See You India – Namaste Nepal

India trip was amazing, however, we need to move on to the next destination – Nepal. With heavy eyes, we woke up very early in the morning. Dear All, please, if i could tell you a story about any processing time in India, somehow anything was proceeded rather slow…please learn from our experience and spare much more time when you want to go somewhere.

First task, Checking out from the hotel. Okay, it took sometime. we could still enjoy a bit of the hotel lobby in the dark of course since it was early morning. Once we are good to go, i took the hotel bill and was amazed on Indian Taxation. Dear.. it’s complicated no wonder my colleagues who implement system related with it had many challenges in India.

Second task, going from the hotel to the airport, this is quick. Good. Third, entering the airport. Dear Lord, it took very long time. the queue wasn’t even have that much of people, but really it took us an hour just to enter the building only to find the check-in queue was about the same condition if not worse. 😦 Everything needs patience yet this is another level of long processing time i could ever imagine. Until, the officer had to call people out of the queue or else people will miss the flight – including ours.

After we had our baggage settled, we ran into the immigration. Oh my…my.. here comes a very long lines. Again, the process was quite slow. I wasn’t sure why and up until now still unsure. I was in a group of three and we decided to separate ourselves, whoever finish first must go to the gate so that our plane didn’t leave us behindbecause we were still in immigration line on our take off time with all the worst scenario has passed our mind. Finally, I finished first and i ran like crazy. I think i was pretty loud since people from afar giving me ways in advance. LOL.

Sweet truth though, As i came nearer to the Gate, people were still waiting to get into the boarding Room. Thanks God! having the experience of the processing time, i took sometime off to freshen up myself first and i was right. When i came back, the line was still there. 😀 Me and my group could finally had a breather walking on usual pace. welcoming our next flight from New Delhi to Khatmandu. This time we use Indigo for another experience flying and since it’s affordable. 🙂

once we were onboard and fly, here comes our hunger. all the plan to eat and enjoy the airport has been thrown away out of the window. here to the cup noodles and some confusion in counting the Indian Rupees.

The trip between New Delhi and Khatmandu was not that long. Perhaps it was due to our excitement it feels even shorter. In no time we have arrived in Khatmandu. – Tribuvhan International Airport. The airport was not big and just like that you enter the gate and you were already at the immigration line.

What i would like to share is that, if you haven’t submitted your VISA document then you could fill it up at the airport. They have machine ready for that. However, i will still suggest you to fill it and get it printed before you go to Nepal. ( read about it here ) Reason being – who knows what will happen at the airport. One of our friend who came a day earlier experienced electricity problem.

After you get your VISA submission ready, you need to go to the cashier to pay for your VOA ( visa on arrival ). just next to it there is a money changer. We found that the price that they offer over here is quite competitive compare to the other after the immigration so if you need a bit of cash you could exchange it here or maybe you could wait a bit until you get into the city. Once you get all set, here we go to the immigration lane to enter the country.

I was so excited and nervous at the same time. Wow.. me? really? i am going to go to hiking? I have million reasons not to yet there i was going to have my first hike ever in Nepal. Isn’t it dreamy? more about it later. For now, welcome to Nepal. Wish you were there with us!

Cheers!

Triana Mustika Rukmi

The Enchanting Taj Mahal

Have you lost words on what you see before you? I have. One of it is when i saw Taj Mahal. The road to get here was long yet it was worth it. All the way from Amritsar – New – Delhi – Agra to see it.If you ever happen to go there, behold of the crowd. First, you will need to queue to get your ticket. There is a dedicated line for foreigner though it was also crowded during my visit. The ticket comes in a form of token that it’s good to be used for 3 hours. Yes, there is a limitation of how long you could stay inside. Nonetheless, Once you got in you will be welcomed by a view.

First, you will meet the entrance. There is a gate which connect the place where the workers who developed the building stay and Taj Mahal. That gate and border was built with red brick colour. During that time it has been said that the wall of the gate was full with artworks. Can you see a glimpse of the white Taj Mahal behind it?

The gate to go into taj mahal main area

Moving forward into the red gate, you will be taken aback by the details. The symmetrical composition and all the sculpture all over the place but most importantly by the view of white taj.

Moving forward, the garden will welcome you with its beaut. The balance between left and right is always appetizing for the eyes. Not to mention the reflection within the surface of turquoise water. It has been said that Taj Mahal could change its colour. Too bad i wasn’t able to witness it. I hope you do.

When you are at the center, you could see that there are two buildings around the main building. The left one within the picture is a mosque while the right one is library. The mosque is still functioning and our guide told us that Taj is still closed during Friday prayer time so that the Muslim could do the prayer.

Going further to the center, we tried to enter the mail building from the left as we would like to visit the mosque. When i got there, i met the other Muslim as well and some are performing the prayer. The place of ablution is a pool in between the mosque and the white Taj Mahal. Don’t forget to take off your foot ware when you want to enter. Unfortunately the building has been a bit worn off. I think time has gotten its best out of it. I could only imagine how it looks like in its prime time. It must have been so pretty.

Finishing the mosque visit, we move to the center. Yes, you could enter the main building. We had to wear a protective layer wrapping our shoes. This is to protect the building from any damage. It’s all white marble guys… wow.. just wow. Eaten by the marvelous bulding, There i was went to the queue to get inside. Please exercise your patient as in the inside could only accommodate limited number of people at a time and was a bit dark when i was there.

We couldn’t take picture inside the main building, though i saw many didn’t abide to this rules. Not for me though so i could only tell a story of what i saw. When you enter through the main door there lies the cenotaphs of the late queen and king. It was actually a bit of a chilling experience for me because the real one is actually beneath all of this crowd within the garden level. The cenotaphs was surrounded by a wall looks like an eight sided chamber. Not sure what is such form being called. (^_^”) basically what you could do is look around circling that chamber from entrance through exit by using the same door.

The highlight from the queue experience and seeing the Taj up close, i can’t help but mesmerized. Did you know the pattern within Taj Mahal wall? it’s not painted guys. It’s either made by sculpting the marble or planted the stone within the marble. That amount of works was just crazy. It blew my mind. You could take a look below. Do you see it? the flower pattern was carved. The green, yellow, red colour are stone. it’s not painted! Oh My God. I can’t think of how much does it cost to build this and the dexterity level. Mesmerizing.

Moving forward to the back of Taj Mahal, you could see the river. Over the river at the opposite of Taj Mahal you will see a vast open space. That was the place that has been cleared out by Shah Jahan to build another Taj Mahal in Black. The foundation has been put in place the work has never been finished though had it been finished it will definitely become another world famous story.

Black Taj Mahal Plan

The look of the river marking the end of our stroll of Taj Mahal. We walked out from Taj Mahal right side this time to take a look of the building from another end. If you are a photography enthusiast this place offers you a lot of beautiful angle in which i can’t captured.

Wish you were there so that we could have a lot more beautiful memoirs.

As of now, this is me bidding a good bye to a place that has been on my wish list for so long. See you when i see you and may you stand tall for the years to come. Thank you for being there and become the inspiration of one of my favourite disney story – Aladdin. It really is a whole new world. 🙂

Cheers!

Triana Mustika Rukmi

The Road Taj Mahal

“I can show you the world..shining, shimering, and splendid” – this song plays non stop in my head when Taj Mahal cross in my mind. I would say the trip to Taj Mahal was something that i have in mind since long time ago. I didn’t get my VISA couple of years back ( not sure what is the reason ) it’s just stay there as in progress. So, when i have my e-Visa on hand there is no way i skip Taj Mahal.

It was pretty packed after our trip in Amritsar to see Golden Temple & Wagah Border but we continued on. We packed our bag to go to the next City – New Delhi. It was so early in the morning half awake, we dragged our body back to the airport. Amritsar and New Delhi are quite far from each other. We decided to take airplane for the trip as it will take just about an hour.

You know, Amritsar airport has its own uniqueness. It’s an international airport that is not to small but not to big either. It’s in a size that is just enough. The check-in process was easy but when we got into the boarding room and saw our boarding passes.. “hang on, where is Gate 5?” haha.. Ground floor only have 4 gates yet we are in Gate5. Nonetheless, we just carred on since it wasn’t boarding time yet grabbing some breakfast and drinks. but wait.. what is that? Did i hear bird chirping? OH YES INDEED! not only chirping from afar but inside the lounge just on top of the restaurant. LOL. India you really have my heart. 🙂

Once, it’s already nearing our boarding time, there is no announcement or anything until one officer comes around announcing our flight. Oh dear you really have to be alert all the time. It turned out that our gate is upstairs. A bit of a confusion due to all the development i would say. Anyway, New Delhi here we come.

The flight was short and when we landed we already have a our driver from the hotel waiting. You know what i would share with you that our accommodation this time was so awesome. We stayed at New Delhi Holiday Inn International Airport. The services was good especially for the staff that welcome us. One of my friend fell sick and they really assisted us nicely. We are a happy guest!

Continue on about the trip. I excuse myself from the group for a while to get a local simcard. LOL the problem with an internet addict. I actually felt very uneasy when i am not connected to the internet. Amritsar doesn’t really have the local simcard for tourist so yes, i had a bit of detox over there. Once i get into the stall, in the midst of setting up and only by then the seller told me.. okay this will be online after 8 PM and i was like?? what?? it’s not directly on line?? it was another awed for me. Long story short i returned the sim card and had to go through a tough discussion to get my money back. Dude! i will only stay for a day in Delhi so that is definitely not a kind of solution that i would like to have. so caution for you who have such itinerary like mine.I left off and there we are dropping our baggage at the hotel.

New Delhi Airport – Do you se the hand? – by Mondya P

Our hotel is in New Delhi while Taj Mahal is in another city – Agra. We have looked out for travel options mainly car and train. We were helpless with the train information and in the end decided to rent a car + driver. The trip was long it took around 3 – 4 hours drive one way. So you could imagine going back and fort already took much time…however, let’s just enjoy the ride, shall we? as usual, what is a road trip without rest area stop? we made a stop and i could finally get a taste of India Starbucks. before continuing the journey. :9 and btw, you could still see cow crossing the toll road and i even saw a car drive through another side of the lane. India you really have my heart.

When we reached Agra, it has passed lunch time and really all the snacking along the way didn’t really cope with the appetite. Hence, our local guide suggested us to eat first. It was raining anyway and we just about so lucky that Taj Mahal was closed for official visit from other country. There we are eating some local delicacies. I had to say i love it. I am not a fan of Indian food since i can’t really take some spices but by far staying in India for couple of days, i didn’t have problem eating at all. Now, it left a question : “then what was all those Indian food that i can’t eat before this?”

Indian Starbucks.. yeaaap.. freshen up a bit
This is DELISH! briyani and lamb.

With a full tummy, Finally our friend and i continue our journey to see Taj Mahal. The weather outside was still cloudy after big rain. It was still drizzling but we can’t delay our journey any further.

Reaching Taj Mahal Area, our driver dropped us off at the gate. It was by local regulation that there shouldn’t be personal vehicle within certain perimeter from Taj Mahal. So we got off walk a bit and took a the provided vehicle. It feels a bit like an open safari. 😉 everything was good until we reached the entrance. OH MY GOD. It was very packed. I think thanks to the temporary closure and the huge rain. You could take a glimpse of it over here.

It was chaotic, the queue was crazy. A separate lane for foreigner wasn’t a big help i would say. We were quite lucky since we had a local guide with us so we have things provided though we still need to wait under the rain. Once we got our ticket ( it is in a token form btw ) off we go passing through the entrance. Once we get in, we though that it wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t that pack. Little that we know that we haven’t really enter the place. LOL.

When we finally get in.. oh waw.. all the trip all the effort to get there was worth it! the scenery was so beautiful. No wonder it’s very famous. Oh my, i can’t really contain my happiness seeing that place. Finally, i could see it with my own eyes after hearing about this place uncountable times.

I will tell you about it more detail later on.. as for now.. here is the picture of majestic Taj Mahal for our eyes to see. Wish you were there with us having our eyes wide opened.

Cheers!

Triana Mustika Rukmi

One Day in Amritsar – Part Two Wagah Border

Continuing our journey in Amritsar, After visiting the Golden Template we visited Wagah Border. Wagah is a territory between India and Pakistan. Within the border, they have a Flag ceremony nearing sunset time when they put down the flag. We tried to look it up before we go to Amritsar and found that the ceremony itself is something festive, so we thought why not?

Going from our hotel area to Wagah Border will take around 1 hour drive. We went there by renting a car and driver. This is something that i will recommend you to do as well. The ceremony take place around 5 PM during our visit yet our driver suggested us to leave at 2 PM. He shared with us that it will be very pack and it’s better if we leave earlier. Off we go!

I don’t really have a good picture to share but i must say that the experience of driving in India ( Amritsar to be exact ) is something that is at a different level from what i’ve experienced else where. Jakarta traffic is already something, but oh my.. India is different. I still find the Honking most of the time, that we know. However, within the trip i could find so many things happening at once and that there are so many actors. You could find not only people with many types of vehicle but also various kind of animal e.g. dog and cow. It’s something that is very unique where you could find cows roaming around on the main road. WOW.. just WOW! and it’s something that captures my eyes up until our destination.. the Borders.

I was superbly excited with the fact that i could see giant India & Pakistan Flag not very far from where i was, there lies another land another country. I couldn’t contain my excitement and curiosity. Once we reached the parking lot, we prepare ourselves + our belongings. Please no bag when you get in bring only the necessary items such as some money, camera, phone, passport – no food / drinks. Once we were ready and got off the car some people approached us offering this and that and we surrendered to one guy who offered to draw a temporary Indian flag. ( see pic below ) then we proceeded to the lane to enter the place.

When you want to enter the stadium, there are two lanes. Make sure you go to the correct lane since there is a separate lane for foreigners. I guess because it’s not the time yet we have been requested to wait outside of the stadium. It was very hot so i would recommend you to wear your sunglasses and/or your hat. Once they allow you to get in, you can’t seat as what you want. The officer direct us to go into specific seating arrangement only for foreigner and we have to fill the space accordingly. Since we were the first we have to go the upper corner. Sitting there under the hot sun, i’ve learned my lesson. Make sure you are hydrated and do not drink the cold drink nor ice. Btw, the price over there for drinks has been standardised so don’t be fooled by the seller. Have a look around you since the price is being put on the wall / pillar. The standardised price is reasonable.

while waiting for the time to get in

Okay, now that we have been seated here comes the wait until the ceremony starts. While waiting, i could see my driver words come true. It’s packed with people. I have been amazed that there are many local comes to this place as well. So it’s indeed a tourist attraction. At the same time, i could also see people are passing by from India to Pakistan and vice versa. So, yep this is an actively used border between two countries.

When it’s started, India side starts with some acts by one officer to spice up the condition. It’s all in local language so i didn’t really understand. xD yet, it’s still captivating. There are certain formation that they have made, then it’s continued with some songs being played, big wave, and a gigantic Indian flag being passed on among the spectators moving from one end to another end. Not only that, i’ve been informed that if you are a woman you could join the ceremony bringing the flag from the stadium entrance to the center along with the rest and it’s indeed happened. It was very joyful. people are happy, dancing, singing along, and all before things get a bit more serious when the officers start their part.

After all the songs here comes the officers parts. They made so many formation. Too bad we couldn’t really catch all of that. It’s still enticing for the eyes though. All movement are quite attractive as if you are acting very big showing off your capacity and capability. It felt like it with some audio accent here and there to amplify the effect. All the formation start from the entrace towards the gate between India and Pakistan. All of our eyes are at the border when both countries’ officer meet each other when the gate is opened. btw, on India side they provided a big screen which could aid you in seeing the whole things.

Both Countries are showing their act when they are facing each other. All with the extravagant movement and sound. I tried to look for the meaning and it turned out to be some friendly figures between both showing the power of each. It is actually have a good meaning behind it not some agitation. happy to know 🙂

when the flag started to go down

After the gate is opened and the flag is coming down. That’s actually the cue for us to leave. Again, this is the notes from our driver since if you wait until everything’s finished you will have to move along with the whole stadium. You could see from the picture how packed is that so we decided to go of. even that, many did the same.

You will have to go out from the same place where you entered the stadium. Different from entering protocol, exiting protocol is more lax. the lane separation between foreigners and local is no longer there. Be aware of your belonging during that time since there are quite number of people around you. We managed to go out just fine until we reached the parking lot and meet our driver. The driver directly got off as he want to avoid the jam which we could understand as well there are many cars and buses parked so we could imagine how it will be.

Leaving that place i can’t helped but feel surreal. There are so many things that my eyes could see and my senses to experience. It leaves me in awe.. My visit in Amritsar is wrapped! or not yet.. since the experience in Amritsar airport on the next day is another story to tell.

See you in the next post and wish you where there to experience all that with us. 😉

Cheers!

Triana Mustika Rukmi

One Day in Amritsar – First Part Golden Temple

Good day! so after the long trip to go to Amritsar we had our rest and ready to start the day with Indian breakfast – pharata yums!:9 It was one bright morning perfect for city stroll. We divided the day whereby we will spend the first half to explore areas within Golden Temple, take a rest, then go to Wagah border. Once we finish our breakfast, we stay very near to golden temple so we could go by foot.

The city is very lovely. Well, you know India that i saw on tv or media weren’t shown during my stay over there though you could still hear all the honking. Haha i think that part of India authenticity that can’t be taken away. however, it might be due to the nature of the city it feels calming. Amritsar is one of the India holy city with Golden temple as its center of attention. We stay close so within just couple of minutes walk we could hear the chanting from the temple. Here have a look of it. 🙂

Golden Temple

This temple is indeed such a beaut for the eyes. Before you enter you will need to take of your footware, wash your foot, and put a modest attire. It is a holy place so please be respectful. People go here for praying and there are places where you could dip into the pool. Separate place is provided for the woman. While i was there, there are quite number of people drawing the temple and it turned out they are actually students. If you see my picture there is a lane to get into the temple. It was so packed and i didn’t go in. being there at the edge of the pool is calming enough for me. I just like the serenity. lovely.

The temple is the center but we came here to experience something else too. So when we looked up about this place, they provide food for free to the visitors. So off we go. First you will be given plate and the eating utensils ( caution : if you don’t want to eat that much just take one plate and share with your friend.do not take separate plate ) then you go along with people movement to an open space where you will be instructed to sit on the floor within lane.

Once you seat, you could see that there are number of people gathered around to eat and there are alot of things happening at the same time. People eat, finish, go then the people ( from the temple i suppose ) do the cleaning. Good type of busy, efficient i would say.

Uh oh here comes our food.. First person come, i lift my plate but he asked me to put it on the floor then he gave me something yellowish like sweet potato. Second person come, i have no idea what is that but it looks like bean soup? Third person came, He gave me bread. You will get 2 bread by default but you could ask for more. Fourth person come, another bean soup? Fifth person will pour water for you to drink. So there we have a complete meal. It was good but taste foreign for us yet still eat up guys!

People eat very fast. When they finish, they take away their utensils and go out to the exit lane. Following the lane i found that first they will take your eating utensils, then plates. Again. very efficient. People then will pass your plates etc around ’till the end where they clean it. What an experience which i will recommend you to try on.

Having our stomach full, we decided to take another round and having a better look over the vicinity. btw, they provide drinking water in several spots so you don’t need to worry over your hydration. when we feel enough, we took our exit to come back to our hotel for a bit of rest before the second place – wagah border.

During our way back, you know what.. we found MCDONALDS. LOL. i suggested to go in so we got in for some AC. Oh dear it was blazing hot. We ordered some items to know the difference compare to the one in Indonesia. When i paid for it, i was so surprised because the price is quite low.

okay now, with an even more full stomach, we really need to get back to the hotel to get some rest. way between the hotel and the temple is quite vibrant with all people and the building. So here are some snaps so that you could get a gist of it.

as for the other half day in Amritsar, i will tell you on the next post. 🙂

Wish you were there enjoying all this with us.

breakfast. :9

Cheers!

Triana Mustika Rukmi

This Is How We Meet India

“All my bags are packed i am ready to go” – or so i hope. FINALLY the day to go off to India! I still remember the hustle on that very morning of last minute packing and all. OMG! never again not taking an advance leave for a day before long trip. learn from my experience guys… it’s a much needed time. Thanks to my clumsiness i left my jacket which should be an integral part of the journey on second country – Nepal and only realised it when i already on my way to the airport. LOL. but that’s the beauty of traveling anyway with dozen of story to tell.

Arriving in the airport, i was surprised that another friend are visiting us! Cheering us up for a journey that made us question ourselves many times –> ” why did we do this to ourselves?” :”D We bid our good bye and went into our first flight was from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur. Oh dear KL, A city that will always have special space in my heart. 🙂 It was a short transit but not bad i could at least taste a bit of Malaysia’s delicacy – Yong Tau Fu and my friend could finish her work over the ocean. 😛

The second flight ( Kuala Lumpur – Amritsar) wass a bit different where the language started to shift to a foreign language for me and my friends. Btw, that was the first time i took AirAsiaX. We got lucky in the seating arrangement where 3 of us could sit in the silent area. It’s quite enjoyable with these lovely ladies in which somehow made us bought a lot of food? haha.

With happy heart, full tummy, and tired body, we landed in AMRITSAR. it was quite late at night and the jet lag start to hit us yet we still have to clear our immigration. Remember the e-visa that i told you about? they are going to check it over here so please make sure it’s ready. You will also need to fill your arrival card and you are good to queue. It will be handy to have your own pen as it wasn’t provided thankfully i have mine covered within my traveling pouch.

Once you got all covered, they have a dedicated line for e-visa. The process was quite seamless is just that somehow things went slower than my expectation or maybe just because i was tired. i finished last and my other 2 friends had taken our baggage. Now, another challenge we need to find our driver. The airport provide a good internet connection thankfully so this wasn’t a big issue. What amazed us was the foreign kind of environment.

We walked out of the airport, at that time it was still under development so perhaps now it’s better, and we were puzzled. I can’t really describe it with words but it was something that will make you feel lost. Then there goes the famous BAJAJ and all the honking and India beautiful hustle bustle. 😉 We are ready to start the trip! Here we come India!

Sri Guru Ram Das Ji International Airport – from outside at night
Hi Amritsar!

ps. i am taking a little time here to pray for everyone’s well being wherever you are amid the coronavirus pandemic with specific regards to India. A beautiful country which has given me amazing experience. stay safe.

Wish everything goes well and we could travel as we used to be.

Cheers!

Triana Mustika Rukmi

How to Apply for NEPAL VISA?

Don’t you want to see the beautiful mountains? I do. So here it goes the story of applying for NEPAL visa to see the mountains. As a tourist that comes from Indonesia or based on my searching for all tourist in general the way to get the VISA is through VOA ( visa on arrival ).

Step 1 : Fill VISA info

As the first step, we could fill the info prior to the departure online or fill all the info at the airport using the kiosk machine. My suggestion would be to fill the info online prior to your departure and get it printed. Reason being, one of my fellow arrived during the time when the airport electricity went out. By having this prior to your departure will help in reducing the hustle if such case happen to you as well. Hopefully not.

This is the website that you should refer to http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/page/tourist-visa .In order to apply for the VISA , you will need the following info on hand : Passport and personal detail information, digital picture, accommodation info. Print the submission detail ( as per pic below ) and bring it to complete the VOA process at the airport. During the time of this writing, the online system will only keep the info for 15 days, so please count the dates. 🙂

Step 2 : Pay VISA Fee

When you are at Tribuvhan International Airport (TIA), you will find a place to pay your VISA. The Price is different depending on your intended length of stay. For me, i chose 15 days and in 2019 it cost me 30 USD. This fee is to be paid in cash. They will give you the payment receipt. Bring it to the immigration counter and keep it with you at all time you are in Nepal.

If it hasn’t changed, near to the payment kiosk there is a money changer before the immigration. At my time, it is cheaper than the one after immigration within the aiport. Perhaps you would like to exhange a little bit before you go for another money changer out in khatmandu. 😉

Step 3 : Complete VOA at The Airport

Now, the last step is to complete the whole proces at the Airport. After the payment, queue up at the immigration line while bringing :

  • Printed page of your VISA submission ( online / airport kiosk machine )
  • VISA Payment Proof.
  • Copied page of your passport : the personal info page + latest visa page of your passport.
  • printed photo size 1.5″x1.5″
  • Accommodation arrangement proof / Tour booking

The immigration officer will then check all the info above and stamp the visa on your passport page. They will throw some questions as part of the verification. After spending sometime, here i have it, officially having the permit to enter Nepal! Woooohooo…

I would say the process for Nepal Visa is clear enough. It could be because VOA is the main way to get the VISA so all the things has been developed to support it. Now, it made me wonder if i should revisit this country. 😀

Anyway, Wish you have your VISA soon.

Cheers! 😉

Triana Mustika Rukmi

How to Apply for India Visa For Indonesian?

Good news! if you are Indonesian traveling to India, you could apply for e-Visa and it’s free for the tourist visa. This was the case of mine in 2019 and until this writing there is no change yet. I hope it won’t change. There are some scumbag websites which try to fool you to pay. be careful. i repeat be careful. I nearly fooled as well. the correct website to go to is https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

For you to apply, you will need to prepare some of the following details.

  • Passport and your personal detail information.
  • passport photo size > actually, there is no specification. i follow the Schengen standard and it worked.
  • Family Details.
  • Flight information. No Booking proof required, you will only need to put the info of your arrival and departure date along with which airport. Please ensure you will arrive in India Airport which accept e-VISA.
  • Itinerary. only in summary which cities that you would like to visit.
  • Hotel Information. No Booking proof required.
  • Countries that you have visited within the last 10 years. the provided space can’t cope with mine so i chose from the most recent to the oldest.

The process is quick. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive the submission information through email and the review process itself will take around 72 hours. In my case, it took 2 days until..VOILA! the visa has been granted. you will receive the information of your VISA approval through mail. You need to print this and bring it along with you. refer below on how it looks.

I quite like the e-VISA process though it was a bit confusing at first due to all the fake websites which try to take an advantage from you. It really simplified many things such as No physical queue, not much of a documents required, No more printing all the bank record, getting the employment letter, and all of the other ordeals. It will definitely helps to boost one country tourism. I understand that it also comes with certain complexities but isn’t it the world is getting more borderless each day?

Wish Indonesian passport could get more access and wish to see you within the process!

Cheers! 😉

Triana Mustika Rukmi

Road to Nepal : 13 Cloth Items To Bring and Wear

I’ve talked about Nepal + India Trip a bit over here
and now would like to elaborate on the gear up part for Hiking in Nepal.
Please note, the gear will be different depend on your route and facilities choices.

For my group, we went with AC ( Annapurna Circuit )
up until around 3700m above sea level and staying overnight at tea house.
Not a hardcore camping..yet.. :”>

It was on September and for our altitude we won’t experience ice.
With a lot of readings mix with experience,
here are the things that i will recommend for your clothing. From top to bottom

  1. Head Cover: Cap / beanies
    Though the temperature might look friendly,
    you are in high altitude and getting nearer to the sun.
    In cold temperature this will keep you warm
    while in hot day it will help in avoiding heat stroke.

notes : multi-function scarf. Bring this as it could be used for many things! to cover your head, neck, mask, etc.

  1. Day – Cloth – 1st Layer
    Go with Dri-Fit Materials. Not cotton. it’s light and drying fast
    It would be very beneficial if you are planning to wash it.
    I wore my gym cloth and it worked fine.
  2. Night – Cloth
    Wear warmer materials. Well, i wore heat-tech materials and loving it.
  3. Day – Jacket – 2nd Layer
    I suggest to bring something light and warm enough with hood.
    Wind breaker will be good for warmer weather.
    it will even be better with some water resistant / proof materials.
    Inner materials, personally i wore polar type. helpful to fight mountain wind.
  4. Night – Jacket
    I brought my down jacket and bring something with hood.
    I left the head cover part and regretted it.
  5. Rain Coat
    Bring it if it’s around wet season. make sure it covers your whole body.
  6. Hand Glove ( may/may not needed )
    Depends on your trail, if it’s not an ice kind of environment you may not need this.
    However, i found this helpful. It was simply because i am allergic to cold
    and this helped me to fight it. The wind and temperature made my hand feel like ice cold.
  7. Pants – 1st Layer ( may / may not needed )
    if it’s cold i would recommend to wear something warm as the inner.
  8. Pants – Cargo Pants
    Cargo pants that is water resistant will be good.
    I’ve found that they are easy to clean. Choose the one with ‘sealable’ pocket.
    This is to secure your things from dropping and to protect + keep it clean enough.
  9. Shocks
    I would suggest to bring 2 types for day and nite.
    Day – something sweat absorbing.
    Night – warmer type. I brought wool materials.
    keeping your feet warm is one of the key to keep your body heat.
  10. Flip Flops
    It will be good for tired feet and when you are resting.
  11. Shoes – Trail Run / Boots
    I would say choose your type wisely.
    In general, something waterproof will definitely better especially in a wetter condition. Really just based on my personal learning and experience :
  • Boots will be good for wet/ice environment, hard trail e.g. sandy/slippery,higher support for ankle.
  • Trail Run will be good for drier environment and a milder trail.
    for me, i went with trail run shoes and it was sufficient.
  • Boots will be heavier with longer time needed to get your feet used to it.
    and..honestly i don’t know when will i use it again.
    On the other hand, i could imagine to use trail run more.
    Invest in a good pair of shoes as your feet work very hard!
    I chose North Face brand and it was no joke. Loving it.
  1. Sunglasses
    Woops! nearly forgotten this one.
    Do Not forget it. I repeat : DO NOT FORGET IT.
    I would suggest you to wear something within UV category 3 or 4 and polarised glass.
    You will be in a high altitude, sun shines brighter somehow and it’s hard to open your eyes. As for the polarised type, it will help you to enjoy things as they are
    since with higher light intensity colours tend to fade away. Be careful though UV category 3 /4 is quite dark and might not be suitable for daily use e.g. while driving.

and..that’s about it for those that you will need to put on your body. Most of them could be reused for other occasions so it might be good to invest on these items.
I will write about other gears on later part especially those that assist the hiking and what to keep on your bag. 🙂

Wish you were there during all of the ruckus to gear up!

Cheers!
Triana Mustika Rukmi

Road To Nepal – Where Did It Start and how?

2019 has passed and i’m proud to say that i hiked a mountain for the first time in forever that year! It was one crazy idea that my friends and i threw out around Ramadhan last year. We met up on this place named SRSLYCOFFEE talking a bit of here, there, and everywhere which then later came out with an itinerary of India and Nepal. Starting from Jakarta – Amritsar – New Delhi – Khatmandu – Jakarta.

It was one session full with laughter with lots of chat follow up. ‘Till finally we purchased the first ticket Jakarta – Amritsar (1 way ). Did you know that the ticket price for that one was only around 70USD?WOOT. Of course it’s with an LCC but still it was one long flight. Even this one with another drama where one of my friend gave a wrong info of the stated name in her passport. Careful guys!

After that first purchase the story continued, we still need 3 more flights : Amritsar – New Delhi, New Delhi – Khatmandu, Khatmandu – Jakarta. Among those 3 we chose to purchased the main one first which is Khatmandu – Jakarta and only decided the other 2 once we stitched around our itinerary details especially the trip in NEPAL. OMG Can’t Wait!

We tried to look around through websites and instagram. You will find plenty of it. Our trip revolved around many things and route. Only by that time we notice that Nepal is not only about Everest. Some main routes that come to our plate were EBC ( Everest Base Camp ), ABC ( Annapurna Base Camp) , and AC (Annapurna Circuit). I will take about it in more detail later, but finally decided to go with AC, one of the realistic route for us. We really didn’t want to aim hard realising that we are bunch of citylife-office-worker type. LOL. if i may share with you please consider some items when choosing your routes :

  1. Trip Duration – we don’t have all the time in this world and oh dear on leave days number.
  2. Cost – if you are not an adventurer kind of type, there are many equipment and gear to purchase / borrow. They ain’t cheap. >_<
  3. Fitness level and experience. As a tropical and low level altitude creature, i’ve learned that the higher you go even breath itself is already an exercise. not to mention the temperature.

Once we choose the route and service provider in NEPAL. Btw, We decided to go with local service provider after much deliberation. Here goes other things to manage! The trip in India. There are hotels, transportation, and flights to book. Oh dear so many things. To share it with you, we chose Amritsar mainly because of it’s Golden Temple and location that is very near to Pakistan. As for New Delhi, actually, it’s only like a pass by before our destination in Agra – how can you not see Taj Mahal? 😉

After we had our itinerary taken care off, we still have to prepare ourselves for D-DAY! we know by heart that hiking a mountain is not a joke. So, we tried to make our own fitness regime that will work for all of us. To share it with you here is my portion :

  • Time for preparation : 2,5 Months
  • Food – Oh yes, indeed, i ate salad everyday a lot of greenies, complex carbs, less sugar, and other things which help your body to procedure red blood cells. Reason : You will need it to support your oxygen needs later. However, the simple carbs will be needed later when you start and during the hike. Lovely, eat all the chocolates and sugar yeay!
  • Exercise – Cardio is a must but don’t forget strength training. You will need your muscles and stamina to support items that you will bring along the way. My routine was ( these are the minimum ) :
    • Running 2x/week 30 mins
    • Running 1x/Week 1 hour
    • Front & Back Lunges 20 reps
    • Squat 20 reps
    • Machine training 3 reps each which target legs, quadriceps, back, shoulder, Chest, triceps, and biceps.
    • Note that i have knee condition so essentially running is challenging for me.

Apart from preparing your body, you will also need to prepare the right gear and equipment. Within those 2 months of preparation, i think we visited numerous shop countless time until it becomes a habit for quite sometime after the hike ended for me. I will go through it more later but let me emphasize this. Those items are not cheap and it’s not that easy to find it for my size.

Woops, need to go now, if i could say another thing is that you will also need to prepare your mentality. inner peace.. inner peace…control yourself better!

See you on the updates of the rest of the stories…wish you were there with us!

Cheers,

Triana Mustika Rukmi