Why You Should Go to Ora Beach, at Least Once

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Maldives-nya Indonesia. Konon itulah julukan yang disematkan pada pantai Ora yang terletak di Seram Utara, Maluku. Pantai Ora merupakan bagian dari The Ora Eco Resort. Berlokasi di Teluk Sawai dengan latar Pegunungan Manusela yang terkenal dengan keanekaragaman flora dan faunanya, Ora Eco Resort ini pun menggelitik rasa penasaran saya untuk mengunjunginya. Bagaimana tidak? Enam buah cottage kayu yang berdiri tepat di atas laut dengan pemandangan laut biru yang jernih dan koral berwarna-warni siap menyambut tamu yang bersedia merogoh kocek sebesar 700.000 rupiah per malamnya. Mahal memang, tapi pengalaman yang didapat pun sebanding dengan harganya. Untuk mengakali cost resort yang mahal, saya pun memilih untuk melakukan perjalanan secara mandiri alias tidak mengikuti tour yang disediakan oleh pihak resort ataupun agensi wisata.

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Kapal feri rute Tulehu-Amahai


Untuk mencapai Ora Resort, saya mengambil penerbangan Jakarta – Ambon dengan menggunakan maskapai Batik Air, harga promo pada bulan April 2014 yaitu sebesar 800.000 rupiah one way. Sesampainya di Ambon, bisa menggunakan bus DAMRI (Rp. 30.000,-) untuk menuju pusat kota, dengan rute terakhir berhenti di Gong Perdamaian. Untuk mencapai pulau Seram, saya menggunakan kapal feri Express Cantika kelas ekonomi dengan harga tiket Rp. 90.000,- one way. Kapal feri ini berangkat dari Pelabuhan Tulehu, kira-kira 30 menit berkendara dari pusat kota Ambon. Perhatikan jam keberangkatan kapal feri menuju Pelabuhan Amahai di pulau Seram, yaitu jam 9 pagi dan 4 sore, khusus hari Minggu hanya beroperasi jam 11 siang. Di dalam kapal feri kelas ekonomi banyak pedagang yang berjualan snack dan air minum. Tempat duduk pun cukup nyaman meskipun saya memilih untuk naik ke atas dek dan menikmati pemandangan pulau-pulau kecil di sekitar pulau Ambon yang kami lewati. Perjalanan selama 2 jam pun tak terasa, ditemani oleh angin sepoi-sepoi, laut biru yang cantik dan rombongan lumba-lumba yang berlompatan di belakang kapal feri, saya pun sampai di Pelabuhan Amahai yang terletak di pinggiran kota Masohi, Seram Selatan.
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Panorama Pegunungan Manusela di Pulau Seram


Mencapai pusat kota Masohi saya menggunakan angkot dengan tarif Rp.5000,-. Angkot berhenti tepat di depan Pasar Masohi. Di sinilah kita bisa mencari mobil-mobil carteran atau di sana diistilahkan “taxi” untuk menuju ke Desa Saleman, Seram Utara. Tarif untuk taxi ini bervariasi tergantung jumlah penumpang dan negosiasi, saat itu karena sedang low season, saya memperoleh harga 100.000 rupiah per orang, padahal taxi hanya diisi oleh dua orang saja. Ini salah satu keuntungan pergi di saat weekdays dan low season, meskipun saat itu saya harus menunggu berjam-jam untuk berangkat karena sang sopir masih menunggu calon penumpang. Perjalanan menuju Desa Saleman ditempuh selama 2,5 jam, menembus pegunungan dan hutan, dengan kondisi jalan yang agak offroad, berlumpur dan berkelok-kelok. Lelah memang, tapi panorama pegunungan Manusela yang hijau dan rimbun serasa membius dan membuat perjalanan tak membosankan, at least for me. Apalagi sesampainya di Desa Saleman, saya disambut oleh Teluk Sawai yang sangat indah, dengan airnya yang berwarna biru toska, sangat tenang hampir tak beriak, dengan latar hijaunya pegunungan Manusela yang berdiri megah, breathtaking and almost sureal…
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Ora Resort dengan latar hijaunya pegunungan Manusela

Dari Desa Saleman, untuk menyebrang ke Ora Resort saya harus menaiki speedboat dengan tarif Rp. 150.000,- selama kurang lebih 10 menit. Dari kejauhan sudah tampak cottage-cottage kayu yang menjadi andalan Ora Resort, dengan pantai pribadinya yang landai dan berpasir putih. Resort ini jauh dari kesan luxurious. Jembatan kayu dan rumah-rumah beratapkan rumbia yang sederhana menyambut kedatangan saya. Suasananya begitu alami dan natural, sesuai dengan tema Eco Resort yang diutamakan oleh Alvin, sang pengelola.

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No need of fancy or luxurious houses. These are better!

Tepat berada di atas laut, saya hanya bisa tercengang ketika menyadari halaman depan dan belakang cottage yang akan saya tiduri malam itu bukan tanah, bukan rumput, bukan semen, melainkan laut. Ya, kalau mengutip nyanyian Syahrini, “maju cantik laut, mundur cantik laut”! Dari teras cottage sudah tampak hamparan koral warna-warni dan berbagai jenis ikan dan bahkan penyu, berenang hilir mudik ke sana ke mari. Ya, penyu! It was like a dream. Snorkeling time!

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Inside the cottage. So romantic, isn't it?

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Our "backyard" :3

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Leyeh leyeh di sini? Boleh... 🙂

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Our "frontyard" :3

Kondisi koral di Ora sendiri masih lumayan bagus, meskipun di muka cottage banyak koral-koral yang sudah rusak, saya duga karena banyak tamu yang melompat langsung dari teras cottage dan berakhir mematahkan koral-koral, hiks. Jangan ditiru ya kawan… Visibility clear, kurang lebih sampai lima meter, koral didominasi oleh jenis hard coral, dan berbagai jenis ikan dan penyu. Overall snorkeling di Ora lumayan recommended, meskipun nothing special kecuali suasana eksklusif dari resort itu sendiri, karena jumlah pengunjung yang masih sedikit, terutama saat weekdays (saat itu hanya ada empat orang tamu, termasuk saya dan seorang teman saya) dan low season. Saran saya hindari saat weekend karena apabila resort ini ramai pengunjung maka akan terasa kurang nyaman. Idealnya sih kunjungi resort ini untuk honeymoon, hehe…

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Morning view~

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Bisa glundungan sepuasnya di private beach ini...

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Menikmati sunset dari dalam bathroom... :3

So, masih mikir dua kali untuk mengunjungi Ora Resort?
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Happy traveling, happy life~

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My New Workplace : Aru Islands

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Lorang village, Aru Islands, Moluccas, Indonesia

It’s been a long time I haven’t been updating my blog, and this is why : currently I’m working at Aru Islands, Kepulauan Aru, located at the southeastern part of Indonesia, part of the famous Moluccas. Aru Islands is not really popular among Indonesian. To be honest, I knew about Aru Islands only about several months before I started working here. I work as a medical doctor at Lorang Village, a remote village in the middle of Aru Islands where there is no electricity, no phone signal, and no clean water available. At the village live about 280 indigenous people, mostly fisherman, farmer and hunter.

Lorang is really a beautiful place to live. Surrounded by Mangrove Forests and deep blue sea, under clear blue sky and starry nights…with no electricity and noise pollution, it’s only me and the sound of nature. Birds chirping, bugs singing and frogs shouting all day long. The village is famous for its mangrove crabs with enormous size, invariable species of cuckatoos, and, the Bird of Paradise, or “Cendrawasih” in our language.

Everyday is a whole new experiences. I ate a different kind of fishes, crabs, oysters, deer, even boar. I experience new cultures, how Mollucan people live, how they talk, how they laugh, how they dance and party, how and what they think about life and love. And this is how I will continue to live for the next one and a half year. 🙂

Best Travel Moments in 2013 and Why I Want to Travel More

Medischfun travel quote

Approaching the end of 2013, it’s time to reflect and make resolution for new year ahead. Maybe sounds cliché…make resolutions for new year and maybe some people will forget theirs soon after the trumpet blown and fireworks blasted. But I am not that type of person. Every year I usually make big goals to be reached and usually I work hard to accomplish them. Last year it was Thailand which gave me the travelbug. Trip to Thailand opened my eyes and reminded me of my other passion (besides Medicine), is to travel.

Since I was a kid I want to travel the world (well, who doesn’t?). Me and my family travelled a lot, although only domestically, but they always encouraged me to see the world, gather experiences, and taste everything new. The most important thing they taught me is to pursue my passion, no matter what it is.

I grew up with the passion to see the world, then, I fell in love with Human Medicine. When I entered my Medicine study, I don’t want to forget my travel passion, so I sticked a World Map on my bedroom wall. My very bestfriend who know me very very well always sent me birthday card with text : “Hope your wishes to travel the world will come true”.

This year, I learned and experienced a lot, and here I write some of my best travel moments, because some memories are just too precious to be forgotten and worth to be written (typed?) down so it will last, hopefully, forever.

#Unforgettable View

It was a scenic view of rice fields, long and thick bamboo forest, surrounded by green hills, blue mountains and clear blue sky which took my heart away. A road to Batutumonga peak in Tana Toraja, the Land of the Dead located in South Sulawesi. The road is long and bumpy, but sitting on the motorbike for almost two hours with aching pain on your butt is nothing compared with the price…

Batutumonga Tanah Toraja South Sulawesi

#Unforgettable Experience

To sat inside a bamboo hut, ate pa’piong (traditional Torajan food, pork with spices cooked inside a bamboo), under the hut was living pigs walked around, waited to be slaughtered, meanwhile in front of me was living and anxious buffalos, stood there watching their friend’s bodies laid on the ground, cut and left only head and horns… Next to me was another huts, full with people in black clothing, the relatives of the man who died a year ago, mummified and kept in home until the family ready to held the Torajan Funeral Ceremony, and buried (or put inside the stone grave) after then.

Torajan Funeral Ceremony South Sulawesi

#Unforgettable Fun

Transformers The Ride, USS. Hell yeah it’s good to be kids again! To enjoy the ride, experienced those visual high-tech and felt as it were real, screamed, laughed, and tensed at the same time. Funny was, even on that moment, for a short second, I felt a serene and grateful feeling. A kind of feeling that I want to smile as wide as possible and say “oh thank you God for let me live and experience this fun”. Absurd maybe, but it happened to me. Or maybe it just the endorphine. 😀

Transformer the Ride USS

#Unforgettable Challenge

You haven’t go to Ubud if you haven’t visit Tegalalang. Okay so I took the challenge (actually challenge myself), to bike to Tegalalang. Tegalalang rice fields is maybe one of the  most scenic beauty of Ubud, but it was not the yellow rice fields, nor the smile of the local female farmers which made it unforgettable, but the feeling from a accomplished mission. It was the sweat under the heat, the tiring muscle, the grunting and the self-motivatalk during the journey that made it unforgettable. How I smiled (and relieved) when I finally reached Tegalalang, how I beat the challenge, and how I survived from 10 km biking through some steep hills. It was the survival that made it unforgettable.

biking ubud tegalalang

#Unforgettable Sunrise

Sanur Beach, Bali, the first time I finally made an effort to woke up early to saw the sunrise. I am not a morning person, and after several times I failed, now I know that only persistence can beat laziness. Why choose to snooze if you can experience a view like this?

Sunrise Sanur Beach Bali

#Unforgettable Near Death Experience Feeling

I didn’t realize that I have Fear of Heights before. I am not afraid when I have to ride a roller coaster. Well, I am afraid a bit when I stand in high building. I freaked a little when I use a very very high escalator (like those in some of Singapore malls). I freaked a lot when I have to walked through an old wooden bridge that cross a big river at Maribaya Waterfalls. But I became crazier when I walked through the OCBC Skyway at Garden By The Bay, Singapore. Hell, it is 22-metres high from the ground, with the 128-metres steel-net floor and big wind blew from side to side, I was lucky my heart didn’t stop beating! Will.Not.Do.This.Again.(But.Happy.To.Did.That.Though)

Garden By The Bay OCBC Skyway Singapore

#Unforgettable Overland Journey

I love overland journey! It’s hard to choose between 8-hours journey sat inside the night bus from Makassar to Tana Toraja, full moon outside, mountains, hills, and Gunung Nona view in the midnight, chatted randomly with my travelmate and also one of my bestfriend, no luxurious or fake smile service nor comfortable seat, but I felt so peaceful and comfortable with myself, or 9-hours comfortable night bus ride with massage chair from Johor Baru to Penang, when I awaken by a glimpse of light from the morning sunrise and the beautiful view from Penang Bridge was the first thing I saw. Hmm…I choose both.

Penang Bridge Malaysia

#Unforgettable Food

Despite a lot of arguments toward which is the best Babi Guling or Suckling Pig in Bali, I choose Babi Guling Ibu Oka as the best for my tongue and tummy. A bit pricey, yes, but it worth the size, taste, and experience. I still dream the taste of crispyness and the thick fat under the fried pork skin. Damn, why now I feel like Hannibal? Read the full review and story about Babi Guling Ibu Oka here.

babi guling ibu oka ubud bali

#Unforgettable Drink

Black and strong Toraja Coffee. A sip of this thick black coffee is one of my favourite way to start a day.

toraja coffee

So, why travel? Because I want to collect memories and experiences, not things.

“See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask for no guarantees, ask for no security” – Ray Bradbury

Sad Story from Pandawa Beach

Pandawa Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Pandawa Beach, Bali, Indonesia

No, this post is not the story about how beautiful Pandawa Beach is. Instead, this is a sad story…

Last month me and my sister visited Pandawa Beach, Bali. White sands stretched along the beach, clear blue sea water, atop us is clear blue sky and hot bright sun that burned my skin. It supposed to be a peace, calm, and nice usual day on the beach, accompanied with the soft sound from the waves crushed far from the shore. I sat on the warm sands, I can feel my toes tingled when it touched the cold crystal clear water below my feet. In front of us a little local boy, maybe around 8 or 9 years old, swam freely, with a google mask on his eyes and styrofoam tied with a plastic rope to his leg, kept him floated. He wore only a green short, looked too big for his thin body, but matched nicely with his brown coloured skin. We chatted a little with the little boy. He told us that he searched for little fishes. He laughed a lot. I like his smile. As I sat there, I watched him swam and did some “attractions”. He tried to surf using his styrofoam, but he fell and fell again, failed to maintain the balance of his body. That was funny though. I laughed several times, and he laughed back. That short moment felt nice and fun…

until I stood up, decided to leave the beach…Suddenly the boy waved his hand, tipped his fingers and made a gesture that means asking for money. I was surprised, but tried to ignore the gesture, smiled, and said goodbye instead. When I  turned my back, a loud-shouting-voice from this little boy reached my ears…

“Hey you crazy women, why you don’t give me money!”

I was stunned.

This little boy with that innocent face…why he said such a thing? Did he learned that from his parents? Friends? Did he learned that from the tourists? Why he expected some money from us? Did he usually received money from tourists? Why he has such a behaviour? Will this behaviour stayed until he become an adult? Is this one of a result from mass tourism?

It just sad…

Weekly Photo Challenge : Eerie

[DO NOT READ WHILE EATING]

So, Weekly Photo Challenge theme for this week is “eerie“. Eerie means “strange and frightening“. When this word appeared, suddenly I got a flashback from one moment in my life, when I felt exactly “strange and frightened”. That was four months ago, when I was travelled to Tana Toraja, or Toraja Land. Tana Toraja is a regency located at South Sulawesi Province in Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. It was a sudden and impulsive travel, with no plan and no expectation at all before I went there. The only things I knew was that Tana Toraja is called “The Land of the Dead”, there people celebrate funeral and hold a big funeral ceremony with feast and slaughter a lot of buffalos and pigs. But it was just an ordinary story for me, until I attended the funeral ceremony itself, for real…

So it was just an ordinary morning at the hotel, I had no exact plan for that day, first I thought to visit some “cave grave”, “baby grave”, or “stone grave”, taste some local food or maybe just walk around the town, which is not too big but pleasant enough. But, the owner of the hotel offered me to share a “guided tour” with two other tourists from Holland. The guide and this tourist couple looked nice, and the tour highlight is to attend the funeral ceremony, which held at Tanah Bori area, that is a beautiful region surrounded by hills and rice fields. So, even the cost was pretty high, I thought, “why not”? Maybe this is my only chance to attend the Torajan funeral ceremony! Well, who knows? And I never regret my decision…

Imagine a field surrounded by a lot of big traditional bamboo hut. Hundred of people sat, gathered, chatted and ate at this bamboo hut. Most all of them is relatives of the dead, which the body had been mummified and placed in a coffin on separated place, at the hut, high from the ground. The hut was beautifully decorated, with the photo of the dead placed in front of the coffin. People wore black clothes, some wore traditional Torajan clothes, which is bright orange mixed with red coloured clothes, the men wore yellow or brown headband, the girls with golden crown on their head, some older ladies wore traditional hat called “caping” and wore traditional Torajan woven clothes with them…

…but the field was not empty. The field was full with pigs and buffalos. I couldn’t count them because they were so many. Some were laying on the ground alive,each tied to a bamboo…

…and some were dead. Some laid on the ground, left only their body parts.

 

Some left only their head…

tana toraja funeral ceremony

 

Well, I warned you before : Do not read while eating.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge by Daily Post.

Weekly Photo Challenge : The Hue of You

Canang Sari Bali Indonesia

Canang Sari is a daily offering made by Balinese Hindus to thank God. It can be seen in Balinese temples, small shrines in houses, and ground. The colour is just amazingly beautiful. I love how the pink, red, yellow, orange, white, green, and brown mix together and form such a beautiful art. Each colour and each thing (flowers, rice, palm leaves, cake, incense) on it has meaning, arranged and set, for only one purpose, to show gratitude to the Creator.

There are many “colour” in my life, either it’s pink, red, green, white, or brown, each of it has purpose and colour my beautiful life, and show me how to always be grateful.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge by Daily Post : The Hue of You