Saturday, 13 April 2013

Sumatera Barat Part 5: Sipisopiso and Berastagi

Arrival in Parapat
One thing about Parapat was that there were more than one jetty receiving ferries from Samosir Island. 

And one thing about the jetty in Tomok was that there was no specification as to which jetty in Parapat they would stop by. 

You may not end up at the same jetty you were before i.e. when you were boarding the ferry to Samosir. Luckily the ferry dropped us at a jetty, which was not that far from the P.M Raja Taxi Station. But still, walking with 10 kg backpack on my back was not that convenient.   

The taxi to Berastagi was supposed to leave at 2 pm, but since we were there earlier then scheduled, the driver had agreed to depart earlier. Well, that was a good news to us. The driver's name is Hendra, and he seemed like a nice guy. 

And yeah, we got the whole Toyota Innovo for ourselves. Again.

Not really a budgeted backpacking experience huh? 
Sipisopiso Waterfall

Day View of Lake Toba
Two days ago, we arrived in Parapat late at night, thereby missing the chances to witness Lake Toba from the top. But I was thankful to be given a chance to witness day view of Lake Toba from the top of the cliff, on our way to Berastagi. 

Hendra offered to stop the van few times to allow me to take some photos, but I decided to enjoy the view by myself, since no photos could do justice to the actual view of what I was witnessing.   

We did not spend that much time along the route. We need to be in Sipisopiso before the rain came pouring down.

Sipisopiso Waterfall

On our way to Berastagi, we asked Hendra whether we could drop by at Sipisopiso waterfall and he agreed. The bumpy route to Sipisopiso, to me, would be regarded as beaten-off track, but it is a MUST SEE to all tourists visiting Lake Toba. 

This place promised a great deal of potential to be developed as a tourist attraction, but it seemed that this place has not been fully commercialized as yet. Most of the shop lots and restaurants were old and rusty. 

Contrary to popular belief, the view of Sipisopiso may be enjoyed not only from far, but you can also go down via hundreds of steps to witness it closer. Going down would not be a problem, but climbing up would require a strong stamina. Hendra brought us down a bit, and he was willing to take us deeper down there, but we have a gut feeling that it would be raining anytime soon.

Sipisopiso literally means "knife", perhaps by its appearance that looks as if it was cutting off the earth into two.

Recognised as the highest waterfall in Indonesia (120 metres), Sipisopiso waterfall is located nearby Kabanjahe (about 24 km), whereby tourists will get magnificent view, both from Sipisopiso Waterfall and Lake Toba. 

Lake Toba from Sipisopiso Waterfall

And yeah. The moment we stepped our foot at a nearby restaurant, the pouring rain hit the ground. We had our lunch at the restaurant, and later discovered that the owner was a Malaysian (from Sabah). 

When the rain stopped, we resumed our journey. 

And Hendra, like other skillful Indonesian drivers, went crazy along the highway. Heart attack, beb, Period.

After more than three hours on the bumpy road, finally we arrived at a small town that reminded me so much of Cameron Highland in Malaysia. Then I saw the signboard with "Berastagi" on it. Situated at the district of Kabupaten, North Sumatera, its temperature was way cooler than places I've been before in Indonesia.

Fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables were widely available for purchase by the road sides. Beautiful and colorful flowers planted at the nearby recreational park. (So they call recreational activities as "wisata" eh?)

I was hoping that our hotel would be near the small town so we could take a walk at night. Too bad, Mikie Holiday was quite far from the main town. My wife and I did attempt to walk to the town, but it seemed far, and the road was getting darker as we go further. We were uncertain of what to expect in the land so alien to us. So we decided to chill and relax at the hotel, while watching the Voice at AXN.

Nothing much for us in Berastagi. I mean, if with proper planning we would have been able to enjoy many things including hiking. 

But the challenge was to figure out transportation to Medan. I asked so many people about the transportation. Many did not recommend buses for severe lack of convenience (and plus, I did not see any bus passing down the road in front of the hotel... well unless you regards a van as a bus...).

The hotel receptionist recommended Blue Bird, a reputational taxi services in Indonesia, but we thought that the price was higher than usual. Maybe because it was around Christmas time. Then later my cousin recommended Toba Transporter at 450 000 IRD. Definitely not the cheapest, but the price was within our budget. So we took it as a deal.

I believe that there would be much much more of Berastagi. But we did not have that much time to enjoy the place. 

My wife said, it's ok. We've been dragging our feet all the way from Medan to Parapat. Then to Samosir. And Berastagi is a perfect place for us to chill and relax. Just like most of the local people did. Here, in Berastagi.

Till then, 

Hairi Tahir

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2 Nukilan:

Janggel / Rain said...

best giler tengok air terjun tu. keluar dari celah batu seolah2 tetiba muncul.

Hairi Tahir said...

yup. perfect view kat situ. belah kanan air terjun, belah kiri danau toba.

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