What to do in Berastagi, North Sumatera, Indonesia

Finished our journey in Tuktuk, there comes a time when we need to move to another place. The option was staying in Medan for another one night or find a place in Berastagi for sleep. We chose to stay over in Berastagi since we will pass the area and we wanna see Sipiso-piso waterfall. A 800 meter waterfall. That’s probably incredible place to see.

what-to-do-in-berastagi-4One of the view we saw, from Parapat to Berastagi.


After a short discussion with our hotel owner, we knew from her that the private taxi (a private car that functioned as public car – so sharing with another guest) will stop in Sipiso-piso waterfall point of view and we will able to stop for a while to see the waterfall and probably take pictures there. But we can’t go down to the waterfall cause it will take time. We thought that was a good deal so we agree to pay IDR 130,000/person for the taxi to take us to Berastagi. Berastagi is located about 70 kilometers from Medan and situated 1,300 meter above sea level. It is a part of Karo regency and having two active volcanoes ; Mount Sibayak and Mount Sinabung.

what-to-do-in-berastagi-51From far away, we can see the active Sinabung mountain.


But later on, we were so disappointed with the driver. Since he didn’t stop in Sipiso-piso waterfall. We realized it when he say we already arrived in Berastagi. Huh, where is the waterfall? We asked to him. He said, the way to go to waterfall is traffic since it’s the Chinese New Year holiday, so we can’t come inside. But the thing is, he didn’t tell us clearly. And the driver’s attitude was so rude, it wasn’t pleasant experience for us (me, Hninn and another 2 Singaporeans). But we had stopped somewhere along the way and see beautiful view. He said, we able to stop because he was being kind to us. But frankly to say, he also had his cigarette and take a rest during 5 hours drive from Parapat to Berastagi for a while when we take pictures. So mutual benefits right? The experience was so different with our previous driver from Medan to Parapat.

what-to-do-in-berastagi-2what-to-do-in-berastagi-21what-to-do-in-berastagi-23Yes, we were stopping here for a while to enjoy this view. Incredible, right?


There we were. Out of nowhere.. In a new place that we are not familiar at all. Now with heavy bags we have, we need to find place to sleep tonight. We tried to ask the local and they said that we can find guesthouse up to the hill. We tried to walk without knowing it precisely where to stop, until I saw a foreigner walking passing us by. I tried to stop him and ask where does he stay. Since we are both travelers, it’s already so common that between traveler can give suggestion and tips. From him, I know that he stayed in Talitha’s Guesthouse and that place recommended for staying. After asking the direction to reaching that place, we continued our walk. Lucky us that God left us together with that 2 guys from Singapore. They helped to bring my friend’s stuff, otherwise, she will be so exhausted to climbing the hill with her belongings, hehe. Thanks guys!

what-to-do-in-berastagi-35Taking a pose together with the owner of Talitha’s Guest House.


We arrived in Talitha’s Guesthouse. The owner is an old Dutch man with his wife, a local lady. They have two dogs that so cute and immediately being so close to me, hehe. I always like a place with dog inside. Dunno why. For me, it just simply representative the owner’s heart. Wait, I might be too subjective now 😛


He thinks I am his new friend 😉


When we arrived in Berastagi, I was wonder why the city is so dusty. Then I realized, that’s because of the dust rain from Sinabung Mountain 3 days ago. All the white dust just stick to everything, we can see many trees, stuff outdoor, rooftop are become so white.


The white dusk from Sinabung’s volcanic ashes.


The price to stay in one room, with 1 king size bed, another single bed that we didn’t use (only to put my belongings) and a bathroom inside (that saying with hot water but it wasn’t working that time so we need to shower in very freaking cold water) is IDR 150,000/night/2 person. It was ok and we don’t want to bargain or trying to find another place to stay. We already quite tired walking and all we want was to resting.


Then one guy in the guesthouse offered us to rent a car to look around. It was still 2 in the afternoon, so we still have time to look around the area. That was a good offer actually, since we will need to leave the city in next morning. The only time to look around the city is now. So we agreed to start the “tour” around 3 pm. With another 2 guys from Singapore, we need to pay IDR 100,000,-/person – which I know that’s quiet a lot of money, but maybe worth it to satisfy our curiosity about the city.


Common view we will see in North Sumatera.


The idea was to go to Sipiso-piso waterfall, Gundaling hill to see the sunset and go to hot water ponds for relaxing. But what we didn’t realize is.. to go to Sipiso-piso waterfall means we need to go back to the way to go to Parapat (Lake Toba). It is a 2 hours driving. So that was an exhausted and long drive for us. We had a feeling that we spend the whole day only in vehicle! So extremely tired! Finally we arrived in Sipiso-piso waterfall, we need to going down to see the waterfall in closer view. But we decided to only going down halfway because we wanna catch the sunset in Gundaling.

what-to-do-in-berastagi-13I really hate this vandalism behavior that young people do carelessly!


Sipiso-piso waterfall – 800 meters height! Can you see the small line? That’s for human – now, let’s compared with the tall line that waterfall has…


After spend around 30 minutes in Sipiso-piso, we continued the way to Gundaling. But too bad that we can’t arrived on time. The sun already setted down when we are there. Plus it was a cloudy day. The sunset wasn’t that clear. But it was interesting moment, cause we met a freelance photographer that show us his pictures about Sinabung mountain eruption twice – in late of 2014 and beginning 2015. His pictures and video were so excellent! But it was so sad that we hear from him, his art only valued around USD 10 by Discovery Channel. That’s very low price! Even can’t be used to pay my room 😦 – I wish he can find another institution that more value his works and sell it with good prices.

what-to-do-in-berastagi-32It seems the sun soon will be down… (taken from the rented “angkot”)

what-to-do-in-berastagi-14Last sunset moment we had – when we arrived in Gundaling.


From Gundaling (a hill that belief there is a legend behind the name ; Gundaling taken from Goodbye My Darling – one upon a time, there is a Foreigner that has a girlfriend and bring that girl to the hill. Strange the girl disappeared and he can’t find her. Because of that, he called the hill as Goodbye My Darling. Back that, people can’t speak English so well, so they only able to pronounce it “Gundaling” rather than “Goodbye My Darling.”), we went to the hot water ponds. Time already so late that night. We arrived around 7 pm and quite surprise to see there are so many hot water ponds there. Maybe around 10 pools. It was a good closure for us since we finally able to relax and enjoying the feeling of massage by the hot water. Once we finished with the swimming, we totally so sleepy and wanna go back to our room immediately. That night, we slept so well.


My friend, Hninn, so happy that we finally swimming in the hot tubs 🙂

what-to-do-in-berastagi-34Zzzzzzt (ssshh, don’t wake me up…) but you can get a kiss from me 😉


Just like this sweet dog ^^



Dea Sihotang




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