Arwana Bus from Kuala Terengganu to Kuantan

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I staggered and grabbed any handles when I suddenly woke up from sleep and headed straight for the shared bathroom when my eyes hadn’t been fully opened. That was because I stared at the clock on the wall perched at half past eight.

“Damn”, I cursed my waking up too late. At dawn, I deliberately pulled back the blanket and covered my cold body. Luckily, last night I had packed all my supplies.

I took a quick shower, yet my whole body still felt clean after the last shower at ten o’clock last night. I put back on the t-shirt I wore to sleep last night and put on the jeans I had prepared last night.

After that, I locked my backpack on my back and headed to the shared kitchen to brew oat powder with hot water from the dispenser. It was a tedious breakfast menu, but I’ve been repeating myself for three days out of my home.

While sipping the wet oat powder mouthful after mouthful, I began to worry because the reception desk was still dark and empty.

“Ouch, what time will the staff be ready? I might be late chasing the bus”, I thought to myself and hoped that, after breakfast, the staff would come so I could hand over the key and take the deposit.

It turned out that until breakfast was over, the room was still empty. I, who was getting more and more anxious, could only give up waiting in the lobby. Luckily, fifteen minutes later, the inn owner appeared and immediately smiled at me.

“I want to check out….sorry for the long waiting”, he started a conversation while turning on the room light and heading behind the desk. The lack of guests at the inn made him not need to ask for my identity and room number because he would easily memorize it. It didn’t take long to take the envelope with my room number containing the 30 Ringgit deposit and then gave it to me.

“Thank you, Sir”, I received the money and handed over the key.

“See you….Be careful”, he waved as I started down the stairs to leave the inn.

Outside the inn….For the fifth time, I completely completed the route to the Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu. Now I walked very fast and focus only on getting to the terminal. I’d rather wait far from the bus departure time than missed it.

It was almost half past nine when I arrived right in front of the counter where I bought my ticket yesterday.

“Wait for it on platform 1, the bus will come later”, was the answer from the counter staff when I asked where to wait.

“Whatever, in the next hour I’ll just wait here”, I thought as I took the concrete seat next to platform 1.

But waiting for something in a foreign land was always interesting. Observing the activities of local residents on each side of the terminal kept me away from boredom.

Until finally I was shocked when a red maroon bus with a yellow combination appeared from the rear gate of the terminal.

“Arwana Group”, I could clearly read it from a distance.

This was the bus I was waiting for. The bus arrived fifteen minutes before departure. The bus stopped right on platform 1 and I rushed towards it until an Arab-looking man stopped me.

“Kuala Lumpur….this?”, his short question was thrown at me.

“Yes….This bus goes to Kuala Lumpur”, I answered briefly.

“Where are you coming from?”, I added.

“Yemen….”

“Is Yemen Okay now?”, as far as I knew the country was in civil war.

“Yeah…better”

I jumped in from the front door and looked for seat number 13. I chose the single seat on the bus which had a 2-1 formation of seats.

Exactly at half past ten, the bus started the long journey to Kuala Lumpur…

The 43 Ringgit trip would take 5 hours and cover a distance of no less than 450 km.

The bus started leaving the city by commuting through Perusahaan 3 Street, this was the main overland route on Malaysia’s east coast that stretched for more than 700 km, starting from Kelantan in the north and ending in Johor Bahru in the south. I was very grateful for being given the opportunity by God to comb the seaside with the most beautiful scenery in all of Malaysia. The most amazing sight on this trip was where I could cross the road which was only 50 meters from the beach. Later I would show you the beauty of this road.

At the beginning of the trip, I still remember the view of Kuala Terengganu that was presented to Kuala Ibai Village, because I had passed it while visiting the Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque the other day. But after crossing the Ibai River, I passed through an area with views I had never seen before. Instead of falling asleep, the sight managed to keep me awake all the way.

Within half an hour, the bus started to leave Kuala Terengganu District and entered Marang District which took Pandak Beach to the gate. Three kilometers away, the bus crossed the coastline of Rusila Beach which was one of the most beautiful sights in the district. Until finally the bus rested for a while at Hentian Bas Marang. The bus had to pick up some of its passengers at the small terminal.

The view after a short pause at the Marang City bus terminal may be the highlight of this trip. The beautiful seaside scenery stretched for 50 kilometers starting from Peranginan Kelutut Beach to Batu Pelanduk Beach at the beginning of the Kuala Dungun District.

My bus has arrived.
It was time to start the long journey.
Peranginan Kelutut Beach.
One of the rivers in Marang District.
The Lipur Rantau Abang Forest in Persekutuan 3 Street, Marang District.
Pulau Serai Bridge over the Dungun River, Kuala Terengganu Street, Kuala Dungun District.

Two hours away, the bus had now passed through the main landmarks of the Kuala Dungun District, especially not the Dungun River which has a width of no less than 300 meters.

The bus quickly started entering Paka City. The city was home to Malaysia’s largest power plant run by the national power company, Tenaga Nasional. No wonder the vast expanse of electric power stations was in this city.

More than ten kilometers parallel to the bend of the Paka River until the bus finally left Paka City and entered a new city, Kerteh City.

Kerteh is an oil city because it has the potential for petroleum stored at the bottom of the South China Sea. The city of Kerteh is one of the most important places in the state of Terengganu because of its dense population and complete public facilities.

Exploring Kerteh City made me understand that Petronas, the giant oil company in my neighboring country, placed many important facilities in this city. Oil refineries, gas pipelines, chemical factories, and the Petronas housing complex dominated the sightings along Kemaman-Dungun Street.

For almost half an hour, I was presented with the bustle of the oil business of Kerteh City, until finally, the bus arrived at the southernmost area of ​​the state of Terengganu, namely the Kemaman District. This is the border area between Terengganu State and Pahang State.

Entering Kemaman, the bus directly divided Chukai City which was the capital of Kemaman District. City parks were spread out in the corners of the city, and congestion was starting to feel, while the Kemaman River stretched widely as the main decoration of Chukai City.

Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Polytechnic on Paka Street, Paka City.
Paka River seen from Kemaman-Dungun Street.
Sultan Ismail Janaelectric Station, Paka City.
Petronas’ oil refinery on Kemaman-Dungun Street, Kerteh City.
Kertih Bridge, over the Kertih River, Kemaman-Dungun Street, Kerteh City.
Persiaran Chukai Park on Sulaimani Street, right on the banks of the Kemaman River, Chukai City.
Geliga Bridge over the Kemaman River, Kuantan-Kemaman Street, Kemaman District.
Hentian Bas Ekpres Kemaman in Kemaman District.

South of Chukai City, the bus stopped a second time. This time the bus picked up two passengers at the Kemaman Express Bus Stop. After carrying its passengers, the bus continued its journey to get out of the southern border of Terengganu State and started its adventure in Pahang State.

There was still an hour to arrive at Kuantan Sentral Terminal, the main bus terminal in Pahang State. Meanwhile, it was one o’clock in the afternoon. I was sure all the passengers were feeling the same way….Hungry.

And a quarter of an hour after entering the State of Pahang, the bus finally decided to stop for lunch. It was D’Cherating Cafe which took its name according to the area where the restaurant stood, namely in Cherating Village.

Here, the driver allowed passengers to enjoy lunch for half an hour and then continued the rest of the journey to Terminal Sentral Kuantan . At the end of the journey, the driver-focused behind the wheel to complete the last 40 kilometers to the largest bus terminal on Malaysia’s east coast.

My first stage of the journey was over…

After a break at Kuantan Sentral Terminal, I would continue my journey to the final destination, i.e the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan in Kuala Lumpur.

D’Cherating Restaurant, Pahang State.
Terminal Sentral Kuantan at Pintasan Kuantan Street, Pahang State.

You could also get Kuala Terengganu to Kuantan bus tickets (Kuala Terengganu to Kuala Lumpur) on travel e-commerce on 12go Asia with the following link:  https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Closing Night in Kuala Terengganu

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In the afternoon….It was a quarter to six….

I sat in the front seat on the left when Bas KITē slowly left the Tamadun Islam Park complex. Via the only connecting bridge, Bas KITē completed its wheel loop over Wan Man Island.

Only me….
The driver.

Now the Bas KITē would complete the remaining half of the journey to the Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu, when I got there, the bus would take a break to operate again tomorrow at half past ten in the next morning.

On the way back to the inn, I was more relaxed and free to talk with the driver. During the rest of the trip, he told about his daily activities with four other Bas KITē drivers in operating that special city bus. He also told about his son who was having a hard time finding work in Kuala Terengganu, many employment sectors chose to use foreign workers which made it difficult for residents to find a livelihood. I only listened to it as a form of empathy, even though I didn’t know the real facts.

On the way back to the inn, the bus driver only took a middle-aged female passenger who seemed to be very familiar with him. Maybe the woman was a subscriber to his Bas KITē, so as soon as she got on, the driver immediately familiarly asked about the woman’s activities throughout the day. The rest after the female passenger boarded, only the two of them had the dominant conversation until the trip was over. The conversation with Terengganu’s thick accent I tried to understand even though I could only absorb it a little.

At a quarter past six I arrived at the Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu….

Jumping off the bus and thanking the Bas KITē driver once again for giving me five precious minutes to enjoy the beauty of the Crystal Mosque, I tried to leave the terminal as quickly as possible. I didn’t want to be trapped in the dark in the terminal.

I swiftly walked through Masjid Abidin Street to arrive at the intersection where the PERMINT Tower stood. “What’s that sound?…”, I stopped when I heard a noise from a height. Due to that sound, I backed off from the inn. I was now walking along Sultan Ismail Street towards the source of the sound. “Wow….That’s a flock of sparrows”, I knew now. On the entire face of the Wisma PERMINT building, perched a lot of sparrows calling to each other, making the sound like a pleasant harmony to be heard at sunset.

For so long I was stunned, capturing and videoing the scene that two other tourists suddenly came next to me and did the same. After a while of enjoying the harmony of the sound of the sparrows, simultaneously the street lamps began to come on, and the building lights began to be turned on, making the path along Sultan Ismail Street show off the beauty of its colorful lights.

“Looks like I have to enjoy my closing night in Kuala Terengganu by being on the streets even if only for a moment”, I decided.

My night exploration step started from the KT Walk which was a spacious area that usually presents a night market view for residents. It was just that the night has just begun, and a row of new food stalls was getting ready to entertain their prospective guests who would arrive soon. Because there were no significant activities, I just enjoyed the KT Walk for a moment from a corner of the field.

Enjoying the choir of sparrows at Wisma PERMINT.
The front side of KT Walk.
SiThe quiet side of KT Walk.i.

The night was creeping up and the lights were starting to look more dazzling as the sky darkened. I continued to comb along Sultan Ismail Street and then was stunned at a bookstore that seemed to be the favorite bookstore in the city, SMO Bookstores. “There’s nothing wrong if I go in …”, I idly started.

I rushed into the bookstore. As soon as I entered the shop, I just looked around and visited several bookshelves which were visited by many visitors. “A collection of novels which have been adapted into Malay”, I slightly frowned as a sign that I wasn’t interested in it.

SMO Bookstores isn’t as big as a well-known bookstore brand in Indonesia, the collection isn’t much, but many people visit it. Maybe Malaysia’s good literacy rate makes it so.

I finally left SMO Bookstores and resumed my journey to enjoy the night atmosphere of Kuala Terengganu. Although not too crowded, that night was able to make me a little amazed because, during the two days in Kuala Terengganu, I was more dominant in enjoying the atmosphere of the day. Even though the sparkling lamp that night wasn’t as beautiful as in Kuala Lumpur, it still kept its charm. A city that wasn’t so crowded was showing its beauty at night.

I turned at the corner at the northern end of Air Jernih Street, which was still doing business. Walking along the street, I stopped again at a 7-Eleven, I purposely entered it to look for fast food on my dinner menu. I felt like I have been reluctant to go back a little further to visit “Kedai Kak Na” which I visited that afternoon. It was better to just look for perfunctory food at the mini market.

I came out of the 7-Eleven with a packet of fried rice that had been heated in the microwave for a while. I immediately left the minimarket to the inn while enjoying the remaining scenery. Continuing a little step on Kota Lama Street, I turned left on Engku Pangeran Anom 2 Street and then arrived at the inn, The Space Inn…

Engku Pangeran Anom, who is it?

Engku Pangeran Anom was a Terengganu noble with the full name Pengiran Anum Engku Abdul Kadir bin Engku Besar. He was a man who really understood the history of Terengganu and was often a reference to the sultanate which at that time was led by Sultan Ahmad.

I arrived at the inn at exactly half past eight….

It was time for me to wash up, have dinner, fold the clothes and tidy up my backpack because tomorrow I would leave Kuala Terengganu at half past ten in the morning.

Wisma Maidam was towering on Sultan Ismail Street which was used for the Kuala Terengganu Islamic Bank office.
The intersection that I often pass every day while in Kuala Terengganu.
Umobile Center (Telecommunication Equipment Store) on Engku Sar Street. Engku Sar refers to the name of the father of Engku Pengiran Anom whose full name is Syed Abdullah Al-Idrus. “Sar” is another name for “Sir”.
Aneka KAMDAR Building on Kota Lama Street is used as an ASC (Arena Sports Center) which is a Sports Venue business in Kuala Terengganu.
Let’s sleep!…. It was 11 p.m.….Tomorrow I would walk again.

Next Story—->

Happy Five Minutes at the Crystal Mosque

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Almost five o’clock in the afternoon….

I was still guessing, who could be, one of three drivers who would make the last trip of Bas KITē Lane C02. They were joking and intimately chatting at the coffee shop in terminal corner.

I kept watching from the waiting bench behind the Bas KITē queue until finally one of them got up from his seat, headed for the bus and then started the engine to heat it up before starting the journey.

“Oh, he’s the one”, I snapped my fingers.

I quickly intercepted it. “Sir, will the Crystal Mosque be visible from the road when this bus will pass?”, I even intercepted him with a silly question.

“You can’t see the mosque from the road…why?”, he looked surprised by the question I asked.

“If you can’t see it, I won’t be taking this last bus, Sir”, I frowned.

“Do you want to visit the Crystal Mosque?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“You can take this bus, I’ll wait five minutes for a quick visitation to the Crystal Mosque. How about mi idea?”.

“Thank you. Okay, I’ll go with you, Sir.”

Negotiations between tourists and city bus drivers were over. Now I had the opportunity even if not long to visit one of the most beautiful mosques in Asia and even the world.

Exactly five o’clock in the afternoon….

I hopped on the Bas KITē from the front door. Handed the 3 Ringgit fare to the driver and started taking seats. Meanwhile, Bas KITē slowly began to leave the Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu.

Even though my destination was in the west, but that time Bas KITē first went east, picked up some passengers at Shahbandar and Hotel Grand Continental, then turned around at Bulatan Batu Bersurat, Kuala Terengganu, and then Bas KITē went to the west to reach my desired destination, i.e Crystal Mosque.

Bulatan Batu Bersurat Kuala Terengganu at the center of the meeting of four roads, i.e Sultan Ismail Street, Sultan Mahmud Street, Sultan Zainal Abidin Street and Sultan Sulaiman Street.
The atmosphere on Air Jernih Street that afternoon.
Mydin Grand Market seen from Tengku Mizan Street

Slowly but consistently, the Bas KITē drove along the south side of the Terengganu River and approached its destination. Now the bus was starting to move over the bridge connecting Wan Man Island. After crossing the bridge, I was faced with a large gate in front of Taman Tamadun Islam.

The Islamic Gardens Park is an important attraction on that artificial island. This is the first theme park in Malaysia that combines the concepts of religion and tourism, of course the Crystal Mosque is an important part. Along the way through Tamadun Islam Park, the Bus KITē driver explained that in that park there were replicas of the best Islamic structures from around the world such as the Taj Mahal, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, and the Dome of the Rock, but I didn’t have time to visit them. .

“Crystal Mosque is near….I’ll stop and wait for you for five minutes…When you’re done, let’s go back again to this bus”, the driver spoke to me while focusing behind the wheel.

“Okay, Sir”, I happily answered.

The bus slowly slowed down and entered a large parking lot. I still didn’t realize that that place was a stop for the Crystal Mosque religious tourist destination.

“The Crystal Mosque is over thereē”, the driver pointed in a direction.

“Okay, Sir”, I quickly got up and got off the bus.

“The five-minute countdown has started”, I thought, my heart beating faster. There was no other way, except to run as fast as possible to the mosque.

The further I ran, the face of the Crystal Mosque was already in sight. And after running past a local young man who was busy documenting the mosque with his tripod, I suddenly stopped.

“Can you take a photo, brother?”, I offered my Canon EOS with a smile.

Without saying anything, the young man smiled back and took my camera. For a moment, his agenda was slightly disturbed by my tacky behavior.

Snap….

After thanking him, I ran back to the mosque. Within a minute I arrived. Ignoring any crowds, I preferred to stand still watching the mosque, which was mostly made of steel and glass.

I continued to enjoy the mosque with a capacity of 1,500 worshipers from the banks of the Terengganu River. The combination of black and white made the 13-year-old mosque very elegant and eye-catching. This was the first ‘smart’ mosque in Terengganu, the existence of an integrated IT infrastructure that allowed worshipers to access the internet to read the electronic Al-Quran.

The Crystal Mosque front view.
Crystal Mosque side view.
The beautiful Terengganu River.

Five very precious minutes didn’t expect that with time constraints, I was still allowed to visit the Crystal Mosque.

Four minutes have passed….

One last minute I’ll use to run back to Bas KITē. I didn’t want the driver to leave me and make it even more difficult for me to get public transportation to go home to the inn.

The relief came when the Bas KITē still stopped with a sluggish engine sound and the driver was looking at me while waving his hand as a signal for me to speed up running.

“Hufffttt….I’m tired, Sir”, I jumped from the front door.

“Hahahaha… How about that, how beautiful is the Crystal Mosque?”, he laughed as he slowly stepped on the gas pedal and let the bus go slowly.

“Very good, Sir”, I panted sitting in the front seat on the left side.

Time to back to the inn….

My adventure that day was over….

Tomorrow I would take a long road trip to Kuala Lumpur.

Next Story—->

In-depth exploration of Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu

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I sat down and intensely watched the vehicles on Batu Buruk Street from under Rhu trees when the congregation for the Dhuhr prayer began to arrive. Some of them smiled when they saw me who was still sitting on the grass of Floating Mosque’s Ramadhan Bazaar.

A few minutes after the iqamah was pronounced, the bus I was waiting for started showing its nose at the entrance gate. The Bas KITē didn’t slow down, apparently, suddenly quickly stopped in front of the north bridge.

I stuttered, got up, put the itinerary sheet which I had used as a seat cushion into the folding bag, and started running as fast as I could to catch the Bas KITē which had stopped and had finished lowering its passengers. “It’s bad if I miss it”, I held my breath and drove as fast as I could.

“Hurry….Come on, hurry up, brother”, a mother who walked with her umbrella encouraged me. I could only run while trying to leave a smile on her.

The Bas KITē, which initially started to go, finally slowed down, and the driver seemed to see me running from the rearview mirror. I did try to show myself in the rearview mirror and wave to him. Luckily for me, the Bas KITē driver noticed my presence.

I jumped up from the front door…..

“Oh, brother….I thought you had explored another place”, the driver still memorized my face.

“Not yet, Sir….I’ve been waiting for the bus for a while”, I panted and handed over 3 Ringgits while trying to keep a friendly smile.

Now I was sitting in the row of seat number six and trying to cool off the heat of my body right under the bus’ air conditioner then trying to get back to enjoying the trip to the Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu.

Leaving the Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque, initially, Bas KITē moved south, the bus took passengers to an important destination, namely Noor Arfa Craft Complex which is a well-known handicraft outlet in Kuala Terengganu. After dropping off and picking up passengers, Bus KITē again drove north along Batu Buruk Street, crossed the Kuala Ibai Bridge, and crossed again the Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque which still looked elegant even from a distance.

Noor Arfa Craft Complex on the edge of Permin Jaya Street.
Head to Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu.
Kedai Makan Stesen Teksi (local people call this food stall as Kedai Kak Na).

By three o’clock in the afternoon, Bus KITē finally arrived at the Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu, which was eight kilometers from the Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque.

But I arrived at the bus station in hunger. I was still trying to stay calm, because yesterday afternoon when I finished eating at the terminal canteen, I saw the existence of a food stall at a taxi rank which was full of visitors. “The food in that food stall must be delicious,” I concluded that afternoon. I’ve bookmarked the food stall and now was the perfect time for me to visit and had lunch there.

The food stall hadn’t changed from yesterday, it was crowded with visitors. Not only taxi drivers, but many office workers, security forces, and soldiers were seen queuing up to be able to eat at that place. It seemed that the place was indeed a favorite and affordable place to eat for residents.

I tried to enjoy a portion of rice with chicken pieces and I added a few pieces of fresh vegetables. The vegetables weren’t paid for.

The simple food stall only had a seat made from plastic but had its specialties because the shop assistant was a young girl wearing a headscarf with a beautiful Malay face. “No wonder this shop is crowded,” I smiled to myself.

I enjoyed the lunch very voraciously. Apart from being hungry, that stall’s food tasted very good. I ended my lunch by handing five Ringgits to the beautiful lady of the stall’s servant.

There was still 45 minutes before the Bas KITē to the Crystal Mosque departed….

I looked for a prayer room in the terminal and decided to pray. There was no more time because I would bump into the sunset when I return from the Crystal Mosque later.

Even after the prayer, there were still thirty minutes left….

I decided to explore the interior of the Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu by stepping to the second floor. On the second floor, there were rows of kiosks that were very busy with various activities selling goods and services. But the majority seemed to be dominated by clothing kiosks and tailoring services.

While the view downwards looked more beautiful than a sweep of the eye when I was below. The front left side of the terminal was dominated by the taxi parking area. Meanwhile, on the right front side, several Bas KITe were neatly parked, which since this morning have been instrumental in driving me around the city. On the other hand, that afternoon, interstate buses began to stir and slowly arrived to pick up passengers to take out of town.

Half an hour of exploring each side of the Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu allowed me to get to know more about the Kuala Terengganu mainstay bus terminal.

The back of the terminal.
Kiosk on the 2nd floor of the Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu.
Concrete waiting bench next to the platform.
Front right side (saw the Bas KITē with multiple lanes)
Front left side (saw the interstate bus ready to leave).
Bus platforms.
The Kiosks were on the front left side of the terminal.

It was three in the afternoon….

Time to go to the Crystal Mosque….

But now I was in big trouble. That was the Bas KITe on the last C02 trip, meaning that when I arrived at the Crystal Mosque, I had to go back to the inn by taxi… “Hmmh, expensive”, I kept thinking….

I have to outsmart this unfortunate limitation……

Next Story—->

Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque….Spiritual Decoration in Ibai River Estuary

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Failing to get off at Batu Burok Beach due to entrusted my trip too much to the Bas KITē driver, I was dropped off at my second target destination. It was Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque, the first floating mosque in my neighboring country.

Bas KITē stopped on the north side of the parking area which was also known as the Floating Mosque Ramadhan Bazaar area. Once down, I didn’t directly enter the mosque. I took a standing position on the north side of Ibai River’s estuary to enjoy the full view of Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque with its thirty-meter minaret from a distance.

Zaharah….is a word taken from the name of Sultan Mahmud’s mother, Tengku Intan Zaharah. The thirty-year-old mosque is truly enchanting to my naked eye from my standing position, it is appropriate that long wooden seats are provided on the north side of the estuary, allowing any visitor to sit at dawn or dusk to enjoy the beauty of the mosque which can accommodate a thousand worshipers.

Not only the building but I was also stunned by the water below. The estuary water is filled with tame fish which beautifully flock when fed by visitors from the connecting bridge on the north side. Visitors got fish food from a fish pellet seller in the parking area at a price of only one ringgit per pack.

I started to enter the mosque from the north bridge which was intentionally provided with a canopy along it, making it comfortable for visitors to linger to feed the fish. Along the canopy, signs bearing the words of the Prophet managed to become a shade of heart before actually entering the mosque.

The first thing I did when I arrived at the mosque’s door was to walk around the mosque and saw its view from all sides. Some amazing views of the surroundings were easy to find when I stood at the best spots on the mosque’s terrace. Do you want to see that beautiful view?…. Here it is:

Visitors who enjoyed fishing activities.
Cactus plant on the mosque’s veranda.
The connecting bridge on the south side is without a canopy.
Clear green….This is the form of the Ibai River estuary where the mosque stands.
An elegant pavilion that provides seating for visitors to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.

After finishing recording memories in my head about all the beauty around the mosque, I rushed to the purification room. The time for Dzuhur hadn’t yet come, but I was very excited to perform the “tahiyatul masjid” prayer.

Entering the purification room, I washed my face solemnly, preparing myself to worship at the mosque whose position was very famous as an important landmark of the State of Terengganu.

Now I would enjoy the mosque inside which was the core part of the building, of course also the core part of this visit. The stretch of soft red carpet on the front row combined with a light blue carpet on the back makes the room come alive. Twelve large pillars support the entire mosque body and the side poles of the pulpit are decorated with beautiful lights looking up. While in the middle of the building perched a dome with a hexagon structure base. Then the dominant green windows enrich its color. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to look upstairs.

I finished praying while some mosque staffs were still busy cleaning its terrace. I returned out of the mosque through the bridge on the north side and walked around the river estuary to the garden on the south side. I had to complete the point of view. After enjoying the north side, now I sat in the south garden and enjoyed the beauty of the Tengku Tengah Zaharah mosque from the other side of the estuary.

The visitation was completed by enjoying the beach on the east of the Lagun Kuala Ibai Public Park. That was a substitute beach for the Batu Burok Beach destination which I couldn’t reach because I was dissolved in the speed of the Bas KITe.

At one o’clock in the afternoon, I finished relaxing on the beach. I had to immediately take a seat in the area of ​​the Floating Mosque Ramadhan Bazaar which was widely stretched on the north side of the mosque to wait for the arrival of Bas KITē which would arrive in an hour. I didn’t want to be left behind because I had to immediately go back to the Hentian Bas Majlis Bandaraya Kuala Terengganu. I still wanted to look for opportunities to go to Crystal Mosque which I decided this morning to cross off my bucket list.

Let’s pray!
The door and window designs are cool.
The windows of the mosque on each side…
Southside garden.
The view from the south side of the estuary.

This time I deliberately didn’t attend the congregational Dzuhur Prayer which would soon be held, I decided to just do it later. I had to catch the bus that time because the Bas KITē might come sooner.

I decided to sit on a side of the grassy area under the Rhu trees to avoid sunlight directly. Rhu trees certainly made my body more comfortable in waiting for the arrival of the C01 A KITe Bus.

I was now preparing to leave the Kuala Ibai District.

Next Story—->

Kembali ke Ruwi-Mwasalat Bus Station: Menutup Petualangan di Muscat

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Satu setengah jam lamanya, aku menyambangi setiap sudut Muscat Sports Club hingga matahari tergelincir menuju ufuk barat.

Waktu menunjukkan pukul setengah empat sore….

Aku pun memutuskan untuk undur diri, mengakhiri petualangan dan beranjak kembali menuju penginapan. Aku harus mengambil backpack yang kutitipkan usai check-in siang sebelumnya. Rencananya, setelah mengambil backpack, aku akan menuju bandara dan menginap di sana saat malam tiba. Itu karena penerbanganku menuju Bahrain akan berlangsung di keesokan pagi.

Melintasi coffee shop yang terletak di sebelah gerbang utama Muscat Sports Club, aku kembali turun di jalanan. Menelusuri An Nuzhah Street sisi selatan, menuju utara. Kembali menyisir jalanan yang sama ketika aku tiba di Al Wadi Al Kabeer Park dan Muscat Sports Club.

Sore itu udara sudah tak panas lagi, melainkan bertransformasi menjadi hembusan angin dingin yang membawa butir-butir pasir, membuat kulit gatal dan mata pedih ketika menerpa badan.

Tak peduli dengan hembusan angin  itu……

Entah kenapa, tetiba langkahku menjadi kikuk ketika tiba di depan Al Wadi Al Kabir Market. Aku berhenti sejenak, menatap bangunan perbelanjaan itu. Memaksa otak untuk berpikir, “Apa yang harus kupersiapkan?”.

Aku menarik dompet dari dalam folding bag, melihat isinya, setelah merasa cukup dengan lembaran Rial yang kupunya, maka aku pun tanpa ragu masuk ke dalam bangunan itu dan bergegas memasuki Lulu Hypermarket di dalamnya.

Ya….Aku menyempatkan berbelanja beberapa makanan untuk perbekalan selama di perjalanan menuju Bahrain. Perjalananku menuju Bahrain akan dimulai dengan menginap di Muscat International Airport malam itu juga dan akan tiba di Bahrain pada pukul empat sore di keesokan harinya. Itu berarti aku akan berada diperjalanan selama 22 jam.

Setelah menelusuri seisi Lulu Hypermarket selama lima belas menit aku keluar dari pasar swalayan itu dengan membawa cheese sandwich, yogurt, orange juice dan cake. Semuanya kutebus dengan harga 725 Baisa.

Lalu aku pergi meninggalkan Al Wadi Al Kabir Market dengan menenteng kantung plastik yang berisi barang belanjaan. Selepas mengunjungi Lulu Hypermarket, aku pun melangkah secepat mungkin dan berfokus menuju penginapan. Menjelang pukul lima sore, aku pun tiba di OYO 117 Majestic Hotel, tempatku menginap.

Setelah mengambil backpack di resepsionis, aku tak terburu menuju Ruwi-Mwasalat Bus Station, melainkan menuju ke kedai khas Bangladesh yang telah menjadi langgananku semenjak tiba di Muscat.

Mampir di Lulu Hypermarket.
Suasana jalanan di sekitar OYO 117 Majestic Hotel.
Tepat di tikungan menuju OYO 117 Majestic Hotel.
Makan dengan cara Bangladesh….Wkwkwkwk.
Menjelang gelap di Al Fursan Street.

Sore menjelang malam itu, aku menyantap nasi putih dengan chicken fry sebagai lauknya. Pemilik kedai itu telah paham dengan kebiasaanku selama beberapa hari sebelumnya. Dia menyuguhkanku satu potongan paha yang itu berarti menyuguhkan setengah dari porsi normal. Jadi aku hanya perlu untuk membayarnya separuh porsi saja, cara tepat bagiku untuk berhemat.

Aku pun membayar menu makan malamku dengan 250 Baisa ketika selesai menandaskan nasi di piring.

Selanjutnya aku pun kembali menelusuri Al Fursan Street. Berjalan sejauh dua kilometer dengan waktu tempuh tiga puluh menit.

Aku pun tiba di Ruwi-Mwasalat Bus Station….

Aku bersiap menuju ke Muscat International Airport

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Muscat Club: Menguntit Sekelompok Atlet Kriket

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Aku meninggalkan Al Wadi Al Kabeer Park pada pukul setengah dua siang. Tentunya matahari masih menyengat kuat. Langkahku berlanjut ke arah selatan.

Sudah kepalang  tanggung….Aku akan menuju ujung selatan distrik Al Wadi Al Kabeer sekalian”, aku membatin yakin.

Aku melanjutkan petualangan melalui sisi selatan An Nuzhah Street. Sesekali aku harus berhenti di teras-teras toko hanya untuk bersembunyi sejenak dari teriknya matahari. Bahkan ketika baru berjalan sejauh setengah kilometer, aku menyempatkan diri untuk memasuki bangunan Al Wadi Al Kabir Market yang didalamnya terdapat outlet Lulu Hypermarket. Aku harus membeli dua botol air mineral karena telah kehabisan air semenjak meninggalkan Al Wadi Al Kabeer Park. Dua botol air mineral berukuran 500 ml tersebut aku tebus dengan 170 Baisa.

Setelah mendinginkan badan sejenak di ruangan berpendingin udara milik Lulu Hypermarket, aku pun melanjutkan langkah, melawan kembali panasnya cuaca Muscat. Niatanku hanya ingin mengakhiri petualangan ketika telah mengkhatamkan beberapa sudut Distrik Al Wadi Al Kabeer.

Menggandakan langkah hingga satu kilometer aku pun melintasi sebuah sekolah swasta, Ibn Khaldoun School namanya. Ketika tiba di gerbang sekolah tersebut, aku melihat sekelompok pria yang membawa cricket bat memasuki sebuah gang di sisi An Nuzwah Street. Tentu sekelompok pria yang kutebak sebagai sekelompok atlet tersebut membangkitkan rasa penasaran di hati.

Aku pun bergegas untuk mengikuti sekelompok atlet kriket tersebut. Hanya berjarak tiga ratus meter, aku akhirnya tiba tepat di depan gang dimana para atlet tadi berbelok dari trotoar.

Muscat Club…..”, begitulah aku membaca sebuah signboard di pintu gerbang stadion berukuran sedang.

Gerbang stadion itu tertutup rapat. Aku yang penasaran, tanpa ragu mendekatinya, lalu memutari stadion demi menemukan celah untuk masuk ke dalamnya. Akhirnya aku mendapat celah itu di pojok kiri dari tribun utama stadion. Maka aku pun menyelinap masuk dan kemudian mendudukkan diri di salah satu bangku tribun.

Dari tribun utama itu, aku bisa melihat dengan jelas bahwa stadion utama itu diapit oleh dua buah lapangan bola tanpa tribun di sisi utara dan selatannya.

Muscat Club….Apa itu?

Gerbang stadion.
Stadion utama untuk latihan Muscat Club.
Ini buat latihan futsal kali ya…?
Lapangan pendamping.
Lapangan untuk berlatih memukulkan cricket bat.

Muscat club sendiri adalah sebuah klub olahraga di Oman yang mengembangkan beberapa kelompok tim olah raga yaitu sepak bola, hoki, bola voli, bola tangan, bola basket, bulu tangkis, squash hingga kriket. Khusus untuk tim sepak bola Muscat Club, saat ini tim tersebut adalah salah satu kontestan dari Oman Professional League yang merupakan level tertinggi kompetisi sepakbola di Oman.

Aku baru paham bahwa sekelompok atlet yang kulihat tadi adalah tim kriket milik Muscat Club yang hendak melakukan latihan rutin. Tampak lapangan kriket beserta lajur-lajur untuk berlatih memukulkan cricket bat ada di sisi utara stadion utama, sejajar dengan lapang sepak bola pendamping.

Sedangkan lapangan hoki berada tepat di sisi selatan lapangan untuk bermain kriket.

Tentu kompleks lapangan ini hanya digunakan sebagai sarana berlatih saja buat Muscat Club, karena tim ini menggunakan lapangan milik pemerintah sebagai venue kandangnya, yaitu Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex yang terletak di Distrik Boshar.

Senang rasanya, bisa mengunjungi salah satu kompleks milik klub sepakbola ternama di Oman tersebut.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Super Air Jet IU 872 dari Jakarta (CGK) ke Palembang (PLM)

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Jalur penerbangan Super Air Jet IU 872 (Sumber: flightware)

Tepat pukul setengah delapan aku tiba di depan X ray screening gate pertama Soekarno Hatta International Airport di Terminal 2D.

“Sudah lengkap semua syaratnya, Pak?”, seorang Aviation Security menanyaiku sebelum aku memasukkan backpack ke X-ray Scanner.

“Oh….Sudah Pak….Ini, Pak”, aku menunjukkan foto validasi kelayakan terbang kepadanya

Dia pun mengangguk dan mempersilahkan aku untuk melanjukan pemeriksaan.

Dengan mudah aku melalui X-ray screening gate tersebut dan segera melanjutkan langkah ke check-in desk. Sebetulnya aku sudah melakukan online check-in pada 24 jam sebelum keberangkatan. Seharusnya aku tidak perlu menuju check-in desk untuk meminta boarding pass. Aku hanya perlu menunjukkan e-boarding pass kepada petugas aviation security di X-ray screening gate kedua.

Tetapi karena kebiasaanku yang tidak puas kalau tak mendapakan printed boarding pass, aku pun bersikukuh untuk tetap menuju check-in desk walaupun harus melewati beberapa antrian.

Aku akhirnya memilih mengantri di Desk No. 31. Bersyukur hanya perlu untuk mengantri selama lima belas menit, aku mendapatkan printed boarding pass.

Maka dalam jarak satu jam dari boarding time, aku bergegas menuju Gate D7. Aku pun tiba di ruang tunggu Gate D7 lima belas kemudian. Berada setengah jam sebelum boarding time membuatku hatiku merasa lebih tenang.

—-****—-

Boarding time tiba tepat waktu….

Pukul setengah sembilan, pengumuman memenuhi langit-langit bandara. Gate D7 untuk penerbangan Super Air Jet IU 872 telah dibuka. Aku bergegas menuju aerobridge untuk masuk ke kabin pesawat.

Pesawat yang kunaiki berjenis Airbus A320. Pagi itu menjadi waktu yang sangat berkesan bagiku oleh karena IU 872 menjadi penerbangan pertamaku bersama Super Air Jet, sebuah maskapai penerbangan baru yang sejatinya masih menjadi bagian dari Lion Group yang merupakan perusahaan induk maskapai penerbangan berbiaya murah di Indonesia.

Aku memang sudah sejak lama memendam rasa untuk mencicipi maskapai yang didirikan untuk kaum milenial tersebut. Maskapai yang mengandalkan warna khaki sebagai warna utama maskapai. Warna itu menjadikan penampilan pesawat begitu elegan. Tentu warna dasar itu juga tersemat sebagai warna seragam air crew yang lebih memilih menggunakan jenis seragam taktikal casual.

Penerbangan ketigaku selama pandemi.
Air crewnya keren seragamnya.
Meninggalkan Cengkareng.
Cantiknya langit selama penerbangan.
Mendekati Palembang.

Memasuki kabin pesawat, aku bergegas mencari bangku bernomor 29F, posisi window seat yang memungkinkan bagiku untuk leluasa mengambil gambar selama penerbangan. Begitulah keuntungan utama ketika kita memesan tiket penerbangan di seluruh maskapai yang tergabung dengan Lion Group, dimana para calon penumpang bisa memilih kursi ketika melakukan online check-in tanpa biaya tambahan.

Penerbangan Super Air Jet IU 872 sendiri adalah penerbangan dari Jakarta menuju Palembang dengan waktu tempuh sekitar 44 menit dan rentang jelajah 420 kilometer. Adapun ketinggian terbangnya adalah 28.000 feet dan kecepatan maksmial 820 km/jam.

Penerbanganku ke Palembang kali berjalan dengan mulus dan minim turbulensi sehingga memberikan kesan yang cukup baik terhadap penerbangan pertamaku bersama Super Air Jet.

Aku sudah tak sabar untuk segera mendarat di Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport demi mengeksplorasi Kota Palembang….

Sebagai alternatif, tiket pesawat dari Jakarta ke Palembang bisa dicari di 12Go atau link berikut: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Menuju Terminal 2D Soetta

Sehari sebelum keberangkatan….

Matahari mulai lengser dari titik tertingginya, aku sedang berada di daerah Bintaro untuk bertemu salah seorang klien perusahaan. Pada saat itulah, aku mampir sejenak mengunjungi sebuah perusahaan farmasi ternama untuk melakukan tes antigen. Was-was berharap, akhirnya aku mendapatkan hasilnya setengah jam kemudian melalui pesan whatsapp sembari menyeruput arabica di sebuah kedai kopi.

“Yes….Negatif”, hatiku berseru, kedua tanganku mengepal pertanda sebuah keberhasilan. “Welcome, Palembang”, aku pun segera menyeruput habis kopiku.

—-****—-

Keesokan paginya….

Aku terbangun oleh dering alarm tepat pukul empat pagi, untuk kemudian berbasuh, lalu berlanjut dengan memasak telur mata sapi untuk menjadi menu sarapanku. Aku bisa sedikit bersantai karena telah melakukan packing pada malam hari sebelum terlelap.

Akhirnya hantaran ojek online membuatku tiba di Shelter Bus DAMRI Kampung Rambutan tepat waktu.

Tepat setengah jam sebelum keberangkatan bus di pukul enam pagi, aku segera beranjak ke dalam kabin bus, mengambil tempat duduk di bagian tengah, lalu berfokus untuk mencari penginapan melalui sebuah aplikasi e-commerce penginapan langgananku. Setelah menelusuri secara online beberapa penginapan di Palembang, akhirnya aku memilih untuk menginap di daerah Siring Agung. Bersyukur aku mendapatkan penginapan dengan harga sangat terjangkau, cukup membayar dengan kartu kredit sebesar Rp. 105.000/malam saja untuk petualangan 3D2N ku di “Bumi Sriwijaya”.

Pening karena menatap smartphone selama hampir setengah jam di dalam bus yang sedang melaju di jalan bebas hambatan, maka aku memaksa diri untuk memejamkan mata. Sementara bus DAMRI yang kunaiki secara konsisten melahap Tol Lingkar Luar Barat menuju bandara.

Dan mataku kembali terbuka ketika bus berhenti di depan Hotel Ibis Budget Jakarta Airport. Seperti biasa, seorang checker dan timer menaiki bus dan menghitung jumlah penumpangnya. Selesai dengan urusan pengecekan, bus pun berlanjut bergerak demi menuju Terminal 3 Ultimate untuk menurunkan penumpang.

Seusainya, bus perlahan memasuki Terminal 1 dan berlanjut menuju ke Terminal 2. Maka turunlah aku di Terminal 2D, menyesuaikan penerbangan Super Air Jet IU 872 yang akan diterbangkan dari Gate D7.

Hampir pukul tujuh….

Aku tiba di depan Domestic Departures Hall 3. Mengingat penerbanganku masih berada di masa pandemi, maka aku pun bergegas menuju ke dalam bangunan bandara. Ada prosedur pemeriksaan kelayakan penerbangan yang harus kulakukan dan terkadang pemeriksaan itu harus melewati antrian super panjang. Tentu aku tak mau terlambat dalam mengejar boarding time penerbanganku yang pagi itu tinggal berjarak satu setengah jam saja.

Aku mengantri di area mesin validasi yang memiliki empat lajur antrian. Mengambil lajur antrian paling kiri, maka aku harus bersabar hingga menunggu giliranku untuk melakukan validasi tiba.

Bus DAMRI Kampung Rambutan-Soetta
Bersiap untuk berpetualang.
Tiba di Terminal 2D.
Mengantri untuk mendapatkan validasi kelayakan terbang,
yuk berburu boarding pass!

Dalam sepuluh menit, akhirnya waktu itu tiba. Aku memasukkan Nama dan Nomor NIK pada mesin validasi dan akhirnya aku mendapatkan validasi layak terbang. Aku hanya perlu memfoto validasi itu dengan smartpohone yang nantinya akan kutunjukkan kepada ground staff saat melakukan check-in.

Okay….

Saatnya menuju check-in desk…..

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Al Wadi Al Kabeer Park: Kuda sebagai Pusat Perhatian

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Tubuhku remuk redam, hampir dari dua hari sebelumnya aku menghabiskan waktu di jalanan dan perjalanan. Otomatis fatigue segenap otot membuatku cepat terlelap dan akhirnya lambat terbangun di pagi itu. Beruntung aku masih bisa menyempatkan diri untuk menjalankan Shalat Subuh, walaupun setelahnya aku kembali terlelap di kasur empuk OYO 117 Majestic Hotel.

Pukul sepuluh pagi aku terbangun kembali dari tidur lelap….

Kemudian, aku pun berlama-lama menikmati siraman air panas di shower kamar mandi, membiarkan otot-otot betisku mendapatkan relaksasi karena aku baru akan mendapatkan kamar hotel kembali di keesokan malam ketika aku memasuki Kota Manama, Bahrain.

Setelah sadar bahwa aku berada di bawah shower lebih dari setengah jam, maka aku pun segera menyudahi mandi pagi dan mulai bersiap diri untuk melakukan eksplorasi di waktu tersisa. Aku mulai mengemasi semua barang dan perlengkapan ke dalam backpack biruku, untuk kemudian mulai meninggalkan kamar hotel.

Can me put my backpack here?. I will take it on 5 pm”, aku meminta tolong kepada resepsionis pria yang sehari sebelumnya menerima kedatanganku.

Sure, you can put your backpack”, dia pun menerima backpackku dan menaruhnya di salah satu titik ruang resepsionis.

Aku pun mulai pergi meninggalkan hotel. Kali ini tujuan pertamaku adalah mencari sarapan. Tentu aku menuju kedai khas Bangladesh yang telah menjadi langgananku semenjak tiba di Muscat. Kedai itu hanya berjarak seratus meter dari hotel, sehingga dengan cepat aku mencapainya.

Pagi itu aku mencicipi menu baru, tidak lagi nasi seperti hari-hari sebelumnya, kini aku mencicipi dua potong Chappatti yang dibanderol seharga 100 Baisa.

Tak perlu waktu lama untuk bersarapan. Aku pun segera beranjak menuju selatan, menelusuri jalanan di sisi kanan hotel tempatku menginap. Maka dalam jarak tempuh setengah kilometer, maka aku mulai merapat di An Nuzhah Street.

An Nuzhah Street adalah jalan raya yang memiliki lebar tak kurang dari lima puluh meter, sedangkan di bagian tengahnya tampak membentang wadi (jalur air yang biasanya hanya dilewati air pada musim penghujan). Wadi itu telah di beton memanjang menyesuaikan kontur jalan.

Aku terus melangkah ke selatan hingga kemudian berhenti di sebuah gerbang besar berwarna cokelat.

“Muntazah Al Wadii Al Kabiir”, aksara Arab itu dengan jelas kubaca.

Taman Al Wadi Al Kabiir”, aku bergumam mengartikan aksara itu.

Seketika aku sangat berniat memasukinya.

Membaca dua belas larangan utama ketika beraktivitas di dalam taman, aku mencoba mengingat beberapa aturan taman yang jarang kutemukan di taman-taman lain, beberapa peraturan yang tertera di papan berbahan besi itu adalah larangan menghisap shisha, membawa sepeda dan kendaraan, memetik bunga, dan melakukan aktivitas barbeque.

Begitu memasukinya, aku mencoba mengamati taman dari ujung ke ujung, membayangkan bentuk aslinya. Sekilas taman itu berbentuk heksagon, seperti layang-layang dan memiliki luasan berkisar empat hektar.

An Nuzhah Street.
Layout taman.
Taman yang artistik.
Kids Playground.
Mau naik kuda?

Taman itu tampak indah karena tepat berada di kaki perbukitan berbatu. Nuansa komersial juga tampak menyelimuti taman, karena di beberapa titik strategisnya, terpasang beberapa papan iklan yang menjadi bagian bisnis dari JCDecaux.

JCDecaux sendiri adalah perusahaan periklanan multinasional terbesar di dunia yang berbasis di Neauilly-sur-Seine, Prancis.

Taman ini terasa istimewa dengan keberadaan kedai kopi di pusatnya dan tersedianya kids playground di sisi lainnya. Sementara itu, pohon palem tetap menjadi vegetasi utama di dalamnya seperti kekhasan taman-taman di seluruh negara di Kawasan Timur Tengah.

Dan kunjungan di Al Wadi Al Kabeer Park kuakhiri dengan dengan menikmati pemandangan unik dengan keberadaan seekor kuda yang rupanya menjadi properti taman. Rupanya kuda tersebut menjadi daya tarik bagi penduduk lokal untuk mengunjungi taman tersebut.

Baru kali ini aku melihat taman ada kudanya….Wkwkwkwk.

Kisah Selanjutnya—->