Dili, East Timor

My friend, Eric Wong a hobby currency note collector is looking for a piece of East Timor currency to complete his Asian collection.

I contacted academician and activist Ying Hooi who travels to East Timor frequently, She told me the budding new nation prefers to use US currency. That cannot bode well, just like Cambodia where everything is quoted in USD. Everything became more expensive not just for tourists but for local consumers as well, A worker and even street beggars will ask for “one dollah” for tips.

Update: Ying Hooi says Timor Leste has no own currency because they are a small economy, They currently have coins though. Eric may have shown us a colonial day note which should be more valuable.

Ying Hooi is seen here in the first picture on top of the hill where the statue of Cristo Rei of Dili (or Christ the King of Dili). Beautiful and model like Ying Hooi is sitting on a cliff overlooking the Savu Sea. She also shared a ground level shot of the popular landmark.Her pic of Tai besi Market of Dili is very interesting too. It was a beans seller. 4th pic is supposedly East Timor money from Eric;s Fb.

Timor-Leste, or East Timor had a long hard struggle to independence from Portugal in 1975 and was subsequently invaded and annexed by Indonesia until it was granted Independence in 2002..
Find a hotel in Dili here: http://www.mycen.my/dili-hotel-deals-finder/

#dili #easttimor #timorleste #island #portugal #indonesia #maluku #islands #cristorei

Exodus Via Kukup

Exodus Via Kukup.

I saw an article in the NST today that Kukup Ferry Terminal was gridlocked as 12,000 Indonesians head home for holidays. I knew I have a pic of the Immigration and ferry terminal archived somewhere. Am happy I found the folder effortlessly. It was taken on 19th June 2010 with my Olympus EPL-1. Remember this place, Emily Lowe?

The great thing about finding a digital file, unlike negatives or slides is that the digital medium remains pristine. There are no fungus, dust. scratches or hair to worry about, In fact the tools of 2017 ‘s Photoshop made it even better.

The Immigration building is quiet and peaceful on a normal day unlike today or yesterday. NST showed a pic of long queues inside the terminal. Kukup is a small fishing village in the Pontian District, Johor. It is famous for its open-air seafood restaurants built on stilts over the water. Regularly scheduled ferries connect Kukup with Tanjung Balai in Indonesia.

I remember many of the houses on stilts were converted into family homestay and hotels. All with air cond and karaoke rooms.

For hotels see nearby Pontian Kecil: http://www.mycen.my/pontian-kecil-hotel-deals-finder/

#kukup #johor #ferryterminal #indonesia #fishingvillage #pontian #travel #roadtrip #coastal

Ducks By The Paddy Fields

Ducks By The Paddy Fields. My friend, Rian Maelzer, booked a couple of hotel rooms in Ubud and Sanur, Bali through me, recently. I was happy not only for the bookings but I also know that as a seasoned international journalist with a great eye, he will return with beautiful pictures of Ubud.

Ubud is a center for traditional crafts and dance. The surrounding rainforest and terraced rice fields are dotted with Hindu temples and shrines. Ubud is one of Bali’s most famous landscapes. Bebek Tepi Sawah Restaurant & Villas is the hotel he chose and it has Balinese style rooms with marble floors and thatched roof gazebos.

True to its name, the hotel is in the middle of a paddy or rice field. The sounds you will hear are that from the cackling of the village geese and hypnotic gamelan percussion.

Rian is a very experienced, savvy and demanding traveler and his regular bookings are a testimony of the reliability and competitive rates at MyCen Hotels. Thank you for your support and for allowing me to share the pics, Rian.

#ubud #bali #indonesia #holiday #vacation #travel

A Tip For The Wandering Stranger

To lessen my anxiety, I took some pics to calm down. I don’t remember where I was but I traced my route to the Kramat Railway Station In Central Jakarta. How do I do it?

Here’s an important photography tip: Many times we may not recall or know where we were in a strange and unfamiliar city. Whether you are walking or in a car, try to shoot more, especially with a digital camera. Ideally. we should shoot with a camera with GPS enabled so the coordinates are recorded together in the exif data.

Unfortunately, I didn’t. I did shoot all the nearby shops and streets. In Jakarta, many shops, even small ones, have a signboard with the street name shown. By looking at nearby landscape pics I was able to see I was at Jalan Pramuka Raya. With that, I went to Google Map and found the railway track crossing and railway station. Google Street View allowed me to match up the images to confirm.

In the collage:
Top pic: When the car stopped on the track.
Lower left: Google street view showed it to be a busy crossing and is gated.
Lower right: The shop sign that gave away the street name

Book a hotel out of 715 hotels in Jakarta here.

Wandering Stranger was one of the saddest songs by Lionel Ritchie.

#jakarta #railway #train #crosing #indonesia #kramat

Nasi Padang in Jakarta

Nasi Padang in Jakarta was scary. Wanted to buy my local driver dinner since it was my last day. It was just me and him (seen here in blue) and the restaurant brought out enough dishes to feed a village. Was relieved they only charge for plates that were partially consumed or touched.

Nasi Padang gets its name from the West Sumatran town of Padang, famous for the culinary rice dish or buffet. Turned out to be an awesome experience.

Book a hotel out of 715 hotels in Jakarta here.