We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

Penang Island...
Level Contributor
1,138 posts
19 reviews
Save Topic
Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

Hi

I was thinking of taking the train on my way to Lake Toba.

I understand there is an 11am train leaving Medan to Siantar and then a taxi to Parapat befor crossing to Samosir.

Is this a good idea? Should I book the train and finally is the scenery from the train pleasant.

My Bahasa is very limited but I am willing to keep trying !

many thanks

Mentioned in this post
Medan
Medan
North Sumatra, Indonesia
Australia
Level Contributor
2,017 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

Hi El_Dorado,

Sorry to tell you there is NO train leaving Medan at 11 am.

Over the past 2 years I asked a contact friend in Medan to check for me and this is what I posted in June 2012 for all travellers.

My reply is in this link

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g297725-i9610-k…

and I have "Cut and Pasted" it for you too.

13. Re: Transport by train from Medan to Pematang Siantar

30 May 2012, 21:28

Hi Everyone,

I have been able to get my contact in Medan Bob Sumatra to double check the train times for me today( 30.5.12) and update on what he was told last year in July 2011.

MEDAN TO PEMATANG SIANTAR. - ONE TRAIN DAILY - LEAVES 2.00PM.

Leaves Medan at 2.00PM and arrives in Siantar about 6 pm.

Crew stay in Siantar for the night and leave early next morning for Medan at 7.00am.

PEMATANG SIANTAR TO MEDAN - ONE TRAIN DAILY - LEAVES 7.00AM

Leaves Siantar at 7 am and arrives in Medan about 11am.

Crew have lunch and rest and get train ready for return trip that leaves Medan at 2.00 pm.

Hopefully this will clear up the INCORRECT information that was posted previously.

Pamela.

Edited: 06 April 2013, 08:58
Mentioned in this post
Medan
Medan
North Sumatra, Indonesia
Penang Island...
Level Contributor
1,138 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

Thanks pPamela

as you mentioned in the linked posts those times are not the most conducive to travel given the late arrival into Siantar and the fact that I will still need to get to Samosir.

I will have to give it some further thought.

Did you ever take the train by the way?

cheers

Australia
Level Contributor
2,017 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

Hi El_Dorado,

No, I have never taken the train to Siantar, but yrs ago in yr 2000 I did take the train that went to Kisaran.

I was with an Indonesian friend from Padang West Sumatra and he wanted to visit his Mum's brother in Kisaran.

I personally loved the train and found Kisaran fascinating because that was the first time I learnt about the swallows that make the nests that are later used in birdnest soup.

In Kisaran they were building special houses to house these birds and collect their nests later and it was a very lucrative business.

Yes, the train timetable is not conducive to travellers in any way or form. Arriving in Siantar in the dark with the bus terminal being 7 kms away. ( Dutch traveller friend on another forum informed me of this little known fact a few yrs ago.)

You would need to spend the night in Siantar and get a bus early the next day. Might be a bit of an adventure but I do not think there are many reasonably priced hotels there - most are super expensive.

Pamela.

Edited: 06 April 2013, 09:58
Mentioned in this post
Padang
Padang
West Sumatra, Indonesia
Samosir
Level Contributor
486 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

Train Medan – Siantar

The day before yesterday, April 4, 2013, a current guest in Tuk Tuk came by train from Medan to Siantar. The train was scheduled to depart from Medan at 14.27 h. It departed at 14.30 h only three minutes late. It was scheduled to arrive in Siantar at 17.30 h. It arrived at 18.30 h, just one hour delay. The guest promised me to write a full report on the ride and post it here.

Mentioned in this post
Medan
Medan
North Sumatra, Indonesia
Australia
Level Contributor
2,017 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

Hi Horas,

Thank you for your update information as my information is from late May 2012 - almost 12 months old.

Pamela

Medan
Level Contributor
1,044 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

"The guest promised me to write a full report on the ride and post it here."

now thats what we all wanted to hear

Samosir
Level Contributor
486 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

As the full report is most likely still forth coming let me meanwhile give you here the hearsay report which may be of interest for the Medan – Siantar (Parapat) train travelers.

As said on April 6, the train started on time from Medan at 14.30 h and arrived with one hour delay at 18.30 h in Siantar. The guests, being the only foreigners on the train, enjoyed the ride very much mainly for reason of the atmosphere in the train and the interaction with the other passengers. As it was already getting dark when the train arrived in Siantar the guests were strongly advised not to try to go Parapat, but stay overnight in Siantar. The guests were helped, guided and accompanied to the Siantar Hotel, walking distance some 5 minutes from the Train Station, by one of the other passengers at no cost.

The guests found Rp 600.000,-- rather steep for the room they got in the Siantar Hotel.

During the last years quite a few new hotels started competing with the Siantar Hotel with rooms in a price range of Rp 150.000,-- to Rp 250.000,-- per night. I had the pleasure of checking out and staying in the following hotels during the last year.

1. The Alexander Hotel. Located close to Simpang Dua some 5 km out of Siantar close to the main road to Parapat.

2. The Megaland Hotel. Some 3 km out of Siantar on the road to Batu Empat.

3. The City Hotel, as close to the City Centre as the Siantar Hotel

4. The Sapadia Hotel, also as close to the City Centre as the Siantar.

Looking at service, facilities and quality of food, my opinion is that only the Sapadia Hotel is a very good alternative for the Siantar Hotel, provided they keep up to their current standards.

The guests, having stayed the night in the Siantar, took a Becak (The BSA Motor) to the Siantar bus terminal, at a cost of Rp 10.000,-- per person plus luggage. The terminal is some 5 km out of Siantar, about 0.5 km from the mainroad to Tebing Tinggi.

At the Siantar bus terminal they boarded one of the many minibuses to Parapat at a cost of Rp15.000,-- per person. Reportedly, the minibus was more than full but the ride was fun.

The guests happily arrived in Tuk Tuk in the afternoon, where I had the pleasure listening to their story when enjoying a cold Beer Bintang in the Warung.

HORAS !!!

Mentioned in this post
Medan
Medan
North Sumatra, Indonesia
Australia
Level Contributor
2,017 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

Fantastic update Horas Samosir.

Lombok, Indonesia
Level Contributor
8,312 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

This is an excellent stream of information.

Great to hear the train services there are viable. Indonesian has some really good train journeys.

Horas Samosir, your are most certainly a wonderful resource on these Forums.

Australia
Level Contributor
2,017 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Train from Medan to Siantar and then to Samosir

I think only travellers who had quite a bit of time on their hands would be able to utilise the train services because it is 2 days travelling to get to Parapat to get the ferry over to Samosir Island.

Pamela

Edited: 25 April 2013, 08:24