This time I would like to share you about my experience when visiting Malaysia. Historically, Indonesia and Malaysia have the same ancestor, similar language and culture, but I don’t have any idea why Malaysian always treat Indonesian in negative ways, well..not all of them I believe, but mostly they do. Recently, the diplomatic relationship between these two Asian countries is persevering since Malaysia arrested Indonesian officers. Well, enough with political thing…My story has no intention to put Malaysian in the bad side, I just want to give you a lesson learned as you may need it prior visiting this country. Hence, you will not get any bad experience 🙂
Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy in southeast Asian countries. I choose to use Ferry to visit Malaysia and the route will be Duri – Dumai (by bus) – Malaka (By Ferry) – Kuala Lumpur (By bus) vice versa.
Dumai – Malaka: The immigration opened at 10 AM and it took only like 10 minutes to wrap up the process. When planning this trip, I thought the ferry will be as big as ferry from Java to Sumatra or at least from Java to Bali..Nope, I was absolutely wrong. The ferry looks like the one which cross Batam – Singapore. I’m wondering is it safe to cross this Malaka Strait using this small ferry. Unfortunately not, I just know that the ferry is not recommended to cross this sea, it’s a deep-sea by the way (in 2009, a ferry got an accident when crossing Dumai to Malaka). And the ferry, it’s so crowded. No seat number, no particular space to put bags or luggage, I didn’t even see where the life vest is. ( I warn u, this trip is not recommended at all! ). Due to high tide, the departure time delayed until 12 AM. It took 2 – 3 hours to reach Malaka, and guess what..it’s only like 500 m to reach the harbour, the ferry stopped and all passengers transferred into several small boat (like a fisherman boat..it’s scary, isn’t it?), I don’t know why..
(Experience part 1) Malaka has 3 immigration lines, Malaysian, Indonesian, and Foreigners. The situation was too crowded so I can’t see the immigration board. The officers always yelling like crazy..”Indonesian workers over here, others over there!”.. Before I realized I was on the wrong line (I took foreigner line instead), the immigration officer was yelling at me and said that I took the wrong line. It’s so rude, can he just say in the good and calm way that I was on the wrong line? I’m a human being not an animal. I have the same right with other visitors!
(Experience part 2) After waiting for almost 45 minutes, it’s my turn to get on arrival visa. The officer was so scary, they asked like we want to enter their country to get a job or to do something illegal (hope it’s just my feeling), maybe I just bring 1000 MYR ( I have my credit card on me). After long time investigation, Malaysia open the gate for me!. From the harbor, time to go to Malaka Sentral, a bus station. Since tomorrow is Malaysia’s election day, all bus tickets to Kuala Lumpur were sold out! The options are to go to by taxi to Seremban then continue with train to KL with total cost 120 MYR or you can go by taxi to KL with 170 MYR. Since I feel pain in my back for carrying this back and tripod, so taxi it is! After check in the hotel, we go to Titiwangsa Lake to get a ferrish wheel.
(Experience part 3) Before entering Malaysia, I declare to myself to use English when dealing with Malaysian, I don’t want to be arrogant and deny my nationality, just want to practice my English tough. In KL, we stayed at one of hotel in Bukit Bintang Area, called Alpha Genesis, not bad but cheap. After check in, some hotel’ facilities found out to be broken, such as telephone line, shower and toilet hoses, and we quite confuse which one is west direction (for praying). After reporting to receptionist, a room boy came to our room and fix everything needed. Before he left, I asked where is the west direction and he answered “Where do you come from?” Whattt…I don’t see any correlation with my last question. I just answered “Indonesia”..then he smile with a harassing smile (maybe it’s just my feeling) then go to wardrobe next to bed, and pull out one of the drawers and pointing out the sticker that covered by a bunch of papers.
We go to Lake Titiwangsa to see a ferrish wheel (same with Singapore Flyers or London Eye but in the “simple way”). We can see Kuala Lumpur when we were on top of the circle. Unfortunately, it was raining at that night. They also have a mini laser show, like song of the sea in Sentosa Island Singapore. The trip for today ended with have a dinner in KFC (yes, we love it!)
The next day trip start from Bukit Bintang to Dataran Merdeka (by monorail then continued with Rapid KL until Masjid Jamek then walked). Dataran Merdeka is a place where Malaysia declared their independence. The english colonial buildings can be found in this area. The next stop is Chinatown (quite far!!), actually our destination is Central Market and it was not opened yet when we got there :). From Chinatown, we went to IKEA..a far away journey…
(Experience part 4): We took taxi from IKEA to Taman Bahagia Train Station, the driver was Malaysian Chinese. He asked me whether I’m a moslem Phillipines..I answered, No I’m Indonesian…When we arrived in the station, the argo taxi clearly show 10.2 RM, I’ve already prepared 11 RM to pay him but he insist us to pay 15 RM (with a very rude way)..Is it because I’m an Indonesian?
Today is the day to practise my photography skill 🙂 ..Actually I plan to capture the twin tower at night. Before proceeding to Suria KLCC, we stopped by at Sungei Wang Plaza, Lot 10, and Central Market (again?!). After spending few hours to take a night picture of twin tower (with a handsome tutor, a photographer from Italy), I finally made it!
The next day is time to go back to Indonesia, we checked out at 5 AM in the morning to go to Malaka. Arriving on 7 AM, the harbor and immigration are not opened yet. Our taxi driver took us seeing Malaka in the morning, an old-ancient city. The ferry still crowded and scary..and after 3 hours crossing the sea, I finally arrived in my lovely country, a country with the most diverse culture, religion, race which taught its citizen to see other people not from the color of their skin, the language they speak, the religion they believe..because we are the same, a mankind..I love Indonesia with all its plus and minus…and I’m proud to be an Indonesian
– More stories are illustrated in my web album “An Illustrated Journey” –