A MEMOIR OF MY PONY RIDE IN PAHALGAM, KASHMIR
Friday, October 28, 2016


I wonder how much I would have lost, had I chosen NOT to ride a pony in Pahalgam


CONT'D from HERE


I think all of us were getting severe headache and feel like vomiting, probably because of the twist and turns of hilly route on the way back from Sonamarg to our houseboat. And when we reached Lily of Nageen, Fana vomited. Tsk. Thank god I didn't throw up but my headache remains for few hours and as usual I ALWAYS forget to bring any medicine while travelling and had to request panadol from Fana that night.

 Kashmiri chicken curry 


We had chicken curry for dinner and it was cooked to perfection and also served with finely chopped coriander leaves. I gave in finally hahaha tried to eat a bit and walllahhhh it was GOOD! Sooo sooo good! Bertambah-tambah nasik siap, yumss. Hehe. Perhaps blogging this at midnight isn't such a good idea because I'm terribly missing Kashmiri curry.

We were all then decided to take shower at night rather than in the morning. I mean how often should you shower during winter, kan? Sekali sehari sudah hiks. And plus we smell soooo bad that day, need to take shower ASAP. Bau kuda sangat! Sooo bushuk. Haha. Well, the horse riding was fun but the smell is a bit euwww. Bertabah je lah, nak naik kuda sangat kan.


Our housekeeper Shabir, preparing for breakfast. Handsome enough? Haha. 



Morning view at our houseboat


My UIA girls since 2005 and semua tak mandi pagi hiks

The next morning, we eventually got up, washy-washy, prayed, and dressed properly. Lesson well learned yesterday, when the weather gets cold, you need to learn how to dress for winter. And the easiest way of course; to wear layers.

Our brekfast as usual was okay. Bread, butter, Kashmiri tea and there's always omelette on the dining table. We had to quickly rush after brekkie because the distance from Srinagar to Pahalgam is about 100km and it takes maybe 2 hours plus to reach the destination.






On our way to Pahalgam, the drive was particularly scenic. We passed through local shops and almost all men dressed in their traditional firan (full length coat mostly worn during winter) and the girls with scarves tied tightly to their heads.

The journey today was easy compared to what we had yesterday and we were all cheerful. Perhaps, panadols we took last night really work, I believe. Hehe. We also discussed some of the things like no horse riding for today, never. Because, our butt hurt so much after the ride haha. At first, I thought I was the only one felt that way but they suffered too, eventually. Hahaha. 


Almost there. The landscape here always give me goosebumps 


We then realised that during winter, there are only two options going up to Baisaran Valley or people here call that place as "Mini Switzerland". It is either you have to walk for at least 7km long or... pony ride. The car cannot bring you up, it is definitely impossible.

And we... had no choice. 

Most people go by pony not because of long distance but it is due to steep and rocky route up to the valley. We too, choose that route. 1 hour to climb and 1 hour to come down. The idea of pony ride up to the mountain was intimidating to be honest. I was nervous like hell haha but there were two boys who will bring us up, they were friendly and seemed experience. So we hesitantly agreed, we had no choice remember?


Hey Rani, please behave okay. Jangan bagi jatuh please 


And here we go! Chalo Raju!


Rahman was the one who made the introductions and like any local, he started the conversation with this one question "Where are you from?" He speaks fluent English and asked lot of questions about us, what are we doing for living, do we travel often and so on. And looking at him, I wondered what life is really like. Everything about life here is different than life as we know it. 




Rahman (on the left), he's a medical student in one of the universities in Kashmir and during winter break, he always come back to his village and worked as a tourist guide who received daily wages which I believe just only small amount of Rupees. But at least, it can help him and his family a bit, I think. And here in small part or Kashmir, every kid walks 5 to 10 km one way to go to the only school. Sobs. They had lived quite an adventurous life. Stories of struggle and hardship in the midst of what feel like heaven is way too difficult for me to digest.

He also told us that he enjoyed taking visitors into the hills and forest trails. "But you are walking, and we are riding a pony, won't you get tired"? 

I can't remember how many times I was asking, are you tired? He was just smiling and said no. And at that moment, I was thinking about my brothers at home, felt like crying for no reason. 


It looks familiar, isn't it? Macam Switzerland those green houses









On the way up, we can see many people passed by, some of them I can see enjoy their ride to the fullest. Well it is an enjoyable experience if you know how to ride or most importantly how to control the pony. Hehe. Rahman taught us the basic of pony riding like how to stop a pony, change the direction and make him go faster. I can say that by now I am sooo expert at how to make a pony stop. Hahaha. Senang sajork. 

There were also general talks about other places in Kashmir especially Gulmarg. I told him that we will be going tomorrow. And he said you should, a must visit.






After half an hour or so, the tedious and most difficult journey started. This is the most steepest part. And now I was thinking, walking would have been a better option. 

"Can I walk?" I said. And of course Rahman said no, it was steep. I actually screamed now and then because sometimes the pony would speed up and only slow down within seconds just to drink water. Duh. How dare you! While I was still on the pony, my anxiety had reached a tipping point and the next thing I knew, we already reached our destination; Baisaran Valley or Mini Switzerland. Thank god! Haha.




Can't you see a whole lot of snow welcomed us? The views up here were splendid






Sometimes the bright sun came up above the white clouds as if telling us we were at the right place. And here is where raw beauty is at its best. We strolled for quite some time capturing this beautiful moment.
.




And this is a very common sight in Kashmir :) 





After almost 30 minutes we spent our time in Baisaran valley, its time go back. And going down again was another adventure. Haha. The steepness slightly terrified than before. And as result, Fana fell off a pony. Hahaha. I was ahead of her and straight away looking back, what hepenggg girl? How comeeeee. Hehe. Another half of the journey was easiest, alhamdulillah.

As we said our goodbyes, Rahman asked us when we would be visiting again. And we said next year (but we have not visited yet, tsk). He was just smiling. Their hospitality surpassed anything I had ever imagined. Can't help but to help them a bit, if you know what I mean.



So yes, sometimes the people you randomly meet on the road give you an impact. Actually before I went to India, I was telling myself, I won't be giving any tips to anyone (kedeks at first), but... end up I had to call CIMB from Jaipur just to activate my overseas withdrawal. Haha. Cashless.


To be continued.


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4:10 AM | 4 comments
EXPLORING #AADC2 FILMING LOCATIONS - JOGJA (PART I)
Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Prambanan Temple, Jogja


I’ve visited Indonesia many times since young, the place I kept coming back to and about, though this trip was my first time to Yogyakarta or Jogja, for short. And I don’t know where to begin, how, in my own words, sometimes I have gone overboard, to visit the place just because one particular movie was shot there. Hehe. #gigihs.




So are you a fan of #AADC2?  If you are, keep reading. But if you are not, you don't have to love the movie to appreciate the beauty of Jogja, the cultural capital of Indonesia.

The view is different this time around. My perspectives and reflections take different angles, like for instance, to locate the exact spot where some of the scenes were shot. Hehe. I enjoyed my days there immensely, with newfound appreciation and more open heart. Every moments of my trip was memorable and the villa we stayed in on our second day owned my heart totally, made me reminisce of my 2015 break in Saufiville, Janda Baik. My god, the feels. Sooo calm and peaceful.

Planning this trip proved a nightmare because we had quite an adventurous plan to see all the places (tamak) but of course we have time constraints. 3 days 2 nights definitely not enough. Haha. Cuti takdok, what to do.

So we then decided to choose and focus on few places and because of that, I have been dying to go back again, ever since I left. Hehe.

It was raining cats and dogs when we arrived and our driver, Yono was already waiting for us at Adisucipto airport. The temperature had actually been lower than Malaysia due to the bad weather. And Yono... he made us feel so welcome and brought us for lunch straight away while waiting for the rain to stop. At first, I was looking for nasi padang (dendeng yumsss) but he told us that in Jogja, the fried chicken is massive business and why don't we try the best fried chicken in Jogja? Oooh mmmkay. So where is it?

Ayam Goreng Suharti, Jogja

For the three of us, we ordered whole chicken paired with sambal, 3 white rice and a plate of sayur kangkung. The price is a bit expensive but not THAT expensive. I would say it is still not the the type of price you'd normally pay at most of the restaurants in Jogja. So how was it, good? VERY! Crispy fried chicken, it's everyone's favorite. Sedapsss!

And after a great lunch, we headed off to the temples at Prambanan.









The temples here were built thousand of years ago and dedicated to Hindu Gods – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. There were a lot of people there when we visited but still pleasant to walk around. And the best part is, we managed to purchase student tickets (50% discount) for Prambanan and Ratu Boko package. Haha. Soo huntong.





This place here is a little quieter, less people and easier to take photos. If you can see, one of the temples there was under construction and I believe it still is. All of these temples are soooo big and spread apart and I don't have wide lens of course haha so fitting them all is a bit hard. Hehe. Tangkap gambar pulak pakai iPhone sajork, lagilah. Being Asean living in Asia, semua temple looks identical to me, it's like when you have been to one temple, so basically you have been to all. Haha. But I'm still finding time to visit another temple in Siem Reap, walaupun it seems that you have visited all khen. Hahaha.









It was believed that at one time, there were more than 200 temples in this complex but most of them are in ruins today and some have been renovated because they were destroyed by natural forces, either by volcanos and earthquakes. To be honest, I donch like history, at all. Tahu sikit-sikit sudah but so not me to study further haha. So please expect more of this; pose pose only. Hiks.



Us :)


After that, we headed to Kraton Ratu Boko and this is the place where #AADC2 was shot. Still remember this scene?





Hehe sho schweet! 

A bit of history, (which I still donch like, history whattt) Ratu Boko is a Ruler who carved his name to this site called the Place of Ratu Boko to legitimate his authority of this place. Prambanan temple can also be seen from here.

It was already evening when we reached there, the sky was thick and the sunset wasn't particularly interesting sobs. Sendu sajork and punyalah ramai ummah manusia, can't even take my picture berlatarbelakangkan pintu gerbang itu. Tskk. 








And apparently this place is VERY popular for sunset view and you might get a view like this if you are lucky. (and we were not!). A reason to come back!


Picture credit : Google image

As the evening deepened, the rain continued to shower Kraton Ratu Boko, so we decided to make a move to our hotel which is located at the city of Jogja. Both Kraton Ratu Boko and Prambanan temple are just 20km from Jogja city but it took us around 1 hour to reach our hotel due to some traffic.

But we still enjoy the journey nevertheless. Jogja had a lot more character than any places that I've visited in Indonesia. The buildings are in smaller scale, lots of beautiful cafes and restaurants and the rickshaws are everywhere.

Wisma Ary's Hotel - Picture credit : Booking.com

We’d booked into this small Wisma Ary's Hotel in Jogja for our first night and after checked-in, we put our luggage at the counter first and then asked Yono to drop us at one of the cafe's where #AADC2 was filmed. Hehe. I believe that this cafe is the MOST visited place for all #AADC2 fans, well because Rangga and Cinta met for the first time here you see, after how many years they have been hiding from each other.

Rangga apa yang kamu buat ke saya itu, JAHAT! 

Hahaha. Betul, what he did memang jahat, I mean come on, you cannot simply leave people just like that. Tskkk. But sometimes, we did that sebab malas nak explain, so might as well JUST LEAVE quietly. Jahat la kan, but what goes around, comes around. So apa yang kita buat kat orang, other people will probably do the same to you. Haihhh. Betul la tu, I agreed 100%. Haha. Rasain. I guess, to give closure is the best way to end any relationship but itulah, easier said than done.

So okay, back to the story. This place is called Sellie Coffee.




 The exact spot, FYI! 





Verdict? So-so. Haha. Service lambat tapi there were just two of them and the cafe was full house. So, cannot expect more. But anyhow, mission accomplished, what's next? 




After that we jumped in a taxi and headed to Jalan Malioboro and this place is not even in our itinerary but we decided to have a quick peek and one more reason I NEED to buy the charger for my gopro, left mine at home. Haha. Nasib baik la jumpa.

 Wisma Ary's Hotel (our room) - Picture credit : Booking.com

 Wisma Ary's Hotel (our bathroom) - Picture credit : Booking.com

 Wisma Ary's Hotel (dining hall) - Picture credit : Booking.com

Nak mandi punyalah payah, kena langkah masuk dalam bekas tu hahahaha macam-macam

Then we headed back to our accommodation, took a shower, makan Indomie and I think we went to bed quite early that night, well because we need to get up at 3.00 am to catch the sunrise at Puthuk Setumbu.

To be continued.


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2:14 AM | 0 comments
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Previous

A MEMOIR OF MY PONY RIDE IN PAHALGAM, KASHMIR
EXPLORING #AADC2 FILMING LOCATIONS - JOGJA (PART I...
VISITING SONAMARG DURING THE WINTER
CRAZY WISH LIST
ADA APA DENGAN CINTA 2 | #AADC2
MINGALABAR, MYANMAR!
AN EVENING IN SRINAGAR, KASHMIR
SRINAGAR HOUSEBOAT - ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE...
INDIA - PREPARATION
NEW YORK, HERE WE COME!


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