done….

Ticket….Done….

It made me can sleep very well in airport mosque at 3rd floor Departure Hall of KLIA2.

—-****—-

And my journey to Penang began. That morning on 6am, I boarded into StarMart Express in Door 1-platform A01 according to the ticket.

StarMart Express was arrived in platform.
I sat in seat number 22.

Because it was a long journey, I bought a bottle of mineral water and a light snack for USD 1,2.

Going along North-South Expressway road, Starmart Express went slowly. And 3 hours 45 minutes later, I arrived at Amanjaya Terminal, Ipoh City. Ipoh itself is the capital of Perak State.

The bus dropped and took a number of passengers at Amanjaya Terminal.
Road situation when leaving Ipoh City.

On 11:00, Bus arrived in Taiping road and finally stopped at Kuala Kangsar Terminal. Passengers do toilet break for 10 minutes.

Kuala Kangsar Terminal is located right on Persiaran Bendahara street, Bandar Baru city, Kuala Kangsar District, Perak State.

On 11:55, bus stopped at StarMart Express Taiping office on Jalan Kampung Dew, Simpang area. This is the final destination of StarMart Express Bus from KLIA 2. And to continued a journey to Penang, passengers will be moved to another StarMart Express bus or other bus which in cooperation with StarMart Express.

StarMart Express @ Taiping Headquarter which is located in Laut, Matang dan Selama Districts, Perak State.

And this time, I was transferred to Eagle Bus which in collaboration with StarMart Express.

This “Green” bus is owned by Eagle Coach SDN.BHD company.

No problem for me to be transferred to another bus. The important was arrived in destination. But I didn’t know about other passengers, are they also still comfort or maybe are they annoyed … hahaha.

OK, let’s continue my story….

On 12:30 hours, bus arrived in Kamunting Raya Express Bus Terminal for 10 minutes toilet break again.

This terminal is located in Kamunting City, District of Laut, Matang dan Selama, Perak State.

10 minutes later, bus slowly left Kamunting City and showed beauty view through winding roads which splitting hills.

Perak State which is very beauty.

Soundly sleeping because of lacking sleep on last night at KLIA2. Finally, I didn’t feel that bus started to entering Penang Sentral platform on 13:54 hours.

High curiosity made me didn’t feel tired after got in bus for 7 hours 54 minutes to reach my dream destination….”Penang”

I was dropped off at this platform when I arrived in Penang Sentral.

So guys,….Who doesn’t want to see Old Town of George Town which is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site?….I think everyone want to visit it

Come on, visit it !….Just travel like me, I guarantee that it is cheap.

You can also get KLIA2-Penang bus ticket on 12Go travel e-commerce.

Wallpaper and Reality

HAHAHAHA ….Actually, my cartoon version is like that…. Look at the spittle, That is very amazing.

A waiting room at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport which was Mumbai tourist gate, was deliberately chosen to be the background in this wallpaper.

Why Chhatrapati Shivaji?

My fascination to this modern airport made me fall in love and continue to admire it. Isn’t Kansai International Airport modern one too?….How about Narita International Airport?.…Then what do you consider about Incheon International Airport, Donny?.

Yup, That three airports are very nice…but, That are owned by countries with super-developed economies. It’s normal …

I ask back. How does it feel when you find a modern airport in midst of crowded city in a country which its economy isn’t as good as Japan and South Korea ?.

Indescribable admiration.…

Then, why do I choose airport as wallpaper background?

It’s simple …. International airport has a function as country face. It interpreted cultural diversity and civilization level of a country.

Back to the wallpaper …

Here’s philosophy of the wallpaper above:

Map and Compass….Like a policeman who wields a gun in his waist, so I also have a similar weapon which I always carry when traveling i.e maps and compass. The ability to use these two traveling devices will significantly increase your confidence when traveling in a foreign country and will certainly make you more unique than other traveler.

Drink Bottle….Drink bottle is important item in saving budget. Filling it at airport’s water station….in public places….at hotels….or moving restaurant’s pitcher water into it is a crazy habit which I consistently do.

So when You was traveling with me….don’t be negative thinking, I’m not seeing that beautiful girls, but….I am looking for a free water station to save my budget.

Camera….That “black mirrorles” is Canon EOS M10 which I bought in 2018. So all photos which I published in 2011-2017 were result of handphone camera shots, I make sure that articles with experience sources before 2018 will display perfunctory resolution photos….It’s okay, the important thing is it can give you information before starting your trip.

Sleeping….Sleeping at airport is the best and safest way to minimize your budget. At least, it will save your cost for 1 night. I’m crazy….I have slept in 10 airports in Asia.

Itinerary Sheet….I am very detail in itinerary. In addition to being detail in arrangement, I’m also discipline in bringing it during traveling. Being a satire and laughter from many people when passing them by carrying a folder which containing itinerary sheets, print out of flight tickets, hotel booking confirmation sheets and public transportation maps. For others, this seems complicated. But it make me more comfortable when solo traveling. Complete document preparation is identical to self confidence.

Backpack….Yes, that’s my condition in airport. Backpack is never separated from me. Because all my supplies are in it. And surely no more backpack. Therefore, as far as I go, I have never bought a additional checked baggage.

Soooo….Hopefully, this wallpaper can describe my behavior during traveling…..

Which airport will I visit in next journey? How about Sultan Mahmud International Airport? Looks like good…. Do you want to go with me?

This Is My Logo….How About Your Logo?

Everywhere, logo is identity. Its function is so important because it makes our brand stronger. Cool….millennial generation said.

Therefore, I decided to design a logo in hopes of making this “travel blog” became unique. This logo will certainly be the basis of all logo variants from every activities which are travelingpersecond.com derivatives in the future. Who knows, I will have a travel agency someday….It’s my dream.

Actually, making a logo is not easy….4 months were filled with indecision by installing and removing logo components.

My concern don’t make a logo which looks good in people eyes, but rather to a design which illustrates my true conscience and character. It’s simple….but it makes logo maker confuses.

Thank you Giovanni who has patiently designed the travelingpersecond.com logo. Are You curious about Gio?….Achhh, her photo is too pretty to display. If I put her photo here, You willn’t read my article but you will see Gio’s photo for a long time….Her boyfriend will jealous too….Hahaha.

Already, forget about Giovanni.

Then what is this logo meaning, Donny?….So complicated design….not really millennial taste.

I can explain for you, guys:

  1. A man with his backpack….yes, that’s me….everywhere, I carry it….entering toilet, I bring it….I hug it when sleep….even if I’m lonely, I will talk to it….Hahaha, crazy.
  2. Can you travel for 2 weeks with two trousers?….That’s why, my picture in the logo is wearing trousers….Hahaha.
  3. Why do I take photo using a camera with that way?….yeah right, I’m a solo traveler. Yes I usually take selfies photo….Hohoho.
  4. What landmark is that?….Yes, it’s “Burj Al Arab” in United Arab Emirates which symbolizes “the east”. On the left is “Eiffel Tower” which symbolizes “the western” world. Not about a political world but it’s about traveling world….Hmmmh. I’ll finish to exploring “the east” world as soon as possible…Oh Eiffel, I’ll come to you.
  5. The footrests on the mound indicate that I’m a strong walker. Walking 8 km in a day, can you?….surely you also can, maybe just for one or two days….Fine, How about 14 days?….Hahaha.
  6. Are there 4 stars in logo, right?… Shhhtttt, that’s a secret….It isn’t a good moment yet to share about it….Hihihi.
  7. Then why are many part in logo are wrapped in a compass circle. Let me tell you !. On 2013-2017 is a phase which I traveling without internet. My special tools are a map which contain about local destination and a small compass for USD 2 which I bought in Gra ** d * a.
  8. What the meaning of letters “S” and “E” in logo? Yes….I’m a backpacker from “South East Asia” (“SE“-Asia).
  9. Woow, there is plane….Yes, why am I always excited about that flying vehicle. So, I tried to use various airlines during my journey.
  10. All are based on the tagline “Learning Culture by Traveling”. Yes, it looks very idealistic. But indeed I always try to learn cultures in countries which I visited.

Yeeeaaaayyy….Finally, I have a logo.

I hope to persistence in writing.

Deeply Exploring Sentosa

Why do most tourists always post their photos with Universal Studio globe background?. It has become an informal agreement, if you take pictures like that then you have legitimately visited Lee Kuan Yew’s country.

Then have you ever thought about exploring the whole of Sentosa Island?….Yea, one more, all of that was done by walking….Could it?

Hahaha….Crazy.

Have you ever been, Donny?….”Crazy backpacker” like me was asked like that …. Yea, I ever did it….until I got fatigue.

It is my story….How is your story….don’t do it, tiring!

Get off at Harbor Front MRT station, I exit via Vivo Mall. In mall, I tried to didn’t interested with nice goods there or even beauty Singapore’s ladies. Just need to focus on finding a sign which will direct you to Sentosa Boardwalk.

Vivo Mall icon on top floor….from this floor, exit door to Sentosa Boardwalk is already close.

By the way, wait….Do You know? What “Sentosa Boardwalk” is?

Sentosa Boardwalk

If you go to Sentosa Island by bus or car then you willn’t find this floating road. Especially if you ride Sentosa Express monorail or Cable Car….Hmmh, when will I be able to use it?…. hahaha, I ever once… just read it.

Yes …. Sentosa Boardwalk is a 600m long pedestrian path which is made as if it floats on sea to connect Sentosa Island with Singapore mainland….Very cool.

Sentosa Boardwalk starting point.

If Sentosa Boardwalk is for pedestrians, then where is car lane and monorail line to Sentosa Island ?.

Yes, it’s available….You just need to walk off the lane on left of Sentosa Boardwalk, then you will find the both of lane.

That are its lanes….

Street and monorail line towards Sentosa Island.

Because of free cost seeker, so I went to Sentosa Island by….by walk.

A little help by escalator. Even though big portion in this journey is still by walking.

Please, no hurry in walking….yes, fast in reaching destinations isn’t important because you willn’t be able to see many awesome views.

Here is it….results when I was observing on a side of Sentosa Boardwalk decks.

Nice….that’s Harbor Front Port. If you want to get a ferry to Batam, just go there. I hope I can around the world by cruiser ship like that.
Viewpoint in the middle of Sentosa Boardwalk

Automatic Fare Gates at end of Sentosa Boardwalk was covered in cloth, a sign that I didn’t need to pay USD 0,75 to entering Sentosa Island…. I think it was a special promo for something in that day.

Trick Eye Museum

Do you want to go in there?….Just prepare about USD 15.

Entering Sentosa Island gate, greeted by an artificial river opposite museum.

Sentosa Resort World Sign

The walking path led me to entering artificial cave below “Sentosa Resort World” nameplate.

Needed time to take a good photo….Failed many times…..it had to wait for next monorail to passed again.

Malaysian Food Street

After a long time, I was peevish….Starving began to hit after getting the photo. But I knew, There is Malaysian Food Street after Trick Eye Museum.

There was it….
Don’t think that It is truly street food….No, Itsn’t. Sentosa Island is a place where Singaporeans spend their money….hahaha.

To save money, I suggest filling your drink bottles at free water station next to ticketing counter near Sentosa Island entrance.

Malaysian Street Food exit door which directly faces Universal Studio globe.

Universal Studio

Even though I have been here twice before, I came here again for third time….you wasted your time, Donny….Hahaha.

Sorry, beautiful lady….I got a candid photo.

Many tourists have had enough until here when traveling to Sentosa. So, what are other attraction which located after Universal Studio?

Let’s Explore….

Lake of Dreams

Walking to south from Universal Studio globe, You will find Lake of Dreams. When afternoon, Itsn’t interesting. But if You come at night, this place will present an interesting choreography which combines audio, fire, water and light.

The show is free.…

The Maritime Experimental Museum

It’s right next to Lake of Dreams, here it is:

Heading south pass the pool with many small fountains like this:

Sentosa Merlion

Then it will be clearly seen the brown Merlion statue. This half lion and fish statue is often called as the twin of same statue in Merlion Park. You can follow Sentosa Merlion Tour for USD 13,5 to go to top of the statue from inside and enjoy beauty of Sentosa island from a height of 37m.

At night, there is an audio-laser show with Sentosa Merlion as the object.

The statue will change in color during Merlion Magic Lights Show.

Sentosa Merlion Walk

Behind Sentosa Merlion is a 120-meter Merlion Walk. Pedestrian path with a mosaic theme park concept with fountains along park will spoil your eyes in hot weather of Sentosa Island.

Sentosa Express Beach Station

At end of Merlion Walk, there are two large buildings. A building on left side is Beach Station. Sentosa Express user tourists who will travel along southern coast of Sentosa usually get off here.

Finally tasting Sentosa Express for free when returning from Siloso Beach.

i-Fly Singapore

Well, on right side is i-Fly Singapore building. Everyone who want to play indoor sky diving have to spend USD 66,5.

I can’t play sky diving….Hahaha.

Siloso Beach

Located right on beach, I decided to turn right towards Siloso Beach. Oh yes, if you turn left you will see Palawan Beach and Tanjong Beach. Just use beach tram which operate along coastline if you don’t want to walk!.

Along Siloso Beach Walk, I encountered several Machine Gun Pillboxes. This Singapore defense line was built in 1936-1940 during Second World War.

That….

You need to walk 700m from i-Fly Singapore to Siloso Beach and play as much water as you like there.

Interested ?? try to go around the island!.…definitely fatigue and sunburned….Hahaha.

Bank of China Tower yang Gagah dan Starbucks Si Penyelamat Muka

“Kopi pahit tiba-tiba menjadi manis….Duh, indahnya”.

Setelah 1,5 jam menikmati The Hong Kong Observation Wheel dan AIA Vitality Park di sekitar Central Ferry Pier, akhirnya Aku mulai menyeberangi Connaught Road Central menuju Bank of China Tower (BOC Tower).

Lancarnya Connaught Road Central.

Tak sulit menemukan tower kenamaan tersebut karena dari jauh pun gedung dengan frame segitiga yang khas itu sudah kelihatan. Kan bangunan tertinggi ke-empat di Hong Kong.

Yuk Kita masuk ke BOC Tower.

Walah….Kok yang keluar masuk bangunan itu berparas tampan, cantik, modis dengan jas berdasi dan bergaya metrosexual….Aku sejenak berhenti ragu dan mengamati pintu utama gedung dari kejauhan. Buseettt….kagak ada satupun tampang backpacker atau turis yang masuk kedalamnya.

Raguuuu….Maluuuu….Deg-degaaaan

Masuk gak ya?….

Masuk ah….Melangkah maju.

Eh ga jadi dink….stop balik badan.

Pergi ah….Mulai melangkah untuk menjauh.

Eh ntar….Berhenti melangkah….Nunduk mikir….Garuk-garuk pala #terkesandramatis.

Yah cemen banget Lo, Don….Jauh-jauh kemari, nyampai tujuan malah kabur….Malu tuh ama jargon”, hati berbisik ke otak.

Malu bro….Kaos kucel, celana dekil gak ganti 4 hari, sepatu murahan ala trotoar Cijantung, mana pangkal shoulder strap tasku sobek lagi….Kirain akan banyak turis disitu….Ternyata kagak”, otakku membela.

Iye sih Don….Apa kita langsung ke Victoria Park aja?….Kan banyak tetangga kita ngumpul disana”, hati confirm mengalah.

Nah bener kan, apa guwe bilang….Yuk lah ke Victoria Park, mumpung belum sore….Nggak usah ngoyo gitu”, otak mulai bersekutu dengan hati.

Akhirnya,

Guwe kan salesman, masak iya kemaluan masih dibawa-bawa”, mulutku mulai menyingkirkan hati dan otakku.

Orang-orang sipit berdasi dan beberapa ekspatriat berambut pirang menatapku aneh ketika memasuki pintu gedung. Senyum semanis mungkin, berharap ada yang tertarik dengan kulit hitam eksotisku….Hahaha.

Tes….Tes….Latihan senyum sebelum masuk. Pintu disebelah kananku.

—-****—-

Beberapa langkah memasuki gedung, Aku berhenti dan menatap seisi ruangan….Sok PeDe….Aku mencari letak front desk.

Yes…Itu, di bagian tengah ruangan.

Aku : “Mbak boleh nanya ngga?”….Eh, salah “Excuse me Ms, Can I get information about observation deck on 43th floor?”.

Si Mbak : Aduh tersenyum manis beud, “Hai Sir, our observation deck had closed

Aku : “Since when, Ms?”, english ngawur yang penting doi ngerti deh.

Si Mbak : “It closed since May 2015, Sir”.

Aku : “Oh Okay, Thanks you Ms”.

Si Mbak : “You are welcome Sir. Happy journey in Hong Kong. Where are you come from?“.

Aku : “I’m from Indonesia. Again, thank you for your kindness”……”Can me know where do you stay in Hong Kong?, I want to meet your parent”. #fiksibeud

Gagal tapi merasa puas mengalahkan ketakutan diri, Aku berbalik badan untuk keluar gedung.

Ba….Tiba….

Jegeeeerrrrrrrrrr……..keclaaappp keclaaaappppp……..jedaaarrrr (Jessica Iskandar).

Hujan euy……duhhhh…..kudu kumaha?.

Pegawai kantoran itu pada masuk kembali ke dalam lobby. Banyangin, satu setelan pakaian backpacker di tengah banyaknya setelan jas berdasi….Dasar gembel.

—-****—-

Okay…Okay……Aku kembali mengamati sekitar.

Ahhhhaaaaa…….Itu, Starbucks di ujung kiri ruangan. Dengan pedenya Aku masuk ke starbucks. #ingatdompeteuy

Emang lo aje yang punya duit”, Gumamku angkuh. (tar malam ga makan dunk guwe).

Ada suara di belakangku….

Bule Cantik: “Hello, do you queueing?”.

Aku : “Oh No, I just seeing the menu. You can queue first”, Busettt…..Guwe kelamaan mikir cari harga kopi termurah di depan kasir.

Bule Cantik: “Oh thank you, handsome”.

Aku : “You are welcome, sweety”.

Akhirnya pesan long black coffee seharga Rp. 26.000.

Pait ih….Telen sonoh……Gaya sih.

Duduk di deretan bangku kosong aja supaya orang lain ga risih dengan keberadaanku.

Kursi semakin penuh karena orang lain pun akhirnya pada ngopi menunggu hujan berhenti. Dan rezeqi itu pun datang.

Kopi pahit tiba-tiba menjadi manis…kek ditabur gula 5 sendok. Lah iya ada Dia didepanku…….

Seruput pelan-pelan aja Don”, Setan mulai berbisik.

Satu seruput…..ngelirik……sruput lagi….ngelirik lagi.

Daripada hanya terpana mending guwe nanya deh

Aku : “Hi, Ms….Do you know WiFi password here?”

Si Cantik: “I’m sorry, I’m using my own Wifi”, sambil tersenyum.

Aku : Pukulan telak si tampang gratisan….”Oh Ok, Thank you Ms”.

Tak lagi ngelirik dan tak lagi bertanya. Pura-pura menikmati kopi yang sebetulnya pait warbiasah….#sambilsiul.

Petualangan konyolku di BOC Tower berakhir dengan beberapa hook dan uppercut yang cukup telak….Menyedihkan.

Hujan telah reda….Saatnya menuju Victoria Park. Aku keluar gedung menerjang gerimis lembut yang memapar muka.

Yuk, naik Ding Ding Tram !.