5. Medan City, Medan, Indonesia (FOOD)

hmm, threats in a city…

my faveeeeeeeee

durian shop – the shop that dedicated itself to selling durians. it was delicious, the durians, we shared, ate and ubered back. it was really crowded too.

 

yum food

 

moments of relaxation in a HaMMOCK – i thought to myself as i lay there – forget the stress. this is the life

yummmmmm

 

 

simple but so good

yummm

 

eating here beats eating in flores island for sure

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4. Mount Sibayak, Medan, Indonesia

One of my favourite hikes, because
1) it was a low-effort, high-rewards kind of hike :p
2) relatively manageable – yet confronted with so many geographical features up close. the hissing vents! the massive crater. accompanied by the sulfur scent (?)
The pink hue in the morning, when we started our walk uphill. I recall staring in wonder as the glow of the sun’s rays reflected off the rough brown surface of the volcanic slopes, turning into a pinkish orangey glow. 

at this point, we started hearing some crackling sounds. 


going on – as you can see, a relatively flat terrain.


nearing some hissing vents


some people were taking selfies near the active vents – directly in front. check out ‘mount sibayak’ on instagram’s location tags to see their selfie videos with the hissing sulfur.
i wouldnt do it, duh.

the start of the rocky uphill

looking down / back upon a vast landscape


seems like it’s an inactive(?) and dried-up crater; people had climbed down and placed volcanic rocks beneath, to form heart-shapes, love and friendship declarations boldly strewn across.


summit! gorgeous.
that moving mist – it was somewhat scary, i wasnt sure what it was. what gas, or cloud? it was hard to tell. not cloud. some volcanic belch. hmm


Mt Sinabung right across is apparently one of the most active volcanoes in the region. I briefly wondered how it’d be if it were to erupt during my time in the summit there and then. D:


another view of the crater


closer-up of Mt Sinabung. look at that belch D:

there were just so many views, angles in this terrain. that’s what made Mt Sibayak a ++ too, this view from the summit looks different from the other viewpoint.

2. Pematang Raya, Lake Toba, Medan, Indonesia (Couchsurfing with Mery)

It was a memorable stay, and meeting Mery made a difference. We first contacted on CS, and while we were uncertain about going over to Pematang Raya (not a particularly strong part of the touristy trail hence the location was a little bit of an uncertainty) – but we managed to follow her instructions and made our way to this little town.
Mery’s an English teacher, and here the kids of the town come over for enrichment classes, as well as computer classes. It was really nice contributing, to be a part of the kids’ real-world application. They would learn some English vocab for the day, and at the end of their lesson I stepped in, for them to ask me those questions they learnt in English.
I remember sitting down in a chair while they crowded around me, and while some were shy, they managed to ask me their questions. Their look of absolute delight and giggles when I answered their questions – memorable. It was sweet, while briefly reminding me of my p-school teacher thing I had.
ew fringe

 

We went on a ‘field trip’ around the neighbourhood, led by the older kids who were supposedly more experienced / higher level. They were rather shy, but tried their best.

We looked at different types of plants /fruits in the neighbourhood.

We played some orientation games. lolll

 

aww

 

me being teacher-ly

 

 

dinner.
it was lovely. speaking to mery, too. she’s a strong woman, who clearly has a strong sense of drive and will. not dependent on a man, but clearly wanting to impact the world as a better place, and strive for a better life for herself in the process. i hope i can strive to be like that.

 

1. Lake Toba, Medan, Indonesia

Last September, I visited Lake Toba, after first hearing about it years ago, then later on in angie’s class when she mentioned that the volcanic crater lake is bigger than the size of SG!
 

 

 

the hammock life. i need



i remember lying down, lazing. and knowing it wouldnt last. fleeting joy, fleeting moments of tranquility before i would be plunged back again. 

i relished that moment where I sat, rocking, chilling, by you


perhaps it was sweeter though, knowing it would not have been forever

i tried to grasp that moment tightly while it lasted



perhaps that’s why i still replay that moment fondly


 

 

 

 

why so many pics of me? ha ha

morning view, we woke up to this at our doorstep


 

 

 

 

8. Kandy – Tooth Relic Temple

Snippets of all that I remember from the Tooth Relic Temple. Most significantly, I recall our hosts here – we stayed in the most beautiful apartment, tucked along a little corner where we walked about 100m uphill. 2 lawyers, husband and wife, had set up their office in their abode, as well as a little B&B to share their home.
The banana and biscuit and welcome tea, the coolness of the living room and the cold wooden steps, the greens in the corners and the lights streaming in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Dambulla Caves

The caves at Dambulla were pretty amazing, surprisingly. Surprising to me because I wasn’t expecting much, but the intricacies of the cave paintings and the tranquility of the caves allowed a quiet calm to wash over me as i entered. I couldn’t help but wonder about the many people who once stood under these rock ceilings, dedicated to the single task of expressing their worship through such beautiful artwork.
A World Heritage Site indeed.

 

 

 

 

the random walk there, along some gigantic slab of rock

buying hoppers from the streetside stalls in the evening. yummy!!

5. Pidurangala Rock, Sigiriya

my ideal state all day

While deciding between Pidurangala or Sigiriya, we opted to climb the former first. It was cheaper, less crowded, and by cheaper I do mean it’s more than 25 times cheaper.

Ready!

I forgot how we got there, but http://www.yonderingsoles.com/2017/11/30/dambulla-sigiriya-pidurangala/ knows. Convenient cache of memories!

We never got to Sigiriya in the end because it closed by the time we went down and walked over. Well, we got a glimpse of it from our viewpoint, so I wasn’t particularly bummed about it. =D

4. Dambulla (photos)

Dalhousie – Dambulla

I didn’t write much, despite my abundance of time on long train rides. I remember the hot juicy corn outside the  temple, the monkeys, the ache on my calves as I clambered up the stairs after multiple consecutive hikes the past days, lugging my sleep-deprived self