Don’t Follow Your Passion

Passion Mindset
Nowadays as a young fellow who just have graduated from college we have excessively heard an advice “follow your passion”. It’s like the only and grand path leading to the happiness. I have talked with many of my friends and most them are still on the passion-discovery process. They don’t have any particular passion. It’s like a common issue and you aren’t alone in this case. It generates a symptom that people don’t feel contented unless they have found “The One”, source of ultimate happiness, we call it Passion. Many people believe that the world has been preparing something to us. It is majestic and noble destiny. We are the special one, meant to be unique and grand. The world owes us. The only way to seize our grand destiny is by follow the only one path, Passion.
In consequence, it leads to the question and discomposure, “Am I on the right track? What is my passion?” And those curiosity make us frightened, “I will never be happy and contented unless I’ve found my passion. I have aged and I don’t know what my passion is hence I’m terrified”. So people contemplate trying to catch what the world tells us. They’ve drown in the obscurity of passion discovery.

passion scheme

So as we are talking in the same page, I herewith give you the definition of the passion from urban dictionary.

“Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind body and soul into something as is possible”.

In this article I would like to discuss why not to follow your Passion. It’s not based on scientifically and profound research. It just popped out in my mind as the result of self contemplation.

Why Not to follow your Passion

1. Pre-Existing Passion doesn’t Exist
It is harsh fact that pre-existing passion doesn’t exist. The world doesn’t owe you anything. You aren’t destined on something. You are not special as the chosen one for the specific noble and majestic assignment. You are not an exception. You’re same like everybody else, no one has prepared something to you and the world treats you the same. You have completely control over yourself, your willingness. You were given the blank paper to write on to. (As the elaboration you read the article on the preferences links : Why Generation Y Yuppies are unhappy).

Knowing the fact that pre-existing passion doesn’t exist. YOU DON’T NEED TO FIND IT (since it doesn’t exist anyway). You don’t have something to follow after. You are free to write your own story and become whatever you want.

“People with the passion mindset ask “What do I really want?” which breeds an obsession with whether or not a job is “right” for them. They become minutely aware of everything they dislike about their work and their job satisfaction and happiness plummets. By contrast, the craftsman’s mindset acknowledges that no matter what field you’re in, success is always about quality. Once you’re focused on the quality of the work you’re doing now rather than whether or not it’s right for you, you won’t hesitate to do what is necessary to improve it” – Sebastian Klein, FastCompany.com

2. Passion is Artificial, Cultivated

So here we are, on the 1st point above it stated that Pre-Existing Passion doesn’t exist. How does someone find their passion? I believe that passion breeds along the process. It is cultivated. Students in the college or high school are in the process of passion development. You can be passionate become a musician, athletes or engineer. What you need to do is cultivate it by focus and improving skill. It is like craftsman. First step, he determined what he want to build. The second, he identified the required skills. After that he did much practice to build a best craft. The more advance skills that you have, the better craft will be made. Regarding to the ’10,000 hours rule’ from Malcom Gladwell in the Outliers, he said that to become mastery at something you need practicing of specific task for a total around 10,000 hours. I believe passion works two ways. You need passion and consistency to spend such a very long hours in practicing. And in the contrary during the learning process actually you are cultivating and developing passion.

the craftsman mindset is the foundation for creating work you love

3. People Love their Work Because of Nuanced Factors
Based on the Tracer Study ITB 2014 survey conducted by ITB student center reveals that the main reason (50.09%) for the alumni choose the job is opportunity for learning. It means they prefer to strengthen their skills and mentality. Meanwhile passion is only considered as 1.9%. Only 2 of 100 respondents choose passion for the main reason to choose the job.
I believe for the most people they love their work because of nuanced factors, they are :
– Appreciation
– Company Value Alignment
– Potential Capitalization
– Coworkers, Bosses, Subordinates
– Family, etc

4. Follow your Passion doesn’t Guarantee you to succeed
It’s clear. It needs more than that to succeed: opportunity, skills, etc.

Conclusion

1. Stop thinking that you’re special. The fact is, right now, you’re not special. You’re another completely inexperienced young person who doesn’t have all that much to offer yet. You can become special by working really hard for a long time.

2. Craftsman Mindset over passion mindset. Find out what you are good, work hard at becoming an expert in that discipline and you will find success. Spending hours looking inside yourself for your true purpose and passion, will only lead to frustration. Take a decision and take a leap.

References
http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are unhappy.html?doing_wp_cron=1418533809.2130489349365234375000
99u.com/videos/22339/cal-newport-follow-your-passion-is-bad-advice

Money and Happiness

Does money can buy happiness? That is the common question sometimes emerges inside somebody’s mind. Some people say money can buy happiness, “Could you find unhappy people riding jet sky on Maldives? Could you find unhappy people wandering over Europe to visit some fascinating and iconic places?  Those things can only achieved by spending big bucks. So I can say that money can buy happiness”. Other people say, “I have huge house, sport car in the garage, fancy fashion and generate tremendous income every month but there is some part of me feeling unhappy. I think I much happier back then when I was in College even though I was living in small condo, having money that only can affords tuition fee, dormitory rental, foods and other modest excitement with friends around. Despite I’m having bank saving 100 times of the amount when I was in college, my happiness level hasn’t increased along with that”. Some people say money can buy happiness, other can’t. Does really money can buy happiness? cool it off bro, This article is not based on scientific observation or profound research. It just come from my random thought bursting out in my mind (compiled after read some articles). I just want to share my point of view, and I’m pleased if you have other view and want to discuss about it :)

1. Basic Human Needs & Tertiary Needs

What are they? They are shelter, foods, clothes and of course safety. You can’t feel exciting while your life is being threatened. It is very difficult to be happy whenever everyday you’re always starving, looking for foods. I’m just saying that you must fulfill your basic needs to surpass a border between happiness and misery. I mean neither that poor people are always more miserable than the richer one nor the richer is happier. It seems like very hard to them to be happy since their basic needs are unfulfilled. It’s like a reason why some people choose to rob other’s possession (from every aspect crime is can’t be tolerated).

There is like a border above that money doesn’t affect happiness. The border lies at particular amount of money. There is like a stage above basic human needs, I call it ‘tertiary needs’. Travelling with your mates, painting, playing piano and do whatever your hobbies are would boost your happiness. I define Tertiary needs is a stage when your happiness level keep pace with the increment of your money that have been spent. Spending your money to pursuit your dream is categorized in fulfilling tertiary needs.

And I believe there is a point where above that no matter how much money you have doesn’t affect your happiness, significantly. For example : having a Million USD Ferrari and 3 Millions USD Car won’t affect your happiness after several period of time. I define the stage when your wealth increment doesn’t simultaneously increase your happiness level is called ‘saturation stage’.

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2. Endless Self Comparing

A tendency to compare our current circumstance with others is like our basic instinct. People tend to feel glad whenever they know they are better than others.  You feel contented if your house is bigger than your neighbor’s or you have better job.  There is no like absolute position. What I’m saying is even a brainy student with IQ 140 will feel miserable if he is put in a class with student’s average IQ 160. But he will feel glad and superior in class with average IQ 110. A man with income 10,000 USD/month will always feel inadequate if he compare himself with they surrounded friends with income 25,000 USD/month. Most of people looking for a place that they’re become the best and have a meaning. They don’t want to be a mediocre. Every person wants to be visible and gets recognition from society. Perhaps this is a thing that motivates some people to brag/show off in the social media. They always post whenever buy fancy bag, expensive jewelry, high resolution camera, house, have an overseas trip so as they seems look better than moderate society. Will you buy fancy and expensive goods in term no people would be allowed to see your valuable?

It is like never ending desire to get more and more and compare yourself with the higher material sense level. Unfortunately your happiness level won’t increase along with the material possession. I’m gamer. Back to 15 years ago when I was in elementary school I had my first console, Nintendo. It was like greatest feeling ever since I didn’t need to borrow it from my friend again. Later when Playstation was booming, I felt bored with my Nintendo. The joy of playing Nintendo had tarnished and fade away. I wanted to have Playstation so bad since it offered much better graphic. And then finally my father bought me one. I was playing it almost every day. Later, I was bored again. At that moment I thought the cheerfulness of having Playstation wasn’t as great as I had expected. And I was thinking, ”Hmm.. having Playstation 2 or Playstation 3 would be so great!”. And now I’m having Notebook to play PS3/PS4 games (in PC version) but still the greatest feeling I have ever had when I was playing Final Fantasy IX (PS1), Contra (Nintendo). Material sense isn’t everything. Happiness is a state of mind.

Some people call it ‘hedonic treadmill’. It is like a parable that how much effort you make it will be wasted, you’re still on the same place. As if you go further but in the reality you’re still on the same level, happiness level.

Luckily we’re free to determine the reference for comparison. Less is more. Lower the expectation means more happiness shall come. That’s why people who always be grateful (compare themselves with the condition that they had nothing when they were born) are much happier than people who always stare above.

3. Seizing the Moment against Material Sense

People often make a rational calculation: I have a limited amount of money, and I can either go there, or I can have this, If I go there, it’ll be great, but it’ll be done in no time. If I buy this thing, at least I’ll always have it. That is factually true, but not psychologically true. We adapt to our material goods.” Cornell University psychology professor, Thomas Gilovich

 “People think that experiences are only going to provide temporary happiness, but they actually provide both more happiness and more lasting value.” Professor Ryan Howell, associate professor of psychology at San Francisco State University.

It is interesting trail the contention between material sense against seizing the moment. It is fascinating that getting new experience such as travelling, hiking, adventuring etc with your friends would give you (perhaps) longer lasting happiness rather than owning a luxurious car.

Presentation34. Giving and Sharing

Spending your money to the other people who are trying to fulfill their basic needs would boost your happiness. I believe there is more happiness in giving rather than receiving. Regarding on the book titled “The Paradox of Generosity” written by sociologist Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson found that people who give more will be happier. Research has been established for 5 years involving 2,000 persons. They had tracked the spending pattern of 40 families from different economical classes. The result is the Americans who donate more than 10% of their income shall be resisted for depression (41% rarely or never depressed).

And I’m sure all of you have personal experience about sharing sometimes to someone else and how your feeling about it.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Mahatma Gandhi

5. Avoid Debt and Saving for the Future

Debt tends to make people vulnerable to be stressed. An article from medicaldaily.com stated that Debts reach further than just stress, include heart disease, stroke and mental illness. Those with higher debt were found to have a 1.3 percent higher diastolic blood pressure reading. A rise of just two percent in diastolic blood pressure is associated with a 15 percent heightened stroke risk, with hypertension risk rising by 17 percent. Moreover, people living with debt are three times more likely than others to suffer from mental illnesses, with depression symptoms worsening 14 percent for every 10 percent increase in personal debt. (Source: Sweet, E., Nandi, A., Adam, E.K., et al, The high price of debt: household financial debt and its impact on mental and physical health. Social Science & Medicine. 2013)

Do not content your cupidity by taking loan for unnecessary goods. The key to sustain your balance is by good management in expenditure and income. Remember you don’t live for the present only.

personal-debt-raises-blood-pressure-among-young-adults
Conclusion

So here we are now in the conclusion section. Can Money buy happiness? Of course yes. Money can bring the happiness by these following notes in spending :

  1. To fulfill your basic and tertiary needs
  2. To gain more personal experiences rather than buy lavish things
  3. Be grateful, always look down but still dream high
  4. To give more some money for other people to fulfill their basic needs
  5. To spend your money wisely (avoid debt) and saving for the future needs

Let’s create a balance for the rules above to gain your maximum level of happiness

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Interstellar Review

I had a plan to write a review for the best movie in 2014. Few months backward some grand spectacles had been released, you can mention : X-Men past of the future days, Guardian of Galaxy, Fury. Once after I watched every of those movies, I wanted to write a review and proclaim it for the best movie in 2014. Patience prevails. I refrain myself and decide to write it in the end of the year. But it didn’t applied after I watched INTERSTELLAR.

Interstellar. It was my most anticipated movie in 2014. I have been dying waiting since January for this movie to release. I read review about it almost every day and prayed “please don’t let this movie sucks and kills my expectation”. The review in metacritics and rotten tomatoes only give it rating 76 of 100 though IMDB gives 95 of 100. I read other reviews that said Interstellar isn’t best movie of Nolan’s, some of them say it fails. I started to think, “well perhaps Interstellar is overrated”. Big budget, contained by Oscar winner actors, directed by most phenomenal director that created Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception, hired Kip Thorne (astrophysical professor from Caltech) as expected high-valued spectacle. Last night I attended its premier with high expectation and the result : I was blown away! It is hauntingly beautiful and top notch. Nolan managed to compose heart touching drama, sci-fi, action, wild imagination perfectly with right dose given. I almost drop a tear at some scene because its beauty. Like Inception, It is brainy and intelligent sometimes you must watch it more than once to catch whole plot and digest the sent messages. In my subjective opinion, Interstellar is as astonishing top notch as Dark Knight. It’s like inception (twisty, brainy, complex and having ‘wow’ factor) but with addition profound father-daughter bonding. I’ll give it rating 9.1 of 10.

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WARNING! THE REVIEW BELOW CONTAINS FULL OF SPOILER

Story-Plot Revelation

The story told about interstellar voyage through vast distance to find new planet for mankind. The space voyagers consist of Cooper, an ex-skilled aircraft pilot who decided to return and lead the expedition (played brilliantly by Matthew McConaughey, Oscar winner through Dallas Buyers Club), Brand (scientist, played by Anne Hathaway), TARS (funny & reliable robot), and other crews. At that time earth was being attacked by heavy dust storm so that most of corn and grain fields rot and died. Because of foods & health deprivation menace for the future generation, NASA initiates secret project called Lazarus. Cooper was chosen to lead Lazarus mission through ‘strange’ gravity phenomenon gave him address to the secret site of NASA (later it would be revealed that cooper has chosen himself. It must be done to give a chance for Murphy in order to save the mankind). Actually it is not an easy decision for Cooper to leaves his family. But it leaves no choice in order to save his family. Her lovely daughter, Murphy, confronts his decision since there is no certainty for the possibility to come back on earth. Murphy doesn’t know that the mankind is threatened. What she understood was her father left her to follow his passion in space travel.

Lazarus is a project to find highly potential planet to inhibit from several preliminary observed planets. Later while Cooper hasn’t found NASA secret site, Prof. Brand had sent 13 teams to find potential habitable planets on the other side of wormhole. Because of limited fuel, the surveyors can’t back to earth immediately. If they find the potential one, they can emit the beacon to tell NASA for the planet location. From 13 sent voyagers, NASA only receive back 3 beacon from 3 planet’s locations. They are from Edmond’s, Mann’s and Miller’s Planet. Prof. Brand and team take a chance since they can’t visit all of those planets because of limited fuel and time as well.

The project that led by professor Brand comes with 2 options : option A (primary option) and option B (alternative option). Option A is finding potential planet to live for mankind and then move people on earth there. To accomplish that plan, Prof. Brand needs to crack gravity equation for fifth dimension so that he can build huge space ark  (NASA secret base) to bring remaining survivors on earth to the new home planet (at that time Prof. Brand haven’t cracked it yet). So during Cooper’s interstellar travel, Prof. Brand has a lot of time to solve that. Plan B is if the team find suitable planet for resettlement but can’t turn back to earth (because of lack of fuel) or Prof. Brand can’t solve the equation so that he can’t move the mankind, they must plant and multiply frozen human zygotes that brought in their spacecraft so that the continuity of mankind existence is guaranteed with the downside neglecting people on earth for dying. They must manage it wisely since its limited fuel and time (as per general relativity theory from Einstein, 1 hours on those planets with 7 years on earth so that time is become the most important resource). To shorten the odyssey, they must to travel to other galaxy through wormhole existed near Saturn. The wormhole alleged prepared on purpose by “them” (in my own interpretation “they” are higher level advanced civilization, alien, who can control space-time and fifth dimension). It seems “They” want to aid people not to get doomed by environmental calamity on earth. After they surpass the wormhole, the first destination is Miller’s planet. They need to extract and bring the data from the recorder by tracking received beacon location. For the efficiency, Rom stand by in Endurance (space station) to learn and solve special gravity equation meanwhile Cooper and team land on Miller’s planet. Once they arrived on Miller’s planet, they got nothing potential. It was just full of ocean and huge wave occurs almost every minutes. They found Miller was died swapped by wave. Not to jeopardize the mission and save time, Cooper command the team to get back on the ranger and leave the planet. But Still, Amelia Brand hard headed to find the data recorder by ignoring the coming wave. The result, Doyle was died and their spacecraft was broken contained by water. To fix it, CASE & TARS need time almost 1 hour for drying. Amelia feel sorry because of her stubbornness. While they back to Endurance, they surprise find Rom become old. According to his time, he has been waiting for 23 years for cooper to comeback. Yet, after that long time he is still can’t figure the equation.

The left crews are Cooper, Brand and Rom. They must choose which planet they must visit either Mann’s or Edmund’s. They only can choose one. Amelia Brand persistent choose Edmund’s planet.  She is falling in love with Wolf Edmund. She beliefs that only love can transcends interstellar space and time. Thinking Amelia is clouded by emotion rather than objectivity in judgement, Cooper rejects that suggestion. He prefers to choose Mann’s planet because its convincing background of Mann itself. Lately it was revealed that Mann falsified the data. Mann’s planet isn’t habitable as per Mann stated. He had realized that this planet doesn’t suit for human. Terrified left alone and die, he sent the beacon and expect one day there is someone come there and save him. On that planet, it was revealed as well that Plan A is a fake. Prof Brand actually had cracked the equation, he had realized that it needs Quantum data parameter that only can get by entering the blackhole. His conclusion was : The equation is unsolvable since it is impossible to travel through blackhole and he doubt he able to moves mankind to the new home. He thought that Plan B is more realistic and convincing to achieve, so he deceived cooper and his daughter. Knowing those facts, cooper want to back to Earth. Mann didn’t let Cooper do that instead trying to kills him. Mann agreed with the Plan B and he need Cooper’s space station, endurance, to continue the journey in finding habitable planet. Later, Mann was died because of the explosion while he was trying for docking at Endurance. The only remain planet is Edmund’s. Cooper endorsed Amelia Brand to execute plan B in Edmund’s while TARS was crossing the blackhole to get quantum data for cracking the equation (since it is impossible go back to earth because of fuel deprivation so the only way is plan B). Cooper planned to get there by utilizing suction force of blackhole (since they were run out of fuel to land on edmund). To reduce the weight, cooper decided to release his ranger and sacrified himself sucked into blackhole, gargantua. Luckily Cooper trapped inside the blackhole (fifth dimension world that he believes prepared by higher level civilization or “They”). He was lied in tesseract with an abundant range of space-time dimension that connected to the library in his house (Murphy’s room). Knowing He still wired with TARS that got the quantum data, he was trying to send those to earth. The only chance to save the world is  telling that data to someone on earth so that the equation can be solved. And then he chose to tell Murphy about that quantum data by gravitational manipulation. He just realized that “THEY” actually chose Murphy, not him, to save the world. “They” built tesseract that connected to the various of space time of Murphy’s room on purpose for cooper. He was just assigned to send the codes to earth by bridging 5th dimension to 3rd dimension world. I assume that power of love as father daughter bonding causes Murphy realized that her father is “the ghost” and trying to send a messages (as per Amelia  Brand stated that love can transcends space and time). Fortunately, Murphy succeeded crack the equation and bring the remaining people to the space station  (called cooper station) for searching new home. After that, fifth dimension that trapped Cooper was closed by the higher dimension creature. Cooper thinks that “they” are the future advanced civilized human that have ability to control space time and back to the past. “They” want to save human or their self from the extinction. At that time he stranded on the space. Few minutes later he was saved by the ranger (few minutes on Cooper’s perception is equal with decades on Murphy’s). Finally he met Murphy aged hundred year and after that he decided to continue his travel finding his love, Amelia Brand, in Edmund’s. Yeah Edmund’s planet is habitable and Amelia Brand can only wait to be saved after send the beacon.

“Love is one thing that transcends time and space”

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Conclusion

It is a must-see movie. Its story is much larger and wilder than Gravity with excellent performance from the actors. Actually there are some scenes that I believe can be elaborated more. For example about Cooper’s decision joining (again) NASA team for Lazarus project. C’mon the duration is almost 3 hours and I feel little bit weird that suddenly cooper agreed Prof. Brand’s offer. Secondly, I think it is better if the director elaborates heavy dust storm disaster deeper and stronger. It isn’t displayed that the disaster attacks a whole world so that the mankind urged to find new planet. It just detailed and seen the catastrophy attacks some areas in USA. Besides that I think interstellar is flawless. I can proudly confess that this is the best movie in 2014 (no need to wait others movies to say that). No no.. it’s more than that, Interstellar is one of the best movies I have ever watched. It’s beautiful, touching, brainy, complex at the same time.

IndoChina Trip ++ (Part 1)

Four months ago my friend (you can call Dhito) invited me to join his trip scouring over south east asia countries for 9 days. At the beginning, I was exciting and reluctant at once. The third thing that pop in my mind “how much it’ll costs for that trip? Is it very expensive?”. Well, I rather to say that spending your money around Rp 6 millions (total spending for trip)  for exploring 5 countries (Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & Singapore) in 9 days is a best decision. It was worth every penny. It wasn’t only city sightseeing, it was enlightening and full of insight. It widened your point of view by meeting different ethnic, different civilization level and culture.  We was wandering, shifting from a city & country to another in a group. Yup, a large group consist of 22 persons (i told this to a british bacpacker that I met in Bangkok, and he freaked out,”WTF are you f*cking crazy?? It is like a bunch of study tour group rather than backpackers”). honestly I thought going for travelling in a large group like 22 persons would be intricate and troubled. But In the opposite way, it was fun and pleasant. So here we are 22 indonesian backpackers who have travelled from Kuala Lumpur to Ho Chi Minh (most of destination was reached by land transportations) : Dhito, Stef, Hafidh, Rizky, Fahmi, Putri, Sukma, Rika, Ian, Gin, Pras, Benny, Jaul, Abdan, Khairul, Feby, Simon, Listi, Ryan, Laura and Pras. Thanks all for memorable and enjoyable trip.

45551_thailand-map-2

Figure. Here we are 20+2 backpackers. Thanks to Gin/Putri who was taking this picture (they weren’t taken by Camera)

I’ll split this article into several parts. Each part will represents a story in each country. This is part #1 : General Journey Brief & Summary. I wish it can be useful for you who want to explore the beauty and exotism of IndoChina.

The Journey itself

Well, here is our journey track from Indonesia to Kuala Lumpur and then back to Jakarta.

indochina

Figure. Trip Route : Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur – Hat Yai – Krabi – Bangkok – Siem Reap – Phnom Penh – Ho Chi Minh – Singapore – Jakarta. 

MAIN TRANSPORTATION ARRANGEMENT

From To Transportation Required Time Cost
Jakarta Kuala Lumpur Plane 2 hours 400,000 IDR
Kuala Lumpur Hat Yai Sleeper Train 15 hours 60 RM
Hat Yai Krabi Mini Bus 6 hours 400 THB
Krabi Bangkok Plane 1 hour 350,000 IDR
Bangkok Siem Reap Bus 10 hours 750 THB
Siem Reap Phnom Penh Sleeper Bus 7 hours 10 USD
Phnom Penh Ho Chi Minh Bus 7 hours 10 USD
Ho Chi Minh Singapore Plane 2.5 hours 600,000 IDR
Singapore Jakarta Plane 2 hours 400,000 IDR

                                                                             TOTAL TIME SPENT   52.5 hours

 

VISITED TOURISM DESTINATION

City (Country) Destination Entrance Fee
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) Petronas Tower 80 RM
Central Market Free
Kuala Tower 60 RM
Museums
Krabi (Thailand) Phi Phi Island 900 THB(complete tour)
Maia Island
Krabi Backpacker Area Free
Bangkok (Thailand) Bangkok Night Market Free
Wat Pho 100 THB
Royal Palace 400 THB
Wat Arun 50 THB
Cao Phraya River Tour 200 THB
Siem Reap (Cambodia) Siem Reap Night Market Free
Angkot Wat Complex 20 USD
Phnom Penh (Cambodia) Royal Palace
Museum Phnom Penh
Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) Chi Chu Tunnel
Mekong River Tour
Saigon Night Market Free
Singapore Marina Bay Area
Bugis, China Town, Little India market
Garden by the Bay

 

HOSTEL ARRANGEMENT

City (Country) Hostel Address Rent/Night
Krabi (Thailand) Aonang Backpacker Hostel 375/5 moo.2, Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand +66891347664 < IDR 100,000
Bangkok (Thailand) Suneta Backpacker Hotel 209-211 Kraisi Road, Banglumpoo, Pranakorn, Khaosan/Grand Palace, Bangkok Thailand < IDR 100,000
Siem-Reap (Cambodia) One Stop Hostel #342, Sivatha Blv, Opposite Cambodia National Bank, Siem Reap, Cambodia < IDR 100,000
Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) Hongkong Kaiteki Hotel 22 Bui Vien Pham Ngu Lao, District 1 Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam < IDR 100,000

 

BUDGETARY

My total spending for 9 days trip is around Rp 6,000,000 (it is including transportation; meals; hotels; souvenirs, etc). I herewith give you detail short list for the expenditure.
Transportation

Flight Cost Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur      : Rp 400,000

Flight Cost Krabi – Bangkok                      : Rp 350,000 (no add. airport tax)

Flight Cost HCM – Singapore                    : Rp 680,000 (no add. airport tax)

Flight Cost Singapore – Jakarta               : Rp 400,000 (no add. airport tax)

Train Kuala Lumpur – Hat Yai                 : Rp 220,000

Minibus Hat-Yai to Krabi                          : Rp 140,000

Bus Bangkok – Siem Reap                           : Rp 260,000

Bus Siem Reap – Phnom Penh                  : Rp 120,000

Bus Phnom Penh – Ho Chi Minh              : Rp 120,000

 Sub Total      : Rp 2,690,000

 

Accomodation

Hostel 2 days at Siem Reap                     : Rp 140,000

Hostel 1 day at Ho Chi Minh                   : Rp   75,000

Hostel 1 day at Bangkok                           : Rp   75,000

Hostel 2 days at Krabi Aonang              : Rp 140,000

                                                 Sub Total     : Rp 430,000

Entrance Tickets /Tours

Angkor Wat Full Package 1 day             : Rp 250,000

Tuk-Tuk for Angkor Wat 1 day               : Rp 100,000

Ticket for Wat Pho (bangkok)                 : Rp    37,000

Ticket for Wat Arun (bangkok)              : Rp    18,000

Tour Chao Phraya River (bangkok)     : Rp    75,000

Phi Phi Island 1 day full package           : Rp 340,000

   Sub Total       : Rp 820,000

 

Foods & Drinks

You can get a good meal plus drink start from Rp 40,000 for every lunch/dinner.,

For 8 days I had spent around Rp 1,300,000 in total for foods and drinks

 

Souvenirs & etc

It depends how many souvenirs and what you wanna buy. Every person has different taste, decision on this. Okay i’ll give you a little pricelist for the souvenirs (the prices are almost the same and applied for Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore).

Key holders              : 3 USD (you can get 3-6)

T-Shirt                        : 2.5 – 4.0 USD

3D Greeting Card   : 1.5 – 3.0 USD

Durian                        : 2.0 USD/kg
RUNDOWN

Saturday, May 24th 2014

09.00 – 11.00 : Flight from Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur

11.00 – 12.00 : Heading to Sentra Kuala Lumpur by bus (10 MYR)

12.00 – 13.00 : lunch @Sentra KL

13.00 – 19.00 : KL Landmarks Sightseeing : Central Market, Merdeka Square, Kuala Tower, Petronas, Batu Cave

(all the destination can be easily reached by train)

19.00 – 21.00 : back to Sentra KL and dinner

21.00 – 22.00 : boarding for sleeper train KL-Hat Yai @sentra KL

 

Sunday, May 25th 2014

…….  –  11.30 : Arrive at train station, Hat Yai

11.30 – 12.30 : Looking for Money exchange,  tour agent and travel to rent minibus to Krabi, Aonang.

12.30 – 13.00 : waiting for the minibus arrive

13.00 – 17.15 : Trip to Krabi, Aonang by Minibus

17.15 – 18.30 : Hostel check-in, taking a rest

18.30 – 22.00 : city sightseeing & dinner

 

Monday, May 26th 2014

08.00 – 11.00 : Trip from Aonang to Phi-Phi Island, Maya Bay

11.00 – 12.00 : Snorkeling at Maya Bay

12.00 -13.00 : Back to Phi-Phi Island

13.00 – 15.00 : Lunch, sightseeing

15.00 – 18.00 : Back to krabi Aonang hostel

18.00 -22.00 : Shopping for souvenirs & dinner

 

Tuesday, May 27th 2014

08.00 – 09.00 : Trip to Krabi Airport

09.00 – 12.00 : Flight from Krabi to Bangkok

12.00 – 14.00 : Lunch and come to Mochit bus station to buy bus ticket to Siem Reap

14.00 – 19.00 : Visit Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Royal Palace, & Chao Phraya River tour

20.00 – 22.00 : Dinner & Enjoying Night Life (max 22.00 because of curfew in Bangkok)

 

Wednesday, May 28th 2014

08.00 – 09.00 : Trip from hostel to Mochit bus station

09.00 – 17.00 : Trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap by bus

17.00 – 19.00 : Hostel Check-in and rest

19.00 – 23.00 : Attend Night Market at Siem Reap, Dinner

 

Thursday, May 29th 2014

04.30 – 05.00 : Heading to Angkor Wat by Tuktuk

05.00 – 16.00 : visiting temples at Angkor Wat Area

16.00 – 19.00 : Back to hostel and rest

19.00 – 22.00 : Attend Night Market (buy souvenirs) at Siem Reap, Dinner

22.00 – ……… : Hostel Check out and trip to Phnom Penh by Bus at 23.00

 

Friday, May 30th 2014

…….. – 07.00 : Arrive at Phnom Penh

07.oo – 08.oo : City Sight Seeing (Royal Palace, Museum, etc)

08.00 – 15.00 : Heading to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

15.oo – 16.oo   : Hostel Check in at Saigon

16.oo – 24.00  : Enjoy night market, dinner, buy souvenirs and city sightseeing

 

Saturday, May 31th 2014

06.00 – 07.oo : Heading to Don Muang airport

09.00 – 12.00 : Flight to Singapore

12.00 – 22.00 : City sightseeing

22.00 – 22.30 : Back to Changi Airport

 

Sunday, June 1st 2014

08.00 – 10.00 : Flight from Singapore to Jakarta

 (… to be continued)

The Raid 2 : Brutal and Beautiful

Truthfully, The Raid 2 : Berandal is the most anticipated movie that I have been waiting for this year. I really have huge expectation toward this movie that starred by Iko Uwais and directed by British director, Gareth Evans. In 2011 I watched its predecessor, The Raid : Redemption. I thought It was astonishing movie but not the superior one. It was only took location at an old apartment with very linear and simplistic story, though it offered great martial art pencak silat choreography.

Rated 8.9 by voters in IMDB made me infatuated to watch The Raid 2 that would be released at Cinema on March 28th 2014. Actually I was afraid to set very high expectation since it can kills the enjoyment of watching the movie. Because of the Raid 2 I had unlocked my new achievement : watching movie at Cinema alone.

The Raid 2 : Berandal takes time 2 hours after the first sequel. Rama starred by Iko Uwais has given dreadful mission to unveil and wipe out thug Gangsters in the city by Bunawar (during a whole movie it isn’t mentioned in which city the movie takes place). There are 2 gangsters live peacefully, Japanese Gangster run by Goto Family and Local Gangster led by Bangun family.

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Figures. the three biggest Gangsters : Bejo, Bangun and Goto Families ready to rock you

Bangun has an imprisoned son  who has been living in a jail for several years, named Ucok. Rama’s mission is to befriend Ucok and becomes his trusted man as an entrance to the gangster world. So that Rama’s identity is cleared out and he is given a new name, Yuda. He sent to the prison where Ucok jailed. After released from the prison, Yuda becomes Ucok’s right hand, help him and his father to exploit lower level criminals. Bejo, a new rising gangster star, appears in the surface between Goto and Bangun family and makes a dispute. He desires to rule the gangster world by tearing down Goto domination. He doesn’t works alone. He is helped by Ucok who want to get rid of his father and then lead Bangun Family with more powerful invasion and more territories. The movie tells story how Rama, disguised as Yuda, eradicates the Gangsters and traitor who runs  police department.

I couldn’t agree more that The Raid 2 is much better than its predecessor in every aspect. It is more cruel and mayhem, more story, better fighting choreography, better cinematography, more various characters, scenes and actions. The raid 2 : Berandal injects you with more adrenaline. It’s brutal, chaos though there is an enjoyment and beauty inside them. Its story is more complex than the first sequel. It feels like watching “The Departed” (nevertheless IMHO The departed still offers better story). As the second sequel, The Raid 2 Berandal has succeeded to fix the lack of story in first sequel. The dialog also more natural and smoother than before. I must confess that the team is ingenious in choosing the sets. It was incredibly beautiful when the snow was falling. Prakoso was dying with the blood shrouding his whole body.

It is also terrific set when Rama (disguise as Yuda) fights bunch of convicts in the middle of  muddy field. The fisticuffs which adorned by the rainfall makes more dramatic situation. The car chase scene is also the great one.  I am wondering how they took that scene with such a wild and terrific angle on the main road in Jakarta. As we know that It is near impossible you can drives your car speedy in Jakarta main road without hampered by traffic. It needs a huge effort of course to convince and get permission from the police. Beyond those all, my most favorite scene (perhaps it is one of the best fighting scene I have ever seen) is “kitchen fight scene”. It’s final scene when Rama scuffles with the Assassin. They both show magnificent and visceral martial art technique. It was violent, beautiful, classy and breathtaking at once. It is outstanding!

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Figure. An astronomical outstanding final fight between the assassin and Rama (people called it ‘kitchen fight scene’)

I think the story in this movie can be developed and improved more. The actors performances are in average except for Ucok (acted by Arifin Putra). He may has saved the movie by performing strong character and sadistic son of Bangun. I believe Uko Uwais should be can more explore his acting performance in this movie as leading role. The Assassin, starred by Cecep Arif Rahman, never has a conversation, but it’s okay, he has built his character quite good. But again Ucok nailed it.

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Figure. Hammer girl and Metal bat boy, comical characters who enrich the story

Is the Raid 2 Berandal a must watch movie? It’s depends on your taste and what you are expect. If you are looking for melancholic drama, complex and brilliant story, The raid 2 doesn’t suit you. If you loathe watching bones fracturing, human slaughtering and more brutal scenes, the Raid 2 doesn’t suit you. It offers you with beautiful prominent martial art, breathtaking and adrenaline pumping scenes.  This movie is classy and terrific. For me, it is a must-see-movie for you!

Nothing to Prove Anymore, Leo

Oscar has been over. I feel disappointed because of my favorite actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, won nothing. Well technically I am a fan of Leo’s movies. I started to pay attention to him after I had watched “Catch me if you can”. He played as  a trickster, Frank Abagnale Jr. My most favorite Leo’s movies are :

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The Man In The Iron Mask

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Catch Me if  You Can

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The Departed

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Inception

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Django Unchained

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Shutter Island

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Wolf of Walls Street

But among them, In my opinion the most outstanding Leo’s performance is at Wolf of Walls Street. I don’t say that his acting on his previous movies wasn’t good. it is very  good! But Wolf of Walls Street is beyond them.  He played as Jordan Belfort, a stock broker in Wall Street. He acted as outrageous, crazy, ambitious person that broke the law to runs the business. Sometimes he was crying, depressed, sometimes he was angry, mad and ambitiously had an astonishing speech rose the spirit of his employee. The most outstanding Leo’s acting is when he was intoxicated because of drugs. He acted like half palsied man even he must put much effort in order to step down through the stair. It was hilariously funny and slightly weird. He didn’t finish, he was trying to drive to home meanwhile he was under influence of drugs, he was only able to move a half of his body.

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Jordan Belfort, a briliant and passionate motivator and speaker

man in A Leonardo DiCaprio epic drug scene in Wolf of Wall street

Finally he got to home safely, even though with much dent on his fancy car. It wasn’t over, He was trying to stop his friend, Doni, communicating with FBI. The FBI agent disguised as an investor that interested to buy stock in market.  It was brilliant acting by Leo! After watching a whole movie, I recognized that Leo was deserved for Oscar through this movie. Perhaps, it was his best performance in his career so far. When the Oscar 2013 winner for best lead actor was being announced, I can saw his disappointment. He was trying to hold his cry. When I had put my best effort to something that I excited the most and then failed, indeed I would shed my tear. You are crying when you get something that you want to the most after all your endeavor that you have been through otherwise you have ended up with failure. My heart was touched when I was seeing Cristiano Ronaldo winning speech for Ballon D’or 2013. He was crying. After waiting so long, he defeated Messi, his strongest rival in La League.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s tears of joy at FIFA Ballon D’or 2013 Award. He was declared at the best footballer on the earth

Finally he has proven that he is the best football player in the world. So does Leonardo Dicaprio. He has proven that he is one of the best Hollywood actors of all time through his performance and high class movies that he had made. Nothing to prove, Leo, people know that you already a winner in their hearts.  But still, deep down in my heart  I want to see Leo wins an Oscar award someday as the best lead actor.

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Oscar 86th Academy Award : Leo hugged and kissed  the best actor winner (honestly I don’t know who he is). The Wolf of Wall Street isn’t enough to give him an Oscar Award

Bioshock Infinite : The greatest twisted ending of all time is in a game!

I was never playing Bioshock sequel before. I played Bioshock Infinite because of its tremendous rating in several games review website (and I also fans of first person shooting game in PC). Many people think Bioshock Infinite is the best game that released in 2013. So, Why do the people think Bioshock Infinite is really good game? In my own opinion, it is because of its beyond briliant story and stunningly beautiful scenery of Columbia City. Although, the gameplay is pretty solid, either not outstanding or bad.

Story

Bioshock Infinite tells a story in 1970s about a man, Booker Dewitt, a former mercenary who involved in a past massacre. His life was ruined by his own guilty. His gamble addiction habit twisted him into a great number of debt. To pay his debt, he was demanded to bring a girl named Elizabeth from a flying city Columbia. Yeah, Literally Columbia city was located above clouds. The city was built and led by Zachary Comstock, called Prophet by people of Columbia. They revered Comstock as a hero and God of Columbia. It wasn’t exaggerated, people considered Comstock able to predict the future. He had predicted that someday Dewitt will comes to Columbia to take Elizabeth from him compulsively. Oh yeah, Elizabeth is Comstock’s daughter by the way. Fight couldn’t be averted among Dewitt and Columbian Soldiers which were given order by Comstock to protect her. The rest of the story? I can’t tell you more. It is full of suprise, twist that you will never forget. It’s beyond outstanding.

 Graphic

Your eyes will be spoiled by the beauty of Flying City Columbia. Its graphic looks like Disney animation with its own manner in colors. You can walking around Columbia City and then enjoy the beauty of the buildings, railways, flying trains.

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 Gameplay.

It is first person shooting genre. You can distinguish this game from others FPS games by its special fighting ability fitur : Vigor system. It allows you to cast something like magical vigor. You can electrocutes enemy, summons raven to attack them, or manipulates the gravity. That’s fun! Nothing special in weapon’s variance. Shotgun, Carbine, Handgun, Magnum, etc are available for you. Moreover you can upgrade them by spending some money you got during the game.

 Infinite-6Well overall, Bioshock Infinit offers you beyond briliant story with unforgettable twist, great graphic and pretty good gameplay. Have you ever seen Shawshank Redemption, Beautiful Mind, Shutter Island, Inception? They are very great movie with great twisted ending. Inception presents elaborate story, even sometimes is debatable. In my humble opinion, Trust me, Bioshock Infinites is above them all in story and twisted ending.