Maybe this sound like common story for those people who travelling to many places with much money, but for people who living in small town so far from Jakarta our capital country such as us here living in a small Island called Nunukan which is located at border between Tawau, Sabah and Indonesia, this is quiet extraordinary experiences. I named it “Outrageous Moment of Life”.
This happened a year ago when many people here said “It is impossible travelling to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok & Phuket without using any Travel Agent. You will get lost.” Then the others said “That cost will be most expensive. Bla…bla..bla…!”. Too many pessimism words.
But I said “If the others can do it, we can do it too” and that mean small town female like me also can do backpacker trip. Well, to approve that line is true I’m trying to organize backpacker trip to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Phuket with my girl’s friend. They all excited when I told them about my plan. And I have 3 friends will join in this trip, which is Titi, Wulan and Erna.
The only problem is maybe about definition of backpacker trip itself. Because, first they won’t take any train for long journey, second this trip have to comfortable for all of us and third they want to be looking classy even in backpacker way. Confusing??? Yeah.. Me too. I was worry at that time, can I afford it ? Could I manage this trip? The ironic things are I’m a tour leader with lowest earnings between us.
Then like an angels fall to earth Air Asia really make it possible with their free seat. So, I grab that opportunity immediately. I spend about 2 days to book our trip. Surprise why it took so long?? Well it because we choose different way to back home. Here our route ;
Tawau – KK, KK – Singapore, : all
Singapore to Johor Bahru by Bus : all
Johor Bahru – KL, KL-Bangkok, Bangkok – Phuket, Phuket – KL : all
KL to Tawau by AA : Me & Titi
KL – Jakarta, Jakarta – Balikpapan by AA : Erna
KL – Singapore – Jakarta next day by AA : Wulan
Jakarta to Balikpapan by AA : Wulan
Yeah… Really amazing trip isn’t??? Only Air Asia can accommodated our complicated trip above in simple circle without make us broke, hehehe… That trip will be starting on October 21 until November 1, 2009.
But around August there’s bad news comes from Wulan and Erna. They both couldn’t join our trip because…. Maybe to make it simple let’s say “If they go it will damaged their future career”. Well that’s it, now just I & Titi left. Titi was down about their cancellation. But I convince her that we both can make it, that this is our change do adventure before married. Well, she need about a week to figure it out. And lucky me, she says “Yes!” eventually. We both will continue this trip no matter what!
In mean while again AirAsia make it easy for both of us. AA suddenly opened direct flight from Tawau to Singapore only a week before our trip (but now direct flight from Tawau to Singapore no longer exists). So, I book that flight instead. Then, here we go… Me and my best friend Titi starting our trip:
Day 1 : From Nunukan Port (Indonesia) to Tawau Port (Malaysia) by Boat in afternoon.
Day 2 : Depart from Tawau Airport to Changi Airport Singapore by AA course. And I’m glad because I was pick our seat and book our meal, that’s why we got first service and convenience from AirAisa Cabin Crew also no need long queue.. Hmmm… as we wish stay classy even in bacpacking. My first smile at Tawau Airport and our first smile at Changi Singapore Airport :
Even this wasn’t my first time visiting Singapore but it is for Titi. That’s why I should take her to the Singapore iconic tourism. We start exploring Singapore in afternoon to Orchard Road, Esplaned Theatre, Merlion Park, Raffles Landing Site, Clark Quay, and having dinner at Riverside Point with our own food that we bought before, hahahaha… The view is great…!
Day 3 : Explore Singapore again.. Bugis Village, Chinatown, having lunch at Republic Food Court in Vivo City Mall and don’t worry this time we eat a real food there hehehe.., then to Sentosa Island, Mustafa Centre and having Mc.D Chese Burger at Bugis Jungtion as a big dinner. Yummi…
Day 4 : Return our Singapore Tourist Pass at MRT then take a bus crossing the border. Two hours later we arrived at Senai International Airport. Then flight to Kuala Lumpur in good services. We both filled our first night in KL going to cinema at Berjaya Time Square and having dinner ala India on Alor Street.
Day 5 : Visit Central Market and having breakfast there also bought some souvenir then use LRT going to KL Sentral. Today we will go to Sepang International Circuit (SIC) for watching MotoGp Grandprix. Wow.. amazing! This is first time for Titi but third for me. I’m really big fan of MotoGp since in High School. And again and again… SkyBus Air Asia makes this trip affordable and comfort with their offer which is Return Ticket from KL Sentral to SIC. So no need to worry about finding ride to back home in crowded situation after racing finished any more. And I meet a new Spanish friend, Mario on that bus. God Job!!!
Day 6 : Before depart to Bangkok this afternoon we came visiting my aunt at Shah. She’s really surprise when I call her that I already in Shah Alam station, then she and her husband coming to pick us up. we didn’t seen each other about 4 years.
First touchdown in Suvarnabhumi International Airport Bangkok at 08.00pm local time. This is something I called the real adventure, because none of us ever come to Thailand before.
Day 7 : Explore Bangkok.. Follow the crowd to Central Pier, took All Day Tourist Boat to visiting Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Chinatown, Wat Pho and relaxing body with thai massage there. Hmm.. having Thai massage in origin place, surrounding by old temple, expert hands and got a free thai tea after that ?? Believe me you won’t miss it. In the afternoon we choose to finished this trip at Phra Athit Pier. From there we both walk to Khaosan Road as know as famous street in Bangkok. Really bustle, alive and western, but still enjoyed for everyone.
Day 8 : Floating Market here we come…. Almost 2 hours ride by minivan to reach that market. Hmmm.. but the uniquely is priceless, that’s why Nicholas Cage insist to make one shoot in this place for his movie “Bangkok Dangerous”. Remember??? I bet you so.
In the afternoon we did windows shopping from mall to mall and end up at a night market opposite Victory Monument. We blended with local people to fight bag on sale. Then when I said “How much is it?” Everybody there star at me and Titi at once . Then one of those people said “We think you are a thai !” Hahaha…. fabulous !!!
Day 9 : Good morning sun shine.. We took early domestic flight to Phuket. First landing at Phuket Airport. Nice view from arrival corridor at Phuket Airport. I took a picture while walking used my cell phone.
Hmmm… Really felt great when AA crew keep serving you first. Then you had enough time to take a picture like this :
We choose a minivan to Patong Beach where our guesthouse was booked. We had lunch at Food Court in Jungceylon Mall, and got a sort of shocking day when we realize that lunch is the most expensive lunch ever during this trip. Well.. Any way “Here is Phuket not Bangkok” they said. That line came up very often especially when people complain about highly price.
We rented a motorcycle to see sunset at Komala Beach. Then tonight we entertaining ourselves by go along Bangla Road, watching Beautiful Katoey offer “special” service. Hmmm… Hard to believe that they actually a guy, coz they are really pretty.
Day 10 : Time to explore Phi Phi Island, and of course the famous Maya Bay where Leonardo Dicaprio was discover it in a movie called “The Beach”. The travel agent also set a big lunch for us at Phi Phi Don Restaurant. Amazing trip is end up around 05.00 pm with my burning faces. Yeah.. that my bad ‘coz avoid to use sun block before .
Day 11 : We hired local taxi going to Phuket Airport. Unfortunately our flight to Kuala Lumpur was delay because weather reason. But is okay consider this is our last trip, no need to hurry.. Then finally we arrived at Kuala Lumpur around 05.15 pm.
Day 12 : Depart to Tawau in early flight, then crossing the border to Nunukan Island by Boat. And we arrived back home in safe.
Thanks’ a lot for Air Asia to make it possible, comfort and easy as we wish for.
That trip make my life change, I felt like I found new me, new spirit, new vision, new life and felt so great. We both a single woman from small town in small island could make it and survive!!!. We inspire the others people here to do the same things.
Now we both plan to visit Shanghai World Expo 2010 and continue the trip to Beijing by train, then climb the Great Wall. But, the sad news is we couldn’t afford it. So, Air Asia please… Make our dream come true. Fly us to Shanghai from Kuala Lumpur on October 2010. Make us taste the new experience again. And if we got that change we both would more confident to start our own business as Backpacker Organize Trip in the end of this year. Yeah… we hope so.