Thursday, 13 July 2017

Medan trip – Prologue

After forfeiting the Central Europe trip, I was yearning for a break. I was glad that hubby suggested a short getaway as he's very busy nowadays and I have to accommodate to his schedules. 

Coincidentally, Silkair was offering 50% krisflyer mileage redemption for their flights. I decided on Medan as it's still in my bucket list. I have plan to travel on weekdays as hubby is busier on weekends but the weekdays morning flights are on waiting list. The earliest available flight departs on Friday so I proceed with the booking after hubby give the go ahead. The mileage required for a return economy flight is 7,500 miles plus $54.80 taxes. I did a quick calculation that the mile is worth $0.34, it's consider good for economy class mileage redemption as normal redemption is 15,000 miles which is only worth $0.17. After I have booked our tickets, hubby inform me that 2 of his friends will be joining us for this trip.

Medan is the capital of North Sumatra and is the fifth biggest city in Indonesia, behind Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and Bekasi. Medan is also the gateway to Lake Toba which is the largest volcanic lake in the world and 1,000 km² bigger than Singapore. The dry season is from May - September and the best month is May when the weather is a perfect degree of warmth. Lake Toba is extremely popular during the Chinese New Year and everything are marked up hence avoid it at all cost.
Map of Lake Toba (from Wikipedia)

Initially I planned to travel to Samosir island and stay there on the first night followed by 2 nights at Berastagi, I changed my plan after I saw the photos of Taman Simalem Resort. I decided to spend 4 days here as it offers a vintage view of Lake Toba. I shall leave Samosir island in the future as I read that the nearest Silangit Airport will be expanded and travelling time to Lake Toba will cut down to 1.5hr compared to the current 4hr from Medan Kualanamu International Airport.

Currently Taman Simalem Resort offer 3D/2N Pearl of Lake Toba package ~ S$270/ pax  which includes the following:
- return airport transfer
- 2 nights accommodation at Tongging Point Hotel or Waterfall Lodge
- Complimentary in-house Guest Activities
- Daily Breakfast & Dinner

In addition, the resort is able to offer 30% discount for the extension night ~ S$180/room/night which has the same inclusion as the 3D2N package.

Itinerary for this trip:
Day 1: Reach Medan @ 8am (GMT+7), Sipiso Piso
Day 2: R&R at Taman Simalem Resort
Day 3: R&R at Taman Simalem Resort
Day 4: Berastagi Fruit market, Taman Lumbini, Depart Medan @ 8pm (GMT+7)

Budget for this trip is S$560:
- S$360 for accommodation & transport
- S$100 for meals
- S$100 for massage & shopping


>>Day 1: 14 Jul 17