Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Continuing my previous post.

 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012 – Bangkok, Thailand

In Bangkok, we did not need to be in a rush, since we spent more than 1 day here. We woke up late on the next morning and enjoy our time. Our plan was to go shopping at Platinum and MBK. We had our late breakfast and early lunch at KFC since we don’t want to go too far .

After lunch, we went to money changer at Khaosan Road and then back to our hotel since we want to buy Simon Cabaret ticket show there.
At first the ticket price was THB1200, but my friend successfully persuaded the sales person, so we only need to pay THB700 for one ticket.

We took taxi to Bus Station. It was quite difficult to get taxi in Bangkok, especially if you were in group. You need to ask the driver first and make sure that he will use meter. We got rejected several times, many of them were pink colored. We bought bus ticket to Phuket at the bus station and then headed to Platinum to shop. Yeayyy…:)

For women, I think Platinum is heaven. We can spend hours at this place. There were three zones here and you can find many clothing stores here. Unfortunately, we needed to go back to hotel before 6.30PM since we will need to go to Asia Hotel to watch the Cabaret show (Lady Boy show). To go back to hotel, we walked for 10 minutes to the nearest BTS (Sky Train) station. It was really exhausting since we have shopped for like 3-4 hours and we still needed to walk in the middle of the sunny and hot weather. Tired and sweaty, finally we arrived at the BTS station. Bangkok BTS (Sky Train) and MRT (Subway) system are quite new and it has improved Thailand transportation system. You should try them! They are quite similar with Singapore and South Korea.

A free pick up was arranged by the travel agency to pick us from Greenhouse Hotel to Asia Hotel. Since we didn’t have enough time to change clothes, we headed to Asia Hotel with the same clothes as this morning. We looked really messy, but we tried to stay cool. Hehe.:)
The cabaret show was really amusing and interesting. The lady boys were really pretty and very looked alike with real ladies. I wonder how they did the trans-gender surgery and how much they’ve paid for it.😛
They acted, danced, and imitating popular singers on that stage. The show was so well prepared and performed. Even though the ticket price was quite expensive, but it was worth to watch.

I asked my friend who ever watched similar show in Phuket, she said that they were not allowed to take pictures during the show. That did not apply to us, we can take pictures and video during the show in Bangkok. After the show, you can take photographs with your chosen lady boys and give them some tip. Usually you can give them around THB50-100. Put the money inside their palms after taking photo.

Expenses Summary:

KFC: THB80/ person
Simon Cabaret Show: THB700/ person
Taxi (Greenhouse – Bus Station): THB100
Ticket Bus to Phuket: THB626/ person
Taxi (Bus Station – Platinum): THB170
Shopping at Platinum: ~THB1000 (Optional)
BTS + MRT (Platinum – Hua Lampong): THB38/ person
Taxi (Hua Lampong – Khaosan): THB80
Bus (Phrom Pong – Khaosan): THB15/ person

Continuing my previous post.

 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 – Siem Reap, Cambodia

We have made an appointment with Ra on the previous day to take us to Angkor Wat. Ra promised to pick us up at around 4.30AM. We really need to get up very early since we need to watch the sun rises before 6AM.

At 5AM, we left the hostel to Angkor Wat. It was a bit late than our schedule since suddenly Ra could not make it and asked his friends instead. We spent quite sometime to make an agreement for the price. Usually it would cost around USD17 for a whole day trip by Tuk Tuk at Angkor Wat. We only had time until 10AM to go around Angkor Wat, so we expect a lower price than the whole day tour. Finally, the drivers agree for USD11.00 per tuk tuk.

When we arrived at the entrance of Angkor Wat, the drivers told us to get down and go to the counter. To enter Angkor Wat, they need to get our photographs and print it on the ticket. We were quite confused by this policy. The entrance fee was quite expensive for us. It was USD20 per person.

Watching the sun rose behind the Angkor Wat temple was an amazing experience. I got to see the sky changing colors and the sun light between the temples. We can also see the reflection of the temples on the water below it. It was really beautiful and elegant.:)

Next destination in Angkor Wat is Bayon temple. Some parts of the temple was already ruined, but you still could see most the sections. Overall, the temple is really nice. You could go inside the temple and go up to the highest section.

Since we only had limited time here, we visited Ta Prohm temple (Tomb Raider) as our last sightseeing location. Most of the temple area were under construction, so you could not explore it fully. But you still can see the big trees above the stone gate or temple. And that was cool.

After that, we returned back to hostel and start to pack since there will be a van/mini bus to pick us up at 11AM. Luckily, we were the first group to be picked up since turned out, the number of guests who bought the ticket was more than the van seat capacity. A woman needed to sit at the small edge of the car floor. She was quite angry, but could not do anything since she needed to catch a flight in Bangkok.

The trip from Siem Reap to the Thailand Border took around 2-3 hours. And we were quite surprised when we get down at the border. The outside temperature was so hot and the place was so noisy and crowded. Cambodian immigration had only three small counters to serve many foreigners and citizens who wants to leave the country.

Expenses Summary:

Siem Reap

Angkor Wat Entrance Fee: USD20.00
Tuktuk to Angkor Wat: USD11.00/ tuktuk
Lunch at Golden Temple: USD3.00/ person

 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012 – Bangkok, Thailand

We still needed to walk to Thailand immigration office after passing the Cambodia border. There was a huge different between the Cambodia and Thailand immigration office. Thailand immigration has a nice building with air conditioner and better queue.:)

In the middle of the hot weather, we still need to walk for about 5 minutes to get to the car which will take us to the van station. They need to change cars since the wheel position is different, Cambodia = Left, Thailand = Right.

The trip from Thailand border to Bangkok city took around 5 hours. And it was already night when we arrived at Khaosan Road where our hostel was located. We booked Greenhouse Hotel through Agoda based on my friend’s recommendation. But, it was quite different with our theectation. Even the location was really good, I could not say so about the room condition. Compare to our other hostels, our room in this hotel was quite so-so.

Expenses Summary:

Bangkok

Lunch at Rest Area: THB70.00/ person
GreenHouse Hotel: USD10.00/ person
Dinner at Khaosan Road: THB60/ person

Continuing my previous post.

Monday, 23 April 2012 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Since Ja said that there will be a free pick up from the bus company, we got up very early in the morning. We expected the pick up will be at around 7.30AM since the bus to Siem Reap will leave at 8AM. We checked out from the hostel and waited at the front lobby. We have been ready since 7AM.

We started to worry when the time showed 7.15AM but there was no sign of the pick up arrival. We tried to call the bus company many many times, but there was no answer. We were really afraid that we got scammed. But we tried not to get panicked. We could not wait any longer when time showed 7.25AM. We decided to get going by tuk tuk even though we were not sure of the bus station address. We just hoped that the Tuktuk Driver knows the location and that will be the same as the one that we visited last night.

Thanks God. We finally arrived at the bus station.:)

The station was crowded and quite messy. As I said in my previous post, the city is quite old school. As I looked around, the people fashion was similar with our country in 1990’s.:)

We asked the person at the counter and she said that there was tuktuk drivers tried to pick us up at the hostel. We said that we have been waiting for quite long and they were too late. We dissapointed but relieved, since we knew that Ja was not lying to us.

After we get on the bus, our amazing journey begin. Now I could tell you one reason why I regret my decision to buy Paramount Angkor Express Bus ticket. I checked out online about this bus company and found many bad reviews against it. Such as accident or bad services. I was shocked but tried to hide this information from my friends. Based on the online review, the accident or bad service were related to the night buses, so I was hoping that this trip will go smoothly without any troubles.:)

During the trip, I realized that this bus contains many local people. I think that we were the only tourists at that time. Since it was local, you could imagine how crowded it was (maybe similar with the bus crossing Sumatra or Java). It was not a pleasant journey if I could summarize. My recommendation is to take Mekong Express company or any other companies, but don’t forget to check it out online first. Another recommendation is to have ransom or snacks for your bus trip. You may not want to get hungry and eat at some random restaurants along the way. Hehe.:)

Expenses Summary:

Phnom Penh

Tuk Tuk (Mad Monkey – Bus Station): USD3.00/ tuktuk
Breakfast: USD3.00/ person

 

Monday, 23 April 2012 – Siem Reap, Cambodia

I am really grateful that we could arrived safely in Siem reap at around 4PM after 7 hours journey. We were again lucky that we already had a TukTuk Driver (friend of Ja) who waited us at the bus station, ready to drive us to our hostel. We don’t need to pay again, since it’s already included in our ticket bus price (as the Tuktuk Driver said). The tuktuks in Siem Reap are generally smaller than in Phnom Penh. We could not use 1 tuk tuk for 5 people.

We had a late lunch right after we arrived at our hostel Golden Temple Villa. It was such a nice hostel with friendly staffs. We ordered a set of Amok (a traditional food) and we ate it like crazy. After cleaning up ourselves, we bought bus ticket to Bangkok at the hostel receptionist. Then we went out to the night market and Pub Street which was within walking distance from our hostel. We only needed to walk around 7 minutes to get there.

The Pub Street was full of restaurants and shops. It is quite similar with Legian or Kuta area in Bali. It is very touristy and really nice to walk around the area. You can have dinner at one of the restaurants, or shopping at the night market. Do not forget to bargain! If you know how to be nice and bargain, the seller might give you a best price. The souvenir price is quite cheap. But since I understand that the people here is not rich and even we can say that they are poor, please do not so thrifthy if you have enough money to spend.:)

There is one restaurant (Temple Balcony) where you can see Apsara Dance show every night at 7.30PM. You may also find similar show at the old night market area. Don’t hesitate to ask around if you get lost or need to find direction.

The night market area is a nice place to take pictures since there are many decorative lights. The area is really hip, fun, and beautiful at the same time. We left the area at around 12AM. We need to get some sleep since tomorrow morning, we will go to Angkor Wat to watch the sun rises.:)

Expenses Summary:

Siem Reap

Golden Temple Villa Hostel: USD12.00/ person
Lunch at Golden Temple Restaurant: USD3.00/ person
Ticket Bus to Bangkok: USD11.00/ person
Dinner at Temple Balcony: USD5.00/ person
Ice Cream: USD1.50/ person
Souvenirs: USD15.00 (Optional)

Continuing my previous post.

Sunday, 22 April 2012 – Saigon, Vietnam

We decided to get up early in the morning since we only had time until 12PM to visit some places in Saigon. We asked Vy for some recommendation of tourist places for city tour.

She showed us a map and highlighted some spots to visit.

1. Reunification Palace

It took us around 15 minutes by taxi to go to this place from our hostel. The location is not too far and we got to enjoy the view of Saigon city. Basically Reunification Palace is a museum where you can see different rooms which had been used by the people who fought for Vietnam freedom/ independence or Vietnam War. You could also see many documentation pictures telling stories about those moments at the photo gallery.

2. Notre Dame Church/ Cathedral

You can just walk for 5-10 minutes to go to this place. Along the way, you can enjoy the scenery of a public park and Saigon citizens hanging out on the street. This is one big difference between Jakarta and Saigon. I really envy the atmosphere of the city.:)

Here, you can take pictures in front of the cathedral or just sitting at the park. It was free.:)

3. Old Post Office

Well, it is just an old post office and you can consider it as a museum. We only took pictures here and checking the souvenir shops.

4. Ben Thanh Market

After modelling session at above places, we took off to Ben Thanh market to have late breakfast and early lunch. We took taxi again to KFC near the market. Ben Thanh market is a traditional market and you can try to find many things here. But be careful, there might be pick-pockets here, so you need to watch for your belongings. Better not to bring bags or wallet, just some money enough to buy what you need. If you did not really intend to buy something, you better not ask the price or bargain with the seller. :p They might be mad at you.

After lunch, we walked back to hostel to pack, since there will be someone to pick us up and bring us to the bus station. The bus to Phnom Penh will leave at 1PM.

Expenses summary:

Saigon
Ticket Bus to Phnom Penh: VND210,000
Taxi (Vy Khanh – Reunification Palace): VND40,000
Ticket Reunification Palace: VND30,000/ person
Taxi (Reunification Palace – Ben Thanh): VND40,000
Lunch: VND70,000/ person

 

Sunday, 22 April 2012 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

We arrived in Phnom Penh at around 8PM. We stopped at the bus company office. We walked in and tried to find some direction to our hostel (The Mad Monkey). Well, even though the people is not as friendly as Indonesian, but since they are also Asian, they still wanted to help us with limited English speaking.

Once we got out from the office, my friend told me that there was a Tuktuk Driver who is willing to take us to our hostel. Since we were 5 people with big luggage, we needed 2 Tuktuks.

The Tuk Tuk Driver’s name is Ja, and he recommended us to buy ticket bus to Siem Reap in a bus station. Actually, he had a good intention and really nice. He spoke English quite fluently. But, unfortunately, I have to regret my decision of buying the ticket bus from Paramount Angkor Express company. I’ll tell you later. We paid $12 for each ticket. It was rather expensive compare to other bus companies. I think that it was also including Ja’s tip/fee for bringing us to the station.

Ja drove us to Mad Monkey Hostel. He surely knew the way and had a good experience with tourists. I could say that we were quite lucky to meet Ja who could tell us about Phnom Penh and could take us to our hostel, without scamming us to pay an unreasonable amount of money. He was quite trustful. Sometimes, there might be bad tuktuk drivers who want to scam you, so you need to be careful and better not believe anything they said unless you have heard about it.

Ja informed us that we will be picked up from the hostel tomorrow morning to go to the bus station. The bus to Siem Reap will leave at 8AM.

In my opinion, Phnom Penh is a nice city and I could compare it with Jakarta on the 1990’s. It was so old school, the people, the buildings. Not so much to see, but it was quite an experience. Ja warned us to be careful with out belongings, like camera or bags, since we were taking pictures on tuk tuk and there might be snatcher using motorbike. And here in Cambodia, you will need to use 2 currencies, US Dollar (USD) and Cambodian Riel. The common rate usually 1 USD = 4000 Riel. They might give you Riel if your change is under 1 Dollar.

Arrived at the hostel, we checked in and went out again for dinner. The Mad Monkey Hostel is quite well located. We walked a bit to a big street, and took a tuktuk to Sorya mall (some kind food and entertainment district). You can find many street foods and restaurants there. We had some street foods, but since we were very hungry, we ended up in a restaurant for the main course.:)

Expenses summary:

Phnom Penh

Tuk Tuk (Bus Office – Mad Monkey): USD3.00/ tuktuk
Ticket Bus to Siem Reap: USD12.00/ person
The Mad Monkey Hostel: USD11.00/ person
Tuk Tuk (Mad Monkey – Sorya Mall): USD2.00/ tuktuk
Street Food: USD3.00
Dinner Le Bon Cafe: USD3.50/ person
Tuk Tuk (Sorya Mall – Mad Monkey): USD2.00/ tuktuk

It has been a long time since my last post. Now, I would like to write some itineraries of my trip to some of ASEAN (South East Asia) countries.

Saturday, 21 April 2012 – JAKARTA and SAIGON

My Father took me to Soekarno Hatta Airport Terminal 3, Cengkareng. Currently, Terminal 3 is only used for Air Asia flights (domestic and international). This is a new terminal and I could say that it is the best from all terminals in CGK airport. Hehe.

Actually My friends and I were supposed to meet at Starbucks, but since they were a little bit late, we had a slight change on our meeting point.

One of my friend who brought our tickets was quite late that day, that caused us to be a little worried since we needed to queue at the immigration line. Well, not the best way to begin the trip.:)

Finally, we passed the immigration with some grudges, especially Mesa, since she needed to leave some of her facial care stuffs behind due to violation of the cabin baggage policy (100ml liquid). I felt bad because I really forget to remind her about that.😦

Our flight took off at around 5PM (GMT+7) from Jakarta and landed at around 8PM in Saigon. There is no time difference between those two places.

We took airport taxi from SGN airport to our hostel at District 1. You may choose some taxi companies at the airport and the price is fixed (you need to pay at the airport). It is supposed to be around VND160,000 – 200,000. Vinasun taxi is one of the trustful taxi companies in Saigon. Never took random taxi at the street, or you might be charged 10 times more than the actual price.

Overall, Vy Khanh hostel was good and clean. We booked this hostel through hostelworld.com. The owner was also very nice and helpful. It was worth our money since the location is quite strategic and reachable from many tourist attraction places.

After a small chit chat with Vy (the owner), we walked around to have dinner. She recommended a small noodle soup restaurant around the corner of the street (Quynh). The noodle was delicious. I suggested to order the well-done beef noodle (with clear soup) or meat ball instead of the curry one.:)

Expenses summary:

Airport Tax (CGK): IDR150,000

Taxi from SGN Airport to Vy Khanh hostel: VND190,000

Vy Khanh Hostel: USD10.0/ person

Noodle Soup at Quynh: VND45,000

Ice Tea at Quynh: VND3,000

Do you ever feel tired because of a virus which makes your flash disk seemed empty?

The virus hides all your files in your hard drive/usb.

Here are some tips that you could use:

1. Use any antivirus to clean the virus (personally, I use ESET NOD 32)

2. NEVER double click the drive or run the auto play

3. Go to Windows Explorer or Right-click the drive and choose Explore. Take note the drive letter, for example F:

4. If you cannot see anything inside your drive, then go to command prompt program (Press Windows + R, and type “cmd“. Ok.)

5. Enter this command (modify it according your drive letter! the example below is for F:)

attrib -s -h -r f:/*.* /s /d

6. Press Enter and wait for a moment

7. After the process is finished, explore your drive again.

8. If you find any suspicious files/folder (for example RECYCLER or autorun.inf), you can delete them.
Hope those steps above could solve your problem.:)
Your comment will be really appreciated.

Time Passes

Sometimes when you think about it, you feel that time goes by so slowly. But when you do something that you love or even just resting your mind from all thoughts that stressed you out, you will not realize that time has passed.

Time… what do you actually expect from time? you want it to go slowly or quickly? well you have yourself to decide. We often expect that morning should be changed into evening or night. Or we expect to be an adult soon. But then, we regret because we didn’t use our time better. Now, we are adults, we can just remember our past, our time together with friends and families.

We want to go back to that time, not ready to face the future ahead. Not ready to walk alone in this world. Responsible for all of the things that we do. Well, do you think its possible for us? No. Right No. So what should we do? I got no answer actually. I just expect that my life would be better, but always be grateful for what I have today. Everything has been managed, controlled, decided by God. Now, I’m just stepping on my path, following my heart and my brain. No less no more. Just believe that we have our own destiny, the BEST that God gave to us.

Quotes of the day:

The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth. – Chinese Proverb

Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once. – Lillian Dickson

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.