A short visit to the town of Berastagi

From Sipiso-piso waterfall, we continued our journey to the town of Berastagi. I had been to Berastagi many times in the past but have never written about it. This time, our first stop in Berastagi was Eropah Restaurant where we had a great Chinese food for lunch. There are a few famous Chinese food restaurants in Berastagi: Eropah, Asia, and Timur. Asia and Eropah are just a few steps apart. Since Asia was not open that day, we settled for Eropah. Right after we were done for lunch, it rained heavily! But it didn’t hinder our determination to visit Fruit Market. Even though our drivers discouraged us from visiting the market when it rains, we decided to go for it. Continue reading “A short visit to the town of Berastagi”

Sipiso-Piso Waterfall

We had an early breakfast at the hotel before departing to Simanindo ferry terminal. Instead of taking ferry the usual way (from Tomok to Parapat), our driver suggested taking ferry from Simanindo to Tigaras, which is a shortcut to Berastagi.

The journey from our hotel in Tuk Tuk to Simanindo took about 30 mins. We arrived at Simanindo in time, enough to go to the toilet and do some quick shopping. The toilet has an awful smell, do not go if you don’t feel urgent. Feel free to donate as you wish for the toilet fee, there wasn’t any cleaner in sight. Continue reading “Sipiso-Piso Waterfall”

Exploring Samosir Island

Day 2 of our trip is dedicated to spending time on Samosir island. After breakfast, we went to Tomok village with our bus. The roads in Samosir island are narrow with electricity cables hanging low at certain locations. Our bus was like a Godzilla in a small city at times. Our driver drove extra carefully in order not to damage electricity cables, hit any properties or roaming animals. It was about 2-3 km drive from our hotel in Tuk Tuk to Tomok. Continue reading “Exploring Samosir Island”

From Medan to Samosir Island (Lake Toba) via Siantar and Parapat

The first leg of our Lake Toba & Berastagi journey started with a bus ride from Medan to Parapat. Parapat is a town from which travellers catch a ferry to go to Samosir island. The bus arrived at our hotel in Medan on time, at 8.30 am. Soon, we made our way to Parapat via Siantar. The duration from Medan to Parapat for a non-stop trip is approximately 4 hours. However, most people, including us, would stop at Siantar for souvenir shopping and lunch, thus extending the journey by 1-2 hours.

Our first stop in Siantar was Paten, it was a shop selling homemade local snacks. We got to try the samples before buying. Most of the snack cost IDR 25,000 per pack. Continue reading “From Medan to Samosir Island (Lake Toba) via Siantar and Parapat”

4D3N Itinerary Lake Toba & Berastagi (North Sumatera, Indonesia) Trip with My Extended Family

Now that my holiday blues have worn off, I’m ready to write about my trip to Lake Toba and Berastagi! After 6 months of sitting still, I finally got the chance to fly out of this tiny red dot of Singapore. This time, I went home for my wedding dinner reception! Since I am from Indonesia and my hubby is from Malaysia, we are having 2 wedding parties at each other’s hometowns. Indonesia’s wedding was in January, and Malaysia’s one is coming up soon in February.

Since my hubby’s family members are coming over all the way from Malaysia to attend the wedding, and my relatives are coming over from other Indonesia cities, we decided to organise a trip to Lake Toba and Berastagi after the wedding, to introduce the beauty of North Sumatera. Continue reading “4D3N Itinerary Lake Toba & Berastagi (North Sumatera, Indonesia) Trip with My Extended Family”

Last Day in Bali: Babi Guling Pak Malen, Spa at Bodyworks, Nalu Bowls, Bebek Tepi Sawah, Airport

Finally, it was our last day in Bali. Our main activities were eating, shopping and spa. We started the day with quick breakfast near out hotel. Some of my friends had food from Starbucks while another friend and I had yoghurt. Then we went to buy pie susu and pia legong from road-side shop nearby Nasi Pedas Ibu Andika, followed by souvenir shopping at Joger.

Our early lunch was at Babi Guling Pak Malen at Seminyak. The restaurant was quite full even in the early afternoon. We paid Rp 45k per person, including drink. Babi guling is such a special food for Bali, we wanted to bring back to our cities. We asked our driver about the possibility of buying takeaways, he offered to help us buy in the late afternoon so that the food could stay fresh until we arrive at our cities. The takeaway cost Rp 50k per pack, slightly more expensive compared to eating at the restaurant. Continue reading “Last Day in Bali: Babi Guling Pak Malen, Spa at Bodyworks, Nalu Bowls, Bebek Tepi Sawah, Airport”

Final Night in Bali: Warung Souvlaki, Beachwalk Mall, TJ’s Mexican Restaurant, Souvenir’s Shopping

Suddenly, it was our final night in Bali. Time passed so fast when you’re on vacation! The rafting pickup car dropped us at Kuta. Our first destination was Warung Souvlaki, as my friend was craving the food from this particular warung. It was my first Greek food, I think. It was good. We ordered 2 dishes to share: Souvlaki Pita and Souvlaki Plate. They have pretty good review in TripAdvisor and even earn a Certificate of Excellence. The fact that my friend craved it tells you it is worth trying. Here’s the only photo of the food. Continue reading “Final Night in Bali: Warung Souvlaki, Beachwalk Mall, TJ’s Mexican Restaurant, Souvenir’s Shopping”

Rafting in Ayung River, Ubud, Bali

Rafting in Bali is safe for everyone. That’s my conclusion based on my own observation. I witnessed families with young children taking part in rafting as if it’s a fun ride in a theme park. But somehow, I got nervous. I worried that I’d fall to the river. What if I fall alone while my friends are still intact on the boat, what if I knock myself on the rock while falling; I know they are ridiculous fears, but they are still my fears. In my previous experience rafting in Bali in 2008 with my guy friends, it was pretty rapid and challenging. I guess these two are entirely different worlds: rafting with guys and rafting with girls. My initial fears were unfounded. Rafting with girls was much calmer and slower, because we told our guide not to let us fall or get wet, lol! Continue reading “Rafting in Ayung River, Ubud, Bali”

Cafe Wayan Ubud

We stumbled upon Cafe Wayan when we walked along Monkey Forest Road in Ubud. From the outside, all I could see was a small bakery. My friend brought up that this cafe was mentioned in Eat Pray Love. As we entered the cafe, it felt like we entered a different place. It was like a cafe in the middle of a forest. There are plenty of seats, but it feels private. You may choose if you’d like a table-and-chair setting, or sit-on-floor setting (or usually referred to as lesehan). We settled for the lesehan style. Continue reading “Cafe Wayan Ubud”

The Innocent Looking Monkeys in Monkey Forest Ubud Bali Are Really AGGRESSIVE

In the past, I used to think monkeys were cute and harmless. I used to think they were great photo companion. After all, the way they move was delicate, their faces looked innocent and tame. However, my perception was changed completely in 2013. Three years ago, I wanted to get up close with a monkey. I allowed it to sit on my shoulder and played with my hair. My friend helped me take a photo with the monkey, which I was hoping to boost on my social media. After a while, we were ready to move on, I stood up and expected the monkey to get away. But it didn’t. It got defensive and started pulling my hair. My heart raced fast, I was so scared. My friends helped to shoo the monkey, thankfully it let go of me. That was a defining moment for me. From that moment, I knew monkeys are aggressive and I would not ever get close with monkey, never ever. Continue reading “The Innocent Looking Monkeys in Monkey Forest Ubud Bali Are Really AGGRESSIVE”