Medan trip was good…. exceed my expectations… nice views, good accomodation, good company, safe… happy trip in medan….
View photos here:
Early morning went to KL sentral and took the 4am Skybus to the airport. Total 6 of us, chia, shoo chan, ksk, jamie, adeline and laimeng. Arrived in Medan and Bob our guide/driver was waiting for us. Everyone fit into his black van comfortably. After a quick petrol fill up at Petronas, and a toilet stop and we are on our way to Lake Toba, which is about 5 hours drive from Medan. Pass by some small towns. Stopped for a drink. Very sweet coffee and bandrek. Next time must order kurang manis. Also stopped at a shop to buy bottled water and some snacks. Drive some more, me sitting in the front seat with Bob. Lunch stop at a restaurant, had some rice with various dishes …
Stoped at ting ting biscuit shop to buy some biscuits. Then took a short detour to visit a new Kwan Yin giant statue. After that continue journey to Lake Toba. Bob already worried that we will not make it in time for the 2.30pm ferry. Tried his best to drive faster and over take, but its still a long way to go, and at the end, encountered a mini traffic jam in Parapat, because of the market. Arrived at the jetty at 2.50pm and ferry already left, already very far way. No choice but to wait for the next ferry, at 5.30pm. Its ok, we will jalan jalan around town.
Went exploring nearby, walk up the street to visit people’s houses, gardens, take photos of plants and flowers, local kids, and visited a nearby church. See people fishing, take photos of boats, raining abit. Went back to the jetty but its still about an hour to go before the next ferry. Get a drink, chit chat and eat some ting ting, and ting tang snacks that we bought along the way.
Load the ferry with cars and other vehicles, and passengers and go upstairs to sit. Already evening and getting dark. Very big lake. Takes one hour to reach Samosir Island.
Arrived in Samosir Island. Everyone get into Bob’s car and drive to Samosir Island resort. Nice place, quite new and swimming pool and one section of the resort still under construction. Quiet and not many guests. Check in to our rooms, Bob managed to get nice rooms for us facing the lake. Simple dinner at the resort, fried mee or fried rice. Fried mee faster. Our fried rice we had to wait very long. Shoo Chan brought some har mai /ikan bilis to add to our meals. And of course we had Avocado juice. Everyday we drink Avocado juice. Long day, and we go to bed early.
Next morning, woke up early, all ready to explore the island. Beautiful scenery of the Lake Toba right in front of our rooms, no sunrise, quite cloudy. Decided to take a quick swim. After all, come to lake Toba at least must try to take a dip, or at least touch the water. Water not cold. Just nice and quite deep. There is a diving board, can jump down.
After fried mee breakfast, walk around nearby the resort to visit some souvinir shops, take photos etc and at 9am we start our journey to explore the various tourist spots on the island in Bob’s car. Drive drive drive, around the island, first stop is stone chairs and some batak houses. Climb up the house and see what’s inside, visit the stone chairs, where the kings in the olden days make decisions, have court cases, and how to execute the criminals.
Next stop, batak dance, but our group not really interested in Batak dance.. so skip. Stop by the area to look around, toilet stop and visit a nearby church. Next stop we drive to another side of the island to go to Tele hill, for some nice view of the lake. Photo stop at some green padi fields. Pass by a big Batak king grave, and lots of small churches. Its Sunday and the local batak people are all dressed in their best, very colourful, lots of kids, on their way to go to church. Also stopped a local market for some durians.
Roads getting bumpier and we pass by a small narrow bridge that connects the island to the mainland on the other side. Drive towards Tele hill, uphill and bumpy road. Not many tourist come here, but beautiful view of rice fields and lake toba. Stopped a few times for photoshoot. Drive drive drive more than an hour to reach up the top, there’s a cafe up there, toilet and watch tower. Can see some view. Ok enough, then go back down. Some mat sallery tourists actually cycled up. Also you can rent a motorbike to go around the island.
Next stop, hot springs. Started smelling the smell of cooking eggs… sulphur. In fact the whole area looks white. Lots of pipes already connecting the hot water to the houses/restaurants, and there some private area where you can take a dip. No, not taking a dip. Ordered lunch, instant noodles soup. While waiting, few of us followed Bob, visit the source of the hot water springs. A short trek, walking over white rocks, hopping over hot water, wow, pretty exciting, others decided to stop halfway, but me, shoo chan and chia followed Bob until the hot springs water source. Looks like a hot water waterfall. Bob ask “The others not trekkers ?” ..Chia reply “They are not so crazy like us”. Can see some steam coming out from some holes, and if you stand there very long its like sauna. Hot. Ok go back and eat your instant mee. After lunch, time to go back. Stopped at another small church on a hill slope, pretty interesting because there’s a giant boulder in the hall.
Next stop at shopping area, walk around, see all the shops selling t-shirts and souvenirs, batik. Didn’t buy anything, met up with the rest of the gang and in the end they all bought some small mangoes.
Dinner time, and Bob recommends Jenny’s restaurant, famous restaurant, he brings Malaysian tourists there and they all like the food. Ordered more avocado juice, tried some terung belanda juice, and even got the restaurant owner to show us how ‘magic mushrooms’ look like. You can order a magic mushroom omellete for 100k rupiah. Ordered 2 fish ikan bakar, chicken, salad, with rice… not bad … After dinner head back to hotel room for shower and sleep…..oh not yet sleep, have to chit chat and have some beer first…. Can watch TV, got HBO….
Next day, woke up quite late, missed the sunrise. After breakfast, the rest go jalan jalan around nearby while me and laimeng chit chat with Bob. Check out and took the 10am ferry to Parapat. Managed to see all the vehicles, trucks etc unload from the ferry. Lots of tourist with big long lense camera’s there, and one of them managed to get an interesting close up shot of Chia.
After arriving Parapat, start driving to Brastagi, its on the highlands, something like cameron highlands, with some tomato farms, coffee beans farm, cabbage. Still can see a nice view of Lake toba, beautiful breathtaking views, like N. Zealand.
To be continued…