I got back from my 4D3N trip from Pekanbaru some time ago and colleagues were asking,
How was Pekanbaru?
We were small group of 5 people. Our little family of 3 including my parents in law. I have to be honest – not much to shout about unless one is planning for a trip to Bukit Tinggi. There were only 3 highlights of the trip
- Amaris Hotel
- Pitek Lanang
- Masjid Besar
I sound like a miserable traveller already.
There couldn’t be a better hotel like Amaris. We were very grateful for the early check-in. And more thankful for the offer of a late check-out. Amaris seems busy this week – catering to meetings and small workshops. A lot of corporate clients appears really important walking through the front door.
Our non smoking room has a comfortable King size bed, a small TV with only one particular channel we understand and enjoy which is HBO, complimentary drinking water, water dispenser (hot & cold) just outside our room at the corner of the stairs, cooling air conditioning and a decent view.
We don’t have a mini fridge – but it’s okay. Although we have a water dispenser, sometimes the water seems to run out. Thank God I brought a mini thermos so Hazeeq could still have his milk at a good temperature.
Breakfast selection was commendable – I loved the coffee and the fried rice a lot. Hazeeq on the other hand loved the keropok and juice.
This was the restaurant situated just outside our hotel opposite the small road. We had our main meals there almost everyday. If not for lunch, then for dinner. They have both Western and Indonesian cuisine. I loved its pecel lele the most. ONce I got bored of having white rice, I ordered its nasi goreng. It did not taste like the ones we had in Malaysia. They were in fact very rempah-y.
We did try the special Murtabak and Sate Padang at another warung – that too tasted weird. Edible and interesting but weird to the palate.
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, there is not much to do at Pekanbaru. It’s good for elderly tourist because you get to walk slowly and soak in the experience of being in a foreign country without having to rush for its public transport and such. Shopping was biasa. We did went to the Ramayana store but was fooled into thinking that we could get a discount. It did not display properly that only those with store cards get discount on merchandise. Sgtlah sik transparent.
Despite that, going to it’s Masjid Besar was WOW.
Perhaps I haven’t been to a big masjid for quite some time – I thought it was interesting to have a huge area within the masjid compound that allows the public to come by and exercise (riadah) in the evenings. In a way, people would not have the idea that masjid is only for praying. Instead, a place where human beings from all walks of life regardless muslim or not can gather at the area as a community and a family. That we learn to perform riadah in a respectable way yet still being able to achieve one’s goals of either burning calories or just keeping fit.
Although our daily schedule involved a lot of eating and lazing around, both my in-laws were happy. Eventhough they had to visit a miserable museum as well. Ha ha. Seeing them enjoying the short trip was enough to make us happy too. But perhaps we’ll choose a better destination next time. With also cheap tickets from Air Asia.
4 days in pekanbaru? too long.. he he