Jumat, 26 Juli 2013

Medan In A Day

Medan reminds me about what I've done in the past. I had to visit Medan every month before head off to Nagan Raya. For the city for transit for a night, I just remembered Medan just as another big city in Indonesia. The traffic is not as crowded as Jakarta, there's so many big trees in some areas. But, the most memorable thing I've remembered about Medan is the people always said out loud. I remembered for the first time I arrived in Polonia Medan, the porter offer me his service in out loud voice, like people who get angry, and it were scary me. The another scary thing is when I've looking for the taxi. There's no enqueue for taxi. The driver compete to ask louder to me. Then I got my driver, his taxi didn't ready yet and I had to wait while he look for the way how to make his taxi arrive in front of me. And there's no argo. We have to bargain first. Ah,,, crazy.

It was little memories from my previous trip about Medan. I expect something different on my trip this time. Yeah,, because it's my backpacking trip. Medan, what you offer me?

The traffic in Medan is so crazy. There are traffic lamp, but it's only for complement that it was big city. When you try ride a motorbike in Medan, you have to very be careful. People always try to find the way,, even it just some narrow split between car and building. My friends said that, it's 'Medan' from words 'edan' (crazy). Hahahaha.

New place that makes me fall in love to Medan is Graha Maria Annai Velangkani. It is a church for every religion. Build by a pastor without any draw or sketch like usually architect done to build a building. The architecture is like India. The pastor is from India too. Every build had some symbol. When you enter the gate, you'll see the road that like people who whorship (the had and both hands lay down to the main building). It is seven-level building that means the sky where heaven exist is very high. On the stairs to second level, there are pictures that tells about seven days of creation by God. Inside the hall there's many verse from bible that written in the upside wall. Every religion may come to this church. Lovely.

It was so adorable to see an old building inside the busy area of Medan. The building still very pretty and maintained well. It is Tjong A Fie House. We had to pay 35,000 rp to look inside the house. Tjong A Fie is one of the rich chinese people from Medan. We look up in hurry and I just admire the building. I forgot about the story of Tjong A Fie itself. Bad me :(

Everytime I go to Medan, that means visit Istana Maimun. It's like the symbol of this city. You can get souvenir from Medan here. Or try traditional clothes from Medan and take pictures. Or just looking into big building. Pay 5000 rp to look inside.

Actually trip for work and trip for backpacking is so much different. I enjoyed my trip this time. Thanks again for my lovely friends from Backpacker Medan. You are awesome. 

Senin, 22 Juli 2013

In A Rush

After long debate, share thoughts, and belief that goodwill bring good result, we decide to move to Medan through Brastagi. We wished for Menara Pandang Tele, Air Terjun Sipiso-Piso, and Taman Alam Lumbini.

After got ride from lovely kakak and her friends, use elf as public transportation to Pangaruan, then change another car, finally we reached Menara Pandang Tele. The view from Pangaruan to Menara Tele is amazing and breathtaking. If I use private vehicle, I'm gonna stop by and just breath the air. The road is nosedive and uphill. The public transportation is just an old car. But, the driver is very calm. He looks like know the road very well. I think he is, because he always do the road everyday for years. And I just enjoyed the road. You have to see by yourself for the view.

There are small place to eat in front of Menara Pandang Tele. We ordered noodle soup. Actually, it's the only menu they had for eat, noodle soup or fried noodle, beside coffee. But, noodle in Sumatra is different. Although they used instant noodle for the main ingredients, but they had their own seasoning. And when you taste it, you know that it is Sumatran seasoning. Delicious.

Menara Tele is one of the place that you have not to miss if you visit Samosir or Brastagi. What that people said about Tele, the view, the experience, the feeling, are true. I enjoyed myself there, enjoying the view of Toba Lake from above. Unfortunately, it was so many fog that day. Maybe I have to come back in the future. Come accompany me, please.

what you can see from Menara Pandang Tele

We took another car to our next stop, Air Terjun Sipiso-Piso. It's already noon. We wished the time is friendly to us. Thanks God, we got the car. Some fuchisia one. Lovely, isn't it? We stop at Simpang Tiga Merek. We had to use bentor, becak motor to reach Air Terjun Sipiso-Piso. And there we are! Yeay!

Sipiso-Piso Waterfall from above
I can see Toba Lake from Sipiso-Piso

The bentor took us back to Simpang Tiga Merek. The next plan is Taman Alam Lumbini for great pagoda. We took another elf to Kabanjahe. Be careful in this area. There are many pander that said they'll help you, but they ask for more money from you. But, there are many good people that really help too. You have to recognize it.

The elf was full of people. We never now how's Kabanjahe looks like. The man that we used call kenek in that elf doesn't know about the pagoda we want to go. Ouwh,,, we had to survive. But, the goodwill bring good result. We met lovely lady, she wanted us to call her inang, mom in Batak. Inang knows about the pagoda that we mention. She said to the kenek, that man where we have to stop. Actually, we had to change to another car. Thank God, when we stopped, the car to Pagoda is nearby. She asked to kenek to help us stop that yellow car. We're on the right route. Yeay. Thank you Inang. 

The yellow car took us until in front of the pagoda, Taman Alam Lumbini. Actually there's no public transportation into in front of the pagoda. Thank God, we met lovely students that told to the driver, that we want to stop in front of the pagoda. And he said yes. Actually we had to pay more.

rotate clockwise while you wish for something good
the details
the sky fill with pray
happy vesak, hijab girl, and manga inside the pagoda
Unity in diversity = Indonesia :)

We have another yellow car in front of the pagoda that evening. The time is just perfect. It was the last car. We didn't need to walk through strawberry gardens. We stop in the main road and change into elf that take us to Medan. After about two hours, we reached Medan at 6.30 pm. Once again, the time is just perfect. Thank God. Goodwill bring good result. Just do it best, and let God do the rest.

the road back to Medan
we've made it. Yeay!

Minggu, 21 Juli 2013


Become backpacker in my own country, Indonesia, is much more challenging than in other country that I've been visited. In Indonesia everything can happen and unpredictable. There's no fix schedule for public transportation. There's no ATM machine everywhere. And sometimes, that people tricked you because you are traveller.

We had debate about our route today. The plan is back to Medan from Samosir. We wish to reach Medan before night. I wish to cross Brastagi to go to Medan instead use our previous route yesterday. Retta worried about the time. When the people said it was 5 hours it can be 8 hours, and she was afraid that we can reach Medan before night. I've already call some friends that had experienced Medan before. We're also read friends travel journal about Medan. But, it was unpredictable. We debated that morning about our route.

Thank God, there's travel information centre in Caroline, our lovely guesthouse in Tuk Tuk, Samosir. We asked about the transportation, the time estimates to go, and the possibility about our itenary for today. I wish to visit Menara Tele [they said the view is very great], Air Terjun Sipiso-Piso, and Taman Alam Lumbini for experiencing the pagoda. Retta felt the time will not make it. The distance between one object to antoher is far. The time estimate is about 2 until 3 hours.

The debate still continue that morning. It was 8 am. But, kakak in information center told us that there are many public transportation that can pick us to Panguruan. This lovely kakak and her friend offer us a ride to Tomok, where we can get the car to Simpang Ambarita first, then change the car to Tele. We said yes and jumped to the motorcycle. Lucky us. We met the car in the road, so we don't have to waste our time more to Tomok.

It was elf. There's so many people inside. We have to coincide-rush into each other to fix into the car. Then, I met Indonesia. I don't know everyone on it. But I can talk like old friend. About everything. About our trip, about their life in Samosir, about our thoughts. It was fun! This is one of the fun thing about being backpacker, in solo trip or in very small group. This time, just two of us. Thank you for being my travelmate. Thank you Indonesia.

Sabtu, 13 Juli 2013

Experiencing Toba Lake in The Morning

The plan was: move at 7 am then move to Medan. On the way to Medan,, we looked for opportunity to visit some nice places - if we had time. They said, we'll not get enough time because we use public transportation. But, some friends have done that. Enough for the opinion, let's do it!

morning fog

Our alarm had chimed at 5.30. We still have thirty minutes to just lay down on the bed before had to move to the bathroom, take a bath, than take our backpack to hit the road again. But I forgot the things about just lying on the bed for thirty minutes before move out. I need to know how it fells to swim in Toba Lake. So, we get out from the room and go to the beach [it still funny on my thought to hear beach in Toba Lake. For people in Samosir, beach means land near the lake. In my opinion, beach means bound between sea and land].

It was dark at 5.45 pm in Samosir. The fog is in the air. The wheater is cold but fresh. We just sit on the grass, do nothing, and watch the color of the sky that turn into orange burst. The drizzle come, accompany our morning. God, may I swim in Toba Lake this time? Or should I back again on the future?

We decided to back to the room to take a shower and get prepared. On our way, we met a girl in black and white. I asked her if I can swim in Toba Lake. She said, off course. She told us the way to "the beach". Actually there's another location. I thought it's a sign. I have to exprience Toba Lake. So we change the direction, instead back to the room, we go to "the beach". The drizzle still continue. I still jump to the lake. Yippie,,, I swam in Toba Lake. Reta follow me to swim too. One more hour to stay at Tuk Tuk for the experience. How about the plan next. Let's do it.

Selasa, 09 Juli 2013

Warm Greetings From Samosir

"How long will you stay in Medan?" "Four nights including tonight." "What is you plan?" "No specific plan. Just want to meet Toba Lake." "Actually, three days is too short time to explore Medan. North Sumatra has so many attractive nature to explore. You'll only get so little in three days in North Sumatra." "Ouwh,,, maybe I need to be back here again next time. Wish for more opportunities to be back to Medan someday."

We depart at 7 am that morning. Our purpose today is meet Toba Lake. We took Sejahtera bus from Medan to Tigaraja harbour. The ferry that will take us to Samosir waited there.
Five hours in bus is not really nice experience. The bus doesn't have any air conditioner. People just smoke - the Medan ability that I don't like so much. The view on the way just oil palm plantation. My activity on that bus only sleep,, looking around,, take masker to avoid the smoke,, sleep again. I even can't move my body because the chair is very narrow. But, one hour before we get approach Toba Lake, the view was very awesome. You can see Toba Lake from distance. Yes, no picture. You have to enjoy it by yourself.

We've stopped in Tigaraja Harbour. Two ferry ready in the harbour. One to Tuk Tuk and the other to Tomok.  Tomok is the main tourism spot in Samosir Island. There are many souvenir shops, traditional house, Sigale-gale doll, king traditional cemetry, and museum. While in Tuk Tuk, there are many hotel and huesthouse to stay. After long hours in bad bus, we decided to stay a night in Samosir. So we choose move to Tuk Tuk.

It takes about 15 minutes from Tigaraja to Tuk Tuk. The ferry arrive every 30 minutes, so we don't have to wait for too long. The ferry took us through to our guesthouse. We chose Carolina. Carolina is very famous in google search - huehuehuehue - and we like to stay at traditional building. We paid 120k for a night in eonomy room. Even they said economy, but the room was very hug and it has private bathroom. The bad just we have to climb to the hill to get our room. It's ok.

We rent a motorbike for 8 hours which is 80k. We go to Tomok, where so many tourist attraction there. We ate at the warung and enjoy delicious food. I taste ikan bakar and babi guling. For you who look for halal food, go to warung makan muslim that contains no pork. Yap, Batak eat pork.

The Samosir road
King Sibutar-Butar Cemetry
traditional cloth from Batak
Batak traditional house in Tomok, Samosir
Thanks God we've met new friends that feels like old friends in Tomok. That's one of the reason why I like do some trip. We play around Tomok. We like to explore while they waited for their fery at 4 pm to Tigaraja. 
After Tomok, we moved to Ambarita. We went to Siagillan Villege. In that place I heard story about Bataknesse that eat man in the past. Thank God it's not happen anymore today. We met some nice people in Siagillan, family from Jakarta, children, and Samosir people that help us to know the road.
try to make ulos
Museum Sialligan
Batak symbol = cicak and four breast
Cicak : Bataknesse can live everywhere in the earth
Four breast : prosperity
children playing outside
funeral for big family

We close the day at Poppy. We like to have dinner here because we saw many books in their restaurant. We can eat while reading a book from there. You can sell your book and get another book too. They offered us international food and indonesian food. Delicious.

Lesson learn:
Before I've done this journey, there's some worries around my mind. I'm afraid about that, I'm afraid about this. But, after I've done it all,, everything just happen in a nice way. So, I told to myself, just do it, feel the process, and take some lessons. Life can always be nice all the time, but you can enjoy the sweet things.

Minggu, 07 Juli 2013

#1st Night, Another Impression

It was late night when we arrived in Polonia Airport, Medan. After all the drama all day [ask me for the drama if you want to know] and two hours hungry sleepless in the plane,, finally we reached Sumatra land. *sujud sukur

I was go to Medan before for some project reason. I had bad experience in the airport. Actually, I don't like the way people offer us the transportation. Those people just like yell to us and compete to force us to use their service. So, I ask friend how to deal with my worries when I know that I will be depart in the evening,, or maybe late night if we have any delay. I can't believe that my new friends in Medan is very helpful. They offered to pick us in the airport. Who can say no?

one of Medan icon,
water reservoir
that has beautiful lights in the night
Our first night in Medan was very nice. No yell from taxi driver. No coercion from service people in the airport. All we have that night was big smile, friendly ride, and new family. Big thanks to backpacker medan.

Lesson learn:
  • working trip and backpacking trip is so much different :p
  • never judge something before you feel it #selfnote
  • accept every possibilities and enjoy the progress *still learning

Sabtu, 06 Juli 2013


What is the best thing to cure a broken hearted? They said, move on baby!! Is it really true? Just do it and enjoy the road. So, I choose to move my body. Maybe some journey can make my body move. I wish that my heart can move either.

I have a week to move. I choose to take my backpack prefer than my luggage. I will backpacking. Yeay!
Medan, Pekanbaru, Padang. I've got ticket for those three cities. What will happen to me. I wish for the best. Will my heart fix? How about my journey? How is the road? 

Too many questions. Just take a breath, and enjoy the road.