Sunday, August 2, 2009

TRAVELLING LIKE A MILLIONAIRE

1st August - The plan to go to Tanjung Pinang on Pulau Bintan, Indonesia was finally executed. Although there were only 12 people going, consisting of colleagues and family members, it was something we had been looking forward to. We all met at Stulang Laut Ferry Terminal and took the 9:30 am tickets and arrived at our destination 3 hours later.

Tanjung Pinang Jetty

at the hotel entrance

We could not check in yet as the rooms were not ready so we decided to get lunch and then went shopping straightaway. We went to a nasi padang restaurant which was quite an experience. We were served with rice and varieties of rows of dishes in small plates which mainly consisted of meat and chicken. The food tasted similar to our local dishes but quite spicy. 
in a Nasi Padang Restaurant

The excitement began (especially for the women) when we arrived at the bazaar. Some of the items that were cheap included telekung (clothes worn by Moslem women when praying), tudung (head scarves) and other types of women-related fashion products. There were not much things on sale for men and there were not a large of variety of local products that attracted me. So I just had a look around first because the next day we had planned to do shopping again before going home. One of the difficulties encountered throughout the trip was using the currency. Everyone was practically a millionaire, we carried around more than a million of cold hard cash. We had to get used to paying thousands of Rupiahs to things which you can only pay RM1 here in Malaysia. The rate is something like Rp1000=30 sen, Rp10000=RM3.00.

the quaint town of Tanjung Pinang

We had dinner at one place where there were many stalls which offered variety of food, some we were not familiar with. So I settled for a bowl of Chicken Soto (and a plate of plain rice) and tried avocado drinks which made me feel beautiful after drinking. The food was Rp13000 and the avocado juice was Rp3000 and it sounded I had spent so much money only on food but I was still living as a millionaire.

Dinner under the sky

2nd August - The second day was spent on Pulau Penyengat, an island which is historical in nature. We took a boat from the jetty and toured the island on motorbiked trishaws and went to places like Makam (tomb) Raja Ali, a prominent figure of the Malay Language, Balai Adat Melayu and Sultan Riau Mosque. I liked the Balai Adat very much, it was as if you were in one of the plays during the Melaka Sultanate era. The hall was decorated with so much pomp and ceremony.
Balai Adat Melayu Indera Perkasa (outside)

a new and wise king in the making (inside Balai Adat)

Sultan Riau Mosque

Again, before leaving Tanjung Pinang, a few more hours were spent shopping at the marketplace before we called it a day. Safely arrived at Stulang Laut Jetty Terminal at 7:00 pm, and we were planning to go somewhere further in the near future and hopefully there will be more people coming.

One final pose before taking the ferry back to JB