Archive for July, 2012

27
Jul
12

ikea alexandra rd singapore

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heyho ikea! ahak! since there are no ikea in indonesia, that big store become one of my destinations everytime i go abroad. as all we knew, ikea sells home furnishing. cheap price, good quality, and good model. nuff said.

what im going to share here is its famous food. ahak! nom nom nom.

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15pcs swedish meatballs. it contains beef and pork. serves with boiled potatoes and lingonberry sauce. ahak! this will cost you 8 sgd only.

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next is 6pcs chicken wings. nom nom nom. its not like any other fried chicken in mcdonalds or kentucky. must try this one. less oily and taste so good. mouthwatering.. it costs 7.50 sgd. nom nom nom..

ikea restaurants is like schools canteen. you must queuing and take your food then pay them. i dont mind queuing to get those foods.

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happy shopping and burping!

27
Jul
12

chinatown singapore

chinatown is one of many tourist sites in singapore (just like any other country). we were stay there for 4d 3n. for exactly across pagoda street.

pagoda street is easy to find. from
south bridge road, one way road, look to the right until you find sri mariamman temple in the corner of the street. its an old, oldest i guess, hindus temple in singapore. colorfull big sculpture in front of the temple is a catchy thing. you wont missed it. a great sculpture for entrance.

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these pics were taken in front of 5footway.inn project chinatown 2. right across pagoda street.

memasuki pagoda street, suasana cina sangat kental. sepanjang jalan dihiasi dengan lampion yg bergantungan di atas kepala. warna merah dan emas juga mendominasi jalanan ini. kiri kanan penuh dengan street vendors yang berjualan bermacam-macam souvenir. mulai dari gantungan kunci, parfum, patung-patung, baju-baju, taplak meja, sampai alat-alat elektronik. sangat ramai. toko-toko ini buka dari jam 10.00 am – 10.00 pm. barang-barang yang dijual di sini bisa dibilang murah. mereka menjual barang-barang dengan berbagai promo. seperti 4 for 10 sgd, buy 3 get 4, second items only 5 sgd, etc. cukup murah. dan lumayan untuk oleh-oleh kerabat.

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sejajar dengan jalan ini, di sebelah kiri-nya kalau dilihat dari sri mariamman temple, terdapat chinatown food street. sepanjang jalan isinya penjual makanan. di sini kita bisa mencoba makanan-makanan yang biasa dikonsumsi singaporean. kebetulan selama di sini, saya hanya sempat mencoba 3 menu:
1. kweetiaw seafood
2. fried rice with crab meat
3. broccoli and prawn

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terlihat menyeramkan, ya? hitam dan oily. tapi karena lapar, habis juga. hahaha.. dibilang enak ya engga, dibilang gak enak juga engga.

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yang ini, enak. hahahha.. sepertinya koki-nya sedang menyalahi aturan mengenai makanan di singapore. kali ini saya bisa mencoba rasa asin di makanan saya. belum lagi daging kepiting yang besar-besar banyak tersembunyi di antara tumpukan nasi.

singapore punya regulasi mengenai makanan yang dijual. tidak boleh mengandung msg, tidak boleh terlalu manis, dan tidak boleh terlalu asin. jadi, sangat susah untuk bilang makanan di singapore itu enak. semua rasanya hampir enak.

yang mengagumkan adalah bersihnya jalanan yang digunakan untuk berjualan makanan ini. coba kita ke pecenongan jakarta. ketika ada penjual makanan, aspal jadi kotor dan seringkali ada genangan air mengalir dari sink (baca: baskom dan ember) mereka. di chinatown food street sangat berbeda. bersih.

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sebelah kiri penuh penjual makanan. food stall berjejer rapi, di depannya terdapat kanopi untuk menaungi deretan kursi dan meja kayu tempat menyantap makanan. untuk ukuran makanan jalanan, ini bersih.

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tidak ada aliran air kotor berbau busuk di aspalnya. jalan pun tidak perlu sambil melihat bawah agar tidak terciprat.

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foto ini diambil pagi hari sekitar pukul 9.30 am. seluruh penjual makanan masih belum membuka toko-nya.

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kalau di sebelah kiri adalah deretan penjual makanan kaki lima, di sebelah kanan terjejer lebih rapi dan lebih fancy. bervariasi dari refleksi, spa, restaurant, toko merchandise, etc. jadi, mau pilih yang mana, terserah dompet.

kembali ke pagoda street. di antara banyaknya toko-toko souvenir dan ada beberapa cafe, jangan sampai terlewat the tintin shop singapore. ahak! di depannya ada tintin café. bedanya dengan tempat lain, tintin café ini dialas flooring kayu coklat tua. di kanopi-nya ada tulisan the tintin shop.

masuk ke sini rasanya pengen beli semua. sayang yang saya incar harganya relative mahal. beberapa harga yang saya ingat: kaos dijual dengan harga sgd 45, komik berbahasa inggris sgd 25, komik berbahasa perancis sgd 10, mug sgd 20, gantungan kunci sgd 10, notebook sgd 7. hnah, itu yg terjangkau. yang saya incar, miniatur-miniatur tintin yang harganya antara sgd 80 sampai sgd 450. ada juga yang sampai ribuan. jadi, beli yang murah aja, berfoto, dan terpana sambil mengarah keluar toko.

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untuk mencapai chinatown, paling rekomen adalah mrt. st mrt chinatown persis ada di ujung pagoda street. jadi, gak mungkin tersasar. tinggal naik mrt ke chinatown st dan keluar mrt st exit a. begitu muncul ke permukaan, selamat datang di cina singapore.

26
Jul
12

public transport in singapore

pergi ke singapore rugi kalau gak memanfaatkan public transport-nya. apalagi untuk orang indonesia kaya kita. kapan lagi mau ngerasain nyamannya public transport?

dari awal keberangkatan, kami memang sudah sepakat akan ngoboy. kemana-mana MRT atau ngebus. taksi, nanti aja lah kalau terpaksa. karena kesepakatan ini, saya berinisiatif untuk mencari aplikasi ios yg bisa mempermudah hidup saya dalam hal public transport. ketemulah 1 aplikasi, namanya SIN rguide metro.

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tinggal tap start sama tap end. abis itu keluar deh info lengkapnya mulai dari harga ticket, naik line apa sampe mana, harus ganti line atau engga, sampe perkiraan waktu tempuh. ok, aplikasi ini gak akan saya buang. sangat ngebantu selama di singapore kemaren. cuma butuh akses internet aja dari iphone atau ipad.

hari pertama masih rajin datengin mesin tiket. beli tiket untuk one trip. mesin ini akhirnya bikin koin semakin lama semakin menumpuk.

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penggunaan mesinnya sangat gampang. asal mau baca. pasti gak malu-maluin. tinggal pilih pembelian tiket 1 trip, sentuh titik tujuan di bagian map, keluar angka yg musti dibayarkan, masukin deh uang senilai itu. syaratnya cuma 1. kasih pecahan yg mendekati ongkos yg harus dibayarkan. kalau kelebihan banyak, si mesin ini suka males ngembaliinnya. jadi aja uang kita dimuntahin lagi, dimuntahin lagi.

hari ke-2 sampai hari terakhir, dengan kebaikan salah satu teman trip, kami sudah menggunakan 3 days tourist pass. ini kartu untuk dipakai bepergian dengan public transport di sana (kecuali taksi). gak perlu lg nyantronin mesin tiket, tinggal ambil kartu, dan tap. simple gilak.

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3 days tourist pass seharga sgd 20 plus sgd 10 untuk deposit. wortel berat buat yg ke singapore gak cuma di orchard doang. lompat-lompat kesana-kemari selama 3 hari penuh udah pasti biayanya lebih dari sgd 20. untuk refund deposit bisa dilakuin di st MRT mana pun. di changi, misalnya?

keluar masuk MRT, berpindah jalur, naik turun tangga, plus singapore yg humid. mumpung negara tetangga, gak ada yg peduli, dan tingkat keamanan yg sangat tinggi, cuek ajalah pake celana pendek. yg penting badan nyaman selama di perjalanan. sepatu juga yg paling nyaman dipakai. jangan sok-sokan gaya kalau akhirnya kesiksa sendiri. sangat penting memakai baju yg nyaman karena itu bikin mood jadi enak juga pastinya.

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tourist pass juga kepakai buat naik bus dan LRT. jadi mau di bawah tanah atau di atas tanah, cukup 20 sgd selama 3 hari. rekomen banget public transport-nya. tenang, gak akan nyasar. peta dan signage bertebaran dan sangat menjelaskan. pilih line sangat dibantu dengan semua signage yang ada. tinggal pilih platform. itu tergantung tujuan. liat aja tujuannya kemana dan jalur itu berakhirnya di mana, maka itulah platform yg harus diambil.

so simple, so fun!

25
Jul
12

backpackers hostel: 5footway.inn

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going abroad is about playing all day long outside. so why bother expensive hotel? try backpackers hostel.

im not recommending this kind of hostel to those who still need high privacy.

i’ve tried 2 backpackers hostel in singapore. first one in little india and now, chinatown area. they have quite similar services and shapes.

there are three 5footways.inn hostel in singapore. two of them lies in chinatown area an the other one is in victoria. we can book them via online. there are some choises of dorm. usually they provide 4 until 12 beds in one dorm. mix dorm or female only dorm. yeap. dorm. one room to share with other backpackers.

female only dorm is usually more expensive than mix dorm. around 3 until 5 sgd higher. mix dorm as its name, is a room for mix country origins and mix sex types. wow.. hahaha.. but, for me, i have faith. backpackers are good people. we have same eager, want to travel with less money.

they charge us per bed. in other hostel, they let us to choose between dorm with fan or room with aircon. but here, they completed all dorms with aircon. c’mon, this is singapore. its humid. you’ll need aircon to have a good sleep. each bed has its own reading lamp, own electric plug, own locker, own key, and access to share bathroom. the bathroom located outside the dorm.

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karena dorm, kebanyakan hostel seperti ini menyediakan tempat tidur tingkat. bantal sama selimutnya nyaman kok. mereka tau banget backpackers itu sangat butuh tidur yg berkualitas, bukan kuantitas. yg berbadan besar, berdoa aja supaya dapet tempat tidur di bawah. tiap bed dan locker dikasih nomer. nomernya ada di gantungan kunci. jadi, jatahmu adalah jatahmu. gak bisa milih, sudah ditentukan.

kamar mandi biasanya akan dibedakan antara shower sama toilet. biliknya sendiri-sendiri. tiap kamar mandi terdapat banyak bilik shower dan bilik toilet. plus beberapa wastafel. intinya, gak usah takut mandi harus tunggu-tungguan. ada water heater juga. tissue pun berlimpah. kebersihan selalu dijaga. jd walau sharing, tetep nyaman dipake. sabun dan shampoo udah ada juga di tiap bilik shower. jd kalau males bawa-bawa, aman lah. paling bawa aja handuk. berat? berarti gak kenal sama yg namanya microfiber towel. nyahahhaa.. hotel juga siapin kok handuk. charge-nya daily. silakan pilih. menyisihkan uang atau mending beli microfiber towel.

public area di hostel seperti ini sangat bersahabat. ada cafe dan ada lounge. hostel seperti ini rasa kekeluargaannya justru lebih hidup ketimbang fancy hotels, yang masuk ke area public-nya malah gak nyaman. ada café (di 5footway.inn project chinatown 2 karena baru, café-nya baru akan buka) dan ada lounge untuk bersantai baca buku, surfing di internet, atau nonton tv.

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di sini biasanya percakapan antar negara sering terjadi. banyak pengetahuan baru yg suka tiba-tiba bisa didapat dari denger cerita backpackers lainnya. sayangnya karena hostel ini baru, belum terlalu banyak tamu-nya. tapi paling gak bisa ngobrol sama receptionist-nya yang sangat ramah.

3 malam kami habiskan di hostel ini. biayanya? hanya 630.000 idr untuk 3 malam. di jakarta aja susah tuh nyari penginapan seharga segitu untuk semalam. rekomen buat yg gak mau ngabisin uang untuk hotel padahal cuma kepake sebentar doang tiap harinya.

25
Jul
12

passport’s expiry date

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indonesia and its awkwardness. as indonesians, we need to check on our passport expiry date carefully. indonesians cannot do travel abroad when our expiry date is less than 6 months from what is written in that tiny little green book. if you want to do travel and back here by january 1st 2013, you should have a passport expiry on june 1st 2013.

indonesian immigration is quite “strict” in this issue. i, myself, prefer not to go abroad if i dont have 6 months remains to that written date. its better to play safe. renew it with proper price instead of doing it with quick service. quick service costs 3.5 times higher than its normal cost.

my last singapore trip was chaos because of this issue. one of my travel mates found that her passport will be expired on january 23rd, 2013. our return ticket is july 24th, 2012. one day missed. we bought lion air tickets, at that time, lion air said that she needs to renew the passport and cannot guarantee that she will pass the immigration. they recommended not to issue her ticket until she renews her passport.

this is crazy. our flight was on the next saturday. lion airlines found that passport problem on friday. made a quick search on website for “quick passport renewal service”. some (travel agent) websites offer 3 days service for 900.000 idr. normal price is 255.000 idr for a week service. wow. just, wow. i tried to collect more info about this flash service. unfortunately, they dont have authority to determine the date for photo and interview session. the 3 days counts after photo and interview session. ok. great.

normal ways, means doing it by ourself, we can apply online through indonesia immigration website. fill the form and attach the papers. the next day we can go to nearest immigration from our place and we can get to online row with shorter queue than offline submission rows. and if we are lucky, we can get photo taken and interview session on the same day. then we can go back there to get our new passport 4 or 5 days after. and as i said before. it costs us only 255.000 idr.

with a help from a friends mother, my travel mate tried to apply passport renewal via insider. they came to immigration in bogor. they failed. they cant find insider who is able to help them. one of empoyee there gave an info that they can do fast service in depok. so they moved to depok. entering the “koperasi” and voilà, they found what they are looking for. fast service for 1.000.000 idr. it was tuesday. with that price, they can get the new passport by wednesday. one day service.

lesson learned. if we dont have extra money for unpredictable situation like this, be sure to renew your passport 6 month earlier. you can keep around 700.000 idr. it happened to me last year. i took 3 days service. it was 700.000 idr.

living in awkward country needs to update about these kind of awkward regulations.

21
Jul
12

packing as the beginning

packing. this word was sound very interesting. since working in an event organization which quite often held event out of town, packing becomes less interesting to me. but, lesson learns in many ways. i can do it less than 30 minutes. i got everything for travel needs.

well, singapore.

1. footwear
comfort shoes is the most important thing for singapore trip. singapore means lots of walking activity. with its temperature and humidity, extra socks is also needed. smell socks is a very big no. and dont forget to bring along the sandals. they will take part for indoor (hostel) activities.

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2. documents
overseas means passport, id card, tickets, npwp card, (and for me) vaccine book. pernah ke negara yg membutuhkan vaksin? buku vaksin jangan sampai lupa. bisa-bisa ditanya di immigrasi. and a pen. youll need it. dont ask. just bring.

3. tas ransel kecil
banyak dokumen yg harus dibawa. biarkan travel bag / carrier / koper ada di hotel. what we need is a very comvy backpack while walking. semua kebutuhan bisa ditaruh di situ. termasuk belanjaan dan air minum.

4. headphone or earphone
pake iphone, jd cuma butuh earphone. flight will be such a big bore time to pass. me, i need music.

5. cloths
its asia. you need tshirt and jeans only. maybe shorts and unsleeves shirts. make it as relax as possible. underwear. easy to count. how many days you will pass? times 2 for your needs.

6. shower kit
since 2002 i already have my travel kit for body needs. soap, shampoo, conditioner.. all in little travel bottles. you dont need to bring big bottles. such a stupid thing to bring big package for shower thingy. tooth brush and paste. you can find those travel kit at ace or muji. or else. what i need is grab the kit and put it in my travel bag. need only 2 mins to do it.

7. towel
ahak! im a backpacker. i prefer backpackers hostel than a fancy hotel. i wont be spending my time in room. thats why i choose backpackers hostel for every trip i make. hostel doesnt provide towels. well, they did if you willing to add some dollars to your billing. i prefer microfiber towel. simple, small package, holds 5 times its weight in water, fast dry. perfect.

8. plastic bag or cotton bag
for your laundry. for sure. youll need it.

9. extra folded bag
singapore and shopping. ill bet you need extra bag(s).

10. electric plug
different country, different electric plug. you need 2 out and 1 ground plug. you can buy a traveller multi plug that covers all electric plug type. can be found at ace.

11. cigarettes!
im indonesian. we have best ciggies in the world. max 2 boxes (@ 20 packages) to bring them overseas. or is it 200 ciggies? i forgot. around that.

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12. money
best to exchange it not at the airport. find a good money changer with good currency. dont forget to keep 150k rupiah for soetta’s tax.

all checked and thats it! im ready to go. see you at the airport.

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