Anyer, Arrival Hall KLIA 2 dan Imigrasi Malaysia

Hi Gaesss…..Ini adalah kisah klasik tempoe doele ketika aku memulai karir sebagai seorang backpacker.

Bermula dari artikel ini, selanjutnya aku akan menuangkan petualangan lawasku dalam membedah negeri jiran….Yesss, Malaysia.

Malaysia adalah negara terdekat yang sering dijadikan tempat latihan termudah dan terhemat untuk mengawali karir sebagai backpacker. Selain menawarkan biaya hidup yang murah dan dekat dengan tanah air, Malaysia juga terkenal ramah dengan sistem transportasinya. Jadi, Malaysia bisa melatihmu menjadi backpacker level beginner.

Malaysia sendiri menjadi negara ketiga yang kukunjungi setelah Singapura dan Thailand pada masa-masa awal perjalananku menjadi seorang backpacker.

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Outing kantor di Anyer baru beranjak di malam pertama. Kegelisahanku semakin menjadi-jadi ketika acara penghargaan karyawan tak kunjung selesai. Pukul 23:00 hampir terlewat, sebagai karyawan baru, aku terlihat tak tahu diri ketika memberanikan diri untuk meminta izin pulang ke Jakarta lebih awal…..Guwe kan belum packing, gaes.

Izin pun akhirnya disetujui dengan alur yang tak mudah. Tak berfikir panjang, aku bergegas menginjak gas Avanzaku dalam-dalam. Aku membelah panjangnya tol Jakarta-Serang di dini hari yang mulai berembun.

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Memarkirkan “Si Silver” dengan tak sempurna di garasi, aku bergegas dan melompat ke kamar untuk mengepak semua perbekalanku ke dalam backpack berukuran 25 liter.

Waktu yang tak cukup lagi untuk berburu DAMRI Kampung Rambutan-SHIA, membuatku kembali menginjak gas “Si Silver” menuju Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (SHIA). Hal ini membuatku harus mengeluarkan Rp. 255.000 untuk membayar parkir inap di bandara itu selama 4 hari 3 malam.

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Tiket pp Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur seharga Rp. 606.000 yang kudapat melalui program promo Air Asia pada 8 bulan sebelum keberangkatan akhirnya terselamatkan dari ancaman keterlambatan yang menghantuiku semenjak menit pertama kepulangan dari Anyer.

Aku tak sabar untuk segera terbang menuju Tanah Melayu itu begitu maskapai merah terlihat landing di runway Terminal 3 Soekarno-Hatta International Airport..

Terminal 3 yang lama (saat terminal 3 Ultimate belum dibangun).

Tak menunggu lama, aku dan penumpang lainnya dijemput oleh Air Asia airport coach menuju lokasi pesawat parkir.

QZ 202 yang akan mengudara pada pukul 06:25 dengan waktu tempuh 1 jam 50 menit.

Kala itu merupakan penerbangan kali keduaku bersama Air Asia (tahun 2014). Sedangkan penerbangan pertamaku bersama Air Asia mengambil rute reguler Jakarta-Bangkok pada 2013.

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Yuhuuuu….Pendaratan perdana di negeri Mahathir Muhammad.

Pendaratanku di runway KLIA2 (Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2) disambut dengan suara pramugari berbahasa Melayu. Pertama kalinya aku mendengar Bahasa Melayu secara langsung. Terkesima dan takjub.

Hati berdetak kencang karena ini pertama kalinya aku ber-solo traveling. “Aduh, bagaimana ini?….Gile, guwe sendirian di negara orang….Ntar kalau ada apa-apa gimana ya?”. Gumamku ketika menginjakkan kaki di aerobridge.

KLIA2 yang beroperasi pada tahun 2014 menggantikan fungsi LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal).
Kondisi bangunan yang masih baru.

Belajar menjadi backpacker pemula menjadikanku membawa kesana kemari botol minuman untuk selalu diisi ulang….Jadoel banget diriku waktu itu.

Water station yang membuatku girang bukan main….Ndesoooo.
Toilet wanita, nursing room dan disabled toilet di arrival hall.
Informasi Departure Flight di KLIA2 pun tersedia di koridor awal arrival hall.

Sebetulnya aku merasa belum siap untuk menuju konter imigrasi karena ketakutan yang luar biasa. Selalu terngiang cerita tentang ketatnya para petugas imigrasi Malaysia bagi para pendatang perdana. Dan kabar buruknya….Ini pertama kalinya aku masuk Malaysia.

Yuk lah….Masuk konter imigrasi….Apa yang terjadi ya terjadilah.

Berada di belakang garis kuning antrian imigrasi membuat jantungku berdetak kencang…Karena sesaat lagi aku akan memasuki satu slot di konter imigrasi. Penampilan yang tak mendukung….Jaket yang sudah sedikit memudar warnanya karena sering kupakai berkeliling Jakarta sebagai salesman, sandal gunung jepit KW yang tak begitu bonafit dan tas punggung kecil yang tak meyakinkan.

Staff imigrasi: “Kemana hendak pergi?”, mukanya ngeri beud.

Aku: “Hanya jalan-jalan Pak di Kuala Lumpur”.

Staff Imigrasi: “Di manakah destinasi?

Aku:”Batu Caves, Petronas Twin Tower, Bukit Bintang dan Genting, Pak”.

Staff Imigrasi: “Cobe adakah anda menunjuk tiket balik?”.

Aku: Menurunkan backpack, membuka dan mencarinya, “Ini pak tiket pulang saya pakai Air Asia tanggal 18 Nov 2014 jam 09:50”.

Staff Imigrasi: “Di manakah tempahan hotel?”.

Aku: “Saya belum pesan hotel pak”, mulai tegang.

Staff Imigrasi: “Bagaimana tak ade tempahan hotel, di mana anda mahu tinggal?”, mukanya judes banget.

Aku: “Saya mendapatkan referensi hotel ini pak (sambil menunjukkan sebuah kartu nama hotel yang kudapat dari bosku yang sering rekreasi ke Kuala Lumpur)”. Tapi sebetulnya aku tak akan menginap di hotel itu.

Staff Imigrasi: “Masa depan mesti ada tempahan hotel, kali ini saya dibenarkan masuk”. Masih terlihat senewen sambil menuliskan tanggal kepulanganku di bawah stempel free visa di pasporku. Pertanda bahwa dia mencurigai aku.

Tetapi pada kunjungan-kunjunganku berikutnya, setiap petugas imigrasi yang kulewati tidak pernah menuliskan tanggal kepulanganku di passport. Aku sudah bisa melenggang bebas di seantero Malaysia hingga kini.

Lihat penampakanku, sungguh mencurigakan sebagai seorang wisatawan.

Ikuti terus kisahku tentang Malaysia di artikel-artikel berikutnya.

Tian Tan Buddha….Religious Fascination in Ngong Ping

Journey to Tian Tan Buddha

Me: “Is it a bus to Tung Chung Station, Sir

Driver: “Yes, Sir….It will go there”.

A short conversation in double decker S56 front door at bus shelter, Hong Kong International Airport. With that double-decker bus, I headed to Tung Chung Tempory Bus Terminus which is 250 meters northwest of Tung Chung MTR Station.

Sitting on bus lower deck, I continued to look out the window to find a direction sign to Citygate Outlets as the closest building to Tung Chung Station which was most easily seen because of its towering height.

30 minutes passed, I finally saw top of that shopping center. Made my heart a little calm because of I wasn’t lost. Bus slowly approached at Tung Chung Temporary Bus Terminus. Instantly, I could see bus no. 23 bus which was aiming to Ngong Ping. Didn’t rush to catch it, because I had to look for breakfast at Citygate Outlets.

Shopping center which is combined with offices and hotels.

In and out of several minimarkets in mall ground floor, I never found halal food. Returning to front plaza while sitting and observing around, until finally finding McDonald’s logo at end of mall. I entered in that fast food restaurant. A warm omlet burger and a cup of hot tea for USD 1,9 made me better prepared to explore Big Buddha.

Hong Kong MTR (Mass Transit Railway) logo.

A step later, I was getting ready at Tung Chung Temporary Bus Terminus and then queueing at Bus no.23 platform. Starting by swiping Octopus Card on automatic fare machine near driver, I finally began my journey to Tian Tan Buddha.

Bus no.23 interior which goes to Ngong Ping.

How about views during my trip using bus no. 23. Let’s took a peek!

That’s part of South China Sea.
Rode through Tung Chung Road.

35 minutes later.…

Me: “Hello, is it yours?“, I shouted to tour group while holding someone’s Immigration Clearance Arrangement which had fallen under bus seat.

One of them: “Oh, it isn’t” she said after reading and confirming that it wasn’t her name and her group mate.

Me: “Oh, Ok“. I handed that sheet over to bus driver, maybe someone would look for it later.

Bus No. 23.

That incident had closed my journey story heading Tian Tan Buddha.

Tian Tan Buddha and surrounding destinations

The first part which I went through was Ngong Ping Piazza. What were in Ngong Ping Piazza?, here it is:

Entering Ngong Ping Piazza front gate amazed me about this destination. Spacious, majestic and sacred.

Ngong Ping Piazza main gate or often called New Pau Lau.

After passing through gate, next part which you will pass is 122 meters Bodhi Path with 12 statues on left and right sides which are known as “The Twelve Divine Generals”.

The Twelve Divine Generals” are in form of 12 statues of Gods Generals as guardians of Tian Tan Buddha. These 12 Gods Generals also symbolize 12 Chinese zodiacs. The twelve were armed with certain weapons.

The General Indra, represents the time between 9-11 AM. Representing snake symbol in Chinese zodiac. Armed with a stick.
The General Makura, represents time between 5-7am. Representing rabbit symbol in Chinese zodiac. Armed with an ax.

After passing Bodhi Path, you will find another section called The Four Lotus Ponds (Di Tan). This part is usually used for religious ceremonies held by Po Lin Monastery.

In Tan is centre of Ngong Ping Piazza. Often dubbed as “The Alter of Earth”.
If you are lucky, you will be greeted by a cow which is free to roam around Ngong Ping Piazza.

OK, Ngong Piazza was finished……

Next part which I would going to was Tian Tan Buddha.

Tian Tan Buddha is one of the tallest Buddha statues in the world. Facing north and need to climb 268 stairs to be exactly reach it. From above you will also see 360-degree views of Lantau Island.

Come on …. Are you strong to climb or maybe don’t climbing up there?
360-degree view of Lantau Island awaits you if you success to climb those stairs.
Free if you are visiting outside from Tian Tan Buddha statue. But you have to pay if you want to go to bottom of Buddha statue.

Around of Tian Tan Buddha, you will find six Bodhisattva statues which look like they give different offerings for Tian Tan Buddha.

Here it is one of six Bodhisattvas statues.

Then how about form of Tian Tan Buddha. This is it:

Dashing standing with 34 meters in height.

Stepped down the stairs of Tian Tan Buddha then I immediately rushed to Wisdom Path.

What is Wisdom Path?

Yups … is a path that cuts through forest with views on either side in the form of inscriptions containing writings from Heart Sutra teachings and poured in large pieces of wooden boards. The Heart Sutra itself is highly respected among Confucius, Buddhists and Taoists. These 38 wooden planks are arranged so that forming number 8 pattern as a symbol of infinity.

Sign towards Wisdom Path.

This Wisdom Path is only 15-minute walking from Tian Tan Buddha..

Yuhuuuu….I reached the Wisdom Path.

Wisdom Path was finished…..Then, what else?

Yup….Let’s visited Ngong Ping Village.

Is this a really village, Donny?

Noooooo…..This is just a souvenir sales place. Hahaha. So surely, I won’t visit it for long time….

The last….There is another destination in Ngong Ping. Namely Po Lin Monastery. Sorry, guys, I couldn’t visit…. Swear, I was very tired. I hadn’t slept all night, because there wasn’t comfortable sleeping area at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila. Hopefully I can go to Hong Kong again and visit this monastery where monks gather and religious gatherings on an international scale held.

Bye Ngong Ping….Welcome Disneyland…..

The Venetian….Kuliner, Piknik dan Judi.

Judi dan Casino adalah dua hal yang sangat identik dengan Macau. Jadi kalau kamu ke Macau dan tidak melihat casinonya maka itu tidak syah.

Gampang kok….

Mau judi beneran?….Monggo. Siapa tahu kamu pulang dari Macau menjadi kaya raya.

Atau….

Hanya mau lihat-lihat orang main judi di casino?….Silahkan, ga ada yang ngelarang.

Satu hal ketika kamu jalan-jalan ke Macau….Segera putuskan !. Casino manakah yang akan kamu kunjungi. Hal ini dikarenakan sangat melimpahnya jumlah casino di sana.

Kalau aku, karena hanya penasaran dengan wujud casino yang sesungguhnya maka kuputuskan untuk berkunjung ke The Venetian.

Kenapa The Venetian?

Yes, aku akan menutup eksplorasiku dengan makan malam disana, lalu melihat gondola untuk merasakan sensasi wisata Venice, Italia dan terakhir akan kututup eksplorasiku dengan melihat orang berjudi di casino….The Venetian bisa memenuhi ketiganya. Jadi kupilihlah dia.

Suasana Natal di The Venetian.

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Kali ini aku mendapatkan busnya dengan mudah, cukup berbelok ke kiri dari pelataran Macao Tower maka aku mendapatkan sebuah halte bus (Halte Torre/Tunel Rodoviarios) dan aku menunggu bus kota bernomor MT4. 

Dengan membayar ongkos bus sebesar Rp. 7.000, aku berhasil mencapai The Venetian dalam 15 menit waktu tempuh.

Aku melihat bus berwarna biru lalu lalang di depan lobby The Venetian. Aku pun faham bahwa aku akan menaikinya nanti selesai mengeksplore The Venetian. Ya, itu bus gratis milik The Venetian untuk mengambil wisatawan dari Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal.

Mengagumi gaya klasik bagunan The Venetian ketika aku mulai menapak masuk di bangunan itu. Kelaparan yang menyerangku sejak meninggalkan Macao Tower membuatku langsung bergerak ke lantai 5 ketika memasuki The Venetian.

Mengelilingi food court, aku berusaha mencari menu termurah untuk dinner ku kali ini. Memastikan dengan berkelilling dua kali sebelum aku melepas Rp. 93.000 untuk seporsi nasi goring dan Rp. 20.000 untuk setengah liter air mineral….Mahal ampuuuuuunnnn.

Tak sampai habis melahapnya karena porsinya yang begitu besar, kemudian aku mencari keberadaan gondola ala kota Venice untuk membunuh rasa penasaranku yang muncul sejak menonton wahana tersebut di sebuah acara televisi beberapa bulan sebelum keberangkatanku ke Macau.

Inilah sungai buatan di The Venetian untuk wisata gondola.

Kamu hanya perlu merogoh kocek sebesar Rp. 225.000 untuk menikmati wisata ini.

Aku begitu larut menikmati keindahan The Venetian, berkeliling di setiap koridor pertokan yang menyediakan produk-produk ber merk.

Pertokoan di The Venetian.
Pertokoan juga.

Selangkah kemudian aku tepat berada di depan pintu masuk casino. Target destinasi utama yang akhirnya ku kunjungi pada sesi penutup wisataku di Macau.

Memasuku casino di The Venetian cukuplah mudah, hanya perlu menunjukkan passport kepada petugas keamanan di pintu depan maka kamu akan melenggang masuk dengan mudahnya.

Bak berada di film-film Hong Kong zaman dahulu, aku menelusuri setiap sisi casino untuk melihat bagaimana cara orang berjudi di casino. Di setiap meja selalu satu bandar yang selalau menawariku untuk bermain judi. Tentu aku tak akan pernah melakukannya. Aku hanya tersenyum simpul setiap menanggapi permintaan mereka untuk berjudi.

Penutup yang sangat istimewa. Akhirnya aku bisa melihat secara langsung casino di Macau. Semakin gelapnya hari mengharuskanku untuk meninggalkan The Venetian.

Seperti yang kuungkapkan diatas, Aku tak akan melewatkan satu sesi lagi yaitu menaiki shuttle bus gratis yang disediakan oleh hotel-hotel besar di Macau. Kali ini aku menaiki free shuttle bus berwarna biru milik The Venetian. Aku menuju Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal menggunakan shuttle bus ini.

Dari Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal aku melanjutkan perjalanan pulang ke hotel menggunkan bus no 10A seperti yang kulakukan ketika pertama kali tiba di Macau. Dengan tariff Rp. 5.500, aku tiba kembali di Villa Ka Meng Hotel untuk beristirahat dan melanjutkan perjalanan esok hari ke Shenzen menggunakan ferry cepat.

Bye The Venetian….Bye Macao.

Ladies Market….First Day Closing

My adventure in Hong Kong Disneyland ended….It was time to move to another destination.

I gave USD 19,5 to female staff at Hong Kong Taiwan Hotel reception desk. Washing my body at 32nd hour since my last shower in Manila was first thing I did after opening room door.

Indian halal fried rice stall on 1st floor saved me from hunger after a half day exploring Tian Tan Buddha and Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau Island.

Little fast walking to Tsim Sha Tsui Station and fastly leaving Chungking Mansions Building which is my hostel location. Using Tsuen Wan Line MTR and switching to MTR Kwun Tong Line at Mong Kok station, I finally arrived at Lok Fu Station.

16-minutes train ride which reduced my Octopus Card balance about by USD 1,1. It was getting darker when I came out of Lok Fu Station at gate B. Damn, I was trapped in the darkness when going to Kowloon Walled City Park.

Didn’t want to linger for set direction, I asked an office employee’s woman who was rushing up Kowloon Green Minibus (Kowloon GMB) which is a reliable transportation in Kowloon City District.

Me: “Excuse me, mam!. Sorry for disturbing you. Can me know, which way towards Kowloon Walled City Park?”.

She: “Just walk straight through that street, You can find it in 1 km or you can use this GMB to go there”.

Me: “Oh, thank you mam. I prefer to walk towards there”. (not my way to take a bus for that distance)

Walking through in Junction Road, I was getting a little suspicious because road looked quiet and a little dark. But I never intended to cancel my search. After walking for 15 minutes, I arrived at Kowloon Walled City Park. True to my guess, the park was very quiet and dark disguised. The existence of several garden lights didn’t necessarily make it so bright because of park wide.

I just looked park from front yard. It was impossible to enter deeper areas, making me immediately leave this park.

Just a moment in front of park.

I returned to Lok Fu Station by walk. I intended to go to Ladies Market as closing trip on my first day in Hong Kong.

Do you know Ladies Market, right?

Sorry, this isn’t a market for selling women….Hahaha

Ladies Market is a 1 km street market which majority of stalls sell women’s goods and trinkets such as watches, cosmetics, souvenirs, clothes and some even sell underwear.

Taking Kwun Tong Line MTR. I headed to Mong Kok Station which is the closest stop to Ladies Market. Only 9 minutes and USD 0,75.

Exit from gate E2 in Mong Kok Station and continued along Nelson Street.

Actually, what are you doing, Donny?….Lack of initiative….Hahaha.

In second crossroad, I turned right. Finally I was greeted with Tung Choi Street situation which was very crowded. Full of billboards on each side of road.

Wow, this is Ladies Market, amazing….very busy market” I thought. Hmmh, I might go back too little bit late at night if I lost control.

Let’s buy….100 Dollars get 3“, I faintly heard my country’s language. Intrigued made me to looking for voice owner to really meet her. Oh, the seller is a Hong Kong citizen who seems to be fluent in Indonesian language.

Let’s buy souvenirs for bringing to Indonesia, sir“, She said. I broadly smiled. Somehow, She persuaded me, until USD 13 could come out of my wallet and then she packed 6 pieces of t-shirts titled “I Love HK” …. Ups, every where, women are champion in selling…..But, I still champion in bargaining….Hahaha.

Then, I spent more time to enjoy street food and also enjoyed a can of soft drink on a sidewalk bench. Eyes which are actually tired are invincible by drowsiness due to Ladies Market crowd. But, then time urged me to immediately went to hostel and I closed that night with an immeasurable impression about Hong Kong.

For 7 minutes, Tsuen Wan Line MTR took me to Tsim Sha Tsui Station where my hostel was. The cost was only USD 0,75..

Good night HK, see you tommorow.

….Zzzzzzz….

Macao Tower….Tak Sekedar Bungee Jumping.

Tak semudah yang dibayangkan membaca denah transportasi umum Macau. Karena itu pulalah, aku tak kunjung menemukan bus nomor berapa dan halte di jalan mana yang bisa memindahkanku dari Ruins St. Paul menuju Macao Tower yang jarak buminya sekitar 3,5 km

Menyusuri jalanan sempit di sekitar Ruins St. Paul untuk mencari halte bus.

Setiap halte yang kutemui, aku selalu mencari keberadaan rute bus no. 9A tapi tak kunjung juga kutemukan….Guwe bukan nyasar….Hanya sedikit mengalami disorientasi.

Aku terduduk lama di sebuah halte….lupa di jalan apa?….Duduk menenangkan diri dan berusaha memahami lembaran  peta bus yang cukup lebar. Setiap orang yang datang ke halte, memperhatikan wajahku yang tentu berbeda warna dengan mereka.

Sepertinya Aku mulai memahami rute itu setelah sekian lama memeloti detail isi peta.

Dipandu oleh kompas kecilku, aku mulai melangkah ke selatan….Aku berusaha untuk tidak berbelok dari ruas jalan Largo de Santo Agostinho yang kutahu akan mengantarkanku di sebuah halte bus yang akan dilewati oleh bus no 9A.

Tak kusangka akan melewati Dom Pedro V Theatre di jalan Largo de Santo Agostinho.
Itu penampakan Grand Lisboa Hotel yang sangat terkenal di dataran Macao.

Aku harus segera menemukan dan menaiki bus itu sebelum terjebak gelap ketika pulang dari The Venetian sore nanti. Aku berbelok ke kanan untuk menyusuri jalan Avenue Da Praia Grande dan kemudian menyeberang ke jalan Avenue Dr. Stanley Ho yang kuduga menjadi letak halte bus yang kucari.

Girang bukan main, ketika aku menemukan halte yang kumaksud di jalan tersebut. Nama halte tersebut adalah Shelter Praca Jorge Alvares. 10 menit kemudian aku sudah berada di dalam bus no. 9A yang mengarah ke Macao Tower.

Memasuki bus penuh dengan keringat setelah berjalan dalam siraman sinar matahari selama 15 menit di jalanan Macau yang panas.

Dalam 7 menit aku turun di pelataran luas di depan Macao Tower.

Tower itu terlalu tinggi untuk dimasukkan ke dalam frame foto handphoneku. Berkali-kali mencoba dan tetap gagal, menara itu tak bisa masuk seutuhnya. Aku harus mengambilnya dari titik yang lain.

Teriknya surya memaksaku untuk sejenak memasuki bangunan yang berfungsi sebagai toilet di sekitar pelataran Macao Tower.

Kipas angin itu membantu mendinginkan badanku karena kapanasan.
Ruang dalam toilet
Toilet untuk kaum disabilitas.

Menuju pelataran belakang Macao Tower, aku berusaha mencari pepohonan yang rimbun untuk menikmati keindahan menara itu dengan lebih leluasa.

Menemukan pohon dan duduk santai dibawahnya.

Aku sengaja menunggu surya yang bersiap meluncur dalam senja. Dan kegembiraan pun datang. Semakin turun sang surya semakin berdatangan pula masyarakat Macau di pelataran tempatku duduk.

Dari sekian banyak warga lokal yang beraktifitas di pelataran itu, aku lebih tertegun pada seorang atlet muda nan cantik yang sedang di dampingi pelatihnya yang berkalung stopwatch. Push up, sit up dan lari sprint menjadi pelajaran si cantik yng harus dilahapnya tiap detik berjalan.

Kian lama, suhu udara semakin menurun. Aku bergegas meninggalkan tempat duduk yang berada di sebelah kolam air di pelataran belakang tower.

Foto diambil dari belakang tower.

Berpindah ke pelataran depan untuk melihat secara live aktivitas bungee jumping yang pesertanya dilempar dari atas tower itu. Perlu kamu ketahui bahwa tower setinggi 338 meter itu, selain digunakan untuk observasi dan hiburan, juga digunakan untuk telekomunikasi dan penyiaran.

Setahuku, untuk ber bungee jumping di Macao Tower memerlukan biaya hingga jutaan Rupiah.

Macau Tower tepat di pintu depannya.

Tepat pukul 15:30 aku mulai meninggalkan tower dengan menunggu kedatangan bus nomor MT4 di halte Torre/Tunel Rodoviarios di sebelah kiri pelataran depan Macao Tower.

Aku menuju destinasi terakhirku di Macau….The Venetian.

Stranded in Wan Chai District, Stuck in Lockhart Road.

Leaving Bank of China Tower in a slightly drizzling condition, I had to little bit run towards ‘Murray Road’ Tram Stop. I was getting ready to ride legendary transportation in Hong Kong i.e Ding Ding Tram. Trams which often appear in Hong Kong movies.

‘Murray Road’ Tram Stop.

Queensway Road situation which very busy because many private cars and a half-part of road was taken to parking many “asphalt finisher vehicles” didn’t reduce my enthusiasm to waiting for this tram.

5 minutes waiting, a blue tram arrived. I jumped into tram from back door and went straight to tram’s upper deck so I could freely enjoy street situation.

My destination was Victoria Park. Do you know Victoria Park, right? It is the biggest park on Hong Kong Island which is a usual gathering point for Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong.

I arrived in 35 minutes. After tapping my Octopus Card at fare machine located near driver, I immediately got off from front door. Tram rate is very cheap, only USD 0,30.

Got off at ‘Victoria Park’ Tram Stop located on Causeway Road.

Victoria Park was very close in front.

But on shortly time after got off from tram, it heavily rained again. I quickly ran to find shelter in front of shops in Causeway Road.

Looked like I had to cancel my visitation plan at Victoria Park. It was very heavy raining, I thought the park was definitely quiet too. I had to find other alternatives to using my time so that it wasn’t wasted in heavy rain.

I tried to find a direction sign which could direct me to the nearest MTR station. At underground station was definitely warmer and drier.

Yes, I saw a MTR logo which then directed me to Tin Hau MTR Station entrance gate. I decided to go to Hong Kong’s famous retail area i.e Causeway Bay area and would certainly stop at Causeway Bay Station. Rates around USD 0,6 with 6 minutes travel time.

Tin Hau MTR Station.

A clock showed 15:30 hours when I arrived at Causeway Bay. I decided to look for a diner while waiting for rain to stop. Sifting through many food stalls to avoid pork until I finally chose in a small stall in Jaffe Road.

Rice plus tofu-toge and chicken for USD 3,5.
That is a famous fast food stall in Causeway Bay area i.e Ying Heong Yuen.

Furthermore,

I headed to SOGO Mall….What were you doing, Donny?….Just for sightseeing. Walking around more than 30 minutes in a mall just to see expensive items. Well, This mall was similar with many malls in Jakarta.

SOGO Mall in Hennessy Road.

Out from mall, I stopped for a long time at one side of a large crossroad to observe Hong Kong residents activities who were super crowded.

Busy crossroad on Hennessy Road near Causeway Bay MTR Station.

—-***—-

From Causeway Bay area then I moved to centre of Wan Chai District using tram. Going up from ‘Paterson Street’ Tram Stop and got off at ‘Swatow Street’ Tram Station. It only took 15 minutes and fare for about USD 0,30.

Towards Wan Chai District.

Got off at ‘Swatow Street’ Tram Station, I immediately realized whereabouts of a football stadium….Quite busy. Was there a football match?.

The stadium name is Southorn Playground and is located on Luard Road.

I approached and ventured to ask to security staff at stadium gate….and finally, I could enter into it….Free ticket also.

Hurry in and took a seat at benchs. It was a stadium which used to play soccer for local residents. But it was quite crowded too. Joining with local people activities and I didn’t feel like a tourist. I was also unclearly screaming during match….Hahaha….Crazy.

Southorn Playground flanked by Luard Road and Johnston Road.

Only watched a half time because I wanted to see Wan Chai nightlife.

Do You know Wan Chai District, right?

Wan Chai is centre of nightlife throughout Hong Kong. Besides being known as an area for backpackers to staying, there are several areas in Wan Chai which are known as red districts. So besides offering cheap accommodations, you will easily find bars and clubs here.

I tried to explore bars and clubs along Lockhart Road. And it is true, sexy women in minimal clothing passing by in and out of bars and clubs. Some of them brought by foreigners for money.

Ah, I worried to couldn’t control myself….Finally I headed to a junction in middle of Lockhart Road and stopped by in a street food stall which sold a variety of sea food satay which was grilled on the spot. Enough with USD 0,75, you could get delicious grilled food in Hong Kong’s cold night air.

Here it is the stall….”Ada Snack” is located at O’brien Road.

Started to eat a satay, several sexy women came and ate foods in same stall….Waow, nervous….Finally, I prefered to left away from there.

Fearing that I would miss an important performance, I decided to head for Victoria Harbor. I had to get there before 20:00 hours. Because it is the regular time for Symphony of Light to start. Took MTR from Wan Chai Station to Central Station. Fare is about USD 0,60 with 8 minutes travel time.

Wow, that band sang a cool song….But I didn’t understand Chinese language.

Cool buskers in a corridor which connecting Central MTR Station and Central Ferry Pier.

I ran to see them sang some songs and after that I headed to pier to cross to Victoria Harbor. Paying about USD 0,30, I arrived at Victoria Harbor in 12 minutes.

Taking a comfortable sitting position, then I waited for Symphony of Lights to began.

Very beautiful view.

Menangkap Babi di Ruins St. Paul.

Bersiap meninggalkan Senado Square.

Belumlah puas menikmati pesona klasik Senado Square, Aku pun perlahan menjauh. Tak susah menemukan petunjuk arah menuju situs reruntuhan gereja dan college yang terletak 600 meter di utara alun-alun itu.

Petunjuk arah berwarna hijau akan membantumu menemukannya.

Langkahku berlanjut dengan menelusuri sederetan toko oleh-oleh yang mayoritas menjual makanan. Sementara dengan semakin memuncaknya matahari, perutku semakin lapar. Namun aku tak bergegas mencari makan siang, justru aku melakukan sebuah kegilaan lain.

Mau tahu?….

Perlu kamu ketahui, setiap toko tersebut menyediakan sampel makanan yang ditawarkan para pegawainya yang berdiri di depan area toko. Jika toko disana berjumlah lebih dari 30 buah, maka sudahkah kamu tahu apa maksudku?….yuk, jangan kelamaan mikir.

Lihatlah totalitas mereka menjual makanan. Kostumnya keren kan.

Ya, harusnya kamu tahu. Kegilaanku adalah mengambil dan menyicipi hampir semua jenis sampel makanan yang ditawarkan kepada para turis untuk dicoba rasanya.

30 potongan kecil kue tentu lebih dari seporsi makan siangku. So….Makan siang gratis….Itu intinya.

Dan keberuntunganku itu tiba. Di tengah keasyikanku mengunyah sejenis kue, tiba-tiba ada terselip rasa gurih yang luar biasa. Aku terus mengunyahnya hingga akhirnya mataku melotot tajam dan memaksaku berbalik kepada SPG yang menawariku kue itu.

Aku: “What is it?”.

Doi: “Cake, Sir”.

Aku: “No no no, the ingredient?”. Beef or chicken?

Doi: “No, It’s pork, Sir”.

Aku: “Oh nice taste, Ms”. Dengan gerakan secepat kilat, aku melepehkan kue itu di sebuah selokan kecil.

Doi: “Are you OK, Sir?

Aku: “Yeaaa, I’m Okay, thanks Ms….But, sorry. I can’t eat pork. I’m moslem”.

Itulah pertama kalinya Aku merasakan nikmatnya daging babi walau hanya sekedar beberapa kunyahan di rongga mulutku….Alhamdulillah, akhirnya…..eitttt….Astaghfirullah.

Reruntuhan gereja dan college yang lebih dikenal dengan Ruins St. Paul itu akhirnya tepat berada di pelupuk mata dan hanya terpisah oleh beberapa puluhan anak tangga yang siap untuk kutanjaki.

Bersiap sebelum menanjak.

Banyaknya turis membuat setiap orang susah sekali mengabadikan diri dengan gerbang Ruins St. Paul tanpa ada gangguan seseorang di belakangnya.

Oh Tuhan, Gerbang Ruins St. Paul yang selalu kulihat di prakiraan cuaca dunia di sebuah channel TV kabel akhirnya berada di depanku dan bisa kulihat dengan mata telanjang….Sepuasnya.

Tapi…Temans,

Ini kan situs reruntuhan sebuah gereja dan college….

Sebagai penjelajah yang baik, seharusnya kamu tidak boleh berpuas diri hanya dengan mengambil foto bagian depan saja. Kamu musti masuk ke bagian belakang gerbang untuk membayangkan bagaimana besarnya gereja dan college ini di masa jaya berdirinya.

Yuks, Kita masuk!….

Memasuki gerbang, maka kamu akan melihat bahwa dinding di belakang gerbang disangga oleh plat besi yang sangat besar dan tebal. Ya, tentu ini untuk menanggulangi robohnya gerbang Ruins St. Paul.

Gerbang bagian belakang dijaga oleh security.

Berikutnya kamu akan menemukan lubang-lubang yang ditutup oleh lapisan kaca tebal. Jadi aku hanya bisa mengintipnya. Lalu itu lubang apa?

Diperkirakan sebagai bekas tiang utama (kolom) dari Church of St. Paul.

Bisa kamu bayangkan seberapa besar tiang asli Church of St. Paul?.
Lihatlah lebih dekat.
Bentuk asli Church of St. Paul berbentuk salib ya. Keren.

Selain lubang-lubang persegi tersebut, kamu juga akan menemukan subuah ruangan tersisa yang sudah dikonservasi. Ini adalah ruangan Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt.

Ini ruangannya.
Bagian ruangan yang lain.

So…itulah gaes, wujud dari Ruins St. Paul.

Star Ferry towards The Hong Kong Observation Wheel

Dark clouds and fog which never thinned in that morning made the air wasn’t quickly warm. Be fidgety of coming rain which could flush Hong Kong any time and of course could cancel my crazy plans on second day.

The last shot at Garden of Stars before leaving it.

Walk through along Salisbury Road which is full of skyscraper building projects.

like streets in Jakarta….

Continuing to saw compass needle direction in right hand and a map in left hand, I continued to find Star Ferry Pier which I knew iw was in left side of my steps.

There are so many double deckers in Hong Kong. In Jakarta at that time there were only 10 units.

Yess, I saw a orange clock tower. That is Hong Kong Clock Tower which is a marker for existence of Star Ferry Pier. I immediately turned left away from busy Salisbury Road.

It was cool…. look like some clock towers in Europe.

Star Ferry Pier gate was visible in front.

Yes, that was…..

Let’s go to that building! Wow, beautiful scenery awaits behind him.

That green-white ship is Star Ferry which is referred to in this article.

You just needed to tap your Octopus Card for entering waiting room in Star Ferry Pier. Ferry fare is USD 0,4 and it would take me to Central Ferry Pier on other side with a distance about 1 km and within 12 minutes.

I was entering ferry waiting room.

No need to long waiting, a ferry came and entered me into it.

“Star Cruises” cruise ship….When do you board into a cruise ship?

12 minutes later, I arrived at Central Ferry Pier on Hong Kong Island.

Central Ferry Pier yard.

The Hong Kong Observation Wheel is a destination outside of my itinerary. The shape is interesting, like Singapore Flyer or London Eye (Ups….hahaha) which makes me reluctant to miss it.

The fare is USD 2,9.

Meanwhile, AIA Vitality Park below it was very crowded by Hong Kong residents on that Friday. Maybe, because they were getting ready to welcome a coming weekend. Young families with their “young children were very happy in playing in a park which was turned into a game and some drinks and food stalls around it.

Oh, beauty of Hong Kong.

Yuk Tengok….Senado Square

Perjalananku bersama bus kota No 10A berakhir dengan terlewatnya Halte Bus Kam Pex Community Centre di bilangan Jalan Avenue de Almeida Riberio. Beruntung si pengemudi bus masih mau menurunkanku di sebuah pertigaan dengan pemandangan Hotel Ponte Cais 16 tepat di pusatnya.

Halte Bus Kam Pex Community Centre.

Resepsionis itu sepertinya anak si empunya hotel. Setiap pertanyaan yang kulempar selalu dijawabnya mudah, “Wait sir, I firtly ask to my mom”. Duh, enaknya tuh bocah dapat warisan hotel kelak….Hahaha

Check in pun selesai setelah kuberikan Rp 220.000 untuk mendapatkan kunci kamar Hotel Villa Ka Meng.

Semudah menjetikkan jari, tiba-tiba mataku melihat tulisan halal sebegitu besarnya di depan sebuah rumah makan. Dan terkejutnya, orang Tionghoa adalah si pemilik rumah makan itu. Rumah makan Loulan Islam namanya.

Dengan senyum lebarnya, dia bertanya mau makan apa dan menawarkan menu dengan usaha sebegitu kerasnya. Telunjuk jarinya menari-nari menuliskan berbagai aksara China di udara. Gelak tawaku yang tak tertahan membuat seisi rumah makan tertawa riang. Memendam kantuk yang dari pagi tadi menggelayutiku.

Aku membayarnya sedikit mahal dari standar harga street food yang biasa kuburu. Setidaknya mendapatkan referensi sajian halal di Macau.

Melewati sisi kiri jalan….aku menuju Senado Square yang tinggal selemparan batu. Tapi sebelum benar-benar mencapainya, aku berhenti di sebuah money changer untuk menukarkan Dolar Amerika ke Dolar Macau.

Tukarkan sedikit saja….Sisakan untuk mengeksplore Shenzen.

Akhirnya aku menginjakkan kaki di Senado Square, destinasi kedua di Macau yang kukunjungi.

Keunikan Senado Square adalah motif lantainya yang seolah bergelombang dan identik dengan warna putih hitam. Alun-alun yang penuh dengan turis ini benar-benar menunjukkan bahwa tempat ini merupakan warisan sejarah UNESCO. Tidaklah mengherankan atas keramaian itu.

Bangunan-bangunan klasik yang menghiasi kiri kanan alun-alun itu menjadi sasaran empuk para pemilik kamera untuk mengabadikannya.

St. Dominic’s Church.
Museum bersejarah yang pernah berfungsi sebagai panti asuhan dan klinik kesehatan
Balai kota Macau tempoe doeloe.

Luasnya alun-alun membatasi kemampuanku untuk mengitarinya sekali saja dan kemudian terduduk di salah satu ujungnya lalu berteduh dari sengatan surya yang mulai meninggi.

Turis China: “Malaysian?”. Seorang lelaki setengah baya menyapaku di bawah sebuah pohon yang mengurangi panasnya matahari.

Aku: “Me?….Oh, I’m Indonesian”.

Turis China: “Waaa…Indonesian. Nice country”.

Aku: “Ever go to Indonesia?”.

Turis China: “Yes….Bali, Medan and Batam”.

Aku: “Great….How about Indonesia?”.

Turis China: “I Like….I eat Nasi Padang there. Nice”.

Aku: “Hahaha….Ya ya ya. The most delicious food in the world”.

Turis China: “Ever go to China?

Aku: “Absolutely….I will go to Shenzen after my journey in Macau”.

Turis China: “Ohhoo….Good good. Welcome to my country”.

Aku: “Thanks Sir

Percakapan pun berakhir ketika seorang perempuan yang kuduga istrinya menghampiri dan mengajaknya melanjutkan eksplorasi Senado Square.

Beberapa spot di Senado Square:

Peta zona taxi.
Taxi yang sedang menunggu penumpang.
Geblek….Ngapain juga guwe motoin tuh tempat sampah.
Telepon umum.
Bus kota yang melewati Senado Square.

So….If you go there when in Macau….Just enjoy it.

“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!