Published: November 20th 2010November 20th 2010
Horas, horas, horas is a greetings from local dialect ( Batak ) in North Sumatra province. I have been invite by Narasindo Travel and Tours for familiarization trip to know about tourism product and destination that they can offer for tourist in Medan, Brastagi and Lake Toba. I never been there before, so I take this opportunity to visit this places.
Temporarily I need to forget about guesthouse, where all lodging and transportion is arrange by this agency.
Medan is the 3rd largest city of Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. Located north side of Sumatra, and 45min by flight from Kuala Lumpur, also can be reach by ferry from Penang. The lead majority population is Java Sumatra followed by Batak, and Chinesse people. Old building architecture blend with Dutch design, also can be found in Penang. The different between Jakarta, this city is less crowded, less traffic, less haggling and less hassle. They dont have any skycraper. Local slang and dialect sound similar with Malaysian, but of course still using Indonesian words.
Pak Lilik and Pak Mores will be our tourist guide for the whole tour, both of them is a Batak Men. According to them
Batak tribe came from people who use to live in border between Cambodia and Vietnam, their cheek bone structure is quiet similar with Vietnamesse. This tribe migrate to North Sumatra during first world war.
On first day, we went to Maimoon Palace, where old history about Kesultanan Melayu came from. Even the person who give presentation to us about Palace history, come from King family. But in North Sumatra, all this old tradition and culture of Kesultanan Melayu have been abadoned long time ago. So that no ceremony be held in this Palace, they turn it to be museum.
We proceed to Berastagi that located about 60km from Medan and 4,500 feet from sea level, the journey take us about 4hrs, cruising hill road. We check in to Sibayak Hotel. Consider as 4 star hotel and they got heated swimming pool too. Cold and freezing here, yeah so not my type of weather that I like, but lucky the food is awesome and always kept me warm. I knock myself off early when everybody else go for karaoke session. As usual no night activites while I'm traveling.
Next morning, I wake up early, ready
for 1st activites of the day, hiking YEAH! Mount Sibayak is about 2,200 meter from sea level. Listed as one of unactive volcano in Indonesia. But still can smell their sulpur here. Just a simple hiking, take about 1 1/2 hrs to reach the top. A bit cloudly up there so that no postcard picture can be captured here.
We need to check out immediately, and move to Lake Toba. We stop by at Taman Simalem, located about 3hrs from Berastagi. This place still not open yet to public. From here you can see nice view of Lake Toba. We reach at Parapat about 5pm and take a ferry from Parapat cross over to Samosir Island. You can see how huge the lake. Even the ferry need to take at least 1hrs to reach Samosir Island. We check in to Torpedo Inn . After dinner we do some conversation with tourism board of Lake Toba. Next morning we round Samosir Island by bike. This island consider bigger than Singapore, with larger majority of Batak people compare to Medan city. The weird things here, they eat dog meat, they called it as B1. No wonder that I can only
see small puppy in this island LOL. Afternoon we visit Tomok Tomb, one of legendary King in this islands. We take our lunch at Parapat, and move on to Medan city.
We reach Medan roughly at 6pm, we check in to Garuda Citra Medan, nothing much we can do here, since we arrived at late evening and raining start to pour, so I decide to pack my stuff and will depart back to KL next morning.
InsyaAllah i will be in Singapore somewhere in December. Till then
There are more photos below