Sunday, September 18, 2011

From Kuala Lumpur to Medan and Danau Toba, and Everything in Between - Pt1

I just got back from Medan and Danau Toba, short holiday with my friends. Masya Allah... this island on island  is simply breathtaking! Don't you agree?

I bought the tickets on impulse on Jan 2011 because I was browsing around Air Asia's website out of boredom when I found a very great deal (RM16 return ticket per person,wtf?) to Medan. Then I tweeted about it and my friend quickly get hers too. Fast forward 9 month later... we are, reading (or pretend to read ;p) the Indonesian map, routing ourselves around North Sumatera.

Living proof that we actually just pretending. We got Supir to drive us around actually. :p
While I was there, I kept thinking that I should blog about the tips and whatnot on Medan (specifically Danau Toba) holiday because there are so many things that we are no aware of and couldn't get enough information from the net. ( or am I too dumb that I don't know how to google?). I won't share much about things to do because there are numerous website giving info about that, but more on little little things like how to behave at the airport, supir, timing, fares and others.

Anyway, let me start with the very beginning.


Our KUL-MES flight was scheduled on the 15th of September, 0740hrs. Well here's a little "interesting story" about our departure the other day. We nearly missed the flight! (0_o). We took SkyBus from KL central and we missed the the 5.30am bus and was forced to wait another 30 min for the next bus to depart. The journey took a solid 1 hour, it was already 7am when we reached LCCT! Thank God for mobile check in! We were a bit relax after we arrived at LCCT since the ticket showed 0710hrs departure time, so we off to perform our subuh 1st but boy oh boy apparently the departure time was 0700hrs! And the Air Asia staff gave a really good panic attack on us that we practically running towards gate T72 thinking that the whole flight was waiting for us. But actually, the plane was so far off the gate and our 400m dash deserves a gold medal in Olympic that we were among the earliest to board the plane. Such a drama. Haha. 

On the plane finally. BIG tips, don't fall asleep without finished packing or you end up in such a drama like us!

It took only 1 hour to reach Polonia Airport, Medan. But since we haven't had our breakfast yet and we were sort of really exhausted from the drama earlier we decided to buy breakfast on board. A freaking RM23 breakfast. But oh, I really have to mention this, Air Asia's Tandoori Wrap is the yummiest! We end up buying another 2 pack on our flight back to KL and I am drooling while typing this.

Touched down Polonia Airport on time, passed the immigration and horas! welcome to Medan.

A few tips on Polonia Airport:-
  • They don't mind photography. Snap while you can!
  • Upon exiting the airport, a lot of people will come to you offers taxi or even grabbing the bag from you. They will follow you although you said no. So if you want a cab, took a Blue Bird's cab because they charged based on meters so you won't get rip off. 
  • If you are going somewhere distance like Lake Toba and haven't make any arrangement yet, ask around 1st. Bus is the cheapest alternative but not advisable because it will take you longer time. If you travel in group take a supir in minivan (our case is Toyota Innova) instead. They charge Rp600k to Rp700k per car so the more people you travel with, the cheaper it will be). Bear in mind, if you take the minivan, you have to pay for their meal also. Normally there will be 1 stop for meal before you reach Lake Toba.
  • Whatever "hospitality" that they offer at the airport comes with a price. So pick up you own bags, check in and find the way yourself if don't want to end up paying them anything. You may say no but they will still help you and demand a fee in return. 
  • Airport tax is Rp75k per person that you can pay at the left side of the entrance door before you depart from Medan.
  • No bottled water is permitted at the waiting area. But they allow you to go in and out as you pleased and you may drink the water outside.
That's all about the airport. Will write about getting to Lake Toba in the next post.

Till then. :)