10 things to do when you missed to stop at Hentian Duta and ended up at Puduraya at 5am

Scenario: You took bus from Nothern town (say, Pendang) to return to KL and are supposed to stop at Hentian Duta in Jalan Duta (because you practically had started from there for inbound journey and parked your car there). However, you managed to have overslept and when you realized, the bus was already in Puduraya. It’s 5.20 am and to make it worse, your phone was dead =.= What to do?

1) First of all, don’t panic. Although you would feel like crying and your mind is hopelessly trying hard to think how to go back, and how to call your husband/family at this odd hour. Well, it’s okay to panic but dont cry just yet. By this time you’re thinking if to go back to home first, which is not good, because you still need to go back to Hentian Duta to get your car, otherwise you dont know how to go to work! So, start thinking how to go back to Hentian Duta. In the meantime, ignore all the taxi drivers asking if you need taxi, because I dont believe in safety in this city at this hour and I doubt they will not charge you non-ridiculous fares before 6am.

2) Look around if you can find anywhere to charge your phone first. There should be McDonalds nearby, so go into it and check if any socket available. It’s okay if you dont feel like ordering anything from the breakfast set, they should know that you’re on emergency. However, if all sockets are being used by some weird people who’re happily surfing internet from their laptop at 5.20 am, you should go out from McDonalds right away and find other alternative.

3) Try 24-hour convenient store like KK-shop. I know it’s strange to ask to use the power socket but you simply dont have any other choice!! The counter boy should be nice and would allow you to use the socket near the fridge. By this time you might feel like going to the toilet so bad, but hold on first. Call your husband/mom/anyone right away once your phone get charged.. and tell them what’s happening, and now you can let yourself cry (you can hide behind the fridge). It would be convenient if you know that they’re awake at this our because they’re also traveling back home.

4) If your husband/mom/anyone have internet access or they’re currently in the village but surprisingly have a public WiFi connection, ask them to check rapidKL website and bus route you can take to get to Hentian Duta. It would help if you happened to study the bus routes before (perhaps when you were deciding whether to take bus or leave your car at Hentian Duta when you were going there earlier) so it should quicker the process. “I remember the bus B11something.. please check B112”. Your husband would check and say it’s not the correct one. The correct bus to go to Hentian Duta is B115. Although it doesnt mention Hentian Duta in the route page, it says Stadium Hoki and Masjid Wilayah, which are nearby.

5) After you’re done with the call, leave the KK-mart quickly (before that, dont forget to say thank you to the counter boy). No need to keep on charging your phone until full, as now the priority is to find a restroom! Go back to McDonalds again, and use the toilet. If you now find an available socket, you can charge your phone there, and buy a breakfast set to ease your panic for a while. The coffee would not taste as strong as usual, but by this time you feel so tired to complain. Nevermind. Use your phone and McDonalds WiFi to re-check the rapidKL website again (which your husband would not give entire information from the page thanks to limited time). Now you would know that Bus B115 would start from Pasar Seni passing by Kota Raya passing by Masjid Jamek. You should think how to wait for this bus at the right place.

6) Dont waste your time eating the whole burger at McDonalds because it’s already 6am and first bus would run anytime by now. So quickly run to ANY bus parked near the area (you’re now in front of Mydin) and ask the driver where to wait for bus B115. If the driver doesnt know, he would point to someone sitting in a desk by the shoplot, which you would guess a RapidKL officer. Go and ask him, and he would be knowledgable enough to inform you that you should wait for bus B115 in front of Kota Raya (with a note, it’s in front, NOT opposite) and bus should come around 6.20 am.

7) Go to in front of Kota Raya to a place which looks like a bus stop (you should find some people waiting for bus also) and wait. The bus B115 would come around 6.35am. Get in the bus and tell the driver you want to go to Stadium Hoki.

8) The bus would depart immediately passing by Masjid Jamek and you would have a smooth ride in the center of KL at early morning. You would feel sad for wasting your sleep time like this but please be alert with your surrounding. Please notice where the bus is heading as you dont want to miss your destination again.

9) The bus would reach Istana Negara area and Masjid Wilayah and you would realize that Hentian Duta is getting nearby. If the bus turns left after the junction in a Government buildings area, you should be alert that the bus seems not be heading towards Stadium Hoki. Please quickly go to the bus driver and ask him when the bus will reach Stadium Hoki. Which he would answer, you should get down here and walk down towards the stadium. Ah =.=

10) So, get down the bus and walk for less than 10 minutes to the main road, cross the road carefully, and you would reach Hentian Duta. You should be very relieved by now and feel so thankful to God. It’s already 7am so quickly go to your car, call your husband/mom/family again to tell them you’re safe and sound. You should reach home around 7.10 am (well, depending where you live) and you still have 30 minutes to take a nap before going to work.

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This tips is brought to you by ilyani.net

CouchSurfing with Derek and Money

Early this year when I was busy on my routine since many months, during lunch time at office, go preheat my food at pantry, and eat at my working place, surfing internet. Mostly searching info on Xinjiang and China, and among that, finding possible hosts in CouchSurfing. When there’s very few CSer in Xinjiang, there are apparently quite a number from Chengdu, and I actually received a few invitations from Chengdu alone. Pity that Chengdu is not our main destination, and we’re not going to spend long in the city. Although, we might want to have a place to stay and meet people there.

I came across a profile belong to Derek and his wife from Chengdu, and instantly sent message asking if he could host us when we come to China in April. Surprisingly, he replied saying that he was coming to Malaysia first in March! They were coming for a short sightseeing in KL and one week diving in Semporna, Sabah. Derek is awesome guy, when I was hopelessly trying to find a way to get China train tickets (which you cannot book online.. I mean, the website is only in Chinese and does not accept foreign credit card!) Derek came as a savior, and helped us book all the tickets we need to get a ride on a China train. The other alternative is to book at train station itself, yet you cannot be secured with available immediate tickets.

Although we have yet to be a proper CS host (until we move to stay in a proper house, hopefully), it was great to hang out with guests from faraway. We picked them at KL Sentral and went for dinner at Syed Restaurant in PJ (for Az’s favorite mutton biryani). It was so exciting meeting someone whom you’ll visit them later in their place.. it’s so much like an exchange :) We shared alot of things about places in KL (and Sabah, as they’re heading to Semporna the next day) and they shared all the things about traveling in China we had to know. Also, we shared each other wedding photos from each other’s tablet! ^_^

I actually forgot to take photos during the dinner (too busy discussing!) and photos above were actually emailed by Derek when they returned to Chengdu. And this was meant to be published months ago, and the reason suddenly I posted now coz finally I managed the first China episode in our travelogue ;) of course, featuring Derek.

[jbox color=”gray” icon=”http://ilyani.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/P1100401-190×190.jpg” title=”Chengdu with Derek”]Now. We arrived around 11pm in Chengdu Airport, and the moment we got worried that we couldnt get through Derek’s phone when using mobile phone belongs to a girl in the same flight, Derek was right at the arrival hall, smiling and waving at us. We immediately followed him to his car, both surprisingly and unsurprisingly a BMW 3-series, and had a ride directly to his house. And the first thing we noticed when we landed in China other than Chengdu being so cold (brr!!), all the signboards and building signage are in Chinese and we hardly see anything English! (Read more..) [/jbox]

 

I know that first few days in China went pretty dull (long trains and trains) but it took us 3 days to reach our main destination!

Flight: Urumqi to Kashgar

Flight: China Southern Airlines CZ6886
Depart Urumqi 14:45, Arrive Kashgar 16:30 (1h 45m).
Distance: 1470km, Fares: 550 RMB/person.

Taxi from Kempinski Hotel to Aiport: 40 RMB. If you manage your time earlier, you can catch shuttle bus from here to Airport for 10 RMB. And I also think I have read somewhere that it’s free if you’re flying Southern China Airlines. Bus frequency is however only every 30minutes.

Continuing the run again, but we’re done with two long trains and now we’re so relieved that we’re taking flight finally, and we’re reaching our destination soon! :D Although we feel a little upset for missing shuttle bus in Kempinski Hotel (which otherwise would save us 20 RMB instead of paying 40 RMB for greedy taxi driver). Anyways. The Urumqi airport is actually rather far from the city, I guess 30 minutes. And the airport has 3 separate terminal buildings, and China Southern Airlines serve in Terminal 3.

 

The luggage check-in went smoothly, but when it comes to getting into the boarding gate, the security screening is pretty tight. We are told to take off our shoes, and they scan the whole body until the foot palm! And Az happened to have forgotten putting his Swiss Card in the hand luggage, which the officers need to dig into his backpack several times taking out things after things to re-scan in the screening conveyor (for I guess, 5 times!). Finally after we help them find the Swiss Card of out the backpack, they told Az to check-in the backpack as cargo luggage, which he went alone leaving me wait in the boarding area alone. It was our fault for not checking in the first place, oh well.

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Meeting Nazar in Urumqi

Bus no 10 from Urumqi Railway station to Grand Bazar: 1 RMB. The bus can easily be found in front of the railway station. Tell the driver you’re going to Bazar, because this bus isn’t stopping exactly in front of Bazar. So the driver would alert you when it reaches the place you should get down (it’s underneath a flyover), where you should cross the road and take 5 minutes walk to the Bazar.

Well, rewind to the time we were still in Chengdu – Lanzhou train. I sent sms to Nazar, an Uyghur CouchSurfer we were supposed to meet in Kashgar informing our whereabouts and expected time to reach Kashgar, but surprisingly, he replied telling he was coming to Urumqi! It was an emergency family matters, and although we felt a little disappointed (coz now we’re not going to meet CS buddy in Kashgar) we agreed to meet him during our transit in Urumqi before our flight to Kashgar. In the meantime, I have come to know Hasnat from a Xinjiang Facebook page, he’s a Pakistani Medical student in Urumqi. Since Hasnat might have class this morning and we only have a few hours to spend in Urumqi, we had to meet Nazar first since he’s going to help us about Kashgar and getting a permit to go to Karakul Lake.

Xinjiang International Grand Bazar, or sometimes I came across in internet it’s called Erdaoqiao Bazar. It’s a huge building complex with a little Central-Asian/Turkish essence in the architecture. Especially the minaret part. Deciding whether to enter the bazar first or have lunch, we have to admit that we’re getting hungry. We’ve been eating Maggi noodle and Tesco instant chicken curry all times throughout 3 days on journey and it’s time to get real food again.

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