Sabtu, 18 Mei 2013

Amazing "RACE" Journey: Clark DMIA (The Philippines)

Clark, Diosdago Macapagal International Airport (DMIA)

AA Notification
I was supposed to depart from KLIA LCCT at 9 am, then Air Asia changed the flight at 9 pm and scheduled to arrive at 00.30 in the next day. It was not planned before and i was shocked hearing this info.

After short one day trip to Batu Caves and Petaling Street, i came back to LCCT Using the same bus without purchasing new ticket since i bought round way ticket. I was sleeping again along the way to go to LCCT. There was nothing to see along the way actually, so i am not disappointed. I lost my cap in KL, I forget where i put it on.
Arriving in LCCT very early to catch my flight, I decided to go surfing on Internet since i had bought Malaysian Power plug in Petaling Street for 8 RM. I was still worried about myself in DMIA since in many information told me that This airport was not operating 24 hours and none was allowed to sleep in This Airport. I tried to be calm and keep surfing. I used this opportunity to talk with my friends and chat with them in the same time. after 2 hours, i decided to check-in, in here i used self check-in. It was so easy and i did not need to queue in the check in counter since i did not book the baggage. That’s the reason too why i checked-in by using this facility  so that they would not pay attention of my bags which might exceed the threshold for 7 kg.

Once i finished checking-in, i went to Immigration, i passed the immigration and also the belonging security check. The lounge inside the airport was fascinating, it was far from the name LCCT. It was about 2 hours before the flight and i had not yet took any shower yet since the previous day and i was sweating a lot in KL. I wandered and finally found shower room. the room was quite big without any hanging port to hang our belongings. In order to keep my belongings safe and dry, i put all on the very corner of the shower room and splashed my body slowly to keep my belongings. About 10 minutes i finished showering, i changed my clothes ans pant. I was using long pants with long sleeve shirt, and then i used only short pants(sport short pants) and T-Shirt. I was different with any others passengers who looked so fancy with their outfits.

I was so thirsty and i forgot to tap water to my bottle outside and there was no any free-tap water available inside the boarding room. i bought one small bottle of Mineral water for 1.5 RM in shop upstairs. This shop sells many sweets made from spices. They had free-try-for-costumer sample. I tried all the products for free to keep my stomach full. They were so spicy-ishly sweet and i was happy to have them for free. After this, my flight was finally called to depart. The flight took more than 3 hours and it became the longest flying i took so far (till may 2013).

Diosdado Macapagal International Airport

Flight was smoothly arriving in the LARGE Landing area i ever saw, it looked even LARGER than Changi Airport i think for landing area. I was still worried about what i could do to save my life without spending money for hostel. And also i read before that DMIA was far from city center, no more bus in the midnight since the last bus/jeepney leaving DMIA at 10.30pm.

I kept positive. I walked out from the aircraft and in the halfway i remember my book which i put my money inside. I run again approaching the aircraft and walked into it. The stewards there was shocked knowing his passenger coming back to cabin. He asked me what i left. I said that i left my book. However, the book was not there and i lost 60 RM in the same time. I walked out again from the cabin sadly and felt embarrassed with the cabin crews. I lost the money that every single penny was very important.

My fear was not ending, it was more fluidized this time. After I wrote the immigration card which i had to state the place i would stay and the period, i was leaving them blank. I joined the line to go to immigration. There were only 2 available counters for foreigner. i saw group with couples of middle age Indonesians. They kept speaking bahasa. I was standing behind one of them. When they talked to each other they mentioned their hotel, the name was PALM HOTEL. I had no idea about this hotel or hostel. Then when i was about to proceed myself to immigration, i wrote PALM HOTEL, Manila to my immigration card and 1 day for the period. The officer did not ask me anything about it and i could proceed to the next stage, which is going out the airport. I was so shocked since the terminal was so small for international airport.

I walked against the immigration to proceed to exit. It was really late, no stores open, except 24 hours convenient stores outside the arrival. I starred figuring out what i could do. There were some hard benches and taxi drivers offered me to go to city. The best thing and made me release all my fears was there were some people sleeping on the bench. I found out the best spot for me to sleep.

Sleeping on the floor and bench in DMIA (Midnight)
I was afraid of my belongings since there were some people there. I hugged my bags and slept beautifully. It was about 5 am and i was woken up by the sound of plane there. I just realized that DMIA was the military zone airport. I was some military aircraft equipped with some equipment i watched in war movies.

Good Morning DMIA
I got flu that time, i walked in and out to toilet until the office boys starred at me. Then when i could not see clearly what happened out there i remembered my glasses. I sought it to toilet and i did not find it until the officer approached me asking what made me go back and forth. Then he actually found my glasses and gave it back to me. That was the best first impression in the Philippines, also the first time i interacted with Filipino in The Philippines land.

The sun came up and the heat hit the area of DMIA. The helicopters and flight passengers started coming, the shops also started opening. When i was walking, there was a guy shouting “DARI DEPOK MAS?” (are you from depok?). I was so shocked that somebody knew Bahasa and where i am staying in Indonesia.  He recognized me from the goody bag i brought stated UNIVERSITAS INDONESIA. Then we talked to each other and he planned to stay only 2 days in Manila and he was waiting for PhilTranco, bus to go to Manila. Anyway, his name is Putra.

I knew that in DMIA (and in the Philippines) that we had to pat Terminal Tax and it cost me 450 PHP in DMIA, However it was discounted since in NAIA (Nino Aquino International Airport) in Manila costed 600 PHP. I knew then why DMIA was called THE MOST AFFORDABLE AIRPORT in Asia.

Cheap Breakfast?
Since i had no any Peso, i Withdrew in ATM for 1000 PHP and i had to pay the charge for 100 PHP. I was hungry and finally i had money that time. i went into Convenient store. I bought Banana, Bread with custard inside, and also mineral water. They costed me 51 PHP.

My flight was at 12-ish in the midday. I went into the airport. I did not print
my Ticket and at first the door lady asked me about it. she at firat did not allow me to get in. i showed them my passport then they allowed me.

I myself saw how small this airport, but they were equipped with wifi, and also it was very nice in this small airport.

Expense in DMIA
ATM Fee 100 PHP
Breakfast 51 PHP
Terminal Fee 450
total: 601 PHP

Pampanga Province from above

Rabu, 15 Mei 2013

Amazing "Race" journey: First Pit Stop Malaysia

One Day Trip to Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
This trip was in the end of February 2013, the very first pitstop of my “amazing race” series journey. I tooke Air Asia Flight to go to Kuala Lumpur from Jakarta. My flight was scheduled at 9 pm and it was flying punctually.
Jakarta before departure
I was taking Damri Bus from Pasar Minggu Bus Terminal in South Jakarta. I chose Damri because it’s the cheapest mode to reach Airport and also hasle-free. It costed 25,000 Rupiah from Pasar Minggu to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Damri is the only public transportation to reach The airport vice versa. The bus is now equipped with wifi on board, although i did not use this facility because i had no smart phone that time.

Passport and terminal tax
I took bus at 5 pm in  order to reach Airport at 7 pm (for check-in). The bus was stuck in the ehavy traffic of jakarta since i took bus in the rush hour. The bus passed Jalan Raya Pasar Minggu (Pasar Minggu Avenue in literal meaning). It took about 1.5 hour to pass this long avenue, normally in non-traffic it would cost only 20-30 minutes. The bus finally reached the toll area in highway. The bus run very well from the highway until reach the airport at 7.30 pm to Terminal 3, Soetta International Airport. Terminal 3 is newly established terminal in this airport and become the fast-growing terminal for Low Cost Carrier terminal (air asia, tiger air, and lion air). It’s the smallest terminal but now is already equipped with many shops and it’s very convenient. It has 2 storey to accomodate the vast growing passegers for LCC. The first for is for check-in and arrival terminal, and the second floor is for Departure area for boarding room.
Terminal 3. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Boarding room
I reached airport at 7.30 pm. I then got into queue line to enter the airport for checking. The security guard checked my belongings and my ticket to let me in the airport for check-in. Once i realized that i had to pay 150,000 Rupiah for airport tax (since flight from Indonesia is not inclusive the airport tax, so we have to pay once we are in check-in), i have to go out to find ATM. i finished withdrawing my money and was ready to get in again, i got into queue line and the security guard looked at me suspiciously,. They again cjecked my belongings. I successfully checked-in to Air Asia counter at 7.50pm and i directed myself to go to Boarding Room. Everything was done and i was waiting for my first flight to go to Malaysia and my first flight after one year.
Because it is my first flight after 1 year, i saw many people made in line, so i decided to go with them, I knew that it was 8.30 and my flight at 9, but i was affraid it would be my flight. Once i got my turn, they checked my boarding pass and let me in. Fortunately, they had 2 checkers, and the next checker recognized my boarding was not for this flight (actually this line was for Singapore flight). Then he told me to wait my fligh again in queue. I was so shy that time since i was in line then they had to “reject” me on board. Finally i paid attention to the announcement, and the time was coming for my flight and i was in the right line and got my flight.

Getting to KLIA LCCT
KL-From AA Flight
I arrived in KLIA LCCT in the midnight, the flight was smooth and arrived punctually. KLIA stands for Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and LCCT stands for Low Cost Carrier Terminal. LCCT is located far from the main KLIA, And we need to take bus costing for about 1-2 hours to go to Main KLIA vv. KLIA LCCT is big enough for LCC Terminal since it is the main hub for Air Asia Flight and some Budget Airlines (Cebu Pacific and Tiger air). The airport is equipped with many restaurants and shops and also money changer. It has 2 terminals, international and domestic terminal.
My Flight
Once i got stamp from Malaysia immigration, i found the ATM for myself to accomodate me living for one day in Malaysia. I did not bring any cash that time and i used ATM consequently. I used my CIMB Bank (it’s a Malaysian Bank which had branch in Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia). Since it was my budget trip, i would not buy anything in airport and i used airport as hostel this time. i already prepared myslef with bread from Indonesia and Bottle for free water. I was so hungry that time and i just brought plain breads. I got to McDonald’s to find Sauce, and i “stole” sauce from Mcdonald’s  (with this post i am sorry for this, it was beyong my plan). I enjoyed the bread with mcdonald’s sauce. I found myself thirsty. I wandered around the airport to find free drinkable tap water. I finally found the only one Drink water fountain (I dont know how to call this facility), i could drink for free and also fill my bottle with full of drinkable water. I come to this fountain twice and the Indian lady starred at me, i was ignorant then.
They slept on the bench
i decided to sleep in the floor since there was no sofa or sleepable bench there. I was looking for the perfect spot to sleep. I saw many people (Mostly Indonesia) sleeping in ths spot, it was not perfect at all but since many people did, so did I. I Slept with my jacket as the blanket and my bad as pillow. It was about 2 am i started sleeping. At 4 am i hard thecrowd of teh airport. The airport was starting working for usual daily routinity. I was waken up and i had to open my laptop to find the wifi of the airport. KLIA LCCT is equipped with high speed wifi. However, it is only valid for 3 hours in one PC/Laptop. You can use again the internet after 3 hours you’re done with wifi access. I tried to find electic power plug. The place that i know it has power plugs is in the front of check-in counter and also weight measurer area where many people wait. I could not use the plug since we had different port. I still could surf on internet to find the details how i could reach Kuala Lumpur city Center. FYI, Wi-fi in here cannot access Youtube at all. I went to ATM in the corner and i found CIMB ATM and this ATM dispensed Indonesian Rupiah.
KLIA LCCT in the midnight
I decided to take Bus from LCCT to go to KL Central. I found the cheapest one was 14 RM for roundway. It would cost me 8 RM for one way, but i bought roundway and it costed 14 RM. The bus left at 5.30am. (the bus leaves regularly vice versa LCCT-KL Central).  From the bus counter i had to walk to Bus Terminal (i had walk about 100 m). It was easy to find this area. I showed them my ticket and the indian guy as the ticket checker allowed me to board the bus. The bus was ful with passenger that time and the AC worked very well (too well since it was very cold for me). I was so asleep that time so i decided to sleep during the travel to KL central.

Kuala Lumpur

KL Central
 It was about 1 hour we arrived in KL Central. I was acting like a local because i did not want to be recognized as foreigner. I have asian look (malay look) so it was beneficial for me. Once i hopped of the bus, i found the weather of Kuala Lumpur was humid (it reminded me of Jakarta). It was about 6.30 am. I found an elevator to go to main floor of KL Central. KL Central is the integrated place For city Trains. I was so hungry and i needed rice for breakfast (It’s typical Indonesian to have heavy meals for breakfast, and also rice). I went to Seven Eleven in the KL Central. I bought Nasi Lemak and Croissant and Green Bean Drink. The nasi lemak costed me 2.5 RM, Crossiant for 2 RM for croissant and drink, so i spent 4.5 RM for breakfast. I could not eat in the station since it would eb embarassed for me. So i decided to eat when i about 7 am and many people commuted to work or school. I was so impressed with this condition. Although it was supposed to be rush hour, they could still walk in regular not heavy traffic like in Jakarta.
I decided to go to BATU CAVES. From KL Central, I took Commuter Train to go to Batu Caves station. I was not worrying at all since batu caves is the last stop for the train. The ticket used the electronic system, and i did not know how to use it. So i was helped by the person who saw me in difficulty to enter the platform.
I was on the right platform and i could find the train to go to Batu Caves. I was stading in the train since it was full, but after some stations i could have seat. It took about 20 minutes to reach Batu Caves station.

Batu Caves
Commuter Train
I arrived the station and found way to go to Popular spot in Batu Caves, the batu caves itself with Mughal Statue, the tallest Mughal Statue in the world. With 2 bags, i walked to the main center, i was so impressed with some Indian Hinduism Gods and Goddesses Statue along the way. Then before reached the main spot, i saw from distance the mughal statue. It looked so Amazing. It was breathtaking for me. I step approaching the main spot and found that it was so majestic and gigantic main creature.
Inside the Cave
How many steps?
There are some Hindu Temple in this area. The yard in front of the statue was full by Doves. It was really good for me since i was dreaming about the yard full with doves like in the movie, and i found hard in Indonesia so far for this con
Batu Caves from distance
Doves and the Mughal golden Statue
I saw the cave on the top of the big rock. I  had to step hundreds steps to reach this area. This pictures will tell you everything of this amazing place. Beware of monkeys here, they may be stealing monkeys, and they eat coconuts from the offerings after the procession of praying. I was so tired to get to the top, but it was worth doing. In the cave i could see some spots for praying. It was really good and I felt like i was in India. There were so many tourists here since it is the touristical place
Kuala Lumpur Station
Batu Caves is very good for one day trip in KL. There are many Indian restaurants around here. And you will find the foods was quite pricy or me. I did not eat at all here since it would be out of budget. I finished the journey at midday there, at about 11.30 am. I decided to go back to KL Central by Commuter Line again. And the suprised thing was The Ticket Price was 2 RM to go to KL Central. I stoped in Kuala Lumpur Station (it is different with KL Central). The station was quite big too. I decided to stop here to go to Pasar Seni and the famous place for backpacker in KL, Petaling Street.
Me in the picture :)
Stealing Hungry Monkey

Petaling Street
Petaling Street
I Could noty find pasar Seni at the first time. i kept on waling then i found this place. It was very good for me, for aliedn for it was not bad. I went to petaling street, saw many buildings and also the KL Bus.
It was about 1 pm, i was hungry, i found the eatery in petaling street. I spent 4 RM for my meals consisting rice, beansprout, tofu, and stirred morning glory.
I finished wandered around the petaling street and went backto go to KL Central tp go back to KLIA LCCT to catch my flight to clark at 9.30 pm. It was abot 3 pm and i walked to KL central from Petaling street. I was getting lost anddid not know the way to go to KL Central, then i found KL Monorel to go to KL Central. I bought the ticket for 1 RM to go to KL Central the train was really good (again) for me. Just one station and it was about 1 minutes. I went to Bus Shelter to LCCT and showed them my ticket and board then slept in Bus.

Lunch for cheap :)
For This Trip, I spent:
VV Bus KLIA LCCT-KL Central 14 RM
Breakfast for 4.5 RM
Lunch for 4 RM
VV KL Central Batu Caves 3 RM
Monorel ticket to KL Central 1 RM
Total: 26.5 RM

The short trip was good kick-off for the enxt one to go to Taipe by Clark airport.  Actually it was not planed to do this short trip since my flight to go to Clark from KL was rescheduled by Air Asia from 9 am to 9 pm. And thanks to Air Asia for rescvheduling my flight eventually.

Minggu, 12 Mei 2013

Sleeping Off The Edge

Are you traveller? Are adventurer? Are you pennylessly homeless?  Hahaha, i do not know how to describe this, but mostly why i chose this “experience” was because the bucks problem.

Sleeping “off the edge” means for me that you must be able to stay everywhere in all the conditions with all the consequences for sure. I did these well and i may love this, if necessary (if you know what i mean). Thus, these are my experience of Sleeping “off the edge”

1.       1. Bandung Railway Station (august 2011)
I slept over in Bandung Train Station in august 2011. This was my very first time i did this. I came to bandung with 2 my friends, Bob Hu From China and Le Quang Phu from Vietnam. I did not mean to ask them to do like what i wanted, but they were curious about too. We took night train from Jakarta to Bandung, we departed at 9 pm and we were scheduled to arrive in the midnight. We decided to take this train because we wanted to reduce the budget for hostel also we had to arrive early morning in Bandung. The Train was okay, we took business class, we were in the same seat area.

We arrived at 11.45 pm, and the station was so quite. We took pictures right after hopped off. Then we started looking for the free bench for sleeping. We found the convenient ones, then we started unpacking our bag to take our jacket out. Suddenly, the station official came approaching us. We were so shocked and we thought that we might have someting suspicious. However, he told me to not sleep inside the station, and i was asking to him about sleeping in Mosque or praying building. He suggested me to stay over to the small mosque (Mushalla) near outside the station. We walked firm-ishly to tell the official that we were okay about it, frankly we did not. Once we walked to exit gate, some taxi drivers came approaching us offering their taxi service, i was thinking that did they know that we awere pennyless? Hahahaha. We refused all the offerings.

We came to Mushalla. The mushalla looked very small. I started trying to open the door, but it did not work. It was locked and the only way we had to sleep was to sleep in the floor outside the mushalla. For Your Information, The free floor in outside of Mushalla was so narrow, and if it rained, we would have got drenched by this. We had no any option, we started trying to sleep. I decided to keep eyes on to keep our belongings, and we planned to switch the eye-on-er. The strange thing Came immediately. One allien, man with medium-size backpack, came to us. He sat just right next to us. We were so scared of this. Nobody slept, except Bob. He slept like a stone easily, while the two others were keeping the belongings. We suspected bad things to him. Then i inisiated to ask him why he sat here (it seemed that this place belonged to me), he told me that he had to wait for the train, morning train to his hometown and there was no place to stay. Suddenly and intesely, he told me that he was fooled by his friend and his friend grabed all his valuable belongings to go to unknown place. He only left the back with clothes only. I myself, and Phu for sure, were affraid of this, he might rob or fool us then. Then i asked phu to sleep and i’d keep eyen on. Suddenly, there was a lady came to us again. We again started being cautious. I did not pay them attention. I concentarted to ourselves. I somehow fell asleep and heard their conversation unclearly. It was Ramadhan (Fasting Month). So, in early morning, at 3 am, there aere waking up calling very loud. We were waked up of this sound, then they asked us to join them to have Saur (Saur is early breakfast or the closing meals before the fasting day). And we were totally safe. We then continued our plan. Amazing Experience that tells me how to react with t from suspicious-ish allien and also keep positive thinking. I was learning a lot from this, and it was the starter for the Big experience ahead. It was not that scary as you think!!

Caught by the flash light in the dawn fall, Phu and Bob
2. Ho Chi Minh City Bus Terminal (Feb 2012)
3. McDonald Dago Bandung (July 2012)
4. Seven Eleven Senayan, Jakarta (Jan 2013)
5. KLIA LCCT (Feb 2013)
6. Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (Feb 2013)
7. McDonald Taichung City (March 2013)
8. Moss Burger Tainan City (March 2013)
9. KLIA LCCT (March 2013)
10. Changi International Airport (March 2013)
11. Surat Thani Train Station (April 2013)
12. Bus company shelter Poipet Border (April 2013)
13. Changi International Airport (April 2013)
14. to be continued............. (those stories will be up-ed soon)

Those i did so far, and it may be more in upcoming months and years, let’see how well i can manage this. The experiences i gained from these are not only about adventurous things, but that’s how i have to deal with undesired condition and how fast you have to think and decide. How we can see other homelessnesses out there although i was luckier a bit.
Be Fun, Be Hard!