South Thailand – The Explicit

I know it has been long over due but finally I wrote again or at least I successfully motivated my self to write again. The south thailand visit was end of 2011 and it took me a year to finally covered it on my blog. It is merely because work has been quite on the high loads and a lot of things have been going on in 2012.

The visit was initially unplanned, I was inspired by some travel program on TV about the thrill of doing the unplanned traveling.  So there I was, on christmas eve, went blindly to the Pudu Bus Station in a hope to experience what so called the spontaneous trip. What I did not realize is that end of year is a simply a peak season, there is high chance for me not getting the ticket. My worry was proven when I found that all the ticket to Hat Yai was sold out even until the next 2 days . However, I still asked around and found out that I could still make it there but with a bit of hassle and risk of not getting to Thailand within my time frame. And the adventures finally began there.

The Starting

I secured my ticket to Changloon, to far north of Malaysia, a country’s border town. The overnight bus trip was smooth, with a company of movies prepared on my mobile devices, I spent watching them and sleep alternatively. It was 6 am in the morning when bus made its final stop in Changloon. It was still dark and only few last passenger alighted there. the rest has stopped along the way. A bit confusing, because the bus did not drop me in the immigration border. I have been told that I could use cab from the stop to immigration border. So I went down and looked for some people who also wanted to go the border in order to share the cab cost. I was lucky that I found another 3 people who was willing to share. We sat on the cab quietly and nobody really spoke. I was glad at not too far distance, we reached the border and ended the awkward silence.

Before reaching the immigration one of other passenger I shared a cab with suggested me to take taxi from the border to Hat Yai town where I could continue further to Krabi & Phuket. However, it is costly to do such. Some guy approached me offering whether a bus ride to Hat Yai. I did some bargaining and get at least 5 rm less from what he firstly offered. The bus took only one hour and we stopped in a travel agent in Hat Yai. After doing some information sourcing with the agent, I bought a van ticket to Krabi. The journey continued to Krabi town. I booked a hostel a night earlier, but I guess its cheap price reflects the quality of the dorm. It was unbelievably hot and dirty. But, I can not complain much for something that I paid for less than RM 18 per night.

Krabi Town & Ao Nang Beach

Krabi is just a small town, rather quiet and peaceful. Some boat operators providing services to island hopping activities were located within the perimeter of town. Hostels, hotels and few art galleries were there too articulating the tourist concentrated area. I decided to go to Ao Nang beach instead of staying in the town, an hour van ride. When I got to Ao Nang I got a equivalent perspectives about this beach with Sanur beach in Bali. It is still touristy but not heavy. The beach is calm and relaxing atmosphere exudes automatically when I got there. I spent watching the sun set and continued to look around until the end of the evening. As a typical beach side in Asia, Ao nang is fulfilled with hotels, stretch of souvenirs sellers as well as choice of eatery places from hawker, fast food to fine dining.

Aonang

The Quiet Ao Nang Beach

Krabi waterfront

Krabi town Waterfront

Patong Beach

On the next morning, I took another van to proceed to Phuket, Patong beach to be specific. The ticket was booked the night before and the van picked me up in the Hostel. The 4 hours ride was bumpy and uncomfortable. The Van was full with people, the big backpack was sort of surrounding my seat. Sleeping was almost impossible and moving around to get the comfort spot was also hard, but again this is the part of the journey that will remain in the memory.

I arrived in the afternoon, had some spare times to rest before wandering around Patong. First thing came up in my mind is to find how to go those famous islands. I also was suggested that to ask around a lot and do not make any decision before knowing how much approximate price of tour package would cost. I found several places and concluded that full day tour would cost me around THB 1100, inclusive lunch. I went to the beach, sleeping on the beach bed and it came to my surprise nobody was after me and bug me to pay. I went for dinner after watching the sun set itself beautifully. I took a detour to check what’s going on around Patong that night. The atmosphere of new year was so uplifting. Loud music was practically everywhere, I further my walk to the famous Bangla Road. One of the most massive nightlife area I have ever seen in my life. A pole seems to be a standard lay out for any bar in Phuket. As it is normally encountered in Thailand transvestites are part of its massive life. They are dressing provocatively with over the top accessories. The friendly environment exudes as it is what Thai people famously known for, thou at the end they are most probably prostitutes.

Patong Beach

A Road To Patong Beach

Islands Hopping

After having quite a long night, wandering around patong distinctive night life, I had to wake up early in the morning. The van from the tour picked me up around 7, the driver was giving few minutes spare before departing, I took the opportunity to grab breakfast close by to my hostel. The islands hoping activity kicked off in some sort of port, around 30 minutes from Patong. There was a tour guide gave brief agenda on the activities and estimation of time spent during the trip. Before embarking from the boat, we were suggested to rent a snorkeling equipment for later use in some of the spots. We began arriving in Phi Phi Leh where it started to get worldwide recognition when “The Beach” was shot here. It was a contrast between the blue sky and green turquoise crystal clear water. Unfortunately the beach was really packed and the stop was too quick. 45 minutes of what I don’t call relaxing. The next stop was monkey islands. We did not actually got to the island. We were just watching the monkey from the boat and gave them some of the food that was brought along during the tour. Fortunately, tour was included with lunch and it is quite special because we had it on Phi Phi Don just by the beach. We were given 1 hours and half to lunch as well as seeing around. There are surprisingly numbers of tourist facilities here, including the PADI dive course agent.

Koh Khai

Massive Sun Bathing At Koh Khai

Koh Phi Phi

The Famous Koh Phi Phi

Green Turqoise

Green turquoise water that relaxes your eyes

Going back Journey

I imagined that I would not have much trouble going back, because I have booked the bus ticket to Hat Yai the day before, as the travel agent said. So I did not expect that the next morning I was picked up by a lousy van. I was still thinking that we will be brought to some kind of terminal and changed to bus. But after driving for almost one hour, my doubt turned out to be true. Right after the van stopped in gas station I tried to talk with the driver and it turned out we had to spend the rest of 7 hours with the van. I sat in the front seat but another series of unfortunate events, the van picked up another passenger and she had to squeeze with me in front seat. I was frustrated and looking a comfortable way to sit. None seemed to be working. But after another stop I noticed that the back seat was filled with bags only, I came to the driver and forced him to move all the bags in the back, he finally agreed and I found my sleeping spot. Even better.

The van finally made its last stop in Hat Yai, in one of the travel agency that sells another bus ticket to KL. Luckily it was real bus. I was waiting for couple of hours and met a very nice german girl.  We talk about places in KL and some other stuff. The overnight bus was smooth and we arrived safe and sound early in the morning in Pudu raya station. The girl is traveling around the world now, leaving a big envy for me but somehow also inspiration. Hopefully, I would be able to do it someday, or in couple of years from now. Pray for me.

There are so many writing materials to come as I traveled in some places too in 2012 and early 2013. I am hoping to get it all done and back on track writing. There are many interesting stories that I would love to share. And I have to give this credit to my fellow writer, Harinda Bama who has been asking me endlessly everytime we chat that I should write again. Thanks Buddy, I will try to keep myself as motivated as you are. Cheers!

Another day – Bali

Does one ever get tired of  bali? This question may be a little easy to answer. From daysleeper but hardcore night life enthusiasts, to laid back and relaxing souls,  or nature adventurer to spiritual journey seeker will say no, most likely. They are not tired yet. But for those who is in a search of untouched spot and unspoiled part of a place might be disappointed with Bali by now. You will hear this a lot from them “too commercialized” or else “rather cliche”. Bali has turned into a heavily business concentranted tourism where price of accomodation and other tourist related things have skyrocketed. Most of the development of new high end resort, fine restaurant or even top notch art gallery has changed the whole platform of tourism industry there.  And worse for us Indonesian, Its fame sometimes mistaken by a lot of people that Bali is another part of the world that doesn’t have anything to do with Indonesia.

However, thou the proliferation of high end tourism is unavoidable because of  demand is there, still some affordable stuffs are available to enjoy there,with a little trick that not common visitors will be aware of.

On my recent trip to bali with some of my close friend, i figured out way of enjoying parts of bali I am sure most people has not been familiar yet. The three days trip went really awesome, apart because I was spending with my close ones, also majorly because places we have been were too great to remember and not to be shared by others.

Jumana terrace,Banyan tree resort

Jumana Terrace White Look

The View

We obviously did not stay in banyan trees resort,but we intended to chill out in the jumana terrace, a terrace cafe with spectacular views of Indian Ocean (correct me if I’m wrong). The place was not open when we came, but the staff of the cafe let us to take pictures and enjoy the scenery.The cafe sits on the cliff of amazing beach shoreline. It is part of the banyan tree resort properties that fortunately also accept non guest customers. It is mostly white in interior which perfectly contrast the clear blue sky and the ocean.

Potato head beach club

Potato head

Poolside Sunset

Bistro bars in Jakarta has been hip for quite sometimes. Potato head which is part of Jakarta’s trendy culture has spread its wings by opening a beach club in Bali. Since the name is quite known, this place is currently wanted by a lot of visitors both domestic & international. A typical poolside overlooking the sunset has attracted many youngsters and foreign who seeks for fashionable style of chilling out.

Padang bay

Hidden Treasures

Quietness

A weird girl napped on the beach

This beach is mostly unheard of, particularly to tourist. It will take approximately 2 hours to reach this place from Kuta area. It’s next to the ferry harbor to Lombok island. There were only 5 – 6 people were spotted during our time there. After playing in the water we enjoyed the beach breeze and dancing with music played from portable speaker. We also took short nap before going for snorkeling. We met some guys who has contact with boat owner and snorkeling equipment rental. With help of my friend, she did some very good bargain and we only paid Idr 50,000 (Usd 6) to do snorkeling in 3 spots including everything from the boat to the snorkel goggles.

Ayam taliwang, sate bali and soto ceker

Knowing a local person who loves to explore their own place is a privilege that a visitor will hardly get. Again with my friend, she introduced me to the most amazing food I ever tasted in Bali. On first day, after leaving an airport to hotel, we stopped to ayam taliwang restaurant with incredibly cheap yet tasty nearby the airport. It costed me 50 thousand to have half chicken of ayam taliwang with vegetables, tempe and drinks. On second day, on our way to Padang bay beach we made a take away for sate Bali. The place is definitely infamous but still great. The night before we left, after having some drinks in some bars in seminyak, we decided to go to a soto ceker restaurant (a javanese gravy soup kind with chicken feet). I am not much a fan of chicken feet, but when I tried the chicken feet at that place, it broke all the dislike thinking. It is so crazily delicious that I can still remember the taste of it even when I’m writing this.

Bali might have bored some tourists already, but for me, places & stories there will remain indefinite. 

Stanley – A bit of a mind break

It was 5 in the evening, I packed my stuff and rushing from the training attended earlier. I really hurried to the train station. Switching transport modes from MTR and Buses before finally alighted in Stanley bus stop. An expectation to have peaceful evening was psyching on my mind. Despite of Hong Kong progressive modernization with its busy high-rises and people, there is always a more serene part of it, and Stanley is one of the most feasible choices. You do not picture it as the country side kind, it is more to a beach and hills town with less patronization of people. I had been longing to go there even when I first visited Hong Kong. But I could only manage to see it this time. So there I was, enjoying te ride on the bus. The 45 minutes bus trip was great mainly because of its scenic views from the bus window that gave me heads up on how Stanley would be. When the road gets higher, the views became more interesting. Houses up in the hills, beaches, apartments and even a ferrari showroom was there. It was cold and breezy when I got off from the bus, The smell of air is fresher, and it felt exactly how I imagined before. Thou I didn’t have my windbreaker prepared, I survived the weather. It was quiet and most definitely a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy.

I started strolling around the market before going the waterfront walk. I found the market is similar with any other market in Hong Kong town, but things are more expensive, mostly because Stanley visited by western tourists, I guess. I walked further to the stretch of cafes and restaurants in the main street of the waterfront , and I could identify right away Stanley is a right spot for a chilling and hanging out with friends and families. There is also shopping mall there, where cheaper choices of food available, especially fastfood. I had a nice vietnamese outdoor dinner while struggling with the unstopabble cool breeze.

The three hours time spent in Stanley, breathing the air while watching the sea was exactly something that I needed. Giving my mind a break a little while before going back to the work of life.

Waterfront

Sea watching for mind peace

Pier at Stanley waterfront

Stanley Main Street

A Warm Welcome: Georgetown

Georgetown From Ferry's Perspective

When I came to Penang 6 years ago I could hardly recall anything. The only thing i could remember was Parasailing in Batu Feringgi beach. I didn’t think it was impressive at all. But I was finally back on November last year and it stroke me that Penang has so many to offer, particulary to this notes; Georgetown.

Georgetown generally known with its famous food. Hundreds of street delicacy’s scattered all over the town. The mixture of three major ethnicity traditional dishes; Malay, Indian & Chinese is  an epic combination for those who love to challenge their gastronomical senses. Apart from it, Georgetown also has the cultural and historical credentials to match with any asian top cities. And the people, don’t ask me, probably one of the most hospital I’ve ever met.

I was fascinated with the city right away after this trip . I have been telling everyone who comes to KL to make a decent  few days stop in Georgetown. Thou I didn’t have the luxury of convenient timing going around, but I managed (again)  to get the highlights of  it and as predicted, there were many amateur snapshots taken by me depicting the beauty of this city.

Gurney Drive

One Of Many Stalls at Gurney Drive

It’s a surely crowded place, it is also surely a strong magnet for most tourists who visit Georgetown, perhaps this place is a to do list in everyone’s itinerary. But for me that was the most fun part of it. Queuing with many people just to have a signature penang fried char kway teow, and being offered by so many hawker seller while wandering around. Satay, Sotong Kangkong, Pesambor, I could just go on and make your mouth becomes really watery, but I guess everyone has just to go there to prove it.

Some Chinese Dishes (couldn't recall its name)

Penang Peranakan Mansion

The glamorous mansion of former Penang Rich Man or what they called “Baba” in the 19th century is probably one of the most interesting highlights I saw when I was there. The meticulous interior design of the house, antique collectible items orchestrated with the decoration inside, as well as its architecture reflects the chinese strong presence with mixture acculturation to Melayu sense and british colonials. This mansion perhaps can give you a glimpse of extravagant lifestyle of Baba’s rich family live in the past and what legacy that he has left to his generation.  Entrance fee is RM 10.

Gazing at the back entrance

Interior Superior

Chow Rasta Market

What’s  a trip to Georgetown without visiting Chow Rasta Market and buy some of those exotic fermented fruit? For most local tourists, this place is a typical agenda when they make a visit in Georgetown. Chow Rasta Market sells variety of savoury of signature fermented fruit or locally known as “Jeruk”. The colorful fruits arranged nicely on those container box is probably one of the strongest attracting factors for visitors.

Festivities

Old Buildings 

Time constraint was the reason I didn’t have much exploring on the old buildings part of Georgetown. There might be probably tons of it. I didn’t go to many places nor I could go inside of those buildings I stopped by. However, I still managed to capture the preserved old buildings and to visit the old british cemetery remaining in the heart of this historical town.

A Typical old shophouses

Even bars incorporated a historical architecture

City Hall

Eastern Oriental Hotel Since 1885

Convent Light Street

The Graveyard

The Church

In case you decide to go to Malaysia, don’t be afraid to fancy Georgetown because it is always tempting.

Siem Reap: An Archaeological Park Adventure

As soon as i finished the immigration clearance I saw a tuk tuk driver holding paper with my name printed on it. The tuk tuk driver was ready to pick me up, a free service from the hostel I stayed.

It came to my surprise that on my way from airport to the hostel, I saw a long stretch of  many hotels in one street. The longest stretch of Hotels in a single street I might have seen. That clearly tells Siem Reap now is a progressive tourism option for traveller both western and Asian.

I was really lucky that the manager of my hostel “Hak” took special attention to each and every of his resident. He gave me considerably important information about how to maximize my 3 days 2 night trip without missing out the highlights of Siem Reap. He also told me to hire his designated tuk tuk driver, only cost me USD 12 for whole day. It would have been better if i was with the group to share the cost, because maximum it can take up to 4 passengers. but since the cost was not that expensive, It wouldn’t hurt to pay extra.

Walking tour (Old Market)

Flood Around My Hostel

Old Market Just Dried Out From Flood

Siem Reap was covered with flood few days before I came, and   water just dried out in the old market area. But it did not stop people from carrying on their activities and it surely did not stop me from going there. Old market consists of many shops offer typical cambodian souvenirs.  Wet market and bar street are part of the old market area as well, where options for cheap and decent dining are distinctive. I found a t-shirt cost only USD 2.  Quality? highly comparable to those t-shirt you find in malls. Bargaining is a common but don’t be too hard. Those people need business too. Fine dining in one of those restaurant will not rip your money off. It costs around USD 2-3 for one proper meal, and 50 cents for a glass of draft beer on happy hour

War Museum

War Museum

I had quite high expectation on the museum. I normally found that nation that was ruled by dictator regime has official war museums as way of looking back, respecting the people who were the victim of the war, just like saigon has with its War Remnant Museum. But after entering the museum, I didn’t feel it was like museum, because first it was outdoor , and most of the properties are not maintained well. Only few visitors sighted there. The admission ticket is  USD 5 but I think it was not worth going.

Purchasing Angkor Wat Tickets

Hak suggested me to buy the ticket a day earlier around 6 pm just to avoid the queue next morning.  Interesting point about the ticket is, your picture will be taken on the spot and printed on the ticket which definitely become great memorabilia to collect. I also understand that local is allowed to enter the complex for free. I could have pretended to be a cambodian since when I did walking tour in old market, there were many people talk to me with cambodian, but i remember that I don’t speak their language. I was afraid that if they would find out, it could become troublesome. So it didn’t happen :). Another gimmick that was informed by Hak when purchasing a day earlier ticket is I could get a free entrance to witness the sunset in one of the temple, Pnom Bakheng. A beautiful one indeed with rainbow appeared in the sky at the time of my visit.

Pnom Bakheng

The Famous Angkor Temple Complex

Most of tourists will try their best to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat temple. It is pretty heard of anywhere that sunrise watching there is something that shouldn’t be missed. But for me, waking up by 4 am in the morning was not as easy as i thought it would be. Especially because I did not have much sleep the day before. But, when you were to see the silhouette of the sun that gradually comes from behind the Angkor temple like you’ve seen in postcards, You sort of forgetting how heavy your eyes was. The sunrise was spectacular as it is told.

Since the complex is huge, the tuk tuk driver is allowed to drop you in any place within it. It is pretty convenient to do the temple hopping that scattered around the complex. After the remarkable sunrise watching, I went to most of the major temple located there namely Bayon, Elephant Terrace as well the famous Ta Phrom where tomb raider movies was shot. And  I was again amazed with how the government of cambodia with the help of UNESCO try to preserve the sites.

Angkor Wat Sunrise

Angkor Wat Complex

Angkor Wat - 3 Main Tower

I Couldn't remember the name of this temple

Also this

Bayon

Ta Phrom

Angkor National Museum

The closure for my whole day archaeological adventure ended in Angkor National Museum. A newly built museum with a combined modern and traditional  Cambodian architecture.  Admission ticket is USD 10 inclusive the audio device help. I was not allowed to take picture but the museum is so empty that I managed to take some inside picture. The museum mostly tells you about the kingdom in the past and buddhist establishment in Cambodia.

Angkor National Museum

The Siem Reap trip is definitely one of my favorite. It brought me to a realization that what remains from the great establishment in the past is still celebrated there and people care so much about preserving it. Well, it is always good to see how history of a nation has broaden your perspective. It is also a good reminder for us that we should be able to respect our own history and learn how other nations has taken good appreciation and care of theirs.

For more picture you can search in my facebook, just type my name “abdureza muhammad” and find it in my photos page.

The Unspoiled Belitong Archipelago

The introduction of Belitong Island for most Indonesian is probably uncalled for. Since the bestselling novel “Laskar Pelangi”, Internationally known “Rainbow Warriors” adapted into major motion picture and turned into blockbuster in this Country’s movie business, viewers has been shown what Belitong beauty is like.

Welcome to the magical yet unspoiled beaches mecca. Belitong has slowly become a tourist magnet for mostly Indonesian and even some slight number of foreigner has been spotted along my journey here.  If you are hoping to give yourself some serious relaxation therapy, Belitong beaches is one of the great choices you can have. While many common travelers will go for Bali with its many great tourism spot, nonetheless, Belitong offers the different experience you would never forget.

Belitong island is small part of archipelago in eastern Sumatra, enriched with many of its white beach and of course its geological wonder scattered around most of its islands.  In a way, the different variety and size of rounded rock that is spotted around islands of Belitong, gives you a tad feeling of alien-looking planet ambience. It feels like an accomplishment to witness those magical rocks against the clear blue sky whichever way will surely produce a great post-card looking picture.

Belitong is accesible by Plane from the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, around 50 minutes. I havent had much research in other transportation means to go there. 2 local low cost carrier namely Sriwijaya Air & Batavia fly there and make the only 2 flights available for belitong. Thou, Internationally standard accomodation has not been established yet, but some of the 3 star locals hotel has been operated recently. Of course low budget hotels are available too.

Forget about the accommodation! The most important thing is the beaches that we should not miss once visiting this place. I started my trip from Tanjung Kepayang beach, where most of the boat operator for islands hoping activities is ready to rent here. It is advisable to travel in group because boat can only be rent by whole. There is no such single passenger island hoping service. So it’s better to plan this trip and do research in advance.

Tanjung Kepayang

The green and clear beach in Tanjung Kepayang is amazing, you can see directly most of rocks from the beach shore upon embarking your island hoping activities.  Our first stop in our island hoping was the small white sandy land that appear in between the islands. I don’t consider it as an island as it only looked of the surface in nowhere, However, people can do swimming and snorkeling around where some of the starfish easily spotted everywhere. Next stop was pulau babi. this island is mainly used for outbound activity and teambuilding exercise. I and some of office colleagues did the teambuilding exercise first before proceeding to out next spot as a part of our office outing activity. Our next spot was Lengkuas Island, where famous lighthouse from colonial stand tall and proud here. It is known that the lighthouse has been there for hundred years. But before going to the light house, I did some snorkeling around the island. A sufficient beauty for a snorkeler juvenille down there with variety of coral  reef as well as underwater marine to be seen.

 

Tip Of Out Of Nowhere Underwater Land

LightHouse Of Lengkuas Island

Like any other traveler who visits Belitong, the trip is not complete without climbing up the 18 storeys Light house. As we climbed the stair, the view from up there became more and more spectacular. At the top of the light house, there is an open balcony surrounding the light house that let us take so many beautiful pictures. But one should be careful when reaching the balcony because it’s windy and not much of safety fencing the balcony. The beach in lengkuas islands also a great spot to swim. It again, offers the white sand and a lot of unique rounded rocks that distinguish Belitong beach from any other beach in Indonesia.

View From Light House

View From Light House 2

View From Light House 3

The next day, I went the shooting location of “Laskar Pelangi” movie in Tanjung Tinggi beach. Giant rocks, pristine beach and calm waves is to name a few the excitement there. Thou, quite numbers of simple shops available in this beach, but still not many options food and drink you have. Most of the local visitors bring their own food and drink there, and do a little picnic. People would have chance to climb the giant rocks and just simply enjoy the view. Unfortunately, this place is not maintained properly so I kinda feel that a lot of trash scattered around the shops area. On our way to the airport there is another tourism attraction called “Danau Khaolin/Khaolin Lake” the ceramic mining site turned into amazing blue water lake. Danau khaolin is exceptionally beautiful with the combination of clear blue sky as well as white soil that made the whole lake interesting. Check more pictures on my facebook album http://www.facebook.com/abdureza.alizar

Tanjung Tinggi White Sands

Geological Wonder

Danau Khaolin

I finally reached an airport and left for Jakarta with a great memory and great pictures in my camera. This is a definite must visit place for everyone.

One Of Many Bali’s Unending Beauty – Mt. Batur

If  I tell you whether I am a proud citizen of this country or not, I will be honest. I am. Well, despite of some disturbing facts that people might hear outside this country such as the hardcore Islamic line, corruption and incompetent representative on our parliament house I also can give you hundreds or thousands of reasons why I am still proud of my country.

Top of Batur is overlooking Rinjani Mountain. Spectacular

Bali is one example of nation pride, blessed with amazing natures and some of the friendliest people you could possibly think of.  Everyone who visits Bali will have their own special bonding. Thou its heavy tourist traffic might not be as interesting anymore for some traveler, but for me I would never stop loving this place.

This time, me and couple of friends also with some couchsurfer friends went for a hike to Batur. An active mountain that sits 1500 meter above sea level.  The trekk is considered easy as juvenile like me did not have that much of trouble experiencing it.  The only trouble I had is my converse shoes was apparently not comfortable enough enduring the trekk.

We started gathering together around 2 Am in the morning in Ubud. We planned to have early morning hike to witness the sheer beauty of sunrise from the top of Batur. We stopped and park our car at Toya Bungkah (approximately 2 hours from Denpasar) as the start point of this hike.  We passed several small temple and some native residentials before we actually went into the trekk. We took couple of breaks in between drinking and taking some air that felt became less and less available. As we reached the top, the trekk became really steep and we really had to be careful because of its slippery volcanic sands. After almost 3 hours of walking, we finally reached the top.  We’re lucky that we still got time to wait for the sun to rise. As the sun started rising, the spectacular views just gave this great feeling of achievement.  I suddenly forgot how my shoes were kind of bothering my walk. The views actually surprised me because the sun rose from Lombok, we stood at the mountain which overlooking Rinjani mountain, one of the best mountain to hike in Indonesia as what I heard from most mountaineer. All the tiredness and the uncomfortable had subsided.

Gunung Abang From Batur perspectives

extreme trekk back

The trekk back is rather dangerous that one of our friends were freaking out and asked our help to hold her hand throughout the trekk.  But what we got after going further down is the fantastic view of Danau Batur and Crater. My jaws almost dropped watching those beauties. We stopped by to some shelter halfway and enjoy the view of Batur in depth.

Beauty in breakdown - Batur lake

Batur is another beauty that everyone should have a visit there. Next stop? I hope it would be Rinjani. Of course it requires more preparation as well more money, but surely it is on my bucket list.

Some tips to visit Batur:

1. Bring your own torch if you do early morning hiking.

2. The tour guide cost you 10.000 rupiah if you are Indonesian and 300.000 rupiah (for 4 people)  if you are foreigner.

3.  Make sure the whether is fine, some people couldn’t see anything but haze throughout the morning

4. Use hiking shoes and bring some foods and water