Blogs from Sumatra, Indonesia, Asia - page 7


Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Berastagi February 3rd 2012

Following a four hour bone shaking journey from Bukit Lawang I arrived in Berastagi, a pretty miserable town in northern Sumatra nestled between two large active volcanoes. I was on a tight time scale as I needed to meet a mate in Jakarta a few days later and so without much planning I set off, taking a public bus to the bottom of the volcano Gunung Sibayak. The buses in Sumatra are impressive, often nothing more than a knackered old minivan, they’re custom painted in psychedelic patterns and have musical horns which are constantly blaring. When the two facing benches inside get filled passengers will jump on the roof, holding on for dear life. My plan was foiled pretty quickly. I had intended on paying the volcano entry fee and grabbing a map showing the paths. ... read more
Mudslide across road
Approaching the crater
Steam mists

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba January 6th 2012

“Small but effective” appears to be the unofficial slogan of Danau Toba, an incredibly beautiful lake some 900ft above sea level which is actually the collapsed crater of a long extinct volcano. Yet, there is nothing “small” about Lake Toba! The lake is 450m deep and encircles the Singaporean-sized island of Samosir, and though the local Batak tribes-people may be small of stature they are big of heart and rest assured that they all have a decent set of lungs on them! The Batak people do not consider themselves to be Indonesian despite the country being the birthplace for many of the recent generations. The Bataks were forced to migrate from the mountains of northern Thailand and Burma many hundreds of years ago and as you might expect in the case of displaced people, ... read more
Danau Toba
Slaughter Pole

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Bukit Lawang December 23rd 2011

I had been looking forward to Bukit Lawang and its famed Orang-utan for quite some time, so much so that I dreamt about it whilst on Pulau Weh...but not in the way that you might think. In the dream, Amy had apparently had a child whilst we’ve been away (from where I don’t know) and had decided to name the boy Lawang! Of course I thought this ridiculous (although preferable to “Bukit”) and we argued and then...I woke up! Hopefully the place itself would not be as bizarre... Leaving from Pulau Weh, we knew we were in for one of those tediously long journeys again. A bus, a boat, a tuk tuk, two buses and then finally a final tuk tuk; all of which consumed 24 hours of our 30-day Indonesian visa before we ultimately arrived ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Lake Toba December 23rd 2011

He had been suddenly jerked from the heart of civilization and flung into the heart of things primordial. No lazy, sun-kissed life was this, with nothing to do but loaf and be bored. Here was neither peace, nor rest, nor a moment's safety. All was confusion and action, and every moment life and limb were in peril. There was imperative need to be constantly alert; for these dogs and men were not town dogs and men. - Jack London, The Call of the Wild ------------------------------------------------------- The Indonesia Trip Part 1: Resa and the Bataks Part 2: Satu, Dua, Tiga... Part 3: Happiness Is Within Part 4: Las Buenas Duran Poco ---... read more
Batak Houses
Swimming in the Lake
Resa Flying

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Pulau Weh December 18th 2011

Indonesia is the tenth country we have visited on our current escapade. Sometimes, while I think that we are spoiling ourselves rotten and visiting country after country, without respite or returning to “real life,” I wonder if maybe we are becoming unappreciative of our experiences or desensitised to certain cultural differences. For example, when we first arrived in Asia in February 2010 we must have visited every temple within a ten mile radius, now we’re temple fatigued. Whereas I previously counted down to our ultimate our embarkation, every day for two months or more, now I hardly ever know what day it is or how many days I’ve been in a country, let alone how many until our next destination. Before we would get giddy over passport stamps, being asked to pose for photographs, squat toilets ... read more
Crystal Clear
Sitting watching
Swinging on a rope


Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Medan November 29th 2011

It is Saturday morning, shortly after midnight and we experience a typical tropical rain shower. A new waterfall develops - in our room. The water runs down the walls and a lake develops on the floor of the green room. I really do love waterfalls but not in my room. It was a horrible night and as if the water wasn't bothering us enough the prayers were projected through the loudspeakers at 4.30 in the morning. Amazing - NOT! We decided to get up at 6 am in the morning. Yes, you got that right, 6 am! It seems like we are turning into real morning people. We had a quick breakfast and took a minibus to the bus terminal to catch a big bus to Bukit Lawang. The bus ride was quite bumpy and it ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Padang November 27th 2011

I've managed to break down tired into 2 rough categories. The first is the biproduct of sleep deprivation and is what we felt following 36 hours of non-stop travel and transit stops enroute to a wee little surf camp deep in the Mentawai Islands off Sumatra's west coast. Travelling is not an exact science and to paraphrase Steinbeck: "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry". Such was the case initially with our 12 day package to Pitstop Hill. The entire process looked watertight on paper until Steinbeck's line began ringing in my ears as our flight out of Sydney was delayed 5 hours, which in turn negated connecting flights and reservations that evening. Frantic phone calls, emails, the cool runnings of Pitstop Hill management and liberal dobs of smiling co-operation from Garuda ... read more
Pitstop Boat
Water transport
Andy in the sunset.

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra November 26th 2011

After a 30 hour journey including 2 flights and a 12 hours stay at Kuala Lumpur International Airport we finally arrived in Medan on Sumatra, Indonesia. We queued up to get our Visa on arrival what took us quite a while as the guy at the counter was putting some visas into other passports which vanished in his pockets later. He was having a cigarette while doing that and didn't seemed to be in a hurry at all. Once we had the visas in our passports we went through immigration and our bags were already waiting for us. No losses so far. Yay! As soon as we left the airport building some Indonesian guys were surrounding us and wanted to take us to 1000s of different places. We picked one, who turned out to be just ... read more

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Bukit Lawang November 24th 2011

Well, following on from my last blog, yes, I had an excellent week in fantasy football, thank you for noticing! That aside we have had quite a week! As expected we didn't end up going to Singapore, just about everyone we spoke to said it was very nice but that we'd be much better off visiting when we don't have such a tight budget, so it waits for another time. We spent a few more days in KL, getting on top of our washing, catching up on some sleep and enjoying the city without much to report, and then headed over to a small city called Melaka on the West coast of Malaysia for a change of scene. Melaka was for a while one of the trading capitals of the Dutch East India Trading Company and ... read more
Bukit Lawang
Bukit Lawang
Bukit Lawang

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Sumatera Utara November 9th 2011

Yes, this is my second coming to the beautiful coastal city in Central Tapanuli, North Sumatra. If two years ago I record a potential tourist attractions in that city. From 7 to October 14, 2011 ago, I came up with the film crews, to recording a dentist from Jakarta to help provide treatment that is very rarely accepted by people in Jago-Jago village. Once again, a very long road we traveled to breath in and of course a fully belly. 12 hours through the beautiful Lake Toba, enter Siantar City and see BSA 400cc motorcycles modifications into rickshaws. (I cry to see the fate of these motors). Looking at the Balige market with its exotic roof, stopped at the famous Tarutung's Bonapasogi homemade guitar and finally arrived at midnight in Sibolga. Phew. *** Jago Jago Village ... read more
Suspension Bridge
A craftman building a boat
Unfinished boats

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