WW: Bits and Pieces from Moscow, Russia

Some colorful snapshots from Moscow, Russia

Spring is still in the air..

Although my time in Moscow was super limited, but I tried to capture the beauty of it.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Travelling to Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto

Sumber: asset.kompas.com

A friend once told me that Sawahlunto is a civilization in its own right. Nestled on a crater-like landscape guarded by the hills around, Sawahlunto is a sight to behold. It is a quaint city with diverse culture and beliefs still adorned with remnants of dutch colonial buildings that to this day still function as hospitals, hotels and government buildings.

Little did anyone from outside the city knew that this city was once at the brink of destruction. The crater-like landscape was the remnants left from an era of plundering. Sawahlunto was once a small village in mid-19th century surrounded by forest with population of 500. It all changed in 1867 when a huge coal deposit was found beneath the ombilin river by a dutch geologist, Ir. W.H. De Greve.

Coal has always been intertwined with the history of Sawahlunto. In 1891, coal deposit in Sawahlunto was estimated to be at 205million tonnes and the coal mines in Sawahlunto reaches its peak between 1920 and 1921. The coal mining went on for over a century and was eventually depleted. Soon the mine workers started departing the bustling town leaving it back the quite town it used to be.
2001 was the turning point for Sawahlunto as it was declared a historic site and opened for tourism. Tourism spots was established throughout the city including info box and coal mining gallery, Soero pit left from the coal mining days, Museum Goedang Ransoem and Train and Rail museum of Sawahlunto.

Sawahlunto becomes the capital city of coal mining tourism of Indonesia

In June 2019, from what was an almost forgotten relic of the past, Sawahlunto was restored to where it should be and was named as one of the UNESCO world site heritage, “Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto”. It was named as the UNESCO world site heritage through the unique architecture of the city and the mining technology of the time marking an advancement of technology development by mankind.

Sumber: whc.unesco.org

Traveling and Exploring Sawahlunto

Surrounded by rows of hills and situated in the province of West Sumatera, this city is roughly one third the size of Jakarta or is estimated to be 283 km2. The city is well equipped with various tourist destinations to satisfy the curiosity of travellers.
When in Sawahlunto, don’t miss visiting the now defunct coal mines that were newly crowned as UNESCO World Heritage Site, commemorating the rich history that this city has to offer. Traveling to the city takes a bit of extra effort which will all be paid off by the beauty of the city. You would land in Padang, a more well-known nearby city, Minangkabau International Airport. From the airport you can take a number of transportation option, travel minibus to directly head to Sawahlunto or for the more adventurous, take public busses and go through several terminals before reaching Sawahlunto.
sumber: republika.co.id

The trip to Sawahlunto from Padang using a travel bus would take 4-5 hours and costs around Rp. 100,000.- which would take you directly to the city only stopping for toilet rests. While if you are feeling a bit more adventurous and is on a budget trip, taking the public bus will be a better option which will costs you around Rp 25,000.- to Rp. 35,000.- and takes around 5-6 hours to reach Sawahlunto. You can directly find the public bus named Tranex from the airport, from there you would want to go to Solok Terminal and exchange towards Sawahlunto Terminal from there. However, the West Sumateran government now provides a direct route using Tranex bus from Padang Terminal to Sawahlunto terminal that costs Rp. 30,000.-.
The trip will take you through Padangpanjang city in the Sitinjau Lauik area. The route will be a bit steep and will have a number of sharp turns. However, the view on either side as you are sitting on the bus will be hard to miss. You will enjoy the view of the city of Padang from above and afar, giving you a magnificent view of the whole city.

Sumber: beritagar.id

The city is well-accommodating for tourists as it offers a wide range of accommodation choices that varies with price and facility. It ranges from homestay to hotel. The costs will be in the range of Rp. 200,000.- to Rp. 700,000.- per night depending on the facilities and location of the accommodation. You can easily book the accommodation via traveling apps like Booking.com. Hotels are also available nearby the Ombilin river which still preserves the dutch colonial style building.
Traveling around the city itself can be done by riding the city’s public transport, named angkot (a public minivan) or ojek (motorcycles operated personally). Travelling by renting a car is also another option, which is more convenient but is much more costly. Several travel agents provide cars to be rented and also local day tours so that you don’t need to plan the trip yourself.

Not only rich in history, being in West Sumatera, the Minangnese food here is also a must-try experience. It will provide wary travellers with flavorful culinary experience. The foods here are rich in flavour combining savouriness and spiciness from the spices used to prepare the foods. We recommend that you taste the Gulai Banak (Savory and spicy curry with cow’s brain) and Pical (mixed vegetables and noodle in peanut sauce), a delicacy of Sawahlunto and West Sumatera.

Aside from the famous coal mines and museums, there are several other attractions such as waterfall, park and lake that you can visit. The ticket price varies but are relatively cheap ranging around Rp. 10,000.- to Rp 15,000.-. The attractions and tourist sites information including opening time and costs can be found here. Another option is to sightsee the picturesque view of the city still adorned with colonial building can be observed from Cemara hill in the outskirt of the city. Of course, you cannot forget to bring back some delicacies and souvenirs on your way back home, there are Keripik Balado (Spicy cassava chips), also a Minangnese delicacy, and handicraft made from coal. 

Sumber: kebudayaan.kemdikbud.go.id

This is a story of an almost forgotten city in Sumatera where thousands of people once flooded in to extract the riches of mother earth over a century ago. Now, it is restored to what it is supposed to be, a famous mining city of Sawahlunto. Its past are eternalized by its museums and its history is recognized worldwide as a UNESCO World Site Heritage.

This is a guest post from dearest colleagues of Anak Rantau

Wonderful Wednesday with My Purple World, Oh My Heartsie Girls, and Friends

How's the week treating you, people? 

About to land in NYC

Mine has been super duper hectic! 
In the course two weeks, I have been traveling to Moscow, Semarang, Solo, and New York City. It was a crazy itinerary, as I was staying in Moscow for 2.5 days, as well as Semarang. As for New York City, I flew through Istanbul (again) and stay in the Big Apple for 2.5 days as well. Meaning, I have spent more time on the air and during transits for the last couple of weeks. As you know, if I take Turkish Airlines, we fly to NYC for about 24 hours, excluding the transit time, which varies from 2 - 12 hours. So you can imagine that we literally spend around 2 days to travel. Well, I survived. But I have to say I won't do that again any time soon LOL.

A brief transit in Istanbul, Turkey

But now, I am happy to be back to Jakarta and be with my family again. 
Nothing beats the morning kisses and hugs from my munchkins and the crazy, mad house as we prepare everything together in the morning or our fight in the evening to decide which restaurant to go to :). 

A short stop at German Fountain, Hippodrome
Well, family is numero uno and they keep me sane regardless of how horrible works can be. 
So, this week I plan to rest and relax with the Frakarsas. What's your plan? 

Meanwhile, join us on Wonderful Wednesday with My Purple World, Oh My Heartsie Girls, and Friends.

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WW: Sam Poo Kong Temple, Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia

The dragon..

Come and join me on my visit to Sam Poo Kong Temple, Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia.

it is indeed a great temple!

Such a historical place and culturally interesting as Semarang is the true melting pot in Indonesia with many Chinese descendants residing since centuries ago.

And I got the chance to wear traditional Chinese costume as well.
It was sooo much fun!

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