Kota paling utara…

….yang pernah saya kunjungi.

Tapi bukan paling jauh, masih lebih jauh Tangsel-Paris. 😉

Anyway, waktu ada penembakan di Christchurch, New Zealand, sama seperti jutaan orang di dunia, muslim dan non muslim, kita patah hati! New Zealand, negara yang aman damai, ada kasus seperti ini.

Yang bikin sedih dan kepikiran, saya rasa sama dengan ribuan orang tua lain, kalau jalan jalan tetap mengusahakan Sholat Jumat. Kebayang aja, seandainya sedang ada pelancong, lalu tertembak.

Saya sempat deg-degan sih. Hehehehhe. Tapi namanya wajib ya! Saya antarkan anak saya Sholat Jumat, di Mesjid St Petesburg.

Ini saya copy caption saya di IG.



The largest mosque in Europe outside Turkey. The construction was permitted by Tsar Nikolay II himself in 1907, built in 1910, by the labor from Southern Soviet ( Kazakhstan, etc)

It turned into logistic building during world war II, not until in 1956, Soekarno, the first Presiden of Indonesia asked Nikita Khruschev to turn the mosque back as it supposed to be. Within 10 days, it turned into a mosque again. Hence, it is also known as Mesjid Soekarno.

The mosque had major renovation in 1980’s.

Dikutip dari berbagai sumber


Mesjid Soekarno

Ini kedua kali anak saya sholat Jumat di luar negeri. Di Rusia, adzannya sampai dua kali dan khutbah menggunakan bahasa lokal 😀 biar sama sama Islam, kami jadi tahu ada perbedaan mazhab. Jadi ya,ngga usah ribut kalau ada perbedaan! 😉

Selama Papa dan anak saya sholat, saya dan kakaknya menunggu di taman. Cukup surpirse juga ada beggars atau pengemis. Where do they live? How’d they survive? This country is soo cold! They asked money, then my dad said “No Rubbel” they replied “Dollar” meh!


Kami makan siang di restoran halal sebelah mesjid, runs by a Pakistani.


Kebab and Kefir


Lalu kami ke sebrang Mesjid, ada obyek wisata Peter dan Paul Fotress, benteng pertama kota St Petesburg, dibangun tahun 1703 dan pernah digunakan sebagai penjara.

Alih-alih balik naik Metro, saya kepikiran mau naik kapal. Boat Cruise, Venice of the North .

Ingin banget wisata naik kapal waktu ke Praha 5 tahun lalu, ngga kesampaian. Hahahahah

Jadi St Petesburg ini, dibelah oleh sungai Neva, yang menjadikan kota ini terdiri dari “pulau pulau” kecil. Cantik deh. Sungai Neva ini juga besar banget, sebesar sungai sungai di Pulau Kalimantan.

Tapi ternyata saya nyesal karena tour ya bahasa lokal. Bah! Ngga ngerti.

Peter and Paul Fotress


Peter and Paul Fotress

Boat Cruise

Boat Cruise


To the North

Next morning, I wanted to run again to Gorky park. But unfortunately I was late, and it was tooooo damn hot just like Jakarta.

To make it even worse, Gorky Park was closed since there would be an event.

Long story short, we checked out from Hotel at 12 pm, the hotel staff ordered us taxi, off we went to Leningradsky Station. Stasiun gambir-nya Moscow lah, and it’s HUUUUUGEEEEEEEEE!

This will be my very first time taking bullet train a.k.a сапсан

We were heading to St Petesburg, the second largest city in Rusia and trip took 4 hours and so.

I booked an apartment in Nevsky Avenue, the busiest district in this city. It is more like the famous Orchard Road – Singapore to me.

It took a while to meet the person who was in charge in my apartemen booking and the owner is not really nice either she complained why we we were so long after we arrived. Gee! I wonder if she travels! Doesn’t it took a while where to go after we reached our destination especially it’s first visit.

The manager doesn’t speak English, thanks God there is such a thing as Google Translate.

I welcomed myself again to Europe when I realized there was no elevator on the apartment and of course, no AC! It was summer and these middle-class tropical kids automatically looking for AC remote.

Anyway, we dragged luggages all the way to 3rd floor. Again, the owner doesn’t pay detail, she only gave us 3 towels.

But the room was nice.

Sunset at 10.30 pm and I woke up at 3 am, sun had raised!

Giling! Gimana yang Ramadhan di sini ya?

In front of Gorky Park

Leningradsky Station

Off to санкт Петербург

Out side Moskvoretskaya Station so hectic

Inside Sapsan

Mamang Galon at Nevsky Avenue

Exploring the city

I woke up with a purpose, I must have my morning run! I checked the map, the famous Gorky Park is only 2.5K away, thus it makes 5K back and forth. That would be suitable for my training plan.

It was 6 am, sunrise at 4 am, seems it is still considered early for local. Seems running it’s not thing for Moscow people, unlike Osaka or Paris when I see runners now and then. I was the only runner on that wide pedestrian Parveletskya, and even in Gorky Park, I saw only 2-3 runners. I ran for 7K that morning.

Back to sightseeing, we visited the largest Orthodox Curch, 100m tall. The wall was beautifully painted up to the dome about Jesus early life until death. We are not allowed to take picture inside. There are 3 bodies of Saint (forget who). I also saw many visitors made a pray close to the giant picture of the holy people and kiss its frame.

Unfortunately, there was no audio guide. I was clueless about the painting and the story behind.

Later we took train to Tsaritsyno Palace, outskirt of the city. You know, I copieD Dian’s friend itinerary. He said there’s a tasty kebab stall outside Orekhovo Station and that where we had our lunch. We continued our walk to the palace seemed google maps gave us wrong direction. Walking under scorching sun in the nature park for ones who live in tropical country went like….duilehhh macam Kebun Raya Bogor aja ini sik! We gave up, then saw a sign that show way to Metro Station. And that where the shortest way to the Palace from Metro Station. We saw many visitors.

Since we were tired, we headed back to hotel And took rest.

Good thing about summer, the day is long.

At 7 pm we went to Zaryade Park, behind red square. It has observation deck to watch sunset.

It was beautiful evening.

PS : my pic on the observation deck, that is Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building. One of 7 high-rises built during Stalin’s era. In 1950’s. Kebayang ya ambisinya Joseph Stalin ini, pantas Uni Soviet pernah jadi negara adidaya.

Take a rest

Chatedral of Christ The saviour

Kebab stall

Tsaritsyno park

Observation Deck

St basil Cathedral

Moscow Day 2

As expected, I woke at 3 am Moscow Time (translated to 7 am Jakarta Time)

I took a walk around the hotel, since it wasn’t in city center, it was a quite neighborhood.

Taken at 5 am

Y’know, to cut budget, I bought mini rice cooker, so we had nasi and abon for breakfast hahahah.

Proceed to Paveletskaya Station, we bought a-3-day pass for bus, metro and tram. This make transportation expenses in Rusia make sense to me.

And I tell you what, Moscow Metro Line is….confusing and you have to go deep town to tunnel,which may uncomfortable for some. It really took minutes for me how to manage those circle Line.

Cut the story, I finally see it with my own eyes, the Red Square!

St Basil Cathedral

I went inside St Basil Cathedral that now turn as museum. The church was built in 1955-1961. Do you know the architect was blinded after making this, so he wouldn’t design another beautiful building.

There was a choir practice and o em geeee, those 4 males sounds like heaven! Beautiful voices.

Then to гум (GUM), a high class shopping mall, built in 1800’s then to Arbat Street.

Those are common tourist places, well, what can I say, I’m one of them 😉

I want to go toilet, and I welcome myself to Europe when I had to pay Rubbel 50 to pee. #meh

Even it was in GUM.

All those places required metro. Uhmm, Moscow Metro, one of a kind.

After arrived back at Paveletskaya, where we lived, I decided to took tram and let see where it took me. It was sunny day and I realized Moscow is HUGE!

During impulsive tram trip, I saw beautiful ortodok church and even halal food stall. It was quite in suburb.

We jumped off when it crossed the third line (if you see in Moscow map, the area is devided by circle. Red square in first circle, our hotel in the second circle and of course the airport in the outer ring)

It amazes me this city provide bus stop with charging station! Wow! How thoughtful.

Charging station in bus stop

Vintage tram

Привет, Москва

Hallo Moskow!

Well, here I am, back to Europe.

Many of my friends asked, why Moscow? What is so special??i said “i got promotion ticket from Thai Airways” that is it! I’ve always wanted to see the world, but money has always been the issue :))

That’s the reason, why we had overnight in Bangkok.

It was a 10-hr-flight from Shuvarnabumi to Domedodovo. Imigration process was so so, and yes!

Just arrived

My wish was granted , exactly in time frame! Gusti Allah maha baik!

We took aeroexpress to the city (Praveletskya Station) . And I couldn’t stop smiling.

Stasiun Gambir-nya Moscow

Of course, it took hours how to get to our hotel. Praveletskaya station (and its surrounding) got helped from the local, and boom. Because it’s summer, sun set later, I stay calm. Otherwise I got on my nerves.

Due the jet lag, I slept when I got the hotel.

‘Till later!

Cara mengurus Visa Russia untuk pemegang paspor Indonesia

*yang tinggal di Indonesia, kalo lau tinggal di Melbourne gw ngga ngerti*

Kalau mau baca lengkap dan terstruktur sih, baca di sini. Ahay….Saya bolak balik ngecek tulisan bapak Arif.

Tapi saya update sedikit.

  • Visa Invitation

Untuk mengurus visa, harus ada invitation letter yang bisa didapat dari hotel tempat kita nginap. Tapi, yang ngasih invitation letter ini biasanya, chained hotel yang serta merta saya coret dari list saya…karena (buat saya)  mahal…bayarin 4 orang booo :D. Di hotel max 2 orang.  Harus dua kamar donk.Saya beli di http://www.bronevik.com (resmi kok). Nah, update dari tulisan pak Arief, buat paspor Indonesia kena biaya lagi lho sekitar USD 15/orang. Indonesia dianggap negara berbahaya. Very sad!Cara lain, kalau beli tiket kereta https://www.russianrailways.com adminnya nawarin invitation letter for free. Sepupu saya dapat invitation letter dari situ. Ada tapinya ya: harga tiket lebih mahal, bisa 1.5 kalinya dibanding kalau beli langsung di www.rzd.ru. Jadi situ kalo mau irit, hitung sendiri. Saya karena pergi berempat, selisihnya lumayan jadi kamar 1 malam. Oh ya, dramanya nih, saya butuh 2 hari untuk  dapat invitation letter ini, sempat nyangkut dimanalah. bikin deg degan aja!

  • Booking tiket kereta antar kota

Untuk perjalanan kali ini, saya memilih naik kereta cepat SAPSAN untuk Moscow – St. Petesburg dan kereta malam St- Petesburg- Moscow.Pembelian kereta dari situs resmi www.rzd.ru hanya bisa dilakukan D-90 sebelum keberangkatan.

Ada drama juga nih, saya berkali kali booking gagal terus untuk 4 orang. Sepertinya, kegagalan saya karena saya memilih “child”  (below 21 yrs ) dan “senior”  (above 60) yang bisa dapat diskon. Kayaknya sih, diskonnya hanya berlaku untuk Citizennnya saja ya. Saya beberapa kali jalan jalan, memang banyak banget diskon transportasi umum, museum, untuk young adult dan senior, hal yang masih jarang di negara ini.

Harga tiket sepertinya naik berkala, macam tiket pesawat. Dan perhatikan juga ya, tiap seat beda beda harga di hari pembelian yang sama. Cek situsnya ya.

Untuk naik Capsan, saya booking tempat duduk yang tengahnya ada meja. Harga tempat duduk yang searah dengan jalannya kereta, sama tempat duduk yang berlawanan arah, beda sekitar Rubel 200/seat.

Untuk kereta malam, saya pilil=h yang kelas 2. Satu compartment berempat.Kalo ragu, cek youtube aja, banyak traveller kasih tau caranya/ simulasi tempat/ harga dll

  •  Hotel /akomodasi

Perjalanan kali ini, saya nginap di jaringan  Hotel Ibis untuk hari hari pertama dan apartemen di St petesburg dan Moscow sebelum kembali ke tanah air. Waktu saya booking apatement di St Petesburg, pemilik apartemen meminta saya mebayar DP dulu sekitar 5000 Rubbel. Bayarnya via Western Union. Hadeh! Saya sempat kelimpungan cari vendor yang bisa kirim uang pake Western Union. Indomart sudah tidak kerjasama, via bank mahal. Akhirnya di Kantor Pos. Saya ke kantor pos Taman Puring (Mayestik) sudah setengah jam menunggu sebelum ke kantor, petugasnya belum datang! Haduh, alamat disemport boss! Akhirnya siang –lunch break dari kantor saya ke Kantor Pos Jalan Tendean. Kurs untuk western union sedikit lebih mahal. Jadi, kalau kalian di Jakarta Selatan, ingat ya, Kantor Pos yang bisa melayani pengiriman uang Western Union salah duanya di situ. Keep this info, you thank me later!

  • Asuransi Perjalanan

Tidak disyaratkan. Tapi menurut saya ini penting. Apalagi saya berempat! Asuransi ini sifatnya payung sebelum hujan ya, proteksi! Jangan pelit sama diri sendiri! Jangan sampai di claim sih! Hahah. Saya pakai Chubb Insurance, polis dikirim via email. 

  •  Mengurus visa

Untuk pengurusan ini yang saya lampirkan

  • Form Pengajuan Visa yang di download dari http://visa.kdmid.ru  yang ditempel pas foto. Saya salah ukuran pas foto lho! Hahahah 3.5 cm x 4.5cm. Tapi boleh sama petugasnya.
  • Invitation Letter dari Bronevik untuk per orang ya.
  • Bookingan tiket pesawat pulang-pergi. Non refundable.
  • Tiket kereta antar kota (saya ngga tau ini perlu apa engga)
  • Booking hotel yang SUDAH DIBAYAR.
  • Saya lampirkan juga refrensi surat kerja. Ngga disyaratkan sih, tapi jaga jaga. Konon negara dimana kantor pusat saya bekerja sekarang berada, sedikit sakti, bikin takut negara sekitar. hahahhah
  • Dokumen individual (form pengajuan visa, invitation letter, booking tiket pesawat dan kereta) diselipkan di Pasport/orang. Pasti nanti disuruh disusun begitu sama petugasnya.


  • Tidak perlu menyampaikan bukti saldo di rekening. Kesel ya buat #kelasmenengahngehe kayak saya yang asset banyak di mutual fund atau bond. Ya gila aja ada idle money  puluhan juta di rekening bank! Senep kepotong biaya admin aja itu sih.
  •  Saya tidak menyertakan foto kopi paspor, lupa booo!

Lalu sampai kedutaan pagi hari. Pagar baru buka jam 9! Yang mengantri sudah banyak.  Nanti disuruh masuk, letakkan tas di locker. Cuma boleh bawa dompet dan dokumen yang diurus. Ipad/ laptop/hp ngga boleh masuk. Tiba saya di ruang tunggu terpasang  foto sang Presiden, Vladimir Putin dengan tatapan dinginnya . “ape loo ape loo” seolah berkata demikian. hiiii….takut. Intermezzo dikit, duluu pernah lho saya mimpi meeting sama dia, dua kali malah! bikin stress pas bangun tidur! aslik! 

Kedutaan Rusia


Ketika tiba nomor antrian saya, dipanggil sama orang  kedutaan. Diperiksa bentar, yang dia cek, ya invitation letter. Jadi fenting banget kayaknya gaees. Lalu dia bertanya.

“Maneh teh  pergi  sekeluarga?” 

” iya,teh. Anak Tangsel saba Rusia teh. Mau ke makam uwak, Michael Gorbacep”

PS : percakapan took place in English, of course…Petugas kedutaan orang Rusia, tapi lancar bahasa Indonesianya.

Oke,  bayar USD 80/orang. Ya, sudah naik USD 10 untuk proses kerja biasa.

Saya duduk lagi, nunggu bentar lalu dipanggil lagi kasih kwintansi. Waktu nunggu ketemu Bapak muda mau liburan lebaran sama keluarganya karena dia buka toko. Jadi toko tutup karena lebaran, karywan libur, beliau jalan jalan. Kayaknya yang liburan, hampir semua dapat promo dari maskapai yang sama. Jadi coba kalian cek bebi cek gaesss.

Nah, pas ngambil pasport, perhatikan waktu pengambilan. Saya pas mau ngambil 3 minggu kemudian, ngga lihat jam operasional. Makan siang dulu di Pasar Festival pas kelar, udah tutup loketnya. Bah! Balik lagi Seninnya. Hari kerja kedutaan juga diperhatikan, tidak selalu kita libur mereka libur juga, and vice versa. 

Deg degan banget…begitu buka passport! Alhamdulilah!

спасиба Mr Putin!

Doakan perjalanan saya lancar ya, yang minta dikirimin kartu pos, ditunggu ya!


PS: thank you buat Riana, yang kasih inspirasi dan terima kasih banyakk banget sama Anggi, yang sering saya whatsapp pas urus urus visa ini. Blio juga yang kasih saya ini! Rupanya ini pancingan ;).

Semalam di Bangkok

Hi there again!

I’m back to Bangkok, my favorite city in the region.

this time I take my dad and kids with me. It’s (kiddos) first time.

this time around, we took airport link from Shuvarnabumi Airport, then MRT then BTS to commute.

after we arrived at our hotel, off we went to the newest mall, ICON SIAM, by the side

Of Chao Praya.

Just wonder, if Jakarta able to build such an iconic building at the side of Ciliwung/Pesanggrahan river.

Icon Siam

We had dinner at Sook Hiam. My mouth was watering. There’s a halal corner in this area.

For me it looks like Asiatique Front River minus the ferris wheel.

my intention was to eat whatever I saw! On third food, I realized I have limited Thai Baht. All I had was the money left from my last trip to Bangsaen last February.

Then i think, I’d draw money from

ATM, until I realized I left my purse at the hotel :((

So I skipped cruising Chao Praya with boat. Failed to do this on second time.

I squeezed time visit Siam Area again, to have pic with this


A proof that Jakarta is sooo left behind.

Taking 10 pm train back to hotel, I found this train is still packed with people! From many nationality with their shopping bags.

Buat saya ya, tanda satu kota udah maju, banyak orang asing menggunakan transportasi umum! For me, we can call a city well-developed, when the foreigners comfortable enough to use its public transportation.

Till next post 😉