2019 – Medan/ Danau Toba Trip 5 days 4 nights – part 2

Hi again.. so lets continue from where I left off …. if you are in the dark.. here is the link to the 1st part…

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Early next morning we began our trip with a visit to Huta Siallagan… home of the Batak Siallagan…

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Huta Siallagan village was built in the reign of the first Huta leader, King Laga Siallagan, then further expanded during the time of his heir, King Hendrik Siallagan, down to  the descendants of King Ompu Batu Ginjang Siallagan. Huta Siallagan has a number of traditional Bolon and Sopo houses as well as two sets of large stones carved into chairs encircling a stone table…

These fascinating sets of stone furniture artifacts are called Batu Parsidangan, meaning “Stones for Meetings and Trials” and located right at the center of Huta Siallagan under a Hariara Tree, which is considered a sacred tree by the Bataks.  The Stones are believed to be over 200 years old…

There are two sets of Batu Parsidangan in which one used to serve as the official meeting place, while the other served as the site for executions.

The first set of Batu Parsidangan that was the official place for meetings consists of orderly arranged stone chairs that are specifically intended for the king, the queen, clan elders, neighboring huta leaders, invitees, and the datu or spiritual leaders. While the second Batu Parsidangan features a similar arrangement but with the addition of a Long Stone Table, where executions took place… it is said that the Batak Siallagan eats the entrails of those executed to absorb their “power”…

Address – Jl. Rumah Hoba | Huta Siallagan, Kec. Simanindo, Ambarita, Samosir Island

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Our next stop before we made our way to our next destination – Berastagi – was at the Ruma Kaca and Batak dance performance at the Hutabolon Simanindo Museum..

The Ruma Kaca is an interesting and pretty looking house containing whichnis the home of a lady of Batak Simanindo with Dutch colonial elements and is still in great condition… it is also opened for stays..

We then headed to the traditional cultural area where they held the Batak Simanindo dance.. after the show guests were all invited to join in the dance… it was pretty simple and fun…

Address – Huta Bolon, Simanindo, Samosir Island

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Then our trip to Berastagi began… but we stopped halfway at Tele… Tele has amazing views too and I was just mesmerized by the views too.. Kay and I headed up the Menara Pandang Tele to check out the view…

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This viewing tower still on Samosir Island look kinda neglected and dull but the views are seriously amazing…

Menara Pandang Tele is located at one of the highest points of the area surrounding this lake, and the tower itself has 3 floors – each with a unique view of the breathtaking surroundings! While it was a pain to climb up the flights of stairs, we absolutely loved how picturesque each viewpoint was

You can see most of Samosir Island, the legendary Gunung Pusuk Buhit, ranges of beautifully aligned mountains, and even the local houses from afar.

Address – Turpuk Limbong, Samosir, Turpuk Limbong, Harian, Kabupaten Samosir

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Our next stop was about a little over an hour from Tele… at the Taman Simalem Resort…

Situated on a sprawling 206-hectare estate, Taman Simalem is a retreat for the senses…. It is about 1,200 metres above sea level, the cool, crisp air immediately sets you at ease and the mesmerizing view of Lake Toba will make you thankful and appreciate the beauty of God’s creations..

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There is a little fee to visit the place.. but our tour guide adviced us to go for a lunch there which cost about 120k rupiah which is about RM40?! so we can also experience and get to enjoy the resort…

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This mountain resort introduces a new and unique way to live holistically, with organic farms and fruit orchards, tea and coffee plantations, and various accommodations that allow you to get up close with nature…

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Most people visit Taman Simalem Resort for the amazing view and it is also said one of the spots there known as the One Tree Hill, practically a tiny hill with just one tree on it is the best place to catch the best sunrise around…

We enjoyed their flower garden, organic garden as well as mini waterfall after having a simple but pretty yummy buffet lunch at their restaurant…

You can also enjoy yet another take on the view of Lake Toba….

IG- https://instagram.com/tamansimalem
Address – Km 9, Jalan Raya Merek – Sidikalang

From Taman Simalem Resort we headed to the Sipiso-piso waterfall, the tallest waterfall in Indonesia with the highest plunge in Indonesia at 120m…

If you are fit or adventurous, be sure to make your way down to the bottom of the waterfall to experience the gush of Sipiso-piso on your backs…

The waterfall was said to have been formed when the land closer to the crater lake collapsed, exposing an underground river on the side of the cliff….

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It was late evening and the sun was setting when we got there so we only made our way halfway down to the waterfall… climbing down was pretty challenging but climbing up again was truly torturous and I was panting in exhaustion since we excitedly ran down the steps without any refreshments etc..

Address – Tongging, Merek

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We headed into Berastagi and checked in at the Kallang Ulu Hotel.. a surprisingly beautiful hotel.. with Balinese and Japanese vibes..

The rooms were comfortable and nice but the hotel reception and breakfast area was just so pretty and the gardens pictureque and instagram pretty with lots of lush green plants, including a koi pond with stepping stones…

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IG – https://instagram.com/kalanguluberastagi
Address – Jln Mimpin Tua, Desa Sempajaya Peceren, Berastagi, Kabupaten Karo

We head breakfast at a Rumah Makan there at the foot of Gundaling Hill… after we finished our breakfast? We headed up Gundaling Hill….

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Gundaling Hill is unique as it overlooks the picturesque Mount Sinabung and its surrounding….

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and Mount Sibayak on the other side right before you….two magnificent active volcanoes… in their full glory…

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We then stopped at the Pasar Buah Berastagi to do some clothes and fruits shopping…

Address – Jl. Gundaling, Tambak Lau Mulgap I, Berastagi, Kabupaten Karo

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Then we headed to Alam Sibayak hot springs to get the feel of being close to a volcano as well as dipping our feet and arms into one of the many variety of pools they had there at different temperatures..

*helping blood circulation,

*de-stressing,

*relieving chronic pain,

*solving skin conditions…

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Alam Sibayak is a hot springs area st the foot of Mount Sibayak… it did kind of look like a waterpark… haha…and perfect for families…

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Hot springs contains sulfur, and thus the smell of hydrogen sulfide or what I call the rotten egg smell…

All the pools have a view up to the top of Sibayak volcano… It was nice soaking our feet and even arms in the sulphuric warm water..

Address – Foot of Mount Sibayak, Jaranguda, Karo Highland, Kabupaten Karo

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Before we headed to Medan, we stopped at the Taman Alam Lumbini, or the Lumbini Gardens where a replica of the “Shwedagon Pagoda on Yangon” proudly stood…

This beautiful golden temple was completed and opened to the public in 2010, and considered one of the most stunning temples in all of Indonesia….

There is a beautiful park/garden next to the temple where you can take a leisure or relaxing stroll. It’s definitely worth checking it out… Entrance is free but a donation is required…

Address – Barus Jahe, Brastagi, Dolat Rayat, Kabanjahe, Kabupaten Karo
From Taman Alam Lumbini, we headed to Medan which was about 2 hours or so…

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Our first stop after some diliberation was at the unique Graha St. Maria Annai Velangkanni church…

This unique church looks more like a Tibetan style Buddhist temple, with the presence of both Indian and Chinese characters on the building’s architectural design. The building itself was designed in an Indo-Mughal style….

On the bottom floor, it is the Chapel of St. Mary, the highlight of this church where pilgrims pray and get holy water believed to be pretty miraculous in healing illnesses and such…

This church was just founded in 2005 by Father James Bharataputra S.J., an Indian Jesuit missionary, with donations from all over the world!…

Address – Perumahan, Jl. Taman Sakura Indah Jl. Sakura III No.7-10, Tj. Selamat, Medan Tuntungan, Kota Medan

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Our next stop was at Maimun Palace or Maimoon Palace is an istana of the Sultanate of Deli and a well-known landmark in Medan…

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It was built by Sultan Ma’mun Al Rashid Perkasa Alamyah in years 1887–1891, with a Dutch architect Theodoor van Erp designs and covers 2,772 m² with a total of 30 rooms..

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The Palace is a popular tourist destination in the city, because of its historical heritage status, and also because of its unique interior design of the palace, combining elements Islamic and Indian architecture, with Spanish and Italian furniture and fittings..

The entrance fee is just 5000 Rp (RM1.50) per person… we were there 10 minutes into closing so did not really get to see much…

There are traditional costumes for loan for photography session at just 20,000 Rp (RM6) if you like to be a noblewoman back in those era… Maimun Palace can be a bit warm since it is without air conditioning….

Address – Jl. Brigjend. Katamso no. 1, Medan

We then checked in our hotel in Medan.. The Deli hotel, a small and pretty  cosy 3 star hotel there…

The rooms are simple but comfortable for 2 and comes with an ensuite bathroom, coffee and tea making facilities…

There is a pretty coffee place serving snacks called the L.Co Coffee and a restaurant for breakfast and the rooftop garden though not totally ready is gorgeous…

IG – https://instagram.com/delihotel
Address- Jalan Abdullah Lubis, Medan Baru, Medan

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The Great Mosque of Medan or Masjid Raya Al Mashun is a mosque located in Medan, Indonesia.

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The mosque was built in the year 1906 and completed in 1909… as I was in appropriately dressed, and there was something going on – with people coming and going, I asked my friends to take some photos instead, though you can actually borrow some robes if you want to to visit…

It is definitely a beautiful mosque as well as you can see from the pictures…

Address- Jl. Sisingamangaraja No.61, Teladan Bar., Medan Kota, Kota Medan

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Our second last stop in Medan was at the Tjong A Fie mansion…

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Upon stepping inside the mansion… it was so nostalgic… but well… it was just because Tjong A Fie is said to be related to Cheong Fatt Tze, who built the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Penang, Malaysia… heheh…

Thats probably why I feel the two mansions are pretty similarly built in many ways…

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The Tjong A Fie mansion in Medan is a blend of ancient Chinese architecture with European and Malay’s influences and is divided into 3 sections – left wing, right wing and the main building in the middle. The right wing and the main building open for public as museum, and the left wing now still occupied by family members.

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Address – Jl. Jenderal Ahmad Yani No.105, Kesawan, Medan Bar., Kota Medan

After Tjong A Fie mansion Pak Satun sent us to the Sun Plaza mall for shopping and dining before collecting us and sending us to back to Kualanamu Airport…

Address – Sun Plaza, Jl. KH. Zainul Arifin No.7, Madras Hulu, Medan Polonia, Kota Medan

Our guide, Pak Satun (from Anna Rajawali Travel and Tours) was a pleasure to travel with… Knowledgeable, helpful and patient, Pak Satun made our entire trip pleasant and comfortable…

His rates differ depending on the dates of your visit, but we felt his services were excellent and prices reasonable, given that there were 5 of us and we travelled in a comfortable air-conditioned modern six-seater all the way and stopping whenever we want etc..

For more info, contact anna-trv@medan.wasantara.net.id or contact +62 811-639-075

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