Medan Trip 2011...HORAS!!!

I went to Medan on the 9th December 2011 with my sisters. Our flight tom KL  was scheduled at 7.00 a.m therefore we had to get ready at the wee hours. We arrived in KL LCCT around 11.00 a.m. Our Medan flight is scheduled at 2.00pm so we had time to eat our lunch and freshen up. We arrived at Medan around 3.00 pm. but the time in Medan was one hour earlier therefore the time in Medan was also 2.00 p.m. It was one hour flight journey. Polonia Airport was very small just like Sandakan Airport. The immigration area was kinda old as if the place was still in the 80's. The immigration went smoothly and we were greeted by our driver Pak Danu , a handsome young man. He ushered us to a  nearest restaurant to have our lunch as it was already stated in our itinerary. We were served a traditional Minang dishes and Ayam Pop ( fried chicken).

From my eyes, Medan is a small city with a lot of colonial building and a few modern malls. The place is  crowded and  I was told that the population of Medan city is around 3 million. For a shopaholic , Indonesia is the best place to shop therefore in Medan , Batik goods is a must buy . Most of the Semananjung visitors bought telekungs and batik sarong as souverniers and momentos.

History on Medan are as follows (exercept taken from )

Medan started as a village called Kampung Medan (Medan Village). Kampung Medan was founded by Guru Patimpus around the 1590s. Because Kampung Medan sits on Tanah Deli (Land of Deli), Kampung Medan is also referred as Medan-Deli. The original location of Kampung Medan is an area where the Deli River meets the Babura River.
Based on the diary of the Portuguese merchant in early 16th century, it stated that the name of Medan was actually derived from Medina which is actually a holy city in the western of Saudi Arabia. However, other sources indicated that the name of Medan actually came from Indian Hindi language word "Maidan" meaning "ground" or "land"(like in Pragati Maidan in Delhi). One of the Karo-Indonesia dictionary written by Darwin Prinst SH published in 2002 wrote that Medan could also be defined as "recover" or "be better".
The first inhabitants of Medan came from the Malays from the Malay Peninsular and the Bataks from Karo Highlands. It was not until the Sultan of Aceh, Sultan Iskandar Muda, sent his warlord, Gocah Pahlawan Laksamana Khoja Bintan, to be the Sultanate of Aceh's representative in Tanah Deli, that the Sultanate of Deli started to grow. This growth stimulated growth in both the population and culture of Medan. In the second year reign of Sultan Deli (between 1669–1698), there was a cavalry battle in Medan.
Medan did not experience significant development until the 1860s, when the Dutch colonialists began clearing the land for tobacco plantations. Medan quickly became a center of government and commercial activity, dominating development of Indonesia's western region.
The Dutch governed Tanah Deli from 1658, after Sultan Ismail, ruler of the Kingdom of Siak Sri Indrapura, yielded some of his once-ruled land, Deli, Langkat, and Serdang. In 1915 Medan officially became the capital of North Sumatra Province, and officially a city in 1918.
Currently much of Medans historic architecture from the colonial era is rapidly being demolished to make way for modern buildings (malls, garages, etc.).[1]

After lunch, Pak Danu told us that the journey to Parapat is 176 kilometres and  took about 5 hours to reach the highland. Luckily , we had Pak Danu as our driver because in Medan,  two road lanes can squeezed 4 cars. Cars can overtake in both sides of the road at the same time. Craazzyyy...... During the journey to Parapat, greeneries grazed along the road with little houses erected side by side. The house in Medan is really small compared to Sabah kampung house. Most of the houses was built on the ground. Dominantly , the Muslim lived from Medan town until Permatang Siantar because I could see mosques were built every 500 metres but there were churches too. As we reached Parapat , the time was already 8.00p.m. The temperature was cold like Kundasang. We stayed at Siantar Hotel.

Morning view of the Lake Toba was breath taking. I took pictures of the beautiful lake and also the town of Parapat. Words cannot expressed the wonderful creation of God. Cold weather, scenic and breath taking view of Lake Toba is perfect for honeymooners.

After taking pictures and videos , we had our breakfast at the retaurant. Around 7.30 a.m , we were later joined by a group of other Malaysian tourist and proceed to the ferry boat jetty which situated right in front of our hotel.  The boat ferry was quite big and easily accomodated around 30-50 passengers at one time. Our tour guide , Pak Usman informed us that the journey will took around 45 minutes to reach Samosir Island and continue to explained the origin of the Batak people and its custom ( which I will elaborate more in my next blog).

I was awed with Lake Toba serene beauty and it reminds me of Switzerland with its green lush hills and blue lake. God was kind to us and throughout the journey , the weather was fine and the temperature was just nice for me not  to perspire profusely like tap water ( I am ultrasensitive to heat...1 degree increases makes me sweat like @#$%).

When we arrived at Samosir Island , we were greeted by the local people with their warm greeting HORAS!!... and as we proceed to the historical site , I could see a lot of stalls selling local hand made souvenir and momentos.  We were briefly explained about the history of the Raja Batak Toba , Raja Siallagan  and its famous cannibalism stories , then we were ushered to a place where Pak Usman reenacts the Batak customs and the beheaded scenes. It was a crowd-puller act where even the Mandarin speaking tourists were  excited to see the show and shouted HORAS at the highlight of the action.

After spending one and a half hours in Samosir Island , we were taken to Tomok Island where we were given time to shop for souvenirs and momentos. It was mind boggling when you are dealing with Indonesian many zerooosssss.......

We returned back to Parapat around 2p.m and had our lunch and prayers for the Muslims. We continued the tour and the next stop will be Berastagi.  As we were leaving Parapat , my friends and I were busy taking pictures and videos of the beautiful lake. The journey to Berastagi was very long, the road was like kampung road and mind you, if you are not used to Indonesian driving , you might end up going down to the ravine 100 feet below.

Before we reach Berastagi , we were taken to a nearby restaurant to have ginger tea and kuih pisang (banana fritters) and then proceed to Sipiso-Piso waterfall. Here , the view was spectacular like paintings.
The clouds , the blueness of the lake and the green hills was really really beautiful. No words can't express.  I melted  and absorbing the view as much as I could .

We reached Berastagi around night time  and had our rest. The next morning , we continued our journey back to Medan and before reaching the city , we were previliged to visit Catholic Church Graha Bunda Maria Annai Vellaangkani ( will blog on this too). We also visited Kilang Batik and Telekung . It was cheap and a good bargain , nearly all the Muslims ladies bought 2-3 sacks of goods from that shops. We didn't had much time shopping around Medan city and it was raining heavily too. We ended our trip and had our rest at Grand Antares Medan.

 Below are few landscape photos of Lake  Toba and  my edited video of the our trip to Medan.