Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia.

Trip Start Apr 16, 2010
Trip End Apr 18, 2010

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Flag of Indonesia  , Sumatra,
Friday, April 16, 2010

After my meetings this morning and afternoon, took the KTM Komuter train to KL Sentral from Sungai Buloh Station. The journey took 25 minutes point to point. Upon arrival in KL Sentral, went down one floor to the bus terminal and took the Aerobus to KLIA LCC Terminal. Aerobus is my usual yellow bus which I use to go to KLIA. The main reason is just that the ticket is the cheapest among all (RM 8.00 only) and the company is reliable. There is another red bus which belongs to Air Asia which is available too, here the fare is RM 9.00 .

The bus journey took 1 hour to KLIA. After the usual check ins and immigration checks, i quickly landed myself at the Dunkin Donuts at the departing terminal for a late and quick lunch. One thing i observed is that there was a major difference between this time and all my previous trips. That being there were many Air Asia Security Personnel walking around and these were not the standard security personnel. These guys were in full suit with ties but wore a vest clearly stating the word security at the back. Feels like there has been a security breech or perhaps a sabotage attempt. Hmmm, not too sure, but confused. Especially, during my trip from Chiang Mai last month i remember seeing some technical guys on board the flight and attending to some repairs suddenly as and when there was some noise and to add further, recent emergency landings which Air Asia did, somewhere i cant quite remember, but it was published in the newspapers. 

On board the flight was good and for gods sake, Air Asia did take off on time this time. As usual, there was no Indonesian Embarkation card on board and in Pekanbaru, it is a very big deal as you may not even get it from the immigration and they would later force you to give some corruption. Why cant Air Asia stock up on these necessary things? Everybody knows how difficult it is to handle things over there. Very simple answers would be given that is "im sorry, we are out of cards".  And yes, I forgot to mention, there were also some cockroaches creeping around in the flight. FIrst time i saw it on board a flight. 

Upon landing, luckily I got the last available card. Pity those people who did not get the immigration cards, all of them had to see the officer in charge in private in the room. Then, somehow, the sim from Telkomsel which I bought in February could not be used this time, unless for receiving calls only. Then i had to buy a sim. I bought this just at the airport itself, as you walk out. It cost me just IDR 30,000 which comes with IDR 10,000 air time. 

Upon landing, i was fetched at the airport by my friends and driver and we headed straight for the Pasar Bawah to do some shopping on some Pekanbaru souvenir t-shirts.  SInce I was late and I was worried that I may not get the time over the next two days, decided to do it today itself. Got a couple of shirts for IDR 50,000 each shirt. I think its the standard rate there but a good rate. However, please bear in mind that the Indonesia sizes are small and check you size for sure before buying. My other problem with that t shirts was also because these shirts have a straight cut and that is a problem with my tummy :). Therefore, I always have to buy a size bigger. 

After my shopping, went to the hotel for some rest. Checked into the room. Great hotel, beautiful view and amenities. Just relaxed in the room for about 2 hours then went out to Mega Store in Pekanbaru Mall. Just did some window shopping and then went to have dinner within the mall itself. Its a nice bistro with cheap food around the range of IDR 10,000 up to IDR 25,000 per meal, BUT, the weird part is that, when the waiter confirms the order at your table, you would need to pay first and only then food is served.  At first I thought that this was only for me because they did not trust a foreigner but apparently from my observation, this treatment was equal for everyone. Taste wise, I would rate the food 7 out of 10. I had the Cheesy Chicken Steak. Then confirmed the next day departure time with my friend. Initially we had planned to leave at 6am but then I felt like having a longer nap and hence told them to come at 7am. 

Then back to the room and knocked off at 2300. Hope I can and will wake up at 5.30 am tomorrow so that I could have the breakfast as well in the hotel. 

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venoth on

Hi Jacob, yeah thats true. Sometimes I feel the service level in 4 & 5 star hotels in Indonesia surpasses the quality levels of our hotel, especially the price . :D

Siokjiun on

I m going to Pekanbaru in next year feb.really appreciate your effort of writing all these attraction places in Pekanbaru .really hard to get more info bout this place

venoth on

Dear Siokjiun, thank you so much for taking the time to read my travel blogs. Appreciate your kind words. Do write to me if you need more information on these places in Pekanbaru. Im glad that I could have been helpful here.

Siokjiun on

I will b thr for 3days 2 night.really interested to c Candi muara takus.but it's very far from town. How much to hire a car with driver to thr? I try to search ur fren's company online but found no result. Bcos only hv 2 days thr,scare tat time will b not enuf.whr n wAt place u think tat I must go?

venoth on

Hi Siokjun, yes thats true. All the places are quite far apart. It would take around 4 hours to reach Muara Takus and even if you plan to Istana Siak, thats another 5 hours drive. Just inside Pekanbaru, all that you have are the Malls. You could also visit the Balai Adat, the Library, Masjid Raya and Pasar Bawah. These are the must visit places here. Its not that expensive to hire a car, but you could reach my friends company at +6282170588116 Its Era Tours & Travels. You could request to speak to Ms. Era. Do inform that you got the number from me and you would be well taken care of. Cheers!

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