My Travel Truths – the good and the bad
While travelling still isn’t easy right now, holidays are beginning to be back on the cards for some. So I thought I would share with you some good and bad experiences from my travels; LGBTQ+ travel. Over the next few weeks I will share the amazing experiences and not so pleasant adventures of three special locations. It’s always going to be down to personal experience, but I am hoping you can get some tips for that next big holiday.
Sumatra – The largest island in Indonesia
When you consider that Indonesia is made up of 17,000 islands it’s quite an impressive fact. Sumatra is one of the two places where orangutans inhabit (the other being Borneo). However, this isn’t a blog about orangutans unfortunately, it’s about places to travel in Sumatra.
Mayhem in Medan
When my plane landed into Sumatra it was into the capital, Medan. Landing in Medan was a complete culture shock. Maybe it was a culture shock because I hadn’t done any long-term travelling for a while. I had also just flown in from a few days in Singapore which is a very different city.
Medan is loud, chaotic and full of crazy traffic. I had been to cities like this before, but Medan seemed more challenging. I was staying in a lovely hotel, but the road it was on was impossible to cross! As soon as I left the hotel to try and go exploring I was immediately told by a passerby to not walk close to the road with my bag showing. This instantly put me on edge!
Eventually I realised it was literally impossible to walk easily around the roads. They were just so chaotic and there seemed to be no road rules. It was safer to be in the traffic so I did end up getting a taxi to a few places, and to be fair there were some good things to see in Medan. I visited a beautiful mansion (Tjong a Fie) and ate pastries at Tip Top restaurant which has been a cafe since it first opened in 1934.
Lake Toba is Where I found the most stunning views looking at a volcanic lake
Once arriving in Lake Toba I knew I had stumbled onto a hidden secret. Such amazing picturesque views in this idyllic place. When I went (during October) it was the quiet season so it was nice and peaceful. I highly recommend that if you are planning a trip to Indonesia and Sumatra then make sure that Lake Toba is on your list. There are so many things you can do such as visit the ancient Batak villages, rent motorbikes to see the island or kayak to get in all the good viewpoints of the Lake.
Written by David James D’Souza
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