Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bad News: Euro Trip is Postponed :(

As seen on the title, my Euro Trip must be canceled due to problems in applying the Schengen Visa. We waited for hours outside the Swiss Embassy just to receive this bad news, here is the detail of what happen there:

1. The travel agent has registered us early in the morning to get the queue number. The registration open at 6am. We got number 9
2. At 9am, the interview was started. We got number 13 due to there are 4 applicants which didn't get the chance for interview from yesterday's queue.
3. At 10am, the security told us that the interview is postponed until informed again and due to reason which is not informed to the security. That's suck! We were waiting on the streets, under the heat and polluted air and they just informed like that, which is very unclear. Ow, and moreover, the last number who just got in is number 7 and the interview closed at 12pm.
4. At 11am, finally the interview was started again and the security called for number 8 - 12. Ouch, i didnt think we'll have enough time before our turn. Luckily, the number 11 was looking fo r exchange queue as the person was not ready.
5. Not very long, we met the madame, and she told us that we cant apply visa through Swiss Embassy as we will arrive at French first. Later she blame us as we used unfamous travel agent and the travel agent should inform her first to make interview schedule with us (how come most travel agent, not just mine, dont know any of that?).
And just like that, we can't continue this trip, as the interview schedule at French Embassy is fully booked until Sept 9, 2009; which means not enough time for the visa to be processed (10 days). But as I promised you before, I'll post here the requirement for applying Schengen Visa:
  • Passport, which has valid date more than 6 months from arrival date and old passport.
  • Color photo size 4x6, 2 sheets, with white background and clear appearance.
  • Sponsored letter in English, printed in the Company's letterhead from the company you work. Also mention the name of others/family member which travel with you.
  • If you were General Manager, Director, President Director or Commissioner, you must provide a copy of NPWP and SIUP. If you have your own business and do not have company's letterhead, then letter is printed on white paper and stamped by company's logo.
  • If you were sponsored by your child, then provide the birth certificate. If sponsored by son-in law, provide the marriage certificate also.
  • If you were a retirement, provide a letter stated your status and signed.
  • Copy of savings account from the first page to the last page of transaction (minimum Rp50 million/ person)
  • Reference letter from Bank (original). Must be the same bank of your savings account. The letter must mention the name, savings account number, amount and the first date of transaction.
  • Copy of credit card
  • Copy of family cards
  • Rename letter, if any
  • Marriage certificate, if your spouse is travelling with you.
  • If your children are travelling with you, provide: student card, birth certificate and school reference letter
  • Print out of ticket reservation / original ticket (fyi, they trusted original ticket more, the madame told us that printed electronic ticket is not acceptable).
  • Hotel confirmation during your stay in Europe (all hotel, if you miss 1 night, they will ask it)
  • Travel insurance during your travel in Europe with total amount of US$50,000 or 30,000 euro.
  • Visa Application form, which has completed and signed.
  • You must come to the embassy to perform interview. Attach the passport with the supporting document and separate per person.

Basically that's what you have to prepare before you applying Schengen Visa. You must pay fee of Rp890,000 and the money will be gone if your visa is rejected, unless you are rejected during the interview, you dont have to pay.

Sadly ones,


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Trip to Umang Island (Pulau Umang)

I once wrote about Umang Island in Bahasa at my previous random blog. I rewrite it and put more infos here :)

Umang Island is located at Sunda Strait, from Jakarta you must take the Kebon Jeruk highway and out at Serang Gate, and take the road to Pandeglang. Basically it is the same route to Tanjung Lesung or Ujung Kulon. The trip with car needs approximately 5 - 6 hours from Jakarta, a very long and boring route. Below is the map you might need.

To arrive at Umang Island, we stop the car at a village called Sumur. From Sumur, we cross the sea with wooden boat, it only take 10 minutes to get there. The charge of boat is already included in the package when you make reservation to stay there.

the pier at Umang Island

Once you arrived, you'll see a beautiful glass house which is headed to the beach. The pool is in front of the glass house and there is a patio near the pool site for guests to enjoy sunrise. The glass house is the place where lunch and dinner are served. Fyi, lunch and dinner is included in the resort package as there is no other restaurant in the island and you are not allowed to bring food on your own. According to my last visit on June 2008, the food rating is poor so you better bring some instant noodles in case you are not pleased with the food. However, during dinner you'll be entertain by live music and guests are invited to participate, which is quite entertaining.

the glass house and the pool

the patio

The villa is two floor villa, where the bed is upstairs (for 2 people). If you bring more than 2 people, you could rent another villa or ask for extra bed. The extra bed is quite comfortable though. There is only 1 bathroom in each villa, which has nice design and half open air. The room is wide and comfortable (with AC), although not very clean. In front of each villa, there is a gazebo, which is suitable for chatting or enjoying the beach.

the bedroom

The beach in Umang Island is not very nice to be played as there is many rocks, but you could enjoy both sunrise and sunset in this island. If you love water sports, you can ask the local guide to transfer you to Oar Island, which is only 5 minutes from Umang Island. At Oar Island, you wouldn't find any villas, there is only white sandy beach surrounded by bluish water, which is perfect for playing water sports or just enjoying the clear beach. You can play banana boats, jet sky or go snorkeling. Just arrange it with the local guide. They might be a little pricey, so you must bargain!

Beach in Umang Island

Beach in Oar Island

One thing I'm impressed with the Umang Island is the welcome and friendly officers. They always smile and gladly help you with informations. The warm attitude is not just on our arrival, but it lasts until we depart from the island. Based on my chit-chat with the resort officers, the 5 hectars island and also the Oar Island are owned by Indonesian businessman named Christian William.

Back in 2008, the price per person is Rp600,000 per night, which is already included the accomodation, the boat transfer from Sumur and the food (lunch+dinner). For transfer to Oar Island, snorkeling and banana boat you will be charged extra money. However, based on my research in the website, they have holiday package for 4 adult, where the price is Rp1,200,000 per person, but already included the trip to Oar Island and snorkeling.

In my opinion, the beauty of this place is lessen due to the fact that the nature is not original. However, this place is recommended for Jakarta's people who are searching for places to relax and loves beaches and luxury. Compared to Anyer or Carita, in which the beach is dirty and too many hawkers, Umang Island is clearer and more quiet. Nice place to getaway from noise and for daydreaming.

Interested? you can call PT GSM Griya Sukses Mandiri on +6221-5315-3008 or send message to +628567160999. Have a nice trip, all!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Next Destination: Europe

I'm sorry I haven't posted anything lately since I was busy preparing for my next trip: EUROPE! Yeay! I'm planning to go on September 16 - 27, 2009 with the whole family except my biggest sister. We decided not to take a tour as most of the tour schedules are not fit to ours. Luckily, by arranging all of the trip by ourselves, I have plenty of things to share with you :)

For a start, I'm gonna give tips of what to prepare when you plan to go to Europe on your own:

1. Determine how many days you have and what countries you would like to visit.
  • Be rationale, having too many countries to visit while you only have few days means you will be very tired and not enjoying the trip.

  • Use google or trip advisor to do your research.

  • Make a list of every countries to visit and places to visit in each country.
2. Open the map and arrange the sequential of countries to be visited. For each country, arrange the sequential of places to be visited.
  • Try google map!

  • When you already knew the starting country and the final country, arrange the flight and book. Try Emirates or Etihad; or look for bargain prices from other airlines' promotion.

3. Considering the visited places in each country, determine how many days and night you would spend on each country.

  • By doing so, now you would be able to search for hotel and train schedule.

  • For hotel, I prefer to read the review on tripadvisor because it is very detail and including rank from the most recommended to the least.

  • For train, you could open the euro rail website to check schedule and fares. The website has just renovated, unfortunately i think the previous one is easier to use than the new website.

4. Book your hotel and train once you are sure about the schedule. Obtain confirmation of hotel booking for your visa application purposes.

5. Prepare for visa application purposes (I will listed down all documents need for visa Schengen application in my next posting). You will have to come to the Embassy by yourself to submit the documents and perform interview with the embassy officer.

6. List down your itinerary, write down the addresses as well as the timing to prevent from getting lost and late.

7. Pack your belongings

8. Go have fun in Euro Trip!