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Sunday, 4 December 2016

City of Ancient Tradition. Our 7 Days 6 Nights Trip in Parapat, Berastagi & Medan (Part 3)

In September 2015, myself and Camel took a trip to the Sumatran region after a meeting in Medan to enjoy the stunning scenery and to explore the lush rainforests, waterfalls, mountains and lakes in this mysterious island (Pulau Samosir). The last time I visited Medan was back in 2010 with my colleagues for an exhibition fair.  

I arrived at Kualanamu International Airport, Medan 2 days ahead of Camel. Medan is the capital city of North Sumatra and the largest city on the island of Sumatra. With a population of around 2 million people, Medan is also the third largest city in all of Indonesia, right after Jakarta and Surabaya.

Samosir Island Parapat Berastagi
The next day, we departed for the hazy town to Berastagi located in the Karo Highlands. After spending 2 nights and exploring the Samosir Island, we went back to the city of Medan via Berastagi. We took an early ferry to Parapat from our hotel (at Tuk Tuk, Samosir Island) and the driver waited for us at the port. 
A traditional refreshing Bandrek
Simarjarunjung Hill - where you can view the scenic beauty of Lake Toba
En route to Berastagi, we stopped by Simarnanjung Hill to sample some refreshing bandrek, a traditional spicy beverage infused with ginger, palm sugar, cinnamon and other spices. The simple meal of a pipping-hot bandrek coupled with crispy banana fritters was more than enough to satisfy our empty stomachs.  
Local resident along Tongging Hill
With our bellies full, we continue our journey to Tongging Hill. At this popular tourist spot, we were greeted by not only the breathtaking views of the northern tip of Danau Toba but also forest monkeys and a view of the magnificient Sipiso-Piso waterfalls. It was a long drive, but it was not boring because the scenery along the road was quite beautiful.  
The Sipiso-Piso waterfall is120m high and is formed by an underground river which flows out into the Toba caldera 
Sipiso-Piso waterfall is located close to the Tongging village. Most of the local people are farmers. They plant onions, garlic, mangoes and more. Fish farm is also popular among locals here. Sipiso-Piso waterfall is one of the highest waterfalls in Indonesia with a height of 120 meters and approximately 800 meters above sea level. Sipiso-Piso was formed from an underground river in the Karo plateau flowing through a cave in the side of the crater of Lake Toba. 
A bountiful supply of fruits in Berastagi
A bountiful supply of fruits in Berastagi
A bountiful supply of fruits in Berastagi
The cool climate and fertile land in Berastagi make it the perfect place for fresh produce. Berastagi’s pasar buah (fruit market) is stocked with an assortment of fresh vegetables, flowers and fruits. Fruits persimmons, avocadas, passion fruits, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc were abundance and cheap.  

After spending some time at Berastagi fruit market, we continued our trip to Gundaling Hill in Berastagi.  We were told that in Gundaling Hill, we can rent a minimalist hut at the side of the road, overlooking two mountains, Mount Sinabung and Mount Sibayak. Unfortunately we missed the view because it was too hazy on that day.
Kings of the Purba Dynasty
The Batak King Palace, also a former royal residence, showcases Batak craftsmanship
Traditional Batak craftsmanship
So, our journey continued. We then stopped by the Batak’s King Palace. Batak’s King Palace is actually the old tribal residence of Batak Kings of thePurba dynasty. It is located in Pematang Purba village, 32 km from Parapat.  The Purba dynasty began in 1624 with the first Batak king, Tuan Pangultop Ultop, and last until 1947 with the 14th and last king, Tuan Mogang, after which the Batak kingdom was integrated into the newly independent Indonesia.
Traditional Batak designs around entrance
In the center of the living room is a pole with buffalo horns which signified the supremacy of the Batak kings
One for our album
Walk the former residence of a Batak King
The Purba dynasty began in 1624 with the first Batak king, Tuan Pangultop Ultop, and last until 1947 with the 14th and last king, Tuan Mogang
The official residence of the Batak Kings.It was built of teak wood and supported by a number of wooden pillars
The longhouse was the official residence of the Batak Kings. It was built of teak wood and supported by a number of wooden pillars. There is only one entrance to the longhouse. The longhouse consists of 2 compartments – the living quarter and the sleeping quarter. The first room to be entered is the living quarter with a number of musical instruments. Behind the living quarter is the sleeping quarter of the king and his 12 wives.
One for the album - Us at Taman Alam Lumbini
Our last stop for the day was Taman Alam Lumbini or Lumbini Natural Park, a Burmese Temple in Berastagi. The Lumbini Natural Park is a Burmese temple located at Berastagi in North Sumatra. This temple is a replica of “Shwedagon Pagoda” in Yangon, Myanmar. The architecture is similar to a Thai pagoda, covered in gold. It hosts an elephant statue and the door appears like an India craft.  

As our six fun-filled days came to an end, we realized that North Sumatra is highly underrated. From the tranquility of its hills, waterfalls and lakes to its vibrant metropolis, Medan has indeed left a lasting impression on us.  For us, this amazing place has inspired a reconnection to and renewed love for this unique part of outback Indonesia. 

Day 1: 27 Sept 2015 (Sun) Penang Medan
Morning: Depart from Penang (PEN) International Airport Medan  Kualanamu (KNO) Airport
Afternoon: Free & Easy
Check-in: Madani Hotel Medan 

Day 2: 28 Sept 2015 (Mon) Medan
Morning: Free & Easy
Afternoon: Mesjid Raya (Grand Mosque) Shop for Bolu Meranti Yuki Simpang Raya Mall (Shopping) Sun Plaza Mall (Shopping)
Check-in: Madani Hotel Medan 

Day 3: 29 Sept 2015 (Tue) Medan
Morning: Free & Easy
Afternoon: Maimoon Palace Marian Shrine of Annai Velangkanni Tjong A Fie’s Mansion
Check-in: Madani Hotel Medan

Day 4: 30 Sept 2015 (Wed) Medan Paparat Samosir Island (Tuk Tuk)
Morning: Free & Easy
Afternoon: Medan Parapat (Lake Toba) Approx. 4-5 hours drive + Ferry ride to Tuk Tuk (Samosir Island) Approx. 45 minutes – 1 hour ride (**last ferry ride from Parapat to Samosir Island --Tuk Tuk/Tomok is at 7.00p.m.) 
Check-in: Samosir Cottage

Day 5: 1 Oct 2015 (Thurs) Samosir Island (Lake Toba)
Morning: Ambarita Village Raja Siallagen Ancient Court Raja Siallagan Stone Chair  & Batak Traditional Houses and Dance Catholic Church of Inkunturatif  (Paroki St Mikhael Pangururan)
Afternoon: King Sidabutar’s Tomb in Tomok Village Samosir Villa Resort  Sigaruntung Panoramic View
Check-in: Samosir Cottage 

Day 6: 2 Oct (Fri) Samosir Island Berastagi Medan
Morning: Samosir Island (Lake Toba) Berastagi Simarnanjung Hill (for bandrek) - Tongging Hill Waterfall Sipiso-Piso
Afternoon: Berastagi Town and Fruit Market Gundaling Hill Pematang Purba (Batak’s King Palace) Taman Alam Lumbini
Check-in: Hotel Deli River and Restaurant Omlandia 

Day 7: 3 Oct 2015 (Sat) Medan Penang
Morning: Medan  Kualanamu Airport (KNO) Penang International Airport (PEN)
Check-out: Hotel Deli River and Restaurant Omlandia 

Entrance Fee(s):
◊Mesjid Raya (Grand Mosque): FOC
◊Yuki Simpang Raya Mall: FOC
◊Sun Plaza Mall: FOC
◊Maimoon Palace: IDR5K
◊Marian Shrine of Annai Velangkanni: FOC
◊Tjong A Fie’s Mansion: IDR35K
Ambarita Village (Raja Siallagen Ancient Court): IDR4K
◊Catholic Church of Inkunturatif  (Paroki St Mikhael Pangururan): FOC
◊King Sidabutar’s Tomb in Tomok Village: FOC
◊Sigaruntung: FOC
◊Simarnanjung Hill (for bandrek): IDR32K
◊Tongging Hill: FOC
◊Waterfall Sipiso-Piso: FOC
◊Berastagi Town and Fruit Market: FOC
◊Gundaling Hill: FOC
◊Batak’s King Palace: IDR7K
◊Raja Taksi from Medan to Samosir Island (Lake Toba) : IDR 2,700,000
◊Boat to Parapat : IDR 30K 
◊Water Sipiso-Piso : IDR 12K
◊Gundaling Hill : IDR 20K

Donation at Taman Alam Lumbini (Free Entrance) : IDR 20K

(i)   Madani Hotel Medan
Address: Jalan Sisingamangaraja/Amaliun No. 1 Medan, North Sumatera, Indonesia
Contact: (061) 7358000  
Fax: (060) 7367779 
Room Type: Superior room (Rp. 388.000/nett/room/night with 2 breakfast) 

(ii)   Samosir Cottage
Address: Tuk Tuk Lake Toba, 22395 Tuk Tuk, Indonesia
Contact: +62625451170 
Room Type: Deluxe Double (Rp. 800,000/nett/room/2nights with 2 breakfast)   

(iii)      Hotel Deli River and Restaurant Omlandia
Address: Jl. Raya Namorambe No. 129, Deli Serdang, Medan, Indonesia
e-mail: contact@hotel-deliriver.com
Room Type: New Deluxe Cottage (MYR 208.89/nett/room/night with breakfast)
 A shot from Hotel Deli River 
Recommended Restaurant(s):
◊ Orari Restaurant & HomeStay (Samosir Island)
What to order: Barbecue fish with salad and chips, Chicken / Pork Rendang, Avocado juice with chocolate milk 

Local Transportation:  
Contact Person: Bloom
Telephone / WhatsApp: +62 813 7584 4395
Rate: Rp. 2,700,000 inclusive of petrol fuel, driver chargers and ferry charges (From Medan Samosir Island (via ferry ride) Medan)

Air Itinerary Details:
AirAsia: Penang International Airport (PEN) – Medan  Kualanamu Airport (KNO) / Medan  Kualanamu Airport (KNO) – Penang International Airport (PEN)
From                         To                           Flight        Date               Dep         Arr
Penang (PEN)        Medan (KNO)         QZ 107         27 Sept          1310        1300
Medan (KNO)        Penang (PEN)         QZ 106         3 Oct              1100       1245
Return Flight Ticket(s): 199.44 MYR/pax (inclusive of Airport Tax, GST and Processing Fee) 

Read more about our travel experiences @ North Sumatra:
Medan (Part 1) 
Samosir Island & Lake Toba (Part 2)
Note: All entrance / transportation fees and accommodation rates/charges listed on this post are based on our (chengywong.blogspot.com) travel dates (2015) and therefore subject to change(s). ©chengywong.blogspot.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Welcome to Small World! This blog is not a travel agency, but rather a personal site which allows us to share our past travel experiences in a straightforward and far-reaching way. We often made great use of other peoples travel blogs and sites every time we plan for our travel itinerary as they often contained most updated information and invaluable resources from their past travel experiences.  We hope that you will find every piece of information & images contained within our blog handy and useful. Thank you very much for reading our post(s). If you find this blog worth a read, please feel free to leave a comment/testimonial or click "Like/Share" if you love reading them all. xoxo Both Chengy & Camel are passionate travelers who enjoys speaking to young keen travelers about the freedom to get cultured and to taste the fullness of life. Feel free to contact them if you need any travel advice, guidance or tips or if you have any burning questions with regards to your upcoming trip(s)/ journey

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