8/18/2013

Medan Medan - Day 3

Read about Day 2 here. 

Day 3
We'd breakfast buffet and watched the sun spread its rays over the lake. Too bad I didn't get to catch the sunrise! We took the boat ride back to Parapat; upon arriving, our guide informed that a bridge collapsed the night before, luckily the bridge is still accessible, else we'll have to go back the way we came, ie back up to Berastagi and down to Medan, instead of heading to Medan directly from Parapat. Whew! 

Our next stop was the Paten shop, owned by local Chinese selling a variety of snacks. The store provided sampling of all the products; after trying out a significant amount of snacks, I bought dodol and some biscuits. We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant but I was full so me and some friends bought light food from a convenience store nearby. Green bean ice-cream coated with chocolate tasted AMAZING. 
Sampling galore!
Typical panel entrance
Green bean ice cream
I like the panel design!
The bridge under repair

After 2 hrs ride -- honestly I'm not sure because I dozed off several times -- we arrived in Medan! The tour guide went around historical landmarks:
- Medan Raya Mosque
- GMI Gloria Church
- Tjong Afie Mansion - now a museum, previously home to a great Chinese Kapitan who developed Medan
- Tip Top restaurant: I would've liked to eat there *pout*
- PT PP London Sumatera building - plantation company from the colonial days
- Reservoir
- Bank of Indonesia
Masjid Raya
GMI Methodist Church
Glimpse into Tjong Afie Mansion
Tip Top restaurant
PT PP London Sumatera Building
Reservoir
Bank of Indonesia

Fun fact: Medan folk like to make announcements with colorful and flower-ful buntings for weddings, birthdays and even funerals. Buntings like below would be placed along the road so that everyone would know the latest happenings. 
Sun Plaza

The bus dropped us off at Sun Plaza mall and we're to meet in 3 hrs' time. Determined to have the famous Zulaikha layer cake, we asked for directions to and decided to walk there. The walk there was longer than the walk back (only 10 min) probably due to unfamiliarity with the roads and the landmarks. It was an interesting way to see the lifestyle of Medan folk and a truly enriching experience to walk about town without a tour guide! We found the mini factory and bought the cakes -- SUCCESS! Then we stopped to have Martabak Manis (similar to apam balik) and bought some batik products on the way back to the mall. We crossed the Virtuous Bridge, donated by the Tjong family in memory of Tjong Yong Han, brother to Tjong Afie.

Martabak manis couldn't last us the flight back to KL so we had dinner at Breeks Cafè in Sun Plaza. Service and ambience was good and the food was delicious! Then we got on the bus and arrived at the airport on time. The flight back was uneventful and I was back home around midnight. I've seen a lot of unique heritage in Medan and that's just a slice of Indonesia. There's a rugged beauty in the landscape that demands your respect and I believe if the infrastructure was better, we can access more and improve conservation efforts. Horas Horas Horas! 'Til next time, Indonesia! ;)

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