Khamis, 17 September 2015


'I know some of you were thinking about "sorong" (push) in Bahasa Malaysia. Sorry, I want to talk about a place in Papua, Indonesia called Sorong.

Sorong is a city located in Papua island, east side of Indonesia. Previously this island called Irian Jaya but then changed to Papua when BJ Habibi become the President of Indonesia (please correct if I'm wrong). Sorong is a city in west side of the island. Some peoples said Sorong is the entrence to Papua island even though some direct flights from outside Papua can reach other city beside Sorong.

Sorong is one of major city in Papua Island. It is not a capital city of West Papua Province but the development is faster compared with West Papua capital city, Manokwari. I have been in Sorong many times to do some work related with a submarine telecommunication project. We can fly to Sorong direct from Jakarta (only Express Air), Ambon (some airlines), Makassar (some airlines) and some location in Papua. What can I say about Sorong? ...

There is a famous place called Raja Ampat where tourist like to come for snorkeling and beaches. Located about 2.5 hours by speedboat from Sorong, many chalets and resort available. Price is quite high and most of the resort accept US currency.
If you choose not to stay in resort, there have a package where you can stay in a vantage style ship with full accommodation facilities. These ship will cruise around the beautiful islands in Raja Ampat about 7 days and stop at any nice beaches in day time. Many websites available about this Raja Ampat.

Mainly Indonesia Rupiah cash are using for the trades but some resorts accept US dollars as well. It is hard to find money changer in Sorong (I couldnt find any) but credit card are acceptable nowadays in major hotels.

There is no proper taxi like other place in Indonesia. In airport, mostly private own van is offered like taxi but when reach a town, you can ask the van taxi or normal "Angkut" (mini bus in van) for transportation. There are also motorcycle taxi to ride if you don't have much luggage with you.

Please do not imagine Sorong as a big city like Bandung or Jakarta. Of course you cannot find any Starbucks here. Sorong is just started to developing and the only entertainment you can find here is karaoke and traditional restaurant.

People of Papua is very friendly. They will be nicer if you can treat them some drinks, have a chat and respect them as a local people. But do not over treat as some may take the advantage.
Not all people are natives Papua which some were migrating from Sulawesi island and low down here doing business.

Sometimes it will feel uncomfortable to be foreigner at these location but if you can respect the locals, they will take you as a friend and you will feel the secured. Individual advice, please do not hang around outside your accommodation in the middle of night. Hard for me to explain why but better take the advice.

Overall, Sorong is a good place for new spot in doing business since Sorong is just woke up for development. Another advice, please run a business in constructed shop lot rather than buy a land for the business. Purchase a land in Papua is very headache.

Khamis, 6 Mac 2014

Batam second destination in Indonesia in my whole life. Never knew what was waiting for me there.
I've went to Batam by Firefly direct from Subang airport. From udara in Batam, I can see Batam has many small islands close to main island which is very beautiful for me. But I am not sure if there are any resorts available there.

I've reached at Batam airport around 1pm local time and my present was waited by our company local agent. While waiting for few more members to arrive from Jakarta, we went for quick drink inside the airport. The local agent asked me, "bro, minum apa bro?". After some simple chatting, I realized that the local Batam people talking malay in dialect which almost similar to Malaysia. This is easier for me to understand compared when I was in Bandung previous week.
After all members gathered, we went to centre of Batam to have our lunch. Of course Nasi Padang restaurant. Nasi Padang is actually malaysia Nasi Campur where there have many lauks to choose and eat it with rice. The lauk have many variants from fishes to chicken and beef. When we are having the meals with many peoples, we can asked them to serve the lauk on the desk. After finish the meal, the restaurant staff will come to desk and count how many lauks have been taken and calculate for the charge. Different with Malaysia where when we ask to serve the lauk on our desk, restaurant will charge the lauk by the time they serve. It is a waste if we are not finish all meals as it has been included for payment.

In Batam we can see many retails selling cheap shirts, hand bags, chocolates, and perfume. Friends from Jakarta said that Batam is popular with the cheap handbads etc. However it is hard to confirm if the item is original or fake.

One night, we had our dinner at Golden Brown restaurant. The local person said the restaurant is quite popular for tourist. At the entrance, we can choose any lobster, fishes or crab we like from a room containing with few marbles ponds. The restaurant also entertain visitors by a live shows, dangdut ler. Surrounding the restaurant is a fish pond which according to them, the place originally a swamp area and they purposely develop the area for floating restaurant above fish pond.

Going there with a friend who does not like to explore places, I made my decision to explore around hotel alone. Just to look for anything interesting around here. Once I got out from hotel compound, a person from across the street called me offered a taxi ride. Every minutes while I'm walking along the road, countless of taxi offer came.  I am not sure if it is normal and always happen to everyone including local people. Also when I walked beside to a food stall, all of the peoples at the stalls suddenly stop talking and looked at me. To make sure if I am not embarrassing myself with ripped trousers, I checked my wear found no problem. A shabby crocs shoes, just bought jeans, shabby tshirt, G-shock watch, and my laptop bag without the laptop to keep anything that I might buy. I entered a few shops selling watches, bags etc. Just to look the items and the price. But have no interest to buy any. Most of the items I can found here in Malaysia with a similar price. After walking around 15 minutes, and feel uneasy with the people surround kept watching on me, I returned to hotel.

Batam is an island located very close to Singapore. In weekends, the area will full of tourist especially from Singapore. I heard that hotel should pre-book earlier if you planning to go to Batam in weekend as the hotel will always fully booked. As anything are always expensive in Singapore, make a trip to Batam for shopping and rest is also a good option beside Johor. Batam also lived by many chinese descents community. It is not hard to find a good chinese restaurant like Golden Brown restaurant. If you like for natural, there are many islands surround Batam that can provide good experiences like Bintan Island, Tanjung Pinang area or Pulau Galang.

I was in Batam only for 3 night for meeting purpose and sure I do not have much time to explore Batam more. But I think Batam is a good place to have rilexing condition beside other popular islands like Bali.

Khamis, 20 Februari 2014


Pertama kali ke Indonesia....what to expect?

I never been to Indonesia before. Only heard many stories about Indonesia, heard many riots happened in Indonesia for so many reasons, heard about how bad the traffic jam there....but that's all were stories heard from people. Plus, my maid also came from Indonesia, they also contributed to the stories that I can only hear and imagine.

'Perjalananku' starting from last week trip to Bandung gave me the opportunities to find out the real stories from what I had heard.

Flight landing in Husein Sastranegara Airport in the early morning woke me up from morning sleep. From inside the plain I can see 'Giant', a supermarket origin from Malaysia. "wah...giant dh bertapak di Indonesia rupanya".....yes, I admit that I never concern about Malaysia companies going international. When the flight make a turn heading terminal, I saw few Indonesia army plains. Then a group of army were doing kawat pagi probably. Tu is actually an Indonesia airforce airport that converted for conventional airplane usage. While I was walking from airplane to the terminal, a big Hercules...yes, the Hercules army airplane landed on the pathway. Biar betui.....giler bagak n kuat bunyik.

My hotel located in Lembang area, at the road to Takuban Perahu. It is quite far from Bandung city and have a very nice hill view that full of vegetables. According to taxi driver, Bandung actually have their nice fresh fishes but the Lembang area is quite far from the city and they have good and fresh vegetables. There have many hotels in the area but all of them are more to resort with villa and chalet type of rooms. I reached the hotel at 12pm but the temperature was around 22degrees. The area located in high hills area which makes the temperature low.

About the traffic, the rumors about how bad traffic jam is true. The traffic was very messy. I can hear vehicle honk in every minutes. The road was small and curvy, just imagine when the taxi driver takeover a lorry at curvy road. Lebih hebat dari takumi woo....kalau dalam Initial-D, takumi potong kereta lain guna high performance car, but here, take over the any slow car only by Toyota Avanza. Hard for me to explain more, just go to Bandung and experience it yourself.

Other than local food restaurant, Bandung is full with Japanese restaurant. I am not sure if there are many Japanese there in Bandung. I have went to a Japanese restaurant named Torigen in near to Bandung city centre. It was claimed by my Japanese friends as the nicest Japanese restaurant over there. Tried few Japanese food, but the best one was a sushi with maguro...forgot the name. We had ordered 18 pieces of Takoyaki but it was never came to our desk until we headed back to hotel 2 hours later. It was not a good service for that but still we go to same places a night after to have our dinner. But this time my friend from NEC had ordered the takoyaki earlier before we started our car engine. The trip from hotel to the restaurant took around 30 minutes, but we could only get the Takoyaki 30 minutes after we arrived the restaurant. Was a hard waiting but just when you taste the takoyaki, you will forget all the hard waiting moments. It was very nice takoyaki ever. I had never tasted any good takoyaki outside of Japan than the takoyaki there.

The hotel:
Do not want to brief much about the hotel. The surroundings and hotel arrangement was nice but please do not expect much. As an advice, please prepare ubat nyamuk and buy indonesia sim card if you want to use internet in the room. I had an experienced where I have to prepare a documents but there was no internet line in the room. I have to walked at 12 midnite through villas and big trees for about 100 meters to lobby just to get an internet line for me to do my work. I finished my work at 3am and walked back to my rooms.......the meeting rooms? not want to tell....very not suitable to organize an important meeting.

Other than hotel that I went, it was a nice experienced for me in Bandung. Even I had never have a chance to go shopping (as what many Malaysian go there, to shopping), I am very enjoy being in Bandung. To watch and have my first experiences in Indonesia.

I will post my trip experiences in Batam and Jakarta next time.

Berjalan lagi?!

7 tahun................blah...

9 bulan................blah.....

perjalanan saya yg dah sudah. Kini perjalanan baru bermula lagi....perjalanan yang lebih hebat dan mencabar. Perjalanan yang benar perjalanan......anak, isteri menunggu dirumah....."bila babah nak balik?"........sabar nak. Babah berjalan mencari arah tujuan....

Selasa, 29 Oktober 2013

Golden Explorer & travel agensi

Bercuti...antara kegemaran saya. Masa belajo kat negara penjajah dulu lagi, dh memang tabiat suka pergi melancong. Trip cuti yang paling seronok saya rasakan kalo perlu memandu berpandukan peta, bukannya GPS. Dan trip yang perlu mengetahui selok belok public transport seperti bas dan train.

Travel Agensi....agak senang dan mungkin berbaloi ataupun murah sekiranya pergi ke trip mengikut travel agensi. Travel agensi sepatutnya bertindak sebagai agensi yang menguruskan percutian mengikut keperluan pelanggan. Travel agensi juga perlu memberi nasihat sekiranya sesuatu percutian dirancang pelanggan tidak bersesuaian atau merbahaya. Apapun, keuntungan ataupun rezeki pihak agensi datang daripada pelanggan mereka.

Kekecewaan yang pertama

Saya mula mengenali travel agensi ketika mula berkahwin. Kebtulan saya yg memang suka melancong ni dihampiri staff agensi ketika mereka melakukan promosi di sebuah shopping kompleks. Dimakan hasutan utk mendapatkan trip yang murah, saya pun join la membership travel agensi yg HQ dia kat bangsar, lupa lak nama company apa. Dikatakan saya akan mendapat pelbagai kebaikan, dan keahlian saya adalah seumur hidup dengan membayar sebyk sejumlah duit. Jadik cerita, lepas isi borang disitu termasuk buat bayaran, sehingga kini sudah hampir 6 tahun, saya tidak pernah dihubungi mereka melalui surat, email, telefon kecuali sekali selepas beberapa tahun. Itu pun untuk mengajak saya menyertai investment. Mungkin salah saya tidak pernah hubungi mereka, tapi mereka juga sebagai agensi patut cuba menjaga pelanggan mereka, terutama bagi pelanggan yang telah membuat bayaran.

Kekecewaan yang kedua

Dari kekecewaan pertama, saya dihampiri travel agensi seterusnya. Entah dari mana ntah dpt nombo phone saya, tetiba dtg call dr staff Golden Explorer, Agent S. Punya la pujuk rayu suruh saya join membership. Mcm biasa mcm2 mende dijanjikan termasuk voucher free penginapan hotel, claim duit minyak, tour voucher etc. Kebetulan pulak, memang sy tgh plan masa tu nak bawak anak2 pegi Legoxand kat johor. Lepas kira cost sendiri ngan kos kalo join membership+free voucher. Hmm...ok la. Saya yg lurus bendul ini pun menerima pujuk raju agent S. Lagipun dia kata membership seumur hidup ngan voucher valid 2 tahun, kalo tak guna time tu pun, bole guna next year. Memandangkan taknak jadik cam kekecewaan pertama, saya terus mintak uruskan percutian ke Legxxand termasuk hotel dan tiket. 2 bulan sebelom tarikh percutian, cukup la masa utk si agensi melakukan persiapan. Beberapa kali jugak saya berhubung dgn agent S pasal trip tu. Akhirnya hotel, tarikh & perjalanan telah ditetapkan. Sebulan kemudian, saya hubungi hotel utk pengesahan booking, sekali hotel kata nama saya tiada dalam senarai booking. Dan saya terus hubungi agent S, dan agent S janji akan periksa perkara tersebut. Beberapa hari kemudian, tiada reply dr agent S. Saya terus hubungi orang atasannya, si manager Sh. Sekali manager Sh kata request saya tiada dlm sistem. Dan yg paling cilakak sekali, manager Sh ckp yg agent S ni dah berhenti kerja. Dh last minit, hotel pun dh full. Yg tinggal, bilik yg tak boleh pakai voucher. Bayangkan kita dah janji ngan anak bini nak bawak jalan, cuti kerja pun dh amik, sekali booking takde?!

Kekecewaan yang ketiga

Dari kes booking sy xde dlm sistem tu, saya terus maki agent S. Agent S pun bg la byk alasan. Saya pun mintak utk cancel membership dan saya akan pulangkan semua voucher yg saya terima. Saya bgtau hasrat saya kat agent S (yg dh berhenti kerja, tapi janji nk tlg perihal cancel membership saya), dan juga beritahu manager Sh. Beberapa bulan berlalu, tiada kabar berita dr dua2 pihak. Saya terus sms manager Sh tanye cancellation status, sekali manager Sh reply kata tak boleh cancel dah. Damn, ko dh amik duit orang, tapi bila org mintak servis, merapu perginye. Bila mintak cancel, tak boleh pulak.

Kekecewaan ke-4

Hampir setahun lepas kekecewaan ke-2, tiba agent N dr golden explorer ni call pulak. Dia ingatkan saya yg voucher free saya dh nak expire...(aik, bukan ke agent S kata valid 2 tahun?rupenye ada voucher valid 5 tahun, ada yg setahun je). Pastu Agent N pun dok la pujuk rayu suruh baya lagi duit utk dpt voucher br + extend voucher lama. Saya ckp la sy tak moh, lgpun sy tensyen ngan golden explorer sbb tak bagi cancel. Sekali agent N ckp, cancel membership boleh, kena bgtau betul2 la. Aih...yg sy dok bgtau direct kat manager Sh tu tak betul ke?lagpun manager Sh sendiri ckp tak boleh. Ni boleh ke tak boleh?kalo betul boleh, memang saya bengang...

Kekecewaan ke-5

Memandangkan voucher nak abih awal bulan 11, lepas bincang ngan wife, kitorg guna je la voucher. Dh tu nak cancel membership pun dah setahun berlalu. 2 minggu sblm voucher expire kitorg call customer service golden explorer bgtau hasrat nak guna voucher sblm expire. Hasratnye nak lepak mana2 hotel kat area cherating/kuantan guna free voucher tuh. Kalo xdpt hotel pun, sy tak kesah sbb faham la sy request kt diorg lmbt. beberapa hari lepas tu sy dpt sms dr nombo tak kenal suruh saya email voucher free tu kat diorg kalo taknak booking hotel sy cancel. Nombo tak kenal, pastu tak perkenalkan diri, hotel mana pun tak tau, tiba2 ugut kalo tak bagi voucher nnti booking cancel. Disebabkan saya taknak layan spam mesej, sy just reply kata nak tau status hotel dulu, xde reply dah pastu. 2 ari kemudian, manager Sh sms saya kata booking hotel sy dah cancel sbb diorg xdpt copy voucher dr saya ngan signed authorization form dr saya.............what?!...........
1. hotel mana pun engkorang tak bgtau aku
2. engkau tak mintak copy voucher elok2. dok sms pakai nombo tak kenal, pastu tak kenalkan diri.
3. authorization form tu aku dh passed setahun yg dulu. Dah tu kalo tak pass form tu, sah2 payment dari pelanggan korang ni tak masuk poket korang. Pastu skang ni lepas setahun ko mintak lagi ngan aku?!
Nasib baik lepas dpt sms mengong dr manager Sh, si agent U (minah customer service yg rajin membantu saya) ni call saya ckp yg saya kena email copy voucher ngan form tu. Ha..kan elok kalo call, cakap elok2 gini. pastu saya explain psl form tu, pastu sy terus emel dia copy voucher...3 hari berlalu, tetiba dpt sms dr manager Sh kata booking saya cancel sbb full alotment, yg tinggal bilik yg ada discount rate. free voucher hanye available start januari 2014, dimana saya kena baya lagi sejampok duit utk guna voucher time tu.
1. "full alotment" tu menatang apa?
2. apsal tak replace free voucher tu utk bilik yg ada diskaun tu, kalo kena top sket, bgtau la.
3.  Dalam byk2 hotel kat cherating/kuantan, takkan sebijik hotel tu je free voucher tu boleh pakai?
Actually saya tak kesah kalo tk dpt booking sbb bgtau lmbt. Alasan tu sy boleh terima, lepas voucher expired nnti mmg saya lupakan terus golden explorer ni dah.Tapi kalo booking cancel sbb "full alotment" yg sy tak tau amende+bilik diskaun ade, bilik yg free ni xde+satu hotel je bole guna voucher+free voucher available januari 2014..........memang satu kekecewaan buat sebuah agensi yang mencari rezeki sebegitu.

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