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Medan is the third city of Indonesia and capital of North Sumatra province. The city has intense
commercial contacts with Penang and Singapore as well as China. The city thanked it fast
development to the plantation industry, first tobacco, later on rubber and palmoil. Till today the
export of plantation products, especially rubber and palmoil are important. Besides that there are
large industrial area’s around Medan. Although the city has developed enormously, there are still
many remnants of pre-war colonial architecture to be seen which give prove of its fascinating
World famous is the crater lake Danau Toba in the Batak highlands, approximately five hours
drive from Medan. There are two ways to go to Lake Toba from Medan. One way via Brastagi in
the Karo highlands and the other way along the plantation route and Pematang Siantar.
Danau Toba is the largest lake in South East Asia and also one of the most spectacular,
surrounded by tall mountains and with the large island of Samosir in the middle. If we descend
from the mountain we see the lake glittering in all its beauty. The Dutch writer Rudy Kousbroek
even called Lake Toba, ‘the most beautiful place on earth’.
In Brastagi you can also take a ride in the sado’s. These horse drawn carts get their name from
sitting back to back, in French, dos a dos. The name Berastagi can also be traced. There is no
rice cultivated here as it is too cold. The villagers went to the lower regions to ask for rice. In
Karo Batak language, Brastagi means (beras is rice, tagi is asking) asking for rice.
As Brastagi is located on 1400 metres above sea level it has a cooler highland climate and
therefore very well suited for vegetable and fruit cultivation. The colourful market is worth visiting
where you can buy marquisa, rambutan and many other tropical and subtropical fruits.
Since 1973 exists in Bohorok / Bukit Lawang the orang utan rehabilitation centre where orang
utans can be viewed in the jungle. Former captivated orang utans are here set free, back in their
natural environment. As they were not used to find food on their own they are being fed extra
daily. The location of the feeding places is around forty minutes walking uphill. On the way you
have to cross the Bohorok river in a small sampan (traditional wooden canoo).
In this impressive jungle area jungle tracks can be made for half a day or full day with a guide.
Also trekkings of several days is possible whereby people stay overnight in the jungle in a tent
In the past there were many wild elephants on Sumatra and often caused great problems for the
local population as they destroyed rice fields and eating the crops. Instead of being killed by the
farmers, the elephants are now trained to work in the forest and as a tourist attraction.
Interesting in this regard was that when the Sumatra railroad was build in the 1880s, and
telegraph poles were directly put besides the rail, many of these poles were shortly afterwards
pulled out of the ground by elephants who did this for fun. This shows that in those days there
were many elephants in the Gunung Leuser region.
Nowadays the Sumatra elephant is almost extinct. Only at a few places we can see them in
their natural environment, the largest is the elephant training center in Waykambas near Bandar
Lampung in South Sumatra.
Phone : +62 61 8212940
Cell : +62 813 7540 5300, WhatsApp : +62 852 9700 0264
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