Cirebon Day 1 (1) – Tegal Ekspres

Alif and I left home at 6:10am on that bright Sunday morning. No traffic jam, reached Stasiun Pasar Senen within 15 minutes. I had e-boarding pass on my phone (using KAI Access mobile apps) then saved time from queuing at CIM (Check In Machine).

Passengers weren’t allowed to get to boarding area until one hour before train ETD. It was 6:40am already when boarding gate officers allowed us to enter. Felt like in airport, the boarding room was spacious and clean although wasn’t air conditioned (but it was comfortable with fans because of its high ceiling), there were free wheelchairs for, the management also provided power charging outlets

Our tickets was cheapest “C Class” (Ekonomi) towards Tegal District, Central Java Province. Full fare was IDR 49,000 but I only paid IDR 45,000 until Cirebon Prujakan or CNP (there were two other train stations in Cirebon i.e. Cirebon Kejaksaan or CN for business/executive trains and Cirebon Arjawinangun or AWN which was located 20 km outside the city).

Clean coach, comfy seats, fully air conditioned. Thanks Pak Ignasius Jonan who changed KAI from lousy and corrupt state owned company became professional and profitable transportation service provider when he was the CEO (2009-2014).

The train departed and arrived as scheduled. Finally we’re back at Cirebon! Let’s start our historical and culinary exploration.

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Cirebon Itinerary 2018

Cirebon sebenarnya dekat sekali dengan Jakarta, selalu terlewati saban naik kereta menuju Jawa. Tapi baru awal Januari 2017 yang lalu akhirnya saya mengunjungi kota pelabuhan yang juga berjulukan Kota Udang itu.

https://id.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kota_Cirebon

Kunjungan saya waktu itu sangat singkat karena hanya melengkapi rangkaian perjalanan saya menelusuri jejak-jejak sejarah Wali Songo, maka waktu itu hanya pagi-pagi mengunjungi Keraton Kanoman, berziarah sekalian Shalat Jum’at di Makam Sunan Gunung Jati, sorenya berbelanja di Sentra Batik Trusmi lalu langsung naik bus dari Plered kembali ke Jakarta. Sama sekali tak sempat berwisata kuliner, padahal Cirebon punya empal gentong, nasi lengko dll yang khas daerah itu dan terkenal kelezatannya, makanya saya penasaran pengen balik lagi khusus untuk menikmati wisata kotanya.

Iseng-iseng cek tiket kereta, ternyata naik Tegal Express ke sana ongkosnya hanya Rp.45,000 per orang. Nemu hotel murah yang reviewnya bagus, Rp.209,000 per malam. Cus kita ke Cirebon yuk Cyiiiiin…

Berikut itinerary saya:

CIREBON HARI KE-1

7:35 – 12:00 = kereta dari Stasiun Senen ke Stasiun Cirebon Prujakan (ETA 11:23), naik becak lalu check in ke hotel

My Residence
Jl. Garuda No.20, Pekiringan, Kesambi, Kota Cirebon, Jawa Barat 45131
(0231) 8300769

https://goo.gl/maps/mnfzXaM4X1F2

11:30 – 12:30 = jalan kaki 650 m (8 menit) ke Nasi Jamblang Bu Nur, https://goo.gl/maps/x94jCD363ZL2

12:30 – 16:00 = Keraton Kasepuhan, Masjid Cipta Rasa, Keraton Kacirebonan, Makam Syekh Maulana Maghribi, Keraton Kanoman, beli petis udang dll di Toko Shinta = https://goo.gl/maps/L7MjZTAvwCJ2

16:00 – 17:00 = Empal Gentong Krucuk, https://goo.gl/maps/HBxYt8vdQe92

17:00 – 19:00 = Makam Sunan Gunung Jati, https://goo.gl/maps/FtUj6EGnzhP2

19:00 – 21:00 = Mie Koclok Mas Edi, https://goo.gl/maps/Wy9L9M1CCJm lalu kembali ke hotel

CIREBON HARI KE-2

7:00 – 8:00 = Bubur Sop Ayam, https://www.msn.com/id-id/kuliner/foodnews/bubur-sup-ayam-hangat-pilihan-sarapan-di-cirebon/ar-AArryh1

Bubur Sop Ayam
Jl. Karanggetas, Kejaksan, Kota Cirebon, Jawa Barat 45123
https://goo.gl/maps/vCLsYzrNkgK2

8:00 – 10:00 = Taman Wisata Gua Sunyaragi

Taman Wisata Gua Sunyaragi
Sunyaragi, Kesambi, Cirebon City, West Java 45132

https://goo.gl/maps/EMWANj2EGtx

10:00 – 11:00 = Tahu Gejrot + Es Oyen at Gado-Gado Ampera, https://travelingyuk.com/tahu-gejrot-cirebon/75173/

Gado – Gado Ampera
Jl. Ampera – Cirebon, Kesambi, Pekiringan, Kesambi, Kota Cirebon, Jawa Barat 45131

https://goo.gl/maps/XLiou9UZU7o

11:00 – 12:30 = kembali ke hotel, check out

12:30 – 13:30 = Nasi Lengko H Barno

Nasi Lengko H. Barno
Jl. Pagongan No.15B, Pekiringan, Kesambi, Kota Cirebon, Jawa Barat 45131
0812-2277-3991

https://goo.gl/maps/2xbZCDjFH292

13:30 – 14:00 = Pedati Gede Pekalangan, https://sportourism.id/heritage/pedati-ki-gede-pekalangan-kereta-terpanjang-di-dunia

Gg. Pedati Gede
Pekalangan, Pekalipan, Cirebon City, West Java 45118

https://goo.gl/maps/P26c75jxSJp

15:15 – 18:29 = kereta dari Stasiun Cirebon Prujakan ke Stasiun Jatinegara, kembali ke Jakarta

​Another Weekend Getaway to Bandung (1)

It’s another weekend getaway with colleagues to Bandung. In 2012, my colleagues and I had family gathering at Lembang but the company only paid for a day trip to Kampung Gajah then I extended it to 2D/1N for more fun at Tangkuban Parahu and De Ranch.

https://perjalananbunda.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/weekend-in-bandung/

With a generous help from my old friend who help VP position at KAI, Indonesian state rail company, I could book one whole car of 50 seats of executive class (as extra to regular 8 cars set) @Rp.125,000 or US$9.25 for 3 hours trip from Gambir Station at Central Jakarta towards Station Hall at Bandung then enjoyed pre-arranged activities that my team planned since few weeks ago.

The train arrived at Gambir on schedule but there was miscommunication then our extra car didnt get electrical power connection means no light/AC. I walked to see the train driver on duty, then he contacted mechanical/electrical engineers. It took almost half an hour to connect the power source, then our train departed 40 minutes late than scheduled 5:05 AM.

Indonesian trains managed by KAI had been improved greatly since Ignasius Jonan became CEO (2009-2014). Comfortable reclining seats and there were electric power outlets for each passenger to charge their electronic devices. Same like airplanes, there were cabin crews offered refreshment at reasonable price.

Our trip was nice and smooth passing beautiful mountainous views of Karawang-Purwakarta districts.

Damn. I really love this evergreen Indonesia where spring never ends.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

Berlibur ke Lampung

Lampung adalah provinsi di ujung paling selatan Pulau Sumatera, bolak balik sering saya lewati setiap kali mudik dari Jakarta/Depok ke Palembang/Baturaja, namun belum pernah saya berlibur di daerah ini.

Akhir pekan di ujung bulan September 2017, akhirnya liburan juga saya ke Lampung. Tujuannya tentu saja yang lagi ngehits: Pahawang dan Kiluan.

Selain pertama kali jalan-jalan ke Lampung, ini juga pertama kalinya saya mengajak Alif travelling dengan arranged tour setelah bertahun-tahun selalu jalan-jalan mandiri dari Palembang, Bali, Makassar, landtrip ziarah makam Walisongo, Hong Kong-China-Macau dll sampai keliling-keliling di Turki. Dulu dia masih kecil, kuatir merepotkan kalau ikut rombongan orang dewasa berhubung kekuatan fisik dan jadwal makan/istirahat/rutin hariannya mungkin sulit menyesuaikan.

Karena anak ini senang olahraga air, saya memilih paket snorkelling ke Pulau Pahawang dan Pulau Kiluan bersama Permata Wisata. Published price = Rp.599,000 per pax. Discounted price = Rp.545,000 per pax. Inclusion: Tiket bus dan ferry, sewa APV bolak balik dari Pelabuhan Bakauheni ke Ketapang, penginapan di Pulau Kiluan, 2x makan siang, sewa kapal untuk snorkelling dan dolphin watching (termasuk life jacket), retribusi lokasi-lokasi wisata, local guide.

https://mypermatawisata.com/opentrip/detail/OPK-0034SPJ/open-trip-pahawang-kiluan-episode-34-super-promo-start-jakarta

HARI PERTAMA (29/30 September 2017)

Dari Rawamangun pukul 20:00 WIB naik Go-Car, kami tiba pukul 21:10 di meeting point (gerbang keluar Terminal Kampung Rambutan). Setengah jam kemudian, bus bergerak.

Perjalanan menuju Pelabuhan Merak ditempuh dalam waktu sekitar tiga jam. Ongkosnya Rp.35,000 dengan bus AC itu.

Tiba di pelabuhan sebelum pukul 1 dinihari, kami berkumpul sebentar untuk briefing dan menunggu peserta yang lain. Tour leader kemudian membagikan tiket elektronik untuk naik kapal. Harga tiket dewasa = Rp.15,000 atau anak-anak = Rp.8,000. Sejak 19 Juni 2017, tiket bisa dibeli online melalui https://tiket.indonesiaferry.co.id (pembayaran di ATM BRI dengan biaya administrasi Rp.1,000).

Pelabuhan Merak cukup bagus, tersedia ATM dari bank-bank pemerintah (Mandiri, BRI, BNI) di dekat pintu masuk. Ada Dunkin Donuts yang melayani sarapan mulai pukul 6 pagi, Alfa Express yang buka 24 jam, dan tentu saja deretan pedagang asongan khas Indonesia yang menawarkan aneka hidangan/minuman dingin maupun panas dengan harga wajar. Ada banyak toilet umum gratis (berdesain modern walaupun bau juga sih) di dalam pelabuhan setelah gate in, saya jadi menyesal buang air di wc umum yang “gitu deh” di area parkir, bayar pula Rp.2,000.

Naik KM Farina Nusantara pukul 2:00 WIB, kami memilih upgrade ke ruangan AC (menambah biaya Rp.10,000 per orang) supaya perjalanan lebih nyaman sambil dihibur tayangan film Warkop DKI yang legendaris. Kapal baru mulai berlayar pukul 3:00 WIB dari Pelabuhan Merak, tiba di Pelabuhan Bakauheni 1.5 jam kemudian.

Badan sudah pegal semua, perjalanan dimulai lagi pukul 5:00 WIB naik APV menuju Pelabuhan Ketapang, 2.5 jam perjalanan dari Pelabuhan Bakauheni.

Sarapan sudah tersedia di Ketapang, kami bisa beristirahat sambil makan dan minum santai, lalu membersihkan diri dan berganti pakaian sampai pukul 9:00 WIB sebelum memulai kegiatan utama hari ini: Snorkelling.

Hujan sempat turun saat kapal kami beranjak meninggalkan Ketapang, untungnya segera berhenti sehingga destinasi snorkelling hari ini (ada tiga lokasi) bisa berlangsung sesuai itinerary.

10:00 – 11:00 = Snorkelling pertama di sekitar Pulau Kelagian Besar

11:30 – 12:00 = Snorkelling kedua di sekitar Pulau Pahawang Besar

12:30 – 13:00 = Bersantai di pantai di Pulau Pahawang Kecil

13:30 – 14:00 = Snorkelling ketiga di Taman Nemo

14:30 – 16:20 = Bilas, bersih-bersih dan makan siang di Tanjung Putus 

16:20 – 17:30 = Perjalanan menuju Teluk Kiluan 

17:30 – …. = Tiba di Teluk Kiluan dan check-in ke homestay, acara bebasAlif langsung terkapar begitu mendarat di kasur di homestay kami. Wajarlah, babak belur juga rasanya menempuh perjalanan dari Jakarta ke Ketapang selama 12 jam, lalu berolahraga air pula selama 5 jam, plus sakit semua badan karena jalanan yang kondisinya buruk (sebagian sedang dalam proses pengecoran oleh PU) menuju Teluk Kiluan.

Tour leader kami menawarkan menu makan malam BBQ ikan Rp.25,000 per kg tapi saya sudah terlalu capek…pengen cepetan tidur. Alif pun pastinya kenyang karena sehabis makan siang tadi dia tambah satu porsi Pop Mie.

PS. Tidak ada layanan internet melalui jaringan telekomunikasi seluler di Pahawang, cuma Telkomsel yang 4G-nya kencang di Kiluan.

HARI KEDUA (1 Oktober 2017)

Kami bangun pagi-pagi, langsung bersiap-siap di dermaga, tapi ombak yang tinggi dan angin yang kencang membuat kami harus menunggu hingga pukul 6:30 WIB sebelum melaut. Berbeda dengan kapal motor yang kami tumpangi di hari sebelumnya (berkapasitas 15-17 orang), Minggu pagi itu kami naik kapal jukung yang berukuran jauh lebih kecil (hanya mengangkut 4-5 orang).

Sayangnya, dua jam lamanya rombongan kami mengitari Teluk Kiluan, laut yang bergejolak sepertinya membuat kaum lumba-lumba memilih berdiam jauh di kedalaman laut ketimbang bermain-main di permukaan. Seekor pun tak ada yang tampak, tour leader kami berseloroh: “Ke Kiluan nggak ketemu lumba-lumba gini sama pedihnya dengan mendaki ke Dieng tapi gagal lihat sunset (karena mendung)…”

Pedih, memang. Jauh-jauh extra days menginap di Teluk Kiluan (6 jam perjalanan dari Pelabuhan Bakauheni), eh yang mau ditemui malah ngumpet, hiks…hiks…

Anyway, life goes on. Semoga kapan-kapan ada rezeki ke Kiluan lagi dan menikmati “Kiluan dolphins” beratraksi.

Pukul 9:00 WIB, kami menikmati sarapan di Pulau Kelapa. Over priced untuk menu yang biasa-biasa saja: Nasi goreng seporsi Rp.15,000 (pre-order melalui tour leader) atau mi instan plus telur Rp.12,000 per porsi. Segelas teh manis hangat bandrolnya Rp.5,000.

Hanya setengah jam di Pulau Kelapa, kami kembali ke dermaga Pulau Kiluan lalu memulai petualangan terakhir dalam trip ini: Trekking ke Laguna Gayau.

Katanya “hanya 700 meter”, tapi track yang cukup challenging membuat perjalanan mendaki perbukitan itu terasa lumayan berat buat emak-emak berkelebihan berat badan seperti saya. But really worth it. Lagunanya bagus dengan pemandangan indah ke Selat Sunda, ada bagian di antara batu-batu karang di mana kadang-kadang ombak masuk menghantam sehingga kelihatan seperti air mancur.

Alif senang sekali berenang-renang di laguna itu, sedihnya ada kecelakaan kecil: Telapak kaki kirinya luka tergores batu, jempol kaki kirinya menginjak bulu babi. Terpaksa saya harus langsung membawanya ke UGD untuk mendapatkan suntikan anti tetanus/infeksi begitu sampai di Jakarta.

Pukul 12:00 WIB, kami kembali ke homestay untuk mandi dan bersiap-siap check out. Backpack saya terasa lebih berat karena hampir seluruh isinya adalah pakaian basah.

Makan siang sudah tersaji, nikmat sekali menyantap nasi dengan sayur asem, sambal, tempe dan ikan goreng di teras belakang homestay yang menghadap langsung ke teluk. Alif sempat bersantai di hammock, sejuk di bawah rindangnya pohon walaupun matahari masih terik.

Perjalanan kembali ke Jakarta dimulai pukul 14:00 WIB. Mobil kami berhenti sejenak pukul 17:00 WIB di daerah sekitar Pelabuhan Panjang (yang lucunya juga menjual oleh-oleh “khas Cianjur” juga “khas Bandung”), saya membeli beberapa bungkus keripik pisang dan kopi bubuk khas Lampung.

Waktu menunjukkan pukul 19:30 WIB saat kami tiba di Pelabuhan Bakauheni. Kebetulan Septi dkk yang semobil dengan saya juga berdomisili di Rawamangun, Jakarta Timur. Jadilah kami sama-sama naik bus dari Pelabuhan Merak ke Pulogadung sebelum berpisah naik taksi ke rumah masing-masing.

The trip had just ended. Tapi saya langsung pengen balik lagi, masih penasaran euy sama lumba-lumbanya!

Jakarta Street Food Guide

Living in this capital of Indonesia is best for few reasons. One of it: Food sellers walk around my neighborhood with their pushcart or bicycle to offer and deliver meal or beverages directly to the front of my door starting from 5am until11pm. Here is my chronicle.

*5am = BUBUR AYAM

Indonesian main staple is rice. This dish of “bubur” is made by cooking rice with extra amount of water, garnished with fried soy beans and shredded fried chicken plus some other things on top of yellow curry broth. Not vegetarian friendly.

Price = Rp.7,000.

*7am = KETUPAT SAYUR

This dish is combination of small cuts of rice cake (ketupat made by cooking rice is coconut leaf wrappings), a piece of fried soy cake or tofu (tahu goreng) and vegetable curry made from shredded chayote (sayur labu siam). Non vegetarian can add hard boiled egg.

Those shrimp crackers (kerupuk udang) is not vegetarian friendly, you can skip it.

Add red chilli paste (sambal) to get more spicy and hot taste.

Price: Rp.8,000 (basic) or Rp.11,000 (with additional egg).

*9am = KEMBANG TAHU

Kembang Tahu in a bowl consists of soft tofu chunks with hot ginger syrup. Perfect for snacking. 100% vegetarian.

Price: Rp.6,000.

*9am = TAPAI SINGKONG

Tapai is Indonesian dish made by inoculating carbohydrate source with the required microorganisms starter culture (a kind of yeast) to generate fermentation. My mom often bought fermented casava (tapai made from singkong or cassava), soft with sweet and sour taste plus a bit alcoholic aroma sensation. Sometimes she mixed it with flour then deep-fried became “rondo royal” (tapai cake).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapai

Price: Rp.7,000 for 500 grams (enough for 2-3 persons as tea-time snack).

*11am = KETOPRAK

It’s also a dish of rice cake cuts and fried tofu chunks like Lontong Sayur, but this one got peanut sauce (with heavy garlic aroma) plus vermicelli (bihun) and boiled bean sprouts (tauge) for lunch. Vegetarian friendly without shrimp crackers.

Choose your spiciness level when order:
– Plain (gak pedas) = no chilli.
– A bit spicy (pedas dikit) = one chilli.
– Spicy (pedas) = two chillis.
– Very spicy (pedas banget) = three chillis or more.

Price: Rp.12,000

*1pm = BASO TAHU

This steaming hot dish is good for lunch. Noodles, vermicelli, meat balls (baso) and tofu with ground meat filling (baso tahu), doused with beef broth and garnished with celery leaves also tomato sauce and red chilli paste. There is no vegetarian option.

Price = Rp.12,000

*3pm = OTAK OTAK IKAN

Otak means brain in Bahasa Indonesia but otak otak means grilled fish cake (ikan = fish), served with peanut sauce dipping.

Price = @Rp.1,500 or Rp.20,000 for 15 pieces.

*5pm = SIOMAY

It’s a kind of Chinese dimsum. There are boiled/steamed potato, cabagge, egg, fish cake, also pare (Momordica charantia, known as bitter melon, bitter gourd, bitter squash, or balsam-pear) with peanut sauce, chilli sauce plus few drops of juice of squeezed key lime.

Price = Rp.10,000 for a dish consists of 10 small pieces.

*7pm = SATE AYAM

It is grilled chicken chunks on wooden skewer, garnished with peanut sauce, can add chilli paste for hot and spicy taste. Usually eaten with lontong (long rice cake wrapped in banana leaves) or plain steamed rice.

Price = Rp.15,000 for 10 sticks and @Rp.2,000 for lontong.

*9pm = NASI/MIE/KWETIAU GORENG

Nasi means rice, mie means noodles, kwetiau means wide thick Chinese noodles (Hanzi: 粿條). Goreng literary means fry but actually Nasi/Mie/Kwetiau Goreng is stir-fried rice/noodles/kwetiau with egg, spices, shredded fried chicken and meatballs, cabbage, lettuce, also chilli paste (when customer wants it hot spicy).

The serving is garnished with cucumber, pickled carrot and green chillis, plus shrimp crackers.

To get a vegetarian version, tell the seller:
– Gak pakai telor = no egg.
– Gak pakai ayam = no chicken.
– Gak pakai baso = no meatball.
– Gak pakai kerupuk = no shrimp cracker.
– Sayur aja = just vegetables.

To request spicy level:
– Gak pedas = not spicy.
– Pedas dikit = a bit spicy.
– Pedas = spicy.
– Pedas banget = very spicy.

Price = Rp.12,000.

*11pm = SEKOTENG


This cup of hot ginger ale is perfect to keep our body warm at midnight. A kind of snack not just beverage because there are mung beans, croutons, tapioca pearls then added with sweet condensed milk (high calories not good for people who wanted lose weight like me, hehehe…).

Price = Rp.7,000.

NOTE:

  • Exchange rate (end of April 2017): US$1 = Rp.13,300. Means Rp.121,000 or US$9.10 for all above meal in one whole day, eating/snacking every couple of hours.
  • Prices are 2x more expensive at food courts, 3x at restaurants.
  • I had above meal and snack not in one day but within three weekends.

Snowbay, Polar Sensation Under Tropical Sun

Snowbay is a waterpark located in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia Mini Park, http://www.tamanmini.com). Inaugurated in 2009, it provides polar sensation with themed decoration of snowy mountain with polar bear and penguins. But nothing cold under Jakarta’s tropical sun, visitors can enjoy the facilities all year long. Open daily, 9:00am – 6:00pm.

Google maps location: https://goo.gl/maps/ZeqiSNiL26r

Public transport: TransJakarta bus towards Pinang Ranti (route no. 9), get off at Garuda Taman Mini (stop no.9-2), then walk to Snowbay (1.6 km or 1 mile). Save energy by taking “angkot” (red minivan) no. S05 until entrance gate (Pintu 1) of Taman Mini then walk 10 minutes to Snowbay. To see this route, visit https://goo.gl/maps/UqfAJUBcJFs

Visitor must pay Rp.10,000 at entrance gate before entering Taman Mini. Its actually an interesting national park that hosts real size building of traditional houses of all 34 provinces in Indonesia also bird park, komodo park, flower garden, museums etc. On some weekends, there would be traditional at performances,  check http://www.tamanmini.com/pesona_indonesia/ for more details.

Snowbay entrance tickets = Rp.140,000 (weekdays) or Rp.180,000 (weekends and public holidays). Half price for “last minute” (visit after 4:00pm). Holders of some credit/debit/membership cards can get 30-45% price reduction as detailed on their official website http://snowbay.co.id

I bought my tickets from https://myfave.com then only paid @Rp.79,200.

Not much crowd when we arrived at 10:00am. Its wave pool was quite empty.

Lots of fun! I always love to float along Lazy River.

Alif wanted to make these underwater poses.

Notes:

  • Storage locker was Rp.30,000 per access. This fare for one time unlocking means visitor must repay some amount when open the locker then want to lock it again. That’s overpriced, better keep your valuable belonging in your vehicle (I went there on motorbike then kept my wallet and phone in storage space under the seat). 
  • Visitors are not allowed to bring any food/beverage, must buy from sellers in park area when hungry/thirsty. Because everything was overpriced (3x than normal price) then better leave your own food/beverage outside the park then get out whenever you want to eat/drink.
  • Gazebo rent was Rp.120,000 per 3 hours (weekend) or Rp.100,000 per day (weekday). Just leave your toilettries on available benches under umbrellas to save money.
  • The parking lot was securely supervised by park staffs. However, annoyingly they would ask for tip (which I refused to give because I paid Rp.6,000 at entrance gate already…I just didnt like to pay for illegal charge).

After fun four hours, Alif and I left Snowbay, went around Taman Mini for another hour before go home. See you again later, penguins!