5 Aktivitas Kencan di Jakarta – Bagi kamu yang bosan nonton

Mencoba berbagi ide kegiatan kencan di daerah Jakarta yang ramah di kantong dan tetap seru. Disini kalian bisa menjelajah daerah Jakarta Pusat yang menyimpan banyak harta karun. Selamat membaca.

Halo warga Jakarta, pernah merasa bosan kencan nonton di bioskop atau makan di mall? Saya mencoba berbagi aktivitas yang bisa dilakukan untuk pilihan agenda kencanmu. Semua aktivitas ini sudah pernah saya alami, jadi pastinya kegiatan ini sudah saya saring menjadi TOP 5 yang paling seru.

1. Thrifting di Pasar Atom, Pasar Baru, Sawah Besar, Jakarta Pusat

Ingin bergaya vintage atau hypebeast namun tetap ramah di kantong? Atau mungkin ingin mengurangi konsumerisme fast fashion dengan menggunakan baju bekas pakai untuk bergaya. Ada kegiatan asik nih yang bisa dilakukan di daerah Pasar Baru. FYI, pusat pakaian bekas ada beberapa di Jakarta seperti Pasar Senen, Kebayoran Lama, dan Pasar Atom ini. Kenapa Pasar Atom, karena selain thrifting, banyak kegiatan yang bisa dilakukan disini. Kuliner bakmi legenderasi Bakmi Gang Kelinci, belanja kain di toko tekstil, bikin jas murah meriah di toko tekstil India, belanja murah meriah di toko-toko produk local, bahkan disini masih ada Matahari Department Store dan Gramedia loh! Tidak lupa juga jajanan gerobak lainnya seperti batagor, pempek, soto mie, ayam penyet dan lainnya. Pasar Atom terletak di Gedung yang berada di dekat gerbang Pasar Baru, ada tulisannya kok. Terdiri dari 5 lantai, penjual baju bekas terletak di lantai 3 sampai 5. Bisa berjam-jam kelilingin toko sambil hunting harta karun yang nyelip diantara tumpukan baju bekas. FYI, adik saya pernah dapet Jaket Levi’s kece yang ditebus ratusan ribu aja. Jaket denim kan makin kece ya kalau semakin tua. Selamat thrifting!

2.Gelora Bung Karno, Tanah Abang, Jakarta Pusat

Olahraga malam hari, lanjut jajan di kuliner sekitar, suasana asik. Bagi kamu yang pernah olahraga di GBK malam hari, pasti tahu betapa asiknya suasana disana. Kawula muda olahraga bareng teman, duduk-duduk di jalan sambil minum dan ngobrol. Komunitas lari, yoga, ataupun freeletics olahraga bareng di selasar Gelora. Ibu-ibu dan bapak-bapak bermain bersama anaknya, main roller blade di bundaran lari GBK. Dan tentunya, suara pengumuman bapak-bapak yang setia menemani pengunjung melalui TOA.

Momen olahraga bareng gebetan disini pastinya bakal berkesan. Kalian bisa janjian di GBK, after office hours setelah lelah bekerja. Bahkan kalian bisa lanjut dengan naik MRT bareng. Jika bosen jajan di sekitar area GBK, bisa lanjut naik MRT ke Blok M buat kulineran. Asik kan? Sekalian olahraga, momen menambah kedekatan kalian tetap bisa jalan.

*Kalian bisa kasih makan ikan di selokan GBK guys.

3.Nasi goreng gila Gondrong, Taman Suropati, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat

Nasi goreng malam hari favorit saya. Terletak di daerah Jakarta Pusat, tepatnya di Taman Suropati Menteng. Di malam tertentu seperti malam Minggu, tempat ini ramai jadi tempat kumpul masyarakat mengisi waktu dengan rekreasi. Mulai dari jasa pijat refleksi, membaca nasib, layar tancep, pertunjukan music, dah hiburan rakyat proletar lainnya. Suasana malam dan hingar binger disini sangat cocok dinikmati dengan sepiring nasi goreng gila. Nasi gorengnya berjualan di trotoar depan perimeter Taman Suropati, persis sebelah parkiran mobil. Memang minimalis, duduknya di atas bangku plastik atau di atas trotoar beralas terpal tapi suasanya asik banget. Nasi goreng nya relative lebih mahal dibanding nasi goreng abang-abang lainnya namun terjangkau banget deh, pakai telor 25 ribu rupiah sahaja. Pacaran suasana asik 50 ribu rupiah saja, ditambah 10 ribu untuk minum biar tidak seret, dan 5 ribu buat pengamen yang lewat nyanyiin lagu D’masiv atau Noah.

4. Es krim Italia Ragusa, Gambir, Jakarta Pusat

Kedai es krim ini tidak pernah sepi, beberapa kali saya kesini selalu saja ramai. Es krim Italia itu gimana? Sebenernya ya es krim biasa aja sih, tapi memang es krim Italia ini sudah dipakai sejak zaman Belanda. Artinya ini toko udah lama banget berjualan es krim. Encik-encik yang jaga ini toko memang kelihatan galak bro, tapi jangan khawatir kita tetep dilayanin kok. Hahahaha. Favorit gw disini es krim banana split dengan es krim tiga rasa – cokelat, vanilla, dan strawberry. Satu porsinya sekitar 50 ribu, memang agak mahal sih. Tapi wajib banget dicoba! Lokasinya deket masjid Istiqlal, pinggir kali.

5. Wall bouldering di Lapis Malam – sekarang Indo Climb, fX Senayan, Jakarta Pusat

Pernah mencoba olahraga panjat tebing? Jika kamu atau pasangan kamu takut terhadap ketinggian, that is okay! Ada alternatif panjat tebing yaitu panjat dinding atau wall bouldering. Bedanya, kalau panjat dinding kita perlu memakai alat pengaman body harness karena kita bekerja di ketinggian sedangkan untuk wall bouldering kita tidak perlu menggunakan peralatan keamanan karena ketinggian dinding maksimal di 4 meter. Jika kamu tidak kuat dan ingin menjatuhkan diri, pastinya tetap aman kok karena ada kasur busa tebal yang siap meredam jatuhnya kamu. Dimana mencoba mulai latihan ini?

Saya pertama kali belajar wall bouldering di Lapis Malam, lokasinya di dalam gang daerah Mampang. Yang mengelola adalah pasangan atlit panjat dinding nasional, dan banyak komunitas penggiat panjat latihan disana. Bahkan kalian bisa latihan sampai jam 11 malam, karena tempat latihan ini prinsipnya berdasarkan kekeluargaan. Sepatu panjat disediakan disini, jadi kamu tidak perlu bawa apa-apa. Urunan untuk latihan disana adalah 75 ribu rupiah per kedatangan.

Sekarang, lokasi latihan pindah ke fX Senayan di open area lantai 3. Kalian bisa cek jadwal untuk latihan disini, tentunya untuk date bersama pasanganmu akan tetap asik. Nanti aka nada kakak pemandu yang membimbing langkah panjat kamu, jadi tidak perlu khawatir jika kamu adalah pemula yang belum pernah mencoba. Selain Indo Climb, ada juga panjat tebing di Kuningan yang juga bisa kamu coba, sayangnya jadwal agak terbatas dan harus booking dulu ke pelatih via Facebook.

[Borneo Road Trip Series] Entikong – Penyebrangan Kalbar ke Sarawak

*Tulisan ini ditulis berdasarkan perjalanan saya pada Oktober 2019 dari Kalimantan Selatan - Kalimantan Tengah - Kalimantan Barat - Sarawak Malaysia - Return. Pada tulisan ini saya akan fokus ke bagian penyebrangan (border) Entikong
  • Cerita perjalanan menyebrangi border antar negara Entikong menuju Kuching menggunakan mobil plat Indonesia
  • Informasi di dalam tulisan ini dapat menjawab pertanyaan di bawah ini:
    1. Apa SIM Internasional dibutuhkan?
    2. Berapa biaya yang diperlukan?
    3. Seberapa sulit medan yang dilalui?
    4. Berapa lama waktu proses penyebrangan?
    5. Apa peraturan mengemudi di Malaysia?
  • Entikong check-point merupakan poin cek imigrasi paling popular untuk menyeberang ke Sarawak.
  • Biaya yang dikeluarkan untuk perizinan dan sebagainya dibawah 200 ribu rupiah.
  • Jam buka Entikong adalah jam kerja – sehingga jam 5 sore tutup dan pengajuan izin tidak bisa dilakukan lagi.
  • Dokumen yang diperlukan:
    1. STNK – original dan copy yang masih aktif. STNK asli mobil – jika bukan pemilik asli dari mobil wajib dilampirkan surat keterangan atau surat kuasa penggunaan mobil. Dalam kasus saya karena saya membawa mobil rental, maka saya membawa surat kuasa dari pemilik mobil rental. Bukti bayar pajak kendaraan.
    2. TNKB – plat nomor
    3. SIM dan KTP – copy dan original. SIM A mobil, jika ada SIM internasional juga bisa dibawa.
    4. Surat Kuasa jika pengemudi bukan pemilik kendaraan
    5. Paspor
    6. Mengisi formulirDokumen yang wajib dibawa:
Perlengkapan Perjalanan

Perjalanan di Kalimantan Barat

Medan di Kalimantan Barat seperti medan di Kalimantan pada umumnya, banyak kelokan dan jalan sudah diaspal. Hanya sebagian kecil jalan yang rusak. Untuk pom bensin masih mudah untuk ditemukan sehingga saat itu kita tidak membawa cadangan bensin di dalam tangki.

Alur izin:

  1. Bea Cukai
    • Paspor
    • SIM
    • STNK
    • KTP
    • Surat Kuasa jika nama STNK berbeda dengan pengemudi
    • Mengisi formulir (banyak yang harus diisi, estimasi isi 10 menit)
  2. Asuransi
    • Biaya premi asuransi sesuai jenis kendaraan.
    • Copy STNK
  3. Ditjen Perhubungan – pemeriksaan keabsahan dokumen dan tanda lulus uji kendaraan, nantinya akan didapatkan stiker yang perlu ditempel di mobil saat dikendarai di jalan.
  4. Kepolisian – pengecekan dokumen pendukung untuk kendaraan dan izin mengemudi. Dokumen sama seperti poin 1. Jika dibutuhkan akan ada cek fisik kendaraan. Dalam kasus saya tidak dilakukan cek sama sekali.
  5. Bea cukai – jika kalian tidak membawa barang-barang yang perlu dilaporkan, kalian tidak perlu lama disini.
  6. Cap paspor di gate sebagai tanda masuk Malaysia di bagian imigrasi.
  7. Biaya kurang lebih sekitar 200 ribu total. Tanpa ada pungutan liar.

Hampir tidak dapat izin masuk Malaysia

Dari seluruh proses yang saya lalui, secara keseluruhan lancar kecuali saat di….. Kepolisian. Surat izin operasional kendaraan dipertanyakan karena saya mengedarai mobil plat KT (Kalimantan Timur) yang memasuki daerah Kalimantan Barat untuk menuju Malaysia. Beberapa daerah di Indonesia mewajibkan kendaraan luar provinsi ber plat asing memiliki izin operasional. Setelah peringatan bapak Polisi, mereka mengizinkan saya karena tujuan saya adalah pariwisata bukan urusan bisnis.

Hampir ditolak masuk kembali ke Indonesia
  1. Kami datang di border sekitar pukul 4 sore waktu setempat, yang ternyata mepet sekali dengan waktu tutup border. WAKTU OPERASIONAL BORDER sama seperti jam kerja yaitu 8-5 sehingga diatas jam 5 sore kalian tidak akan dilayani atau tunggu sampai besok pagi pas buka.
  2. Saya miss untuk meminta TTD dan cap di bagian Malaysia, lihat gambar di bawah. Jadi saya masuk ke Malaysia tanpa mengecap bagian tersebut. Waktu mau masuk ke Indonesia, ditanya mana bukti masuk Malaysia nya dan saya tidak bisa dapat menunjukkan cap Malaysia.
Kondisi yang berbeda jauh di jalanan Sarawak

Memasuki jalanan Malaysia setelah gerbang perbatasan, wow! Kondisi jalanan sungguh berbeda, saya dapat tancap gas di Sarawak karena jalanan sudah sangat mulus tanpa ada bolong sama sekali dan tidak ada anak-anak yang bermain di jalan, serta pemotor yang melawan arah. Miris terhadap kondisi ini, sangat timpang keadaan jalan kita dibandingkan Malaysia.

Apakah SIM internasional dibutuhkan?

(baca: 10 menit membuat SIM Internasional)

Yang perlu diperhatikan untuk melewati cek kondisi mobil:

  • Kaca film mobil minimum 25% yang artinya kaca gelap akan sulit diizinkan masuk ke Malaysia.
  • Tidak membawa barang-barang elektronik yang berpotensi dicek saat melewati cukai atau custom.

Bagaimana menyetir di Malaysia?

  • Setir kanan – sehingga aturan jalur sama seperti di Indonesia yaitu jalur sebelah kiri dan jalur kanan untuk kendaraan lebih cepat dan mendahului.
  • Aturan bundaran yang wajib dipatuhi – saat bundaran, stop dan dahulukan kendaraan lain yang ada di dalam bundaran baru kemudian kita bisa masuk setelah jalur aman.
  • Marka jalan dan lampu lalu lintas sama dengan di Indonesia.
  • Batas kecepatan harus dipatuhi. Kamera pantau.
  • Antrian kendaraan di Malaysia secara umum lebih rapi dibandingkan di Indonesia, dimana banyak kendaraan tidak mematuhi garis dan marka jalan yang berujung saling serobot.

[Review] Four Points by Sheraton Balikpapan – best Hotel for Business Traveller

As a business traveler, I always opt for three things while choosing a hotel: location, the work desk ambiance, and the gym facility. First thing you do not want to have is spending too much time on the journey to reach or to go out from your hotel to your business meeting. Secondly, most of the time in the hotel room you need to work with your laptop on the office matters. And last but the most important is the availability of sport facility to keep your fitness level as a frequent business traveler. Talking about Balikpapan – the most advanced city in Kalimantan to which I mostly traveled on business matter, I only have limited preference of hotel before. The closest hotel from the Sepinggan Airport – Balikpapan used to be the Grand Tjokro, around 10 mins drive from the airport. It has decent breakfast and quite okay gym room – very limited equipment with a sandbag. However, the room ambiance was too dark to work on. In late 2019, I have another alternative as the Four Points Sepinggan opened to public.

the room – perfect blend of excellent lighting and neat room decoration
The Trademark – Sheraton comfy Bed

The room size is quite generous – not too big though. I like the lighting and the room decoration that just not seem too much to show the wood element they chose as the dominant element. On the corner you might see a decoration of Dayaknese in a white- painted appearance. The lighting reminds you of a cozy and warm study room, turning into a lazy reading room when you move into the sofa where the lighting seems more relaxing.

the breakfast – my favorite breakfast service of all time!

Indomie, oriental dish, local dishes, granola-cereals-oats, fruits, all name it except the Kenari crab meat are all ready fresh when you need to start the day. I love the breakfast in Four Points Balikpapan very much.

24-hours gym? wow

24 hours access gym, complete with all important machines and equipment, including the yoga set as well. There is a spacious space for class in the middle. Anyway, who does not love an all time access gym? The swimming pool is not 24 hours by the way.

 

friendly and responsive crews! including free shuttle service to or from the airport

the crews in plaid uniform are always ready to serve you. The free shuttle service from the airport is the best solution to reach the hotel, which you can book before checking in. A guy from the hotel will hold a board with your name upon the arrival gate. Very helpful!

the downside – quite far from the city if you want to visit the shopping centre

It takes some time to go to the nearest mall or shopping centre. Not to mention it is far from the nearest restaurant as well.  So if you want to spend some time shopping, at least spare 1 hour for the travel time to reach and going back from the mall.

another downside – lengthy queue on certain cases

For coincidental same arrival time for all hotel guests, sometimes the check-in time would require up to 20 mins. There are two receptionists but on some peak and busy hours, up to 8 people might arrive in the same time using the free pick up service from the airport.

the sustainability – they sometimes still change your towel

They still change the towel I was meaning to re-use it on the next day. I keep it on the hanger, a code for “I will use it again” but anyway on the next day I always find it being changed. Not that sustainable – hope the practice can be realized not just as a note on the bathroom.

In summary, I love to stay here on my business trip. They have everything to offer a frequent flyer people that need a good place to work, quiet place to rest, and facility to do some sports. Good job team!

 

Mengejar Sunrise di Bromo – via Malang

REFLEKSI PERSONAL DAN CURHATAN PERJALANAN

Sunrise view

Perjalanan ini memang singkat karena efektif cuman sekitar 1 hari namun banyak sekali yang kita lakukan. Sarapan di Malang, nyari jajanan, jalan kaki menjelajah museum dan alun-alun, sempat main di Gramedia Malang, nongkrong di Toko Oen, istirahat di losmen AiryRoom sebelum begadang, makan gado-gado komplek super pedes, perjalanan tengah malam naik hardtop diselingi angin sepoi-sepoi Malang, nungguin sunset sambil ngantuk-ngantuk ngebayangin indomie yang tadi dimakan, mensyukuri nikmatnya makan dan tidur di tengah dinginnya Bromo, melihat munculnya matahari yang malu-malu sehingga terlihat gagahnya gunung Semeru dan puncaknya di sebelah timur. Naik ke kawah Bromo, mereward diri sendiri dengan semangkok bakwan malang dan cilok pedes, melihat horizon di padang pasir berbisik sambil melihat orang-orang sibuk berfoto dengan pose andalan untuk posting media sosialnya. Kembali dari Bromo, matahari sudah naik dan udara hangat menyambut saat kita masuk ke gerbang kota Malang. Macet menanti sehingga lapar yang kami rasakan kami ganjar dengan makan siang rawon.  Di tulisan ini, mencoba sedikit berbagi mengenai cerita perjalanan saya beserta sedikit tips jika kamu ingin kesana. Bersama orang yang tepat, memori sesimpel apapun terasa menyenangkan saat diingat. Partner perjalanan saya kali ini sangat asik dan tangguh! More stories to come!

  • Trip 24 jam menjelajah kota Malang dan sekitarnya + 300 ribu rupiah open trip via Malang ke Taman Nasional Bromo Tengger Semeru.
  • What to visit in Bromo area: Kawah Bromo, Bukit Teletubbies, Pasir Berbisik, dan Sunrise Bukit Cinta.
  • Menjajaki kuliner dan jajanan populer di Malang: Cwimie Hok Lay, Rawon Nguling,  dan Toko Oen.
Gagahnya Bromo

Penasaran dengan Bromo dan Semeru – saya tidak pernah berkesempatan untuk datang ke Bromo ataupun Semeru sebelumnya. Saya sudah cukup banyak jalan-jalan baik itu untuk liburan maupun urusan kerjaan ke daerah-daerah di Indonesia, namun belum pernah sempat main kesana. Di awal Desember 2019, saya berkesempatan untuk main ke Malang dan saya menyempatkan untuk main ke Bromo. Tujuannya ingin melihat bagaimana indahnya Bromo dan Semeru dari kejauhan, sambil menikmati matahari terbit disana. Karena saya pernah memakai jasa Nahwa Tour sebelumnya untuk open trip ke Banyuwangi dan cukup oke , saya memesan slot open trip di Nahwa Tour. Harga open trip Bromo semuanya sama di kisaran 300 ribu rupiah include penjemputan di kota Malang.

Untuk menuju Bromo sendiri ada beberapa cara menuju kesana, yaitu melalui Malang dan Probolinggo. Jangan ketuker antara Purbalingga dan Probolinggo ya. Bromo sendiri terletak diantara beberapa Kabupaten, Kabupaten Malang, Pasuruan, Lumajang, dan Probolinggo. Open trip paling populer dan umum melalui Malang, dan kebetulan banyak yang ingin dijelajahi dan dicoba di Malang jadi kita lewat Malang saat itu.

Perjalanan Jakarta – Malang

Flight pagi jam 7 dari Halim  menggunakan Batik Air menuju Malang. Sesampai bandara, kita langsung tancap menuju alun-alun Malang untuk mencari sarapan. Tujuan pertama adalah bakmi ayam!

Sarapan pagi dan kuliner di Malang, mengintip museum Brawijaya
Cwimie Hok Lay

Untuk pilihan bakmi ayam, kami sepakat untuk mencoba cwimie di Kedai Hok Lay.  Unik banget tampilannya, dengan bakwan lebar dan selada yang besar. Tekstur mienya lembut banget, tidak seperti bakmi Medan atau Kalimantan. Namun rasanya menurut saya terlalu asin. Tapi untuk yang ke Malang wajib sih nyobain ini, sekalian nyobain minuman khasnya yang rasa moka. Lokasi dekat banget dengan alun-alun kota Malang. Di dekat sana juga ada Rawon Nguling yang lumayan top disana. Kami sempat mencoba di hari kedua setelah pulang dari Bromo, namun menurut saya rasanya biasa saja seperti rawon biasanya. Rawon Sampit Bandara jauh lebih enak.

Setelah sarapan pagi, kita menuju museum Brawijaya untuk mengisi waktu. Sayangnya kita tidak berlama-lama disini karena tidak terlalu banyak yang menarik. Barang yang dipajang terlalu banyak dan informasi kurang lengkap. Kemudian, kita meluncur ke Toko Oen yang terkenal dengan dessertnya.

Dekorasi dan ambience di Toko Oen asik banget, klasik dan santai buat ngobrol sore gitu tipenya. Wajib dicoba mampir saat ke Malang.

Perjalanan tengah malam menuju Bromo

Tepat sekitar setengah 1 malam, kita dijemput oleh driver hardtop Toyota untuk menuju gerbang Bromo. Perjalanan ke pintu masuk taman nasional sekitar 1 jam. Kemudian perjalanan melintasi padang pasir sekitar 1 jam setengah. Asik banget! Angin malam sejuk menemani laju hardtop yang lumayan ngebut, disertai deru mobil lainnya yang mencapai ratusan. Bromo populer sekali! Setelah pagi dan mathari muncul, saya baru sadar ternyata yang kita lewati adalah padang pasir yang terkenal itu.

Sampai di check-point, kita menunggu sunrise yang masih sekitar 2 jam lagi. Tentunya waktu sebanyak itu, sebagian kita isi dengan menghangatkan badan dengan semangkuk Indomie goreng + telor dan segelas wedang jahe hanget. Harga makanan disana normal, jadi jangan takut untuk makan disana akan diketok harganya.

Indomie subuh

FYI, poin sunrise kita di Bukit Cinta. Tour guide menyarankan agar kita menunggu disana, karena Bukit Penanjakan terlalu jauh. Info yang saya dapatkan sih Bukit Penanjakan jauh lebih bagus karena lebih tinggi sehingga view yang didapatkan lebih cantik karena tidak terhalang Tengger. Bukit Cinta ramai sekali, mungkin karena semua orang yang ikut tour disarankan untuk menunggu disana. Anyway, kami tidak beruntung mendapat sunrise karena tertutup bukit namun mendapatkan momen yang memorable. Setelah matahari naik dan terang, rombongan mobil turun ke padang pasir untuk menuju kawah Bromo.

Untuk menuju kawah Bromo, bisa jalan kaki atapun naik kuda. Tarif yang ditawarkan sekitar 100 ribu rupiah. Kami memutuskan untuk jalan menanjak menuju lokasi yang berjarak sekitar 3 km. Kawah Bromo memang menarik sekali, dalam kondisi yang masih aktif kita bisa melihat indahnya kawah yang ditambahi asap belerang. Penanjakan akan terbayar penuh dengan indahnya cekungan kawah.

Turun dari kawah, kami bersantap makan khas Malang yaitu Bakwan Malang. Nikmat sekali adem-adem sambil makan bakso.

Kemudian kita menuju Pasir Berbisik, tempat yang terkenal karena film terkenal Christine Hakim di tahun 2001. Tour guide akan membawa kita ke spot-spot yang Instagrammable agar peserta bisa berfoto khas Bromo. Percaya saja deh dengan mereka, sudah ribuan kali mereka mengambil foto turis disini.

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • Pilih Bukit Penanjakan untuk melihat matahari terbit! Mungkin saat low season kita bisa jalan kesana tanpa perlu berjibaku dengan turis-turis lain.
  • Jika ingin merasakan pengalaman berbeda, bisa dicoba untuk menyewa motor trail untuk menuju Bromo. Penyewaan motor sekitar 250 ribu rupiah.
  • Bromo cukup dingin, jadi pastikan pakai lengkap berlayer dan tutup kepala dan scarf. Saya sendiri pakai sarung tangan juga karena menjelang subuh dingin sekali.
  • Total biayaTour 300,000 + indomie telor 20,000 + bakwan malang 20,000 = 340,000

 

Solo Trip to Wae Rebo – the Village above the clouds

  • Using motorbike from Labuan Bajo to Wae Rebo in 4 hours one way, total cost of transport 350,000 IDR (150cc scooter).
  • Hiking to Wae Rebo only took 2 hours, better done in the afternoon before it gets dark.
  • Hiking without local guide is totally safe, the path is clearly seen.
  • Two different routes available: Ruteng (slower by 1-2 hours) and Nanga lili (faster), I explored both routes during the trip.

    Early September this year, me and some friends went sailing to Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara. It was indeed one of most memorable trips for me as Labuan Bajo and Flores were tantalizingly beautiful. Story on my Komodo National Park will follow later, because I am very excited to tell you the story on how I explored the western Flores using motorbike to reach Wae Rebo. A little bit of background, Wae Rebo was not in my itinerary in the first place but a talk with @berlinawantah changed my mind. She successfully persuaded me to go to Wae Rebo and even further to the east to reach Kelimutu (which unfortunately not possible due to the time restriction).

If you are reading and wondering how complicated it is to reach Wae Rebo, or how to go there by going solo, or even wondering on the cost to visit the Village above the clouds, I hope this pretty much explains.

Day 0

14:00 Arriving in Labuan Bajo from the sailing trip

15:00 Found motorbike rental

15:00 – 16:00 Batu Cermin

16:00 – 17:00 Check in Siola Hotel

18:00 – 19:00 Dinner at Port and pack supplies (food and water)

Day 1

06:00 – 08:07 Labuan Bajo to Lembor [Breakfast at Warung Banyuwangi]

08:30 – 10:58 Lembor to Dintor Intersection via Ruteng Route

09:53 Kole checkpoint

11:39 Mules island view checkpoint

12:20 Checkpoint 1 (SDN 1 – Pangkalan Ojek)

12:35 Parking my bike and start hiking

12:35 – 14:30 Hiking to Wae Rebo

14:40 Introduction and arrival ceremony at the main house

15:00 – 21:00 Free time and mingle time with fellow travelers

Day 2

08:03 – 09:35 Descending from Wae Rebo

09:35 – 10:00 Way down to intersection (Left: Ruteng, Right: Labuan Bajo)

10:00 – 10:58 Wae Wanga Bridge checkpoint

10:58 – 12:10 Nangaulik – Lembor [Lunch]

13:40 Arriving Labuan Bajo

Motorbike trip Labuan Bajo – Wae Rebo

You might read some of blogpost about Labuan Bajo to Wae Rebo motorbike route and most will recommend the Nanga lili route instead of Ruteng. I tried the both routes for outbound (Ruteng route) and inbound (Nangaulik). Breakdown on the timing and checkpoint, will be listed on the next paragraph. In order to give you better understanding on my route, please see the map below showing my itinerary:

The Bridge is OPEN already

*Google maps will not show the LABUAN BAJO – DENGE via NANGA LILI because the bridge is not in the map yet, but the actual bridge is there so you choose my DAY 2 route as an alternative to go to Wae Rebo to cut some time

 

 

DAY 1 LABUAN BAJO – DENGE 6 HOURS 35 MINUTES

DAY 2 DENGE – LABUAN BAJO 4 HOURS 5 MINUTES

The reasons why I chose the motorbike as a mode for solo travel were its cost effectiveness, its convenience, its speed, and the easiness and convenience to stop on some beautiful spots to enjoy the moment or taking pictures. You surely will enjoy the 100 loops of up and down on the way to Lembor from Labuan Bajo and vice versa on a motorbike! That was one of my memorable routes on Flores! You can also enjoy riding in a big road with rice field views and hills under a warm sun, running 80 km/hours in a smooth road without worrying of a hole disrupting you. Another memorable moment when you ride in the morning, you got to meet elementary students going to the school or even going back from the school if you ride quite late in the afternoon. They will greet you while waving their hands, saying “Good morning mister!” upon their wide smile of innocence. Oh, I am so in love with Flores People’s warmth. Such a miss that I did not allocate more time for a trip to the eastern part of Flores, Kelimutu and Ruteng.

View on the journey back from Denge – view fo Mules island

Hiking route

Solo hiking is definitely fine! I read some people worrying about solo hiking in Wae Rebo, but you should not worry at all. The path is well defined and you will meet some people on the way up whether they are Wae Rebo’s residence or just a fellow traveler. The hike is not difficult and would be done in 2 hours normal speed, however on some parts there might be steep hiking points that will raise your heart rate up.

Beautiful view halfway on the hike

The temperature is warm there, you just need a light windbreaker or fleece jacket. The coldest timing is on the dusk at Wae Rebo but that would be no problem since the house was pretty warm due to its heat insulating capability.

Recommended gear to hike is shorts, light jacket, t-shirt or workout shirt, hiking hats or headband, daypack, hiking shoes / trail running shoes for good grip.

Cost breakdown

Day 0:

Dinner Labuan Bajo         50,000

Water + snacks                 30,000

Gasoline                             75,000

Motorbike rental              300,000

Siola Hotel                         300,000

Batu Cermin fee               20,000

Day 1 & 2:

Breakfast Lembor day 1 40,000

Lunch Lembor day 2        50,000

Lodging Wae Rebo          325,000

*lodging in Wae Rebo includes lunch, dinner, and breakfast with very humble local food

Total cost: 1,190,000 IDR (10 September 2019)

You can save 150,000 (50%) by renting a smaller scooter bike (110cc) instead of 150cc. And staying in guesthouse with shared dorm room with cost around 100,00 IDR. Then you can afford the trip by spending less than 1,000,000 IDR (840,000 IDR to be exact).

Tips and Tricks

1.      Best time to visit Wae Rebo: dry season to avoid raining (May to September). You would not get the best view if it rains.

2.      What products to try there: authentic coffee and honey.

3.      Where to rent a bike? Pretty much available anywhere in Bajo near guest house area or port. Price all the same – 75k per day for small scooter, 150k per day for 150cc scooter, 300k per day for bigger bike. However, 90% of the motorbike rent are automatic scooter so if you are looking for big bike with manual transmission that would be another challenge.

4.      Is it safe to ride motorbike there? Totally safe, just wear the proper safety equipment and you will be fine.

5.      Motorbike parking during the hike: just before the hiking point, you can park the motorbike on the nearby road. It is safe.

6.      Batu Cermin, is it worth visit? If you have spare 1 hour, you can go pay a visit. It is just okay in my opinion.

7.     How much cash to bring? 1 million IDR for everything including motorbike rental and hotel.

8.      Try having shower on the river nearby the village, instead on the normal shower room.

9.      Bring snacks on your own since there will be no one selling snacks on the way hike and on Wae Rebo itself.

10.   Go to the house on the second left, and meet the head of family there. You can talk and maybe buy some coffee from him.

Personal reflections

Being 2 days without internet or mobile signal, it surely refreshes my mind. Actually, being away from mobile for 2 days were nice!

Wae Rebo Children playing in the afternoon

I met some new friends from a different background and places. Once again, Wae Rebo taught me the old way of communication once again. I met some interesting people as well! Some younger guys travelling from Lombok who just climbed Mount Rinjani (envy!) and how they sold Rinjani on how I would be regretful not going there while I have the chance. Met a Malaysian guy who worked as a natural gas trader, Sumatera couple who went to Bajo and saw lots of Manta (envy again!), a Singaporean who was born in Pontianak before, and a group from one of the housing contractors in Indonesia. What a trip it was!

Wae Rebo has gaining its popularity since early 2000s when the visitor counter only reached 10 in a year to thousands in 2018. If you are going to Labuan Bajo, I strongly recommend you add 2 days extra to go there as well!

Banyuwangi Trip

What’s up readers! Kali ini gw akan mencoba share trip ke Banyuwangi, Jawa Timur yang punya banyak tempat liburan yang terkenal. Berikut daftar tempat liburan yang bisa dijangkau lewat Banyuwangi:

  1. Kawah Ijen
  2. Gunung Raung
  3. Watudodol – Pulau Menjangan – Bangsing
  4. Taman Nasional Baluran
  5. Taman Nasional Meru Betiri
  6. Taman Nasional Alas Purwo
  7. Green Bay
  8. Pantai Pulau Merah – Pantai Mustika
  9. De Jawatan
  10. Taman Nasional Bali Barat
Sepedaan bareng Pak Jokowi

Karena keterbatasan waktu dan juga kendala cuaca, kami hanya mengunjungi tempat-tempat yang dicetak tebal dari daftar diatas.  Enaknya wisata di daerah sini: nyari hotel murah gampang, makanan murah banyak tersedia, dan transportasi sangat mudah dijangkau (bahkan transportasi pesawat langsung sudah ada di Bandara Blimbingsari).

Itinerary

Hari pertama

08:00 Mendarat di bandara Blimbingsari

08:30 Sampai di Watudodol, perjalanan taksi dari Bandara sekitar 30 menit

09:00 – 16:00 Pulau Menjangan open trip, perjalanan sekitar 1 jam, snorkelling, makan siang di Pulau Menjangan (termasuk paket open trip), snorkelling lagi, singgah di pulau Tabuhan, kembali ke Watudodol

18:00 – 00:00 Istirahat di hostel sebelum ke Ijen tengah malam

Hari kedua

00:00 – 01:00 Perjalanan dari Banyuwangi ke checkpoint Paltuding, Ijen

01:00 – 01:30 Persiapan pendakian, makan malam di Paltuding

02:00 – 03:30 Pendakian ke puncak Ijen

03:30 – 04:00 Turun ke kawah Ijen untuk melihat blue fire

04:00 – 05:30 Foto-foto dan observasi blue fire

06:00 – 07:00 Perjalanan turun ke Paltuding

09:00 – 10:00 Istirahat sejenak di hotel

10:00 – 11:30  Perjalanan ke Taman Nasional Baluran

12:00 – 16:00 Explore Taman Nasional Baluran (spot foto, pantai, observe binatang liar)

Hari ketiga

09:00 – 12:00 Perjalan ke Pantai Pulau Merah – Pesanggaran dari Banyuwangi

13:00 – 14:00 Pantai Mustika

14:30 – 18:00 Pantai Pulau Merah – enjoy sunset – dinner

Hari keempat

Perjalanan kembali ke bandara dan terbang ke Jakarta.

KAWAH IJEN

Kawah Ijen adalah highlight dari trip kali ini, karena gw merasa senang banget dengan Ijen trip. Kawah Ijen terkenal banget dengan fenomena api biru-nya yang dihasilkan dari pembakaran belerang yang terdapat di lereng kawah Ijen. FYI, tempat ini sebenernya tidak boleh dimasuki oleh turis karena berbahaya. Terlepas dari konsentrasi belerang yang tinggi, medan dan jalan menuju lereng juga berbahaya.

*sehari setelah kunjungan saya ke Ijen, ada kejadian pemandu wisata meninggal karena terjatuh ke pipa belerang saat memotret wisatawan dekat api biru, please be careful and mindful always guys. https://news.detik.com/berita-jawa-timur/d-4517910/diduga-terjatuh-dari-bibir-kawah-guide-kawah-ijen-tewas

Gw menggunakan jasa open trip dari Nahwa Tour (nahwatour.com) yang sangat responsif dalam melayani pelanggan. Total biaya per orang untuk trip Ijen – Baluran pada Maret 2019 sebesar 400,000 IDR per orang.

Kawah Ijen sendiri telah menjadi sumber mata pencaharian warga sekitar sejak puluhan tahun lalu – sumber menambang belerang. Namun seiring populernya Kawah Ijen di kalangan turis, banyak penambang belerang yang beralih profesi menjadi tour guide atau penarik gerobak. Penarik gerobak adalah jasa yang diberikan untuk wisatawan yang tidak sanggup naik menuju puncak Ijen, jadi mereka akan duduk diatas gerobak yang ditarik dan didorong oleh tiga orang. Biaya PP gerobak dari bawah sekitar 800 ribu rupiah, tergantung negosiasi. Gw melihat beberapa orang yang tidak sanggup di pertengahan jalan menggunakan jasa untuk setengah jalan dengan biaya 400 ribu rupiah. Bagi yang tidak terbiasa mendaki atau memiliki masalah di dengkul, disarankan untuk tidak memaksakan diri dan jika masih ngotot untuk naik maka gunakan gerobak. Setelah sampai di puncak pun kita masih perlu turun ke lereng untuk melihat api biru. Medan berbatu cukup berbahaya dan antrian turun ke bawah kadang sangat panjang karena ratusan orang ingin turun ke area blue fire tapi jalan hanya muat dilalui satu orang.

Indomie kuah sebelum pendakian Ijen

Sekitar jam 1 kita sampai di checkpoint Paltuding seteleh dijemput di kota Banyuwangi dengan mobil jeep. Sampai disana, kita nongkrong di warung sambil ngopi dan makan indomie + gorengan. Disitu kita di briefing oleh pemandu dan diberikan masker gas. Gw menyantap satu porsi indomie kuah + telor sebagai bekal untuk nanjak nanti. Indomie subuh-subuh nikmat juga ternyata, lebih lagi udara di Paltuding sudah agak adem-adem semriwing.

Tepat sekitar pukul 2 kita mulai pendakian ke puncak. View ke puncak masih belum bisa dinikmati karena terlalu gelap, kita bisa menikmati betapa indahnya pemandangan disana saat pagi hari saat turun ke Paltuding. Berikut beberapa gambar yang saya dapat di lereng Ijen menuju blue fire (blue fire tidak tampak lagi setelah sunrise).

Salah satu temen gw tidak ikut turun ke lereng, jadi dia menikmati sunrise di puncak. Ternyata pemandangan saat sunrise itu keren banget di puncak! Mistik-mistik cantik gitu. Saran gw setelah lu melihat blue fire yang terkenal itu, segera naik lagi ke puncak. Jangan terlalu lama buang waktu di bawah ngirup banyak uap belerang. In my case, gw gak dapet jelas pemandangan blue fire karena angin lagi bertiup kencang. Peak season untuk Kawah Ijen sendiri adalah diatas bulan Juni saat blue fire lebih jelas terlihat.

 

View dari Puncak Ijen – credit @msantihayusukma
View dari Puncak Ijen – credit @msantihayusukma
BALURAN

Baluran sedikit mengecewakan bagi gw – karena binatang-binatang liar termasuk banteng lagi pada ngumpet. Anyway rasa kecewa sedikit terobati karena view gunungnya lumayan cantik disini.

Baluran itu adalah salah satu taman nasional milik pemerintah lokal, yang konon masih dibagi dua sama Banyuwangi dan Bondowoso. Dulunya taman nasional ini adalah hutan produksi kayu milik Perhutani dan kemudian dibeli oleh pemerintah. Di taman nasional ini ada banyak binatang liar: banteng, rusa, monyet, dan kabarnya ada  macan tutul. Tapi yang terakhir sudah lama tidak terlihat. Sayangnya waktu gw kesana, cuman melihat monyet dan rusa yang malu-malu untuk muncul.

Banyuwangi punya dua taman nasional lagi yaitu Meru Betiri dan Alas Purwo. Yang terakhir itu terkenal banget karena mistis.

JAWATAN

Jawatan atau yang dinamakan De Jawatan, tertelak di desa Benculuk sekitar setengah jam dari kota Banyuwangi. Kita singgah di Jawatan di pagi hari sebelum samai di Pantai Pulau Merah di siangnya.

Pohon Lord of The Rings – De Jawatan

Jawatan sendiri adalah sebuah taman yang tidak terlalu besar, namun penuh dengan pohon-pohon trembesi yang sudah berumur puluhan tahun. Skenik disini dikenal para wisatawan mirip dengan Lord of The Rings. Well, jika kalian mau ke arah Pantai Pulau Merah sok silakan disamperin Jawatan. Setengah jam pun cukup untuk explore tempat ini. Enak buat nyantai-nyantai sambil minum es kelapa muda karena hijau banget dan adem.

PULAU MENJANGAN

Untuk trip ke Pulau Menjangan, kita menggunakan jasa open trip dari Menjangan Tour (+6281338417822). Hari itu kita berangkat total 5 orang dari Watu Dodol (3 rombongan kita dan 2 orang dari Jatim). Jadi check point kita di Watu Dodol, sarapan sebentar lalu siap berangkat pake kapal dengan jarak tempuh perjalanan sekitar 1 jam. Kita gak langsung turun di pulau Menjangan, snorkeling dulu sebentar sekitar 1 jam. Selesai snorkeling kita istirahat makan siang di Menjangan.

Pulau Menjangan dinamakan sesuai namanya, karena banyak rusa menjangan yang berkeliaran disana. Kita sempat melihat satu menjangan yang kemudian lari masuk ke dalam hutan lagi. Di pulau ini juga ada beberapa pura tempat ibadah umat Hindu, karena ini merupakan area Bali. View disini lumayan bagus, karena dapet view pantai dengan background gunung. Minusnya adalah pesisir pantai yang kotor banget. Banyak sampah yang tercecer di tepi pantai mulai dari botol bekas sampai plastik sabun. Kabarnya Ibu Susi Pudjiastuti, Menteri Kelautan kita sempat marah-marah saat berkunjung kesini dan pulau Tabuhan. Pantai langsung dibersihkan namun gak berapa lama kembali kotor. Ya karena yang kotor sebenernya adalah lautnya, bukan pantainya. Yuk kita hindari mengotori laut tercinta kita! Gak mau kan pas lagi mau foto ala-ala di pinggir pantai keliatan plastik bekas mie instan?

Banyak sampah terdampar di Pulau Menjangan

*Hati-hati sama ubur-ubur di sekitar pinggir pantai karena temen gw sempet tersengat, alhasil kaki gatel-gatel deh.

Beres makan siang kita lanjut lagi snorkeling di spot yang lain, kemudian mampir ke Pulau Tabuhan sebelum balik ke Watudodol.

Pulau Tabuhan
PANTAI PULAU MERAH

Pantai Pulau Merah dijangkau sekitar  2 jam setengah dari Banyuwangi. Di pantai ini lumayan banyak yang surfing walaupun sebenernya dilarang untuk main air di laut. FYI, ini salah satu pantai laut selatan yang biasa banyak kasus orang hilang terseret arus.  Jadi yang bisa dilakukan disini adalah sunset hunting dan jalan-jalan di sepanjang pantai. Di sekitar sini juga ada beberapa penginapan yang asik.

Kebetulan kita menginap di tempat yang biasa digunakan karyawan tambang emas. Yep, disana ada penambangan emas. Dari pantai Mustika, terlihat gunung yang perlahan habis karena aktivitas penambangan.

Pulau Merah yang bisa diakses waktu surut
Lokasi tambang emas
Lari sore di Pantai Pulau Merah
Pantai Mustika – salah satu pantai baru di sekitaran Pantai Pulau Merah

Akomodasi

Eston House – Guest House

Budget-friendly guest house yang ternyata tempat kos-kosan juga. Terletak di pusat kota Banyuwangi, yang dikelilingi banyak guest house lainnya. Jadi bakal gampang untuk mencari tempat ini guys. Eston House sangat nyaman, harga yang diberikan juga sesuai dengan fasilitas.

Red Island Villa

Drama sempat terjadi disini, karena kita booking via Booking.com dengan nama yang berbeda. Di booking.com tertera sebagai Surf and Stay Villa yang ketika kita cari keliling Pantai Pulau Merah gak nemu-nemu. Berbekal sotoy-sotoy dan nanya orang sekitar, ternyata villa yang dimaksud bernama Red Island Villa. Penjaga villa tidak menerima konfirmasi dari booking.com jadi kita harus bayar lagi disana namun untungnya hari itu tidak ada pengunjung jadi kita bisa langsung masuk malam itu. Singkat cerita, kita nginap disana dan booking.com kita di-refund. Good place, bisa muat 4 orang. Villa ini sebenernya peruntukkan untuk pegawai tambang emas yang mess karyawannya berada di Pantai Pulau Merah juga.

Kamar Red Island Villa

Total biaya

Ijen Baluran open trip                               400,000
Menjangan open trip                                  275,000
Eston house 2 malam - Banyuwangi                     550,000
Red Island Villa 1 malam (share tiga orang)          175,000
Rental mobil Banyuwangi 1.5 hari (share tiga orang)  280,000
Makan (rata-rata 40 ribu per makan) + jajan          500,000
Belanja oleh-oleh                                    300,000
Taxi + grab                                          250,000
Total                                              2,830,000

Tips

Makanan khas

Sego Tempong

Nasi campur khas Jawa Timur yang pedes. Salah satu favorit gw disini. Bedanya dengan nasi campur biasa ini, kurang manis dan lebih pedes. Sayangnya gw gak ada foto sego tempong.

Sop kesrut !!

Hari terakhir sebelum balik ke Jakarta, gw untunya berkesempatan nyobain sop kesrut. Sop yang dibuat dengan unsur belimbing wuluh dan cabai ini seger banget, jadi pedes-pedes asem gitu. Disantap pake nasi putih + tempe / tahu goreng mantep banget! Must try!

Sop Kesrut – pedes pedes seger

Persiapan mendaki

  • Sebelum mendaki Ijen, pastikan kamu siap karena medan yang nanjak walaupun gak panjang tapi cukup menguras tenaga. Banyak yang tidak terbiasa / kurang aktif mengalami kesulitan disana. Lumayan kan harus bayar gerobak untuk naik kesana. Jadi sebelum kesini, biasakan jogging sedikit untuk persiapan badan kita ya.
  • Untuk pakaian, siapkan pakaian lapis untuk menangkal angin yang lumayan kencang di puncak.
  • Untuk sepatu, sendal tidak diperbolehkan dan sepatu hiking dengan grip bagus sangat disarankan.
  • Siapkan makanan ringan seperti cokelat atau madu untuk tambahan tenaga saat naik.

Oleh-oleh khas

Oleh-oleh khas Banyuwangi yang wajib coba:

Telur asin asap, kopi Banyuwangi, asem-asem, sambel khas Banyuwangi.

 

 

Tyanna Coffee, a coffee gem in North Sumatera

Our coffee hunter team

Perks of being a business traveler, we do get a lot of chance to visit an offbeat area. This time I had a chance to visit the southern part of North Sumatera, which is the Padang Sidempuan city. If it is not business trip, this city definitely is not on my destination list. Based on the recommendation from a local,  we managed to visit a coffee plantation site in Desa Sugi (approximately 40 mins from Padang Sidempuan).

Where is it?

The place is managed by Mr Harahap and it is called the Tyanna Coffee. It was quite far from the road, but should be manageable to reach the address since other village people will easily direct you to the infamous coffee plantation. We took a 30 minutes break to taste the coffee while hearing a short course about coffee from Mr. Harahap. They served us two different coffee with paper and french press brewing technique, and I found that the french press one was tastier.

Traditional paper drip
French press

Is coffee bad for your stomach?

Well, based on the lecture from Mr. Harahap that coffee usually perceived as the acidic liquid that damage your stomach meanwhile the perception is not fully right. The acidity level of the coffee varies within the bean type and the species of the coffee. Within one species of a coffee bean, the acidity level also varies on the grade of the bean. Grade A to C explains its “premium”ity of the beans. The grade can be told from the appearance of the bean, the good or the premium one looks perfect round without any defect. Worms inside the bean may also affect the acidity level of the bean. The bean farmer always sort their beans into those grades. On most cases when you buy the coffee powder, the quality of the beans are that of the mixed one (middle quality). If you have a stomach problem and still want to enjoy coffee, look for a premium coffee!

Dried luwak coffee
Medium level coffee bean

 

 

 

 

 

If you happen to travel around this area, make sure to drop a visit to this place! Truly a coffee gem in the hidden area in North Sumatera.

3 Days Belitung Island Trip

I always cherish the Eid Mubarak season every year. This year, I went on a 3 days trip to Belitung during eid mubarak with a very good friend of mine. Credit to her, for most of the pictures here. Our itinerary was like this:

First day (half day): East Belitung (Tarsius, Kwan Im Temple, Ahok Village, Manggar, and Laskar Pelangi village), Tanjung Pandan for sunset

Second day (full day): Hopping island + Bukit Berahu

Third day (half day): Kaolin crater + Laskar Pelangi beach, souvenirs shopping

East Belitung

Tarsius park

Forget about the national park where the Tarsius is, you cannot find the Tarsius there anymore. I strongly suggest skipping this attraction.

Kwan Im Temple

This is a Confucianism temple, worshiping the goddess of universal love. This is located on the far east of Belitung, far from everywhere. If you want to get your luck and life to be read, you can try here. It is using the ciamsi or qian shi method that had been used since the hundred years ago. Basically you will pour some wooden sticks (after praying in the altar toward gods) and count the numbers of wooden sticks. The number you get will be matched with the poetry, mainly talk about wisdom, praise (good), or warning (not good luck). Anyway, fun things to try.

 

 

Manggar

Coffee everywhere! A small villages in the East, with a lovely beach. We just passed by the village and went straight to the beach for lunch. There is nothing worth visit in the village itself, since the attractions in East Belitung are Laskar Pelangi and Ahok villages, and the Kwan-Im temple.

Laskar Pelangi village

There are two main attractions regarding the Laskar Pelangi. The Andrea Hirata museum and the school building that is being used for the shooting. We went to both places but chose to enter the latter only. We were not really interested in the literature things and the admission ticket is pricy. Because I was not into the Laskar Pelangi hype that time, these places were just okay. If you mean to go to East Belitung for another purpose, these places can be your 10 minutes short stop (only for taking pics). But a special visit just for these places are not worth the long distance. Just my two cents.

Ahok village

Just like Laskar Pelangi village, just okay for me. Ahok is the famous politician in Indonesia, who was born in Belitung. Basically in Ahok Village, you can visit Ahok’s childhood home and neighborhood. Not really interesting for me. We just paid a short visit to buy some souvenirs and took some pics.

 

Hopping around the islands

This is a full-day activity. What you do is actually hopping from one island to another islands in the area of north-western beach (Pantai Tanjung Kelayang). The typical islands visited are: Pulau Pasir, Pulau Lengkuas, Pulau Kelayang, Pulau Batu Berlayar, and Pulau Burung Garuda (this is not accessible, only viewing for afar).  You need to book the trip beforehand and you can pay later after the island hopping finished. That time I rent Bang Midun’s boat (081949245345) after seeing other’s blog review about his service. His crew is the best! They were always ready wherever we want to go, no complaint at all when we were slacking in some island to chill and drinking coconut water, simply the best! And anyway, one of the guy took good picture as well! The price is around 500,000 IDR. When you choose to use other’s service, bear in mind that the price of one boat should be around that range.

 

The tips for island hopping:

  1. Bring your own lunch from the main island. There are some food stalls in Kelayang and Lengkuas Island, but would not be enough for a fulfilling lunch. You will need a complete meal because you will do a lot of physical activities!
  2. Apply a really good sunblock, and re-apply. The sun is really strong there!
  3. Wear a comfy outfits and always be ready to get wet.
  4. If you start in the morning, make the Pulau Pasir as your first destination because the later it gets, the less accessible it is. The high tide will make the island disappear.
  5. Bring snacks for your energy booster: chocolate and sweets. Do not forget to bring biscuits to feed the fish.

My favourite island is the Kelayang island. The famous rainbow granites are here. It only took several minutes walk into the mini forest to reach there. There were a lot of big stones but the slope is okay, so everyone will have no difficulty to reach it. I reached it after the noon so the tide was quite high already (waist level). To get a good picture, suggest coming earlier to have lower tide level.

Seafood eating spree

We tried two seafood restaurant on the first and third day there. The first one was on the East Belitung and the last one was on the West.

1. RM Sinar Laut Ayung BB

In East Belitung, there are three big restaurants that tourist usually visit: Fega Restaurant, Sinar Laut Ayung BB, and Rudi Fakistan. Ayung BB and Rudi Fakistan are located side by side on Pantai Nyiur Melambai. Both of them served fresh seafood, cooked in local style. We decided to try the Ayung BB because Rudi Fakistan was closed that time (Ramadhan holiday). The verdict about their foods:

Must try their fish soup (Gangan) that is served in fresh herbs with a sour and sweet taste. The others are just normal menu that you can have in any Indonesian seafood restaurant. But, the seafood there are just so fresh! For Jakartans like me who used to eat the not-so fresh sea creatures, Belitung seafood was just tantalizingly good. If only they do not contain so much bad cholesterol though! Total costs for three people were around 200-300 thousands.

2. RM Amat

Here you can enjoy a good seafood with a sea view, because they have a outdoor seating concept just beside the sea. While waiting for your food, you can play at the beach. There are swings nearby so I guess this restaurant is very suitable for family. The food was okay but again, the freshness was just perfect! Look how nice the squid from nearb sea was served with the Padang sauce on the picture. Hmmm. The total cost was almost the same like the first restaurant.

 

 

Coffee everywhere!

Kong Djie coffee is the most famous chain of coffee shops here. It existed since 1943 and all Belitungnese just loved this brand. I tried only one branch in Tanjung Pandan beach (amongst several branches all over Belitung), while waiting for the sunset in Tanjung Pandan beach.

Verdict about the coffee: okay, nothing special about the flavour though.

 

Second eating spree – Hakka Chinese Food

Atep vs Acin

These are the KFC and McDonalds of the Belitung noodle. We tried Acin’s and we loved it. The noodle was not the typical Chinese noodle which is served dry. This one is served alongside some sweet sauce and some fried fishcakes, eggs, and beansprouts. The taste is more strong on the sweetness but somehow still have the refreshing taste. Must try!

Hakka restaurant

We tried a Hakka restaurant based on the driver’s suggestion. I totally forgot the name of the signature dish. It was a pork based dish, served with pork stomach and intestines. Loved this restaurant as well. Must try the local Hakka dish of the Belitungnese.

 

 

 

 

Closing remarks: Belitung is underrated. I love this destination so much. I am not a big fan of beach but still I had a good time there. The foods are also amazing, even though we did not have time to explore all. The price is cheap as well and the beach is still relatively clean. People are also nice! Come and visit Belitung!

*they are building a good hotel and golf range on the seaside so you can even consider playing golf here after doing some water activities

Bunaken! Another perks of being a field engineer

Yeap, this is a post for remembering my field engineer days back in 2015. As a field engineer, you got to travel, a lot. Somehow it brought you to the place so beautiful or so remote that you even do not want to go back again for the next job. Luckily, I got a jackpot for the Lahendong geothermal job in North Sulawesi. With a perfect timing, the job was finished on time (well drilled) so I got released then have time to explore Bunaken!

Bunaken is an infamous underwater park with beautiful corals ecosystem (even slightly damaged) and good snorkeling and diving spots. Unfortunately, we did not have GoPro at that time so we cannot get good picture of the underwater view. We hired a underwater photograph but seemingly that guy only took the pictures of us feeding tropical fishes and some not so good photo of us holding on to the corals whilst holding out our breath.

We visited on not peak day, it is a week day I think that I met no tourists group there. We rented a private speed boat, accompanied by two local guys that bring us to three snorkeling spots. We expected to meet the legendary turtle back there, but unfortunately we did not meet him. Basically, on the package they offer to you you will get three snorkeling spots, equipment rents, and lunch. As a fish eater, I loved the food there. You can choose the fishes you want to be grilled with Manado spice style. I love their chillies, they are so good that I eat more than one portion.

I’ve been snorkeling in Bali, and I can say that Bunaken is far better. It is less damaged, the fish species are more varied and more beautiful. I met some fish species that are weird, some baloon look alike fish, and rainbow fish. It was magical under the water, the time flew so fast there. I bet diving will be more exciting as you will go deeper to see more beautiful scenery and more fishes, weirder species one. Maybe met the legendary turtle! I really recommended this place as it is not that expensive, even could be cheaper if you travel with more people so you can rent bigger ships with cheaper price. We did not stay at the island because the price is high, we prefer to go back to Manado which is 45 minutes boat ride. There are lots of cheap inn and hotel nearby the port, so do not worry.

This is some of the evidence of our trips, can you imagine the feeling you got after finishing work at this place:

Drilling site of Lahendong Geothermal
Drilling site of Lahendong Geothermal

To have fun at this paradise:

Bunaken1 Bunaken2

I hope our government (specially North Sulawei government) can promote and support the local players of tourist industry, and we as Indonesian people should explore more places in Indonesia as travel destinations. If you travel there, you will help the local economics to grow! Please explore our local travel destinations.

Urban Legend in North Tapanuli

North Tapanuli is a regency in North Sumatera, Indonesia. It is where I reside for almost two years, working at the Sarulla drilling project. North Tapanuli is inhabited by Bataknese, one of major ethnic in Indonesia. I want to share a few urban legends that believed there. There is even one ghost sighting caught on camera on one of the list. Here are the list:

  1. Onan Begu (ghost market or pasar hantu in Bahasa Indonesia) is located on WJP drilling area. WJP drilling area supply the steam for NAMORA I LANGIT power plant. The WJP that accounts for several production wells actually have a story among the locals. WJP is the most remote area amongst the other drilling area, which is also remote by the way. But the WJP is even remote because no mobile phone signal exist there. Added that the location is far away into the dark woods. It is called Onan Begu because it was actually a flat field in the middle of the woods before becoming a drilling pad. Ghost and spirits are believed to gather there. Right now after it became a drilling area, mysterious howling and sounds often heard in the dark trees, sometimes the crew says that they see a white woman fly around the area. One time I obliged to install the electrical grounding for our unit in the location. While sitting in the fron row seat, I glanced to one of the fence nearby that area. You know in a drilling site, they put a police line to restrict people entering the area. One segment of the police line suddenly moving up and down in a slightly slow motion. Maybe it’s the wind or something was sitting there. Yeah, anything can happens right?
  2. The deadly turn. Between NAMORA I LANGIT and SILANGKITANG power plant area (around twelve kilometres) there is one turn that believed to be haunted. The road is a main road for Sumatera land transportation so the legend is widely known among truck driver. From NAMORA I LANGIT, the turn is located after the steep descent with rather blind-sided turn to the left. There is a sign that reads “CAUTION! ACCIDENT PRONE” or “AWAS RAWAN KECELAKAAN.” Accidents happen there mostly involve heavy truck and other heavy vehicle with low control. Right beneath the turn is a 20 metres deep cliff, where the vehicle often ends up in. The legend says a bad woman inhabited in the bottom of the cliff, demanding death people every year for retribution. Around 30 metres after the turn, you can find a cave on the left side with a skull sign in front of it. It was said to be the woman’s place that no one is permitted to enter. Actually I ever saw a truck crashed into the cliff, making three of the passengers dead in the place. Luckily I saw only the truck and the dead victims were already evacuated.
  3. NAMORA I LANGIT and SIMATANIARI. Name of place near the NIL Power Plant. NAMORA I LANGIT means very near from the sky and SIMATANIARI means near from the sun. They are the highest place in the region so the naming sounds very acceptable.
  4. Begu Ganjang is name of traditional ghost legend in Tapanuli region. People believe Begu Ganjang is a ghost that treated and kept by human (black magic), in order to gain wealth and honor.Begu Ganjang fed by human blood and flesh. Begu Ganjang also could be sent to kill a rival or an enemy. However, in my opinion Begu Ganjang is just a myth from the past. It was often that people accused of using Begu Ganjang killed and burned alive. People in the past could easily be manipulated and misleaded by ghost info in a motive of social jealously.
  5. The Fourth Roustabout. Is a story about mysterious roustabout. Roustabout is a crew that works in drilling
    Examine the red circle
    Examine the red circle

    rig, mostly doing task like lifting, hoisting, cleaning, and mixing chemical.However, one time a night drilling supervisor in NIL area caught a unusual sight of roustabout working near the shale shaker. Through the security camera, he saw three man cleaning the shale shaker area. The three man were wearing blue coveralls and yellow hats. However, the three man seemed not noticing another man/woman standing in the middle wearing all white clothes. They were really sure that only three of them working there. The identity of the mysterious guest is still unknown. The drilling rig actually had a sad story, happened around 10 months ago. One of the night drilling supervisor had a heart attack on rig site after having an argument with his boss. Unfortunately he cannot survived and died on the ambulance. It was the exact rig where the fourth roustabout sighting.

That is all I got for the urban legend. Do you have any other urband legend in your region? Please comment!