06 Mar - 09 Mar 2012 Medan

Republic of Indonesia
North Sumatra
1 Jalan Tengah
Small but adequate twin room (no. 402) with tiny private bathroom for only IDR 60,000.- or US$ 6.50 per night. From the hotel’s written rules and regulations: “ …unmarried couples are not allowed to sleep in the same room... “
Beer: 620-ml bottles of ice-cold Bintang beer (in deep-frozen glasses) for IDR 28,000.- or US$ 3.05 per bottle at the beer-garden like Corner Cafe Raya, conveniently located right opposite the Grand Mosque, from where we heretics could raise our glasses to the practitioners, cheers!

Click below for an interactive road map of the Residence Hotel in Medan and for directions:

Being rudely awakened at 04:30 a.m. by our first ever Sumatran, very powerful prayer call from the nearby Grand Mosque’s croaking amplifying equipment and exploring the vicinity of our hotel: (i) the 1906 CE Masjid Raya Al-Mashun, the Grand Mosque, the biggest and allegedly most beautiful mosque (built in Moorish style) in North Sumatra, and (ii) the 1888 CE Istana Sultan Maimun Al Rasyid aka the Maimoon Palace (entrance: IDR 5,000.- per person), a sloppily restored heritage site where gigantic Dutch tourists squeezed themselves into traditional Indonesian costumes in order to have their souvenir photo taken.

Buying for our laptop modem a Telkomsel Flash SIM card with unlimited not-so-broad band internet access for 30 days for altogether IDR 60,000.- or US$ 6.50, catching on-line up on some admin work (travel blog and photos) and enjoying tremendously regular Skype video conferences with friends and family.

Bracing ourselves for the monkey business of viewing orangutans in the Gunung Leuser National Park, one of these apes’ last remaining strongholds, leaving our luggage in the hotel in Medan, taking one of the battered yellow minibuses (angkot, no. 64) for IDR 4,000.- or US$ 0.45 per person to the Pinang Baris Bus Terminal, Medan’s long-distance bus station for north/west-bound busses, from here taking an even more battered Fa. Pemb. Semesta “big bus” to Bukit Lawang’s Gotong Royang bus station (90 km, 2 ¾ hours, IDR 15,000.- or US$ 1.65 per person) and walking thereafter for about 30 min to Mboy Guesthouse, located on the east bank of the Bohorok River aka Sungai Bohorok, almost right opposite the entrance to the Gunung Leuser National Park.

Click below for a summary of this year's travels
2012 Map Konni & Matt

Click below and see more Konni & Matt Pictures

Facing Sumatra
© Konni & Matt

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