Blogs from Sumatera Utara, Sumatra, Indonesia, Asia

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Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Sumatera Utara March 14th 2014

October 11th Continued through 15th Tags: spirit vegetables, magic mushrooms, SE Asian Rasta culture, Batak weddings, a lake in a lake, cappuccino, the one ATM to rule them all, poop, teak, abduction?, a chicken crosses the road, WHAT IS AUTHENTICITY? The tourist resorts on Samosir Island are nestled along the coast of the Tuktuk Peninsula, a mushroom shaped protrusion off the island’s east side. Symbolic or not, Samosir is a pocket of hippy culture divorced from time, standards of service, and the rules of the outside world. -- Day 1 (part 2): On the boat, I befriend a local who rides the ferry to and from Parapat in order to convince travelers to stay at his hotel. He can’t be more than a year or two older than me. He wears jeans and flip-flops. Rather than ... read more
Trying on some souvenirs for size
Tomb of the King of Tomok
View of the Tuktuk peninsula from the dry waterfall

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Sumatera Utara March 12th 2014

October 11th Tags: full monty, Sharia Law, betel nuts, Lord of the Rings, I am awake before the alarm goes off. I had a disturbing dream where I was told that we can’t climb the mountain and we have to take a helicopter instead. The climb is easy and the view is spectacular. Aside from the steady humming of the sulfur vents, it’s quiet atop the mountain where we wait for dawn. Then, there is an eruption of color: vivid reds, loud greens, and subdued blues. The fog hanging over the valley begins to lift. In the distance, I can see Mt. Sinabung standing alone over the sleeping valley, smoke billowing off to the west. Though it hasn’t erupted in a century, Sibayak is a source of geothermal energy. We walk along a steam ... read more
Top of the Mountain
Sibayak (3)
Valley of Fog

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Sumatera Utara March 11th 2014

October 10th Tags: Zero Fever, Zombies, Volcanoes, Candy Crush, Indonesian Amusement Parks, Cabbage At breakfast, I order “French toast.” I am given two pieces of toasted white bread, no butter. There are piles of a black and a white powdery substance next to the bread. I assume them to be cinnamon and sugar and apply liberally. Gag. Nope. They were salt and pepper. I drown out the flavor with another order of greasy nasi goring. In a gravel lot at the end of the street of sucking mud, there are three mini-buses raring to go. The driver escorts me onto a mini-bus. His face is so gnarled with wrinkles that it seems to be made from tree bark. A sad expression is chiseled onto his face. Dedi’s aunt rid ... read more
Children on the Streets after School
Monument to the Karo War with the Dutch
Sibayak behind clouds

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Sumatera Utara December 26th 2013

October 8th (cont’d) and October 9th: The Search for Wild Orangutan The trip to Bukhit Lawang is longer than anticipated. I will soon discover this is a common complaint in Indonesia. Stretches of the road are in various states of disrepair. Parts of it are flooded and others are mined with poorly located potholes. The truck barrels down the road, veering between flowing water and fissures, towns become villages and villages become mossy forests of rubber and palm trees. In a small village, the truck is caught in a line of traffic. While we inch along for an hour, cars and trucks come full-speed the other way. Peculiar. The cheering passengers standing on the truck beds peek my confusion even more. A slim Indonesian man wearing a tan leather jacket greets our truck as ... read more
The Man in the Leather Jacket
Rubber Farm
Thomas Leaf Monkey

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

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Sumatera Utara January 16th 2011

What is more exciting than addition to re-visit the coastal cities in Indonesia, right? I will never get bored to visit the beach which is always flirting with the quiet sound of waves, wind that makes sleepy all day long and the sunshine. Yes! As a boy who was born in Jayapura, Papua. I was infatuated with a beach. I was lucky, when I was coming home from Sumbawa Besar, I was assigning by the office to go again to Sibolga, Central Tapanuli district in North Sumatra. This time I went with Sukma Kartini and Doni mincuk Fabrianus. Obviously an offer of a lifetime is 100% I received. We flew with the early morning flight, March, 9 2009 to the Polonia airport in Medan, North Sumatra. Why we should use early morning flight? Because we must ... read more
Sukma, Doni and I
Lake Toba
Iwan (left)




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