Sunday, 8 March 2015

Papa's Home Town | Cold Siantar Medan

Amazing Indonesia, that is what I want to say in this blog. Indonesia has many islands. Although I am still not lucky to traveling in all part islands in Indonesia. But I am still remember the first time I visit in North Sumatera. My Papa home town. My papa is Batak. One of ethic in Indonesia. Let's I shared my old adventure.

I was 19 years old, my family moved to Tanjungpinang Island. This island is not far if we want to visit Sumatera. This was not like when we still live in Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur (East Borneo), Indonesia. I still remember in my mind, my family (Pa
pa, Mama, my little brother Bintang dan Andreas) went there. Because many members went there. Papa booked ferry to visit his home town. Papa looked so excited because this was the first time papa home brings his family.

We never visit papa home town in Siantar, but that time we went there. The ferry, boat bring us to Dumai. Then we continue with the bus to some part near Medan. After that the journey continue with the pedicab motor bike. This is unique, because the carriage beside the motor bike to bring us to another terminal to get the Siantar.

I still remember the bus so ugly and old style. Maybe this time already good. Because I came that the year of 2001. That was long journey. Can you imagine, Tanjungpinang-Dumai by boat need around 9 hours. Then Dumai to Medan (a half day, because the bus in the night time so all time we sleep and arrive in North Sumatera around 08.00 am) Then continue again with the pedicab to get public transportation (BUS) to bring us to Siantar, that is need 1 hour. Then continue 2 hours to arrive Papa home town.

All that place has many karet trees. Papa family house behind the karet farm. That was so unbelievable. Tired and long journey. Almost 1 half day to visit Papa home town. But when look my papa face so happy and excited the tired gone suddenly. Yes, what can I think when look papa so happy met his family (brother and sister and also his nephew and nieces). 

The warm welcome in papa family was so nice, we stay in one of my papa brother. The house was old style from the wood but nice. Another day, after we already take a rest, they taken us to the rice filed. The most amazing is in the part of rice filed, they put gold fishes and they try to catch it and the GOLD FISH so BIG and of course yummy when they cooked it. Love it and that was one part wonderful memories visit Papa home town.

#3 days
That is not completed if you visit North Sumatra but you don't go to Danau Toba (Toba Lake) the famous tourism place in North Sumatra. From the house we leave early morning and I didn't like breakfast (long time ago but now I realize breakfast so important). So need 2 hours journey to Danau Toba.

What is Danau Toba (Toba Lake)?

Lake Toba is one of the awesome natural. At over 1,145 square kilometers, and a depth of 450 meters, Lake Toba is actually more like an ocean. This is the largest lake in Southeast Asia and one of the deepest lakes in the world.

Toba is a place to come and sit back, relax and absorb some beautiful pristine scenery. As you sit and take in the view of the picturesque mountains set against the cool clear lake, you will feel the worries of the world melt away. As the lake sits 900 meters above sea level there is a cooler climate here making a refreshing break from the heat, humidity and pollution of the city.

Venture onto the island of Samosir in the middle of the lake and you will discover mountains steeped in cool mist, clear waterfalls to swim under and locals taking their water buffalo out in the fields.

This is a place to come and enjoy the legendary Batak hospitality. Say cheers and enjoy some traditional palm wine with the locals. Sit and have coffee and chat with islanders keen to practice their English. Where-ever you go, it won't take long to make a new friend.

Many visitors prefer to take the more scenic option and stay on the massive island of Samosir in the middle of the lake. The original home of the Batak Toba people, the island has many traces of ancient days including stone tombs and traditional villages, such as at Ambarita which has a courtyard with stone furniture where in the old days convicts were tried and beheaded. Or visit Simanindo where traditional Batak ritual dances and music are performed. Here is where you'll be able to discover unique and ancient Toba culture. At Tomok you can find mementos and Batak handicrafts. Buy the distinctive red and black hand-woven shawls called ulos- that are still used today at important life-cycle occasions-, a Batak calendar on rattan, woodcarvings and more. Samosir is accessible by regular ferries from Parapat. Boats also ply around the island regularly.

What You can do?

If you’re feeling energetic, throw yourself into some of the activities on offer here. In Parapat, there area facilities for swimming, water skiing, motor boating, canoeing, fishing and golf. From Parapat take a leisurely walk in the beautiful Naborsahon River valley where you’ll see spectacular bougainvilleas, pointetties and honeysuckle flowering all year round.  

If you can resist succumbing to the relaxing atmosphere on Samosir explore inland with a trek into the central highlands. It’s best to ask your hotel or locals for a recommendation for a route as, depending on the time of year, tracks can be muddy and slippery.    Check out distinctive traditional architecture with a tour of Batak Toba house compounds.

If you’re interested in heritage attractions then Tomok village, a traditional village on Samosir, is definitely worth a look. Here you can learn more about local history and customs with a visit to the cemetery complex of King Sidabutar where you will see unique stone etchings.

Samosir Island sells unique wares and souvenirs with antique items to catch your interest. If you want to learn more about traditional Batak life and culture, try visiting the traditional weaving village of Jangga, about 24 km from Parapat.

What was my experience when I visit there?

The first time I visit there that was bad time, raining :) and because I was naughty daughter and I did not eat my breakfast, making my tummy pain. So, I made some people disappointed with my behavior. I am sorry hihihihi, but don't worry I still enjoy the cold weather in Danau Toba, Si Bolga.

We rent water bike to enjoy the lake of Toba. That was amazing, the cold weater, the mountain and also the expensive hotel view. Make me jealous, I want stay there haahaa. yea, but with big family that was impossible, because after going back from Siantar, we should visit to Medan then Yogyakarta to continue my study.

Eating with big family from papa also nice although I didn't understand very well what they talk about. Because I can't speak Batak language, I just know one sentence in batak, Nangadong hepeng (I don't have money, the meaning of that words). olo (yes). I just know that words.  

#4 Days
After enjoying a few days in Siantar, Sibolga, we continue to Medan. Visit papa big sister. She lived there and ask papa to visit them too. Papa won't make they were jealous. So we went there. The first time I looked Medan, so damn crowded and also the house each other to close and it will be danger if get accident. But that was o.k just for one day.

We can't stay long time in Medan. We just talk-talk-talk and then go to mall to buy some culinary North Sumatra. We love bingka ambon, that is cake special in Medan. That is amazing yummy cake. 



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