Weekly Photo Challenge : Window

Georgetown, Penang

Old, but not forgotten

Old, but not forgotten

Weekly Photo Challenge by Dailypost.

 

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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

Weekly Photo Challenge : Grand

Big Sitting Buddha Wat Khao Rang Phuket

Last year I visited Phuket with my two bestfriend. That was one of my happiest moment in life. First time went abroad, after a year of hardwork with no holiday at all, not even a day. It was all about money back there. How to get more and more money. About pretty things and security…Until I got bitten by that travelbug. Well, blame Thailand for its enormous beauty and amazing people. I fell in love at the first place with this country, this Land of Smiles.

During my travel to Phuket Town, I visited Wat Khao Rang, located on the slope of Khao Rang or Rang Hill. Even it is not as popular as Wat Chalong, but Wat Khao Rang is really worth visited, because of the Big Golden Sitting Buddha, the first big golden Buddha statue built in Phuket. After hiked several (or maybe hundred) stair steps, and I hardly could catch my breath, I saw this Buddha golden statue on the top of the temple. The size is enormous and I was charmed with the whole view, the smiling Buddha and the nature scenery behind it, high trees and clear blue sky, white clouds, clean air with some light scents of burned incense… I could feel my effort was so worth it. That moment of happiness, excitement and also peace…when I saw this grand image of Buddha himself.

Weekly Photo Challenge : DailyPost

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

Weekly Photo Challenge : From Lines to Patterns

This Weekly Photo Challenge from Dailypost is about shape, lines, textures, and patterns. This is my entry for this week, from the magnificent Marina Bay Sands Singapore, stretch of grainy grey sands in Karimunjawa, to Traditional Torajan Woven from Indonesia :

Weekly Photo Challenge by Daily Post : From Lines to Patterns