My goal in my life is Travel around the world.
I gave up my idealism to teach and move to Singapore, doing office work just to get more money so I could save more for travelling. Yeah, I gave up teaching, the job I love the most. But I have to stay focus. I support my parents financially you know, so being a teacher won’t make me go anywhere.
I always take long trip on summer (May-July) even though I know in Southeast Asia, the whole year is summer. But at least, rain won’t likely to pour on those months.
Last month, I took a long trip from Kuala Lumpur – Siem Reap – Pnomh Penh – Bangkok – Hanoi – KL – back to Singapore. I already prepared myself to make so many review posting in my blog, but being an Indonesian really ruined your standard of travelling. I am hard to please.
I tell you why.
Angkor wat is not Borobudur
So, after I read so many positive reviews about this place, I had a big expectation. I arrived at Siem Reap in the morning, picked up at the airport by my tuk-tuk driver who speaks Malay! (Anyone wants his contact I’ll happily give. Just leave me a comment or tweet me.) He brought us to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, and some random temples that I forgot the names because too much temples name to remember with such foreign name. After time reached 3 pm, the tuk tuk driver asked whether I still wanted to visit Bantey Srei (because I already insisted since morning). He told me that it’s very far. I replied that I don’t mind and I also don’t mind to pay extra dollars because the pictures I saw in the internet are very mesmerizing.
The tuk tuk driver was right. It’s very far and I slept all the way there. I woke up with a major headache because I slept with natural fan blown upon my body! (In Bahasa called masuk angin.) When I arrived at Bantey Srei, I was like… JENG! JENG! Is this it? Why all the pictures in the internet look so pretty?!
Angkor wat sure was big, but I told you, I’m Indonesian. I saw Borobudur when I was 11 and I couldn’t sleep for the next week because it was sooooo gorgeous.
I took shuttle bus to Pnomh Penh, that was about 5 hours journey full of sudden break and extreme maneuver by the driver. Thank god again, I’m Indonesian. I had worse with Kopaja driver. LOL
I cannot say many things about Pnomh Penh because that city is so depressing with all the history. I had a nightmare sleeping after visiting the Genocide museum (used to be the actual prison where all the victims were tortured) and Genocide Center or Killing Fields where all the victims were killed massively.
So, there goes my Cambodian trip. Not what I expected from a holiday.
Halong Bay is not Padang Bai
Another excitement I was looking forward to is Hanoi and of course the legendary Halong Bay. Let me cut you to the chase of Hanoi. It sucks. It’s just Jakarta 10 years ago, with worse taste of food and more rude people.
The only good thing about Hanoi is the museums. I love all the museums. I visited Vietnamese Women Museum which was great and Ho Chi Minh Museum which was remarkable, one of the most artistic and weirdest museum I’ve ever seen.
So if you love museums, Hanoi won’t be such a bad idea. But you know how much I hate crowded and messy city. I ran away from it, I live in one now, so I don’t ask for one again on my holiday. But anyway I could only blame myself.
The next day, I went to Ha Long! The legendary village of the dragon and took a cruise to Ha Long Bay. Highlights: Even my trip from Padang Bai to Lembar by 15,000 rupiah ferry has much better view than this!
We cruised through the limestone (that is similar to one when going to the Phi Phi Island in Phuket) and visited caves (great but not that great) and stopped in the floating village, which is originated from Kalimantan, Indonesia.
After going kayaking, and saw the floating village, we all cruised back to Ha Long City. I really couldn’t believe my eyes that the water in the ocean is not blue. It is greenish kind of dirty. Oh my god it’s too bad to be true. I can’t even compare with the water near Lombok Island.
This cruise supposed to be a breathtaking cruise. :(
It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the whole journey. I did. I tasted new food, met new people and learned new things. It’s just that sometimes it pissed me off when they exaggerate about something . This place is not breathtaking. Maybe for some people it is, because people has different standard and level of bitchiness (well mine is sure high). I hate when things are overrated. Halong Bay is definitely overrated. There goes my only review for the holiday.
Call me hard to please. I’m sorry for having high standard of scenery since I am an Indonesian. I’ve so many universe great creations in my country, and I’m gonna live up to that.
Even for Bandi who has gone to so many places on earth, he still agree that Indonesia has it all. Sometimes I wonder why Indonesian (including me) loves to go to abroad when our country has it all. The answer would be… The beautiful places in Indonesia are not tourist friendly. Government doesn’t care so much and don’t bother to start to care.
A lot of potential hidden in every part of Indonesia. We’re so huge for god’s sake! But sadly, all of our neighboring country is smarter than us to attract tourists. They have their advertisement everywhere and those pretty pictures which I bet photoshopped. When I took picture in Gili Trawangan with my pocket camera, the photos were already breathtaking.
So many places in part of Indonesia I haven’t visited. And guess what? The air tickets to those places could be twice or three times more expensive than going to Phuket or Hong Kong. But I guess price doesn’t lie, does it? :p