Dari Hotel Sri Indrayani Petualangan Bermula

Aku masih saja tak bergeming dengan tawaran para sopir taksi, sementara para penumpang Bus INTRA yang lain lebih memilih menggunakan jasa taksi menuju tujuan akhirnya di Pekanbaru.

Beberapa waktu kemudian, dari seberang jalan, pengemudi ojek online melambaikan tangan kepadaku. Tentu dia tahu, aku memakai jaket biru dengan backpack berwarna sama. Aku telah mengirimkan deskripsi itu kepadanya lewat pesan dalam aplikasi.

Asli sini, Bang?”, tanyaku di jok belakang,

Bukan, aku asal Padang, Bang. Mas asli Jawa ya? Suaranya medok banget”, jawabnya balik bertanya

Aku mbiyen kuliah ning Jogja, mas. Sampeyan Jowone ngendi?”, belum juga kujawab, sudah bertanya lagi.

Aku asli Solo, Bang. Orang sini baik-baik kan, Bang?”, aku mulai penasaran.

Warga Pekanbaru kebanyakan perantau Padang, Bang. Tenang, abang kemana aja aman”, ucapnya menenangkan.

Dari artikel yang kubaca setelahnya, memang benar 40% warga kota Pekanbaru adalah para perantau asli Minang. Memang hebat orang Minang ini dalam urusan merantau.

Belum juga pukul 10 pagi, aku tiba.

Hotel bintang tiga yang kupesan melalui Airy Rooms tepat sembilan hari sebelum kedatanganku di Pekanbaru ini hanya berharga Rp. 81.000 per malamnya. Murah, kan?

Aku sengaja memilih tinggal di daerah Senapelan hanya untuk menapak tilas kejayaan Kesultanan Siak Sri Indrapura. Melihat aktivitas perekonomian warga kota, mengingat nama Pekanbaru berasal dari kata Pekan Baharu yaitu sebuah pasar yang dirintis oleh Raja Muda Tengku Muhammad Ali, Sultan Siak ke-5. Boleh dikatakan bahwa daerah Senapelan adalah cikal bakal terbentuknya Kota Pekanbaru yang terlahir sebagai dampak positif berkembangnya ekonomi Kesultanan.

Halaman depan hotel yang berada di tepian Jalan Sam Ratulangi.

Merasa datang terlalu pagi, aku mencoba peruntungan di depan meja resepsionis. Barangkali mereka bisa memasukkanku lebih cepat untuk beristirahat di kamar.

Kamar belum siap, Bang. Abang tunggu aja ya di lobby sampai jam 1”, ungkap pemuda berseragam rapi yang bertugas.

Oh baik, bang. Saya titip backpack saja ya. Saya lebih baik keliling kota dulu, nanti balik lagi pas sudah bisa check-in”, ujarku membalas.

“Oh, boleh bang. Taruh sini saja”, Dia meminta backpack untuk ditaruhnya dibelakang meja.

Bang, ada colokan listrik buat ngecharge HP?”, permintaanku kepadanya

Oh colokan ada di restoran di sebelah kanan lobby. Masuk aja, Bang!”, telunjukknya mengarah pada sebuah pintu.

Meluruskan pinggang sebentar di lobby, aku masih saja menatap bentuk ruang resepsionis yang autentik, kuning emas mendominasi. Tiga atap dengan tiga selembayung di ujungnya. berbentuk tangan menengadah perlambang hubungan erat antara makhluk hidup dan Sang Pencipta.

Selain selembayung, motif layaknya songket khas melayu sangat mempercantik ruangan.

Selepas daya kameraku terisi maka untuk memanfaatkan waktu sembari menunggu waktu check-in, aku mulai menelusuri beberapa jejak Kesultanan Siak yang terepresentasi jelas di sepanjang Sungai Siak, Rumah Singgah Tuan Kadi dan Masjid Raya Nur Alam.

Memasuki twin bed room pada pukul 2 siang.
Kamar hotel yang murah namun mewah bagiku.

Hotel Sri Indrayani awalnya adalah mess yang disewa oleh sebuah maskapai penerbangan untuk para air crewnya sejak 1971. Seiring berkembangnya Pekanbaru, wisma ini menyempurnakan diri dengan bertransformasi menjadi hotel syariah terkemuka di Pekanbaru pada masa perkembangan kota. Letaknya yang berseberangan jalan dengan Kawasan Pecinan juga membuat perkembangan hotel ini berlangsung sangat cepat pada masanya.

Akhirnya menemukan air hangat setelah 38 jam tak mandi.
Taman di belakang hotel berbatasan dengan Jalan Bangka.

Dari hotel Sri Indrayani inilah petualangan mengeksplore Pekanbaru bermula. Saatnya berkeliling kota mengenal Ibukota Provinsi Riau ini.

Local Endemic on Jenderal Sudirman Street, Pekanbaru

Ikan Selais Tiga Sepadan Monument.

Is “Ikan Selais Tiga Sepadan” Monument, the first icon which I met on Jenderal Sudirman Street. It is caused by this monument which is the closest spot to Putri Kaca Mayang Park. Depiction of community harmony which is symbolized by harmony of three Selais fish sculptures which are endemic animal in Pekanbaru.

As should be a protocol road, then Jenderal Sudirman Street has a superior charm with architecture distribution of modern buildings. Not so hard to find some iconic buildings with typical architecture along this street. This protocol road stretches about 7.5 kilometers in distance, starting from Siak IV Bridge at north end and ending at Gurindam 3 Police Station at southern end.

Enchantment of Jenderal Sudirman Street which looks Islamic with Al Asma Ul Husna signboards.

A building which looks quite striking is regional library building which is at street number 462, known as Soeman HS Library.

Soeman HS is a national poet of “Angkatan Pujangga Baru (1933-1942 Indonesian poet era)” who is so phenomenal.

While 700 meters to north of library lies Point 0 Km Pekanbaru, which is marked by Zapin monument, which is a monument with a malay women pattern and is right in middle of T-junction roundabout. While on street west side, there is a building known as “Menara Lancang Kuning“. Owned by Riau Provincial Government, this nine-story building functions as a joint office.

Menara Lancang Kuning.

12 years old, this building has a Sky Garden on top floor. Freely opened to local residents who want to relax and enjoy beautiful views of city from various sides.

My visitation that afternoon was enlivened by spill of a religious mass organization which was protesting in front of Governor’s Office. It seems they are protesting against state’s decision to dissolve this organization.

Therefore, I couldn’t freely enjoy charm of Zapin Monument uniqueness which its surrounding area was tightly closed by demonstrators presence.

Couldn’t step farther.

While on north side of Menara Lancang Kuning, there is an iconic building with typical Malay architecture. That is office of Riau Province Governor, a three-layer front-roofed building with “Selembayung” on each top and has upturned arches on front window. While just to its left is Riau Governor Office Mosque with a net-pattern metallic brown dome.

Quite spacious office

Back to south, before closing exploration in Pekanbaru, I found Bank Indonesia building. Unlike most Bank Indonesia building in other big cities which often use former Dutch buildings, Pekanbaru Bank Indonesia Building looks more like a modern building. Maybe, this is because Pekanbaru is a city which is actively developing, so every important building which is owned by the city is always completely new.

Bank Indonesia building is hiding behind trees shade.

My step this time will be the last step in my visitation in Pekanbaru, because next day I will leave for Bukittinggi.

It was time to go back to hotel and rest.

Goodbye Pekanbaru, welcome to Bukittinggi.

A pair of Bono in Tunjuk Ajar Integritas Park

Failed to check-in sooner, I decided to explore Senapelan area for next three or four hours, an area where Sultanate of Siak Sri Indrapura had reached its golden age. I tried to trace sultanate history by visiting its legacies which enduring until now.

For that reason, I went to Siak River which is famous and legendary in my country. Just imagine!, Siak River was once be the deepest river in Indonesia.

Chinatown on Dr. Leimena Street was still quiet that morning, only one or two cars passed. I turned left when I started cutting Ir. H. Juanda Street and then found a green area which seemed to be acquiring a junction area which is bounded by Riau Street and Jend. Ahmad Yani Street. Not far away, I estimate about half a kilometer north of my hotel.

To right: Ir. H. Juanda Street, straight: Jend. Ahmad Yani Street and to left: Riau Street

A park which covering an area of two times football fields is like many city parks in Jakarta. Exhibiting a name board and providing sidewalks as a barrier between main road and park area.

Here it is the park name.

Tunjuk Ajar Interigitas Green Open Space is a famous playground spot in Pekanbaru and is a favorite park for residents who live in Senapelan area.

Inevitably, even in the heat of day, there were still some small families who bring their children to the park and did some activities in sand playing area which is equipped with a swing seats, kids up-down stairs and kids slides.

While some park cleaners in a light-green long t-shirts looked busy in pulling weeds, watering plants and sweeping every park corner. The park is vast, but its cleanliness can’t be doubted.

Occupying a former office of Public Works Service, USD 600,000 of funds which is invested in park construction are reflected in spacious area and complete facilities which is provided in park.

In four corners of park are provided a concrete canopy with a mushroom-shaped roof and a canopy is right in the middle of park with a Malay roof and ornamented selembayung.

In left side, there is a circular open space which is arranged like a theater complete with a three-levels podium. Some young people seemed to sit in a canopy and holding their own skateboards. While owner of a battery-powered toy car appeared to arrange his rental toys in a shady area.

Jogging track splits the park.
Multifunctional open area.

Tunjuk Ajar” which means “Giving an Example” and “Integritas” which represents a “Leadership Attitude“, is sufficient to explain that this park is a vehicle for modeling integrity in community leadership. This meaning is emphasized by an existence of a monument at one side of park.

Integrity Monument.

Built and owned by Riau Provincial Government, this park is dedicated to corruption resistance program in regional government.

The Integrity Monument features Kampar River’s Bono and Rokan River’s Bono as well as Malay keris. Bono refers to a wave which is formed at both of Kampar and Rokan River estuary as a result of the meeting of fresh water which is leading to sea and seawater which headed ashore. While Malay keris describes a process of establishing integrity at all levels of society.

No loss too, stopped by in a park which I accidentally found before reaching Siak River banks.

From Sri Indrayani Hotel….The Adventure was Began

I still didn’t budge with an offer of taxi drivers, while other INTRA Bus passengers preferred to use taxi services towards their final destination in Pekanbaru.

Several time later, from across the street, an online motorcycle taxi driver waved to me. Of course he knew, I was wearing a blue jacket with same color backpack. I had sent a description to him via message in application.

Are you originally from here, Sir?” I asked in back seat.

No, I’m from Padang, Sir. Are you from Java? your accent is typical“, he answered and asked.

I ever studied in a college at Yogyakarta, Sir. Which Java are you from?“, I didn’t have answered yet, He had asked again.

I’m originally from Solo, Sir. Are local residents nice, Sir?”, I began to wonder.

Most of Pekanbaru residents are from Padang, Sir. Calm down, Sir, anywhere is safe“, he soothingly said .

From an article I read afterwards, it’s true that 40% of Pekanbaru residents are Minang native migrants. Indeed, Minang people are great in odyssey

Not even 10 o’clock in the morning, I arrived.

The three-star hotel which I booked through Airy Rooms exactly on nine days before my arrival in Pekanbaru was only USD 6 per night. Cheap, right?

I deliberately chose to stay in Senapelan area just to tracing the glory of Siak Sri Indrapura Sultanate. Looking at economic activities of city residents, remembering that the name of Pekanbaru came from words of Pekan Baharu, a market which was pioneered by Young Sultan named Tengku Muhammad Ali, the 5th Siak Sultan. It can be said that Senapelan area was the forerunner to the formation of Pekanbaru City which was born as a positive impact from Sultanate economic development.

Hotel front yard is on an edge of Sam Ratulangi Street.

Coming too early, I tried my luck in front of reception desk. Maybe they could put me faster to rest in hotel room.

The room isn’t ready, Sir. Just wait in our lobby until 13 o’clock”, young staff on duty said in neat uniform.

Oh well, Sir. Can I put my backpack here. I better go around the city first, then come back when I can check-in“, I replied.

Oh sure, sir. Just put it here“, he asked my backpack to put behind the table.

Sir, is there a power outlet to recharge my handphone?“, I asked him

Oh, the plug is in hotel’s restaurant at right of the lobby. Just go in, Sir!“, His index finger pointed at a door.

Straightening my waist for a while in the lobby, I was still staring at the authentic reception room, golden yellow dominated. Three roofs with three selembayung at the end. praying hand shape symbolizes the close relationship between living things and God.

In addition to selembayung, motifs like a Malay songket is beautify the room.

After my camera and handphone was charged, to take advantage my time while waiting for check-in, I began to explore some traces of Siak Sultanate which were clearly represented along Siak River, Tuan Kadi’s Halfway House and Nur Alam Grand Mosque

Entering twin bed room at 2 pm.
Cheap but luxurious hotel room for me.

Sri Indrayani Hotel was originally a guesthouse which was rented by an airline for its air crew since 1971. Along with Pekanbaru development, this guesthouse perfected itself by transforming into a leading shariah hotel in Pekanbaru during the city’s development. Its location which opposite the Chinatown also made hotel development was quickly its time.

Finally, I found warm water after didn’t bathing for 38 hours.
The park behind hotel is bordered by Bangka Street.

From Sri Indrayani Hotel, my adventure to exploring Pekanbaru was began. It was time to got around the city and got to know about the capital of Riau Province.