Saturday, May 31, 2014

Drama at KLIA2

The minutes hand on my watch showed an hour before departure time. I was on edge. Waiting for almost more than an hour for my other three travelmates to arrive... tapi batang hidung pun tak nampak! 

45 minutes before boarding, (I was already in Gate L2, ready to board), I tried contacting them via our messenger group on my ipod... one claims to be STILL DRIVING to the airport, another on the KLIA express and fourth person already in the area but his printed flight tickets were with the guy who was STILL DRIVING. (Emphasizing the words in BOLD letters to indicate my annoyance. haha)

Can you see the dilemma and stress that I was in?

I've planned everything from the purchasing of tickets (recommending the time and prices which they'll buy themselves), the destination, car rental with driver and hotels. Each person had to give me RM150 to cover all the hotel and transportation costs except ferry transport and entrance fees.

And suddenly I was facing this sh*t of a possibility that they might not be on the plane with me to Medan and I'll be alone with the driver... along with RM450 of my travel-mates' money. It wasn't entirely a terrible thought though. Hahaha.

Seated in the plane, my mind kept wondering what happened to them. Did they make it? Did they beg their way into the plane?

Were they even HERE at the airport yet? At this point, I didn't bother to check my iPod for new updates from the group. Whatever will be will be. In local terms... "ah lantaklahhhh!!"

Then suddenly.............
....minutes before the stewardess in red closed the door, in walked down the aisle were my travel-mates, one by one. All with a smug face.


I didn't know whether to be thankful or scold them for giving me a near heart-attack. But alas... the trip become an extraordinary one. :)

Miraculously, we survived a second trip together. This time to Medan. 
Funny that in my previous blogpost on our trip to China, some of us didn't want to travel with each other any-more. Guess, that didn't keep us from having a second trip together... and perhaps a third one too (Turkey jomm!) :P

Happy travelling peeps!! 

ps: Padang posts coming up next. Sorry for the delay. Hikss!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My First Unforgettable Day in Padang, Indonesia

Yayan, a guy I met during my trip to India in May last year has been transferred to Padang (which is actually his hometown) from Batam just last October. Us, having the same hobby which is traveling, have often kept contact since then to share itineraries or interesting places to visit. I was supposed to visit Sumatera last year during the fasting month but had to cancel my plans due to work restrictions.

Only just recently I was able to visit Padang which was during the Wesak holidays. YES!


Dream come true!!

Having met Yayan on the few accounts in India and at the airport in KL, I was surprised that he offered to host me during my visit to Padang. (I actually don't know him that much! Haha!) Letting me stay at his sister's room at his parents' home. Wow! Thanks Yayan! He even allowed me to bring one of my girl friends with me! Now that's what I call hospitality at its finest! :P

Discussing our plans in Padang via FB chat, we actually didn't work out a solid itinerary. In the end it was going with the flow. The plan was my friend and I will fly into Padang on a Saturday afternoon, explore Padang ourselves on Sunday as Yayan was busy with his school exams and rent a car to Bukittinggi on Monday. The thing is, this kind-hearted host of ours had taken leave from work just to spend Monday with us!!! *terharu mau nangis*

So what happened when I first stepped my foot on Sumbar land? (Sumbar stands for Sumatera Barat as in West Sumatera). After I passed through the immigration and the customs, I was greeted by a guy in uniform, "Hey Jard, where's Siti Nur?". I looked up and was shocked to see that Yayan has grown slimmer than the last time we met!!

Want to see the difference?

Last year in India. Yayan is on the far left, looking chubby. Hehe. From the left is Mukhlis, Suntea and Alid.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Unnamed Hill in Danau Singkarak

I'm still in the post-travel depression mode. Haha.

I was asked an interesting question during my most recent to Indonesia. I was asked which place in Indonesia that I've visited has moved me the most? The one place that gave me the deepest, long lasting impression (what-ever that means. Haha!) My first answer was Papuma Beach but after finishing my West Sumatera trip, I suddenly had a change of heart. :)

I flew to Padang without any itinerary in mind. Accommodation was settled and I was open to anything my Indonesians friends had in mind. This time, my friend from Palembang, Siti Nur was joining me.

Fast forward to the end of our third day there....

After an early ride to Kelok 44 (started our day at 4am in the morning!)...
... from there to Puncak Lawang.....
... and then to Danau Maninjau Jam Gadang at Bukittinggi
... to Ngarai Sianok..
... to Istana Pagaruyuang...
... and ended our roadtrip at Danau Singkarak to enjoy a sunset.

The funny thing about this spot we have chosen is that there's no permanent trail to get there. Yayan (our host in Padang) had specifically researched this place and there was only one other group who has been here. We would be the second group. :P

A no man's land. We were attempting to climb this small hill to view sunset over Singkarak Lake.
Yayan had to ask at a road side stall selling noodle cups on where to start the climb. Later he led us the way, followed by me, then Siti Nur and last by Syahrial (Yayan's friend).

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hong Kong - Shenzhen - Guangzhou - Macau Backpacking Trip at a Glance

Something new.

I was traveling with fresh faces. Some new to the term backpacking but has traveled before and I had relied wholly on my new backpacking buddies to create an itinerary and research for accommodations. My only part in it was to be with them from starting to end, allowing me to observe and improve as a traveler.  :)

The Anak Gajah Gang - From  left, Wan, Dayah, Aiman and then me. :)
There were way too many hiccups on this trip. The one who planned the itinerary ended up not going. Accommodations booked weren't researched with routes on how to get there. Haha. And our timing was pretty bad as traveling in China was full of unexpected surprises.Thus leading us limited time to enjoy Macau and too much time spent in Guang Zhou. We actually missed a lot of attractions on our wishlist.

Monday, May 5, 2014

8 Things I'll Miss About LCCT : A Tribute

LCCT - Low Cost Carrier Terminal will officially end its operations on the 9th of May 2014. Moving all its operations to the newly built KLIA2 which I have yet to experience. I might have a taste of it, the soonest this Saturday *coughs*.

After my plane AK 5115 landed yesterday (4th May 2014) afternoon at 1:45pm, on LCCT's runway from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, a rush of tears evaded my eyelids. My younger sister who was flying with me rolled her eyes and scolded me for being too emotional. Hahaha! She didn't know that currently at the moment, I was revisiting all the fond memories I had of LCCT during all my recent trips, both local and international in my mind. It came in flashes of emotions. It's no secret that I've been frequently flying with AirAsia since the beginning of time. Well, since the time LCCT didn't have running belts for the luggage at least. :p

So before I shed another tear reminiscing my time at LCCT, let me share my top 8 memories of it. :)