2019 Pekanbaru, Indonesia

pekanbaru

ABOUT PEKANBARU

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

It was a year delay that I thought of taking both my parents for a short trip, so decided to go Pekanbaru because of the short flight time (1 hour from KL) and the many choices of delicious food, especially nasi padang. Took Air Asia flight from KLIA2 to Sultan Syarif Kassim II International Airport, Pekanbaru. Bought the ticket during promo period so manage to secure a return ticket which cost less than RM1000 for 5 (4 adults, 1 children + luggage + insurance + seat selection). From the airport to the hotel (airport is already within the city), you can take a taxi which cost around 50,000 Rupiah and the ride will take you roughly around 30 minutes. When leaving the airport to leave Pekanbaru, please note that if you want to eat or buy some souvenirs, please do so before going into the international boarding area as there’s only 1 small stall inside and the area is very small (only to accommodate passengers of 1 plane).

ACCOMMODATION

Booked 2 rooms at Fox Harris Pekanbaru via Agoda. The hotel is quite new and located opposite Novotel Hotel Pekanbaru and Ciputra Mall. There’s a mini mart nearby (love going to mini mart and buy local products!) and a lot of restaurant as well mostly selling nasi padang (Halal). The hotel is suppose to link to Sadira Plaza, which was being renovated when we were there. The room is modern, clean and comfortable with free wi-fi.

Image source: agoda.com

GETTING AROUND

Getting around Pekanbaru is convenient. Basically we just use Grab to go places and the fee is very affordable. We even ask the same Grab driver to drive us to few places without needing to call another Grab driver. He is happy to wait for us and drive us to our next destination.

INTERESTING PLACES

  • Trans Studio Mini – The one in Pekanbaru is not as big as the one in Bandung, hence the word ‘Mini’. We went there by Grab and seems that the Grab driver is not aware of the existence of this place. To go here, you can tell the driver (Grab or taxi) to go to Transmart, as Trans Studio Mini is located on the 3rd floor of Transmart. We, not only my son but even the adults had a great time (since my husband and I manage to ride the rollercoaster as my parents help to look after my son for a while) 🙂
  • An-Nur Great Mosque
  • Soeman H.S. Library
  • Taman Wisata Alam Mayang
  • Anjungan Seni Idrus Tintin
  • Waterpark Boombara
  • Riau Fantasy, Labersa Waterpark
  • Museum Sang Nila Utama
  • Kebun Binatang Kasang Kulim

SHOPPING

  • Pasar Bawah – a famous place in Pekanbaru to buy t-shirt, souvenirs, telekung, dried food etc.
  • Ramayana – a place to consider to buy souvenir
  • Kembang Sari – famous for its cake and brownies. Love the pisang molen. There’s few branches available within Pekanbaru.
  • Vizcake Outlet – famous for its cake and brownies. Love the pineapple roll. You may refer to the official website for the list of branches. We stop by 1 of its branches on the way to the airport.
  • Ciputra Mall – located next to Novotel and opposite Fox Harris Hotel. Have cinema, hypermart, Matahari department store, indoor games for the children, es teler 77 (love the es nangka), etc. Bought few HotWheels storage box at the hypermart (really worth it. Cheap and I still can’t find it in Malaysia)
  • SKA Mall – the biggest mall in Pekanbaru
  • Living World – a new mall located close to Ska mall

FOOD

  • Es Teler 77 – A place that I will always look for whenever in Pekanbaru. I simply love the es nangka! Recommend to try Mie Ayam Pedas
  • Rumah Makan Raso Situjuah – Discovered this place from Tripadvisor, and we decided to give it a try. Love the food at the price is very affordable. Was charge around 215,000 rupiah for 4 adults!
  • Sate Bundo Kanduang – You should try sate padang as it is a bit different from the one in Malaysia. The gravy is spicy, quite similar to sate bulayak’s gravy which I had earlier in Lombok. If you can’t take spicy food, you can opt for kuah kacang.
  • Pondok Gurih – one of the most famous place to eat in Pekanbaru. We didnt manage to visit this place as we were still quite full from lunch
  • Pondok Patin HM Yunus – one of the most famous place to eat in Pekanbaru. We didnt manage to visit this place as we were still quite full from lunch
  • Restoran Garuda
  • Rumah Makan Kayu Manis
  • Rumah Makan Pak Abbas
  • Nasi Padang Pak Nurdin
  • Rumah Makan Melayu
  • Pondok Asam Pedas Baung
  • Rumah Makan Sederhana
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The Beautiful Lombok!

lombok

ABOUT LOMBOK

Timezone : UTC+08:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Took Air Asia from KLIA2 to Lombok International Airport. Previously planned to stay in Lombok for 6 days 5 nights but 1 day after booking the ticket, Lombok was hit by a strong earthquake (and it keep on happening!). Received an email from Air Asia that they are cancelling few flights (previously was 2 or 3 flights per day but they change to 1 per day) and that we can change the flight date if we want to. We decided to cut the trip short to 3 days 2 nights (basically just to attend my brother in law’s wedding). We regretted that decision and we should have stayed there longer as there are a lot of places we didn’t manage to visit! Including the famous Gili! *cry*. By the way, at the immigration check point (once you have entered Lombok), they will ask for your return ticket. We didn’t print ours so we just show our Lombok-KL passes on Air Asia mobile app.

GETTING AROUND

There are few ways you can get around Lombok: taxi (recommend to use Blue Bird), Grab, rent a car/motorbike or hire a supir (driver). Since we went there in group with my husband’s family, my brother in law hired an agency to pick us up at the airport, drive us to and from the wedding location and also 2 days tour for the rest of the family members. For the next day (since our flight was at 8.30pm) we hired a supir (driver) to drive us around and send us to the airport. Here’s the detail of the supir we hired:

ACCOMMODATION

Since we went there for my brother in law’s wedding, he booked a house for us via Airbnb (you can also book a room there via Agoda). We stayed at Sweet Peach House, which was a nice place to stay in, very cute house, big and clean, and close to convenient stores (I loveeee buying local stuff at the convenient store!). However it is not close to the beach area (around 7km to Senggigi Beach), which is fine as based on our initial plan (to stay there for 6 days), we plan to stay at the house for 3 days and then move to Holiday Resort Lombok, which to our surprise was where the wedding was being held! The house consists of 5 rooms, where 2 rooms act as a dorm which have 3 bunk beds (there’s blind in between the beds for your privacy). So basically the house can fit our group of 16 adults and 2 kids. The owner of the house are Muslims, so there are rules that you need to follow for example only Halal food can be kept in the fridge and cooked using the cookware & utensils provided.

Image source: Sweet Peach House

INTERESTING PLACES

  • Senggigi Beach – the main tourist strip of the Indonesian island of Lombok, stretched out along several kilometers of the beachfront just to the north of the capital, Mataram
  • Pura Batu Bolong – Oceanside temple known for its rocky surrounds, numerous pagodas & statues & sunset views.
  • Pottery Making – you can purchase a pottery or learn to make one. I made a turtle!

lombok pottery

  • Traditional weaving (tenun) – learn how to weave cloth or you can also purchase those colourful handmade cloth called kain tenun

tenun

and here are more (and there’s a lot more if you Google) beautiful places you can visit, which we didn’t manage to *cry*

  • Gili Islands – Gili islands are a group of 3 small island, Gili Trawangan (the most famous Gili), Gili Meno and Gili Air
  • Villa Hantu – Hantu means ghost but its not really haunted. It’s an old house which overlook the Senggigi beach and its a nice photo spot
  • Bukit Malimbu – a nice spot to take photos with green (grass) and blue (sky & ocean) background
  • Mangku Sakti Waterfall
  • Benang Kelambu Waterfall
  • Semeti Beach
  • Pink Beach – pink sandy beach
  • Kuta Beach – yes, there’s also Kuta Beach in Lombok
  • Pantai Tebing
  • Pantai Tanjung Bloam
  • Gunung Rinjani – entrance to Mount Rinjani is close until now ever since the earthquake
  • Gua Bangkang

SHOPPING

  • Sasaku – Souvenir shopping! There’s few Sasaku branches and we went to 2 Sasaku branches. The one in Senggigi was better in terms of choices.
  • Senggigi Art Market – Didn’t manage to visit the market as our supir brought us to different art market in Mataram (if I’m not mistaken) which was not as expected.
  • Epicentrum Mall – went to the mall for lunch and visit the toy store. Bought few Tomica cars, since it is cheaper in Indonesia compared to Malaysia.
  • Mataram Mall

FOOD

  • Sate Bulayak – the sate is similar to the one in Malaysia however the gravy is spicier and instead of nasi impit, there’s bulayak which is a bit similar to lemang

Sate Bulayak

  • Ayam taliwang – spicy roast chicken
  • Nasi Balap Puyung

Island Getaway 2016 – Bali, Indonesia

bali

ABOUT BALI

Timezone : UTC+08:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Took Air Asia flight from KLIA2, Kuala Lumpur to Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport Bali. Once touched down, I was quite surprise to see the new look of the airport. Big and new! Another new update since the last time I was in Bali (2012) is that, there’s no more airport departure tax! Yeayyy for that! 🙂

GETTING AROUND

There are a few ways you can get around Bali. You can rent your own car or motorbike (you will need to have an International Driving Permit), walk (if within the city), take a taxi (use Blue Bird since it’s quite cheap & the the most reliable taxi company) or hire a driver (I did this for 3 days tour)

DRIVER SERVICE FOR BALI TOUR

My second time hiring Pak Bram as our supir (driver). He drove a Suzuki MPV, which can fit 7 people and the price is per car, not per head. Price includes car+petrol+driver. I fully recommend Pak Bram if you are looking for a driver in Bali. For the itinerary, you can have a look at mine (2012 trip Itinerary), or you can also ask Pak Bram for recommended itinerary.

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Odua Ozz Kuta Hotel. Good location, nice room with comfortable bed and friendly and helpful staff. If I were to go to Bali again, I will consider staying at this hotel one more time! 🙂

lobby-exterior pool-view-afternoon

INTERESTING PLACES

There are a lot of interesting places in Bali to visit. For this trip, I didn’t visit many places since it’s so hot and I bring along my 7 months old baby with me.

Here are some places that I went to this year. For more listing of interesting places, visit my previous post on Bali here – Bali 2012 Trip

  • Uluwatu – Pura by the cliff. Just be careful with the monkeys here. Keep your sunglasses in your bag because they might steal it
  • Jimbaran Bay – a nice & romantic place to enjoy dinner on the beach while watching sunset. This year I went there twice at tried 2 restaurants. I fully recommend to eat at Legong. Their food taste nicer and the staff are way more helpful and friendly
  • Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, Bedugul
  • Pacung – enjoy lunch with rice terrace view
  • Coffee Plantation

SHOPPING

  • Ole-ole Hawaii Bali
  • Agong Bali
  • Krishna (went to 2 Krishna outlet, one is near Agong Bali and another one is near the airport)
  • Discovery Mall
  • Lippo Mall
  • Legian Street
  • Kuta Art Market

 

View my previous post on Bali: My FIRST SOLO Getaway – Bali, Indonesia

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

yogyakarta

ABOUT YOGYAKARTA

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Went to Yogyakarta by Air Asia. The flight will take you from KLIA2 to Adisucipto International Airport. From the airport you can take a taxi to your hotel. There will be a taxi counter near the exit door. Paid IDR 70,000 for a taxi from airport to hotel in Malioboro. When flying back from Yogyakarta to Malaysia, you will need to pay for the airport departure tax. Paid RM32 for the tax through AirAsia (payment for Indonesia Airport Tax), meaning I do not need to pay before the departure itself. By the way the airport is very small for the International flight so don’t be surprise 😛

ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Whiz Hotel and this time booked a room through AirAsiaGo instead of the usual Agoda.com. Booked it through AirAsiaGo because I’m using a voucher code so manage to get a room at a cheaper price. Whiz Hotel is located in a very strategic area on Jalan Dagen, Malioboro, at the heart of the city’s tourism business district. It is surrounded by various shopping centers, eateries (a lot of Halal restaurants around) and other commercial sites. The breakfast served is Halal although the option is quite limited. (images below taken from their website)

whiz_1 whiz_3 whiz_8

GETTING AROUND

Yogyakarta is not really a big city so traveling around town will not be too expensive. You can take a taxi (preferable metered taxi), by trishaw or also known as ‘becak’ (quite cheap. Around IDR 5,000 to IDR 20,000 depending on the distance), horse cart also known as ‘andong’ (around IDR 50,000 depending on distance), or you can just walk around.

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SHOPPING

  • Malioboro Street – This is the place where I did most (or maybe all) of my shopping. The stuff sold here are quite cheap (you can get IDR 15,000 for a t-shirt). Even though prices are already quite cheap, don’t forget to bargain for a better price!
  • Malioboro Mall – located in Jalan Malioboro
  • Ambarukkmo Plaza – this is the largest shopping complex in Yogyakarta. Went there by taxi. IDR 30,000 from Malioboro to the plaza

INTERESTING PLACES

  • Borobodur Temple – this is the biggest Buddhist temple in the 9th century. It is also declared as a UNESCO site. Notes to pregnant mommy, when I was there I was 4 months pregnant but still manage to climb up. The top is not really that high up but just make sure to be careful with the steps and take it slowly. Bring along water since it can be quite hot. Entrance fee was IDR 250,000 for foreign tourist (as at April 2015)

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  • Prambanan Temple – an ancient temple dedicated to the Trimurti Gods. Entrance fee was IDR 225,000 for foreign tourist (as at April 2015)

Prambanan 1 Prambanan 2 Prambanan 3 Prambanan 4 Prambanan 5 Prambanan 6

  • Ratu Boko – an archeological site, 3km away from Prambanan Temple.
  • Malioboro – A famous street in the heart of the city. This is also a must-visit souvenir paradise.

malioboro 1 malioboro 2

  • Mount Merapi – For adventure seeker. You can hire a jeep and choose a short, medium or long trail for sight-seeing

merapi 1 merapi 2 merapi 3 merapi 4 merapi 5 merapi 6

  • Parangtritis Beach – Enjoy a romantic evening enjoying sunset while riding on a carriage or for the more adventurous, you can try the all terrain vehicle (ATV). If you have time, walk up to Tebing Gembirawati (Gembirawati Cliff) and you can see the whole area of Parangtritis Beach, southern sea, up to the horizon. There’s also a temple ruins at the east side of the cliff
  • Benteng Vredeburg – A fort built by the Dutch in 1765 during the colonial domination, which has been converted into a museum. Entrance fee required.

Vredeburg 1 Vredeburg 2 Vredeburg 3

  • Kraton – Entrance fee required.
  • Taman Sari – Entrance fee required.

Taman sari 1 Taman sari 2 Taman sari 3

 

TOURS

Hired a ‘supir’ or driver from the hotel. Rate was IDR 500,000 for the supir + vehicle + petrol for 10 hours. Went to Borobodur Temple, Merapi Volcano, lunch and finally Prambanan Temple.

FOOD

Majority of people living in Yogyakarta are Muslim so there’s no problem finding Halal food. However, every night I went to this restaurant called ‘Mas Bowoo’ and ordered their nasi goreng (fried rice) and chicken. Quite delicious. This restaurant is located near to Whiz Hotel (Jalan Dagen). Also do try out BAKPIA (a local dessert that you should try when you are in Yogyakarta) an NASI GUDEG (a local delicacy in Yogyakarta).

Bakso Bakso Ayam penyet Nasi gudeg food mas bowoo

MORE READING ON YOGYAKARTA

DOWNLOAD AIR ASIA TRAVEL GUIDE HERE: <download>

My Own Travel & Places

travel n places

To view all of my posts on travel & places, simply click on the button as in example provided above 🙂 Happy wandering!

Medan, Indonesia

medan

Went to Medan, Indonesia for a short holiday with beloved family.

ABOUT MEDAN

Timezone : UTC+07:00

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Visa: Not required for Malaysian

Plug adapter:

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GETTING THERE

Went there by Air Asia. Manage to buy a reallyyyy cheap return ticket during promotion. Only RM110 for a return ticket!! Previously planes will land and depart form Polonia Airport but now they have changed to a new & bigger airport, Kualanamu International Airport. However this airport is a bit further from the city compared to previous airport. I didn’t know there’s an airport departure tax that need to be paid before leaving but lucky they accept RM!! So if you want to go to Medan, make sure you save 75,000 Rupiah for the airport departure tax and not spend all of your money for shopping! 😛

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ACCOMMODATION

Stayed at Grand Sakura Hotel. Booked a room from Agoda.com at a very reasonable price. Actually I have booked a deluxe room but they are nice enough to upgrade my stay to an executive room for FREE!! Thank you!! The room is quite big but too bad I didn’t get wifi inside my room, so I just sit on the floor outside my room 😛 Breakfast is included. The food they served are all HALAL. There’s not much of a choice for breakfast but as long as there’s food, I don’t really mind. If breakfast is not included when you do the booking, it is OK. Just pay 35,000 rupiah and you can enjoy all the food. It’s really cheap!! Location of the hotel is ok but not good. You need to get a taxi or just ask from the counter for a driver to send you to wherever you want to go. Other hotels which was recommended would be Madani Hotel (because of the location i guess) and Garuda Plaza Hotel. Here are some photos but I got it from their website instead of taking it myself 😛

grandsakura

grandsakurahotel

GETTING AROUND

Paid ‘supir’ or driver to go places around Medan when we were there but he is a VERY lousy driver & it is NOT cheap to hire him! He was recommended by someone we knew, who is originally from there so that is why we still paid him for the rest of our stay there. I will not put up his contact here because I WILL NOT recommend him to anybody! The hotel we stayed in provided car rental + driver service. I guess other hotels also provide this service so you may ask the counter if you do not have any contact to drive you around town. You can see the rate for a car+petrol+driver provided by Grand Sakura Hotel (it’s around half of what we paid for!) in the picture below.

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SHOPPING

  • Pasar Ikan – ‘Pasar Ikan’ means fish market. However they DO NOT sell fish! 😛 You can find lots of fabrics, souvenirs, clothing, hijab, telekung (for Muslim) & a lot of other things here. The only problem we encounter was there are sellers following us everywhere we go & try to sell us things that we do not need. It is really annoying & uncomfortable so we only spend quite a short time there

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  • Ramayana – A few level shopping mall with cheap stuff. Really cheap!
  • Medan Mall – This is an air-conditioned shopping mall but also connected with a market which sells fruits, vegetable, fabrics, clothings, etc. Went here several times (since we are not so sure where to go..plus the tour guide & driver that we had..hmmm). There’s also a place to eat halal food; KFC & Es Teler 77 (try the es nangka. love it!) There’s also a department store inside which is called Matahari (which means sun in English). Price are quite cheap especially those that was on sale. The colourful wedges below is only around RM15 after 75% discount!

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  • Pasar Petisah – A market that sells a lot of clothing, fabrics, shoes, etc.

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  • Sun Plaza – a modern & big shopping mall!

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  • Bakery – If you are in Medan, make sure to buy the layer cake. It’s damn delicious & cheap!!

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INTERESTING PLACES

Maimoon Palace

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Oldest Mosque in Medan

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You may also go to Lake Toba (do spend a night there) or Brastagi.

FOOD

Do try the Nasi Padang (I’ve tried Restoran Garuda). It’s awesome especially the SAMBAL! I ate a lot & I mean A LOTTT of sambal! 😛

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If you go to Es Teler 77, try the Es Nangka. I LOVE IT! It’s just ice with condense milk & jackfruit but it taste awesome!

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Travel Guides

Here are some details which might be useful if you need to travel to these countries 🙂

Malaysia

Capital City: Kuala Lumpur

Currency: Ringgit Malaysia (RM)

Timezone: GMT +8

Language: Malay language, English, Chinese, Tamil

Electricity: 220 – 240 Volt

 

China

Capital City: Beijing

Currency: Renminbi (RMB, ¥)

Timezone: GMT +8

Language: Mandarin (official) & countless regional dialects

Electricity: 220V/50Hz

 

Indonesia

Capital City: Jakarta

Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

Timezone: GMT +7 through GMT +9

Language: Indonesia (official) & countless regional languages

Electricity: 220V 50Hz

 

Thailand

Capital City: Bangkok

Currency: Thai Baht (THB)

Timezone: GMT +7

Language: Thai, English

Electricity: 220V 50Hz