Sunday, September 22, 2019

Palembang Day 2 - Registration & A Night Ride

Day 2 was a day we need to register ourselves for the jamboree and followed by a night ride. I have marked a location for a famous Lomie breakfast before we go to Jakabaring Sport City.
It was just a short ride to Demang Station for a LRT connection to Cinde Station where we will resume our food hunt with our bicycles.
The weather in the morning was good, cool, breezy with a temperature of 24°C and the traffic in Palembang city centre as usual was busy.
Somehow we overshot the lomie shop, we then sought help from a Chinese lady who was selling local cakes at the road side. We conversed in Hokkien with her and "kamsia" we found the shop eventually.
Lomie Taksam is popular for their Lomie it is something like Penang's Loh Mee. Our folded bicycles neatly tucked at the side of the passageway while we were happily enjoying our new found food.
The topping comprises of prawns, braised pork, fried shallot and garlic sauce. The starchy gravy is just like Penang style but not in dark colour sauce. One thing for sure is that the ingredients on top of the noodle is really generous.
Bakmi the dry version, looking like Wan Ton Mee in KL was also as yummy and good. We have actually tried it at Aloi's Bakmi the day before.
Let's enjoy the noodles and the verdict was unanimously in agreement that it is delicious and worth coming back here again.
The Brommie cum foodies in front of the famous Lomie Taksam. Ho Jiak Ho Jiak!
The ride continued and passing by a crowded market called Pasar Kuto.
A stop at mid span of Jembatan Musi IV as part of our alternative way to Jakabaring. We spent a while here enjoying the view and taking a couple of photos.
This bridge is not as famous and big as Ampera Bridge but it is still good enough to cycle along it.
One of the many mosques we came across and a red feeder bus.
Trishaws are commonly seen on the road with its peculiarly low roof top.
Another mosque along our way small yet colourful.
Slowly we were getting away from the busy area and going into a more outskirt setting with good road condition and also many bad bumpy stretches.
This road was about to finish off with a dead end at the fringe of a kampung with a fencing dividing the village and a huge development. We found an opening and lifted our bicycles onto a concrete pavement. 
I was worried as how are we going to across the lake to the other side. We saw a few kids trespassing through other openings at the fence and asked them whether it is possible to get to the sport complex. They nodded to a direction but it was not smooth we were halted by a gate that was closed and locked.
We were in big trouble again and had to figure out how to overcome it.
Thank goodness there is a gap at the side and it was big enough for us to go through. I think we were the only ones going to Jakabaring Sport City using this back route.
The weather started to get hot by the time we reached our destination I enjoyed the ride, seeing some the outskirts of Palembang. A distance of about 25km was achieved in this exploration. By the way this is the entrance to the Asian Games 2018 for rowing and canoeing events at Jakabaring (man-made) Lake.

Meeting some of the fellow foldies at the front of the Sport City and normally we would ask them where are they from, they would mention the name of their origin and most of the time I do not know the place are. Indonesia is such a huge country indeed.  
We were glad and excited to see fellow Malaysian at the registration centre. Good to meet again Brother Syahmi.
Another veteran cyclist from Malaysia none other than Moslim Othman and he was on a shopping spree. Together with us in red was the happy vendor. After the registration and a bit of shopping we headed back to the hotel. 
We were back again to the Sport City after a good rest in the hotel for the night ride.
We took a lot of photos with the several backdrops for our record and remembrance.
One more near the sport village.
The "contingent" from Malaysia with the colourful arches behind us, Moslim was missing in this picture.
Then came the time, the night ride was about to begin. This is the time I could see so many foldies in an event coming from all over Indonesia. Indonesia is a huge country in deed.
Some of them rode from far, as far as from Jakarta to Palembang. Some of them came in groups and some came in alone with pannier bags attached to their bicycles.
The few Malaysians among the nearly 1,800 foldies taking position to take off.
This famous bridge, Ampera Bridge is a must stop for a photo shot before continuing the ride.
The Indonesian foldies generally rode very fast and I was made to understand that is is the way they ride in most events. At last we reached the Governor's Residence for dinner. The place is known as Griya Agung.
We were privilege to be allocated a table to dine in a separate section, probably an honour for being foreign participants attending the event it was only 8 of us from Malaysia. Ribuan terima kasih for the superb hospitality shown by Jamselinas 9.
After dinner it was time to attend a session of speech by the host.
 While Andrew was seated
 among the VIP in the front row in we were sitting at the back with the rest of the crowd.
Governor H Herman Deru delivering his speech and supporting for the event. Well done Jamselinas 9.
One for the album in Griya Agung Palembang.
The night ride from Jakabaring Sport City to the Griya Agung for a dinner hosted by the Governor taking a distance of 13.5km. After dinner we just need to pedal another 1.5km to our hotel. Good night and see you tomorrow.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Palembang Day 1 - My First Time in Palembang for Jamselinas9

I was told of a national jamboree folding bicycle event to be held in Palembang called Jamselinas9 a couple of months back which I was not sure of participating. I have never heard about people visiting Palembang except a bit of history knowledge about the Sultanate during the time of the early Singapura and Malacca. It was only after I met an ardent cyclist from Indonesia telling me about its popularity of this national jamboree which has convinced me to take part. By that time it was too late to register for the event.
Nevertheless I made a booking with AirAsia to visit Palembang to just witness the grand gathering of folding bicycles. I bike packed my Brompton in a simple Dimpa bag as I used to do it for my previous trips and were ready to go. 
Making full use of my Tourist Guide license to get a concession fare of RM35 instead of RM55 to KLIA2 from KL Sentral. Due to the early flight schedule at 6.54am, I had to catch one of the last few trains just before midnight and camped about 5 - 6 hours in the airport. Some lucky ones were able to spend time at a premium lounge. There were 5 of us were in this trip which was supposed to be 7 person but due to the hazy condition 2 were down with bad throat and cough did not want to aggravate the situation.
 After a lengthy process with the Indonesian custom at the airport we were finally cleared fortunately we had a letter from the organiser Jamselinas9 mentioning our participation. Bringing bicycle into Indonesia could be tricky especially if it is a  Brompton. Then we headed to Way Hitam, Demang for the hotel accommodation. By the way the sky was not as hazy as in Kuala Lumpur.
Gan and her padded Brompton bicycle, there seems to be many methods of packing depending on individual's preference. We unpacked and set up our bicycles in front of OYO Maleo 322 Hotel, the place that we will be staying for the next 7 days. 1,370,000 rupiah for 6 nights for a room at the ground level where we don't have to carry our bikes up and down the building.
All set and ready to go.
Just about a par 4 distance we found a phone shop selling data plan. One can not live without one in this modern time. The data plan sold here is rather cheap as compared to other countries, for 55,000 rupiah we got a 10G unlimited usage for 30 days. What more to you want just take it and start surfing.
A 2km distance to the nearest train station from our hotel and it is called Demang Station, a station that will be part of our travelling pattern during this trip.
The LRT train was built for Asian Games 2018, it's now in the second year of operation looking new and clean. The system of operation is different from Kuala Lumpur, first it is manned by a team of special security personnel, second you will be informed by the security when you should ascend to the platform for the train and lastly the operating hour is rather short. Train stop operating sometime early in the 19.00-ish hour. If we miss the last train we will have to cycle back or take a Grab. Grab car is also relatively cheaper than Malaysia.
Train fare was 5,000 rupiah from Demang Station to Ampera Station.  The train is still new and clean, keep it up and it will definitely be a favourite mode of commuting. The amount of traffic on the roads is horrendous such public transport would be the best.
Our first LRT stop at Ampera Station for Chinatown visit at the surrounding of Jalan Sayangan. A Customer Service lady helping us out at the exit point. Terima kasih and a photo with her which she happily obliged.
Let's hit Chinatown and see what it is like at the place and its surroundings by the river side. It looks like a normal busy area operated by the local Chinese. There is no indication or cultural feature that can signify it as a Chinatown like other cities in the world.
Jalan Sayangan is congested with people, motorcycles, pull carts, vans, cars and others, everything is haphazard. Cycling in Palembang could be stressful with the many bad road condition, the huge number of motorists, touts helping cars reversing into the flow, the dust and rubbish on the road.
We poke through narrow alley with locals having their coffee at the stalls and there are so many of these stalls tucking in every available corner at this huge market place. Where there is place there will be activity.
We were able to see live chicken in rattan cages, I don't think we can see this anymore in the market places in Malaysia.
Man selling big chunks of belacan (shrimp paste) at one of the old shops.
I love going through the narrow passages observing the old construction seen in the buildings and there are many of them left dilapidated. Waste management is rather poor with dirty drains everywhere.  Immediate attention is required if the Government is thinking to attract tourists to Palembang.
The roof detail has caught my attention, just wandering what are the significance of these small waves on the ridges. 
A small community with multi colour painted making the place so interesting that attracted us into the place.
Having fun with these cheerful kids in the coloured community.
Our first food hunt which we have successfully located it and were about to check out its specialty. The name of the shop is Aloi Bakmi located at Jalan Dempo Luar No.410A, 15 Ilir. : GPS : -2.981217, 104.761759
For those who are daring would love this bowl of spare parts and stuffed tofu.
A plate of original Bakmi, the Palembang version which I like it and would not mind to come back again for another time.
I ordered a bowl of minced meat ball soup with vegetable to go with my Bakmi.
A common plate of lobak for everyone to try and it was also another pretty decent dish of Aloi.
This man would probably be the boss of Aloi or a family member, he speaks Hokkien and was happy to know that we are Malaysians visit the shop with our small folding bicycles. Hebat hebat.
A glimpse of the iconic landmark of Palembang the red bridge which we will be seeing it very often for the next few days in this city. Viewing it from the busy Sayangan area.

We then took the LRT back to Demang Station and rode back to the hotel for a good rest before we start another day of cycling in Palembang.