Sabtu, 27 Mei 2017

Thailand in Memory

Why should we travel to Bangkok. I didn't know the reason until I went there. There were so many places could be visited. I had Bangkok and Pattaya as the top places on my list to explore. I started from Supadio airport in Pontianak to KLIA Airport in Kuala Lumpur. Then I continued to  Don Mueang Airport (DMK) in Bangkok.
Khaosan Road
It was such a tiring day. I could say that because I came to Supadio Airport at 10 a.m and finally arrived to the hotel at 10 p.m. I stayed at D & D Inn. It’s located at Khaosan Road, Phranakrn, Bangkok.  The room was comfortable enough. I was tired but I just couldn’t ignore the music from the road near the hotel. There were so many western people walking around here. The local people also still sold many food, clothes, souvenirs, etc. There were also several places to make tattoo. The bars had many visitors. The music came from them. It just looked like night wouldn’t over. Some people sold food. If you want to try extreme food, you could find it here. There were fried caterpillar, scorpion, etc. Personally, I would never tried that kind of food because as far as I know if we eat something we feel disgusting it won't b halal anymore. I prefer to bought tat pai and fruit. Tat pai was halal food. It was a stir-fried noodles. It was cooked with shrimps and eggs. The price was THB40. The watermelon and mangoes from fruit seller was THB30 and THB40. After my stomach was full, I went back to the hotel room for taking a bath and sleeping.
In the next day, I remembered that I got voucher for breakfast. On the other hand, at that time I did not use it because it was still 6 o’clock in the morning and the restaurant opens at 7. As I was hungry and I couldn’t wait any longer. I and my roommate, Bu Ahun, decided to find street food. But the athmospher was different from what I saw last night. No street food, no shops or bar opened, no music. It was just like common road.
Wat Saket (Golden Mount)
In front of the hotel, there was a man offer to take me to go around hotel by using tuk tuk. It cost THB400. The driver said it’s not expensive because he would drive us for about 2 hours. At first I and Bu Ahun felt hesitate to follow because we have to leave the hotel at 8. But the driver could convince us that we would go back to the hotel before 8 o’clock. Then,... wuuuzzzzzzzzzzz we were riding tuk tuk while enjoying the sightseing in Bangkok in the morning. The driver dropped us to Wat Pho and Wat Saket (Golden Mount). We just took a look and took some pictures for a while around them. At least, we knew what was it like.
Actually, the temple was on the hill. We had to step on the stairs and go up to see it. I really wanted to see it, but because the time was so limited and it was so tiring, I did not continue it. could see some people, wearing t-shirts and short pants, some are old men, they had spirit to climb up the hill. Maybe someday I can do it. If I have a chance to visit Bangkok again, of course.
You have to know that climbing the stair can make you feel hungry. So, if you feel hungry and you can not find halal food around you, you should go to seven eleven. It sells halal food. Don't forget to choose the rice box with 'halal' label on it. The rice is little bit longer than rice in Indonesia. The side dish was delicious enough as it was cooked with spices. So, don't feel afraid that you will not find halal food there. 
I almost forget to say that you can also find halal food near the mosque. Yes, there is Chakrabongse mosque which is hidden among bars and hotels at Khaosan Road. Specifically it is located at Trok Surao alley. Hopefully you can pass by to this mosque for praying and finding halal food while enjoying your vacation in Thailand.

Pattaya Floating Market
My friends and I went to Pattaya floating Market. It took about 3 hours to get there by bus. There were two big elephant statues in front of the market. Maybe they put them there because elephant is the symbol of Thailand. In addition, there were many foreigner went there. From what I saw, they were Korean and Hong Kong people. The way they talk was just like Korean drama that I usually watched. But of course they looked different from the drama I saw and I barely knew what they are talking about :-P .Before we get in, they would stick the ticket to our clothes and give the red stamp to our hand. 
It was mid-day and it was so hot. Even though the sun shone so bright make me sweating, I still feel excited for finding something new as it was my first time to get there. This floating market was made on artificial lake. We could take a boat trip around the waterways of the market by using small boat. Even though the water was not clear, it was not smelly.
Pattaya Floating Market
The local people sold many things such as clothes, accessories, souvenirs, street food, etc. I walked around to see what this market offer to the tourist. Honestly I couldn't compare it to the others market as this was the first floating market I have ever visited.  But overall, it was nice place. There was live music from teenagers' band. I could also see the artist draw and color his painting. At that time the man directly use red paints on his brush to draw elephant. He did it quickly. There were some paintings around him. I though he sold it but I did not ask the price as I did not have intention to buy it.
The food sold around looked so yummy. There were so many choice but not for me. I think it was not easy to find halal food. So, I just bought fruits, souvenirs, and noodles. There was one man sold halal food. I forget the name of the food, but it was made from noodles.  In addition, in this market I saw many products made from mango such as mango ice cream, mango rice, mango pancake,etc. I could say that the taste of the mango was sweet and fresh. So, I think mango lovers could stay longer here.

The accessories and the souvenirs here could be bargained. But some sellers put the fix price for them. For the example, the key chains that I bought was fix price. THB200 for 5 key chain. Because it was already written I did not bargain it. But an old lady near me was able to bargain the bag that she wanted. So, If you have ability to bargain, I think it is better for you to try to bargain regard to the things you want to buy first.

The biggest mosque in Pattaya

Darul Ibadah Mosque in Pattaya

Travelling does not means that you can leave your  duty to pray. You need to know that there is big mosque in Pattaya. It is Darul Ibadah Mosque. It is located on Sukhmvit  53 Pattaya, Na Kluea Chonbury. It can be said that it is located in the Muslim area. 
The mosque was big. There was place for the ritual ablution on the right side of the mosque. In Indonesia usually we bow to take the water for ritual ablution, but in Bangkok there are seat provided to sit while taking the water for ritual ablution.

Teddy Bear Museum

I stayed at A-One hotel. It is located right on Pattaya beach road. Near the hotel there is a teddy bear museum. I was so curious to know what was inside. It took about five minutes for walking from the hotel to Teddy Bear Museum. The ticket price was a little bit expensive. It cost THB500 for adult and THB300 for kid. It opens at 9 a.m to 6 p.m.
As it was named of, in this museum there were hundreds teddy bears with several zones. There were Inca tribe zone, dinosaur zone, Africa zone, forest zone, ocean zone, pole zone, Christmas zone, Oriental zone and many other more. Those teddy bears were not kept inside the glass box. They could be touch and even could be hugged. I just needed one hour  look at all zones.
In the last room, there were many souvenirs of teddy bear that we could buy such as glass, doll, key chain, etc. Because I was not a fan of teddy bear, I decided for not buying anything. I just took a look for awhile and then went to the ground floor using lift.
I can say that this museum offered family's experience. It could evoke the memories of childhood. If you are teddy bear lover, you should visit this museum.

Pattaya Beach

Pattaya Beach in the late of afternoon
After from Teddy bear museum, I was going to enjoy Pattaya beach. It was famous beach but I did not know what what it special. Personally I thought that it was just common beach. It was long beach which was divided into three zones; north zone, central zone, and south zone. There were many tourist here. There were also big umbrella alongside of the beach which were for rent. For me, I prefered the beaches in Indonesia where I could enjoy the sunset, the sand on my feet, and the sound of the wave.

Shahi Indian Resaurant
As I could not enjoy the situation on the beach, I decided to just take a walk and see the atmosphere around. It was very refreshing. Then, I found India restaurant accross the beach. The restaurant's name is Shahi Indian Restaurant. It was next to Thai Massage. I ordered zeera rice and ice tea. When it came, I realized that it was fried rice with spices but without soy sauce. My stomach just could not hold it. I like Indonesian food more as the taste fitted my tongue and my belly :-P


Walking Street

At night, my friends and I wanted to go to see night market. From the map, I could see that it was located in south Pattaya, Pattaya beach road. It was said that this place was closed for any vehicle from 6 p.m to 2 p.m. We went there by using songtaew. Songtaew was like tuk tuk but it is bigger. It cost THB20 for each person. On the other hand, it only cost THB10 for the local people.
This place was very crowded with tourists. At first I though that this is a common night market which sells food, clothes, souvenirs, etc. Then, I realize that this place was not as I thought. It was red-light district which are full with bars. All along the way I could only see bars, live music, and several restaurants. Right in front of the bar there were girls who were wearing sexy clothes (*which I thought was almost naked). They were standing while holding something which was written HAPPY HOUR. They were guarded by some men which I assumed they were body guard.
walking street
One of my friends tried to ask the price. He just did it for the hell of it, actually. It cost about THB1000. He then tried to bargain for THB200 and unbelievable that it was accepted. Frankly speaking, we did not know what kind of service given for it because in this place you could find local woman and even beautiful shemale. 
Because nothing was interesting, my friends and I decided to go back to the hotel. We used songtaew again. But at this time the songtaew did not drive in the main road. The driver passed the alley and go to the near hotel. So, it's better for yu if you want to use songtaew at night to know your way. You can bring the map with you so you will not get lost or you can stop the songtaew if you think that it does not go to the destination you want

When I was Sick in Pattaya

After went back to the a-One hotel, I did not directly go to the room for sleeping. I bought fruit which was sold near the hotel. Actually I wanted to find rice but because I did not know the place near hotel which sold halal food then fruit was the only choice.
kind and friendly people around me (Bu Ahun, me, Ririz, Bu Nik)
As usual I washed my face and brushed my teeth before going to bed. I was not feeling well. So I just lay on my bed. At midnight I felt that I got temperature and my head was really hurt that I had to struggle when  had to walk just to take the mineral water in the freezer.
Actually it was the basic thing that you have to bring medicine wit you while travelling. I forgot it. I did not bring any medicine with me at that time. Fortunately, my roommate, Bu Ahun, had many medicine. When I asked for any medicine for fever, she gave me parasetamol. I ate my fruit before I took the medicine. After that, I slept well.
Fortunately after I woke up, I was feeling better that I could continue my trip to go to Bangkok again. And thanks to God that I had people who took care of me when I was sick even though I had just known them. That was a lesson for me to always bring the medicine with me when having a trip to anywhere. 

Masjid Darul Aman

In Bangkok there was Masjid Darul Aman. In front of the mosque many people sold halal food such as sausage, curry rice, bread, etc. They were Muslim. Some of them even understood Malay language for a little even though they were originally from Bangkok. Maybe it was because many Malay people came to that place.
This mosque has wide yard. The people here was very nice and friendly. They even did not hesitate to ask and talk to people that they have just seen. It was Friday at that time. Many of the Muslims around this mosque came to have Friday prayer. Woman could also follow Friday prayer. Their place was on the second floor.  So after took ritual ablution on the first floor, the woman should go to the second floor. The room was clean and cold. There were air-conditioners. There were also 'mukena' (women's praying veil) provided in the wardrobe. The mukenas were clean and fragrance. Most of the color of the mukena was black.
borrowing mukena from Masjid Darul Aman
As usual, there was preaching. The preaching was in Thai language. Honestly, I did not understand what was that about. I just heard that sometimes he mention "Allah" and "Rasul". For me, it did not reduce the solemnity of this religious prayer. After the preaching, all Muslims did Friday prayer.

Dusit Palace

When I visited Dusit place, my body was still no really feeling well. On the other hand, I still wanted to see the famous dusit palace. You should know that the spirit can beat any illness. That's why I visited this place while struggling my body to cooperate with me. It was sad that Dusit palace was built by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), the first King who ever visited Europe, in the late of 19 century. He made the palace in European style after he had got inspiration from his journey to Europe.
At that time, there were sooooo many tourists from Korea, Hong Kong, etc but there were no western people there. Perhaps it was because there were a lot of places like that in Europe so it became common for them. Looking at those people who did not stop coming and those very loooooonngggggg queue to buy the ticket and go inside the palace, I  changed my mind to get inside. Besides, it was forbidden to take the picture inside the palace. I then just took the picture from outside. While taking the picture around Dusit place, I saw the security barked away the tourist because the tourist stepped on the grass. I had just known at that time that stepped on grass was forbidden there.
Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

MBK Mall

It was said that MBK Mall was the most visited mall in Bangkok. Maybe it was because people could find everything here such as clothing, souvenirs, stationery, electronics, cosmetics, food, fruit, etc. Bargaining was also allowed here. When I went there, there were seven floors. It was so tiring if I want walk around on every floor. I was just curious about what could be find here. So after the seventh floor I just wanted to go directly to the ground floor, to the MBK Market garden.It was nice and arranged beautifully. There was halal food, thai fruit, souvenirs, etc.

Asiatique River Front

Bangkok Night Market

Visiting Thailand would not complete without going to Asiatique Riverfront. It was an outdoor shopping center with river views. It was on Chaeroen Krung Road. Fortunately, the location was near the hotel where I stayed, Sunreno Hotel. From the hotel, I just need to walk across the street to get to Asiatique Rivver Front. If you were tired or sick you would forget it all because it was nice spot for many things. You could eat local food, western food, or japanese food at the riverside restaurants. You could also buy handicraft, jewelry, clothing and souvenirs at the shops, boutiques, and stalls. Besides, you would be able to to try free shuttle boat and see chaopraya river at night, but you have to queue for this. Moreover, you were able to watch Calypso Cabaret show here. At last, you could also try the tallest Ferris wheel in Bangkok. All you can do in one place. It was amazing.
Ferris Wheel
The first thing I did when I get here is trying the Ferris wheel. It was 60 metres (200ft) with 42 gondolas. It cost THB200 for child and THB300 for adult. The sightseeing of Bangkok at night from the gondola was wonderful. Time flied so fast up there. Next time if I go to Bangkok again, I have to do it again. After trying the ferris wheel actually I would like to try free shuttle boat. I was queuing. But then I thought that it will be long, so I gave up. But then suddenly, another empty boat came. But I would not change my mind again. Maybe next time.
love lock
As this was the last place to visit in Bangkok, I decided to buy the souvenirs for my family here. Here I could bargain with the seller. I admitted that was not good in bargaining. But at least, it could be cheaper. I could say that the things sold here cheaper than floating market or MBK mall. I got bag for THB275, shirt for THB250, Dress for THB250, baby dress for THB200, shirt for THB140, souvenirs for THB200, etc. I did not know whether they were expensive or not. I just wanted to spend all my Thai bath before I went home. By the way, I ever passed the place for the lock love inside the building. I don't know where to buy the lock, so I just took a look for a while.

Nice Travelling Companion
It is really important for having nice travelling companion. To be honest until this time I haven't had any bravery for travelling alone. On the other hand, sometimes it is difficult to find family or friends who have free time as we have or have the same destination as we want to. For this kind of problem, one of the ways to solve it is by following open trip. Then, I got the information that one of the famous writers in west Kalimantan, bang Pay Jarot Sujarwo, open the trip to Thailand. At first, I hesitated to follow because none of my friends or family want to follow. Usually, someone would go together with best friend or close family for having a trip. But then, then he was able to convince me that I was not alone because I could find friends during the trip.
He was right. Event though most of the members of the trip went with friend, wife, husband, niece (*it was a fact that it was only me who just follow this trip without companion), I could find good companion here. Since I was in the airport in Pontianak, I always remembered how friendly and nice Bu Nik and his niece, Ririz, were. They greeted me and told me for not to be worried because they were there and I could be together with them. At first, I did not know about how many people would go, who were they, were they nice, would it e comfortable to be with them, and many other questions came across my mind. Then, it was proven that I should not have been worried as during the trip we became united and it felt ike having new family. When I got sick, they gave me medicine, even Bu Nik bought me a rice so that I could take my medicine. Bu Ahun did not mind to be in one room with me even though my fever left me with cough which maybe could disturb her. Bang Pay also always asked whether I was in good condition or not. He also helped Bu Ahun by buying her rice in the morning as he knew that Bu Ahun could not leave the room without eating rice in the morning.
Pay Jarot Sujarwo (
For this trip, Bang Pay became the tour leader and Habibie was his assistant. Personally I really like the services given. They had schedule with them but they gave us time for enjoying and taking the air for ever places we visited. They also did not shout whenever there were two or three participants who were late to gather because of still eating or doing the shopping. He also let us going to everywhere we wanted and he did not force us to always follow everywhere he went. So, if we wanted to go to different spot as long as we could get back to the hotel safely, we could.  I like it because trip was not only about taking pictures but also having interaction the situation there and having communication with local people. Moreover, I agreed with the destination he put in his itinerary for visiting mosque because travel was for reminding us to Allah, not to forget him. 
new family during the trip

Finding, seeing, and feeling something new will always turn you to be someone who has new knowledge, new experience, and new perspective. Travel to different places can make you think about how powerful Allah S.W.T is in creating heaven and earth. We are only small dot in this mortal life. So we should not be arrogant for everything we have had and should always thanks to God for everything happen to us.
I hope that every year I can go at least to one new place to learn and to understand something new. It can also make my life be balance between working and refreshing mind. Work harder and you will travel easier :-)


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