Friday, 30 December 2011

Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia

On the way back from Bukittinggi to Padang, before we checked in at our hotel, we stopped at the Pantai Air Manis where the legendary Malim Kundang (or as most Malaysians know it, the legend of si Tanggang) is situated. The moral of the story is be good to your parents, as Islam teaches us.

Since my dad took the pictures, we haven't snapped any with our camera, but it is a must visit since we can still see the ship wreck. The entrance to the beach costed us Rp 3,000 per adult. Padang is famous for its beaches.

Mom, dad and sister left Padang on Wednesday morning. Since our flight is on the next day, we arranged with our supir for a half day trip at Padang. There is not much to see in Padang, but the government offices are located here, thus there are many government offices with wonderful and unique architecture, one of it is Bank Negara Indonesia.

Our first stop, since we want to look at songket weaving.

Tadaaa... I can't remember the name of the place, but it is just after Teluk Bayur. There were like 3 people working at the same time weaving songkets. My husband asked one of the workers there; and she said that one piece of songket took one month to complete.
Nah, we didn't even inquire about the price since I have no interest in buying any songket. My office colleague found this piece of information of me 'on not buying songket' is amusing.

Now, why should I buy a songket? I don't think there is a need for that (pat my own back, proud of myself since I am not splurging much for this trip).

At Teluk Bayur, the second stop.

The legendary Jembatan Siti Nurbaya. Do you know 'Siti Nurbaya' is a famous novel by Marah Roesli? I know it is quite famous, even the locals said the story is true. Reminded me of the novel 'Badai Semalam' by Khadijah Hashim (which I read in my primary school days).
Oh yes Aini, I saw one new novel by Tere Liye at Pasar Atas, but since I was not keep abreast about his new novel, I didn't know whether I should buy it for you :P. So of course, I didn't. But I am still amazed at Indonesians for their reading habit. This stall is located in the flea market (akin to pasar borong, and it is an open stall), but there were many people surrounding the stall. Last time I went to Bandung in 2008, Gramedia (the Indonesian book store) is a hip place for youngsters to hang out.

The new Jembatan Siti Nurbaya. The former one is made from woods and used by pedestrians to cross the river. This one is made of concrete and steels.
On our way to the next attraction, we stopped by at Keripik Balado Shirley to buy kerepeks to bring back home. Since we were to busy choosing our kerepeks, there is not one picture of us or the kerepek outlet. But please do try the kerepeks especially the cheese flavoured one! It was so yummy... Padang is famous for its kerepek (and our tour guide said, the Padang kerepeks is much better than Bukittinggi's).

We stopped by for our lunch at the seaside. The ikan bakar is to die for :). Sedap banget! Seriously, you guys have to try it. Now, lunch is quite good and costed us around Rp 180,000 for 3 adults and 4 kids.. (inclusive of ikan bakar and udang masak tepung). The spices used for the ikan bakar is different.
Our last stop is Universitas Andalas. There are actually 2 universities located in Padang, which is Universitas Padang and Universitas Andalas. Universitas Padang is well known for its medical course (with many Indian Malaysians taking the course here), and Universitas Andalas is targeted for art stream students.

Universitas Andalas is located above the hills, thus the beautiful scenery at the university.

We stopped for our jamak and qasar prayer at the university's mosque. See the zinc roof? Unique. But do remember that Padang was hit by a major earthquake back in 2008, thus they have to rebuild most of the buildings here.
I was quite confused after 3 mosques and surau stops in Bukittinggi and Padang, the female area and the male area are only divided by wood screens. And the men can clearly see the women, vice versa. Even the mosque's doors are made of glasses. It is quite hard to cover the aurat properly, thus I wear my tudung in the toilet after taking the ablution.

As I mentioned to my sister about this, she also agreed to this.

In front of Universitas Andalas' entrance.

The Padang town.

All those attraction places do not charge anything for entrance, except for entrance to Pantai Air Manis. The parking costed around Rp 2,000. The angkut in Padang charged around Rp 3,000 per person.

There are not many attraction places in Padang, but we have seen my demolished sites because of the earthquake. Our taxi driver (on the way back from Plaza Andalas) even pointed out at one hotel which is currently under construction, where 600 people were killed inside the hotel during the earthquake.

I am so glad we live in Malaysia, BTW.

Oh, and the total cost of our trip (including hotel, flight tickets, airport tax at Rp 100,000/person and all those miscellaneous expenses) is around RM 3,000 for 8 days and 7 nights. Which is quite cheap considering the cost is for 6 peoples (2 adults & 4 kids). But I do not shop much, though.

See, I told you guys I am not on shopping spree... heheheh
I do enjoy Bukittinggi compared to Jakarta & Bandung ^_^.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

And then, there is Bukittinggi

No. No. I am not referring to Bukit Tinggi, Malaysia (and I have never been there, like seriously?). This Bukittinggi is situated in West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Why Bukittinggi?

Because my mom found lowest air fare to Padang and she already went there with my father. Both my parents fell in love Bukit Tinggi, and this was their second time going there. I was smiling when my father was telling tidbits on their last adventure at Bukit Tinggi. They travelled by bus from Padang to Bukit Tinggi.

Since AirAsia offer such amazing low fares, mom decided that we should all go to Bukittinggi! On 15 December, we arrived at Padang (Minangkabau International Airport). The flight was around 1 hour. Arrived there around 3.30 p.m. (-1 hour from Kuala Lumpur) and stayed overnight at Padang before preparing ourselves for the journey to Bukittinggi for the next day. My husband and my 2 kids (Fawwaz & Fahri) arrived at Padang in the morning. The rest of us took the afternoon flights.

The journey to Bukittinggi took around 4 hours by car. Since we asked the driver to stop by interesting places to look around, we arrived quite late at Bukittinggi. We stopped for Friday prayers (amazing mosque), and lunch. We even went to Rumah Bung Hamka, the well known philosopher who is still famous for his 'Tafsir Al-Azhar'.

Of course, travelling with kids on tow, long journeys always make them restless.

We stopped by at one of the corners (the locals refer to these corners as 'kelok', and there are 44 keloks before we arrive at Bukittinggi) to Bukittinggi. Behind my father, is the beautiful Danau Maninjau, one of the famous lakes located near Bukittinggi.

At Bukittinggi, stayed in Hotel Ambun Suri. The cost per night is Rp 250,000 (which translate around RM 87.50, exchange cost is Rp 100,000 to RM 35). This hotel is a hit among Malaysians, it is near all those attractions (Jam Gadang, Lubang Jepang, Panorama Ngarai Sianok, Zoo) and also just next to Pasar Atas (where we did most of our shoppings).

Bukittinggi is famous for its hand embroidery (sulaman tangan), and even shops from Jakarta and Bandung bought fabrics here. Most famous places to hunt for hand embroideries fabrics are; Pasar Aur Kuning (which is located in the city centre, and is amazingly, beside the section where the locals sell their catches of the day - fish, prawns, vegetables, fruits) and Pasar Atas. Pasar Atas' price is much higher compared to Pasar Aur Kuning, but the fabrics sold at Pasar Atas has much more intricate embroidery, which is much better if you are buying for yourself.

Since I am not much a shopper (and I really mean it!), I only bought fabrics for my close family and friends at Pasar Aur Kuning. From the hotel, we took a van (which is called angkut), and the trip costed us Rp 2,000 per head. The locals are friendly, and even the 'angkut' driver asked us what we want to shop at Pasar Aur Kuning. We said we want to buy fabrics, he even sent us to the place where the fabrics were sold, since Pasar Aur Kuning is a very big market and consist of many items.

The cost of one 4-metre fabric is around Rp 80,000 to Rp 150,000. We even bought kain pelikats for men, and it costed us around Rp 45,000 for the quality ones. Other than that, the pasar sells all kind of things. Even the kain sembahyang is just a mere Rp 100,000 for the so-so quality. It is noted that the shops which had higher visibility (facing the main road), quote a much higher price.

On Sunday, it was raining cats and dogs, but being a tourist, we braced the weather and went to Pasar Atas, which is just nearby our hotel. Outside the complex, there is also a flea market selling all kind of stuff. We bought souvenirs from this one particular shop, behind the Pasar Atas complex.

Bukittinggi is also famous for its nasi kapau, and mom said that the most famous nasi kapau is from this one food stall located at Pasar Atas flea market, that is Nasi Kapau Uni Lis. One portion of rice (which I think should be shared with 2 people) also consist of the lauks is around Rp 19,000. I shared it with my husband.
Monday came, and we went to Lobang Jepang. The price per entry for adult is Rp 5,000. We went there walking (yes, it is very near with our hotel). Since I can't remember the last time I exercised, I was already out of breath walking inside Lobang Jepang. Lobang Jepang is a fort used by the Japanese to stock up their ammunisation and food. They even have prison under there! Whew..
See, there's the proof that we were huffing and puffing when we had to climb the stairs. Is it nearly 1000 steps? I am so drama over it, but totally forgot the pains after we saw rows of shops (talking about being excited at seeing shops, which loosely translates me to be a shopaholic?)
The map of Lobang Jepang.. Phew, I was glad that I finally able to climb up the stairs. Chanting to myself: I am still fit, I am still fit.

In front of Lobang Jepang. My sister already hunched herself on the floor, since my husband couldn't stop taking pictures of us.

One of the shops alongside Panorama Ngarai Sianok sells oil based painting. The price is as low as Rp 10,000 for a small framed picture. Canvas painting commanded much higher price.

The kids smiling all over. Fateh was in good mood running around here and there. I think it is because of the cool weather. And I have a theory; since he had been such a drama king nowadays (T_T), the cool weather reminded himself of his 'kampung' (Manchester). He was raised there by his father when his mom was busy studying :P.
Rows and rows of shops at Ngarai Sianok. Oh, Lobang Jepang is actually situated inside Ngarai Sianok. Since my mom, dad and Fateh did not enter Lobang Jepang, they walked around. When we emerged later from Lobang Jepang, my sister and I had come to the same idea: We should search our parents at the shops. Our theory turned out to be right!

And, arghhhh.. the shops here sell much cheaper souvenirs compared to the Pasar Atas' shop. My husband bought leather sandals for Rp 40,000. We did scout around for kain pelekat tenun for my father in law. It was cheap, and the well known brand of 'Gajah Duduk' for quality kain pelikat made us choose it.

Farmers planting the paddy. The locals here are so hardworking. Since Bukittinggi is well known for volcanoes (Gunung Merapi), the land surrounding the area is well soiled and agriculture is taking places everywhere.
One of the view at Ngarai Sianok. Price per entrance for adult is Rp 3,000.

After we have finished walking at Ngarai Sianok, we did some last minute shopping at Pasar Atas. In front of Pasar Atas is where Jam Gadang is situated. Pasar Atas, as I mentioned earlier, sells all kind of fabric, albeit the steeper price. But the choices were a plenty, and we were happy bargaining for the fabrics. Mom searched for my twin sister's fabrics. I did some shopping for my nieces (slippers) and nephews (kain pelekat budak, which my mom bargained hard).

My sister, bought pyjama and blouses for herself (and also for my youngest sister).

On Tuesday, on our way back from Bukittinggi to Padang, we stopped at Istana Pagaruyung. The original palace was burnt down in 2007 and is still under construction. The reason for this is because there are not many skilled workers able to do the work, it was quite hard to finish it in such a short span of time. I do wish to see the inside of the palace, but we can still hear the hammering and drilling done. It is such a beautiful palace with the easily identifiable Minangkabau roof. Currently, the entrance to the palace is free.

Next stop, before we headed back to Padang is Pandai Sinkek. It is situated above the hills, thus the weather is much colder. This village sells all kind of fabrics, kain tenun and even wood carving. The price here is very expensive compared to Pasar Atas itself. When we asked our tour guide the next day, he said it was because most of the fabrics were handmade. It is also a well known fact that Pandai Sinkek is famous for its songket. We even saw skilled workers carved the woods.

All in all, Bukittinggi is a must visit for people who love scenery and want to do a little bit of shopping here and there.

P/S: Next entry will be on Padang's tour.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas at MidValley

Camwhoring at MidValley with the Christmas decorations.

And even taking picture between the washing machines displayed at Jusco :p. Hahaha, I know. it's just we love roaming around at home appliance section that the kids had so much fun entertaining themselves with rows and rows of fridges, TVs (they could not have enough of the 3D TVs!) and washing machines.

You guys should have seen me dragging Fateh from trying all those home appliances T_T

Ohh, and we had such a wonderful family time with our Padang and Bukit Tinggi, Indonesia trip :).

Celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary there with the kids. (I forgot the date. Luckily, my husband also forgot it. Isn't it nice to blame not only myself, but also my husband for the memory loss of our most important celebration? *_*)

- Blog Press enabled

Tuesday, 13 December 2011


+ 'Kita ni, jangan berkira sangat. Kadang-kadang sepuluh sen, dua puluh sen kalau dengan kawan rapat, adik-beradik, kita niat sedekah sahaja.'
- 'Aida lepas kahwin dengan abang, barulah jadi tak berkira sangat.'
+ 'Abang percaya, kalau kita tak berkira dengan orang, insya Allah, Allah takkan berkira dengan kita.'
- 'Dan Aida percaya, insya Allah, Allah takkan berkira dengan kita untuk masukkan kita dalam syurga.'
Allahuakbar! Hadiah paling indah, ingatan dari suami sendiri.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Definitely older

'Ibu tak ada harijadi, kan?' tanya Fahri.

Disebabkan harijadiku tiada kek dan hadiah, maka anak-anakku ingat ibu mereka tiada harijadi. Hari ini seperti hari-hari lain. Cuma usia sudah bertambah.

Friday, 9 December 2011


"Ibu nak, boleh?" acahku.
"Ibu ambillah."
"Eh takpe ke?"
"Kak Amni tak nak. Kak Amni tak pakai."

Bersungguh-sungguh dia, terharunya daku.

Macam tahu-tahu je ibunya pun fanatik kartun Disney :) (dan telinga Mickey Mouse).

Monday, 5 December 2011

Multitasking or managing time effectively?

While I was cooking burgers and curry puffs for my kids' lunch (yes, my kids are not the type who would demand rice all the time), I realised that being a mom is all about being able to multitask.

Or is it being able to manage time effectively?

I was quite unsure which of the two terms would describe me best. I prefer the latter one since we all have 24 hours a day, same as everyone around us.

I remembered one quote that I found hanging on the wall of my faculty's building about stop complaining about not having enough time. And that quote did emphasis that some great names (if I am not mistaken, Albert Einstein) has the same 24 hours as us. Every time we walked and saw that quotes, we will always shudder since we realised we also have the same 24 hours as Albert Einstein :P. And yet, we still take some last minute time to finish our assignments :P.

Yesterday, while I was cooking, I managed to ask Fawwaz to pick the dry clothes hanging outside, and Amni to clean some food messes being left by Fateh. As for Fahri, he was busy storing away the toys. I have asked the children to do some daily chores in the house from time to time, which I think is quite good, since they learned about keeping the house spanking clean (I don't think it is child labour, eh??, just a mom who is able to outsource some of her chores.. heheheh).

While waiting for my burgers to be cooked, I was able to fold the clothes on the lunch cum dinner table, which I find quite amusing. At the same time, my washing machine was in use. I was thinking to buy a dryer. But still, if there is one machine that I think should be invented, it should be the clothes folding machine, which will happily free me from my clothes folding burden :P (I would always agree for gadget that will always enlighten the house chores!).

And with the husband going for his Masters classes, I have managed to mop the house on Saturday, with the kids entertaining themselves upstairs.

I realised, that during the start of our marriage, I will not be to handle 4 kids. I will not be able to cook dishes without preparing all those ingredients first ( if my mom sees me, she would laugh). I will not be able to cook 2 or 3 dishes at the same time. And I was never able to cook properly (I have some basic skills, but let say it is limited to all those fried dishes).

And now, I know how to handle 4 kids. I am able to 'campak-campak' and close my eyes when some ingredients are not enough for my cooking. I am able to cook and serve 50 people at one time (it's amazing what you learned as life skills when you are studying oversea with your family tagging along). And I can vouched that I know how to prepare roti jala, pulut, kek lapis, and nasi beriyani (amidst using an instant seasoning :P).

Isn't it amazing that with so many kids, we, as moms, are better at managing our time effectively?

P/S: Oh and the picture above is ABC Kiwi (I named the dish myself since it is akin to ABC minus the red beans but topped with kiwi) at Sweet Chat Cafe, Midvalley last Friday. It was nice being treated by close friends (who are also supermoms in their own way!). Congrats Semah for your promotion :)