His official work part is Mon to Weds, but we flew in earlier on Sat for a little family holiday. For Day 2 (will write about Day 1 later) we chartered a taxi to Berastagi, a highland town about 2 hours away from Medan.
Berastagi is actually half way to Lake Toba, but we decided to give Lake Toba a miss cos there were lots of online reviews about very bad road conditions. Turned out to be a good decision - 2 hours was bearable (some parts of the road were just full of potholes! a horse could have gone faster than a car. but overall, not as bad as I feared), but 4 hours would have been a torture!
Some photos taken in Berastagi town -
View of the volcano
My princess and I
I loved the cool weather and the scenery!
There were plenty of horses for riding - either on horseback or in a carriage
Fixed pricing so we didn't have to negotiate
3 of us in a carriage
For our late lunch, hubby was a little worried that our stomachs couldn't handle the roadside stall food hygiene, so we asked the taxi driver to bring us to one of the nicer hotels.
Simple but tasty fried noodles and rice. (110,000 Rupiah, approx RM40). We sat out in the open so it was really nice
Blur photo of a fruit stall, taken from the moving taxi
The journey back from Berastagi to Medan took us almost 3 hours! There were more vehicles so that created a backlog at some parts of the road that which were full of potholes.
So, was the day trip worth it? Well, the journey back and forth was longer than the amount of time we actually spent in Berastagi itself. Also, travelling with my pregnant belly and a young child meant we had to miss some of the key highlights of the town such as trekking up to the volcano crater and trekking up to the hot springs.
But still no regrets cos we had an extra day to spare. The cool weather (almost like Cameron Highlands) and views were lovely. And it was indeed an eye opener to see the living conditions of the locals as we moved further and further away from Medan town. We also coudn't help thinking that the government could better develop tourism in Berastagi simply by improving the road conditions. After all, it's less than 70km away from Medan! Imagine spending 2-3 hours on the road for that short distance.