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Thursday, June 21, 2012

DAMN YOU BEAR GRYLLS

CURRENT LODGINGS

The place I currently have is fine except it doesn't have wifi in the room and it has a COLD shower.  I personally HATE cold showers.  I have to brace myself before going into them.  So I thought "What would Bear Grylls do?"  I immediately stripped off my shirt, urinated on it and wrapped it around my head.  It didn't help.

Damn Bear!

This is not a great town to try to sleep in late.  At around 7AM or earlier, they have public announcements go off over the PA system.  There are parades with a lot of drum beating.  I'm not sure if it is a celebration or people just being dicks.  The mosque, of course, is noisy as hell.

And this is DAILY.  You're pretty much fully awake by 8:30 AM whether you wanted to be or not.

Nearby is a restaurant called 'Canyon'.  It is just twenty meters from where I'm staying.  They have free wifi and cold (over priced) beer at $3 a pop.

The city itself has a little tourist candy - WW2 tunnels the Japanese made the locals build and a canyon - but nothing I've wanted to see.  I'm happy just wandering around.  I've spent a week chatting to locals and tourists.  Both have been a lot of fun.

I'm going to skip Padang - other tourists have told me it's a dump.

Tomorrow, it is a long trip off to Kutai (Bali) - home of the drunken Australians!



ACTIVITIES

A couple of days ago, while lost I happened across a roadside cafe with eight or ten old men hanging out there playing dominoes.   I ended up staying there for several hours playing that game with them.



LAUNDRY IN BUKITTINGGI

The laundry is fairly high priced here.  To get it done at the hotel (Orchid) is 10,000 IDR per kilo.  To get it done at the place across the street is only 6000 IDR but that has a two day turn around time.  Other laundry places like 'Super Clean' laundry charge by the piece.



INDONESIAN CUSTOMS

Nobody in this country is interested in haggling the cost of anything.  It is possible to haggle over secondary things - like getting the front seat and such.  Concentrate on these things as the price seems 'fixed'.  Since it is 'fixed', shopping around is a great idea.



TRAVELER'S LORE

Skyscanner.com  According to other travelers I've spoken with, this is a handy resource for purchasing tickets. I personally haven't used it yet.



BUYING PLANE TICKET FROM LION AIR

Buying tickets from Lion Air (the domestic flights for Indonesia) is a complete nightmare.  You can't buy a plane ticket with a foreign credit card.  You can get an "ATM code".  I had the delusion you could just go type in this long code at an ATM and voila!  Your ticket was purchased.  Wrong.  The ATM's aren't set up for it.  Find out the price, go to a travel agent, have them buy the ticket.  If you pay in cash at Raun Sumatra Tours and Travel they only hit you for an extra 3%.  If you pay in cash, they charge the same as the website.  Nice.



VIDEOS

Taste of Indonesia



PRICES

New bag, 125,000 IDR
Van from my hotel to Padang airport, 40,000 IDR

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan | Portugal: Faro

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