For My Aunt

Next week, my aunt will  have a surgery in Singapore. I hope everything is going to be okay and she will be well soon. 

I am sorry I could not go there, so I made this for you. :) This is a picture of pear blossoms. It means health and hope. 


#5. Samosir Island - Tomb of Sidabutar Kings and Sigale-gale

(My Travel Series)
August 2010
Day 2

In the middle of toba Lake there is an island named Samosir. An island inside another island, interesting, isn't it. According to some blogs that I read, there are four ways to reach Samosir but the most popular route is the one that I tried.

My family and I went to Ajibata Port in Prapat to take a ferry. Along with our car we crossed the lake and arrived in Tomok, Samosir in about 45 minutes. Tomok in local language means fat. I thought it is an odd name for a place. 

After we arrived at Samosir we left the car and walked to the tomb of Sidabutar Kings. There was a man here who explained us the legend about this place. I honestly didn't remember any of the story except for it was from a long long time ago before a christian missionary arrived at this island. Now, most of people here are Christian and they no longer had the same belief as Sidabutar Kings. 

 The ancient stone statues, furniture and tomb that made me remember my sister who studied archaeology.  
I think all the stone had some color when they made it.

Then, the "tour guide" took us to another place near the tomb to see sigale-gale puppet. He said in the old days, this puppet can dance by itself for seven days because of some mystical power. I think sigale-gale is so scary, especially the eyes. 

Near the sigale-gale there were some traditional houses which I think very interesting. Some of them are full colored but I like the plain houses better. 

After we finished 'the tour' we went back to our car. On the way there, we passed some souvenir shops. The seller offered their products in a very loud voice that made my heart skip a beat because I felt like being scolded. I know they did not mean to look angry, it was just the way they speak, but I didn't used to it yet. Hehe. 

Because there are more stories to tell I will write the tips and conclusion in the next post.

*Photos by Lala, Edited by me


#4. Tanah Karo - Sipiso-piso Waterfall and the Mesmerizing Lake Toba

(My Travel Series)
August 2010
North Sumatra Trip
Day 2

Remember my story about the mystical lake Toba? It is amazing how thing can looks very different. Today, the lake looked gorgeous thanks to the nice weather. The view of the lake took my breath away! I am very grateful we have this amazing lake in Indonesia and I got a chance to see it.

Beside the mesmerizing lake Toba, my family and I also visited Sipiso-piso waterfall located near the lake. We had to walk to see the view in its best angle, but it was totally worth it. When I was standing in the pavilion I could see the pretty waterfall on my right and the beautiful lake on the left. I could not ask for more.

My sister who took all the previous photos except for this one. 

Tips and Conclusion

- You can walk to the waterfall but it is quite far. If you are too lazy or not fit, you better walk until the pavilion and enjoy the view.

- Go to this link if you want to know how to visit this place by public transportation. The article is in Bahasa Indonesia. Use Google translate or ask me if you don't understand. Hehe.

- Even though Sipiso-piso waterfall is a popular tourist destination, but the souvenir here are not well-designed.

*Photos by Lala

Next      >> #5. Samosir Island - Tomb of Sidabutar Kings and Sigale-gale
Previous >> #3. Berastagi - Soekarno's Exile House


Currently Snacking on: Durian Pancake

I am not a durian-lover but not a durian-hater either. I more like social-durian-eater (like social-drinker). I only eat durian when other people eat it, so I won't miss the fun part. Hehe.

Couple months ago, my mom gave me a durian pancake from Bandung. I just ate tiny bit of it because there was only few pancakes with many people who love to taste it. It did not leave me with any impression because i ate too little.

Last weekend, Bi and I went to Bandung and he bought the pancakes. This time I get a whole pancake just for myself. It was delicious! I felt surprised. I like durian pancake more than durian itself. My sister also said the same thing. 

This pancake is not only taste good for people like me but also for the durian-addict like my mom and my husband. They love it too.

Tips and Conclusion

- We bought these pancakes via BBM. They delivered it to our location in Bandung.

- If you live in Jakarta, you can buy this kind of pancake in All Fresh. But, according to my grandma, the durian pancake from Bandung taste better. 

- Keep in refrigerator. It also taste better when cold. 


Happy Birthday Ibu

Setelah berhasil nulis beberapa tulisan pake bahasa inggris sekarang ganti bahasa Indonesia dulu ya. Capek mikir. Haha.

Hari kartini kemarin, ibunya Bi aka suami saya ulang tahun. Nah, berhubung keinginan gambar-menggambar lagi tinggi, jadilah saya bikin kartu ucapan sendiri. Gambarnya ngikutin profile picture facebook-nya ibu. Mukanya si jelas ga mirip, tapi bajunya lumayan mirip koo.. Hehe.

Niatnya mau nge-print sendiri di rumah, tapi printer saya lagi rusak. Akhirnya minta tolong jasa digital printing deket rumah. Karena di sana minimal ngeprint ukuran A3 jadinya kartunya jadi empat buah, kelebihan tiga. Ada yang mau? Kali aja ada ibunya yang mirip-mirip gini juga tampilannya.. hehe.

Btw, "Happy Birthday Ibu! Semoga sehat selalu dan semakin disayang Allah.."
"Selamat hari Kartini semuanya.. :)"


#3. Berastagi - Soekarno's Exile House

(My Travel Series)
August 2010
North Sumatra Trip
Day 2

Today was my second day in North Sumatra. Yesterday, after we saw the lake Toba for the first time, my family and I continued the journey and stayed over in Berastagi.

We stayed in a very special house. It was the same house where Soekarno, the first president of Indonesia, stayed when he was in Exile by the Dutch in 1948. He only lived in this house for 12 days before he was moved to Prapat for some safety reason. 

Early in the morning, I followed my sister and my dad to go outside. We arrived at night so this was the first time we were able to see the house. My sister took some pictures while I was busy seeing the surrounding area. Here some pictures that she took:

It was cold outside because Berastagi is in the mountain, so we went back into the house. I enjoyed the morning by reading a book, my sister played with her camera and took some pictures, while my parents had conversation with their friends. I love cool weather!

The living room. Too bad we didn't took any pictures in the other rooms

My sister with mini Soekarno inside the house

Time to take a bath and prepare to continue the trip to the lake toba. It was a really hard thing to do because the water was as cold as an ice. I could not believe Soekarno had to take a bath with this freezing water for 12 days... hehehe

Tips and Conclusion

- I do not really know how we could stay in this house, because I do not think it was open for public. I guess  if you know someone here and the house is not being used by government you can stay here. I guess.

- If you love history you should stay here. You can sleep in the bed that Soekarno used 65 years ago and try to imagine how he felt.

- Do not forget to bring the jacket.

*Photo by Lala, edited by me

Next       >> #4. Tanah Karo - Sipiso-piso Waterfall and the Mesmerizing Lake Toba
Previous >> #2. Sidikalang - Taman Simalem Resort and Mystical Lake Toba 


#2. Sidikalang - Taman Simalem Resort and The Mystical Lake Toba

 (My Travel Series)
August 2010
North Sumatra Trip
Day 1

After visiting Maimun Palace, my family and I left Medan and continued the trip to the famous Lake Toba. The lake is extremely huge and surrounded by mountains. There are many places to see the lake's beauty from above.

One of the best spot, according to my mom's friend, is some place called Taman Simalem Resort. It was a huge resort, about 200 hectares, located near Berastagi. Besides the view to the lake, this place offers wide ranging facilities, like flower nursery, golf court, Buddhist temple and many more. I am not going to write it all because they have too many facilities. Hehe.

Our first stop was the flower nursery. My mom loves everything related to gardening and plants. After a quick looked - because nobody else interested to see the glass house - we went to the amphitheater to see the lake.

The flower nursery

According to this resort website, Simalem in Batak Karo languange (local language) means pleasant feeling. I believe that is a suitable word for explaining this resort's atmosphere in average day, but not today. When we reached the amphitheater, the sky covered with dark and heavy clouds and the wind blew very strong. I even think I am going to blow away. In this weather, the lake Toba looked  more mystical than beautiful. I was a little bit scared.

The amphitheater. It was so windy, I was scared.

The mystical lake Toba

'Pearl of Lake Toba', one of the best spot to see the lake.

Look at my mom's expression, can you imagine how strong the wind was? Hehe.

Even though the lake looked amazing, we could not bear the wind any longer and decided to search some place warmer. We went to the Toba cafe near the labyrinth and it was closed. My sister and I were tempting to go inside the labyrinth, but because we could not find anyone there and the sky was super gloomy we decided not to go. We thought, nobody would help us in case we lost in the labyrinth.

Finally, we found another cafe. We ordered some hot drinks and warm snacks. What a simalem feeling.. :)

Tips and Conclusion

-  If you go from Medan to Berastagi you should stop by at this place. For more information about Taman Simalem Resort feel free to open their official website here. Btw I am not paid to share this. hehe.

-  You can stay over in this place if you want to.

*Photo by Lala, edited by me

Next       >> #3. Berastagi - Soekarno's Exile House
Previous >> #1. Medan - Istana Maimun (Maimun Palace)


#1. Medan - Istana Maimun (Maimun Palace)

(My Travel Series)
August 2010
North Sumatra Trip
Day 1

One of my trips that I haven't write in here is my trip to North Sumatra, Indonesia. I went here after my graduation with my family, but it was not a graduation present. One of my mother's friend recently moved back to Medan  (North Sumatra capital city) and my mom saw it as a perfect excuse to visit North Sumatra.

The good thing about traveling with my mom is she had planned everything. So all I need to do is pack my bags and ready to go. I apologize if I could not tell you how to get to these places because I went there by a car with a driver.


This was my first time visiting Medan. I was surprised when the plane flied very low near the house roof just before it landed. I found out later that Polonia Airport is located near the downtown, but the new airport is being built and will be operating this year in 2013.

After my mom's friend picked us up from the airport, she took us to Maimun Palace. The palace was built from 1887 to 1891 by Kesultanan Deli. Even though the place is huge, but we could only come to several rooms because the rest of the palace was used by the descendants of Deli Sultan as their home. 

My parents with Maimun Palace as a background. 

Brightly yellow interior full with ornaments. Oh I don't like too many yellow.

This palace can be very interesting, but regrettably it was not preserved well. I also think that this palace should be solely use as a museum and not for living. It was very disturbing to see cloths and towels hanging in front of the palace. 

Tips and Conclusion
- If you love history you should visit this place. There are many stories behind this old palace.

- If you want to take a beautiful photo, I think you need to work hard. I personally think this palace is not photogenic. I am sorry dear Mr. Italian architect who designed it.

- Want to visit it? Go to Brigjen Katamso Street. The opening hour is from 08.00 to 17.00.

*photo by Lala, edited by me

Next    >> #2. Sidikalang - Taman Simalem Resort and Mystical Lake Toba 


Book Review : Last 3 Books I Read

It has been a long time since I wrote about book review here. These are some books that I read recently. I feel like reading something more educational than just a simple novel or children book. 

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman
Very good business book for newbie. Well written and easy to understand. The book is as thick as harry potter books with more serious content. I failed to finish read it at the first time, then I decided to re- read the book with only six to eight sub-chapter a day. I finished it in about a month. 

The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss
I bought it by recommendation from The Personal MBA book. The book is very practical for people live in US but not for people who live in Indonesia like I do. My favorite part is the chapter about work efficiency. Read it if you have a lot of free time. 

The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely
Honestly, I haven't finished reading it yet, but I think the rest of it is predictable. The writer conducted series of experiments then he wrote the result of the experiments in this book. It is like reading a lighter-type of education journals. It is all about people behavior.

What about you? Read something interesting lately?