Thursday, January 31, 2019

Time to be a Wiser Patient: Dental Treatment Not Only About Beauty (My writing at The Jakarta Post)

Nowadays in Indonesia, dental treatment is a legit issue which can be beautifully packaged in the form of aesthetic treatment that every peson would desire. If you are aware of it, it is now easier to find range of dental aesthetic treatments, such as veneer until tooth colored filling in social media. Sadly, a lot of this treatments are given by those who are not certified and competent dentist and a lot of people believe in them. Sadly, dentists are now often consulted by patients who are experiencing discomfort or pain after those particular treatments.

This phenomenon happens not only in middle-low class, but also amongst instagram celeb and another public figures. So, I think maybe people just don't have any idea about dental health? Maybe people just don't know where to seek for the ideal dental treatment? 

So here is a little writing from me of the general information about dental health and how & where to seek for the ideal and safe dental treatment, since dental treatment is really not only about beauty

I hope it will give a little insight for ones reading it, enjoy. You can read the full article here at The Jakarta Post.  Anyway feel free to repost the article!

Friday, December 28, 2018

On The Highest Railway in The World (Chengdu to Lhasa Train) - Bucketlist Checked

Read the previous post here:

The Serene Ambience While Reading a Book 
Along The 36 Hours Train Ride 

The Ticket

Transit at Xining Railway Station (To change to special train which can
 operate on high altitude along Qinghai Tibet Plateu)

Along The Ride, Fruits and Food (Non Halal) are Available on The Train

There are Bedding on One Side and Window Coach on The Other Side

How Locals Spend Their Time: Reading, Watching Drama, and Enjoy Hot Drinks and Eat!

The Dramatic View Along The Journey

Coffee Given to Me by Neighbor

My Neighbor (Locals Traveling From Chengdu to Lhasa)

One of My Open Trip Member Have to Use Nasal Cannula to Heal 
The Symptom of Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Lhasa Train Station

When I was reading about Lhasa, there I stumble upon the so called highest railway in the world. The train on this journey will travel from Xining, China to Tibet, China through Qinghai Tibet Plateu, reaching the highest altititude when passing Tanggula Pass on 5200 meters above sea level. There are another high railway in the world, some of them are journey from Lima to Huancayo and from Cuzco to Lake Titicaca but this route from Xining to Lhasa is on the top of the list. So, who wouldn't want to put this journey on their bucket list?

So, purposely, I chose an open trip which taking train instead of plane to reach Lhasa. And turns out it really was once in a lifetime experience. The journey was taking 36+ hours train ride. Departing at 21:37 p.m from Chengdu, I take the hard sleeper train to Xining (2283 meters above sea level). The seat available are couch, hard sleeper, and soft sleeper. 

The couch is clearly not recommended for this two nights journey, the soft sleeper is the most comfortable one because it only consists of 4 beds in one private room, whilst the hard sleeper gives the most local experience; consist of 6 beds in a compartment without door, so clearly it will be a little bit noisy but this is how we can have interaction with locals who take the train, experience the way they enjoy the journey, mostly by watching movie, reading, playing cards, eating and eating!

One night was spent in a usual sleeper train from Lhasa to Xining. At the next day at around 10 a.m. we change train in Xining Railway Station to a special train suitable for high altitude, a completely sealed train with oxygen system which deliver oxygen to each of the carriage, nasal cannula is also available for those who feel AMS sympotms such as headache, nausea, and heavy vomitting. This train has the same seating and bedding configuration with the first train and we also got the same seat number.

In the second night, at about 10 p.m., we started to ascend to a higher altitude. I chose to sleep early because I am afraid that I might get AMS for I have never traveled to altitude higher than 2500 meters above sea level before. And a little tips, it's been a common knowledge around mountain climbers that Acetazolamide (Usually known by its brand: Diamox) could help with AMS symptopms. And after did a consultation with my doctor, she said that it might help with AMS symptomps, looking from its drug's mechanism of action. It is okay to consume this drug as long as we have no contraindication condition to this drug (such as hypersensitivity to Acetazolamide) and as long as it is not consumed in a long time (more than 7-10 days). So, I take Acetazolamide 125 mg, 2 times per day before ascending and take 250 mg, 2 times per day when I am in 4000+ altitude. And I have no AMS at all :)

Some of my group tour members get AMS symptomps such as vomiting and nausea when we are passing the Tanggula Pass on the train, therefore they have to use nasal cannula to get more oxygen. And this also happen with a lot of locals. So, AMS is real issue when traveling to high altitude guys! Make sure to consult with your doctor about the best way to prevent it, including taking Acetazolamide in the right dose. 

And finally at the second day, around 10 a.m. we arrived at Lhasa Station. It was really a once in a lifetime experience. Sleeping in a hard sleeper train for two days, passing the most dramatic landscape, from cities, to desert, until the snow capped mountain along the highest railway in the world, while seeing what locals do, talking with them, sipping hot coffee once or twice, reading my favorite book, until enjoying fresh fruit from the cart is really an unforgettable memories. I would not choose to take plane to reach Lhasa, for this experience is worth to be ticked from my bucket list, and from your bucket list too for sure, no?

Friday, December 14, 2018

Things to Do While on Transit - Chengdu, China

Read the previous post:

Chunxi Road, Chengdu, China

Before departing for Tibet, I first arrived at Chengdu to catch the train departing for Lhasa. I purposely came a little bit early so that I can enjoy Chengdu first for I long for visiting its Giant Panda Breeding. Fortunately, not only I can visited its Giant Panda Breeding, I can also walked along the buzzling street around my apartment. Here are some interesting places I visited during my one and a half day spent in Chengdu:

Chunxi Road
This road is located in Jinjiang District. From my apartment, Chengdu Memory Space Apartment Taiguli Branch, this road is only five minutes away by walk.  This street was initially built to connect two commercial centers. And now you can find almost everything here, from the famous bubble tea, traditional snacks, fruits, until department store such as Isetan. 

To spend one evening there after a tiring long flight is such a memorable first day in my travel journey. This place would be perfect to be visited whether in days or nights, for when the night come you could only stare at the city lights and already feel happy (at least, it was, for me) :)

Tianfu Square, Chengdu, China

Tianfu Square
About 15 minutes slow walk (and a little stop here and there to take some picture) from Chunxi Road,  I found Tianfu Square. This place is located in The Commercial and Business District and a stop for 2 lines of the metro so this place is quite crowded. But I still can enjoy the super clean open space and stop for a moment to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city. The famous Mao Zedong Statue is located in front of this square so I must say this is a must visit place for your first visit to Chengdu.

Walking passed by The Mao Zedong Statue, Chengdu, China
Me wearing: Top (Unbranded), Wool Jacket (Marks & Spencer), 
Pants (Unbranded), Bag (Fossil), Shoes (Payless)

Mao Zedong Statue
This famous statue is located in front of Tianfu Square. Actually, nothing to do here other than taking picture with the statue, but for a Chengdu first timer I guess it is nice to see this memory of the founding father of China, no? 

Eating halal noodle at one store in moslem area near Chengdu Museum

Moslem Area Near Chengdu Museum
After get enough with the walk and the night started to crawl in, we were looking for some food and we found that there is a moslem are not far from the square. So we walked there, passed The Chengdu Museum and finally about 8  minutes from Tianfu Square we saw this halal noodle store in the second floor of a bakery (the bread is delicious too) and there we went (So sorry I can't read the store's name, but it is easy to be found in the moslem area). 

I ate a beef noodle and I like it. Just like the usual Chinese dishes this noodle is rich with spicy and oily flavor and some of my friends did't find it suit their taste. But honestly, I like it :)

JinLi Ancient Street

JinLi Ancient Street
One of our tour group member wanted to find a starbucks located in an old traditional building, then there we were, finding it inside JinLi Ancient Street. We first thought that this place is not far from Tianfu Square, but actually it takes us about 20-30 minutes by walk from Tianfu Square because we were taking the long way round, getting lost for we were not reading the map carefully. And we totally walked about 10 kms from our apartment to reach this street.

I didn't find any of the starbucks store's photo in my camera (my bad), but you can see it here. A quiet interesting way to end the day by sipping hot cafe mocha inside the ambience of an old traditional building, I must say. But more than that, I enjoyed my walk along this street, buying traditional snack (grilled fish), eating it while watching traditional dance performance and moreover in a breezy spring day.

One Panda was Busy Eating

Red Panda 

Every panda in The Breeding Center have their own personal detail and characteristic described!
 你好 Er Qiao! 

Can't help but wanted to buy all of the souvenirs in The Souvenir Center

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
And finally! Can't believe that I have the time to visit this place I've been longing for so long. It took 30 minutes by taxi to go to this breeding center from our apartment. A really vast and beautiful conservatory to wander around. And for erderly or for some people who only want to enjoy the ambience while sipping on hot drinks, there are few beautiful cafes available which overlooking a serene lake. 

I chose to explore this place on foot but of course for some people it might be tiring, but believe me it was worth it. You could also take the train available, but the queue is quite long. There I could see panda and their (always) funny behavior. There is also red panda, anyway have you ever seen it before? Yes, they are exist!

And my favorite is Panda's cub. The little and active baby is located far in the nursery area. Not much people reach this place, but a little tip for you, really you should visit this nursery area!

Explore Time: 3-4 hours
Entrance Fee: 9 USD