in Love with North Sumatra, 16-17 Jul ’16, Day 3-4


 

Hellooo, continued my previous post, we’re gonna visit Toba Lake today, yayy! *excited*

Day 1, Saturday, 16 Jul 2016  Woke up at 6 AM to be picked up at 7 AM then heading to Siantar, our estimation is arrived there at 10.30 AM to enjoy the famous Kok Tong coffee & legendary Ganda bakery. :9 Haha, by now you should’ve noticed that I eat wherever I go. After reached Tanjung Morawa, we had heavy rain, comfortable to sleep. Woke up 1 hour later, arrived in Tebing Tinggi, along the way seen people sold Lemang at IDR 15k (traditional food made of glutinuous rice, coconut milk & salt served in sliced bamboo). It should be tasted a little salty, maybe because served cold the taste bit different. Heard that Pematang Siantar has fried pigeon, we wanna try. It was 11 AM, turned out the restaurant wasn’t open yet, so we had lunch at random cafe. They have soft nut bread filled with green beans almost similar with bakpia from Yogyakarta, but bigger, thicker crust & served with sesame topping. Feeling full, we depart to Parapat at 12 PM. Around 2.30 PM, there was change of scenery, stunning hills with lake view. I feel anticipated.

 

Arrived at Ajibata port & tried to buy ferry ticket to Tomok port in Samosir (island in the middle of Toba Lake) with 2.30 PM schedule at IDR 115k (include car). Here for the ferry schedule. Suddenly someone tap my shoulder & pointed out the car queue to ride the ferry. He showed his number, 40. He said the ferry can only brings max 30 car one way to Samosir. It means we have to wait until 5.45 PM. We looked for other alternative & go to Tigaraja port, 750 m or 3 min by car, the boat departed at 3.20 PM, here for the schedule so we can ride the last boat from Tomok port in Samosir at 6.30 PM (we have 3 hours to explore). We have to left the car as the boat only can bring 40 people. The boat ticket cost us IDR 20k for 2 people, me & the driver, for 30 minutes. There will be people who comes to you & asking money for the boat ticket.

 

TIPS! If you wanna bring car & spend longer time in Samosir Island, depart 7h before 1st ferry schedule in Ajibata port at 8.30 AM (around 01.30 AM) from Medan. The 2nd deck with softer seat has same price, you can sit comfortably in there (we thought the price is higher since looks comfy, we didn’t dare to sit inside).

Arrived in Tomok port & we have to walk passed through local market to find motorbike rent. There was no board sign where we can rent motorbike. My guide talked to one souvenir stand seller & called his 2 friends to become guide for us. At first they asked IDR 200k for 2 people but I asked my guide to bargain until IDR 120k for 2 people for 1.5h (+motorbike). Deal. They took us first to Toba Lake scenery near hotel with Samosir typical red roof. Then we head to Parulubalangan, where animism worship held. The entrance is free & there’s no one beside us that visit here, there’s a totem at the top. The place is picturable but somehow feels mystical. My guide forbid me to pointed object while in there. After that, we head to stone chair of King Siallagan (Huta Siallagan Museum). There are 5-6 Batak common house made from wood (replica of old Batak village) complete with Schand Block. Entering the house, they have loom & kitchen placed in center of the house, bed on the other side. There are totem pole outside too, I don’t know yet what they represent of. And at the top of the stair there’s tomb of the King.

There’s still 1.5h left to explore, the guide took us to Huta Tinggi (if you follow the road, it will lead to Aek Natonang, lake above lake), took 30 minutes to went here from Tomok port by motorbike. We didn’t use the same road as we departed, but the parallel road on the mountain side. It was pretty with 5 PM light. As the elevation increase, the air is getting chiller, we left our jacket on car… The view keeps getting better until we found warung (small shop) where we can drink tea & enjoy the view. It was soo pretty, I can’t get enough of it. Tried many angle of Toba Lake pic from here, includes trying to make replica sakura with Fuji mountain view -which failed. We went down to Tomok port at 5.45 PM & eat dinner at warung near Tomok port at 6.15 PM. It was a good decision to ride the last boat 6.30 PM to Parapat (IDR 20k for 2 people). Turned out inside the cabin, they have karaoke. They played Batak song, I didn’t understand the language, but everyone sang & have fun. Even the captain held the steer on right hand & the mic on left hand. It’s safe, don’t worry. The song they played & the wind made me think, it was Saturday night, I was alone & on the boat, not how girl would spent their Sat night. I wasn’t really alone of course, there are the driver & passenger on the boat. Strangers, but felt warm. I wasn’t really prepared for this Toba trip. Unlike other trip abroad, I made loose itinerary. I don’t know how to explore or what to see in Samosir Island. But it worked & I enjoyed it. Its 7 PM by the time we arrived at Tigaraja port & head to Melissa Hotel Parapat to rest before long journey back to Medan tomorrow at 7 AM (I booked 2 room from booking.com @IDR 200k per room without breakfast). Good night, sleep well…

TIPS! Spent minimum 1 full day to explore Samosir Island, stay 1 night if you want to chill swimming. Another destination you can visit in Samosir Island are Batu Hoda beach, Parbaba white sand, Aek Natonang lake, or just follow the road & see where it takes you. 🙂

Day 2, Sunday, 17 Jul 2016 Meowning! Today we’re gonna head to Sipiso-piso waterfall, one of water source of Toba Lake. But before, the driver asked me if his father in Siantar can join us to go to Medan. Since there’s still a lot of seat, i agreed to it. If the same thing happen to you & you don’t want to, you can say no. Later I’m saved by his father driving skill when chase 5 PM flight. It took us 4h from 7 AM to go to Sipiso-piso waterfall. On route Siantar to Sipiso-piso waterfall, we visit ancient Raya King & his wife tomb (1828-1889), in google maps it’s shown by Guru Raya Sidasuha tag. The driver asked me to pose with the tomb as background. Me like, “Euh, no thanks, it feels like something gonna grabbed me from behind if I do that, ahaha.” Near Sipiso-piso waterfall there is pretty hill that made me think North Sumatra is beautiful. Arriving in Sipiso-piso waterfall entrance, we paid IDR 10k for 1 car & around 15 min from the entrance, there is stunning view of Toba Lake, you’ll see the sign, many motor & car stopped in the side of road. You’ll go woah on this one. We enjoyed the waterfall view from above, as we saw many stairs heading down & didn’t have much time. 😀 Seen few foreign tourists here, the beautifulness of North Sumatra has attracted them… It was my last list destination as they say we have to arrived in Brastagi at latest by 2 PM, after that the road gonna be too crowded. So I have to come back next time to visit Sidikalang city, Tangkahan & Asam Kumbang crocodile breeding. I want to visit Leuser National Park too (I’m a national park fans). Well, 2D1N to explore every corner of North Sumatra wasn’t enough, you’ll need min 4-6 days.

Saying till I see you again to Toba Lake, we’re heading to Medan city via Brastagi, it took us 3h from 11 AM include lunch. The driver then stopped by at 2 PM in Taman Alam Lumbini, replica of Shwedagon temple in Myanmar. It was pretty & bring back good memories of Myanmar in 2014… Only the difference, we can’t go in when pray time. The entrance cost IDR 20k/person. From here, it was already 3 PM, it took 2.5h to go to Kuala Namu airport, my flight is at 5 PM, see how crazy I am, still enjoying the view despite tight schedule. 😀 Knowing this, the driver tried to go with 80 kmph speed or up, but can’t do this fully in first 1.5h because the road is small going downhill, has sharp turn & many cars on the contrary direction. It really need skill & patience to drive in North Sumatra. The condition road is exact as described by the driver before we start the trip, I’m glad that I listened to him. The rest of the trip fill with tense, the feeling of can-I-made-it-on-time-to-airport. Usually I heard the stories of my friend did that. Now I’m the one experienced it, haha. Arrived in South of Medan city at 4 PM & it took 30 min to go to Kuala Namu airport. We made it safe & on time thanks to my driver’s father driving skill.

Thank you North Sumatra, you are prettier than I imagined. 🙂

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