This trip suddenly happened when Dian, my colleague went to her home town in Medan. Our itinerary at 1st will be heading to Parapat, Lake Toba, then Brastagi. But the itinerary changed, because another friend Cita, also want travel to Medan with Yogga and Ezar. It's a blessing, the cost share is cheaper (budget traveler).Due to incorrect prediction of time that should be within 4 days to see, but because of distance in North Sumatra, going everywhere is quite far, as a result for 4 days 3 nights, we 'only' went to Siallagan Stone complex site in Samosir, little hunting in hotels surrounding in Tuk-tuk, trekking while fed orangutans in Gunung Leuser TN and tubing (rafting) in Bahorok river, Bukit Lawang, visited the house in Simalungun Bolon (since the heavy rains , so we just seeing from inside the car), Sipiso-piso waterfall, around the city of Medan on the last day.
Normally the ferry ticket Rp 5.000. -, but I have to pay Rp 15.000 because the last ferry is at 6 PM. We crossed from Tuk-tuk to Bagus Bay inn, about 45 minutes. We stay in traditional Batak house inn for RP 200,000 only (private bathroom) with two small beds and a big bed in it. So each of us share Rp 40,000. Unfortunately, the price of food and beverage here quite expensive. For fried egg cost Rp 22,000.
|Bagus Bay Inn|
The second day, from early morning photo hunting around the inn. After that having breakfast in the Fajar Islami restaurant, seeking halal food quite hard in here. At 10 AM, we start to explore Samosir. Got disappointed with the bike that we've rent, because we pay Rp 60,000 with an empty gas tank conditions. Ezzar taught Dian how to ride a motorcycle, only in 5 minutes, she can ride it, cool. Chasing time, we only had little time to visit Siallagan Batu Complex Site, because we have to chase boat back to Parapat, to go to Bukit Lawang at 12 AM. Need more than 2 days to see all the beautiful places in Samosir.
|Siallagan Batu Complex Site|
|At Siallagan Batu Complex Site|
Finally we parted with Dian who went to Medan. Having finished lunch at Islam Murni restaurant in Parapat, we continued our journey to Bukit Lawang via Kabanjahe-Brastagi, to visit Bolon house in Simalungun and Sipiso-piso waterfall. Heavy rain coloring our journey. So at Bolon home we only see it from inside the car. After that we went into Sipiso-piso waterfall. At Sipiso-piso waterfall, we go down to the 1st tower only. We can see the beautiful scenery around Sipiso-piso waterfall and lake Toba view from Tongging. We continued to Bukit Lawang. Before entering the Kabanjahe city, there's a congestion that causes the driver take initiative to pass an alternative way to Brastagi. We arrived at Brastagi around 6 PM, we decided to have dinner. After Brastagi, the challenge began. The road is fogging so thick that visibility is less, so the car can not drive fast.
|Lake Toba view from Tongging|
|Lake Toba view from Tongging|
Finally we arrived at Bukit Lawang Bahorok at 11 PM, welcomed by the river roaring sound. Under conditions of fatigue, we still have to walk from car park to the lodge and cross a suspension bridge that flows beneath fast-flowing river Bahorok with only a flashlight. Such an adrenaline test. In Bukit Lawang, we stay at Junia's House Inn, the rate Rp 100,000/night for 2 people. Before sleep, we talked with a guide for tomorrow plan. Previously he offer for trekking Rp 300,000/people, watch orangutan feeding and tubing in the Bahorok river after lunch. It's too expensive, the information from internet, price Rp 350,000 for 4 people. After negotiate, finally agreed Rp 500,000 for 4 people. Turned out later, there are friends who went to Bukit Lawang after ours, he paid Rp 60,000/person only, and included caving in Goa bat, while we did not.
The third day, at 8 am after breakfast, we start trekking to see the orangutans feeding in TN Mount Leuser. From breakfast place, we walk about 30 minutes to a location where we had to take such a small boat that pulled by the rope to cross the Bahorok river, holly cow, because the boat very small and the river flowing very fast , leading to the entrance of Mount Leuser TN . What a slippery track that we have to climb after the rain. It turns out there we can only watch as the park staff to feed into one orang utan named Jeki (yes same name with mine -___-). The rest is just a few monkeys. After that we went trekking in hopes of finding more orang-utans. But inside the forest, we met again with Jeki, this time with her son. Apparently the track is too short, because we are guided to a small waterfall next to the TN Leuser entrance.
After that we went back to Tubing starting point. Tubing is a term for rafting activities, that use tires in a very large combined-join using the rope, making it resemble boat that used for rafting. We didn't use live vest and helmet, because the guide tour said that it had been used by a group of foreigners who will Tubing after us. The tubing operator said that he usually serve foreigners, not local tourists like us, crap. After completed tubing fun that only took 30 minutes, we were soon packing, having lunch and then continued to Medan. Arriving Medan at 4 pm, we went straight to Dian home to put the bag. Then towards the Sisingamangaraja to find lodging for Yogga and Ezar. Once out of the few hotels along Jl Sisingamangaraja, we finally found the Trav-ella hostel. A room with rate Rp 45,000 rate/night.
|Maesjid Raya Medan|
That night we went to Merdeka Walk, where most Medan youngster hanging out there. I met Ning Curly there, an old friend in the DF. After that we were guided to Durian Ucok and hanging out in local coffee shops hope to feel the local atmosphere at Saturday night there. The next day, early in the morning , me and Cita, went to Trav-ella, while Dian went to the church. After put bags and having breakfast, we starting the city tour. The first object is Masjid raya Medan (Medan Grand Mosque) which is located not far from the Trav-ella hostel. We have to wear long trouser and women must wear veil there. After that we went to Maimun Palace that not far from the Mosque. Maimun Palace is a beautiful old palace of Melayu kingdom history in North Sumatra. Unfortunately the palace condition little bit neglected. It need more attention from the North Sumatra government, hope they read this. The next object is Tjong A Fie Mansion. From the Maimun Palace we rented Bentor (motor cycle rickshaw) to around Medan city. Arrive at Tjong A Fie Mansion, we do not join the tour because ticket prices quite expensive, which is Rp 35.000,- for 45 minutes tour and worried that we have not enough time. Next we headed Kuli Shri Mariamman that located at Jalan Teuku Umar. Unfortunately, when we got there, the temple was closed so we only have pictures in front of his gate.
|Tjong A Fie Mansion|
From the temple, we go to the Shrine of East Mountain. Eastern Mountain Vihara temple is Chinese (Taoism), the largest in Medan. Finishing the city tour, we went to Bika Ambon Zulaikha outlet, the most famous cake shop in Medan. We went lunch at Mie Aceh Titi Bobrok (noodle). Mie Aceh Titi Bobrok is the most delicious noodle I have ever tried. For Aceh crab noodle menu, the whole plate is fulfilled by noodles, plus crab for only Rp 15,000.- ! The shopper said that they have branch in Kampung Melayu, Jakarta here, I just do not know exactly where it is. Not only bika ambon Zulaikha which is a must-to-be-brought- to-hometown after went to Medan. There Meranti rolls are also famous. Since the branches are near the of the Trav-ella hostel, we decided to buy the snacks there. But the rolls that we want is not available at the branch outlet. So our friend buy it at the outlet center. While waiting for them, we were sitting at a food court not far from the hostel. Around 4 pm, we went to Polonia airport and coming home to Jakarta. So it's end of the journey.