Isnin, Februari 28, 2011

Beautifully eerie

The perks, of travelling with a reporter. "Kisah 4 dara yang hampir menjadi virgin sacrifice" gets published on Malaysian National News Agency or BERNAMA! Ihiyyyy!! Give it up for Sorayaaaaa!!!

The Beautifully-eerie Mount Bromo
By Soraya Jamal

SURABAYA, Feb 28 (Bernama) -- About eight years ago, the writer watched the Indonesian film "Pasir Berbisik" (Whispering Sands), starring Christine Hakim and Dian Sastrowardoyo. The film by Nan Triveni Achnas left such an impact on her that she vowed to one day set foot on Mount Bromo, the location of the shoot.

So it was little wonder that when her friends asked her to join them on a trip to the volcanic mountain, she immediately agreed - not knowing that the volcano had been actively spewing out ash since last November!

But the plane tickets to Surabaya had been bought. There was no turning back. Armed with stubborn determination, the writer and her three female companions marched on to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, where Mount Bromo belongs. Any worry that was felt was brushed off by the reasoning that this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to view an active volcano, live!

Unlike the Merapi Mountain in Yogyakarta, Bromo spits out ashes and cold smoke, so the safe zone is around 2sqkm, compared to Merapi's 15sqkm.


Bromo, located some four hours away by road from Surabaya, is part of a chain of volcanoes spread across the Java Island.

The national park is named after the two iconic mountains of East Java, Mount Semeru (the highest in Java at 3,676 metres) and Mount Bromo. Meanwhile, Tengger is the name of the tribe residing in the area.

Mount Semeru, also known as Mahameru (meaning big mountain), is among the most active volcanoes in Indonesia.

Mount Bromo (2,392m), Mount Batok (2,470m), Mount Kursi (3,392m), Mount Watangan (2,601m) and Mount Widodaren (2,600m) sits across an impressive 5,290-hectare plain of grey sands, aptly named Lautan Pasir (Sea of Sand).


As soon as we reached the nearby village of Cemoro Lawang, the gateway into Bromo, the writer and her friends felt as if they were transported into another world. The drizzling skies were dark and foreboding, and the air thick with volcanic ash.

Paddy fields, farms, houses, schools and old temples were blanketed by thick ash. However, the streets were clear as the people would clean it daily, sweeping the ash to the sides until it forms a sort of ridgeline.

We arrived around four in the evening. Cemoro Lawang was like a ghost town, with nary a sound. Occassionally we'd come across the odd lorry or motorcycle.

We drove our rented Toyota Avanza up to the first and only person we saw since arriving. His name was Pak Soetomo. To him we enquired the safety of visiting Bromo.

Pak Soetomo explained that Bromo was "on standby", so the crater and Lautan Pasir were unsafe to visit. However, he said, we could still enjoy Bromo's exotic view from Mount Penanjakan.

We were grateful because Mount Penanjakan has been known to be the best place to view the stunning beauty of Bromo.


Our driver, Pak Lukito, drove us to an area less than three kilometres from the crater to enjoy the view of the sunset.

We stepped out of the car and were greeted by thin clouds of ash that smell strongly of sulphur, despite the masks we had on.

We could hear deep rumbling, much like thunder, and the ground beneath us shook with tremors coming from the Bromo caldera.

Words cannot describe the view. It reminds the writer of an artist's impression of the world during pre-historic times (minus the dinosaurs) and the images of the surface of the moon.

Feelings of awe, amazement and fear intermingle. God's creations are both truly beautiful and terrifying!

The caldera would erupt at about every 15 minutes, after which tremors can be felt and brown, black and white smoke would be ejected into the sky.

We spent nearly an hour absorbing the eerie awesomeness of God's creation. We were about to leave to search for accomodation when Bromo suddenly erupted thunderously.

The grounds shook and it suddenly became dark. The skies were suddenly red from the ash material ejected from Bromo. It wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to say that it felt like a mini apocalypse.

Lava spilled out of the caldera. The locals ran towards Bromo, an indication that this was not a normal happening. We, on the other hand, could only exchange worried looks while praying hard in our hearts.


The good thing about visiting Bromo while it was active was that the hotels around Cemoro Lawang was deserted. Rates were cheaper than usual because of the drastic drop in tourists.

So we had the chance to stay at the most expensive hotel that was also the nearest to the Bromo caldera for RP650 thousand (about RM224) a night for a family suite. The suite was complete with a water heater, a living room and kitchenette.

The same room would cost nearly RM400 a night during peak periods.

The temperature at Bromo dropped drastically at night and could go subzero. However, Bromo's lodging facilities did not include heating. Jackets and layers of thick clothing did little to stop the chill from reaching the bones.

That night the thunderous sounds and rumbling grew louder. Occassionally we could see specks of lava lighting up the night sky like fireworks. A sight truly extraordinary and deeply sobering. The tremors shook the windows and floor of our suite all night. We felt like it was the longest night of our lives.


Come 3.30 in the morning, we made our way to Mount Penanjakan to catch the sunrise which happened at 5am. Based on our internet research, our rented jeep was supposed to take us straight to the location. But it turned out there were actually two viewpoints on Penanjakan.

Viewpoint 1, the lower and more popular one, could not be visited because we'd have to cross Lautan Pasir to get to it. Viewpoint 2, which we were about to visit, was more challenging to get to. The jeep could only take us halfway. The last kilometre would have to be scaled on horseback.

Four horses and their caretakes were already awaiting us on the road halfway through our journey. None of us had any horseriding experience, much less riding on the treacherous cliffs of a mountain in the dark.

But there was no time for regrets. Once again we strengthened our resolve, got onto our horses and prayed we made the right decision.

We were halfway up when one of our companions fell off her horse after the mare tripped over a rock. Luckily, the caretaker was quick to react, keeping the situation under control.

A half-an-hour ride brought us to a vast plain. The writer breathed a sigh of relief thinking we had reached their destination. Unfortunately, there was another 200m more to go, on foot!


We arrived at Viewpoint 2 of Mount Penanjakan after climbing a slippery slope, with only a small torchlight lighting the way.

In spite of the rising sun, the shrouds of volcanic ash and fog around Bromo were only getting thicker by the minute.

The only sounds we could hear were Bromo growling; occassionally it "coughed" and thundered. But after waiting for two hours for that promised view of a magical sunrise to appear, we gave up and begun our way down.

We were cursing in our hearts because we probably could have gotten a clearer and more spectacular view from the hotel, sans the trouble.

But at that moment - as if sensing our frustration - the fog suddenly cleared, revealing the calderas of Bromo and Mount Semeru. We were enthralled by the beauty presented before us.

The writer has no words to explain her feelings watching Bromo ejected clouds of brown, black and white smoke amidst the majestic backdrop of Mount Semeru. It felt as if we were in a city above the heavens.

We drank in the view of Lautan Pasir stretching as far as the eyes can see, the shadows of mountains across the plains and Pura Luhur Poten at the foot of Bromo's crater. Oh, the majesty of God's creations! We captured the moment to our hearts content - both mentally and digitally.

The way down Mount Penanjakan is not as difficult as the climb. The writer and another friend chose to enjoy the mysteries of Bromo on foot while her other companions rode their horses back down to the waiting jeep.

On her way down, the writer had the chance to chat with Primus, a horse keeper from the Tengger tribe who bore a resemblance to Bambang Pamungkas, the former Selangor football player.


Primus said the Tenggers were synonymous with Bromo. Many of them are Hindu, but unlike those in Bali, their religious practices are an amalgamy of both Hindu and Buddhist influences.

They are moderate in their rituals, compared to Bali Hindus. However, those rituals were the exact ones practiced by their forefathers centuries ago, without deviation.

Legend has it that the Tengger people were descendants of the Majapahit princess who migrated to the mountains upon the arrival of Islam.

In mid-August the Tenggers make way for an important ceremony called the Kasada, also known as the sacrificial ceremony.

Five days prior to the day, there would be dances, horse races and exhibitions. On the day itself, performance items called "ongkek" would be thrown into the caldera. Ongkek comprises 30 different fruits and cakes. The items have to be from a village where none of its people have died in the past year.

The Tenggers are known for their politeness, obedience and diligence. They are physically small and tanned from the daily sun. They are also champion horsemen.

The men tend to keep a mustache and wear their sarong on their shoulders as one would a poncho. At a glance it feels like one is in Peru, especially when looking at the neat, cute and colourful houses, kept that way even in times of disasters.

Local reports say Bromo need at least five years to recover. Coincidentally, the media also reported Bromo's highest activity to be the day we were there.

A statement from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VACC) in Darwin, Australia, said it was the high pressure that caused volcanic ash to spew out of Bromo, shooting 5,500m into the sky and swept by winds 370km across the east and north-east.

It also threw up volcanic bombs in sizes as big as a human fist to a metre in diametre.

The writer asked Primus: "What if Bromo becomes more violent?

"We just stay optimistic about it," was his calm reply.

The writer nodded, and vowed silently to return.

By Soraya Jamal

Rabu, Februari 16, 2011


Hasil tangkapan di Singapore (hahaha...Naem & Raudha mesti dah maklum, if I come to Singapore, memang tak sah la kalau tak shopping perfume!)

Adventurous, the recently launched, travel exclusive perfume by Estee Lauder. Adventurous by Estee Lauder is a Floral Fruity Gourmand fragrance for women. This is a new fragrance, Adventurous was launched in 2011. Top notes are mandarin orange, green notes and red berries; middle notes are jasmine, lotus and heliotrope; base notes are vetiver, musk and caramel.

Incanto Bloom is a new fragrance in the line of Incanto fragrances and can be expected on the market in March 2010. Creator of the perfume is Sophie Labbe and the composition encompasses grapefruit blossom, freesia, tea rose, champaca, musk and cahmere

Innocent Rock comes to the market in March 2008 as a limited edition available as 50ml (1.7 oz.fl.) EDT. It is inspired by mix of pop dance and rock culture, interpreted in a new age spirit. Provocative, glamorous, modern and delicious, the new fragrance Innocent Rock is dressed in black. It brings a cocktail of sweet notes of litchi and grape liqueur, with seductive accords which accentuate glamorous winy effect and create delicate fruity rapture with vibrant notes of 'forbidden fruits'. The heart reveals red rose and finest quality black pepper which adds to glamorous Rock impression of the new fragrance and gives it completely different dimension with its peppery aroma.

My fave (so far) is Innocent Rock, the scent, the packaging even the description is just so me! Adventurous I bought mainly for the name and to commemorate something special, Bloom sebab botol dia comel sangat!


Jumaat, Februari 11, 2011

Kisah Duren dan Kerusi

Apa yang terjadi, bila seseorang sangkin terujanya bercerita tentang keindahan perut kotak-kotak sang duda keren a.k.a duren bernama Fauzi Baadilla?

Jadi kejang seluruh tubuh sampai kerusi yang diduduki pun patah!

No prize in guessing siapa manusia yang sebegitu lemah daya tahan nafsu itu. Muahahahahahaha!

Khamis, Februari 10, 2011

Ronde vs. Angsle


Wedang ronde merupakan minuman tradisional yang berasal dari Jawa. Wedang sendiri berarti minuman. Wedang ronde adalah seduhan air jahe yang berisi bola-bola yang disebut ronde. Biasanya disajikan dengan kacang yang sudah disangrai, kolang-kaling, dan potongan roti di dalam minuman tersebut.

Ronde sendiri terbuat dari tepung ketan yang berisi kacang tanah dan gula merah. Konturnya kenyal ketika digigit. Dan bagian dalamnya akan meleleh di dalam mulut kita. Komponen utama dalam wedang ronde ada 2. Yaitu wedang jahe dan ronde itu sendiri. Jika wedang ronde tidak memiliki ronde, maka minuman itu disebut wedang jahe. Karena saya beberapa kali menemui teman yang menyamakan wedang jahe dengan wedang ronde.


Kalau Angsle pula, isinya boleh macam-macam, imagine macam ABC tapi hangat, but with santan and gula halia, instead of sirap dan susu pekat.

Semoga penjelasan ini membantu!

Rabu, Februari 09, 2011

Kisah Pertualangan ke Bromo (Part 5)

Still Day 2!

Matahari sudah mula melabuhkan layar (ecewahh!), badan pun dah sengal, badan pun dah bau llama+kuda, maka kami menuju ke tempat dimana tubuh bakal direhatkan malam itu. Tretes!

Sejujurnya kami pun tak berapa tahu soal Tretes ni, tak pernah dengar. Tempat ni lebih kurang macam Cameron Highlands, sejuk nyaman je. Tempatnya dilereng Gunung Welirang. The original itinerary of that tour group that we were supposed to follow listed it (they end up going to Malang instead of Tretes in the end), baru lah kitorang macam, owh, nama yang menarek! Tretes. Menetes. Merembes. :p

Macam ni lah rupa paras hotel kami, Inna Tretes. Maybe it's just me but I feel the place looks nicer bila tgk live, serious! Very charming.

Sekali lagi kami diupgrade dari kamar standard (Published Rate rp750rb, Internet rate rp275rb) ke kamar deluxe (Published Rate rp900rb, Internet rate rp350rb) at no additional cost! ihiyyyy!!

The rooms are HUGE!

Lepas mandi (I seriously need to get rid of that smell of llama's spit!), sholat, kita cari makan!
Shamam had Iga bakar, I chose Iga penyet (Iga=ribs), Soraya ambil ayam bakar, Lea gila tak original, dia order Char Kuew Teow walaupun gila babs kena kutuk dengan semua orang (woiii! Nak char kuew teow pergi Penang lahhhh!) and we all shared gurame bakar.

Masa makan tu, semua pekerja resto tu asik tengok kitorang je. Mula2 macam, eh kenapa pulak ni? Lama-lama pasrah. Nasib orang cantik memang selalu begini, diperhatikan dimana jua berada. hahaha...

Then one of them asked Shamam, "dari Malaysia ya, Mbak?". When she said yes, dia punya muka atak senyummm! Later when I went to the counter to pay, the boss again asked me the same question. I asked him, "Jarang sangat ke Malaysians sampai ke sini?"

"Lhoo...bukannya jarang mbak! Malah gak pernah!"

Pergh! Sumpah bangga jadi orang Malaysia pertama menakluki kedai pakcik ni! Lantas saya minta diskaun. Dapat. Hahaha..makasih pakcik! Niat dihati memang nak promokan kedai pakcik ke seluruh warga Malaysia, tapi maaf, saya lupa nama kedainyaaa!!

Luar kedai ni banyak gerai-gerai jual jagung bakar, sate, ronde, angsle...perut dah kenyang, tapi fikir macam, alah sayangnya tak layan ronde ke, angsle ke dlm kesejukan malam macam nih.

I had angsle, the rest shared jagung bakar masin manis.

Tengok muka pun dah tau, Angsle tu sedap gilaaaa!

Even the jagung bakar is marvelous!

Then came a couple of street musicians or Pengamen. Saya paksa nyanyi lagu 'Sheila on 7', they sang "Kita". Feel sungguh makan angsle sambil layan lagu so7.

Balik hotel langsung terkapar tidur, Soraya ajak borak lama-lama dia cakap sorang diri hehehe...amponn!

Day 3

Lepas Subuh tergerak hati nak buka tingkap. Subhanallah...

This is the view that greeted from my bedroom window! Terus sms Shamam kat bilik sebelah. Semalam sampai dah malam, tak nampak view langsung! Goshh! Cantikkkk!! This is Mt. Arjuna atau nama jawanya, Gunung Arjuno.

For breakfast, Shamam and I had Nasi Rawon, lengkap dengan condiments seperti keropok, telur masin, sambal belacan, tempe goreng, dendeng, tauge...Soraya makan nasi goreng, Lea bakmi goreng...dan kami sepakat dalam hal ini, Breakfast di Inna Tretes memang terbayekkkkkkk!!! Rasa macam nak menjilat mangkuk!

Shamam and her Nasi Rawon. Yang lain tak sempat nak difoto dah habis

It was then that we realised, selain kami berempat, hanya ada 1 couple dan anak je penghuni hotel ini. Itu pun pagi-pagi dah checkout. Ternyata, we had the place almost just to ourselves, again!

One of the best things bout this hotel, ada kolam renang yang airnya bersumber dari mata air gunung. In other words, segar dan SEJUK! Diberi nama Sumber Tirta, saya buat deduction it means "sumber kehidupan" hahaha...

Some people believe, mandi air mata air ni, boleh awet muda. Tengok je lah hasilnya!

CALON wakil Malaysia ke Olimpik untuk Sukan Renang Berirama

Habis tegang semua yang patut dan tak patut tegang. Only Shamam dan saya je crazy enough to attempt the pool, yang lagi 2 celup kaki je dah menjerit. Hahaha...kecoh ah korang!

Soraya buat percubaan aksi Bawang Merah mengorat anak raja

We didn't get to spend much time in Tretes, nor do any activities but somehow, all of us fell in love with this place! After Bromo, Tretes is exactly what we needed to get back to our senses. Maybe it's the air, maybe it's the water...but we all vowed we'll have to come back for more!

to be continued...

Healthy Lifestyle!

Yang ini, kami tak beri nick name. Kami panggil dia, "Beruang Eksersais"!

Mula-mula nampak dia stretching kat satu sudut, then jalan....after a while we realized he was actually doing an exercise routine! Jalan keliling, then sampai kat one exact spot, he'll stand up and stretch himself. We saw him doing like 3 rounds of that!

Uber coolness!

Agaknya beruang ni tension orang selalu jadikan dia contoh obesiti, dia pun nak mengamalkan gaya hidup sihat, kot? Hehehe...

Beruang pun eksersais. So apa lagi alasan kita sebagai manusia? :p

Ariel & Luna

Sorry darling, we're not talking bout Ariel Peterpan dan pacarnya, Luna Maya. We're talking bout these 2 sun bears with their public display affection that has prompted us to give them those nicknames. Hahahaha...

Yes, they are doing EXACTLY what you think they're doing.

p/s: we even have videos. Yes, we're perverted like that.

Selasa, Februari 08, 2011

Kisah Pertualangan ke Bromo (Part 4)

Once, I told a friend I have always wanted to go to Taman Safari in Prigen. He said, "why?? itukan buat anak-anak kecil??!"

Heh! Dia tak tahu ke aku ni muda di jiwa sokmo?! :p

The best thing bout this place, kita boleh drive thru in our own vehicle, while the animals are left to roam freely within its compound, and we can feed them. Eh, most of them. Harimau dan Singa tolong jangan dikasi makan, kecuali kalau memang berniat kehilangan lengan ye kawan-kawan?

Before masuk Taman Safari, banyak gerai jual buah-buahan dan sayuran sebagai makanan haiwan. Beli sesikat besar pisang (we ate half of it) dan seikat lobak merah, rp20rb. Mbok jualan sayur tu offer sebaldi pisang free je purchase with purchase, tapi humang aih takpelah makcik, terima kasih!

We just couldn't resist to do 'America's Next Top Model' dengan sekawanan carrots itu!

Altho...kamon lah, ada carrot, ada pisang, and a bunch of sexy babes (dirty minded is more like it lah!), of cozzz there'd be some raunchy photos with the carrots and bananas as props. And no, I've no intention of sharing them here! Hahahha...

Pisang yang tidak berdosa

1st stop, Llama!

If you're still wondering menatang apa Llama ni, you might have missed this entry.

Saya punyalah excited, carrots banyak ni nak bagi makan ni! Dah la dia datang dekatttt gila dengan kita macam nak cemolot. Ternyata rakan-rakan seperjuangan saya yang lain takut nak beri haiwan ni makan, Shamam mula-mula konon macho alih2 dia yang jerit lebih-lebih hahaha. Takpe Llama, you've got a friend in me! And so I fed them, one by one, penuh rasa kasih sayang...

Then one of them just spit all over me! Eurghhhhhhhhhhh!!!

Gambar sejurus sebelum Llama ini meludah ke atas saya! Euwww, euwww dan euwww lagi!

Abang Llama ku sayang, tak pernah ke orang ajar, do not spit on the person who fed you??!! Eurrrrrghhh!!

There's even bits and pieces of chewed carrots in the spit. Hahahahaha...dan tak perlulah saya bercerita tentang baunya!

Tak ada yang ambil gambar lepas kejadian, sebab semua terkedu. hahaha...Dalam banyak-banyak orang, kenapakah saya yang kena sembur? Dah la found out later that it's rare for Llama to spit at humans. Adakah kerana saya makhluk rare? Ataupun kerana carrot tu tak sedap? Atau...(dan yang paling mungkin) saya berbau macam kuda therefore you treat me like one of you?

Our supir, Pak Lukito joked, "Ini hewan giginya keren yah. Klo dia manusia pasti udah jd aktor komidi". Hehehe...And so he was given the nickname, Llama komidi.

Muka penuh ketenangan sambil menahan nafas. Bau Llama!

Next, kita masuk enclosure beruang.

Pak Lukito awal-awal warning, masuk kandang beruang dok diam-diam ye, kalau beruang tu mengganas dia boleh pecahkan cermin! Ok ok kita layan je tengok beruang sombong ni. Kenapa saya kata dia sombong? Sebab semua beruang ni membelakangi jalan! Tak dapat ambil gambar muka dia.

Then harimau benggala! Owh so cute!! Diorang bergurau senda macam kucing kat rumah saya je. This photo below, rimau tu tengah ready nak ambush kawan dia. Huuuu comel rasa nak bawa balik buat bantal!

See how close we got to the tigers! Lea tak puas hati. She said, "aku nak dia macam datang kacau-kacau kereta ni. Bukak lah tingkap, kita cakap Hi!" Hahahaha...saikooo! Kepala hotak dia Hi, mentang-mentang aku dok tepi tingkap. Kalau tadi kena ludah Llama, kang tak pasal-pasal kena baham rimau! eiii idok le!

Entry for lion enclosure.

Steady Singa Jantan ni, wa cakap lu. Dia sekor, bini/gundik/wanita simpanan/selingkuhan/girlfriend/pemuas hawa nafsu got Six!

Anddd...still you choose to satisfy yourself on your own? Kasiannnn dehh loe!

Dannnn bermacam macam macam jenis haiwan lagi! Mari kita lihat siapa yang kenaaaa!

Ye, saya memanggggg tak serik :p

Babi ahhh kau! hahaha okay that's lame!


I couldn't resist feeding this cute guy. Kalau nak ludah pun, ludahlah, I rela! :p

Tang bagi makan kat monyet ni, I think we shocked both Pak Lukito and Soraya. Tak semena-mena saya dan Shamam buat bunyi monyet berserta gayanya juga! "uk uk ukkkk..." should see Soraya's face masa tu! Pricelesssss!!! Pak Lukito bilang, "Nyet, kayaknya di dlm mobil ini masih ada teman-teman kamu" LOL!

Hyppo 1 and 2

This is seriously cool. At first we thot jalan tu tiba-tiba banjir kereta tak boleh lalu demmit, rupanya dia memang buat in such a way yang kita kena lalu air, and these badak berendam is just right there beside the car! Awesome!

Dan banyak dan banyak dan banyak lagi!!! We seriously had lots of fun in Taman Safari, mungkin juga berkat kena ludah dengan Llama.

Next up, "Ariel & Luna"!

To be continued...

Happiness Is The Truth

Been a while since I felt so deliriously happy to the point that I fell like telling the whole world how I feel, and why. But, having been...