Jumat, 11 April 2014

Frozen (HK-MCA-SZ part 5)

Once I stopped in Sheung Wan MTR, I looked for the map attached in the information board. I found the exit and ventured directly to the ferry terminal. The ferry terminal was located near the shopping mall-like. There were some shops and stalls selling from fods to clothes. I was confused where to purchase the ferry ticket to macau. There were two ticket counters i saw in that area. I put a glance to the one counte which had many routes to Macau, and another had fewer. I had no idea what to do at that time, i kept walking around looking at the each counter. I came approaching the lady guard standing against me lean to the periphery of the glass-like fence. I asked whether the counter to purchase ticket to Macau. With no any word, she pointed to the counter that had more frequencies to depart. Then i followed her advise, looked at the fare table instead of the time table. The price for night jouney was more expensive than day time. The ferry was running 24 hours. Also Friday and weekend, the fare was more expensive.

The Ferry and the tunnel
I choose the cheapest class, and it cost 159$ one way. I handed my money and received my ticket. The ticket seller told me to go on board 30 minutes at leats before the ferry leaves.  I was scheduled to depart from terminal at 09.30 local time. It was about 08.30 and i had time before checked in. It was about 9 and i looked at the screen showing the passengers the schedule. There was no ferry code, only the company. So only one company run the ferry that time, TurboJet. And it was all in chinese character that i had no idea. I just stared at the screen trying to figure out how to deal with this. I put attention on the time departure, and i saw my ferry was on screen and said to go to gate to check in. Since the ferry terminal is the international exit gate of the country, i had to proceed to immigration too as in airport.

I was done the process in the immigration office. Time to go! The long queue to go to the waiting lounge of the ferry. There were several gates and my gate was at gate 1, yeah i was lucky number 1!!! Surprisingly, i was the firrst about 10 people to stand on line. Few moments later, bulk of passengers came behind to set the long queue. I was so happy that the officer worked very efficently. He worked very fast to check on by one ticket and in the same time he has to attach the seat number to the ticket. I was lucky to have seat numbet 24K. I went to the waiting lounge and it had wifi, the descent wifi. So i turned on my device and surfed to internet and updated some in my social media accounts. The wait was over, time to board to the ferry. The ferry looked amazing and super. I never had this good ferry in my life. Everybody went to the ferry according to the seat given prior to check in. There was a guide to help us to find the correct seat.

Inside the ferry; clean and comfortable
The ferry for me met the international standard. It had the steward and stewardess in ferry. The ferry attendants were so friendly and firm to the passengers by smiling and pointing to the correct seat. They had their attendant attire. I looked for my seat and found my seat very comfortable because it was next to the window. It took few minutes for all passengers boarding. The ferry looked fully seated that time, i assumed because it was with the christmas holiday. Actually, so many Chinese people from Mainland that time and also taiwanese. However, the one who seated next tome was Korean guy. I forgot his name because we just had few talk before the ferry left. Few minutes the ferry left, i felt asleep and i missed the whole jouney. I had no idea about the whole jouney looked like, how beautiful the journey it was. The seat was very comfortable for me. It was soft and clean. I fell asleep deeply and more deeply and the korean guy woke up when we were about to arrive. i thanked to him for waking me up. I looked so tired and frankly i fel that i was smelling not that good at time. Thanks to the aroma of the ferry that erase my slight ly bad smell.

I ventured out to the terminal and proceed to teh immigration. Macau and Hongkong are special administrative Area of China. Furthermore, those two countries have their government, and we are considered to enter another country. The immigration was easy and we just surrendered our passport and they did not stamp to our passport like we had in Hongkong as well. They gave me the piece of paper containing the duration of stay permitted in Macau SAR. The terminal was good enough and comfortable in macau. I directly went to the toilet, finished the morning ritual i delayed before and also put perfume on to me to reduce the bad smell emitted from me. It looked disgusting anyway, i ventured out with good smell already and i was ready to spread the smell and smile to Macau. Actually, i had no idea what to do and what to see in macau but casinos. I just let it flow. It was very windy and i just occupied myself with normal jacket that not resistant to cold wind. I was almost frozen in macau.  I was feeling relief that i finally stepped into one of my dreams; to see Macau.

Jumat, 04 April 2014

The Separation (HK-MCA-SZ part 4)

Time clicked to 4 in the morning. In the same time more flights arrived making the airport get busier as the sunrise would be coming. We decided to leave the lounge to see hongkong officially. Enggar was tasked to arrange the itinerary. He was good in doing research about what to do in HK at budget. He got all written in papers the itinerary and the budget. He got that from one of ‘senior’ member of INDOBACKPACKER. And everybody was into him but me. 

While we were waiting for the sunrise inside, i browsed all about hongkong. That was really unplanned. Okay i got the result what to do at least at that day,  i decided to leave the group. I decided to go to macau for my very first day trip, but they didn’t. I was not into the perfect well-planned itinerary. I was thinking that i would like to explore what i did want to do without following others. I told them that i would go separately with them and meet with them after. They asked me to join them, and i insisted to not go. 

They already booked room for them in the downtown of hongkong, and i didn’t have. They were so nice by offering me to stay with them in the same hostel so we could share the fee. I told them that i would not spend any buck for accommodation, and yeah no word could say then. It was high season in hongkong because it was about to Christmas and it was best time to travel to hongkong anyway. So i myself was afraid about my accommodation. I was thinking to be vagabond in hongkong. Eventually, i still went for my own.

We all finished the immigration easily. Indonesian doesn’t visa, neither do other nationalities (most nationalities i think). It was time for morning praying for moslem. So they all are moslem, very good ones. We asked the officer there about the praying room, we had it in upstairs (second floor) in the very corner. In here i saw how big and fancy the airport. The HKIA was amazing. I was speechless to see the vast huge airport. We could find easily the praying room in the corner of second floor next to toilet. The praying room was warm and uniquely, it was different with Indonesia had. The praying room was like a silent room for any kind of beliefs and faith and religion. This was designed to experience the silence and moment for concentrating. So in the same time moslem people prayed and i saw a girl prayed as well in that room, and she might be Christian. What did i do? I was sleeping in that room, and it was not advisable because it was considered as unacceptable to sleep there, or lie down. Yeah, the religion would not a barrier to understand each others.

It was dusk and i could see hongkong for the first time. It was beautiful, or at least i could fee how proud i was to see that. They were all done praying. Time to leave the airport to the city, they would go to their accommodation and i might go to macau. In that time, i realized that the price was so high for me. FYI, that time, Indonesian Rupiah was very weak to foreign currencies. The rate was about 1 HK$ to 1600 IDR which was super a lot for us, especially me who had saved some rupiah.

Everybody had HK$ already but me (again) *sigh. I went to foreign exchange to exchange my US$ to HK$. I saved 300 US$ with me cash. After i saw the rate was below in XE.com, i decided to exchange 100 US$ only to HK$. None exchanged the money but me, i had my HK$ already. So the next thing to do was to buy Octopus Card. So octopus card is a transportation card used by tapping to the gate and it can be used as a e-money as well in certain convenient stores across Hongkong. 

So i had 765 HK$ and i was so happy because i was not penniless at least. I grabed my breakfast in 7Eleven inside the airport and a soy drink, my hot meal was instant noodle. I spent 20 HK$ for this and others didn’t do. So we sent our representatives to queue to buy the octopus card. Enggar and Fachry volunteered to be our representatives. About 20 minutes we had our Octopus card with 100 HK$ inside and 50$ deposit that we can refund (we will be cut 9HK$ for some charge i dont know).

While i were waiting for them buying the card, i sat next to Beijingian lady. She could speak English and and we had a little conversation. So this lady was in transit from the USA to meet her son studying in San Fransisco. And she was really happy to know me as the energetic adolescence. I was blushed. I said goodbye to her since we would leave the airport.

Ah finally, it was DAMN COLD outside, and 8 C was a silent killer for us, me especially. Most of them (or all of us) are not friendly enough to the cold. Some wore the coat with furry, gloves, hat, tight socks. But for catur, he just wore short pants because i had no idea.

We took several pictures before we boarded to the bus to the nearest station. Actually, there is direct train from airport to the city center and it is faster and pricier. We had no time constraint, so we chose the cheapest mode, yeah we too bus from the airport to the nearest MRT station. As we researched and Enggar’s holy itinerary said that this was the cheapest option, we opted for this method. 

We waited for the bus for about 5 minutes. The bus  S1 came, everybody was happy. It was empty and many passengers from airport boarded to the bus. We just tapped our octopus card and it was deducted 3.5$ that time. So our destination was Chung Tung MTR. It took about 10-15 minutes to arrive in Tung Chung MTR. We stopped and looked around the area. We didn’t found any sign of MTR, We just saw the cable car station in a huge building. Then i decided to walk against the road. I saw the crowd. And i crossed the road, and others were still in another side. I told them i saw the sign of MTR. Then they followed me. We saw the tall building, it is residential building. Hongkong is notorious for its high price for housing. Mostly hongkongers can only afford to have apartment. E took several pictures.

Finally, we were in MTR station. We didn’t need to buy ticket since we had octopus card yeayyy. We saw the map of MTR Rail. I knew where to go, so did they. We tapped to get in and we waited for the train. It was morning and working days so the train was packed and full, we had no seat, but it could be tolerated considering the train condition in Jakarta. They would stop in Jordan Station and i was in Sheung Wan station. I had to change the train and say see you again to them. And yeah, our unification ended here. I continued my journey by using MTR to Sheung Wan station to go to Macau. Once arrived, I had to tap again the card and it was deducted about 20++$ (I forget the exact fare). So the real journy of separation started officially.