Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Friday, February 07, 2014

The ASEAN trip completed on 1st February 2014

I have completed  the ASEAN trips. The last ASEAN country I just visited is Laos. I visited Vientiane and Luang Prabang but mostly I spend in the latter city.
So, the whole ASEAN countries I have visited since 2011 :
 ...Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Philiphine, Thailand (five times), Malaysia (many times, mostly transit here before flying to other countries), Singapore and of course, Indonesia.
My48-page-pasport is almost full and it may need a replacement. Even, it will be expired in 2016.

In addition to ASEAN, I have visited China (twice) and Australia (used to live here).

My next trip will be :...........will tell you later :)

However I have not posted both writings and photos of my last trip to Luang Prabang. I will do it later.
I am quiet busy because.....uhm...can't tell you now...anyway...Good nite!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

RIP Hugo Chávez Frías

Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez Frías has died aged 58, after 14 years in power. Chavez had been seriously ill with cancer for more than a year, undergoing several operations in Cuba. He will be given a state funeral in the capital Caracas on Friday. Vice-President Nicolas Maduro will assume the presidency until an election is called within 30 days.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Travelling to five countries in one month (Part 5)

Some pics of my recent trips in Davao-Manila-Kota Kinabalu-Yangon-Bangkok-Ayutthaya-Chiang Mai-Kuala Lumpur (15 August 2012 - 20 September 2012). I think I have spent so much money for the trip but it is ok...We can't buy happiness, can we?

Travelling to five countries in one month (Part 2)

Here are some of my pics from the recent vacation to Davao-Manila-Kota Kinabalu-Kuala Lumpur-Yangon-Bangkok-Ayuthaya-Chiang Mai (15 August 2012 - 20 September 2012)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Watch "Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Pulau Sapi, Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia II." on YouTube

you just need to pay 30 RM to get pulau sapi from jettisson ferry terminal, KK

Sent from Samsung Mobile

Sunday, March 04, 2012

My trip to Manila and Davao City (August 2012)

Finally I decide to go to Davao City. I just paid the it will be 3 days trip before heading to Kinabalu.
Actually I will only spend time in Manila but my friend told me that Manila is like Jakarta or Bangkok. So he suggested me to travel to Davao, instead. He used to live in Manila for 6 months so he must have known well about the country.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Myanmar trip Sept 2012

I will go to that country in Sept 2012. I thought I would not need visa because it is part of ASEAN countries. However, foreigners still need to apply entry visa to Myanmar . This policy is annoying because it is conflictual with the willingness of the country to be more open. How come you still restrict people from ASEAN when you promise to be open country. I hope when I depart in next September, that policy will have been abolished. I do hope it is materialized because I already booked the hotel and paid for my ticket. Myanmar should allow ASEAN citizen to travel free without visa

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Pulau Mursala dan King Kong 1933

Mursala Island Waterfall, Sibolga, North Sumatra, Indonesia

Mursala Island

Floating Heaven in Sibolga Bay
by. Ekky Siwabessy

Our speedboat with 170 HP splits the waves of Sibolga Bay at high speed. The green sea fades to blue as we leave the Hotel Wisata Indah’s harbor letting us know that we are now in deep waters. Drops of sea spray from the bottom of the boat wet my face. I check my camera equipment to check it is safe. We pass Poncan Gadang Island and Poncan Ketek Island on either side of the boat. Ahead, Mursala Island begins to take shape.
It was Mr. Maryadi, the General Manager of Wisata Indah Hotel in Sibolga, who enabled us to make this journey across Sibolga Bay to visit some of the islands in these western waters. Even though we are still aching and tired from our overnight journey from Medan, it is hard to refuse his offer to make this journey along the shores of the Indian Ocean. “Your tiredness will disappear for sure,” promises Mr. Maryadi. The result is that at about 13.45, our speedboat prepares to leave the Hotel Wisata Indah harbor. Indeed, the sea air and the fantastic views surrounding us wake us up.
The stony outcrops and large waves are proof of the local fisherman’s bravery. As far as the eye can see, islands are sprinkled throughout the bay, contrasting with the blue sea. Coconut trees grow on the larger islands, we are surrounded by a ring of islands.
Today we are accompanied by Mr. Luhut Butarbutar, the captain of the ship, and his three assistants; Boy Sinaga, Bilmon Pakpahan and Mikael Sinaga. According to plan, we cross to Mursala Island, which is one of the biggest islands in the outer reaches of Sibolga Bay. It was this island that is believed to have saved Sibolga City from the 2004 Tsunami. It functioned as a cushion that lessened the impact of the tidal wave before it could reach the city.
Mursala Island is located 01.38’6,09”  North and 98.35’7,22” East. This island starred in the Hollywood production of “King Kong”. It was pictured as an island full of Stone Age people, frightening animals and a number of other distortions. They named Mursala Island in Sumatera as the setting of the movie story, giving the world a false image of the island. Now, we want to set the facts straight.
Mursala Island is indeed covered in virgin rainforest, but isn’t surrounded by mysterious fog and sharp stony outcrops that sink approaching ships as in the film. The sandy beaches and marine ecosystem is still intact, making it a popular amongst Sibolgans. One can snorkel underneath the warm sun and observe the coral for hours without feeling cold. There are 700 different kinds of fish to entertain you while snorkeling and diving.
Another unique tourist attraction on Mursala is a 35 metre high waterfall which falls from the cliffs straight into the sea. About 100 metres from the shore, we can see coral and multi-coloured fish through the crystal clear waters, allowing us to observe the marine life despite being at a depth of 4 or 5 metres. Mr. Luhut stops the speed boat. He puts on diving clothes, snorkel and grabs an underwater harpoon.
“Someone has ordered fish, I’ve got to go and shoot it. You wait here, ok? Pick me up in an hour,” he says to his assistant. Then he looks at us and says: “Have fun, won’t you?”
Splash! He disappears into the arms of the ocean to make his transactions with the sea.
Mr. Luhut Butatbutar is a boat operator as well as a diving and snorkeling guide at Wisata Indah Hotel. His extensive experience as a marine guide leaves no room for doubt. In a moment, he has forgotten about us while looking for fish in the coral roof on the bottom of the sea below us. Our boat leaves Mr. Luhut behind to enjoy his own activities.
First of all, we are brought to the waterfall which faces the Indian Ocean. At 14.50, the waterfall is in sight. The falling water causes bubbles which mix with the waves. The water pours down the red granite cliffs of the island, then falls to the surface of the ocean with a booming sound. The volume of water will be larger during the rainy season.
I observe the blue-black ocean bed below us. This part is quite deep. We don’t waste the opportunity to take photos of this natural phenomenon. It is quite rare to find a waterfall that falls directly into the sea in this part of the world.
 “This is the favourite diving spot for foreign divers. However, one must be careful because sharks are sometimes found here,” commented Bilmon. After taking photos for a while, we decide to land on the island in order to socialize with the Mursala inhabitants.
In contrast to Poncan and Putih Island, Mursala doesn’t have a resort yet. There isn’t even a pier. So if one wishes to meet the local people, boats have to anchor the boat and come ashore by canoe. The only place that boats can stop is the biggest village on the island, Dusun Hili Badalu. The only problem is that the village is on the left side of the island coming from Sibolga. In the end, we are forced to turn around, passing the spot where we dropped off Mr. Luhut and make our way to the village.
The Island People
A few minutes later our speedboat rests in a very basic harbour built of driftwood and planks. A house on stilts can be seen at the end of the pier. Some local  fisherman can be seen preparing  bait on the terraces of their houses. After leaving the speed boat, we walk 150 metres along the long pier towards dry land. The poor condition of the pier makes visitors walk extra carefully. Some parts have gone rotten due to the weather. The conditions mirror the economy of Hili Badalu inhabitants. “We have fixed this pier a number of times, but every time it breaks again. We can’t afford to buy the materials necessary to fix it properly,” says Mr. Halawa, a local inhabitant, as we pass his house.

Similar to most Mursala Island dwellers, Mr. Halawa, and his family come from Nias. The Nias people are indeed famous for stepping out to new lands. Sibolgans, however, don’t wish to live on this island with an area of less than 800 hectares because they believe that this island is home to a spirit named tondi.
Forced by the need for new land, some Nias people decided to move and stay on this island. Today, more than 100 families live in small villages spread out across the island.
In order to cover their daily necessities, the Mursalans plant cassava and rubber. “We sell the rubber in Sibolga every 3 months using a fishing boat. It isn’t much, because we are still experimenting. The cassava is our daily food staple,” explains Mr. Halawa.
A unique feature of Hili Badalu village is the presence of squirrel traps in every tree. “It is difficult for us to enjoy the fruit we plant because the squirrels always eat them first. So we have to catch them,” says Mr. Ndruru, the village head of Hili Badalu.
Apart from rubber and cassava, the people of Mursala Island are trying to cultivate seaweed. However this business hasn’t shown satisfactory results. “There are a number of problems. Starting from water pollution to people cutting the ropes which hold the seaweed cultivation areas in place. We are trying to protect the water and forests from pollution because Mursala Island is a place that must be protected and looked after. However every time we try to start a new environmentally friendly initiative, there are hindrances from irresponsible individuals,” complains Mr. Ndruru.
Another problem is that this vast island doesn’t have an integrated village administration. The village head who is in charge of all the villages on Mursala Island is situated in an office in far-away Sibolga, so that the village is not supervised on a daily basis.
Mr. Ndruru complains that some village dwellers have been suffering from fever and bodily aches and pains which are the typical symptoms of Chikugunya. “There is a mobile health station to check the health of the villagers living on the islands, but they haven’t been seen for a while,” says Mr. Ndruru, who is planning to bring a number of villagers to Sibolga for medical check ups.
Living on this island paradise isn’t as comfortable as it seems, and lacks equality for its inhabitants. They need a central government which covers many issues, economics, security and health in order to ensure a healthy lifestyle for local inhabitants. Imagine if their conditions remain as they are now. Poverty could result in local inhabitants exploiting the virgin rainforest and coral reefs. The loss would be felt by the Sibolgans, even by the whole world. This is because Mursala Island’s reefs have become part of the Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management Programme (COREMAP).
Snorkeling on White Island
In order to pick up Mr. Luhut before continuing our journey we bid the inhabitants of Hili Badalu Island goodbye. After that our boat speeds to the place where we had last left Mr. Luhut. He is unaware of our arrival as he is still observing something below the surface of the water. “Catch anything, Sir?” I ask as he surfaces next to our boat. Mr. Luhut smiles while showing off the fruit of his hunt. Eight red snappers and other kinds of fish weighing from about 4 to 5 kg slide off the harpoon gun. He is indeed an expert.
After the captain joins us, we sail towards Putih Island. This island is a small island about 12 nautical miles from Sibolga. It is located near Marsala Island. Wisata Indah Hotel has built a simple cottage for its guests who wish to stay or just rest after diving or fishing around Mursala Island.
At 15.47, we arrive at Putih Island pier, which is located across the narrow channel separating this island from Mursala Island. We are welcomed by the island attendant. The coconuts have to be tried here.
There are less than 7 simple cottages each with a capacity 1 or 2 people. The price for staying here is included in the price for the boat. The biggest problem here is the lack of fresh water here, which is dependent on rain fall. This is why this island is just a stopover place despite its beauty being a potential tourist attraction encouraging longer stays. The beauty of the island is comparable to that of the location of the film “The Beach” around Phuket, Thailand
We don’t waste anymore time. After putting on our snorkeling gear, we float on the surface of the clear blue waters, observing the underwater world in the bright Indian Ocean. The calm is only disturbed by small waves washing over us and the coral in various colours: red, grey, green and blue. This is home to many colourful fish chasing each other.
Believe it or not, coral is the source for a number of fishing industries. Of the 132 types of fish with economic value in Indonesia, 32 live on coral reefs. Reef dwelling fish have become an export commodity due to its unique taste. A healthy coral reef can supply 3 to 10 tonnes of fish per square kilometer per year. This is the kind of world which causes Mr. Luhut to play catch with the fish.
Poncan Gadang Island
At 8 o’clock the next day, we return by 40 HP boat which acts as a ferry for employees to Poncan Island. This island is situated 20 minutes from Sibolga Island and has a famous resort, Sibolga Marine, a branch of Wisata Indah Hotel. Every morning and afternoon, this boat ferries the 33 employees back and forth from the resort.
In fact, Sibolga Bay has 2 islands named Poncan (which means “island” in the local language), Poncan Gadang (Big Island) and Poncan Ketek (Small Island). The latter doesn’t have a resort because it is too small and doesn’t have a spring. Even so, the smaller island is said to have played a role in the history of Sibolga. Before Sibolga was inhabited, Poncan Ketek was the first trading post for Tapian Nauli Area.
About 20 minutes later, our small boat arrives in Poncan Gadang Island. The resort manager, Mr. Alvi, shows us around the island. In contrast to Mursala with its virgin rainforest, this island has complete facilities for its visitors. There are 70 rooms here ranging from standard, superior to deluxe. The price range is from Rp 225,000 to Rp 580,000 per night. This includes breakfast for two.
The Poncan Gadang resort has fishing, snorkeling and diving equipment for rent. Apart from this it is possible to use the jet skis and banana boat. For families, there is a playground with a swing and slide as well as a volley ball court. This is the reason why visitors use this island as a base for exploring the other islands in the bay.
Even though this island is of medium size, it has a small tropical rainforest. This forest has a historical site, the Japanese Caves, leftover from WWII.
While waiting to be picked up, we spend our time chatting and playing volleyball with the hotel’s employees. In the afternoon, we snorkel around the pier. We feel satisfied with our time spent around Sibolga Bay.
How to Get There
Medan-Sibolga: Rp 100,000 to 120,000 by taxi or public bus from Jalan Sisingamangaraja, Medan.
Chartered boat from Sibolga to Poncan Gandang Island: Rp 300,000 per group (13 people). Can be rented from Wisata Indah Hotel or local fishermen.

Friday, July 15, 2011

IPO Air Asia..Will you buy its shares?

JPNN.COM : AirAsia Listing Pengujung 2011


PT Indonesia Air Asia (IAA) berencana go public lewat mekanisme penawaran saham perdana (initial public offering/IPO) pada kuartal empat 2011. Maskapai penerbangan dengan biaya rendah (low cost carrier/LCC) itu, membidik dana taktis senilai USD 150-200 juta, dengan skema pelepasan saham hingga 20 persen.

Namun, sebelum IPO itu geber, perseroan bakal terlebih dahulu menyatukan kepemilikan saham domestik, yang kini terpecah menjadi satu. Kepemilikan domestik menjadi satu sebesar 51 persen dan asing 49 persen. Setelah IPO, masing-masing akan terdilusi dengan sendirinya. ”Beberapa yang terdilusi, masih dalam kajian,” tutur Dharmadi, Presiden Direktur IAA, di Jakarta.

Saat ini, 51 persen saham IAA dimiliki lokal terbagi dalam tiga pihak, yaitu: PT Langit biru 21 persen, Pin Harris 20 persen, dan PT Fersindo Nusaperkasa 10 persen. Sehingga tidak bisa melebihi kepemilikan 49 persen saham oleh AA International Limited (AAIL), anak usaha dari AirAsia Berhad Malaysia. Mengenai kajian penggabungan lebih lanjut, klaim manajemen masih dalam kajian. Termasuk kajian mengenai proses IPO. Untuk keperluan itu, perseroan telah menunjuk dua penjamin emisi, yaitu Creddit Suisse dan CIMB Niaga Securities. Keduanya diputuskan setelah melakukan beauty contest (seleksi), pada Februari lalu.
Dharmadi melanjutkan, IPO merupakan bagian rencana perseroan untuk meningkatkan permodalan serta mendukung rencana ekspansi dimasa mendatang. Dana itu nantinya akan dipakai untuk pembelian sejumlah pesawat baru dan juga modal kerja. Selain menambah modal, IPO juga akan membuka kesempatan masyarakat serta karyawan perusahaan memiliki saham IAA. “Kami perlu dipandang sebagai bagian dari Indonesia,” imbuhnya.

Dari dana segar senilai USD 150-200 juta itu, perseroan akan membeli armada sebanyak lima pesawat baru jenis Airbus A320. Armada itu dibutuhkan, sesuai dengan konsep low cost carrier, yang akan mengangkut banyak penumpang dengan biaya bahan baker cost of fuel  yang sama.
Saat ini IAA memiliki 20 pesawat sewa jenis airbus, dimana 16 diantaranya beroperasi. Nantinya, perseroan mengharapkan bisa memiliki 30 pesawat jenis airbus pada 2015. Untuk pembelian, akan dilakukan secara bertahap. Manajemen mengharapkan bisa mendapat bagus dengan harga murah. Dalam membeli pesawat, manajemen menerapkan strategi tersendiri yaitu mengunci (lock) harga pada saat penandatanganan perjanjian. Pesawat yang dibeli pun tidak full option.

Dengan tambahan armada itu, perseroan mengharapkan kinerja akan bertumbuh seiring banyaknya penumpang serta rute yang ditempuh. Pada tahun 2010, kinerja perseroan meningkat pesat. Di mana pendapatan tercatat Rp 2,76 triliun naik 39 persen dari 2009, sementara laba bersih mencapai Rp 474 miliar naik lebih dari 351 persen dibanding tahun sebelumnya.

Lonjakan keuntungan itu, disebabkan peralihan pesawat yang dilakukan perseroan. Tahun lalu, IAA melakukan pergantian beberapa pesawat dari  jenis 737 yang hanya memiliki 148 penumpang ke airbus, yang mampu mengangkut 184 penumpang. Nah, tahun ini, IAA menargetkan bisa mencapai pendapatan sebesar Rp 3,3 triliun, sementara laba diharap menembus level Rp 500 miliar. “Itu didukung kenaikan jumlah penumpang, yang kami harap mencapai 4,5 juta penumpang,” tukas Dharmadi.

Analis PT Anugerah Securindo Indah, Viviet S Putri menilai, IAA memiliki prospek sangat bagus. Baik secara industri maupun pengelolaan manajemen. Melihat kinerja IAA positif, dengan pertumbuhan laba yang baik didukung efisiensi perseroan. “Manajemen mampu menekan biaya yang tidak perlu dikeluarkan untuk industri penerbangan. Di samping kemampuan menambah pendapatan, melalui ancillary,” ulas Viviet. (far)


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Guangzhou_Hongkong Train Travel Guide

Guangzhou Train Guide - Train Schedule & Ticketing Info for Guangzhou

Here you will find useful information on Guangzhou Rail travel, including guide for Guangzhou Railway Stations (location, website address, how to get there), ticket booking hours, advance ticket reservation period, Guangzhou train schedules, and hotel information.

Guangzhou Railway Stations Guide

There are four passenger railway stations in Guangzhou city, naming Guangzhou Railway Station, Guangzhou East Railway Station, Guangzhou South Railway Station and Guangzhou North Railway Station respectively. Guangzhou Railway Station and Guangzhou East Railway Station are located in the urban area while Guangzhou South Railway Station and Guangzhou North Railway Station are located in the outskirt area. Passengers choose Wuhan Guangzhou High Speed Railway (Wuguang Railway) should take their trains at Guangzhou South Railway Station or Guangzhou North Railway Station. Passengers take Guangzhou Kowloon Through Train to Hongkong should depart from Guangzhou East Railway Station.



  • Guangzhou Railway Station: No. 159, Huanshi West Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou 510010, People's Republic of China.
  • Guangzhou East Railway Station: Lin He Zhong Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou 510610, People's Republic of China.
  • Guangzhou South Railway Station: Shibi Town, Panyu District, Guangzhou 510150, People's Republic of China.
  • Guangzhou North Railway Station: Xinhua Street, Huadu District, Guangzhou 510800, People's Republic of China.

Transportation Guide


Guangzhou East Railway Station to Guangzhou South Railway Station:
  • By Bus

  • No. 302A bus connects Guangzhou East Railway Station with Guangzhou South Railway Station directly. Passengers can take it at the Central Bus Station of Guangzhou East Railway Station. Operating hour is from 6:30 to 23:30. Distance is 28 kilometers and Journey time is about 70 minutes.
How to Get to Guangzhou Railway Station from the Airport:
  • Option 1. by Airport Express

  • Taking No. 1 Line Route (5 to 15 minutes per) at the Airport's B Car Sitting Area for the Air-ticket Office Station. Guangzhou Railway Station is just 160 meters away from the Air-ticket Office Station. Journey time is about 45 minutes and the fare is RMB 20 Yuan. The first airport express departs at 7:00 am and the last one follows up the schedule of the last flight.
  • Option 2. by Taxi

  • The distance between Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Guangzhou Railway Station is around 32 kilometers. Taxi fare is about RMB 80 Yuan (For reference only!)
How to Get to Guangzhou South Railway Station from the Airport:
  • Option 1.

  • Taking Airport Express to Guangzhou Railway Station. In its neighbourhood you can find Guangzhou Bus Station, there are rapid buses at Guangzhou Bus Station to Guangzhou South Railway Station directly.
  • Option 2. by taxi

  • The distance between Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Guangzhou South Railway Station is around 48 kilometers. Taxi fare is about RMB 150 Yuan (For reference only!)
How to Get to Guangzhou East Railway Station from the Airport:
  • Passengers should take No. 6 Line Route at the Airport's B Car Sitting Area and then change buses (No. 884, No. 501, No. 808) or taxi at CITIC Plaza station. Journey time is about an hour from the airport to CITIC Plaza station and ticket fare is about RMB 20 Yuan. The distance between CITIC Plaza and Guangzhou East Railway Station is about 740 meters.
How to Get to Guangzhou North Railway Station from the Airport:
  • The best way is to take taxi. The distance between Guangzhou North Railway Station and Baiyun International Airport is less than 20 kilometers and taxi fare is RMB 50 - 60 Yuan.

Guangzhou Train Ticket Booking Guide


Ticketing Hour:

Ticket windows of Guangzhou Railway Stations open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Ticket Reservation Period in Guangzhou

Railway advance reservation period for Guangzhou is 11 days, including the date of journey. That means, passengers can reserve tickets on September 6 if they want to start the rail travel on September 16.
Advance reservation period for D train and Wuhan-guangzhou high speed train is 21 days.
Railway advance reservation period may be shortened to 3 - 5 days during the holiday season.
China has world's busiest railway network. If you buy the ticket on the date of journey, you will most likely get disappointed as tickets may be sold out. We recommend you to book your ticket in advance to make sure your journey will not be delayed.

Telephone Bookings

Passengers can booking train ticket in Guangdong through calling number wizard 95105105 or 96020088. Chinese Citizen ID is required to successfully book tickets from them.
As an expatriate, you are suggested to book tickets at the railway station's ticket windows or through ticket booking agencies.

Railway Rules and Regulations You Should Know

the Chinese rail industry has its own characters and railway rules and regulations are different with any other country in the world. Getting familiar with these rules will make your rail travel in China more successful and happy!

Luggage Rules:
  • Inflammable and explosive dangerous goods, animal and pet are not allowed to take on the train
  • Luggage weight requirment:luggage weight should be under 10kg for of child passenger, luggage weight should be under 30kg for diplomatic personnel and luggage weight should be under 20kg for other adult passenger.
  • Luggage size requirment: Total length of the luggage ( length+width+height) should be under 200cm.
Requirements for Child Tickets

Instead of age, China railway has special requirments on height to buy child ticket. Requirments on child ticket can be summarized as the follows:

  • Children with the height under 110cm can enjoy free rail travel and don't need to pay.
  • Children with the height between 110cm - 150cm have privileges to buy half-price train tickets.
  • Child with the height above 150cm should buy full-price train tickets.