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Treasure or Wasteland? Is It Worth to Visit? (Part One)
written by Arman Petrosian

About Arman Petrosian: Born and raised in Malkhas, Amerdines, Petrosian is travel journalist that writing most of his detailed diaries describing and mimicking the citizen of that said nation. Graduated in Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication in the University of Sanbra, his hobbies other than travelling are photography and culinary tour.   

Welcome back to my travelling diary. Today I will write about one country I had been recently visited last January 2021, which was Prawasia! To be honest, as it was my very first experience to visit one of Alharu nation, especially Prawasia, I really felt so excited. I’ve got my business flight on Prawasia Airlines for only $1,500 return! I think it was promotional airfares that I’ve just booked through their website. If you would really visit Prawasia on a budget, you could consider to fly with babyBlue aero, their low-cost carrier. I saw one a week ago, the fares for one way from Amerdines only $75, excluded taxes and others though. My tip of advice, just regularly check their both website – Prawasia Airlines and babyBlue aero. Perhaps, you might be lucky to get a chance to visit affordably to Prawasia. But prior describing what this Land of Prawa has to offer, I would like to tell you briefly my experience from booking, check-in, boarding, flying, deboarding by this Prawasia Airlines. Personally, it is your choice to travel, but if you would like to know how it feels, please do not skip this part!

The website itself can be accessed through https://www.prawasiaairlines.com and please make sure you have changed the language to English by changing it on the very bottom right corner. I was really confused at the beginning why in the wurld the website displayed in their native language – Prawa. And I didn’t even realise the language could be changed at the bottom right corner of the website. Usually though, most of the websites have convenient to change multi language on the upper part of the website page, be it on the upper-left or upper-right corner. And some websites offer to display language from the beginning we entered the website; we will be prompted to choose the language that we are familiar with! After several minutes to figure this thing out, I finally understand they only offer English language, nothing else apart Prawa. It is not a big deal. Then, after I changed it to English, I saw on their banner on the website there would be promo on business class for up to fifty-percent! And you know what, Amerdines was listed as part of the air promotional fares for fifty-percent! So, I guess, was I lucky enough?

I clicked this and that and I found satisfactorily using their official website, until I landed to the online payment page! I usually book airlines with the credit card and there would be no problem at all with my credit card. But as such in this case, they said that my credit card had been declined for no obvious reason. (In case you have been wondering what type of credit card I used, it is Visa card). I had attempted at least three times, and I frustrated myself, before deciding to call to the issuer bank, which is UniBank. The funniest part was that I could confirm that my credit card would not be overlimit, and it was confirmed with the said bank as well! Then, it must not be the credit card’s fault. It must be the website, I believe? I was so desperate that I would not get the promotional air fares flying with Prawasia Airlines on a business class. Then, after few minutes later, I decided to call their customer representative office in the capital Aran, Amerdines. They responded that there was a problem with the website and the IT Officer from Prawasia Airlines tried to fix it immediately. I needed to wait for couple of hours, and I hope my wish would come true to fly on a business class by Prawasia Airlines.

After several hours waiting, if I was not mistaken three hours after maintenance, the website seemed work as I finally be able to settle the payment with agreeable fares, which was $1,515 including administration and credit card fees. Soon, I had received the email confirming my flight itinerary from Aran, Amerdines to Progo, Prawasia. In case you asked, why not to Manyar, the capital city of Prawasia? To be honest, it was far more expensive and need to transit in Progo first. Progo was like the centre hub for Prawasia Airlines, especially from foreign countries like Amerdines. I was also excited that they would fly new fleet Airbus A330-900neo from Aran to Progo for at least seven hours flight! I had never experience to fly with the new Airbus fleet. Now, it was good chance to fly. Unfortunately, they only had one time departure early in the morning though which was at 0825hours and we need to do check-in prior three hours before departure which was, we really need to at the airport by 0525hours. So yeah, I decided to book Air Amerdines just with economy class, got a deal about $25 excluding the tax and other things. And yeah, it is one way, not return flight. Malkhas to Aran the Capital took only an hour flight, so yeah, I did not mind to fly economy class on our proud national carrier Air Amerdines. But the problem was, I needed to stay at least one night in Aran, and I was unlucky that most of accommodation were booked out. I did not why, but I booked one night prior my departure to Aran, I was unlucky to get one accommodation just few kilometres away from the downtown. But I guess, it was not a big deal as far as I concerned. As long as I would get my accommodation, I was safe!

On the D-Day, I flew to Aran with no hassle and stayed in Yerimya Hotel. It was three-star hotel, though located around twenty kilometres away from the downtown or centre of Aran. It made me diminishing the thought to relax in the downtown of Aran. Well, I believed I should appreciate the outskirt of Aran’s life. Drinking coffee surrounded by beautiful sunset nature with little crowd. The hospitality was not bad at all for three-star hotel, even though I still found some dust in the bathroom. It was not a big deal. I even asked to the receptionist whether could I order breakfast around 0400hours in the morning and they said they would prepare prata bread filled with tuna and cheese, and I could take away during my trip to the airport. To be honest, I really love it, especially served with curry gravy. There was minivan service from the hotel to the airport, which was good, and all people looked at me having breakfast in the car on the way to the airport.

The check-in queue was smooth and the check-in staff also hospitable and offering me whether would I like to sit in the aisle or near the window. Of course, I would definitely choose sit near the window, because simply I love cloud, I giggled myself. Boarding process was smooth and here we were, the new Airbus A330-900neo, I loved the smell of the new aircraft upon reaching the front door of the aircraft. My seat number was 10A, not really close to the cockpit door, but sadly, not really close to the lavatory. The seat formation on business class was 2-2-2, while economy class was 2-4-2. And I was so happy, there was no one occupied the seat beside me. I was flying like a king! More space and more space! After took off, I served with continental breakfast. Nothing special though, and the taste was rather so plain. Lucky, I was having cheese and tuna prata bread earlier on the car even though I was a bit uncomfortable eating inside car. The stewardess had truly shown their hospitality, not just because we sit on the business class, but also the standardised of the Prawasian culture, I believed. It just could be felt within the atmosphere of their services. Overall, the flight was not bad at all. I was served for dinner prior one hour arrival to the Progo airport. The dinner was pretty good. It was seafood fried rice served with prawn cracker and the desert served was double chocolate brownies with almond topping. I also tried their authentic Manahan Red Wine and it tasted wonderful in my honest opinion. I mean like some said it should be combined with red meat such as beef or lamb, but with seafood fried rice, it mixed well though. I planned to buy this Manahan red wine as souvenir and collection later in Manahan, Manyar City the capital of Prawasia.

As we nearly landing to Progo Airport, the captain in charge informed us to fasten our seatbelt as we approached unavoidable thunderstorm. Initially I was so worried that our flight might get diverted due to bad weather because the flight aborted the landing twice. Upon approaching for the final third landing, it was terribly shaken and some compartment above us accidentally opened and luckily no luggage was fallen though. The pilot-in-charge asked us to pray and keep calm for safe landing. And I remembered what he informed us calmly, “Ladies and gentlemen, expect some turbulence upon landing and keep seated and ensure you have fastened your seatbelt securely.” I think I was the only one who screamed when the turbulence was severe enough to fall onto the ground! The rest of the people sitting on business class were Prawa I believed and they stared at me for a long time wondering why I screamed so loudly. The flight attendant as well, while sitting on jumper seat, smiled at me. “Wow, it is unbelievable that most of them relax and keep calm during this situation. I am just terribly scared, and I pray to God to pardon all of my sins if this plane ever crashed to the ground!”. The sky was foggy and it was difficult for me to look outside the windows, except some buildings. “Oh, no, hope it does not crash onto the building, please?” that was my final phrase before I came into prayer one more time. You know what next? The landing was unbelievably smooth despite worst weather condition! I was so glad and at least feel relieved.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have just arrived at Progo Airport. Welcome to Progo,” informed the calm stewardess to passengers. “At last, I have survived, at last I have arrived in Prawasia safely and at last, my flight did not have to get diverted to other airport!” I gave thanks in prayer and then attempted to look outside the window the scenery of Progo Airport. I stole a moment where I photographed the scenic airport of Progo using my DSLR camera. I know it is forbidden to use electronic devices during taxi, take-off, climbing, descending, approaching and landing, but gladly no one noticed me using my DSLR camera. I arrived at 2025hours local time and there was like five hours ahead than Amerdines’ time. “Finally, finally! I am here to set a foot on the soil of Prawasia. As the aircraft came to complete stop and the stewardess informed us that it was safe to unfasten seatbelt, I unfastened quickly and opened the compartment above me to get my luggage down. However, the stewardess helped me to do that. Thanks for the hospitality. And at least thank you for remained calm during critical moment of landing in turbulence.

Deboarding process overall was smooth and they flight attendant smiled at me and I remembered she told me, “Everything is going to be alright. Do not worry, Sir. And welcome to Progo.” I was so thankful to her and when I was about to shake her hand, she was kind of refusing but instead doing namaste form while slightly bowing her head. I responded by namaste form as well. The man behind me nodded at me, possibly agreeing that I should do customs to say farewell or thank you by namaste form. As I left the aircraft, I could feel different atmosphere there than in Amerdines. There were many people greeted me by namaste form and I felt like I really welcomed. I could not describe much more on how their hospitality were, but only for one word, it was blessing! The airport staff even helped me to locate where the toilet, where to grab water for drinking and at last where the immigration was. One shameful experience, I did not realise that I should have queued in Visa on Arrival lane first before heading to the immigration. When there was my turn to hand in my passport, the Immigration Officer was a bit grumbling and turned over page by page asking me, “Where? Where?” then he throwed my passport rudely. “Go back there!” he exclaimed by pointing his sharp eye towards me. I understood that it was my fault not realising that I should apply for Visa on Arrival first prior handing in the passport to the immigration officer. But he did not show any respect sign at least as human being! I felt so embarrassed, and went into Visa on Arrival lane.

Approaching the Visa on Arrival officer, he asked me where do I come from and what purpose to visit Prawasia and getting into privacy related stuff like how much money did I bring and commented to me rudely, “That’s not enough, Sir. Good luck with that,” then he added, “$30 please!” I said like what, in the display board it clearly said that we only need to pay for $25 for Visa on Arrival regardless where do we come from though. I protested and argued a bit with the officer and he asked me as it was for administration fee and then continue to add that if I was not happy enough with the price, I could go back to my country. To be honest, that was really horrible experience. Was this for sure? Was I in dreaming? Another unexpected circumstances when I handed in $30 the staff grumbled again, if you would like to pass that immigration officer, please hand me another $5 and you will get passed for sure. I felt like threatened and forced me to withdraw another $5 to the staff. Then his facial expression had changed from grumbling to be pleasantly happy, “Welcome to Prawasia, Sir,” he smiled at me at least, and I snapped. In my heart I was telling, “Is this kind of corruption?” then I continued to walk over the Immigration – Foreigner lane.

Upon reaching the Immigration, the officer was different and asked me in harsh way, “Why do you visit Progo? Why not other city? It just makes our city become crowded with a lot of foreigner, you know,” she sarcastically pointed several hurtful questions. “What did I do wrong?” I mumbled myself. Again, once she stamped my passport, she threw away my passport to the floor and drove away me from her vicinity. “Get out of my sight.” This time I would not argue since she was the woman, nothing else. So, I would rather just to keep it by myself this kind of horrible experience.

After immigration done, I headed to baggage claiming, and the process was too long. I almost waited like thirty to sixty minutes waiting. In addition, the air conditioning was not working, so I felt stiflingly hot! I was really in bad mood after getting my baggage and all the trolleys were occupied by the porter and we need to use their service for like $25. “Gosh! I would go into bankrupt at this stage! Everything money and money!” So yeah, I ended up bringing my two bags by myself without trolley. Next, I was facing the custom inspection and the officer asked me to open all of my two baggage. Luckily, I did not bring anything suspicious like cigarette nor wine. Then he drove me away by using their left hand. According to Amerdinian culture it was extremely rude to show any sign using left hand. It would be best bet to use right hand instead. I would rate the official in Progo Airport were just extremely rude towards foreigner. I did not understand why, but I could be thinking probably they were all paid less below the average? What a shame though! When I was about leave restricted area premises in custom inspection, I was pursued by the two officers and asking me that I had not yet paid for administration fee. “Again?” The administration fee was like $25, and again I clearly saw that ‘no tipping to the custom inspection’. I asked politely to the two officers, “what kind of administration fee is that?” and one of the officers responded rudely, “You do not need to know, Sir. You may get lost now!”

On my way to leave the custom inspection area, I was blaming myself again and again, “Why Prawasia? Why did I choose Prawasia? Oh yeah, it is because of their hospitality and wonderful people and gorgeous scenery with rich cultural diversity! But are these what I’ve got so far?!” Please do not ask me what I have felt during that day. Really bad mood after you know what I experienced severe turbulence in flight upon landing, corrupted staff in charge for Visa on Arrival, rude Immigration Officer and extremely uncivilised Custom Inspector. “Sigh.” I guess this was truly bad first impression. The airport is like a gateway of country. People at least should be trained how properly greet and handle such things in professional way. “At least Ardan Airport, is way much better than Progo Airport.” That was I said to myself upon walking out the premises.

When I left the gate, I was greeted by hundreds of illegal taxi drivers and tour guides. They offered me trip to some destination with affordable price, even when I refused, they kept following me with higher tone, “It’s cheap, Sir. It’s really cheap. Come on!” I quickly order taxi from the taxi booth and I paid in advance about 175,000 Keping or equivalent to $15 to go to my desired hotel – Awiligar Hotel, the four-star hotel located in the downtown of Progo. I clearly remember to confirm to the staff, “I do not need to pay again to the taxi driver, later right?” and the staff nodded, “Of course, you do not need to, Sir. You have already paid, and this is the ticket. Show them this ticket.” At the end, I was forced to pay for his tipping fee when I reached the hotel lobby and he needed like $10. Seriously, I argued with the taxi driver and even showed him the ticket. “It’s just the ticket, Sir, you have not yet paid for the driver. There will be no one will drive for you if you don’t pay them.” The driver told me impatiently. “Alright, here you are the tipping fee.” He did not even farewell in polite manner and asked myself to remove all of my belonging including the two baggage, then he drove fast leaving me with no thankful at all.

I quickly checked-in the hotel as I was extremely tired as I looked over my watch it was shown 2300hours! The check-in was smooth and at least the staff knew the professionalism and hospitality, of course. I took shower before heading to bed. “This is the beginning of Prawasia. Let us see more tomorrow, I believe?” I could not sleep for few hours and kept thinking about the incident happened in the airport and the taxi driver as well, and at the end I attempted to imagine sheep and count one by one until I fell asleep finally! “Good night, Progo. Good night Prawasia!”

Edited by Prawasia (see edit history)
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Treasure or Wasteland? Is It Worth to Visit? (Part Two)
written by Arman Petrosian

About Arman Petrosian: Born and raised in Malkhas, Amerdines, Petrosian is travel journalist that writing most of his detailed diaries describing and mimicking the citizen of that said nation. Graduated in Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication in the University of Sanbra, his hobbies other than travelling are photography and culinary tour.

Welcome back to my travelling diary – second part of previous story in Prawasia. I woke up late about 1000hours local time and I almost missed my first day’s breakfast in the Awiligar Hotel. Oh yeah, I forgot to inform you that this four-star hotel had offered various type of rooms, and I’ve got Superior Double Room for only 750,000 Keping or equivalent to $50 per night including buffet breakfast. The facilities included double king-sized bed, mini bar fridge, cable television that offered various international channels, hot and cold shower – but I was unlucky that the hot shower did not work well, and I had forced myself to take a shower in a cold! There was also safety deposit box to store important document (but of course would not be fit to store your DSLR Camera though!), however the access to the door still using traditional key, not by card. Overall, the hotel seemed to me like hundred years old, needed some renovation and upgrade though. The bed itself was using spring bed. I was hoping that a four-star hotel at least could accommodate the bed with latex! Of course, more comfortable in my honest opinion. But that was not really big deal.

I went downstairs after I finished shower as my room located on the third floor and headed to the restaurant in order not to get missed my buffet breakfast. Breakfast was just ordinary, nothing really special. I tried the chicken fried rice with rice cracker and to be honest it was flavourless and not as delicious as I was having on Prawasia Airlines. Then on second round, I tried with hash brown, two pork sausages, red beans with a couple of toast breads and jam before I left the restaurant. The server was pleasantly hospitable and courteous at all times though asking me how was my sleep, how was my breakfast, were the anything to improve regarding the breakfast. I honestly complained about that flavourless chicken fried rice and the server nodded and would try to improve the taste in the near future, which I think was great. I had experience and felt that this Awiligar Hotel was like a paradise even though only a four-star hotel, what you expect? Hospitality is a must have with no exception! So, it had proven well with trained staff to properly greet me whenever I encountered with namaste form and slightly bow down his or her head to me. I think I was treated here at least like a king. Then I tried to relax for a while by swimming in front of the restaurant. The pool, however, was somewhat small for a four-star hotel. Nevertheless, I could guarantee you that the pool is the cleanest pool I have ever seen compared to Amerdines’ one.

At around 1300hours I decided to leave the hotel and had a walk around the downtown of Progo. Do you know what my first impression to see Progo in the afternoon? It was like chaos! There were a lot and I mean by a lot is really a lot of motorcycles with rider, his son and wife wearing no helmet at all. I really wondered on that day though, wasn’t there any enforced law to prohibit rider riding motorcycle without helmet? I would like to cross in the crossing lane, and nobody cared at all, so pedestrian there needed to be extra careful when crossing as there were so many motorcycles and bicycles passing by. And even if you cross in the crossing lane, if you dare to cross without safely looking on your right nor left, for sure you would be sworn badly by the riders or the cyclists. I experienced that on my very first experience to cross street in Progo, Prawasia. I would say it was uncivilised to see traffic there. I could not describe more; it would just be horrible experience. Born and raised in Christian, I had been taught since childhood in Amerdines, swearing at people considered frowned upon. So, I guess I’ve got culture shock after all to hear these kinds of swearing things in Prawasia, at least by citizen’s perspective. Oh, also I forgot to mention that some of the traffic lights were not working, including the traffic light for pedestrian! So, you could imagine what it would be look like out there.

I skipped for lunch as I had brunch earlier in the hotel, so I decided to use application ‘Gojek’, Prawasian mobile application which allowed you to book motorcyclist to travel wherever you would like to go. I attempted my first time to use Gojek application and it was smooth, however, too bad that the rider did not speak English at all. So, I had to write it down and used body language. I went to a place called Merbau Museum Palace located around 32 kilometres outskirt of the city centre where the State King of Merbau resided. There was entrance fee for foreigner even though for domestic it was free at all. The entrance fee was 50,000 Keping or equivalent to $3.00. I guess that was not bad at all since I had got exciting time to see inside the museum. There were dioramas, statues, artefacts and old documents depicting mainly how Merbau Kingdom was established and guaranteed for independence. I was intriguing to learn further about Prawasia history as it is divided by eight states and one federal territory which is the capital city of Manyar. Historically speaking, Merbau was considered as the youngest state kingdom out of eight states in Prawasia, established around 1881 after the split from Waribang Kingdom due to internal family conflict. The first king enthroned was Raja Surya Laksana Rajasanagara and currently the Kingdom led by 59-years old Raja Indra Prasaka Rajasanagara.

Satisfied looking around the museum, I was heading to the King’s Park nearby the museum. There were so many good spots to take some photos and I did not forget to always bring my DSLR camera. There were many locals took photoshoot with their regional attires, while others took photoshoot for pre-wedding occasions.  I could say this King’s Park was indeed romantic place both for singles and couples. You would never get disappointed by paying $3.00 for maintenance upkeep though. The only problems I encountered so far in the King’s Park was lack of direction sign. I thought it was the exit way, but the staff asked me to go through the exit the other way round. The King’s Park area was approximately ten hectares. I left the premises and it was already sunset by the time I left at around 1830hours. I went back using Gojek application and this time the rider could communicate in bare English. Heading to the downtown of Progo and decided to chill down on a local café called Milenia.

This local café Milenia offered variety of local authentic cuisine and I would say it was affordable and could be categorised as low to medium price. I tried Nasi Gudeg, which was made from young unripe jack fruit stewed for several hours with palm sugar, and coconut milk served with boiled egg, and sambal goreng krechek a stew made of crips beef skins.

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I also did not forget to order Merbau Beer, the local beer to accompany my dinner tonight. Overall, I found this place recommended for anyone willing to try flavourful local authentic cuisine for affordable price. The total price was not so bad for the level of the cafe, I had to pay 40,000 Keping or equivalent to $3 including the beer! After I was full and satisfied then I left the cafe and walked around one kilometre away to Awiligar Hotel to rest. I called it a night, “Good night Progo. Good night Prawasia. Until tomorrow!”

Edited by Prawasia (see edit history)
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Treasure or Wasteland? Is It Worth to Visit? (Part Three)
written by Arman Petrosian

About Arman Petrosian: Born and raised in Malkhas, Amerdines, Petrosian is travel journalist that writing most of his detailed diaries describing and mimicking the citizen of that said nation. Graduated in Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication in the University of Sanbra, his hobbies other than travelling are photography and culinary tour.

Welcome back to my travelling diary – the third part. On my third day in Prawasia, I would like to visit one tourist attraction and summed up travel itinerary catered for myself. I had got this from several recommendations from other travellers in TripAdvisor. In case you do not know what TripAdvisor is, it is a trusted web-based platform online community from all over the wurld gather together to share their experience and feedback not only for accommodation, but also for the tourist site or tourist attraction. It has wealth of information for some people who require further information or just curious prior booking the hotel, villa, hostels, homestay and as well as tourist spot. It is highly recommended for first time travellers to seek and consult TripAdvisor prior booking their flight and accommodation in respective country. To become member of the community is of course free of charge, and you could always ask something that you would like to know more about itinerary in the forum. They will quickly respond and answer questions may arise and sometimes help you design or revise the itinerary you may have. Try it while it is free! By the way, let’s sum up travel itinerary I designed below. You may or may not use it for your future reference to travel to Prawasia on your next chance.

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Now we shall review a bit one by one. Progo Bus Terminal architecture design was very traditional carrying Merbau culture at least. The terminal itself is called as Kepatihan Terminal. In my honest opinion, I love the architecture design, however, do not expect you will find cleanliness inside the terminal. I had seen lot of used cigarettes, trash everywhere, used instant noodle cup could be found near the seat or even spilled rice on the seat itself. It was quite disgusting and it would make me not to sit. I would rather just be standing waiting for the announcement. And I almost missed my bus because there was no announcement made going to Langsa. So, please make sure whenever you would travel by local bus, never feel ashamed to ask to the staff or receptionist continuously. One more thing, please do not expect the bus will depart on-time! The ticket shown that departure time should be 0950hours, but instead the bus late departed at around 1045hours. But I was not in hurry, so at the end it was not really a big deal for me.

Inside the bus it was comfortable. The couch seat and the environment were much better compared to the bus terminal itself. They put a lot of effort to clean up the space after use. There was also a Wi-Fi, but sometimes work sometimes not though. Probably because of signal. But the most annoying this was that there was heavy traffic jam outskirt of the city and it was caused by accident between truck and sedan. Luckily there were no fatalities. Other than that, the travel was smooth, even though there were winding roads around couple of hours before approaching Langsa. Oh, the bus driver always speeding, even though there was speed limit not going beyond 70 km/h.

Once I reached the Langsa Bus Terminal, I was strike by the sun heat. Fortunately, I brought myself a hat and sunglasses. I walked outside around five-minute walk to Boga Rasa Café. It was recommended café near Langsa Bus Terminal in TripAdvisor. So, give it a try if you could bear any spicy food. It was not really that spicy in my opinion, somewhat the satay was flavourfully sweet, even though the colour like red chilli. I also ordered Avocado Juice combined with chocolate milk. Overall, it was nice experience to try local food in a local café with a local price there. The total cost I spent was like 50,000 Keping or equivalent to $3.50 for 10 pieces of Pork Satay with rice and one glass of Avocado Juice.

After I was full and satisfied, I managed to get dark green minivan (in Prawa we called Angkutan Kota or Angkot), a local commuter. I had to bear on the way to Tapaktalo Cave that there was someone smoking inside this Angkot. I had a chance to ask why did he smoke inside Angkot though and he responded rudely to me that he was his habit to smoke inside Angkot every time he went home from the office to relieve some stress. But I found it unacceptable, because we were forced to become passive smoker, and by that means I am not an active smoker at all. I have asthma though, so I need to avoid smoking, be there active or passive! I could not do anything as it had become his habit and some other people were staring at me and smirking probably thinking that I was not adapted yet to this kind of situation. “Sorry, I have asthma.” I responded to them and they finally understood why I was throwing that kind of question before. Inside this Angkot was not properly maintained and cleaned. There were several chewing gums on the ground and on the back of the minivan. And of course, not forget to mention there were cigarettes scattered around both on the seat and on the ground! It was disgusting like back then in Progo Kepatihan Bus Terminal I earlier told, but it is cheap mode of transportation for those who would like to challenge themselves to local people’s commuter. I would say for 10,000 Keping or equivalent to $0,70 was not that much given the distance around twenty to thirty-minute drive to the outpost of Tapaktalo. Of course, you need to inform the driver that you need to stop at Tapaktalo Cave, and he would understand where to stop you nearby. And do not worry about having large sum of money as the Angkot driver would have the change for it.

Once I reached the outpost of Tapaktalo, I had to pay for foreign visitor for 10,000 Keping or equivalent to $0,70, while for the domestic visitors have to pay 5,000 Keping only or $0,35. I did some trekking downstair about one hour walk and then reach the river called Perawan. The river was super clean and transparent as you could see the riverbed clearly. River is considered sacred for local community as most of Prawas are Prana Hinduism. They believed water is the source of life and it is not uncommon to see some Prawas worship the river every late afternoon. Also, I would like to warn you, you need to bring extra socks or sandal as it might get wet during your trip downstair and sometimes have to cross the river. Even though not long compared to rival rivers, Perawan River has approximated twelve kilometres length. Once I reached the cave, there were some staffs asking for the entrance ticket I purchased upstairs and validated it with Barcode scanner and it would let me pass the cave entrance.

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Feeling exhausted, I commuted with another Angkot to the Langsa Bus Terminal having dinner prior returning back to Progo. The street was so quiet at dusk and I mean it. No activities could be found, so it was like dead town for me at least. Once I reached the terminal, I was so fascinated with the small local café or we call it in Prawa as Warung where you could choose variety of dishes – vegetables, meats, eggs and even rice or yellow rice accompanied by chilli sauce or curry gravy sauce. It was delicious and cheap. I think it was around 20,000 Keping or equivalent to $1,40 including free mineral water. Feel free to enjoy your dinner here below!

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The bus, however, departed on time at Langsa around 1930hours. As I said earlier, do not worry travelling by bus in Prawasia. It is the most convenient and hygiene. But alas, I forgot to bring my jacket as I only wearing thin casual shirt without underwear. The air conditioning somehow seemed could not be turned off and I was shivering with cold for almost over three hours! Piece of advice, never underestimate your jacket. Bring it with you on your bag. It is not that heavy, isn’t it? And of course, a hat and sunglasses in case you are strike with the sun heat. Otherwise, the trip back to Progo was smooth and this time the bus driver drove carefully and slowly during the night. Once we had reached the Kepatihan Terminal in Progo, I walked back to the hotel to rest, and I called it a night. “Good night Progo, Good night Prawasia. Thank you for today’s experience. Until tomorrow!”

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