Pekanbaru, Riau Mainland, Sumatra, Indonesia.
Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
5Trip End Feb 28, 2010
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This time, I forgot to print my ticket transcript and was thrown a hundred and one questions by the immigration officer in Pekanbaru. After I patiently answered all his questions, he still did not give up and bluntly asked for IDR 50,000 just to let me pass. Being in my position and not able to do much, I gave him the money. He just accepted it over the counter without feeling ashamed at all. Therefore, please remember that whenever you go to Indonesia, always print your return tickets for showing to the Immigration officers.
Then the customs officers tried some tactics as well. But they could not do much as all I had with me was my duffle bag which was hand carried and they let me go. As I walked out, my driver was waiting for me. From the ariport, we drove into town. It is just 20 minutes away. Arrived at the hotel at 5pm. I stayed at Grand Zuri Hotel, which is at a very strategic location in town, right beside Jatra Hotel and Pekanbaru Mall. Had my bath and decided to take a short break until 6pm. Then the driver came over and we went for the city tours.
The first place which we visited was the Balai Adat (Culture Hall) which is along Jalan Jend. Sudirman. This is also the location for the annual Quran Recital Festival.Then took some photographs around there and continued the journey to Vihara Tridarma, which is a big chinese temple at the end of Riau Street ( the road to Dumai).
After visiting the temple, we headed back to town to a restaurant called Restoran Triarga in Pekanbaru for Nasi Ujung ( the Indonesian equivalent of Nasi Lemak) Except that the gravy is missing. This is served with a friend chicken called "Ayam Pop". I guess it is called so as it is quite crispy. Im was not supprised to find this Nasi Ujung in Riau as the main population in Riau is Malay People...the 'original' Malays. Malays in Malaysia are emigrants from this region.
After dinner, headed back to hotel and reached at 9.45pm. The journey from one point to another even just in town takes such long time due to the road conditions and local traffic. Upon reaching, told the driver to come to the hotel tomorrow morning at 8am to head to Siak Sri Indrapura City which I was told is another 5 hours away. The driver I had seems okay. He is a local Bataknese guy.