Berastagi is on the way to Lake Toba about 70-80km from Medan.
are some traditional villages nearby but most people go to Berastagi for
the walk through Gunung Leuser National Park
Mount Sinabung and Mount Sibayak (Gunung Sinabung and Gunung Sibayak) can
be visited from here if you like hiking. There are Karo Batak tribes living
nearby which are worth a visit.
The best part are the hot springs. A distance off the beaten track you
can find about 30 hot spring baths not far from Gunung Semangat. They rarely
have bule (white person) tourists so you're bound to be of interest if
you are. The cost is pretty cheap (less than a $1) and is very hot. Monkeys
(Monyet) tend to swing from the trees watching you as you soak.
I went there with some friends late at night so there was no time to do
any exploring of the mountains. Also it was raining and the risk was that
we'd get stuck in the mud. So we stopped off at the hot spring pools. The
mountains were misted in the distance and the jungle was so close I felt
that I was nowhere near civilisation. Being able to see Monkeys watching
me, bath in very hot water and smell wild life made me forget the city
life for awhile.
Because I am exceedingly white I was the object of attention of several
of the Indonesian girls. They said "Mr, Mr, photo please Mr" and I thought
that they wanted me to take a photo of them. As it was they wanted to take
a photo of ME with them! So, as there were 3 girls, there were 3 photos
taken. The funny bit was when I offered to stand up in my speedos. "No,
no, no!", they chorused. Maybe it would have ruined their camera! So the
photos were taken with only my chest above the water and they went away
happy. Very funny!
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