Saturday, August 01, 2009

#753 - Mid Year Holiday : Singapore & Penang (Part 2)


Previously on
Mid Year Holiday : Singapore & Penang : Zilko and family went on vacation to Singapore and Penang, Malaysia. After spending one night in Singapore, they went to Penang. Day two in Penang, now they were in Georgetown, the capital city of Penang State.

Day 4 (25 July 2009)

Most of "must visit" places in Georgetown had been visited the day before, because of the huge ammount of time we got after realizing that KOMTAR was not as fascinating as we expected before. At 9 AM, Mr. Francis Xavier, our taxi driver, arrived and picked us up. He already knew we were going to Air Itam to visit Kek Lok Si Temple and Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera). He was really kind that he helped us arranging our schedule.

I think the schedule he arranged was really wise, thanks for his expertise about Penang, haha. He dropped us to Bukit Bendera first to buy train tickets upward (and downward, we bought return tickets). If we still had plenty of time before the departure time, then he would take us to Kek Lok Si first. If we only had slim time, he would leave us (since at least people would spend around 2 hours in Bukit Bendera, it would be such a waste of money to make him wait for us, rite?) and suggested us to take taxi (and also told us the fair taxi price) to go to Kek Lok Si Temple. Apparently, our train was scheduled at 11 AM and it was still 9.30 AM, we still had enough time to explore Kek Lok Si first, so that's what we did.

Mr. Xavier took us right up to the top of Kek Lok Si Temple (there was a "traditional" way where we could WALK to go up climbing thousands of stairs. A big no no for that, LOL). Then, he also took us to the main temple with quick tour. At 10.30 AM, after taking photos, we went to Penang Hill to catch our train. At 10.45 AM, we boarded the train and it left 15 minutes before schedule (lucky we went to the station a bit early). The train was really full. Fifteen minutes later, we arrived at a seemingly station which apparently was only a transit station, we still had to take another train upward, haha. The total trip took 30 minutes when we arrived at the top of Penang Hill. The air up there was really different, it was really chilly and more comfortable than the air down in the island. Up there, what we did first was having meal since we hadn't had one since the morning began, haha... :)

After having meal and took some quick tours on the hill, we went back downward. We contacted Mr. Xavier to pick us up. Anyway, there was actually nothing really interesting up in the hill, the thing I like most was the air, it was refreshing, but I think that's all, hmmm. O yea, the hill also provided us great scenery of the island. We could see downtown Georgetown, Penang Bridge, and even Bayan Lepas Int'l Airport. There was a free telescope to use. Back to main story, Mr. Xavier picked us up and brought us to coffee house first. Well, we didn't buy anything there since it was really expensive. After that, we went back to our hotel to pick our luggages then we headed to the airport.

Before going to the airport itself, we went to Aquarium and Penang Snake Temple first. Apparently, aquarium was literally aquarium, damnit, I thought it was like Seaworld, LOL. In snake temple, I thought there would be more snake in the temple, but there weren't. There was a snake farm nearby but we didn't get in, haha. After that, at 4.50 PM we arrived at the airport. At 7.45 PM we boarded our plane, Tiger Airways' Airbus A320-232 reg code 9V-TAE flight no. TR 427 heading for Singapore. At 8 PM we took off from runway 04. At 9.15 PM local time, we landed at runway 20R at Changi Airport Singapore. Anyway, at the custom, there was a funny incident, I will write about it later, haha.

Day 5 (26 July 2009)

Our main destination this day was Marina. To get there, we wanted to take MRT. To me, it was really exciting, haha. I had always wanted to try taking MRT. So, we went to Somerset Station, the closest one to our hotel. My friend already told me before to get an EZ-Link Card. We had to pay S$ 15 for this card with S$ 10 credit to spend, so the cost of making this card was S$ 5, but it was worthed since it is valid for five years and we paid less compared to standard one way ticket.

Anyway, so we arrived at City Hall Station and were at Raffles City Mall. Then, we walked to Marina Square. There, I bought Crocs shoes, new one, which was cheaper than in Malaysia or Indonesia, haha. After that, we walked to Suntec City Mall. I really wanted to go to the Fountain of Wealth, and finally we found it. We had a chance to take the 'tour' to the center of the fountain and did some rituals which was believed would make our wish comes true, LOL.

After that, our "must visit" destination was the
Singapore Flyer. Singapore Flyer, with 165 meter in height, is the tallest rotating wheel in the world, even taller than the London Eye, haha. Lucky we got 50% discount because my mom had an HSBC Credit Card. If we showed Indonesian Passport, we could also get 29% discount, and if we had Tiger Airways' boarding pass, we could also get 20% discount. Unluckily the promotions couldn't be combined (of course, if I combined all three of them which I actually had in my hand, I would get 99% discount then, wkwkwkwkw). Anyway, so we ride it. The capsule was pretty roomy but at first I concerned that eventhough it was roomy, still, compared to 165 meter above the ground, it could still be significantly small, LOL. However, apparently, with the gentle move, it wasn't scary at all!! :) We could enjoy the view of Singapore. Tho I think we went there a bit too early tho (2 PM), I mean, if we went there like one or two hours later, the view might be better.

Then, we caught a cab to go to the Merlion Park. The park was full of tourists (of course), haha, it's where the most famous Merlion Statue lies. After taking some pictures, we walked to the closest MRT Station, Raffles Place. On the way, we stopped at Cavenagh Bridge. It was the bridge near the starting line of
The Amazing Race Asia 2, haha, all teams took profile pictures on this bridge! haha... . Anyway, then we headed to Little India. After walking inside Mustafa Centre, we had dinner at an Indian Restaurant nearby. After that, we took another MRT and went to Chinatown. Yea, we didn't spend that much time in Chinatown, just around 30 minutes probably, since we were already tired. Then, we went back to our hotel.

To Be Continued ...

Next on Mid Year Holiday : Singapore & Penang
- Sentosa Island
- Songs of the Sea
- Chinese Garden
- Bugis and more Orchard

L : the making of Goddess Kwan Im's statue was underway at Kek Lok Si Temple
R : downtown Georgetown, as taken from Kek Lok Si Temple

L : Kek Lok Si Temple
R : the trains we caught to go up/down Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera)

L : a view from Penang Hill, Penang Bridge was within visible range!!
R : the train track

L : downtown Georgetown as taken from Penang Hill
R : Ais Kacang

L : a monument of ancient train
R : Penang Bridge, as taken from Queensbay

L : turtles at Aquarium
R : snake at Snake Temple

L : Bayan Lepas International Airport's Check-In Area
R : my dinner for last Saturday, at Bayan Lepas Airport

L : Tiger Airways' Airbus A320-232 reg code 9V-TAE arriving from Singapore
R : inside Tiger Airways' Airbus A320-232 reg code 9V-TAE flight no. TR 427 heading for Singapore

L : another dinner I had in Singapore, Saturday evening , seafood
R : my meal for breakfast Sunday morning, meatball noodle

L : Fountain of Wealth
R : a view of Singapore (Singapore River)

L : one capsule of Singapore Flyer
R : Singapore Flyer as viewed from Merlion Park

L : Merlion at Merlion Park
R : drinking the water, LOL

L : Esplanade
R : my Indian dinner

L : Cavenagh Bridge
R : Paula and Natasha, racers of TARA 2, also at Cavenagh Bridge


Sebelumnya dalam
Mid Year Holiday : Singapore & Penang : Zilko sekeluarga pergi liburan ke Singapore dan Penang, Malaysia. Setelah menginap semalam di Singapore, mereka pergi ke Penang. Di hari kedua di Penang, mereka telah berada di Georgetown, ibukota dari Negara Bagian Penang.

Hari 4 (25 Juli 2009)

Kebanyakan dari tempat "mesti dikunjungi" di Georgetown telah dikunjungi sehari sebelumnya, ini karena banyaknya waktu yang tersisa setelah menyadari kalau KOMTAR itu ternyata tidak sebagus bayangan kami sebelumnya. Jam 9 pagi, Mr. Francis Xavier, sopir taksi kami, menjemput kami di hotel. Dia sudah tahu kalau rencana kami hari itu adalah pergi ke Air Itam untuk mengunjungi Kuil Kek Lok Si dan Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera). Dia baik banget loh sampai mau membantuk menyusun jadwal untuk kami.

Aku rasa jadwal yang dia susun sangat bagus tuh, terima kasih pada pengetahuannya tentang Penang, haha. Dia pertama-tama mengantar kami ke Bukit Bendera untuk beli tiket kereta ke atas (dan ke bawah, kami membeli tiket pulang pergi). Jika masih ada banyak waktu, dia akan mengantar kami ke Kuil Kek Lok Si dulu. Jika tidak, dia akan meninggalkan kami (karena setidaknya orang akan menghabiskan waktu 2 jam di Penang Hill, kan rugi kalau kita meminta sopir taksi menunggu kita kan?) dan menyarankan untuk naik taksi (dan juga memberi tahu harga yang wajar berapa) untuk pergi ke Kuil Kek Lok Si. Ternyata, kereta kami berangkat baru pukul 11 dan waktu itu sedang pukul 9.30. Masih banyak waktu kan, makanya kami pergi ke Kuil Kek Lok Si dulu.

Mr. Xavier membawa kita langsung ke atas Kuil Kek Lok Si (sebenarnya ada jalan "tradisional" dimana kita bisa BERJALAN naik mendaki ribuan tangga untuk naik ke kuil. Tentu saja itu pilihan yang NGGAK BANGET, LOL). Trus, dia juga membawa kami ke kuil utama dengan tur kilat. Jam 10.30, setelah foto2, kami langsung menuju Penang Hill untuk mengejar kereta. Jam 10.45, kami mulai menaiki kereta dan keretanya berangkat 15 menit lebih cepat loh (untung kami ke stasiun agak awal yah). Keretanya penuh sekali. Lima belas menit kemudian, kami tiba di sebuah tempat yang seperti stasiun puncak, yang ternyata cuma stasiun transit saja. Kami masih harus naik kereta lagi ke atas. Total perjalanannya sih 30 menit sampai tiba di atas Penang Hill. Yah, udara di atas memang sangat berbeda, sejuk dan jauh lebih nyaman dari udara di daratan pulau. Di atas sana, yang kami lakukan pertama adalah makan malam karena dari pagi belum makan, haha... :)

Setelah makan dan jalan-jalan sebentar di atas bukit, kami kembali turun. Kami menghubungi Mr. Xavier untuk menjemput kami. Ngomong2, sebenarnya tidak banyak hal menarik di atas Penang Hill sih, yang paling aku suka ya hanya udaranya saja, sangat sejuk, tapi ya cuma itu saja, hmmm. O iya, bukitnya juga menyajikan pemandangan yang bagus dari pulaunya. Kita bisa melihat kota Georgetown, Jembatan Pulau Penang, bahkan Bandar Udara Internasional Bayan Lepas dari atas sana. Ada teleskop gratis tuh untuk digunakan. Balik ke cerita, Mr. Xavier menjemput kami dan mengantar kami ke sebuah rumah kopi. Disana nggak beli apa-apa sih soalnya mahal2. Setelahnya, kami kembali ke hotel untuk mengambil bagasi dan menuju bandara.

Sebelum ke bandara, kami pergi ke Akuarium dan Kuil Ular Penang dulu. Ternyata akuarium itu ya memang akuarium aja, sialan, kirain kan kaya Seaworld, LOL. Di Kuil Ular, aku kira akan ada buanyak ular tetapi ternyata nggak sebanyak itu. Memang ada sih peternakan ular di dekatnya tapi kami nggak mampir, haha. Setelahnya, jam 4.50 sore kami tiba di bandara. Jam 7.45 malam kami menaiki pesawat kami, Tiger Airways Airbus A320-232 kode registrasi 9V-TAE nomor penerbangan TR 427 tujuan Singapore. Jam 8 malam kita lepas landas dari runway 04. Jam 9.15 malam kita mendarat di runway 20R Bandara Changi Singapore. Ngomong2, di custom, ada kejadian lucu deh, kapan2 deh aku tulis, haha.

Hari 5 (26 Juli 2009)

Tujuan utama kami hari ini adalah Marina. Untuk kesana, kami berencana menaiki MRT. Untuk aku, benar-benar mengasyikkan tuh, haha. Soalnya kan aku selalu pengen mencoba naik MRT. Makanya, kami pergi ke Stasiun Somerset, terdekat dari hotel kami. Temenku sebelumnya sudah bilang mendingan aku beli Kartu EZ-Link. Kami harus membayar S$ 15 untuk kartu ini dengan S$ 10 adalah kredit yang bisa dipakai. Jadi, biaya pembuatan kartu adalah S$ 5. Tapi nggak papa kan soalnya kartunya berlaku lima tahun dan dengan kartu ini, kita membayar lebih murah daripada tiket standar sekali jalan.

Ngomong2, akhirnya kami tiba di Stasiun City Hall dan pergi ke Raffles City Mall. Setelahnya kami berjalan menuju Marina Square. Disana, aku membeli sepatu Crocs, yang baru, yang lebih murah daripada di Malaysia atau Indonesia, haha. Setelahnya, kami berjalan ke Suntec City Mall. Aku sih pingin pergi ke Fountain of Wealth (Air Mancur Kesejahteraan) tuh, dan akhirnya menemukannya. Kami mendapat kesempatan untuk melakukan 'tur' ke tengah air mancur dan melakukan ritual yang katanya sih bisa membuat harapan kita terkabul, LOL.

Setelahnya, destinasi "harus dikunjungi" adalah
Singapore Flyer. Singapore Flyer, dengan tinggi 165 meter, adalah roda berputar (kaya bianglala) tertinggi di dunia, lebih tinggi daripada London Eye loh, haha. Untungnya lagi, kami mendapat diskon 50% karena mamaku memiliki Kartu Kredit HSBC. Jika kita menunjukkan paspor Indonesia, kita bisa mendapat diskon 29%, dan jika memiliki boarding pass Tiger Airways, kita bisa mendapat diskon 20%. Sayangnya promosi tidak bisa digabungkan (ya iya lah kalo digabung kan kami bisa mendapat diskon 99% karena kesemua syarat itu kami miliki, wkwkwkwkw). Akhirnya, kami menaikinya. Kapsulnya luas juga, walau awalnya agak khawatir juga karena seluas-luasnya kapsul, dibandingkan dengan 165 meter di atas permukaan tanah, kan bisa dikatakan kecil secara segnifikan, LOL. Namun, ternyata dengan gerakan lambat, nggak menyeramkan sama sekali loh!! :) Kami menikmati pemandangan Singapore dari atas. Walau aku rasa sih andai kami kesana agak sorean dikit (kami kesana jam 2) mungkin satu atau dua jam setelahnya, pemandangan bisa lebih bagus.

Trus, kami menaiki taksi menuju Merlion Park. Tamannya ramai oleh turis (tentu saja), haha, karena taman ini adalah dimana patung Merlion yang terkenal itu berada. Setelah foto2, kami berjalan menuju stasiun MRT terdekat, Raffles Place. Di jalan, kami mampir di Jembatan Cavenagh. Ini adalah jembatan di dekat garis mulai
The Amazing Race Asia 2 loh, haha, semua tim kan mengambil foto di jembatan ini! haha... . Setelahnya kami menuju Little India. Setelah berjalan di dalam Mustafa Center, kami makan malam di sebuah rumah makan India di dekatnya. Setelahnya kami naik MRT lagi menuju Chinatown. Kami tidak lama sih di Chinatown, mungkin cuma 30 menit, karena sudah lelah sekali. Trus, kami balik ke hotel.

Bersambung ...

Selanjutnya dalam Mid Year Holiday : Singapore & Penang
- Pulau Sentosa
- Songs of the Sea
- Chinese Garden
- Bugis dan lebih tentang Orchard

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