45 Days in Manila


Have you ever imagined how Manila looks like and all the small little things in Manila? The places to visit, food to try, location, and even the cultures of its people?

Today, I will share some things about Manila & its people due to my 45 days of experiences in Manila last year. I’ll share about their language, culture, temperature, places to visit, souvenirs, and also food to try.


Philippines is an archipelago state that located in south-east asia. It was the most developed country in ASEAN after World War II. But then it has lagged since the economic growth is too low. The main reason why it can happen is because there are a lot of corruption in this country. Philippines is often regarded as the only country in Asia that has a strong influence of Western Culture. And Manila, is the capital of the Philippines which is located in the northest island of Philippines, named Luzon Island. Most of the people religion there are Chatolic (80%), followed by Moslem in Mindanao and the south part of Philippines (11%), and the rest are Buddhist, and Protestan.

There are 2 main languages that widely spoken in Manila. The first one is Tagalog Language. It’s being the first language of Filipino. But beside that, almost 85 percent of the Filipino in Manila can speak English well. Even the security and public transportation drivers can speak English fluently. It can happen because Philippines was colonized by Spain and also USA.

The temperature in Manila is almost the same with the temperature in Indonesia. It’s around 30 celcius degree. There are 2 seasons in this country; wet season and dry season.


1) Intramuros

Intramuros, is a walled city in colonial times. It’s located in the heart of Manila. I went to this place twice when I was in Manila, since this is a very beautiful place to visit and hunting pictures. You can find some beautiful places inside Intramuros. Some of them are Casa Manila, Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral Church, and San Agustin Church.

Casa Manila is a museum in Intramuros depicting colonial lifestyle during Spanish colonization of the Philippines. It’s being one of the most favourite places to visit in Intramuros, said the local people.

Fort santiago is one of the most important historical sites in Manila. It was built on the 16th century, during the Spanish Colonization. It’s only a few meters away from the Manila Cathedral.

Manila Cathedral Church is a roman catholic church inside Intramuros district, Manila. It becomes one of the most coveted wedding venues in Manila for couples who want a wedding venue to symbolize their love for each other. This 444 year-old historical site, which undergone preventive repairs in 2012, is decked with beautiful black marble flooring, charming brickwork, and an improved central nave and vaulted ceiling that captures Spanish architecture elements.

San Agustin Church is also a roman catholic church inside Intramuros district, Manila. In 1993, it was one of four Philippine churches constructed during the Spanish colonial period to be designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It was named a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1976.

In Intramuros area, you can rent a calesa (horse carriage in Manila) or a trycycle. But be careful with scam when you rent it. Some times the trycycle drivers can be annoying by asking us with a little force to rent their trycycles. Not only once, but several times. The price of both trycycle and calesa are extremely higher in Intramuros than in another area in Manila.

2) University of Santo Tomas (UST)

Based on the local people I was asking to, there are 4 best universities in Manila : University of the Philippines (UP Diliman), Ateneo de Manila University, University of Santo Tomas, and De La Salle University. I had visited all of them. But in my personal opinion, the best university building to visit for hanging out and taking pictures in Manila goes to University of Santo Tomas (UST).

UST is one of the four best universities in the Philippines. It’s a private, Roman Catholic research university located in España Blvd, Sampaloc, Manila, the Philippines. When you come there, you will feel really comfortable with the situation. The green park, the breezy wind, the clock’s ring, and also the beautiful European architecture building.

3) Art in Island, Interactive 3D Museum, Cubao, Quezon City

This art museum (not really a museum) is the largest 3D art museum in Asia. It’s owned by 18 Korean master painters and was opened in December 2014. The museum had over 200 masterpieces, including reproduction of works of masters, animals, Egyptian ruins and others. These arts give the illusion of depth when viewed from a certain angle, and is designed to serve as a backdrop for photo opportunities. There are many differenr themes (zones), such as underwater zone, animal zone, christmas zone, religious zone, fantasy zone, central hall, and so on. The entrance fee for adult is P500 (IDR 150.000 or around 11.5 USD). But you will get 20% discount if you bring your student ID card or if you are a senior adult.

4) China Town, Binondo, Manila

Binondo is a district in Manila and referred the world’s oldest Chinatown.

5) Makati City

This city is famous of its nightlife and bars. I never go here for enjoying the nightlife, but the local people said that it’s a good place for enjoying the night. If you like to go clubbing or drinking, this city provides a lot of nice bars!

6) Manila Bay

Actually it’s located inside the same area with SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. You can go to Manila Bay by entering this mall. It’s not too far from the airport. People use this place for seeing the sunset at evening, or enjoying the view of MOA eye.

7) Carriedo LRT Station

From this LRT Station, you can see beautiful buildings. There is a pretty Bank of the Philippine Island Building.

8) Churches in the Philippines

Since the majority religion of Filipino are Catholic, there are a lot of beautiful churches in the Philippines. I cannot mention it one by one since it’s quite a lot. Just stop and look inside when you find beautiful churches along your way.



What are you looking for?

T-Shirts and Souvenirs

If you want to buy t-shirts and good quality souvenirs, I suggest you to visit a store called Kultura. The price is quiet affordable and the t-shirts are very nice.


Ombre T-Shirt from Kultura

Dried Mangoes

If you want to buy dried mangoes, you can find it everywhere (inside a mall, or even supermarket). But I recommend you to buy the “Profood Cebu Philippines Dried Mangoes”. The price is slightly higher, but I can say that this brand provides the best taste! Both the green package and also blue package are taste good.



THIS IS A MUST TO TRY! Since I can’t find this product outside the Philippines. Go to Goldilocks Bakeshop, and try this item! From 1 to 10, I can say that the taste is 9.9/10.

Another Options?

I suggest you to buy the POPCORN! I have 2 good brands to try : Chef Tony’s Popcorn and Goldilocks Popcorn.

Chef Tony’s popcorn is a little bit expensive, but it provides a lot of variances. The packaging is nice, because it uses a plastic round container. The taste is also nice. You can find it also in another countries (I heard that Singapore also sell this popcorn).

Another cheaper and nice option is Goldilocks Popcorn. The popcorn is different from Chef Tony’s because this place only sell the caramel popcorn. But it’s also nice!!



Mango Dessert / Pancake / Ice Cream

Mango is being the most favorite fruit in the Philippines. You should go to a restaurant named Iceberg’s and try the Mango Ice Cream. The portion is quite big and I think you can share it with someone. There are the fresh mangoes and also mango ice cream in one glass.


If you have a strong mental, go try this food. There are fried balut and also the boiled one. I just dare to tried the fried one, since the boiled has a disgusting shape. And you know what, I dared to try 4 days before I was leaving Manila. In the first 41 days of my 45 days journey in the Philippines, I still feel afraid to try HAHA.

The taste is nice actually and it contained a lot of protein. Getting curious with the shape? Please google it :))

Street Ice Cream

Just try random street ice cream from random ice cream sellers. The price is very cheap and the taste is unique.


Carmen’s Best Ice Cream

It’s located in Echostore Centris Walk. The price per small container is P120 (last year, 2016). Go try the salted caramel & cookie dough flavours!!



Bibingka is baked rice-cakes in banana leaves topped with a variety of cheese & salted duck egg. You can buy in Bibingkinitan stores. YOU CAN ONLY FIND IT IN THE PHILIPPINES. Try try!



Halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert with mixtures of shaved ice and evaporated milk, boiled sweet beans, coconut, sago, jelly, and fruits. It usually served in a tall glass or even bowl. Similar to “Es Campur” in Indonesia, but has different toppings.

I think that’s all from me about Manila. Hope the information would be useful for everyone who need it. Try mango, mango, and mango! Since the mango in Philippines is very nice.

Anddd I challenge you to go around, ride a jeepney, and enjoy your experiences in the Philippines! ❤


Thailand Long-Weekend Backpacking Trip Story


H i   r e a d e r s  !  I have another backpacking story to tell about. This is not only about the marvelous places I went to two weeks ago, but also the very long ups and downs stories behind it. Thailand! This is one of my tons bucket list before I came to Malaysia and this is my fifth country from the 10 countries of ASEAN. It took more than 15 hours to go to Krabi, Thailand from Malaysia by bus. Krabi is being one of the most popular tourism places in Thailand. The rests are Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Rai, and Phuket. Oh ya! Phuket is only around one and a half hour by car from Krabi. And you can cross the sea to visit Phi-Phi Islands also from Krabi.

My post for today has 3 main things to share for my blog readers :

  1. My Itinerary & Total Expenses for the Thailand’s Backpacking Trip
  2. Escaping from Tourist Scammers in Hat Yai
  3. Crossing Thailand-Malaysia’s Country Border Using a Motorcycle. WOW! Like an action movie isn’t it?

Let the story begin! Our bus from KL to Hatyai was delayed for more than 2 hours. The most annoying thing is that the bus terminal staff didn’t tell us that the bus is already coming and we need to move to another gate. They just told me when I was asking for more than 5 times. Annoying me, right? Yes I know that I’m quite annoying since I was keep repeating the same questions for several times HAHAHA. But if I wasn’t keep asking to her, we might left by the bus. Be careful and keep asking if it’s already exceeding your departure time!

We need around 9 hours from Kuala Lumpur to reach the country border of Malaysia and Thailand. After we came to the country border, we need to go down from the bus. The immigration processes should be done in 3 steps, first step is filling the white card immigration arrival form (don’t loose it, because u will need this when u go back to your country), second step is the immigration process in Malaysia border, and the third is the immigration process in Thailand border. Because it was a long-weekend, so the queue was quite long. We spent a total of 2 hours to finish the immigration processes.

Tips : Be careful about the lines, there are 2 types of line : for Malaysian and for International. But the thing is that they didn’t put a guide board in every lines. So if you’re standing at the wrong line, you need to take line and start to queuing again from the beginning. Ask people first does your line is already correct or not.

From Malaysia-Thailand country border, we need 1 more hour to arrive at Hatyai. The bus dropped us in front of Alisan Golden Coach Bus Agent. This is where the scam story begin!

The hardest part of traveling to Thailand by bus is that we cannot book the tickets online before our departure. We can only buy the tickets after we are arrived in Thailand (both the Hatyai-KL ticket and the round-trip tickets for going to Krabi).

After we arrived in Hat Yai, the scammers are approaching us in an impolite way. They always keep talking to us and taking our luggages without our permission to their tuk-tuk. It’s a very unappropriate manner, right?

Actually we wanted to go to the bus station to buy the Krabi’s ticket. They said that they would bring us to the bus terminal. But you know what! They dropped us in a very near place that was a “scam travel agent”. We got very angry to them because they didn’t drop us into the bus station. But they said that it was also a bus station, and the main bus station didn’t sell the mini-van / bus tickets to Krabi. WHAAAT. I already know and did some research about it and of course, I didn’t believe in them.

We didn’t know where is the place that they dropped us. My friends were already inside that scam travel agent and the agent gave us a very expensive rate. At that point I didn’t want to pay lah, my friends also did. My friends were doing debate with the travel agent, but I decided to go outside alone to find a honest person to talk to. I went to a pharmacy store near that travel agent, and asked where’s the real bus station. But unfortunately she didn’t understand what I said because she cannot speak English at all. Then I didn’t give up. I tried to find another person, and yeah I found. I talked to a woman that were selling foods and also sim card. I asked the same question to her, and she said that the real bus station is 3 kilometres from that place! So after that I know that the scam tuk-tuk driver was lying.

After that I went to my friends again and told them to go to the real bus station. We tried to use a grab-car but it didn’t work. My friend asked the scamming tuk-tuk driver that brought us to that place if he wanted to dropped us in the bus station. But he didn’t want omg (I know that in his mind, he wants to get the high commission from the travel agent if we buy the tickets there). We left that place and find another tuk-tuk driver that want to dropped us to the bus station.

In our way leaving that place, we met 3 Malaysian traveller that told us “You’re so lucky that didn’t take that travel agent. We got scammed and paid a lot amount of money to them”. Then I asked how much they paid. They paid 5.000 THB for 3 persons. OMG, SO EXPENSIVE! Although my total spending for my Thailand backpacking trip didn’t reach that amount. The real price of the mini-van ticket from Hatyai to Krabi should only around 250 THB per person. They scamming travel agent was so rude. Thank God we didn’t take that agent.

Then every things were going well until we arrived in Krabi safely. At that night, we visited Krabi Night Market. The Night Market is selling a lot kind of foods in cheap prices (but most of them are non-halal food). I bought a pure Mango Juice and also a stick of pork. The taste was soooo good. We were there until around 10 pm. But suddenly, I got shock enough that someone was died at that time in the market. I don’t know who is he/she, but what I respect from Thailand people is that when someone is died, all of the people there were stopped from their activities and sing a song to respect that person. It’s quite scary and devoted at the same time. And I felt guilty enough because at that time I didn’t realize it and didn’t stop my step. I still getting busy taking pictures of my look-so-delicious Mango Juice, but then I stopped.

On the next day, we went to the beach and temple. We visited Railay Beach (must using a long-tail boat to get there) and also Wat Kaew Korawaram (the white temple). The beach was very niceee. Railay Beach consists of 2 main beaches which are Railay West and Railay East. But you can go to both of the beaches by walking.

I could say that it’s as good as Lombok Island’s Beaches in Indonesia. But every beaches has its own characteristics. Lombok is greater at the colour-gradation of the water, and Krabi’s Beach has a unique clean green colour (maybe because they have different kinds of algae).

Wat Kaew Korawaram is a pretty Buddhist temple that is located not far from Krabi Town. It looks like the temples in Chiang Rai, north Thailand.



Here’s my itinerary for my Krabi’s Backpacking Trip to Thailand :

FRIDAY (Day 1)

  • 23.30 : Depart from Kuala Lumpur Bus Terminal


  • 09.00 : Arrived at Malaysia – Thailand’s Country Border
  • 09.00 – 11.00 : Immigration Processes
  • 11.00 – 12.00 : Arrived at Hatyai, Thailand
  • 13.05 – 18.00 : On the way from Hatyai to Krabi
  • 18.00 – 19.30 : Arrived at Krabi’s Hotel, check-in, take a bath
  • 19.30 – 22.00 : Going to Krabi’s Night Market

SUNDAY (Day 3)

  • 09.00 – 10.00 : On the way from Hotel to Ao-Nammao Pier
  • 10.00 – 11.00 : Cross the sea using Long-Tail Boat
  • 11.00 – 14.00 : Sightseeing at Railay Beach
  • 14.00 – 15.00 : Going back to the port
  • 15.00 – 15.30 : On the way from the port to Wat Kaew Korawaram
  • 15.30 – 16.30 : Sightseeing at Wat Kaew Korawaram
  • 16.30 – 17.00 : Going back to the hotel, taking out things, and go to Krabi Bus Terminal
  • 17.00 – 22.00 : On the way from Krabi to Hatyai
  • 22.00 : Hotel check in

MONDAY (Day 4)

  • 08.30 – 10.00 : Breakfast, going to the Minimarket to buy Thailand’s snacks
  • 10.00 – 11.00 : Check out hotel & on the way to the Bus Agent
  • 11.00 – 12.30 : On the way from Hatyai to the country border
  • 12.30 – 13.30 : Immigration processes
  • 13.30 – 24.00 : On the way to Kuala Lumpur


  • 01.00 : Arrived at our apartment in Selangor, Malaysia


If you guys read my itinerary carefully, do you guys wondering on why the departure immigration processes took longer time than the return one? I will tell you the answer!

The departure immigration processes, we did it in a normal way. Yeaaa just queuing like the other normal people. But at the return journey, the bus driver suddenly told us that he couldn’t wait us for that long (maybe it could reach 3 hours since the queue was longer). So he asked us to bring our luggage down from the bus and take a motorcycle. He said that he would wait for us at Malaysia border. He also said that we must give RM 5 for the motorcycle rent and RM 10 for the visa counter. At first we didn’t understand what he said, but we just following what he said since every passengers of the bus did that. We took a motorcycle to escaping that long queue, and I felt that I was being an actress of an action movie! HAHAHA

But things aren’t always go well. My motorcycle driver thought that I’m a Malaysian, so he dropped me into a Malaysian visa counter line. It was 1 minute drive from the International visa counter line (it located at different place). But then I realized that the other people’s passport are red (Malaysia) and mine is green (Indonesia). So I knew that something it was something wrong. I got so stressed there since my luggage was with the motorcycle driver and he already left me. The stressing thing happened because I didn’t remember the face of my motorcycle driver and there was being a lot of motorcycle driver there. (YES, I KNOW THAT I’M NOT GOOD AT REMEMBERING PEOPLE FACES AND NAMES :’)). I’m afraid if the bus driver was left me…

All of my friends with their motorcycle drivers were already leaving me and I lost my luggage omg. I kept trying to ask people whether they saw a motorcycle driver with a luggage in front of the motorcycle but all of them didn’t know. I was praying and asking help from God to help me because I didn’t know what to do or at least I also didn’t know where the Indonesian/International line was. LUCKILY the motorcycle driver remembered me and asked me to move to another counter (for International) and I met my friend there. Thank God :’)

We were taking the priority line since we put RM 10 inside our passport and the staff of the immigration was guided us to that line. Such an illegal way! But I enjoyed it HAHA.


So, after you guys enjoy listening on my very looong story, I would like to share also about my expenses when I was doing my Backpacking Trip to Thailand :

  • Bus Ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Hatyai RM 55 = 440 THB
  • Grab Car to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS Station) (RM 32 / 4 person) = RM 8 = 64 THB
  • Tuk-tuk in Hatyai 25 THB
  • Tuk-tuk in Hatyai to Bus Terminal 25 THB
  • Mini Van Ticket from Hatyai to Krabi 250 THB
  • Simcard (200 THB / 2 person) = 100 THB
  • Forum House Hotel 1 night @Krabi (1.000 THB / 4 person) = 250 THB
  • Krabi Mini Van & Long-Tail Boat Rent 300 THB
  • Mini Van Rent from Hotel to Night Market round trip 60 THB
  • Mini Van Rent from Krabi Hotel to Bus Terminal round trip 87.5 THB
  • Mini Van Ticket from Krabi to Hatyai + fees for going to the hotel directly 250 THB
  • Kritsada Nakhon Mansion Hotel in Krabi (990THB / 4 person) = 247.5 THB
  • Tuk-tuk from Hotel in Hatyai to Bus Terminal (Alisan Golden Coach) (160THB / 4 person) = 40 THB
  • Bus Ticket from Hatyai to Kuala Lumpur 750 THB
  • Motorcycle Rent in Thailand-Malaysia Country Border 50 THB
  • Visa Fees for the staff (salam tempel for priority line) 75 THB
  • Grab Car from  BTS Terminal in KL to my apartment (RM 32 / 4) = RM 8 = 64 THB

GRAND TOTAL = 3.078 THB = RM 384, 93 = USD 83.73 = Rp 1.182.600

Including: Bus Ticket, Transportation in Malaysia and Thailand, Sim Card, Boat Rent, and Accomodation; Excluding: Food, Souvenirs (since every people money spending on food and souvenirs may be different to each other).


I think that’s all about my backpacking trip story to Thailand. If you have the same experiences with me or wondering about something, you can share it with me in the comment box.

Thankyou for visiting my blog & see you in another posts! ❤

Visiting More Than 12 Tourism Places in 2D1N Penang Backpacker Trip


Have you ever imagine visiting more than 12 tourism places in 2 days only with a little amount of money? Maybe some of you are not sure that it could be happen. Compare it with taking a tour since it will be much more expensive.

Me personally, much prefer to do backpacking rather than joining a tour programme. Why? Because when I’m doing backpacking, I feel free to do anything I wanted to do, to visit some places that I wanted to visit, to take some a lot of pictures where I wanted to take or even stop for a while to get some foods; without making a big group of people waiting for me. I like it when I taste losing from a right way, straying in some places that I have never imagined before, or taking the wrong buses again and again. One word for backpacking experiences : CHALLENGING.

Then, back to the topic. What do you guys know about Malaysia? Or have you ever visited Malaysia? I guess almost all of the tourists who visit Malaysia are going to Kuala Lumpur, as the most popular city because it has been a capital city of Malaysia. But do you know that Malaysia is not all about KL? There are some other good cities to visit, for example Malacca, Penang, Johor, Kota Kinabalu.

Today I’ll write some things about Penang Island and everything related to it, some backpacking tips in Penang, and also its must-to-visit tourism places.

Where is Penang? Penang is a part of Malaysia that is located on the northwest coast of Malaysia. It just 3 hours away by car from the state border of Malaysia and Thailand. George Town, the city in the north part of Penang Island, is being the capital city of Penang. It took one hour drive from Penang International Airport (PIA). This marvelous city offers a lot of tourism attractions start from temples, street art, food stalls, beaches, old artsy buildings, churches, mosque, etc.

The citizens of Penang Island are really diverse. We can easily find a lot of races there such as Melayu, Chinese and Indian. We can also find a lot of good-tasted foods from Chinese Food to Indian Food. The cost of food in Penang is also cheaper than in KL. Oh ya! I found the best “Teh Tarik” I’ve ever tried in my life. It costs only RM 1.80 ( even cheaper than the bus ticket hahaha) and the taste is different with another Teh Tarik both in Malaysia or outside Malaysia. I bought that 2 times because it was very addicting. I bought that in Ros Mutiara Restaurant, a 24 hours restaurant that located beside the hostel where I stay in.

Are you guys wondering how much money I spent for this satisfying backpacker trip?

Just continue reading my post! :3

I went to Penang for 2 days and 1 night. Actually you can go to Penang from KL by 3 options : using flight, bus, or train. I was using flight to go there. Why? Because I got a really cheap flight. The flight price for that day was the same with the train ticket. So yaa of course I prefer to use plane laah. It only took 1 hour flight, compare it with 4-5 hours by ETS train, or compare it with 5-6 hours by bus. And if you go there using the land transportations, you still need to cross the sea to reach Penang Island by using a ferry.

The key when you wanna go travelling is : DO A LOT OF RESEARCH ABOUT ALL OF THE POSSIBLE OPTIONS. Can you imagine that I got a flight ticket from KL to Penang for only 55RM (IDR 165.000) to reach the same distance as Semarang to Jakarta (usually the flight ticket is around IDR 350.000 – IDR 500.000). Only half price 😀 hahaha

That was the cheapest date for the flight. Another date are much more expensive than the date when I was going to Penang. So without being doubtful, I booked the flight ticket on that day.


Here’s my itinerary for Penang 2D / 1N trip. I also put the price I spent, so we can count how much is it after this :


07.30 – 07.40 : Bus from Taylor’s University to SS 15 LRT Station RM 1.5

07.40 – 08.25 : LRT from SS15 to KL Sentral RM 4.2

08.30 – 09.05 : KL Sentral to KLIA (using KLIA Express Train) RM 55

10.35 – 11.40 : Flight Ticket (from KL to Penang) RM 55

11.40 – 12.40 : Rapid Bus from Penang International Airport to George Town (asks the driver to drop you at Little India) RM 2.7

14.00 – 14.30 : Hotel Check-in : Ros Heritage Motel RM 50 (I shared it with a friend of mine, so it was RM 25 each person)

14.30 – 17.00 : Sightseeing Touring in George Town RM 0

17.30 – 18.30 :Rapid Bus from Little India to Batu Ferringghi Beach RM 2.7

18.30 – 19.10 : Staying in Batu Ferringghi Beach RM 0

19.10 – 20.20 : Rapid Bus from Batu Ferringghi to Ros Heritage Motel RM 2.7

20.20 – ….       : Take a rest at the hostel


07.30 – 08.30 : Hunting pictures in Penang Street Art & eating

08.30 – 09.00 : Hotel check-out & waiting for the bus

09.00 – 09.15 : Rapid Bus from Little India to Komtar Bus Terminal RM 1.4

09.15 – 10.15 : Rapid Bus from Komtar Bus Terminal to Penang International Airport RM 2.7

12.05 – 13.10 : Flight Ticket (from Penang to KL) RM 55

14.40 – 16.00 : Bus from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA 2) to KL Sentral RM 12

16.00 – 16.10 : Waiting for the train

16.10 – 16.30 : KTM from KL Sentral to Setia Jaya Station (Subang Jaya) RM 2.6

16.30 – 16.50 : Waiting for the bus

16.50 – 17.00 : Bus from Setia Jaya Station to Taylor’s University 1.5 RM

Using now currency convertion : RM 1 = IDR 3.080 and 1 USD = IDR 13.300;

TOTAL EXPENSES : 221.3 RM = 51 USD = IDR 681.604

(Already Including : flight ticket, hotel, and transportation both in KL and Penang. Excluding : food & souvenirs, since every person will spend different amount for these things).

For the 12++ tourism places that I was visited,

just call it, Must-to-visit places in Penang :

  1. Sri Nahamariamman Temple
  2. Penang City Hall
  3. Esplanade
  4. State Assembly Building
  5. Cathedral of the Assumption
  6. Kapitan Keling Mosque
  7. Campbell Street
  8. Penang State Museum
  9. St. George Church
  10. Goddess of Mercy Temple
  11. Littile India
  12. Batu Ferringhi

Actually I also went to some other places that I already forgot the name :’) Hahaha. One of them is the Street Art in Penang, where I took some artsy pictures including the 3D bicycle mural that I posted in my instagram last month.

Oh ya another good place to visit! If you guys still have time, you should visit Gurney also. It’s not far from Georgetown. Only around 20-30 minutes to go there by bus. I saw that place from the bus, but I didn’t stop because it was raining. Penang people said that Gurney is also a nice place to visit. You can buy a lot of street food there at night.


Some tips for backpackers in Penang :

1. Don’t use grab car. It’s much cheaper to use Rapid Penang Bus here. It’s really easy to use buses here since they are often pases. But make sure you’re taking the right bus by remembering / ask people about the bus number to go to a place.

2. Use Rapid Penang bus number AT or number 401 to go from Airport to George Town (round trip) and use Rapid Penang number 101 to go along the north coast line (Little India – Gurney – Batu Ferringhi).

3. Don’t be shy to ask to everyone. Since everyone in Penang are nice and really helpful in giving directions.

4. Go visit Gurney also. I get through Gurney, but didn’t stop because it was raining. The local people said that it is also as good as Batu Feringghi Beach.

5. Don’t use KL Express Train if you want to save money

Actually I can save more money if I didn’t use the KL Express Train. But unfortunately, I was in rush and need to go to the airport as soon as possible to catch my flight. If you want to reduce your expense, don’t ever use KL Express Train from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Although the train is comfortable, the ticket price is quite expensive for backpackers, 55 RM for one way.


6. Visit Little Indian area in George Town. It provides good food with cheap cost. Most of the tourism spots in George Town are in this area. And you can just walking from one place to another place since it’s really near. Tips for short trip Penang backpackers : Take the free map in the airport because it will help you a lot in deciding the places to visit and looking for the venues. It will help you to go faster from I place to another places. If you’re strong enough to walk, you can visit much more places than me. Just use your time wisely, for taking pictures or going inside the venues.

7. Visit Batu Ferringghi. Although it is a little bit far from George Town (about 1 hour using bus), the beach is really clean and nice. Especially for watching sunrise / sunset. This beach is also providing water-sport games. To go here, you can use Rapid Penang Bus again (number 101) for only RM 2.70 each trip. It’s really cheap and you’ll regret if you do not come here.

Actually I also have some videos, I would do it later if I have time and upload it in my Youtube channel.  Please subscribe my youtube account also : Fransiska Sonia Rickiyanto 😀

I’m Fransiska Sonia Rickiyanto, checking out from my Penang Backpacker Trip. How about yours?

Share your experiences for me also! ❤

Backpacker Story : Mt.Batulao and Tagaytay City with less than 10 USD


Mount Batulao is located in Nasugbu, near Tagaytay City. While Tagaytay City is located in Cavite Province, the Philippines. It’s only 2-3 hours drive from Manila. Mount Batulao has been a famous hiking and camping destination for most hikers, especially for beginners. There are two major trails at this mountain, the New Trail and the Old Trail. I was using the old trail (it’s more difficult than the new trail). These trails can be combined for a traverse climb.

I went there with 3 people; two people from Germany and one from Indonesia too. Because only us in our dorm that didn’t go to work on Tuesday. So we decided to leave Manila for a day-trip to Mt. Batulao. We were being backpackers, so we used the combination of public transportation and only spent a little amount of money. Me personally, only spent less than 500 Philippine Pesos (less than 10 USD). It was already for covering food, entrance fee, transportation costs, etc.

Do you want to know how it was? Keep scrolling in this page! Because I’ll try to unpack my budget list for Mt. Batulao backpacking today :

  • Bus from Roosevelt to Cubao : 15 PHP
  • Bus from Cubao to Pasay City : 24 PHP
  • Lunch in the Bus Terminal : 55 PHP
  • Bus from Pasay City Terminal to Tagaytay : 120 PHP
  • Jeepney from Tagaytay to Mt.Batulao : 10 PHP
  • Entrance Fee in Mt.Batulao : 20 PHP
  • Toilet fee : 10 PHP
  • Tricycle : 130 pesos for 4 persons (35 PHP each person)
  • Jeepney back from Mt.Batulao to Tagaytay City 10 PHP
  • Bus from Tagaytay City to Baclaran LRT Station 130 PHP
  • LRT from Baclaran to Roosevelt LRT Station (near our house) 30 PHP

Take your calculator now!!

TOTAL EXPENSES : 459 PHP only!! (= 9.23 USD)

or if I convert it to my country currency, it’s around IDR 123.000 only.

Actually it was the cost from Quezon City to Mt. Batulao, since we lived near SM City North EDSA, Quezon City. But if you go there from Manila City, it will be a little bit cheaper because of the transportation costs from Quezon City to Manila and vice versa. Oh ya! The trip is already including a side-trip also to see Taal Volcano Lake, Tagaytay. You can just stop for a while and taking some pictures from the street.

Because we were backpackers, we brought only one backpack each person. Don’t bring too much things for mount-climbing, because it will make you climb harder and feel more tired. I suggest you to use a pair of sneakers for backpacking, since too much walking can make your feet feel hurt if you use uncomfortable shoes.

Things to bring in your backpack :

  • Mineral water (at least 2 litres)
  • Trail foods (biscuits / bread)
  • Small money
  • Umbrella
  • Knitted hat
  • Jacket
  • Extra T-shirt & toiletries
  • Sunblock
  • Hansaplast
  • Garbage plastic

I think that’s all from my backpacking and first time mount-climbing experience. Thankyou for reading!

SEAdventure in Lombok


If I ask you, what do you think about Lombok? Will you answer it’s a kind of vegetable? Hahaha forget it. In Javanese Language, Lombok is known as “Cabai” or “Cabe”. But this is not what I mean right now.

Lombok is one of thousand beautiful islands in Indonesia. It’s a small island located in West Nusa Tenggara province, near Bali Island. Lombok is being popular because of it’s beaches. Well.. for a sea-lovers like me, it must be in my “must-visit places list”.

Last year, in May 2016, my family and I were visiting Lombok for 4D/3N. We could visited the west part of Lombok, the east part, and also the south part. It costs around IDR 6.000.000 per person because we booked it when the time is very tight and also in the high season. Yea I know it’s a quite expensive trip. Actually the touring cost was not too expensive, it costs only around IDR 2.000.000 per person (already including accommodation, driver, tour guide, hotel, boat rent, and food). My dad actually add IDR 1.000.000 more per person to stay in the best hotel in Gili Trawangan, named Vila Ombak Resort. But the only thing that makes our trip expensive was the flight tickets. It was IDR 3.000.000 for the round trip. Expensive right. It’s similar to flight tickets for going abroud. But beside that, the food, service, and also accommodation were excellent.


Here’s my itinerary for 4D/3N :

1st Day : Flight from Semarang (SRG) to Lombok (LOP) – Sade Village – Kuta Beach – Tanjung Aan Beach

2nd Day : Pink Beach – Pasir Island – Tanjung Luar – Sukarara Village – Banyumulek

3rd Day : Malimbu Hill – Senggigi Beach – Bangsal Port – Gili Trawangan

4th day : Going back to Lombok Island, buying souvenirs, and go back to Semarang



Well, starts from the first day. My family and I were visiting the Sade Village. It’s a village in Lombok where there are still a lot of Sasak Tribe people. It was pretty cool to know about their culture. I saw their traditional house, traditional clothes, and their traditions. One of their traditions which I still remember is they should do eloping for married. I still can’t understand what is the purpose of that tradition. But yeah let’s move on to the next stop.


The next was visiting 2 beaches in the south part of Lombok Island. Don’t you know that Lombok Island also having a beach named Kuta? Yeah, the name of the beaches was Kuta Beach and Tanjung Aan Beach. It was almost similar to each other and I can’t even differentiate them. They had pure blue water, rocks, brown sand, and some little hills. They were close to each other. And… when we were on our way to the beaches, we could see buffalos crossing the road. The plants and roads in this area was much different with the view in Java Island. Of course because this area is located in central part of Indonesia.

Next day, we went from the west part of Lombok Island to the east part. We were visiting Pink Beach. The local people said that the sand in the island could turn into pink colour because of the red algae. We were do snorkelling in the middle of the sea, from the top of the boat. After that, we ate crabs, and a lot of seafood there. Such as shrimp, fishes, and shell. We also visited a small island called Pulau Pasir. We could find and touch a lot of starfishes there. The island is actually a small island without villager. Because this island would sink on the night, when the sea water tides.

After we spent half day in the east part of Lombok Island, we were visiting Sukarara Village. Sukarara village is a small village in the west part of Lombok Island, where the main activity in this place is weaving. This village is located in the central part of Lombok Island. Almost all of the women in this village worked as a weaver, to produce traditional fabric or clothes called songket. Songket fabric of Sukarara Village has it’s own characteristics with different designs with the other fabrics in Indonesia. I bought a piece of beautiful pink songket fabric there. Before that, I also tried to do weaving with hand, using the teak trunk to make a fabric.

Raw materials they use to make the songket are cotton yarn, silk, gold silk and silver silk thread. As for the dyes they use are from natural dyes such as reddish brown color of mahogany, light brown color of teak trunk, brown acid soil from seeds, dark brown color of rotting banana stems, and purple color of the mangosteen peel and wine. This makes the woven fabric or songket of Sukarara village is famous for its characteristic bright patterned songket. And also the weaving village of Sukarara are now widely known and well liked by foreign tourists.


The last destination for the second day in Lombok was visiting Banyumulek. Banyumulek is a place for pottery crafts. It was located in the West part of Lombok Island. After we were visiting this place, we ate Lombok’s traditional food called Taliwang chicken. It’s a spicy Indonesian grilled chicken dish from Lombok. After eating, we were visiting one of the biggest pearl shop in Lombok. My mom was buying 3 rings and 3 necklace pendant for herself, my sister, and I. And then finally we went back to the hotel. The name of our hotel is Golden Palace Hotel. It’s located in the capital city of Lombok, Mataram City. Near the hotel, we could find a quite big mall named Lombok Epicentrum Mall. Don’t be shocked that Lombok has a big mall too hahaha. One thing I admire about Lombok is there was no traffic at all. And even I could only find one traffic light in this island.

On the following day, we went to Gili Trawangan. In the journey to Gili Trawangan, we passed Malimbu Hill and took some pictures besides Senggigi Beach. Malimbu Hill is the best place to see sunset in Lombok. It has a lot of beautiful views. We could see Senggigi Beach from the top, Gili Meno, and also Gili Trawangan. After we arrived in Bangsal Port, we crossed the sea using a speed boat. We also stopped by in Gili Air and Gili Meno, smaller gilis near Gili Trawangan. After we arrived in Gili Trawangan, we checked in into our hotel named Villa Ombak Hotel. We got a really delicious orange beverage for aperitif when we checked in, but I forget the name lol. We could find too much tourists in those hotel. We also can rent a bicycle to get around the island or rent a dive boat for travelling around the gilis.

In Gili Trawangan, I spent much time for snorkelling and taking pictures in the sea-line. The water was too pure and had a gradation of colour, between blue, turqoise, and green. I was doing snorkelling there and saw the beautiful fishes, turtles, and corals. On my personal thought, Lombok sea is better than the sea or beaches in Bali. Because it’s still natural and not affected by trash and people. I took some selfies under the water but the pictures quality were bad because I only used my cellphone. In my free time, I just walked around the island. I spent 30 minutes to walk half-round Gili Trawangan by the sea-shore. And guess what, I could find a swing at the seaside.

Another tips : Don’t forget to rent a “Glass Bottom Boat” in Gili Trawangan for another option if you don’t want to do snorkelling. Because you can see turtle, fishes, and also corals from the bottom of the boat. It costs around IDR 1.000.000 for each boat. You can share it for maximum 10 persons.

I think that’s all from my SEAdventure experience in Lombok. Hope you guys likeit. Please leave a comment in the comment box! Or should you have any question, you can contact me via the comment box. Thanks for reading 🙂


Beach Marathon in Yogyakarta


Have you ever visited Yogyakarta? Yogyakarta is one of the most popular tourism cities in Indonesia. There are a lot of tourist attractions in Yogyakarta, for example Malioboro, Tamansari, Kaliurang, Prambanan Temple, Kalibiru, Gua Pindul and a lot of beautiful beaches. Now I will tell to you about the beautiful beaches in Yogyakarta…

In August 2013, I went to 7 beaches at the same day in Yogyakarta. It’s sounds great, right? Usually, the most often visited beach in Yogyakarta is Parangtritis Beach. But there are still a lot of more clean and beautiful beaches. There are Indrayanti Beach, Sundak Beach, Siung Beach, Baron Beach, Kukup Beach, Krakal Beach, and Sepanjang Beach.

Those beautiful beaches are located in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta. The distance is about 70 km from the center of Yogyakarta city, or 2 hours if we go there by car. Although quite far from the center of the city, but I was very satisfied because I could enjoy the beauty of the 7 beaches as well. The distance between one beach to another beach is not far, it’s only about 2 – 10 minutes from one beach to another beach. There’s also a beach that located on the roadside, it’s Sepanjang Beach. We can park our car in front of Sepanjang Beach and enjoy the beauty of the beach from our car directly.

Then, in May 2016, I visited Yogyakarta again. I went to Sundak Beach with my friends for a private camping. It was also 2 hours from Yogyakarta City. We arrived there in the evening. And when we came there, it was raining. Actually we had a plan to build our tent in Kosakora Hill (a hill closed to Sundak Beach). But the road to climb there is dangerous because it was slippery. So we cancelled our plan and built our tent in the seaside. It was cool because we had the beautiful beach scenery in front of us. Unfortunately in the night when we were sleeping, the waves was too big. Our tent got wet in the morning. Actually it was dangerous but we didn’t care. My friend told us about the big waves that happened in the midnight. Most of us were still sleeping.

The cost for our holiday was not expensive. Every person only need about IDR 100.000 (USD 8) for 2D/1N trip. It already covered the car gas from our city Semarang (about 140 kilometres from the beach), tent rent cost, lunch cost, and also our snacks (instant noodle, bread, butter, chips, etc). We also had lunch in one of Yogyakarta’s traditional food, named Gudeg Yu Djum. The cost was also included in our IDR 100.000.

And if you go to these beautiful beaches in Yogyakarta, I have a recommendation for you. Don’t forget to buy some fish snacks at the beaches, because it tastes really delicious and also not expensive 😀

Must try!!