Surprisingly, this year I attended IOI again. No, not as a participant nor an official delegation. I visited Pattaya with 12 other friends as “supporters” for Indonesia’s official delegation, especially for our four contestants.
I referred to us as being “supporters” not supporters, because we visited Pattaya mostly for vacation. It really didn’t have any relation to IOI itself. We spent five days there enjoying many places and attractions. Of course, we also met our contestants and gave some supports, hopes, and prayers.
Well, every single day we ambitiously visited new interesting spots in Pattaya. Here we are…
Day 1 – Floating Market & Pattaya Beach
When I first heard the name of this place, I thought of floating point data type. (Am I that geeky?) Anyway this is actually a market floating above water, maybe a lake. It is one of the largest markets in Thailand for tourists like us to visit. It has many shops and kioks selling various goodies, mostly Thai souvenirs.
That was a perfect time to buy some souvenirs, so we did so. The prices here in Thailand were rather normal, not too expensive, like that of in Indonesia. Thailand currency is Baht, and the rate that time was 1 Baht = 286 Rupiahs.
While walking around in the market, Anggakara found a shop selling fried insects! There were larvae, grasshoppers, and others. He curiously bought them, for 30 Bahts! I tasted some, too 😀
After that, we were invited to a dinner in a resort with the official delegation. The view was fantastic; we had dinner beside the shore in sunset. After dinner we played around in the beach. It was very refreshing.
Day 2 – Elephant Ride & IOI Convention Hall
The next day we looked for another place to visit, and the choice went to Elephant Ride. It is like a preservation garden for elephants. We were not allowed to just strolling around, so we each paid 300 Bahts to ride an elephant walking around the garden for about 15 minutes. At most two persons can ride a single elephants.
Next, we visited IOI convention hall where the contestants competed. It was the competition day two, and when we got there, the contestants had just finished the competition. We met our four contestants and gave some congrats for having finally passed the competition, although the official result had not been declared yet.
Day 3 – Buddha Hill, Cinema, Walking Street
We paid a visit to Buddha Hill, a temple with a very big Buddha statue. We didn’t do so much there, as it was very hot and sunny.
So, right after that we headed to a local mall. It was Central Festival Mall. We decided to watch a movie there, and we chose Transformer 3. It even hadn’t been available in Indonesian cinemas! Unfortunately, I didn’t fully understand the movie, as it showed the subtitle in Thai alphabets 🙁
After watching, we had late lunch at local KFC. Then, we visited the so-called walking street. It is a street where no cars could pass, with many bars and cafes in the side of the street. Well, it’s kinda like Pattaya’s nightspots. There were so many transvestites there that we almost couldn’t tell if a woman in front of us is really a woman or “man”!
Day 4 – Ripley’s Believe It Or Not & IOI Closing Ceremony
This was the most exciting day. First we enjoyed Ripley’s amusement museum in a local mall. I chose to play in Infinity Maze (a usual maze with special and fascinating effects in each room), Louis Tussaud’s Wax Work (figures of famous persons made of wax), and Haunted Adventure (a scary haunted house), for 790 Baht. It was awesome!
Then, we dressed in Batiks and went to the hall again to watch IOI closing ceremony. Actually only officials should be permitted to attend, but we tried to sneak into the room and nothing happened 😀 so we all could watch the ceremony.
IOI 2011 Result
Well, this year Indonesia got 2 bronze medals, from Hudi and Gozali. Congratulations to them! 🙂
Day 5 – Back to Indonesia
We spent the whole day for traveling back to Indonesia. At Soekarno-Hatta airport, in the night, we unofficials welcomed the big four and congratulated them.
So, could we “supporters” travel again, to Milan, Italy, on the next IOI? I hope so.