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Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

Bolton, UK
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Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

Sorry to ask this, but the more research for our month long trip i do, the more I get confused.

Which is the better route by public transport (most probably shared kijang if possible for each leg).

1. Medan to Danau Toba to Berastagi to Ketambe - or

2. Medan to Berastagi to Danau Toba to Ketambe.

I don't know if the public transport from Medan to Danau Toba goes through Berastagi (if so we would visit here first) or goes via Tebingtinggi and Pematangsiantar (If so then Danau Toba first)

Thanks

Edited: 09 February 2014, 15:36
Samosir
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1. Re: Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

Dear Infoaddict,

There is no direct public transport from Berastagi to Parapat (Danau Toba). Please be aware that public transport is not a shared kijang or shared taxi. Public transport is by public bus, L300, minivan or angkot.

You can consider the following routes and transport.

Public transport from Medan to Berastagi

Shared taxi, including stop at Si Piso Piso Waterfall, from Berastagi to Parapat.

From Parapat ferry to Tuk Tuk, Samosir

From Tuk Tuk with Angkot to Pangururan

From Pangururan with public transport to Ketambe

Alternative:

From Medan with public transport to Parapat.

Parapat – Samosir – Tuk Tuk – Parapat. (Ferry)

Parapat – Berastagi with shared taxi

Public transport from Berastagi to Ketambe

HORAS !!! HORAS !!! HORAS !!!! WELCOME TO LAKE TOBA

jakarta
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2. Re: Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

Bapak Horas give good route info for you OP. IMHO the alternative route is easier. From Medan, L300 and many travel go via Berastagi to Kutacane.

Bolton, UK
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3. Re: Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

Thank you both for your replies.

Horas - your posts have provided many hours of enjoyment so far and I still have lots to read.

Sambalgoreng we have at last found a trip that you have done that we haven't :)

However we now have option 3 that Pamela has kindly provided (courtesy of a PM).

She suggests travelling from Medan to Danau Toba, then to Ketambe and then to Berastagi. Finally back to Medan and catch a flight up to Bandah Aceh. This avoids doubling back on ourselves.

This does seem to make more sense as we will then not be worrying if we will make it back from Ketambe to Medan in time to catch the last flight at 20:25

Any comments on this route?

Whilst we have journeyed around Borneo & Indonesia for the last 2 holidays, I still get confused between all the various modes of transport. Just in Sulawesi we had pete pete, mikrolet and angkot, which we found to be generally all the same and OK for local journeys.

But what is the difference between shared taxi, shared kijang, L300, minibus and travel?

I know from crossing Flores last year that all drivers like to see if they can burst your eardrums with their sound system, whilst all the male passengers have their own chainsmoking competition. This leaves the women free to throw up into plastic bags and then fling them out the window in an effort to hit what we call suicide dogs (you know the ones that lay in the road and only move when they realize they are going to lose)

Horas - Do you happen to know what the public transport options are from Pangururan to Ketambe?

Edited: 10 February 2014, 17:22
jakarta
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4. Re: Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

The alternative route by Bapak Horas is Medan to Lake Toba first then Berastagi. You can stop here before you go Ketambe or after Ketambe on your return to Medan. I get recommendations by friends and reading Indonesian travel blogs, the Pangaruran way is longer but more dramatic. I have not done this route.

In Medan, travel is also called taxi. Travel/taxi is 7-seats per car (1 next to driver, 3 behind driver, 3 last row). Passengers book per seat so it is shared (you can book the whole vehicle if you want). Travel/taxi are Kijang, Innova, Avanza etc brand of car. L300 is small bus/minibus or van type vehicle, about 11 seats or more, not as comfortable as travel but cheaper. From Tomok, other than angkot, you can get travel/kijang or minibus to Pangururan. Maybe Bapak Horas can confirm this. From Pangururan you can get to Berastagi by minibus. Berastagi to Kutacane you can get travel or minibus. Part of the road is bad. If you take travel, driver can drop you at the accomodarion of your choice in Ketambe. If you take minibus by BTN or Karsima, it ends in Kutacane. You take becak to angkot terminal at the market then angkot to Ketambe. Tell driver the name of your accommodation in Ketambe and he drop you in front of it. A tip, the last row of seats in travel or minibus is least comfortable.

Edited: 10 February 2014, 19:23
jakarta
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5. Re: Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

A question, is Pamela's suggestion via Pangururan then transfer in Kabanjahe not Berastagi to Kutacane?

Australia
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6. Re: Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

Hi Everyone,

Here is a link to a few posts dealing with the Lake Toba to Kutacane to Ketambe experience.

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa…

Pamela

Australia
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7. Re: Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

Other experiences relating to travelling in the area are

…blogspot.com.au/2010/…ketambe-indonesia.html

…wordpress.com/2013/…

Hope these above links might be of some use to anyone reading.

Pamela

Samosir
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8. Re: Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

Let me go through the different observations and questions one by one.

I second the option 3 suggestion of Pamela. Should have thought about it myself.

Yes, mode of transportation is very confusing as there is no consistency in how vehicles are addressed. For Samosir and Parapat public transportation with a smaller car Angkot and Minivan are addressed as Angkot.

Angkot is smaller than Minivan, next to the driver one seat for two passengers. In the back two rows where you face each other. Comfortable space for 6 people, so the Angkot seats in total 10 or a few more, if with children.

Minivan (Angkot) from Tomok to Pangururan. Two seats next to the driver seats 3 people. Three rows in the back for 4 people, so the total number of passengers is 15. It can be quite a few more when passengers also go for sitting on top of the Minivan upto 10. It is maybe not very comfortable, but the view is better.

L300 sometimes also called Eltor. This one seats very comfortably 11 to 12 passengers, but it can easily carry 15 to 20. As said all these modes of transportation are full smoking, full AC – full video (meaning no doors and open windows)

The route Tomok – Pangururan is only operated by Minibus (called Angkot). From Tuk Tuk walk to Simpang Tuk Tuk where you flag down the Angkot to Pangururan. Make sure that the destination of this Angkot is Pangururan and does not have Ambarita or Tolping as its final destination. It safes a little bit of time and money to take the direct Angkot to Pangururan. There is no travel/kijang from Tomok to Pangururan.

From Pangururan to Kutacane (see referenced threads Pamela) the transfer point is Sidikalang, not Kabanjahe or Berastagi.

Last year for a couple of months there was a regular service, Ketambe – Kutacane to Tuk Tuk via Sidikalang and Pangururan operated by Pribumi. This bus started early morning from Ketambe (most likely Kutacane) and reached Tuk Tuk at about 21.00 h.

The next day it followed the same route back. I don’t see the Pribumi bus anymore these days.

From what I hear from guests (which I meet during my sunset beer in the Warung) coming with public transport to Tuk Tuk from Ketambe about 7 out of 10 get stuck in Sidikalang, as the regular Angkot service Sidikalang – Pangururan stops at about 16.00 h in the afternoon. Also for reason that especially when it is raining even the best crazy racing star F1 drivers are not to keen on negotiating Tele Hill in the dark.

HORAS !!! HORAS !!! HORAS !!! WELCOME TO TUK TUK

jakarta
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9. Re: Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

No more PO Sumber Sari, PSN or STT from Tomok to Pangururan? No more PSN minibus Pangururan to Berastagi? If no more, I am sorry give you wrong info. AFAIK if you want to go by travel/taxi or Karsima or BTN you go Berastagi to Kutacane. I am sorry I did not realise you not going to Berastagi.

Canberra, Australia
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10. Re: Trip to include Medan, Berastagi, Danau Toba and Ketambe

I just did that exact trip in January 2014, feel free to read my blog for tips! Good luck!

http://ersteerfahrung.wordpress.com/