We wake up in the early morning of March 29th to the peaceful sound of waves crawling gently to the shore, crashing to the pillars of our wooden bungalow. It feels like a dream. The breath-taking scenery from the room balcony is to die for and if it was not because of the view, I would not want to get out of the bed. There is a spectacular limestone hill on our left, standing confidently as it shields us from theRead more
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“Attention to all passengers of Lion Air heading to Ambon, please board the plane immediately.” The announcement to board the plane is finally announced. Our flight to the main capital of the Moluccas (Maluku), Ambon, was supposed to depart more than an hour ago. But unfortunately, there was a delay, which none of the staffs bothered to announce. Oh well, what would Lion Air be without all the notorious delays and bad service? This airline was and is still knownRead more
Life is full of surprises. A few years back, I did not expect to find a man that I would spend the rest of my life with. I was not entirely happy about living in Malaysia and I wanted to move somewhere else. Then, out of the sudden, he came to my life and I began to understand why I was “stuck” in KL in the first place. Perhaps, it’s a destiny, God’s calling, or whatever you want to callRead more
Today would be the day we crossed to Phuket and it would be our last day of cycling, before continuing on with a ferry to another island. At around 7 AM, we had a nice breakfast at the same stall we went yesterday at Khao Pi Lai. There were a lot more varieties of foods in the morning compared to yesterday afternoon. There were many people stopping by to buy those foods as well, in which they were already been packagedRead more
Riding to Natai Beach was something I looked forward to, following our three days of rest in Phang Nga. It was time to get ourselves moving again. Phang Nga had been pouring with rain since we arrived here two days ago. Clouds had been covering the dull sky for much of our stay. Thankfully, today’s rain was not as bad as yesterday’s. The weather forecast for Natai Beach was quite promising, with rain expected to stop by 3 pm. IRead more
Being an Indonesian, I always have that dilemma to choose between travelling abroad or exploring my own country. Sometimes I ask myself this question: why should I go to other countries when I can find most of the landscapes in Indonesia? Indeed, we almost have everything here! From volcanic mountains, lakes, waterfalls, rivers, sea, beach, diving spots, religious monuments, to diverse cultures. You name it! In order to remind myself of those breathtaking places that I have yet to visit, IRead more
The cycling journey from Krabi to Phang Nga was tough. It was my first day of cycling after a no-cycling-month due to haze in KL (thanks, Sumatra!). It was also the first time for me to cycle for almost 100 kilometres in one day. Of course, the non-stop rain made it look like an impossible journey. I didn’t know how I managed to do it, though. I focused all my attention on getting into Phang Nga. As soon as weRead more
Today was the first day of our cycling experience, following two days of driving from KL to Krabi. We left our car in Krabi Town, in front of the hotel where we stayed at. The plan was to start cycling very early in the morning so that it would not be too hot by the time we reached Phang Nga. But the plan was left as a plan rather than a reality — who would have thought that many thingsRead more
In order to cross to Thailand, there are two border crossings that one can take. The largest (thus busiest) is the Padang Besar border, which is within a close approximate with the Thai city of Hat Yai. But for this trip, we decided to cross via the road less travelled, Wang Kelian/Wang Prachan border. With Foogie’s mountain bike at the back of the car, we set off our journey at 9 AM. My folding bike, helmets, bag panniers, and allRead more
On the slope of Jabal al-Madhbah, in the Valley of Moses (Wadi Musa), lies the ancient city of Petra. When Nabataeans took over the city from Edomites and made it into the capital of their kingdom, the city gained status as it stood at one of the most important trade routes in Arabia. Caravans passed through Petra, carrying spices and textiles from Arabia to Syria, allowing the city to collect taxes from traders. The Nabataeans also developed their own extraordinary water system, which enabled the city to flourish even during prolonged periods of drought. Petra continued to prosper after Romans took over and eventually declined due to the change in trade routes. The earthquakes that devastated the whole area also brought the Rose City to ruin. It was not until 1812 that Petra was revealed to the Western World. Since then, the site has not lost its spotlight and historical importance as it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. It is also the most visited tourist attraction in Jordan. This is a must-visit site if you happen to be in Jordan!
Before coming to Jordan, I tried to browse through a number of profiles in CouchSurfing and see if there are any interesting locals I would like to meet. When it comes to Jordan, though, I took an extra precaution in choosing a host to stay with. The amount of men registered on this site with a wrong purpose alarmed me. I encountered many profiles with negative references. After all, this is an Arab country with an Arab culture. They are not used to hanging out with women or having women sleeping in their homes. This is not their culture to say the least. Compared to Turkey and Iran, choosing an open-minded host with true travel spirit in Jordan proved to be difficult.
Stepping my foot in an airport named after the late Queen of Jordan, Alia al-Hussein, brings back a lot of childhood memories. This is the airport where I used to stay countless of hours on transit with my family on our way to other Middle Eastern countries. In the 90's — long before the existence of budget airlines -- Jordan used to be a getaway to neighbouring countries as its national carrier offered one of the best and cheapest price compared to other airlines. My family took advantage of it to travel to Palestine, Turkey, and Syria. Today, the fare of Jordanian Airlines may not be as cheap as Air Arabia or Fly Dubai, but it is still comparably cheaper than Emirates and the likes.
No. That’s not actually the reason why I decided to do bike touring. The idea of long-distance cycling never crossed my mind before — even though I used to love cycling (on the flat land of the Netherlands, of course!). During all my travels, I met travellers who had been on the road for months, either hitchhiking and/or walking, but somehow I never met any cycle tourers before. It was early this year that I was introduced to this concept byRead more
New Year's Eve in Istanbul seems kinda cool. I can picture myself sitting by the side of Bosphorus shores, drinking Turkish tea, and enjoying fireworks which beautifully illuminate the entire city. These are my ideal New Year's Eve that I have in mind.
Exhausted is the only word I can say about myself as soon as the plane has touched down at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen Airport. I did manage to sleep for a few hours, but it wasn't enough. All I want to do now is to rush to the visa and immigration section, take my luggage, hop into the last bus to the city, find my hostel that I already booked, and have a proper sleep. The visa on arrival process is smooth sailing -- to my surprise.