[ Chinese version temporary unavailable due to the errors of Chinese input in my PC ]
第3篇 : 走访印尼世界自然遗产 Discovering Ancient World of Indonesia III January 31, 2010 – Malang / Mt. Bromo
We reached Surabaya Gubeng Train Station around 10:30pm, which is later than we expected. We were worrying if we are able to reach Helios Tour office to join the Bromo Midnight Tour in Malang by 1:00am. Without much consideration, we had come up with an emergent planning, we will take cab rather than bus to Purabaya Terminal (aka Bungur Asih).
The ethics of the taxi driver is also similar as in Malaysia, rather dealing an amount than using the meters. I was bargaining with the pricing and eventually I agreed to pay him IDR42,000. Fortunately my calculation was right. When we reached there, the meter was showing IDR42,500, if adding the parking fee of IDR2,000, by right I should be paying him IDR44,500. The taxi driver must be amazed and impressed, he even stopped his car along the road and help us to catch the bus to Malang. Eventually he managed to lead us to the last bus from Surabaya to Malang around 11:40pm.
The journey doesn’t take too long, approximately 1:30 hours for the midnight drive. The only thing I could not accept is the bus is a 5-seater per row. The seats are so small and definitely not meant for obese. It was so packed till you have to walk horizontally, just like a walking crab.
Once we get off the bus, we took cab to Helios Tours office. Surprisingly, only both of us will be joining the trip to Bromo. After simple cleansing up, the English-speaking tour guide Budi and driver Harry is about to bring us to the peak of Mt Penanjakan and Mt. Bromo.
I have checked several tour recommendations online on the routes to Bromo. However, our time is very limited and I certainly do not want to miss out such opportunity to visit Bromo. That is why we are sacrificing our sleeping hours. To those who need to sleep or bring a sleeping beauty, such midnight trip is not recommended.
Other than the spectacular view and cradles of volcano, Mt. Bromo is still an active volcano. Once you climbed up the stairs to the peak, you can clearly see the sulfur smoke came out from the cradle, also you can clearly hear the sounds of "activities".
Photos speak more than words. Take a look at the breathetaking photos taken by us.
In the afternoon, other than the introduction of not very popular attractions, Budi and Harry brought us to the last destination - Singoraja Temple nearby Malang Town. We thought that Is the end of our journey in Malang, but Budi and Harry did something beyond our expectations. They brought us to the city centre of Malang, where it is a combination of CBD, recreations and administration.
Before we are leaving Malang, we asked Harry to drop us at Gajahmada Graha Hotel. The hotel look exactly like a castle more than a hotel. Although we don't have the chance to spend a night, we decided to have our lunch in the restaurant named "Cleopetra" in this beautiful castle. Every thing looks great, only the food turns out to be otherwise, it is not that awful but comparing to my cooking skills, I dare to say I am MUCH better than their cook.
After having our disappointing lunch in a “castle”, we took mini bus (in fact it is a very mini van) that cost us IDR3000 per person to Malang’s Arjosari Terminal. Before entering the bus ticketing counter, you have to pay a nominal fee of IDR800/1000, then you can proceed to any ticketing counters to purchase your ticket. We have decided to take on-the-spot and ready-to-go executive class bus. Don’t be too happy when you heard that it is a business or executive class bus. Compare with our buses such as Konsortium or 4-seater Plusliner or Transnasional, they are even worse. Just imagine that you have a squeeze a little bit in an executive class bus for the journey that takes about 2-3 hours, and the air-conditioner is not working fine, it cost IDR15000.
When we reached Surabaya’s Pura Baya Terminal, the time is already 6 in the evening. We decided to take public bus that only cost IDR2500 to our accommodation, Mercure Surabaya Hotel. It is a 4-star hotel managed by world’s renowned hospitality Accor, the cost per night is only RM150.00, booked via Travelocity.com. There is nothing much nearby the hotel, however, we were told there is a moderate shopping mall right behind the hotel, operating 24/7, so you don’t have to worry if you are hungry and needed to buy souvenirs, the store has everything you need, just make sure you bring enough cash, lolxxxx
Since we have not much time and the night is still young, we took a cab to Surabaya’s largest shopping mall Tunjungan Plaza. The mall is bigger than I expected, you can find lot of international brands, however, not every boutique are offering prices lower than KL.
Surabaya, to me, is a great city with Chinese and friendly Indonesian. Comparing to KL, I think I like Surabaya more.
第4篇 : 走访印尼世界自然遗产 Discovering Ancient World of Indonesia IV
February 01, 2010 - Surabaya
Today is the last day staying in Indonesia. It is my first visit, though you can see the gap between poverty and wealthy, one thing you can’t deny is they are very friendly. Years ago, they might had hatred and discrimination towards foreigner and Chinese, right now, what I can see is harmony.
Before leaving the hotel, we were camwhore at the lobby. I thought that we might reach the airport on time but I was really wrong, the journey took longer than I expected and it is definitely far away from the hotel. It takes about 45 minutes to reach the airport.
Though we are taking Malaysia Airlines, however we started to feel panic as we know we might “missed” the flight. When we reached the check-in counter, we faced another problem. Everyone who is leaving Indonesia must be paying Departure Tax (Airport Tax) of IDR150000 or RM70 per person. When we heard that, we were shocked and helpless, because we DO NOT have enough cash. We took out every notes and coins we have, either in Indonesian Rupiah or Malaysian Ringgit, it is still insufficient.
Without wasting more time, I went to the ATM and trying to withdraw cash by using my credit card, but the transaction was failed due to wrong password. I even called the bank and talked on the phone for so long, seeking solutions and assistances from them but to my surprise, they are NOT ABLE TO RESET PASSWORD for me. I was very pissed and disappointed by this “World’s Local Bank”. I used to work in world’s renowned charge card company as Authorisation Analyst and I certainly know they are able to RESET MY PASSWORD.
Half way I was begging for assistance on the phone, my friend and a custom officer were looking for me. My friend told me that the custom officer has granted us the approval to check-in with the cash we have on hand. We both were so thankful and glad that he is giving us a very helping hand. Otherwise, I’m gonna miss the flight and spending more, or maybe we will be locked-up in Surabaya.
I’ve learned a lesson, better safe than sorry. It is best to have more cash either in own or local currency on hand than facing troubles.
U N I Q L O = S I E N L O (Boring in Hokkien) This blog was supposingly to be posted by Nov 04, 2010 but I have overlooked it in my draft. Sorry for the delay.
This blog has no intention in defaming or offensing anyone or any parties. Condenming yourself is totally out of my control. I am just sharing my opinion. If you like it, THANK YOU. If you don't like it, you may ignore this posting.
If Malaysia Boleh, then Malaysian must be Boleh, but I wonder how many Malaysians really Boleh?!
I think majority of Malaysians are just too naive, they are Boleh because they always follow the trends. Seeing what you are using and going after, everyone will be doing the same, so what is the difference with Kiasu Singaporean?
Uniqlo is coming to Kuala Lumpur (Already officially launched on Nov 04, 2010 at Fahrenheit 88 Plaza), apparently they claimed that they are CHEAP JAPANESE FASHION. Majority of Malaysians are so crazy about it, keep joining and talking about Uniqlo before it is coming to town. Even Uniqlo's Facebook can get more than 20K fans before the official launch date.
Okay, you know Uniqlo is the cheap japanese brand, but how many of you know about Uniqlo MALAYSIA? How many of you know about origin of Uniqlo? I am pissed when I saw some wannabes posted "Uniqlo is Singapore's famous brand, they are coming to Kuala Lumpur". When I read the online news about Uniqlo will be hitting Malaysian shores, I was happy but I am also disappointed right after I got to know DNP Clothing is the franchisee (although business formation is known as joint-venture perspective with 45.00% stake). I am disappointed because I knew that prices of Uniqlo clothing in Malaysia would not be as cheap as in Japan, HK and other countries. Why do I say that?
First, DNP clothing is a member of WingTai Asia from Singapore. To be frank, I hate Singaporean's Retail Management due to their egoness, disrespect and autocracy. Thinking they gonna offer the price like HKD99 = MYR41.25 (conversion rate of MYR1.00 = HKD2.40)? You should be thankful for not charging you HKD99.00 = MYR99.00
Second, DNP Clothing is also franchisee of TopShop, TopMan, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Diva . Comparing the prices of TopShop in UK, after conversion of Pounds Sterling to Ringgit Malaysia, do you see the differences? Yes, apparently the conversion rate is also much higher than the market currency rate.
If you are telling me that they have to take other facts such as freight, taxes and etc into consideration, bear in mind that the cost of these type of FAST FASHION is cheap and franchisee would have rights to choose and import any designs from the outsourcing manufacturers from China, Vietnam, and etc. Best example, you can find exactly the same made-in-China design from Forever 21 in TAMAN CONNAUGHT PASAR MALAM.
Throughout the period of mid of October to 7 of November, my Facebook wall was flooded by annoying "Uniqlo" fans, it's either the photo before or after their opening, that's why I called "S I E N L O", basically it mean "boring to see it". Seeing so many people who have bought Uniqlo are as proud as they have just returned from war with victory. Also, keep telling others "how cheap" they have spent, in fact, if they just need to have to get to know a little knowledge, they wouldn't have been fooled.
If you think queuing for 2 hours to get in, an hour to try out the clothes and 2 hours to make the payment is simply worth it, then go ahead. All you need to remember is if you are staying in KL and majority have also bought the so-called best selling T-shirt (e.g. Mickey Mouse), the chances to bump into someone (or more) wearing the same design, I have no doubts.
Think twice before you go for it. To me, it is not worth buying in Malaysia.
There was once I typed "Let's see who will be condenming in my next blog post" in my Facebook.
In fact I just wanna telling my frustration, I'm not pointing at anyone, however such incident is always happen, perhaps that is human being, but should behaved.
Question : When you are travelling overseas, do you buy souvenirs to your friends when you return?
Answer : I would!
Question : However, the gift that you've bought normally could it be an affordable common gift to you and it may have been bought by others?
Answer : Yes, that's what I bought.
Straight to the point, I was travelling couple of times. No matter how busy I was, I always trying my best to figure out what souvenir to buy for my friends. At the same time, taking certain facts into consideration to make sure they won't be complaining. Hence, I will buy either local foods or customised common gift. Moreover, I keep telling myself, they are my best buddies, they won't be mind.
On top of that, I was travelling further this time, and was striked by the high conversion currency too, that's why the customised common guft came to my mind immediately, make it as a "Special Gift", so that it will looks different from others.
Unfortunately I was wrong. Some of them did not say a word but from their expression when they first sighted the gift, I know what's on their mind. They are only minority voice out their dissatisfaction that is consider harsh to me:-
"I have got many, it's a routine buy for those who went there, I don't even know where to place this"
I bought a heart, an appreciation. It represent our friendship and your status in my heart, however, I did not get any words of appreciation but criticism. Will you only be satisfied with goldsmiths? How would you feel if you were me?
"The food is disgusting"
Reason I bought food is because it is a well-known local product, moreover, I did not buy any other souvenirs. I haven't tried it before, so I was thinking maybe I can share with them too at the same time. Whether the food taste good or not, it is totally out of my control, definitely not my responsibility as well. If I were them, though the food is really awful, I will only briefly telling them that I can't get used to the taste or just a little sweet and etc. You wouldn't find me saying the harsh word "disgusting".
Apparently I am hurt when your besties saying that to you. But I am hoping them to recall their memories if they have done the job like I did, re-think if they are qualified to criticise others.
Though we are good friends and they might think I should not get mad over these. However, I would like to strongly emphasize that if such incident happen for the first time, I will be ifne. If it repeat as second incident, I am still fine. But why do you need to repeat for the third time when you had done it for twice?!
My 2010 Travel Log (You may know how much is my appreciation, and how much of criticism I get in return)
Jan - Indonesia --- Yogyakarta, Malang, Mt. Bromo, Surabaya
Mar - Indonesia --- Medan, Lake Toba
May - Indonesia --- Bali Island
Sep - China --- Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou
Oct - Australia --- Melbourne, Silvan, Phillip Island, Ballarat, Lismore, Camperdown, Port Campbell (Great Ocean Road), Sydney, Blue Mountain, Gold Coast