Phuket, an island that has long been misunderstood. Of course the place has it's dark side but Phuket to me is delicious food, gorgeous beaches, beautiful culture and most importantly awesome people.This I can guarantee. Though i have been to Phuket before when I was still in college, I never had the feeling of having enough street food to eat. Hence my target for this trip was to get my hands on any street food I can find even if it means to eat a deep fried grasshopper.
Prefearble nearby Patong beach - main tourist attraction
booked our hotel via www.booking.com
TBH2,363 for 5 Nights
DAY 1: Arrival
Arrived Phuket by 11PM. Arrived hotel by midnight. Had a light dinner and off to bed for us. Air travel is taking its toll on me. *sigh*
Need more time to recover as i get older. *sighs again*
DAY 2 : Free & Easy
What to do in a new country first? FOOD. we should ALWAYS do food first! Tourist area by the beach? Of course we had to try the SEAFOOD first right?! *flips hair*
Right across our hotel was a wet market that provides a cafeteria on the 2nd floor for customers to cook their food freshly after getting their hands n fresh produce right on the level below.
We did not book any tours beforehand so we decided to roam around the area in the hopes to lookout for cheap tours.
What we did first was to hunt for food. GLORIOUS FOOD! We came across a wet market just across our hotel and YES! OMG the fresh seafood and fresh veggies and fruits!! Our mouth were salivating the moment we stepped into the building.
The market was divided into two levels. Ground level was the fresh market and first level was the dining area.
Going around the surrounding area was not a bad idea for food hunting as well. So we found Banzaan Food Market – Fresh Seafood Galore!! RIGHT AT OUR DOORSTEP! literally! The seafood was fresh and cheaper (slightly) compared to Malaysia!!
By the end of the day we managed to get a hold of two full days of island hopping (TBH 2,200/pax) and half day of Phuket tour (TBH 1000/pax). Total tour for the whole trip: TBH3,200/pax approx RM320/pax! A steal i tell you! and a lot of brown nosing!
DAY 3: Island Hopping- Phi Phi Island
Day 3. It feels like such a long time have been spent in Phuket. TIRED af.
Pickup at Hotel was early in the morning. The jetty was on the other side of town so it took us approximately 30mins to get there from Patong Beach area.
Pleasantly, the transport was a comfortable air-conditioned 10-seater so YAY!
The boat ride takes up around 1 hour from the main island so get ready for a long ride! Sunblock? Shades? Seasick pills? Please do all these! (eat your seasick pills! Even I got seasick for someone who claim to often get boat rides for diving trips)
DAY 4 : City Tour (Half Day)
DAY 5: Island Tour - James Bond Island
DAY 6: Last Day - Souvenirs
Souvenirs? Booked our flight back to Kuala Lumpur on the last flight, giving us ample time to roam around one last time around the vicinity to get last minute bargained trinkets, gifts, selfies, food tasting session we might have missed throughout the journey.
We decided to get to the airport via Grab which was at only (TBH 710) for an hour ++ drive
Introducing my first backpacking trip way back in 2014.
I decided to go for Medan because it was the safest in terms of ;
Accommodations were all booked through www.booking.com
A very reliable site with promotion deals and hostel/homestay/hotel choices
Medan (City Center) - 1 night
When in Medan, NEVER MISS OUT on the chance to get a cup of ALPUKAT, also known as Avocada Shake.
It is cheap and it is EVERYWHERE.
The sweet, thick texture of the shake brought me to a near gastronomical orgasm.
Then again, a lot of great food does that to me. lol. I have an awesome relationship with food.
Food in Medan were distinctively more or less like Malaysians. Besides that, there were loads of Indonesian cuisine back in Malaysia, so we 'd like to think we did not miss as much. However, it was said that when in Indonesia in general, one should not miss out on Nasi Padang
Nasi Padang is basically steamed rice served with various pre-cooked dishes.
Similar to the Malaysian Nasi Campur, literally meaning mixed rice.
A night in the city gave us the time to explore the area on foot. There was not much to see and the nearest attraction was only available by car or becak.
The plan was to visit the Graha Maria Anna Velangkanni that was within the city area.
But having been arriving Medan late in the evening, we decided to settle in and just explore the neighboring area on foot for pictures and food hunting.
Danau Toba (Lake Toba) - 2 nights
Parapat is about 4 hr by car from Medan or 4-6 hr by public bus. As mentioned, the locals here advice tourists and backpackers alike to travel by car instead of public buses as the buses can get a little crowded and uncomfortable for a long period of time.
Another great way to get to Lake Toba is by train. Two trains leave each day in that direction and you want to get off either at Pematang Siantar or Tebing Tinggi.
If you want to get to the train directly from Medan airport, get a taxi or becak, and tell them or write Lapangan Merdeka and Setasiun Kereta Api Medan. By taxi, it's about an hour and a half ride to the train station
However, our starting point was from the the city itself and not the airport (airport is about 45 minutes away from the city center). For convenience, we decided to rent a 7 seater MPV along with a Batak couple RP 110 K/pax and pick up is done at your hotel's doorstep! :)
We were stopped at Parapat, the station where all were stopped at in order to get a ferry across the magnificient Lake Toba to the vast accommodation made available for tourist on Samosir Island.
We went during the monsoon season so there wasn't as much tourist on the island.
On a side not, Medan itself may be as cold as Malaysia could get but mind you, Lake Toba can get very cold at night! Especially during the wet seasons.
We arrived on the island late in the evening (yet again) so we decide to settle in and relax, take our dinner in the guesthouse's bar and sleep for the night.
The very next day, we woke up early, took our breakfast and decided to bike around the island (Tuk Tuk area only) to explore. All we had to do was to rent the house bikes.
Little did we know biking was a deliriously super hard job even when our rented bikes had gears. We did not train for this! What with the hilly roads on the island, our legs grew tired and i felt as if my bum was literally about to come off. (DOWNHILL roads were awesome!) Great leg day though!!
When attempting to bike around the island, make sure to have your breakfast or else you'll be in BIG trouble!
We managed a gruesome 9 hours bike ride, approximately 20 km with short breaks in between as for sight seeing and decided to turn back. We were sore from the waist down!!
I hope that did something for my glutes.
A cushioned chair or bed was heaven for the remaining trip.lol
We decided to stop at one of the island's attraction: Huta Siallagan literally meaning Siallagan Kingdom/Village/Settlement or also known as King Siallagan's Stone Chair.
Known in Bahasa Indonesia as Kerusi Persidangan. These relics are as real as it gets and is well maintained since it's birth some 700 years ago. Kerusi Persidangan or literally meaning Court Chairs, are used by the Batak ancestors to held court sessions under the rein of His Majesty the King of Siallagan.
Besides the chairs, visitors are able to see traditional Batak houses as well. One of these house had been turned into a museum regarding the village and Batak cultures
The entrance to Huta Siallagan is marked by a giant guard stone statue known as Pangulubalang. The statue is said to serve as a guardian to ward off evil spirits.
Visitors are to enter the settlement from its southwest entrance and exit from the east gate having to walk through vast stalls that sells souvenirs inside the settlement.
For those who are not interested or cycle around the island. There is always to option to rent a motorcycle or hire a car to bring you around. Just ask your friendly hotel receptionist. :)
The island's road are pretty easy to navigate and you will never get lost as the main road goes around the island in huge circle!
BTW, remember to bring a poncho during wet seasons as it poured down quite a bit when we went over.
(May it be on and off)
On the way back we decided to stop for souvenirs and snacks at a nearby village and market in Tomok.
As for meals, the pricing on the island are rather affordable as most food available are not fancy and are very limited for my taste. Great for a budget trip!
The island seems to be a big fan of banana pancake. I see banana pancakes on menus everywhere!
By this time our legs are almost numb considering how tired we were from the cycling. Unfortunately for us as there were still loads of attractions in the area we did not get to see. So, we decided to head back and be done for the day.
Before heading back to the room, we decided to by a local library out of curiosity.
For book lovers out there, the island have libraries too!! Books from these libraries are from travelers alike that exchanged their books for new ones or have donated their books to the management. There was one just next to our guesthouse!
For book lovers like me, I recommend you go find yourself a library nearby when visiting the island
After an awfully good night sleep, we woke up early the next morning to catch the early morning ferry to Parapat .
Make sure to ask your friend hotel staff or receptionist regarding the timing of the ferry pick up. There is no appointment whatsoever to get on the ferry. All you have to do is wait at the exact same spot they leave you at the beginning of your stay in Tuk Tuk. As some hotels or accommodation does not have a jetty but rather a small cemented area also used as a sun bathing area. Which got us confused as to how the ferry crews would know if we were waiting for them to pick us up. (you can wave if you want when you see the ferry but we didn't. I guess they just knew because we brought our bags along with us)
Here a link of an idea on what to do on the island:
Things to do on Lake Toba
Berastagi - 1 night
Parapat to Brastagi took over 1.5 to 2 hours drive(without traffic). Plus, if you are lucky, your driver would stop at certain spots for pictures.
Locals go to Berastagi mainly for the weather. Nice, cold and misty when need be.
However our trip to the upper hills of Berastagi was rather disappointing and tiring.
Unfortunately for us, the car that we rented decided to give out on it's gear box and we had to skip the famous Sepiso Piso waterfall because we wouldn't make it in time if we stopped by.
We safely but again arrived very late in the evening at our hotel. Lucky us :(
As for our last day in Indonesia, we decided to go a bit grand as there was a promotion on booking.com for a hotel 5 star hotel. Why not?!
But sadly because of car trouble, we arrived very late in Berastagi and could not make any time to go around.
What we thought a 1.5 to 2 hour drive turned into a 6 hour drive (traffic and car problem). T.T
So, we yet again decided to just explore nearby area by foot. Good thing our hotel had a beautiful landscape though.
The hotel we stayed in apparently was one of the best in Berastagi and it also had a theme park attached but was closed the very day we came over. Such luck :(
The area around our hotel was rather disappointing. I was hoping for a mountain view of something like that but rather was blocked by rows of nonuniform buildings and residential areas.
The cold temperature in the area compensated for the lack of attractiveness of the place After a long, tiring, disappointing day, we decided to have a non-Indonesian dinner at the hotel restaurant as I was craving for a burger real bad. I deserved one from what I've been through!
We googled how long would it take o drive from Berastagi to Kuala Namu Airport.
It says 1 hour and 56 minutes as it is only 91.5 km away from each other.
We did our trip in 4 hours!! TRAFFIC!
Good thing our flight was at 5 PM and we took early precautions to ask the locals and booked our taxi the day before.
Before heading back to Medan however, our taxi driver was kind enough to bring us around and gave us the surprise by bringing us to the Golden Temple of Berastagi after listening to a rather lengthy complaints from us regarding our lack of visits to attractions in the area due to terrible planning and bad lucks.
Pak Bangun, thank you for the kind gesture!
We arrived the airport safely and even had time to spare for our last sip of Alpukat before we head back to Malaysia for good.
Due to terrible planning and a series of unfortunate events, we did not manage to do alot of thiings and explore Medan, lake Toba and Berastagi to it's full potential.
However sad and under luck that may be, for those interested, I linked a set of things that one can TRY to do when in Berastagi.
Here a link of an idea on what to do in Berastagi:
Things to do in Berastagi
Flight ticket round trip- MYR 189- (Airasia)
1st Day - Kuala Lumpur - Medan (Kuala Namu Airport) - City Centre
Accommodation- RP 125k
Dinner- RP 43k
Taxi to Parapat - Rp 110k
Becha+tip - Rp 60k ( i think we got conned lol)
Train (Kaula Namu Airport to Medan town) - Rp 60k
TOTAL = Rp 408.05k = MYR 110.69
2ND Day- City Centre - Parapat - Samosir Island
As of Sep 2012, there is only one Cirrus/MasterCard ATM on the island (at the white beach entrance) so you should get enough cash at Parapat before crossing the lake to the island. This ATM DOES NOT ACCEPT VISA Cards. So please ensure you take sufficient cash from the many ATMs in Parapat before you come to Samosir.
Drink - Rp 8k
Lunch - Rp 23k
Accommodation - Rp 200k
Ferry trip (Parapat - Lekjon) - Rp10k
Taxi to Berastagi - Rp120k
Dinner - Rp 30k
TOTAL = Rp 391k = MYR 106.06
3RD Day - Samosir Island
Bicycle Rental - Rp 80k
Huta Siallagan (Stonechair) entry - Rp 3k
Lunch - Rp 22k
Dinner -Rp 41k
TOTAL = Rp 146k = MYR 39.60
4TH Day - Samosir Island - Parapat - Berastagi
Breakfast - Rp 2k
Snacks -Rp 9.5k
Ferry (Lukjon to Parapat) - Rp10k
Lunch - Rp22.5k
Bellboy tip- Rp 10k
Tea time- Rp 21k
Accommodation - Rp150k
Dinner- Rp 27k
TOTAL =Rp 252k = MYR 68.36
5TH Day Berastagi - Medan (Kuala Namu Airport) - Kuala Lumpur
Free Buffet Breakfast
Lunch (Alpukat drink) = Rp30k
Airport taxi (Brastagi to Kuala Namu Airport) - Rp 250k
Airport Tax (Interaional) - Rp 200k
TOTAL = Rp 480k = MYR 130.20
GRAND TOTAL EXPENSES = RM 643.91 approx $ 182USD
all include transportation, flight, food and sightseeing!
Though personally i think the itinerary was not properly planned, hence the trip was mostly wasted on travelling on the road (TRAFFIC JAM plus the roads are mostly single lanes and not smooth
"Jelatong" Floating House
The Bakun Dam is an embankment located in Sarawak, in between the two towns of Miri and Bintulu. The Bakun Dam was built over the Balui River a tributary or source of the Rajang River and some sixty kilometres west of Belaga.
The residents in the area preferably speaks in a few languages, mainly kayan, iban and malay.
The Bakun Dam was built over the homes of the local kayan dwellers in the area and most are forced to moved to the nearby villages of Belaga.
However, there are still a few families who decided to stay. Hence, the floating houses that now exists throughout the embankment.
Taking advantage of the situation, owners of floating houses in the area offers home stay programmes to tourists and fishing fanatics and or enthusiasts who wish to visit the embankment.
Visitors who are lucky, will be overjoyed with the massive amount of catch that one can get with just a measly throw of the fishing net.
NO SKILL NEEDED. 100% FISH GUARANTEED
One just need to know WHEN and WHERE to go. (with the help of our hosts
We were lucky to have an incredibly friendly family host to bring us to the right spots to fish. Probably we speak the same language. Bias-ness a bit there.
Though we were able to fish all we want with unlimited fishes right at our fingertips, the weather decided to intervene by pouring down quite a bit - which was bad.
Those of you who have not explore the rivers of the Borneon jungle, little rain may mean nothing to you.
Luckily, I went with fellow veterans of such situation. As I have experienced, Rain means high possibility of a flash flood specially in a small river.
As the water level of the river increases rapidly, we managed to escape safely (before actually was in risk of being capsized as the boat's engine decided to stall a minute or two) back to the house without harm. The tranquility that the place offers were incredible! Stressed? This is the place for you!
Ravishing isn't she?
The sunsets in Goa was absolute magical! Accompanied by the taxi driver's chosen local Ballad playing on the radio and the cold air flowing out of the old air conditioning of the car, I actually felt like i was in one of their many movies. We drove in silence for a while, swallowing the fact that we had actually landed in India. Never had we ever considered even the slightest that a trip to India to happen so fast. but here we are. Impromptu as we will ever be. We bought our flight tickets the week before and our hotels just the day before. Planning? - None. We were going to wing it.
So I've finally stepped into Indian territory. I did this trip right after I got the news that I was to report duty for my job in Brunei. So I guess this was my celebratory trip. Though some may not favor going for a trip to India over their other equally notable neighboring Asian countries, I for one say, if one never tried, one will never know!
Scintillating with Portuguese culture whilst still perforated with the traditional Goan culture, Goa will be a unique trip to make by itself and will be remembered till the end of your days.
Goa, known as "Rome of the East" to some, houses many interesting and delectable cultures, architectural uniqueness, food, night life, shopping avenues and many more.
Matching up to it's nickname, Goa, accommodates many churches, museums, government buildings with unique Portuguese-Indian influences that clearly shows that this part of India long ago had been a prime settlement of citizens from another land.
People in general would not think traveling to India would be a place for luxury traveling. True. In my opinion, traveling to India, being that I'm not at all an Indian of origin or ancestral background, traveling to India will also mean to learn and experience a place a new perspective. This experience is rather different then all my other travel logs for obvious reasons. The locals this time would obviously know I'm not from the area! I can't blend in!
You see, my family and I had always been in the minority category (even back home). But at home, we could still blend in because we look the same with everyone else in general ( unless you know my full name and my ethnicity). But however different I was, every local I met was nice enough to make me feel welcome.
Accommodations as usual was booked through: www.booking.com
The view outside the hotel - a quaint little neighborhood with very friendly people too. We choose a hotel in DonaPaula area, PANJIM for easier commute between the North and South and the Airport transfer. I decided to book the accommodation in the heart of Goa itself, Panjim! one of the Party Zones in Goa. (unfortunately we went during off season- so no party for me *sobs*)
Transportation fees here are considered cheap comparing it to the fees we have in Malaysia. Transportation here: Tuktuk/buses/private cars/Taxis
Please refer to your lovely hotel receptionist for price inquiries and places to go to
Places to do and Things to do
Sunset Boat Cruise
I went for two boat cruises during this trip. This Cruise in particular highlights and introduces tourists to the filming site of many previous famous Indian Cinematic Industry ( Though most f the narration was done in Tamil/Hindi - i got the hints of a few famous movie names made here in Goa)
A plus side though- i get to experience real life Hindustani dances like in the movies! LOL.
They really do dance everywhere ( or maybe it was just that particular group)
LOOKS PRETTY but in reality the Church compound area was not kept clean- saw rubbish by the sides and weeds growing around the Church walls and grounds. Fortunately the insides of the church was kept clean.
local beach in my area - just 5 minutes drive away from the hotel - scorching hot however
DONA PAULA JETTY
Went to one of Filming site for Diwale :) (i didn't know then ) it was nearby my hotel- so we decided to walk from our hotel to this Dona Paula Jetty just for the fun of it.
or also known as Velha Goa located in the North of Goa - was built by the then existing government serving as the capital of the city (Portuguese India) in the 16th century until it was abandoned in the 18th century because of a plague.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus
Bishop's Palace & Se Cathedral
Tourists have the option to take a bath with the Resident Elephants for a price ( i personally do not agree to keeping elephants and resident anything and rather they be released wild and free)
DAY ONE: CITY TOUR
1200 INDIAN RUPEES (DRIVER&CAR)
DAY TWO : NORTH GOA TOUR
1600 INDIAN RUPEES (DRIVER&CAR)
DAY THREE : SOUTH GOA TOUR
1800 INDIAN RUPEES (DRIVER&CAR)
DAY FOUR : FREE & EASY
2000 INDIAN RUPEES (DRIVER & CAR)
On the last day we decided to take it a little easy on the touring and booked a driver just to shop in Mapusa Market and around the vicinity.
Famous for being a huge market that sells everything from fruits and vegetables to things like watches, clothings and kitchen utensils. Be careful however, especially someone who does not look Indian at all- you'll be targeted by vendors by selling their items at a hefty price. Be smart about it - strongly and politely turn it down and walk away or make sure you get the best discounts you can get (exm: from 800 rupess to 200 rupees) - the usually up their prices by 200% minimum from the original prices.
However- when buy sarees/shawls/kitchen utensils - i can guarantee it is the best of quality! so i didn't mind at all when i bought a Kashmiri Shawl for RM80/piece
Saree we found has the price rage starting from RM189/set - i bet there were better prices set a other places- we didnt have much time to explore around to look or sarees since it wasn't in our itinerary in the first place. This was impromptu. I mean, WHEN EXACTLY AM I GOING TO USE A SAREE ANYWAY?? but being a girl that I am. I SIMPLY CANNOT RESIST!
OTHER TRIP OPTIONS : HINDERLAND TOUR
(ONLY DURING MONSOON SEASON)
BORACAY, PHILIPPINES!!- ASIA's very own Hawaii!!
(some opinions may differ)
Yet again, like all my usual trips, this trip was not planned very well in terms of cost in airplane tickets. lol #impromptutraveller
However, as a warning, traveling to Boracay should only be limited to a few days as they aren't any activities that can be done without it seemingly repetitive. Beach, alcohol, food,beach, alcohol, food. Of course for the more adventurous travelers the activities thcan be done are very much wider then other normal travelers or travelers on a budget.
I for one do not regret this, as Boracay was a breath of fresh air and was very welcoming, enough to de-stress from thinking over past expensive flights purchases.
On my first sight of Boracay's famous white sandy beach, I remember feeling my heart dropped. Everything was on super filter mode, my only regret was I didn't have a good camera back then to capture the beauty for me to bring back home. Besides, one would have a sense of gratefulness to the Lord himself for giving one the chance to experience such beauty. i promise.
Especially for travelers on a budget as EVERYTHING and I repeat EVERYTHING in Boracay is expensive! (unless you are local or unless you can pull off being local or unless you can charm your way through a discount) COCONUT= 100 pesos appox RM8! WTF!
But then again, tourists can't stop coming here albeit the extortion of product prices. I suggest travelers to not purchase unnecessary things. An unlike any many Asian cultures, Boracay services expect tips. (ONLY 20 PESOS AND ABOVE ARE ACCEPTED PER SERVICE, IF NOT THEY WILL DECLINE THE TIP).
I blame western tourists who spoil them with tips.
How do we get there??
In general, Boracay Island itself does not have an airport. The only available airport is on the Panay Island -Godofredo P.Ramos Airport for domestic flights and Kalibo International Airport for international flights.
I am a Mirian by locality, so it was wiser and cheaper for me to fly from Miri - Kota Kinabalu via Airasia, then continue on from Kota Kinabalu-Manila- Caticlan via Cebu Airlines.
However, Airasia recently released flights enroute to Boracay via Kuala Lumpur 2 years ago. But the flight lands in Kalibo Airport instead. 1-2 hours tops (by bus) away from the jetty towards Boracay -more travel time
Plus the Philiphines are right above the SabahSararwak region, so why the need to reverse all the way to KL, when I'm already half way there, right?
*Godofredo P. Ramos Airport aka Caticlan Airport
EXPRESS FROM THE MAIN LAND TO THE ISLAND
On arriving the main island, there will be taxis/buses/private cars/ motorized tricycles (something like tuktuk) available to rent towards Caticlan Jetty Port. From Caticlan Airport, it only take a while - few minutes tops towards the jetty. Your destination of interest will be CAGBAN JETTY PORT or TAMBISAN JETTY PORT (Depending on weather) - Both port are on the same island-no worries.
Upon arrival at Caticlan Jetty Port, passengers will need to get 3 different types of ticket. I know its weird.
3. Ferry/Transporation Fee (OF CHOICE- Bangkas or A Ferry)
One thing about Boracay though, sure the beaches are a wonderfully orgasmic sight for the eyes, sure the seawater is great, BUT WHEN A PLACE GETS CROWDED ENOUGH TO THE POINT OF ANNOYANCE, IT JUST ISN'T AS GOOD ANYMORE. - but like i said, i didn't regret coming here. Any experience bad or good is much welcomed in my book.
I did manage however to sneak in a few shots before every human on the island decides to barge onto the beach or into my image view.
Early morning on the beach-the only time when its pretty enough to look like all the googled pictures i found.
We also apparently went during monsoon season and was NOT the critical season for tourists to fly over here.
The beaches are no doubt on super filter mode all the time but the tremendous amount of people on it makes the experience taking pictures and being at the beach altogether not very good. :(
A market that sells almost everything a tourist would want to use/eat/drink/wear/give away when abroad in someone else's country. Basically, its a market that's meant for tourists. (then again, all of Boracay is meant to attract tourists in general) And in it, there was a fish market.
This is by far the only FISH MARKET that I actually had fun shopping at.
All the exotic seafood/sea animals. MAIGAD. - most I never seen or heard.
Colorful beyond imagination~ I was doubtful half of the time about weather if any of it were edible
D'mall - Center of Boracay
The center of Boracay- the only open air mall on the island. It was pretty refreshing experience as this was the first open air mall concept that i went to. More like a congregation of stall, with an expensive rentals i bet. There's even a Ferris wheel in the the middle of the stalls
Sail Boating - Bangkas
This I recommend highly! Best experience EVER
2 pax on both sides! We took the package that gives us an all around the island trip and got to experience and see how blue and clear the ocean is up close! Magnificent!
However, if this is not for you, you could always opt for a beach hopping sesh in a bigger more stable boat. But where's the fun in that?!
Beach Hopping Sesh- one beach after another and all were super blue and mind blowing.
Rainbow Shots on the House!!
Nightlife in Boracay, holds one of the best beach nightlife in the world- as googled. Fun activities, performances, food, and drinks are all equally unique and never seem to surprise me every night that i stayed here.
However, being the semi introverted person that i am, i got sick of all the discounted seafood buffets, colorful shots, mind-blowing street performances in just a mere 3 days of not stop partying. I needed my quiet time.
But hey, those who LOVE to party, party yourself to the brim and hard! This is the best place for you!
On the first night, i got my rainbow shots on the house cause i told the bartender it was my first night here.
Well, the bartender also happens to be the owner- so free shots it is! :)
Those who love to shop: Feast your eyes on this!
Throughout the sides of the beach, stalls upon stalls will line up for all to browse at their convenient time - just make sure you know how to bargain your way to a decent price
so shopping can be done here till the wee hours of the morning!
Braiding service available- if you're into that kinda of thing.
One of the few views while having dinner <3
Swimming here in my opinion is the best part of Boracay. These chilled seawater is the best after a whole day in the hot sun- whether you were sun tanning or just plain warm, a jump in the ocean will ease you immediately.
And i'm someone who does not easily jump at the idea to swim in the sea- unless it's the deep sea (some weird nonsensical hygienic issue)
Unfortunately, after three days of our arrival on the Island, The sea became infested with thick , mucky, light greenish algae. It wasn't poisonous or anything, but the sight of these fungus sticking to your hair or random parts of you body just doesn't tickle my bones.
Plus- remember i had the hygiene issue? with being all the sewerage goes to the sea and all *sewerage water may have been treated before going to the sea but still, my imagination can run wild-eg: mutated body parts & etc*
so..These were the few things i manage to do. However, upon googling things to do in Boracay-one can actually do a whole more activities when in the Philippines. you just need to think out of the box!
I recommend you ask your friendly hotel receptionist or better yet Uncle Google!
Unless you're into winging things like me :)
To end this post, here's another pretty sunset i manage to take before a crowd of humans decided to pass in front of my camera. :)
So here goes my trip back to Medan yet again - this time for NEW YEARS with the family!
Celebrating New Years in Medan (Lake Toba) is a thing with the locals here, so decided to see what its all about!
Notice that in all my pictures - some of us will be wearing something warm?
Weather in Lake Toba and Berastagi will be in the range of sweater weather or 3 pieces of warm jacket weather (at night usually)
So I recommend you bring your sweater or a hoodie and loads of warm socks to keep warm.
My cousin and I wore warm clothes only at night cause it can get quite chilly after the warmth of the sun goes away.
Day 1: Arrival in Medan
Medan– Samosir island / 4 hrs drive + 1 hr ferry
Arrive at Kuala Namu International airport early in the morning and went straight to Medan City for brunch before our journey straight to Lake Toba, Samosir Island. It took 4 hours of my life and another hour extra for the ferry to cross from Parapat over to the island.
FACT: This small island is located in the middle of Lake Toba, the caldera lake of the Toba Volcano, which was formed over 75,000 years ago.
Overnight stay in Toledo Inn on Samosir island
Day 2: Samosir island Tour
Today you will spend a full day exploring Lake Toba and Samosir island by car. Visit Ambarita whose villagers are known for making chairs and tables out of stone and which was the infamous execution place of the Siallagan Kings. Stop at Simanindo where you’ll be treated to a performance of Batak Toba traditional dance called Tor-Torand visit the fascinating museum.
Continue to Tomok to see the tombs of former Sidabutar Kings. Along on this trip you may have the time to stop ata local school to see the activities of young children and visit the village where the people make traditional hand weaving.
The rest is your own program.
Day 3: New Year's Eve
Day 4: Lake Toba - Brastagi
4 hours drive & 1 hour ferry
In the morning you cross the lake by ferry to Parapat from where you drive to Brastagi, a mountain resort with its refreshing weather and magnificent mountain scenery which has an abundance of flowers, vegetables and fruits (most famous of which is the “Marquise” passion fruit).
Stop will be made Simarjarunjung, a highest point to views the fantastic of Lake Toba. Next stop will be made at the village of Pematang Purba. Here you still be able to observe the long house constructed on pile works about two centuries ago and was known as the dwelling of the ancient Batak Simalungun Kings. Other stop to see the 120 meter Sipiso-piso waterfall which is located in the Batak highlands, the beautiful fall is formed by a underground river that then plunges from a cave into Lake Toba caldera. Last stop before Brastagi is at Dokan, a traditional Batak’s Karo village. In the afternoon arrive in Brastagi, here you can visit the famous fruits market and views two active volcanoes, Sinabung and Sibayak.
Overnight stay in hotel Sinabung
Day 5: Brastagi - Medan
1,5- 2 hrs drive
In the morning is free program until you drive back to Medan (late afternoon) through winding route and mountain village of Brastagi. If time is available, today you can do a city tour of Medan visiting Maimoon palace, Grand Mosque, Chinese temple and remaining old architecture buildings.
Overnight stay in hotel Aryaduta
Day 6: Trip Ends
The trip from the hotel to the airport took us about an hour. Today you will be transferred to the airport for catch your flight to next destination. End of your trip through us.
This trip is a wee bit better as it was with the family. So it had to be plan properly to not waste time (or suffer being nagged by the parents). Financial wise, is much more expensive compared to the earlier one but so worth it!