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Weekend getaway to Bandung

Akhirnya setelah sebulan sejak ide tercetus, perjalanan ke bandung sama Ayay dan Estu terealisasi. Berawal dari kupon diskon sebuah hotel di bandung berlanjut menjadi wisata santai.

Berangkat dari Jakarta jam setengah 7 pagi yang kemudian dilanjutkan dengan beristirahat di rest area km 39 cipularang, akhirnya jam 10 kita sampe di bandung. Seperti biasa, kota ini kalau sudah weekend pasti macet. Tapi ya mau gimana lagi… jalanin saja ^__^.

Destinasi pertama adalah Warung Kopi Purnama di Jl. Alkateri no. 2, Bandung. Good food, relaxing but no A/C. Lumayan enaklah…

Spending some time di Purnama, next destination is checking in to the hotel….

After checking in, next kita siap-siap buat ke Lawang Wangi. Great place to visit but can’t stand the windy weather if you’re siting outside

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First Timer in Hong Kong & Macau

Wednesday 18-Sep-2013

After my last stamp on my passport in December 2012, here I am again on the immigration check. Yay finally a new stamp in September 2013.

Right now we’re on our way to Hong Kong. First time traveling with my sister just the two of us. It all began when my sister requested a long haul flight abroad. Hmm long haul flight but short term of vacation, Hong Kong is the only place i can think of. No visa needed, overseas and still in Asia and plus… a 6 hours flight.

Ohh!! And I’ve never been to Hong Kong before LOL! So this will be like a new adventure for me…

As usual I was hunting for a budget airline.. well at first i was hunting for GA airline, it was $ 375 for return ticket in November. I heard November and December has the best weather in HK but then again cheap price beats good weather. I got a $ 250 return ticket with AA. Bye bye GA… see you next flight hahaha…

Next will be accommodation hunting. Hmm… many hotel rooms in HK charged high price. Hostel not as cheap as it was in Seoul too. Oh gosh, i need cheap accommodation. I prefer spending my money to shop since HK known as the shopping heaven…

Think… Think…

Then I remembered that I have a friend who just move in to HK. So I texted her and asking her permission to sleep over at her apartment during our visit. She said if it was only the two of us there won’t be a problem. But if i traveled with more people she can’t provide place to sleep. Yes!! So we’re getting a free accommodation hooraaayyyy! Thank you Ms.NT…

(written @ AK 1381 – 29F)

Arrived at Sepang, transferred to gate T8 for next departure to HK. Our flight was AK 1658, boarded at 13.55 (malaysia’s local time). ¬†Got a seat at 21F. As soon as we take off, the steward gave us our pre-booked meals, then after that we’re taking a nap. 4 hours flight remain…. zzzZzZZzz….

Finally touchdown at Hong Kong International Airport. After passing the immigration desk we headed to the belt to get our luggage. Then i went out and buy 2 tickets of Hong Kong Airport Express. This ticket cost us HKD 300 each. We can use this ticket as return ticket from Airport – Hong Kong station – Airport and as 3-days pass for MTR. After that I top up my (friend’s) Octopus card for HKD 100. I will be using this card for bus fares and shopping. Octopus Card is a ‘must have’ card during your visit to Hong Kong. After getting transportation tickets we’re going to Terminal 2 for Disneyland store. If you’re planning on going to Disneyland you better get your tickets here. It will cost you HKD 450 each. And if you’re buying more than 1 ticket you’ll get yourself a free merchandise (this what you can’t get anywhere else). Next simcard for our mobile phones. I’m getting a one2free simcard that cost us HKD 88 each. Subscribing to 7-days mobile broadband data that will deduct HKD 78 from your balance. I ‘m using it for my Samsung S3 phone. This is very useful for communication, updating social media and reading maps so you won’t get lost! A very good deal!!

After that we’re going towards the train (Airport Express) that wil take us to Hong Kong station. As soon as we board on the train, I texted my friend and she tell us to wait in some place to meet her. After meeting her we’re having dinner in a Japanese restaurant. Great sushi they had! After feeling full, then she took us to her apartment in Kennedy Town area. We headed to her apartment by bus. What i love about Hong Kong is their easy and friendly public transportation. They have MTR, buses, trams, taxi. Your choice ūüôā

Arriving at her place, I wowed at the very first impression, what a clean and neat apartment she lived.. we are blessed. I fell in love with the location and the apartment itself since day-1. And not to mention… frew wi-fi ^__^ a perfect place for my next 4 days! As soon as we’re arriving, we took a bath and slept all through the night.

Goodnight from Skyla Apt.

 

Thursday 19-Sep-2013 

We woke up¬†at 7 AM. While my friend was getting ready to get to work, we’re getting ready for Disneyland. Yes, we put Disneyland on working day because we wanted to avoid weekend crowdness. The direction to get to Disneyland is you have to take Tung Chung Line on MTR, get down in Sunny Bay station then continue your journey with Disneyland Resort line. There’s this special train to Disneyland that is so Mickey Mousey, you will find it soooo cute! I love this train, i know you will too… trust me!

Get off at the station then heading to the entrance gate. Thankfully we’ve already got our ticket as i saw a lon queue at the ticket counter. All prices in the Disneyland is very very expensive. From drinks to souvenirs. A price for a bottle of water is HKD 22 (while the actual price outside Disneyland is HKD 10). LOL!! So bring as much cash as you can during your visit to Disneyland Hong Kong. This is my 2nd experience visiting Disneyland, my 1st time was Disneyland Paris. All I can say is… the Paris one felt more Disney with their Mickey Mouse family while in Hong Kong less Mickey…. But still worth it to visit. Especially when you’ve never been to Disneyland. Overall, me and my sister had a lot of fun in Disneyland!

Next we’re going to IKEA store in Causeway Bay area. Get on a train that will take you to Causeway Bay station and choose exit E for Park Lane Hotel / Victoria Park. The IKEA store is located next to the hotel. Not so big but if you like their furniture you should visit here. Beside IKEA you can find a loooottt of branded shops here. As for me i don’t really fond of visiting this area because it’s soooo crowded especially in the weekend. But this is a must visit area during your Hong Kong stay too. Especially when you love shopping….

After Causeway Bay our next destination is Ladies Market. The market is located in Mong Kok. Get off in Mong Kok station and choose exit E2. It’s a street market that sells various kind of things. You have to bargain your price here because they usually will give you a high opening price. Beside street market, you can also find various local shops around here. This has been a fun and tiring day, so after ladies market we headed home….

Goodnight from Skyla!

Friday 20-Sep-2013

Today is a public holiday in Hong Kong. A mid spring festival. So i believe today will be a very crowded day. Bring it on Hong Kong!!

Our first destination for today is The Peak and having a hop on-hop off bus tour. The bus from our apartment had a stop near te Pier 7 ferry terminal. This is where you can find ‘Big Bus’. I found riding this kind of bus is very useful when you have limited time staying in a country. This bus have 3 lanes (red, green and blue). If you want to be freely riding any bus lanes, the package price is HKD 380 per person. But if you’re only choosing one lane, it will cost you HKD 250 per person. This package include The Peak tram ticket and fast track. This is a very useful option if you’re planning on visiting The Peak during public holiday… because the queuing is super crazy!!!

At The Peak we’re entering Madame Tussaud wax museum. The admission fee is HKD 200 per person, but if you buy it online you can save 10% off. If you wanna buy it in the lower tram starting point get a package of Tram + Madame Tussaud + Sky Terrace for HKD 250. In the madame tussaud museum you can meet a clone of many artist and famous people. Fun!

After The Peak, we’re continuing journey with our ‘big bus’. Going around to Ocean Park but because of so many people going there we’re canceling our plan of visiting there. Then we’re going to the beach around repulse bay to see the sunset. So pretty… after that we went to Stanley Market for a while and them going back to the city.

After that we’re continuing our journey to the avenue of the stars. It’s in Tsim Tsa Shui, a bit long walk from the station to the venue. If you want to see the symphony of light of Hong Kong make sure you get there before¬†8pm¬†because the light starts¬†at 8pm.

After that we’re going to the Temple Night Street Market near Yau Ma Tei station. Not as many stores as in Mong Kok though.. but OK to visit.

After having a dinner we’re going back to the apartment. Hot and (again) a tiring day ūüôā

Wen an (good night) from Skyla

 

Saturday 21-Sep-13

Still battling inside our head whether to continue our adventure to Macau or not. Government warning of Typhoon Usagi heading to Hong Kong is one of the main reason why. But again i thought this will be a once in a lifetime moment. Therefore we decided to go. We went to Macau by ferry in ferry terminal Shun Tak Center. We’re getting a return ticket for HKD 356 by Turbo Jet. 45-60 minutes sailing then we’re finally arrived in Macau. Yay!!!

So this is what we’re going to do in Macau for 4.5 hours:

1. Grand Lisboa Hotel & Casino

2. Senado Square + Ruins St. Paul church

3. Pavillion de Giant Panda in Coloane

4. The Venetian resort & casino

OK.. this is our first time to Macau. And with so limited information we just headed optimistically… I know my traveling instinct will come put eventually.

After arriving in Macau Ferry terminal we’re going to the parking lot of free shuttle bus across the street. There are a lot of free shuttle bus but we choose the shuttle bus to Grand Lisboa. Why? Because it’s the nearest stopping near Senado Square. After arriving at Grand Lisboa we took some time going around the Casino and Hotel lobby. The building is so magnificent.. it’s huge.. After that we chose a way to go to Senado Square. A 10-15 minutes walk and you will see Senado Square on your right. Entering Senado square and then find a path to Ruin St. Paul church. Senado square was so crowded this afternoon. A lot of tourist went there. And if you happen to go to Macau you should try the egg tart… soooo delicious while it’s still hot. I love the arhitecture of Senado Square… feels so European. Another 10-20 minutes walk (include stopping at some stores) we’re finally arriving at the Ruins of St. Paul church. Took some pictures then we’re continuing our journey to the Panda pavillion on Coloane. This was special request from my sister. She wanted to see Panda in China :). I decided to took a taxi to Coloane for fastest route. It will cost you MOP 78 (=HKD 78) from Senado to Panda Pavilion. It’s like in the other island so it was far. To entering the Panda Pavilion you have to pay MOP 10 (=HKD 10) per person. And the Panda show time only¬†from 10 AM – 12 PM¬†and¬†2 PM – 5 PM. My sister was soooo happy and kept smiling after seeing the Panda. I don’t know she loves Panda that much :D.

The Panda Pavilion seems like in a desserted place where you can’t find taxi. So i was studying first of which bus can go to the Venetian from here. Aha! I found it! We have to take bus no. 21 A from the bus stop across the street. It will cost you MOP 5 (=HKD 5) per person to get you to The Venetian. The bus will stop in front of the Four Season Hotel, you have to walk 5-minutes towards the Venetian. As soon as we arrived at the Venetian we went inside the casino and then heading to the Grand Canal shoppe. It was a mall inside the Venetian and you will love the mini-Italy setup of the mall. You can also find the Gondola ride and the singing person on the boat like you can get in Venice, Italy. You can also view the sky-lookalike ceiling. Beautiful… love it! After that i went to the bakery which people said to be having the best egg tart in town. I bought 1 1/2 dozen. Each egg tart cost us MOP 8. I love the egg tart! Deliciooooo….

It was already¬†6.30pm¬†when i realized we have to get back to the ferry terminal. We have a ticket for¬†7.15 pm¬†ferry. OMG! Super Panic attack!!!! We then run to the West Lobby to get on to the free shuttle bus to Macau Ferry. It was a very long queue!!!!! More panic attack… all we can do is praying….

As soon as we get on the bus it was¬†6.45pm. Arrived at the ferry terminal¬†at 7.05pm¬†running to the gate and we finally made it on¬†7.10pm¬†at the boarding gate. Thanks God!!!!! It was a crazy and full of adventure day… phewww…

Arriving¬†at 8.20 pm, having dinner at Yoshinoya which cost us HKD 36 per person. Then we’re off to the IFC Mall, looking around at some stores then heading back to apartment. Tonight is our last night at Hong Kong… tomorrow we’ll be going back home to Jakarta.

After finishing packing and before we’re going to sleep we do monitoring the typhoon Usagi updates and the updates at HKIA official websites. Some flights are canceled but our flight still on schedule. We keep praying so that the flight won’t be canceled due to the typhoon.

Praying and going to sleep now…

 

Sunday 22-Sep-13

Wakes up¬†at 7AM, checking flight status.. still on schedule. Take a shower, eating breakfast, we’re saying goodbye to my friend and leaving her apartment¬†at 9 .20 AM. Outside is light-raining. I pulled out my cape with hoodie. And here we go.. back to Hong Kong station to ride the Airport Express train.

As soon as we drop off our luggage through the check in counter, we’re going inside to the duty free shop and eat lunch…

Finally the boarding calls spoken out… time to say goodbye…

Thank you Hong Kong & Macau!!! You’re awesome!!

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2012 Vesak Day Celebration @ Yogyakarta

Sudah pernah nonton film Arisan-nya Cut Tari, Tora Sudiro dan Surya Saputra yang ke-2?

Kalau sudah pasti tau apa yang gue alamin di liburan kali ini. Yes.. kita akan ikut serta mengikuti acara Waisak di Candi Borobudur, Yogyakarta. Cita-citanya sebenernya simple sih, kita cuma pengen ikut nerbangin lampion di malam hari. Lampion yang ditulisi dengan wishes kita ke depannya :).

Awalnya kita ada niatan untuk berangkat hari Sabtu, 5-Mei-12. Karena acara Waisak-nya jatuh pada hari Minggu, 6-Mei-12, jadi sehari sebelum kita bisa keliling kota Yogya dulu deh…

Tapi ternyata hari Kamis, gue dapet telepon buat psikotest di sebuah perusahaan yang gue incer dari lama. Akhirnya gue beli tiket lagi untuk berangkat hari Minggu paginya. Kenapa bukan re-schedule aja? Mahal! Murahan beli tiket baru lagi daripada reschedule tiket yang lama. Weird but true….

Untuk akomodasi karena kita pergi ber-5 akhirnya seperti biasa gue bertugas cari hostel paling ok.. Yes, it’s been my specialty since years ago . Getting good accommodation with good location and good price ^___^. Pilihan jatuh pada EDU Hostel, Yogyakarta. Belum ada traveler’s review untuk hostel ini karena hostel ini masih termasuk golongan bangunan baru. Lalu kenapa gue pilih di sini? Just because i love the colorful building and the interior of the hostel. Keren kan?

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(credits: Edu Hostel’s website)

 

Akhirnya hari Sabtu temen-temen gue yang lain berangkat duluan dan gue nyusul sendirian hari minggunya.

Begitu sampai di airport Yogyakarta, temen gue bilang mending naik taksi ke hostel, karena kalau ngandelin naik Trans Yogya, alamat badan gue bakal pegel-pegel karena perjalanannya yang kurang nyaman. Akhirnya gue naik taksi menuju hostel.

Tried to call my friends but no one picks up the phone. Lalu gue pun maju ke meja resepsionis dan minta informasi nomor kamar. Luckily karena booking hostel ini atas nama gue sendiri, akhirnya mereka mengijinkan gue masuk ke kamar dengan kunci cadangan. Sempat ngobrol dengan staff hostel, ternyata hostel itu yang punya orang Yogya asli dan suka traveling ke luar negeri. No wonder dia bisa bangun hostel yang amat sangat nyaman :). Begitu sampai kamar, gue taro tas dan langsung nyusul temen-temen yang ternyata sedang breakfast di lantai 6. Akhirnya gue susul deh… Andddd i’m so amazed with the 6th floor. KEREN BANGET!!! Rooftop view gitu… memandang kota yogya.. aaaakkk.. ini hostel to good to be true banget. Puas, puas, dan puas banget bisa nginep di hostel ini.

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(credits: Edu Hostel’s website)

Setelah asik foto-fotoan di rooftop view ini, kita kembali ke kamar dan mandi. Yes, next agenda adalah jalan-jalan ke keraton. Naik becak ke keraton layaknya orang lokal, lalu tour de keraton ditemenin sama local guide sana. Ternyata banyak sekali yang ‘gaib’ dirasakan sama salah satu teman gue. Ya, namanya juga keraton, berasa sakral daerahnya.

Lepas dari keraton kita kembali lagi ke hostel karena sudah waktunya dijemput oleh travel yang kita sewa mobilnya untuk ke Borobudur. Untuk perayaan Waisak, tarif sewa mobil sedikit lebih mahal daripada sewa mobil di hari biasa. Karena mobil tersebut harus didaftarkan ke Borobudur dan mendapatkan kartu pas masuk sendiri.

Dalam perjalanan menuju Candi Borobudur, kita berhenti di museum Ullen Sentalu. Ini salah satu museum yang wajib dikunjungi ketika kita traveling ke Yogya, banyak ilmu yang bisa didapatkan dan kalau wanita pasti tergoda dengan kain-kain batik yang dipajang ūüôā

Di museum ini dilarang ambil foto sama sekali dan pegawainya agak sedikit strict mengenai hal ini. Sempat beberapa kali temen gue kena omel sama pegawainya. >.<

Next agenda, kita makan siang di cafe sekitar museum Ullen Sentalu, nama restorannya Boukenhoff. I like the old-so-english surrounding di restoran ini, untuk range harga makanan hampir sama dengan cafe di Jakarta. But you can feel peace eating in this restaurant. Love it!

Setelah kenyang, waktunya berangkat ke candi Borobudur. Sampai di sana udah jam 4 sore, dan hujan deras. Sudah sempet mau mengurungkan niat, tapi what-the-heck udah jauh-jauh sampe sini masa gagal. Akhirnya gue nekat turun sendirian keluar mobil dengan niat mau cari yang jual payung. Ternyata banyak ibu-ibu yang menjajakan jas hujan dari plastik. Alhamdulillah! Temen-temen gue yang masih nunggu di mobil kaget pas liat gue kasihin jas hujannya ke mereka. Komennya “nemu aja lagi loe!”. Dan inilah penampilan kita dengan jas hujan ala power ranger (colorful)!

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Abis foto-foto ala power ranger, kita langsung ke lokasi prosesi Waisak di candinya.¬†Dan ini sisa perjalanan kami… walau diguyur hujan dan short-term holiday.. but we’re having so much fun!

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It was a great and beautiful memories ^____^

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For better for worse – Bangkok, Thailand

Setelah pergi liburan ke Seoul, Korea Selatan. Rasanya ingin istirahat sebentar dari hobi jalan-jalan dan mulai menabung lagi untuk tahun depan. Tapi ternyata nasib berkata lain… Again, dengan persiapan mendadak karena sesuatu hal, gue dan 2 temen gue harus berangkat ke Bangkok. Kepergian kali ini agak sedikit dirahasiakan dari teman-teman lainnya karena gue gak mau di-cap jetset karena sering pergi ke luar negeri hehe…

Kepergian kali ini agak sedikit berbeda dari biasanya, karena gue dan temen-temen memilih terbang menggunakan Thai Airways. Untuk keberangkatan tanggal 16 September 2011 dan kembali ke Jakarta tanggal 18 September 2011 kita dapet airfare sebesar USD 411. Untuk saat itu harga tiket Thai Airways tidak berbeda jauh dengan tiket Air Asia dan lagi harga tersebut sudah include bagasi 20kg / orang dan meals. Jadi… penerbangan terasa sangat nyaman :).

Untuk penginapan kita memilih daerah Silom (area Pat Pong night market). Memang daerah situ termasuk daerah bronx.. tapi ternyata juga merupakan daerah pilihan turis-turis mancanegara. Kami memilih hostel Smile Society yang sebelumnya sudah gue book dari http://www.hostelworld.com. Menurut rating saat itu, hostel ini memiliki review-review yang bagus dari para traveler.

Ini pertama kalinya gue pergi ke Bangkok dan mencari jalan sendiri dengan bekal peta yang kami ambil dari Tourist Information Desk di Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Menggunakan airport expressway dari airport ke stasiun dalam kota. Exchange kereta dan lanjut naik kereta ke stasiun dekat penginapan. Airport expressway itu bentuknya seperti monorail di Kuala Lumpur. Agak kecil dan tidak banyak tempat duduk. Sedikit sumpek dan panas *kipas-kipas*.

SMILE SOCIETY BOUTIQUE HOSTEL

Kita memilih BTS ke arah Stasiun Saladaeng, keluar di Exit 1 dan terus jalan ke arah Silom Road. Jalan terus sampai terlihat Bangkok Christian Hospital dan berhentilah di Silom Soi 6. Belok kanan dan jalan sekitar 20 meter, lalu belok kiri. Hostelnya ada di sebelah kanan. Hostelnya sih bagus cuma gak ada lift-nya -____-. Dan kebetulan kita dapet kamar lantai 3. Jadi capek banget tiap pulang ke kamar. Wi-fi-nya cuma bisa dipake di area ngumpul di area 1. Cuma biasanya di situ rame cowo-cowo lagi nongkrong dan ngobrol sekalian browsing-browsing.

Setelah sampai di hostel, kita istirahat sebentar, mandi dan siap-siap lagi untuk keluar. Rencananya pada mau clubbing ke daerah Sukhumvit. Dan abis nanya-nanya sama temen, katanya yang OK itu tempat yang namanya Bed Supperclub. Jadilah kita pergi ke sana naik taxi. Dan memang sih, yang masuk club ini kayanya kaum socialite bangkok dan foreigner. Tapi cover chargenya itu mahal banget.. kita bertiga abis THB 3,000 >.<. Tapi itu dapet 2 botol champagne sih… Jadi ya sudahlah.. sekali-sekali sedikit borju hahaha…

Sepulang dari club, kita langsung browsing tempat diadakan event buat besok sore.

IMPACT EXHIBITION HALL 3 , MUANGTHONG THANI

untuk easy access-nya coba buka link ini: http://www.impact.co.th/en/easy_access.php

Kalau naik taxi dari daerah Silom, bisa abis sekitar THB 300-an, tapi belum termasuk uang tol sekitar THB 50. Tapi kalau mau lebih bertualang mendingan naik shuttle bus dari stasiun Mo-chit. Cuma bayar THB 30 kalo gak salah untuk 1 way.

Muangthong Thani itu kalo di Jakarta mirip PRJ Kemayoran. Jadi gedung yang emang sering dipakai untuk pameran / konser.

Hari terakhir kita di Bangkok lebih dihabisin buat tidur.. karena 2 hari itu kita capek banget. Baru deh agak siangan kita keluar, makan dan kembali ke Airport.

Short trip, full of adventure.. ^____________^

Thank you Echy & Naomie… For better for worse…

-Mrs. Park Keiko-

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When our foots set their traces around Seoul – South Korea

21 Juli 2012

Setelah setahun direncanakan akhirnya waktu itu tiba. Ini merupakan hari keberangkatan untuk Seoul Adventure trip. Berbekal tiket kepergian (CGK – KUL – CGK) dan (KUL – INC – KUL), kami (crazy nunas) berangkat dengan senyuman lebar. Let’s rock Seoul nunas!!

Pesawat menuju Kuala Lumpur berangkat hari Kamis, pukul 20.30. Sebagian teman-teman (termasuk saya) memilih untuk tetap masuk kerja dulu dan ijin untuk pergi setelah makan siang. Alhamdulillah semuanya sampai di airport tepat waktu dengan bawaan masing-masing. Kami tidak langsung melakukan direct flight, tetapi transit dulu 12 jam di KL. Awalnya mau memilih menginap di airport, tetapi mengingat perjalanan dari KL ke Seoul memakan waktu 6 jam, saya dan teman-teman memilih untuk menginap di Tune Hotel, Sepang.

Tune Hotel ini mirip seperti pesawat Air Asia, bila melakukan booking dari jauh hari, maka akan dapat harga yang lebih murah. Dan penambahan fasilitas pun kena biaya terpisah. Untungnya waktu itu kita sudah melakukan booking dari jauh-jauh hari sehingga semalamnya kita kena charge IDR 300,000/room lengkap dengan 12 jam A/C & handuk. Kita ambil 3 kamar saat itu. Dan layaknya hotel transit, ukuran kamar dan kamar mandinya sangat kecil, mirip kos-kosan. Tapi lumayanlah untuk freshen up sebelum penerbangan selanjutnya. Bagaimana cara menuju Tune Hotels ini? Keluar dari pintu kedatangan di airport LCCT, cari tempat pemberhentian BAS (bis), bis menuju tune hotels datang setiap 15 menit sekali. Sekali naik, setiap orangnya dikenakan fee RM 1.

22 Juli 2012

Pesawat menuju Incheon berangkat jam 13.45. Kembali senyuman lebar terlihat di wajah saya dan teman-teman… Yes, we finally goes to SEOUL! Penerbangan 6 jam dilalui dengan aman dan nyaman. Sampai pada akhirnya kami mendarat di Airport Incheon. OMG WE’RE HERE! WE’RE IN SOUTH KOREA! FINALLYYYYYYYYYY!!! z

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Preparation to Seoul

Preparation:
– Flight tickets

– Accommodation

– Itinerary

– Entry Visa

– Money

– ….. etc.

Lots of preparation have to be made to complete my upcoming traveling plan. This time i’m choosing Seoul, South Korea as my next destination. Why? If you’re a friend of mine then you’ll know why, but if you aren’t then I’ll tell you why. I was one of a hardcore fangirl for Korean hallyu waves. Starting from K-Drama, K-Music, then falling deeply to the guys and the fashion styles and the items.. Yes, all of the things in Korea made me love that country so much. Through Twitter, Facebook and Multiply I found my S(e)oulmates. There were a lot of us, but only 7 of us who managed to go to Seoul. The preparation begins…

First, we got a really cheap flight tickets to Seoul from this one famous budgeted airlines who is sure that ‘anyone can fly’ ¬†a year before (yes it was 2010), and when I said cheap, it really is! My friend Monica made all the price checking, and I’m the one who did all the online transaction. Choosing July 2011 as our departure time basically because all of us predicted that we weren’t busy with our works at that time. So, tickets are settled!

Next to be concerned was our accommodations.. Where to stay? This is the most important thing to think about. Area of staying should be decided carefully. We have priorities during choosing place of staying. First, need to have an easy-access (good transportation services), lots of food stalls / mini markets, and the most important thing.. near a place to hang-out for youngsters ^^. Therefore, we finally landed our decision on this guesthouse in the area of Hongik University (Hongdae). There were a few options, but we finally chose Hongdae Guesthouse. I booked the guesthouse from www.hostelworld.com and they charged me 10% down payment fees to save our booking. This guesthouse belongs to a woman named Mary and she’s a traveler as well (it was shown on all over her place – pictures of her traveling). She’s really nice and very helpful, and yes she’s an english speaker (the most helpful part). We kept contacting each other through e-mails before our departure date, because we’ll be arriving in Seoul at almost midnight so i asked her to wait for us until we came (this is important if your flight schedule and the guesthouse working hours didn’t match). Voila! The accommodation is SAVED. Now proceed to next step..

Next step will be entry visa to South Korea.

Embassy of  South Korea
The Plaza Office Tower Fl. 30 
Jl.¬† MH Thamrin ‚Äď Jakarta
Indonesia

Indonesian needs an entry visa to enter South Korea. And if you’re someone who already have a visa stamp from USA, Europe or England won’t have to be worried so much (especially when your visas to those countries haven’t got expired), because the South Korean embassy will give your visa without nothing much to ask. But if your passport is a blank passport or just got stamps from Southeast Asian Countries, then they’ll request for few documents that will assure them that you will be coming back to Indonesia and won’t stay they for working, etc.

For Indonesian, here are the basic documents they asked you to prepare:

  • The Visa Form
  • 2 ea. ID Photo 3.5cm x 4.5cm
  • Passport & Passport Copy (Paspor + fotokopinya)
  • Copy of Flight Ticket / Booking Slip from travel agent (Tiket pesawat atau bukti pemesanan tiket pesawat)
  • Copy of your Birth Certificate (Akte Kelahiran)
  • Copy of your National Identity (Fotokopi KTP)
  • Copy of your Family Register (Fotokopi Kartu Keluarga)
  • Copy of Marriage Certificate (if you’re married) – (Fotokopy Akte Nikah jika sudah berkeluarga)
  • Proof of Booking Accommodation / Invitation Letter from your friends/family in South Korea (Bukti pemesanan akomodasi atau surat undangan dari teman / keluarga yang tinggal di Korea Selatan)
  • Letter of Assurance from your place of work to assure the embassy that you will be coming back to your original country (Surat Referensi Kerja dari perusahaan tempat bekerja untuk meyakinkan kedutaan bahwa kamu akan kembali lagi ke negara asal).
  • Vacation Request form which is signed by your Supervisor / HRD¬†¬†(Surat Cuti yang sudah ditandatangani atasan / HRD¬†perusahaan tempat kamu bekerja)
  • Detail of Itinerary (Jadwal perjalanan kamu selama berada di negara yang dituju)
  • Bank Reference Letter (Surat Referensi Bank)
  • and the most important part is…. 3-months transaction details of your SAVINGS. If you want your visa approved then you are required to have a certain balance in your savings. ¬†(Dan yang paling penting adalah… Rekening Koran (print-out buku tabungan) selama 3 bulan. Jika ingin visa kamu disetujui maka kamu harus pintar me-maintain saldo tabungan sebelum kamu mengajukan visa).

To my rough calculation: (Perhitungan kasar)

If you’re planning to stay for a week then at least you have to prepare this certain amount in your savings (Kalau kamu berniat untuk tinggal di sana selama 1-minggu, maka berikut kira-kira saldo yang setidaknya ada di dalam tabungan kamu)

Assumption (asumsi):

  • Living Cost / day = USD 100 (Biaya hidup per hari 100 US Dollar)
  • Unpredictable Expenses = USD 300 (Biaya tak terduga 300 US Dollar)

Calculation: [7-days x USD 100] + USD 200 = USD 1,000

Like I said before, it was only my rough calculation…

  • Additional Documents required (you don’t have to submit this document unless the embassy told you to)

– Company Register Certificate (Akte Perusahaan)

– Yearly tax report (SPT Tahunan)

– etc.

If you want travel agent to take care of your visa, you may.. because South Korean embassy doesn’t required you to come for an interview (unless they needed to). It will cost you around IDR 400,000 if you get your visa through the travel agent. But if you came to the South Korean embassy and submit your Visa Application form by yourself, it will cost you IDR 270,000 (for a 1 – 3 months, single entry visa). After the embassy received your application with required documents attached, you will be told to wait and come back in 3 – 7 days to collect your passport. VISA DONE!

Those were basic things you need to know about the process of ‘how-to-get-to-Seoul’

Next post, i’ll be sharing my experiences during my trip to Seoul, enjoy!

[KK]

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Weekend Getaway to West Sumatra

Berawal dari janji yang pernah gue lontarkan ke temen kantor gue:

“Kapan-kapan ke Padang yuk, nanti nginep di rumah gue”.

Suatu hari janji itu ditagih oleh mereka…. N dan R, dua di antara temen kantor yang lebih kecil dan lebih mini daripada gue¬†¬†mengutarakan niatnya untuk berlibur ke Padang. Menurut nyokap gue yang memang sering bolak-balik Jkt-Pdg-Jkt lebih baik kita pergi ke sana pada saat ada acara “Batagak Panghulu”. Karena kalau lagi gak ada acara itu, kampung gue.. which is another 2.5 hours away from Padang.. SEPI!

Akhirnya memilih waktu tanggal 2 – 4 Juli 2010 kemarin, gue, N dan R berangkat ke Padang. Menggunakan pesawat Lion Air (sayang sekali Air Asia tidak menerbangkan pesawatnya lagi ke Padang), kami siap berangkat liburan!

Untungnya saat itu nyokap dan tante gue lagi berada di sana, sehingga kami banyak di-guide sama nyokap. Berangkat Jum’at pagi dan sampai di tujuan siang hari menyebabkan tujuan pertama kali adalah tempat makan. Makan di pinggir pantai menjadi pilihan kita saat itu supaya bisa sedikit foto-foto buat perdana. Selesai makan siang yang menunya waktu itu adalah ikan panggang, udang panggang, rendang, dsb. kita lanjut lagi ke tempat oleh-oleh (Shirley dan Christine Hakim). Kok udah langsung ke tempat oleh-oleh? Iyaaa soalnya sorenya itu jadwal tante gue pulang ke Jakarta. Jadinya dia mau beli oleh-oleh dulu sebelum berangkat, ya udah aja sekalian kita belanja oleh-oleh juga soalnya nanti-nanti gak sempet¬†. Selesai belanja oleh-oleh kerupuk dsb, berikutnya kita langsung ke Pantai Air Manis dimana letak patung Malin Kundang berada. It was my 2nd visit there but the 1st visit for my friends. Agak sedih karena patung tersebut tampak tidak terawat dan terkikis air laut. Tapi entahlah, sampai sekarang gue merasa bahwa patung itu merupakan bukti nyata bahwa legenda Malin Kundang memang benar-benar ada. Sedikit bermain-main di pantai, berikutnya kita mau nyari dessert Es Durian di Iko Gantinyo. Tempat makan es durian ini cukup terkenal di Padang and to tell you the truth… rasanya HEAVEN! Terutama buat pencinta durian yah¬†. Selain minum es durian kita juga makan gado-gado dan sate padang hehe.. (perut karung banget). Kekenyangan sudah, mata kriyep-kriyep kita kembali ke bandara buat anter tante gue. Setelah dadah-dadahan sama si tante berikutnya kita berangkat ke Koto Gadang. Nah kampung gue itu di Koto Gadang inilah.. letaknya sekitar 15 menit dari Bukittinggi. Perkampungan di kaki gunung Singgalang yang dinginnya lumayan menggigit. Di tengah perjalanan, kita menyempatkan diri untuk makan Sate Mak Sukur di Padang Panjang. Sebelum berangkat gue udah briefing sama N dan R… “PREPARE YOUR TUMMY GALS… karena kita akan banyak wisata kuliner!”. Dan mereka baru paham maksud gue setelah dalam waktu 5 jam sudah makan 3x hahaha…

Sesampainya di Koto Gadang sudah gelap gulita, pembagian kamar ditetapkan. N & R ditempatkan di kamar yang view-nya bagus di pagi hari. Bener aja, pas besok paginya gue masuk mereka terdiam diri terpaku sambil buka jendela… it was a very beautiful morning! Hamparan sawah hijau dan gunung… damai banget deh..

Walaupun gue sedikit gak santai yah waktu itu.. kenapa? Karena ‘my-husband-to-be-wannabe’ terbang aja lho dari Korea ke Bali! Minta digampar.. gak bilang-bilang! Tau gitu gue belokkin pesawatnya ke Bali kannnnnnnnn¬†.

Jadwal kita pagi itu mau main-main ke pasar pekan di Simpang. Jadi pasar di simpang itu baru ada hari Rabu sama Sabtu. Nah pas kebeneran hari itu hari Sabtu. Jadilah kita wisata kuliner lagi di situ.. beli bihun kuah kacang, ketupat sayur sama kerupuk jangek (ini sih doyanan si N). Setelah kekenyangan makan berikutnya kita berangkat ke objek-objek wisata di Sum-Bar. Kita pergi ke Danau Maninjau dan menuruin kelok 44 (ampek-puluah-ampek). But to tell you the truth again.. kayanya loe cukup berhenti di kelok ke-43 aja deh kalo niatnya mau foto pemandangan. Karena once you’re down there… gak ada yang diliat¬†. Mana kelokannya tajem-tajem banget lagi.. serem banget lah pokoknya.. gue sih ogah yah kalo disuruh nyetir ke situ hehe..

Setelah foto-foto di Maninjau berikutnya kita berhenti dulu untuk makan siang dalam perjalanan menuju ke lokasi Batu Angkek-Angkek. Apaan tuh? Nah jadi ada mitos.. batu angkek-angkek ini bisa memberikan pertanda dari YME mengenai pertanyaan kita. Yah percaya gak percaya sih.. tapi gue nyobain dengan tangan gue sendiri dan.. I AM AMAZED!! TOTALLY AMAZED!! Gak perlu diceritainlah gimana amazed-nya gue sama si batu ini. Mudah-mudahan pertanda itu memang diberikan oleh Tuhan YME (AMIN!).

Abis angkat-angkat batu  kita ke lokasi Istana Pagaruyuang. Istana ini merupakan kebanggaan masyarakat Sum-Bar. Namun beberapa tahun yang lalu Istana ini pernah mengalami musibah kebakaran akibat petir. Setelah dilakukan renovasi dan pembangunan kembali (yang sampai sekarang masih tahap renovasi), akhirnya istana ini dibuka kembali untuk wisatawan tapi hanya boleh di luar saja. Karena isi di dalamnya belum dirapihkan kembali. Jadi yah kita cuma foto-foto aja deh dengan latar belakang istana tersebut.

Berhubung lokasi objek wisata di Sum-Bar itu jauh-jauh satu sama lain, jadi berikutnya kita memutuskan untuk kembali pulang ke Koto Gadang.

Keesokan harinya, gue ngajak temen-temen gue buat touring keliling kampung. Jadi kita mendatangi rumah-rumah orang lain, bertamu, dsb. Hihihi udah kaya Lebaranan deh.. tapi menyenangkan. Abis capek touring keliling kampung berikutnya kita berangkat ke Bukittinggi dengan melintasi Ngarai Sianok. Dulu gue masih mau ngelewatin Ngarai Sianok dengan jalan kaki. Tapi berhubung sekarang medannya berbahaya akhirnya kita melewatinya dengan jalur mobil. Sesampainya di Bukittinggi, kita langsung memasuki Taman Panorama dan berlanjut dengan memasuki Lobang Jepang. Lobang Jepang ini dulunya merupakan markas orang Jepang waktu jaman perang dulu. Dan pada saat mengitari lobang jepang itu gak henti-hentinya kami berkomentar “No Wonder sekarang Jepang maju banget yah, dari dulu udah ada pikiran buat bikin beginian”. Satu hal yang gue gak suka sama Lobang Jepang ini adalah.. anak tangganya banyak banget!! Gue sampe kehabisan nafas pas mau kembali naik ke atas. Hadeuhhh…¬†.

Finished mengunjungi Lobang Jepang, next program adalah foto-foto dengan latar belakang Ngarai dan belanja souvenir, karena di Taman Panorama itu berjejer toko-toko souvenir dengan harga yang relatif murah. Kebanyakan sih kalau Sum-Bar itu souvenirnya mukenah, sendal, pajangan, dsb. Gak terasa hari mulai siang, berikutnya kita main ke Jam Gadang. The famous Jam Gadang yang katanya memiliki mesin yang sama dengan Big Ben di Inggris. Gw pikir Jam Gadang itu sebesar Big Ben ternyata oh ternyata.. mini bok! (compared to Big Ben lho ya…). Sayang kita gak boleh masuk dan naik ke atas Jam Gadang. Padahal konon katanya kalau naik ke atas kita bisa liat pemandangan indah dari atas situ. Abis foto-foto di depan jam gadang (iya jangan komen deh, emang tujuan liburan kita foto-foto kok! Hehe..) kita berlanjut makan Es Tebak di Pasar Atas. Masing-masing dengan 1 porsi es tebak dan sate padang (again?).¬† Next, kita nemenin R belanja mukenah buat kasih oleh-oleh ke mamanya. Tak terasa waktu makin siang, waktunya kita kembali ke Koto Gadang buat ambil barang. Karena pesawat pulang kami dijadwalkan berangkat jam 7 malam, dan perjalanan Koto Gadang – Padang memakan waktu 2.5 – 3 jam. Badan letih, hati senang, otak segar… kami memutuskan kembali ke Jakarta yang padat dan kembali beraktivitas. Weekend Getaway ke tempat-tempat seperti ini memang sangat diperlukan kalau otak sudah mulai jenuh bekerja ^_^.

Nice to travel with you gals!!