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

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

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

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

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

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

“You will go home and sick, Donny”

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

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

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

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

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

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

—-****—-

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

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

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

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

Immigration Officer: “Where do you go?

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

Immigration Officer : “Backpacker?”

Me                           : “Yes sir”

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

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

Immigration Officer : “You are great“.

Yuhuuu…..I’m great like he said

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me     :  “Oh Nice”.

He       : “What are you doing here? “.

Me     :  “My profession, your mean?”.

He       :  “yeaaa”

Me     :  “Sales”.

He       :  “Good money?”

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

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

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

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

Airbus A320-200 with a capacity about 186 passengers.

Exactly on 19:17 hours, I started boarding.

Behind korean-american girl.

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

Cabin.

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

Ipoh in Travel360 inflight magazine.
Basic information about Penang.

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

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

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

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

Come on…Got ready to go to Penang tomorrow.

Exploring Penang Sentral

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

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

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

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

Yessss … that’s Penang Sentral appearance.

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

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

—–****—–

This is my story of exploring Penang Central.…

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

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

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

FLOOR 1

Starting from this hall:

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

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

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

FLOOR 2

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

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

So….What are you looking for?

  1. Bus Ticketing Counter.

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

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

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

2. Information Centre

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

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

3. Ferry Terminal.

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

Linkway to Ferry Terminal.

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

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

4. Shopping Counter.

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

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

5. Eatery

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

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

6. Butterworth Station.

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

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

Lift is at end of 2nd
floor.

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

Front corridor appearance.

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

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

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

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

Bus from KLIA2 to Penang

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

You are great, Donny….

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll give you some choices,

Alternative 1. Using ETS (Electric Train Service)

Cost which be spent if you use ETS:

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

Overall fares = USD 24,3

Alternatif 2. Using Bus

Cost which be spent if you use bus:

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

Overall fares = USD 14,4

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

—-****—-

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

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

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

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

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

Yessss….

Eat….Done….

Ticket….Done….

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

—-****—-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OK, let’s continue my story….

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

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

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

Perak State which is very beauty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tourist Attraction in Ipoh, Malaysia

Ipoh….Capital City of Perak State is located 200 km north of Kuala Lumpur. The city that have a nicknamed as Bougenville City isn’t as busy as Penang or even Kuala Lumpur, but believes in me that this city will give a different side of exoticism because the location of this city is fortified with beautiful hills.

The time was 16:17. So after checking in and putting my backpack at Abby by the River Hotel, I decided to spend my first day in Ipoh by visiting the downtown.

Abby by the River Hotel where I stayed during visiting Ipoh

Abby by the River Hotel is quite good in providing tourism information with a special spot in the lobby corner which provides many Ipoh tourism leaflets. After 15 minutes of reading the information, I concluded that the selling point in the downtown is an Old Town landmark which is a relic of British colonialism on 19th century.

Didn’t need long time to thinking, I immediately left the hotel to go to downtown. Along Sultan Iskandar street which is the protocol street in Ipoh, immediately the frenzied in my mind was vanished without traces. Don’t compare Ipoh with Jakarta (capital city of Indonesia), because this city is different than metropolis like Jakarta. You will feel as the owner of this city because of its silence.

Kinta River splits beautifully on Sultan Iskandar street

1. Hugh Low Bridge.

This bridge was built to connect Sultan Iskandar street which crosses Kinta River.

Drizzle makes me colder to enjoy Kinta river from this bridge

Stopping for a moment on the bridge, I observed activities of some Ipoh residents who were fishing in several spots of Kinta River

2. Ipoh River Front Park

When I crossed Kinta River, I was immediately found a vast city park. It is famous park which has a name as Ipoh River Front Park.

This vast city park has a pool, a fountain and food stalls inside. Being a comfortable place for refreshing.

250 m walked down along Sultan Iskandar street, then I turned right and continued walking along shopping complex on Bijeh Timah street.

Meeting European tourist spouse and Malaysian tourist family didn’t made me feel alone in this city. My hunger became more and more at the end of this street because of this line of food stalls:

This is one of three street food stalls that I met that afternoon

Didn’t want to lose a lot of time for just eat here, I prefer decided to chew my biscuits which I bought on Penang Sentral that afternoon while continuing to walk down the beauty of Ipoh.

3. Ipoh Mural Art

Then….turned left at the end of Bijeh Timah street, I found some mural paintings like the famous ones in Penang.

You must be observant and patient in looking for these mural because some of their locations are hidden. That afternoon I played hide and seek with Ipoh City to find its beauty.

4. HSBC Bank Building

The sun at the dusk on that time made every scene that I saw was very special. also this HSBC Bank Building. The building that built on 1931 is part of Ipoh Heritage Trail

5. Padang Ipoh

Historically, This field was used as a place for the royal officials of Ipoh to honor the Kingdom of Japan during its time.

Here, I finally found residents of Ipoh who doing their activities. From teenagers who play soccer until small families who bring their children to just play and eat together in this field.

6. Ipoh Tourist Information Centre

Hiddenly located at the end of a dead-end street (Bandar street), I insisted on visiting it to get as much information as possible to explore Ipoh next day.

7. Ipoh Town Hall

This building which built on 1916 was originally main administrative office of Ipoh. But now, it’s been used for space functions such as weddings and general events.

8. Cenotaph War Memorial

Used to commemorate them who were killed and injured in the state war and its use was inaugurated in 1927.

9. Perak State’s Police Headquarters

This is Headquarters of Perak Royal Malaysia Police. I actually didn’t dare to take photo of this building. But, because my camera shooting habbit was over finally I captured this building as fast as possible.

10. Sultan Idris Shah II Mosque

I closed my steps that afternoon by praying maghrib at Perak State’s mosque. The resident friendliness was felt when I pray. Warm smile that accompanied their handshake made me feel like I was in my own country.

Malaysia has indeed became my second home because of its cultural resemblance.

It was time to leave downtown and got close to hotel because the situation is very quiet on that night.

Do you dare to walk alone in silence night of Ipoh ?.…pounding but easy-cool.… try it !

The silence of Ipoh made me a little struggling in finding dinner. Although I finally found a bowl of Curry Noodle for USD 1 at Daud Mat Jasak Noodle Stall where was located on Dato Onn Jaafar street in “Kampung Jawa” area.

After satisfied, I immediately decided to back into hotel to take a warm bath and rest. Get ready to explore Ipoh tomorrow.

This is a room for USD 5/ night where I rest

Bus from Penang to Ipoh, Malaysia

Arriving at Penang Sentral (integrated building of bus terminal, train station and ferry terminal in Penang) after a 7 hours 32 minutes journey from Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2 (KLIA 2) by “Star Mart Express” bus, I rushed towards Butterworth Train Station for buy a Electric Train Service (ETS) ticket to Ipoh for departure on 2 days after my arrival in Penang.

My desire to try ETS train service disappeared because tickets were already sold out.

Fine.…”trip by bus again”, my heart murmured.

Finally I returned to Penang Sentral Level 2 to find a bus ticket. A little worry, because if the bus tickets sold out, my plan to set foot in Ipoh for first time could fail.

If I failed to get a bus ticket to Ipoh then I would apply plan B i.e extended my visit in Penang and then returned to Kuala Lumpur to catch my Malindo Air flight to Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Yes….I got the ticket.

All you need to know that Penang Sentral provides two ways to buy bus tickets from Penang to Ipoh.

First, you can directly buy it at Bus Ticketing Counter on 2nd floor. Here is situation of counter:

Second, if you want more faster, you can buy it at Kiosk Self Ticketing. Located on 2nd floor too, this is it….the Kiosk machine:

I chose “Perak Transit” bus as my transportation towards Ipoh city. Bus fares about USD 5,20 was enough to save my budget in the beginning of my long journey.

In the day after tomorrow, after explored Penang for two days, finally my trip to Ipoh began. One hour before departure time, passengers permitted to entering Penang Sentral bus platform that located in 1st floor. I sat near Gate 3 according to the ticket and waiting for the bus to arrived.

After waiting for 16 minutes, finally “Perak Transit” bus arrived and standby on platform B09

Bus departed on time on 2 pm.

140 km trip to Ipoh needed time about 1 hour 49 minutes. Passing through pretty impressive views.

I repeated this views twice, because my trip from KLIA 2 to Penang on two days earlier also passed through same roads.

The bus took one toilet break on this trip at a place where I couldn’t detect where it was.

On 3:49 am finally the bus arrived at Amanjaya Bus Terminal. This is the intercity bus terminal in Ipoh.

Entering Amanjaya Terminal, I was very impatient to immediately head towards Medan Kidd Bus Terminal that located in downtown. Medan Kidd Bus Terminal is one of many accesses to entering Ipoh.

Ipoh, which I’ve only heard through backpacker stories and articles in internet, finally I was allowed to set foot in this city after travel for eight years as a backpacker.

What excitement did I get during my journey in Ipoh?

Patient and wait for my next article, guys.…

Oh, yes. Here’s another alternative to buying online ticket from Penang to Ipoh, which is in 12go Asia at following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832