QUOTE(stimix @ Dec 19 2011, 10:10 AM)
Will be going to Medan-Beratagi-Prapat/Samosir in few days time & for 2nd time
but this time 100% DIY compare to my 1st time ~ 16yrs ago where I opted for full package tour.
Few things need further clarification. From my research:
1) From Polonia airport and wanna go Berastagi, Need to take bus from Padang Bulan Bus Terminal. Where is this terminal located?
2) Any cheap bus option from airport to this Padang Bulan terminal?
3) From Berastagi to prapat, which bus to take & what is the cost from Berastagi to prapat & how frequesnt is the bus?
4) Anyone taking bus to Permatang Siantar & thereafter train ride to Medan? I'm interested on this option too to avoid long & tiring bus journey from Prapat to Medan.
don't do this
i tried going that way, against the "normal" flow, i.e. medan - brastagi - toba
you;ll have transport problem from brastagi to permatang siantar
especially big problem if you plan to stop by at spiso-piso waterfall
not many public buses ply the route, and if they do, they are super packed.
not many private chartered vans too, so if you still want to go that way, pls be prepared
i? i had fun. real fun as that is an experience of a lifetime (sitting packed in a van, 5 in the front row, and ppl hanging on the doors for hours)
my route was this: medan - brastagi - spiso-piso - simpang dua (no need to stop at permatang siantar, save 30 min) - parapat - toba - medan
and spend at least a week in toba. it's soooo laid back that 3 days is not enough!
from parapat back to medan, i suggest you take a van (raja taxi) and pay the IDR170,000 for the ride - it's worth all the hassle, and still takes 4 hours to reach medan (160km)
medan to brastagi, i took the public bus - IDR20,000 - 4 hour ride on the twisty road. gets cooler when they climb up the mountains
frombrastagi to spiso-piso, just hop onto any bus you found and ask them to stop at simpang tonggek
then from simpang tonggek, just flag any motorbike and pay them 5k for a ride to the watefall
from simpang tonggek, flag a bus to simpang dua (2.5 hrs, 20k idr) - just jump on to the next bust you see that go to your permatang siantar - whether it's packed or not. try to be safe, and force yourself into the van and sit in the kretek-smoke filled vans
at simpang dua, walk across the road and take a bus to parapat (1 hr, 12k idr)), and ask the driver to stop you at parapat
at parapat, take a tuk-tuk (2k IDR) to tiga raja, and board the fery (16k idr) to tuk tuk on samosir island. tell the skipper where u stay and they'll dro pyou off at the hotel's jetty
enjoy yourself. the locals are pretty helpful, although not that good looking (especially the girls...
the prices for the public transport i just agak2 only. can't remember exact cost.
Added on December 19, 2011, 2:20 pm
QUOTE(PangurBan @ Dec 19 2011, 11:53 AM)
1 - lalala no idea. Took the bus to Prapat the last time instead of the other way round. Sounds like a Spaceport for flights to the moon this bus terminal. Word of warning though. Brastagi will be CROWDED this coming weekend - long weekend woh. Same thing happened when I was there. I left Brastagi at the beginning of the long weekend and the traffic going up the hill to Brastagi was AWFUL!! So yes, go straight to Brastagi on Thursday; with any luck, you'll avoid the jam. In Brastagi, you can take public transport to get to Sipisopiso. A bit kelam kabut and you might need to beg a ride out of sipiso-piso from some tuk tuk driver to some market town nearby to get back to Brastagi, but doable. The best thing to do in Brastagi is still to walk up G Sibayak and look at the steaming crater and fumaroles. Easy walk up on a surfaced road most of the way. Don't be tempted to take the trail down the other side of the mountain to the hot springs. Manyak susah.
i did, and i have mixed feeling about it
you need to walk a bloody 4 - 5 km to get to the hot spring (the locals always say "ngak jauh lagi pak. cuma 1km aja lagi")
but you get to see the awesome geothermal power station along the way (i had no idea indon was harnessing geo-thermal energy!)
and from the hot spring, to go back to brastagi, there's very very very very few angkut. the angkut i think we waited 3 hours for the next angkut (or you can pay a king ransom of 80,000 IDR to charter the angkut)
the hot springs are MEH. very average, and very smelly. strong suplhur smell stick to your body for few days. and the hot spring aren't even hot. u sit in a very luke warm and smelly water in a concrete swimming pool.
Added on December 19, 2011, 2:24 pm
QUOTE(stimix @ Dec 19 2011, 10:10 AM)
1) From Polonia airport and wanna go Berastagi, Need to take bus from Padang Bulan Bus Terminal. Where is this terminal located?2) Any cheap bus option from airport to this Padang Bulan terminal?
when you arrive at the airport, just walk out a bit to the PETRONAS (yes, our own petronas) station and flag down a BLUEBIRD taxi (it's a blue vios, so it's [retty obvious)
they airport taxis charge like hell. i got charged 45k just to go to my hotel. when i use a bluebird taxi, the charge was just 11k - and it's cleaner, more comfortable and newer car than the bloody 45k taxi ride.
and if you naik becak, haggle like mad. they see us tourist, they charge as much as they want. nevery pay more than 10k. if they don't want to reduce the price, just walk on to the next becak driver
becak is pretty fun though. lets you see the real side of medan. the raw traffic. or just pay the driver 50k and ask him to give you a 1-2 hour guided tour of medan (there's nothing to see in medan actually)
Added on December 19, 2011, 2:27 pm
quick rant: brastagi hotels are damn expensive...
just stay in the budget inns. it's more happening at night
i especially miss eating the super big kerang rebus and the yummy ikan bakar with super spicy sambal and clear vege brothThis post has been edited by lucifah: Dec 19 2011, 02:27 PM