Archive for Indonesia

Asiayak Photo Contest Submission

Thanks to nemo of Asiayak for a kind invite to participate in Asiayak’s Photo Contest. The winner stands to receive a return air ticket for any destination served by AirAsia. If you do not already know, AirAsia is Malaysia’s very successful budget airlines that fly regionally. They are poised to be the next major airline to fly long-haul on a shoestring but that’s another blog post altogether.

Back to Asiayak’s photo contest. Though the prize is an air ticket, should you choose not to accept that, you can opt for the cash prize of US$150; approximately RM517.00. Not bad for just submitting photos and praying for it to win. :D

Here’s my submission for the contest. I took this photo while sitting in a tour bus at a roundabout in Bali. The bus was driven at a high speed which made photography difficult. I’m glad the photo turned out alright save for some reflections visible at the bottom left.

Bali God Statue

Hope I can make it to the finals, if not winning the prize.  I urge you to participate in Asiayak’s photo contest; you never know if you’ll land that free air ticket for a nice vacation or cash money.

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Poor Folks Onboard Adam Air Flight KI-574

Forest with Lighted PathWhat a way to start the new year. A horrible news was broadcast on New Year’s Day over the tube that a Boeing 737 from Adam Air has disappeared and believed to have crashed. We all know that plane crashes happens once in a while but what made this news horrible to me was the fact that I have personally taken a flight by Adam Air from Jakarta to Pontianak.

The news really troubled me as I kept thinking what would become of my family if I had been on that very flight? How will my family survive financially and in society? Can my wife cope will the kids’ upbringing? What would become of my kids without a father figure? The more I thought about it, the more depressed I became. It was very clear that I have not planned enough for my family if something happened.

Therefore, for 2007, my resolution is to plan the necessary actions to be taken in order for my family to live their lives to the fullest in the event of the unfortunate.

I have spoken to quite a number of friends and acquaintances about this unfortunate plane crash — many of which advised me to take Batavia or Garuda airlines whenever flying into Indonesia or domestically within the republic.

To the families of victims aboard Flight KI-574, I pray that you find strength and peace during this trying period. Hopefully, you will find the lighted path to continue living your lives.

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A Trip to the Equator in Pontianak, Indonesia

I have always wanted to go 2 places just for the sake of being there. The first is to stand on the equator and the second is to be at Greenwich where time is 0GMT. Fortunately or unfortunately, I had a little savings and with the high British Pound exchange rate, I decided to get myself to the equator where that imaginary line divides Earth into Northern and Southern hemispheres instead of Greenwich.

I flew on Malaysia Airlines on their Airbus A330 and arrived at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta Airport in a little less than 2 hours. To get myself cheaply to Pontianak’s Supadio airport, I bought the airline tickets from AdamAir. AdamAir is not exactly a budget or low-cost airline but its air tickets are indeed competitive.

Adam Air Boeing 737

It took me a little over an over to fly from Jakarta to Pontianak on AdamAir’s Boeing 737. I have no acquaintances in Pontianak and hence could not ask for reference on a good hotel there. I asked the local taxi driver and he told me that Hotel Santika is a good hotel to be in. I took his advise and proceed to check into the hotel. Registration was a breeze and you immediately get a delicious welcome drink made from Aloe Vera (locals call them Lidah Buaya). The room is extremely pleasant and clean. I would recommend this hotel to business travelers too. Another hotel that I noticed is Garuda Hotel but since I have not stayed there, I really do not know the condition.

Pontianak Equator MonumentAs I would have expected, Pontianak is hot and humid (since it is right smack on the equator). I stayed most of the time in the hotel due to the heat and humidity and there weren’t much places to visit (or maybe I’m not too well informed) except for the Equator Monument and the Sultan Palace. Before visiting the Equator Monument, I went over to the Pontianak Sultan Palace to have a look-see but unfortunately by the time I reached (5.30pm), the palace visiting hours was already closed (at 5.00pm).

The next day, I proceeded to the Equator Monument (approximately 20 minutes by car from the hotel) and upon arrival I learned that on every 20th of March and 23rd of September at noon, the top needle point of the monument will point directly at the sun; an event called the equinox.

Overall, I was sadden by the state of the potential money-raking-tourist-attraction; grass uncut, aging building and litter everywhere on the monument ground. At least, I can proclaim that I have stood on the line that divides our planet in two.

[tags]Pontianak, Indonesia, equator, monument, equinox[/tags]

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