7 Destinasi Kilat Pematang Siantar

Duduk di ruang tunggu, tatapku terus tertuju pada jam tangan dan halaman kantor bus INTRA….Tak pernah melihat kapan dia tiba, dari ujung halaman sebelah kanan dia berteriak memanggilku. Senangnya hati, bertemu teman lama.

Kebaikan dan kesederhanaannya masih sama seperti Bang Erwin yang kukenal di Kuala Lumpur 2013 silam. Kembali teringat ketika dia menyodorkan sekotak kue berwarna merah di atas Hop on Hop off Kuala Lumpur. Dan kini dia menghadiahkan waktunya selama empat jam kepadaku untuk menikmati Pematang Siantar.

Ayo bang, naik!”, katanya sambil memutar tas punggungnya ke arah depan. Sekejap aku meluncur di atas motor bebek Jepang keluaran era 90-an menuju kediamannya. Dia harus mengganti seragam dinas pengajar yang dipakainya sebelum berkeliling kota.

1. Warung Miso Pematang

Makan siang dulu yuk, bang! Ada yang spesial buat, abang. Yukkss!”, senyumnya menghiraukan penolakanku karena dia hanya ingin menjadi tuan rumah yang baik. Menelusuri jalan tikus yang aku tak pernah tahu lokasi persisnya, kurasakan ban belakang yang sedikit oleng. Membuatku yakin bahwa Bang Erwin ini orang yang tulus nan sederhana.

Warung Miso Pematang. Oh, inikah hidangan spesial yang dimaksud?”, gumamku. Bang Erwin bergegas memasuki resto yang berpintu depan di belakang. Sedangkan aku masih saja di pelataran, sibuk menangkap gambar. Enak luar biasa semangkuk Miso itu, campuran mie kuning-putih yang terguyur kuah sop bercampur tahu goreng, hati-ampela dan jamur seharga Rp. 17.000.

Hidangan ditutup dengan es jeruk segar….Hmmmh.
Makanan khas Siantar pertama yang  kucicipi.

2. Pedicab Monument BSA (Birmingham Small Army).

Yuk, kutunjukkan icon Siantar!”, selorohnya sambil menggenjot engkol starter motornya. Kuacungkan jempol sebagai pengganti kata setuju. Menyusuri Jalan Sudirman hingga akhirnya tiba di sebuah tugu bermahkota becak bermotor. Konon kota ini memiliki hampir 1.000 motor perang jenis ini. Oleh karenanya kamu harus mengantri untuk bisa berfoto di depan tugu.

Tokoh utama kali ini.

3. Perpustakaan Umum Sintong Bingei

Tepat di belakang tugu adalah perpustakaan umum milik pemerintah kota sedangkan di seberang kanan adalah Balai Kota Pematang Siantar dimana Sang Wali Kota berkantor.

Perpustakaan Umum Sintong Bingei. Sintong Bingei adalah ayah dari Raja Rokok Sumatera Utara Edwin Bingei Purbo Siboro.

4. Balai Kota

Balai Kota Pematang Siantar adalah bangunan Belanda berusia persis seabad.

Ornamen cicak di sebagian besar gedung-gedung besar di Siantar membuatku mengajukan pertanyaan tentangnya. Bang Erwin menjelaskan singkat bahwa cicak adalah simbol kebijaksanaan dan kekayaan bagi Suku Batak. Orang lokal menyebutnya sebagai Gorga Boraspati.

5. Hangout Area dekat Pedicab Monument

Sementara di sisi kanan tugu adalah deretan kedai kopi yang sepertinya hanya menunggu waktu untuk dipenuhi oleh para kaum millennial kota untuk ber hangout di malam hari.

Sayang aku tak sempat menyeruput kopinya.

6. Taman Bunga Kota Pematang Siantar

Sementara tepat di belakangnya adalah Taman Bunga Pematang Siantar. Sebagai Ruang Terbuka Publik Ramah Anak (RTPRA) menjadikan taman ini menjadi tempat favorit untuk menghabiskan waktu bersama keluarga selepas penat bekerja.

Tempat tepat untuk merayakan weekend para warga kota.

7. Toko Roti Ganda

Bang, sudah sore, ayo kembali ke kantor INTRA!”, Bang Erwin mengingatkanku. Aku melompat ke motor dan bergegas  menuju kantor bus INTRA. Upss….”Kenapa Toko Roti?”, aku curiga.

Jangn Ge eR, aku ga beliin roti buat abang, tapi beli buat keluargaku  di rumah”, dia tersenyum tipis. Aku tertawa terbahak melihat polahnya. Kusempatkan sejenak menikmati etalase dengan aroma harum roti yang menggoda.

Toko Roti Ganda yang legendaris sejak 1979.

Sepuluh menit kemudian, aku sudah berdiri di luar dan menunggunya menuntaskan pembayaran di kasir. Dannnn…..Ditentengnya dua bungkus roti di kedua tangannya.

Nih, buat sarapan besok di perjalanan”, ujarnya sambil menyodorkan sebungkus roti tawar dengan selai srikaya yang katanya terkenal enak. Dilarang menolaknya maka kuterima saja dengan banyak berterimakasih.

Yuk, sekarang beneran ke kantor Bus INTRA dan ga mampir-mampir lagi!”, katanya sambil tertawa. Itulah akhir petualangan kilatku di Pematang Siantar.

Thank You Bang Erwin. See you later.

Taksi Hitam dari Toba ke Pematang Siantar

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Aku memasuki kamar Eloise untuk mengambil backpack  yang kutitip sejak pagi. Aku check out di pagi hari dan berlanjut mengeksplorasi Samosir seharian bersamanya. Aku berpamitan padanya dan bersiap menuju Pematang Siantar, sedangkan dia masih semalam lagi di Samosir.

Staff Bagus Bay Homestay mengarahkanku untuk menunggu ferry di pelabuhan terdekat. Berbelok ke kiri setelah keluar hotel, beberapa puluh meter kemudian, aku memasuki gang di kiri jalan. Tetap melangkah hingga tiba di sebuah warung, tepat di sisi pelabuhan.

Tigaraja Bang?, tunggu setengah jam ya!”, ucap seorang timer padaku. Setengah jam yang lebih dari cukup untuk menyantap semangkuk mie instan bertopping telur mata sapi seharga Rp. 15.000 di pojok warung.

Ferry terlihat merapat dan sang timer diam menunjuk mukaku, lalu telunjuknya bergeser menunjuk ke arah ferry. Aku faham maksudnya.

Belum juga merapat sempurna, aku melompat ke ferry. Segenap penumpang di deck kiri berteriak. “Awasssss, Banngg!”. Aku melambaikan tangan bak artis. Ternyata kemampuanku bermain perahu motor di Waduk Jatiluhur saat menjadi sales ikan budidaya karamba masihlah mumpuni.

Zoe’s Paradise Hotel (putih) dan Dumasari Hotel (merah) menatapku pergi meninggalkan Samosir.
Menuju Pelabuhan Tigaraja dalam 50 menit.

Pria berjaket jeans biru pudar menatap lekat dari kejauhan ketika aku menuruni ferry. Tak ada jalan lain untuk menghindarinya. Seperti ditunggu seorang preman yang siap menerjangku.

Siantar, Bang. Empat puluh ribu?”, ujarnya sembari membayangi langkahku. “Oh, jasa taksi”, ujarku. Mengejar Bus INTRA yang akan berangkat jam tujuh malam, aku mengiyakan saja. Dan aku dibawa ke kantor Bagus Taxi.

Kebelet pipis tapi tak kebagian toilet, ada yang kelamaan mandi….Asem.
Sopir dan penumpang pun bermusuhan lewat adu bidak kayu.

Sepertinya akulah pengisi terakhir di manifest taksi. Begitu cepat, aku sudah duduk saja di sisi kanan bangku tengah.

Tepat di kiriku, seorang bapak yang gemar merokok sepanjang perjalanan.

Avanza hitam berputar-putar mengukur jalanan untuk menjemput penumpangnya satu persatu. Penjemputan diakhiri dengan satu insiden ketika seorang ibu ketinggalan dompet di kilometer kelima perjalanan kami. Hal menjengkelkan tetapi mampu membuatku tertawa kecil. Tak ada pilihan, taksi berputar balik untuk mengambil dompet si ibu.

Meninggalkan Toba, kebutan taksi memaksaku membuka pejaman mata. Aku diajaknya meliuk-liuk menikmati indahnya pemandangan alam Simalungun. Kebun sawit, hamparan ladang, perbukitan dan lembahnya dilewati satu-persatu. Sesekali si sopir menciptakan humor, salah satunya ketika panik memasang sabuk pengaman yang tak dikenakannya bebarengan dengan penumpang di sebelah, pontang-panting memasangnya, bahkan tak berhasil hingga melewati area operasi polisi….Beruntung tak ditangkap.

Dalam satu jam 20 menit, taksi mulai memasuki tepian kota,kemudian menuju pusat kota melalui Jalan Gereja dan Jalan Merdeka dengan dua tugu sebagai landmark kota.

Tugu Adipura. Siantar pernah 4 kali menyabet penghargaan lingkungan ini.
Monumen Wahana Tata Nugraha era Soeharto, penghargaan atas apiknya tata kelola transportasi.

Bang, begitu sampai Parluasan langsung ke pool aja, hati-hati ya!”, kata Bang Erwin (teman backpacker yang tak sengaja bertemu di diatas Bus HoHo KL 2013 silam). Mungkin dia mengkhawatirkanku memasuki Parluasan yang terkenal dengan premannya. Tapi aku menanggapinya dengan santai karena aku tahu akan diturunkan tepat di depan pool bus INTRA.

Sampai…..

Mari menunggu Bang Erwin menjemputku untuk berkeliling Pematang Siantar sejenak.

From Sri Indrayani Hotel….The Adventure was Began

I still didn’t budge with an offer of taxi drivers, while other INTRA Bus passengers preferred to use taxi services towards their final destination in Pekanbaru.

Several time later, from across the street, an online motorcycle taxi driver waved to me. Of course he knew, I was wearing a blue jacket with same color backpack. I had sent a description to him via message in application.

Are you originally from here, Sir?” I asked in back seat.

No, I’m from Padang, Sir. Are you from Java? your accent is typical“, he answered and asked.

I ever studied in a college at Yogyakarta, Sir. Which Java are you from?“, I didn’t have answered yet, He had asked again.

I’m originally from Solo, Sir. Are local residents nice, Sir?”, I began to wonder.

Most of Pekanbaru residents are from Padang, Sir. Calm down, Sir, anywhere is safe“, he soothingly said .

From an article I read afterwards, it’s true that 40% of Pekanbaru residents are Minang native migrants. Indeed, Minang people are great in odyssey

Not even 10 o’clock in the morning, I arrived.

The three-star hotel which I booked through Airy Rooms exactly on nine days before my arrival in Pekanbaru was only USD 6 per night. Cheap, right?

I deliberately chose to stay in Senapelan area just to tracing the glory of Siak Sri Indrapura Sultanate. Looking at economic activities of city residents, remembering that the name of Pekanbaru came from words of Pekan Baharu, a market which was pioneered by Young Sultan named Tengku Muhammad Ali, the 5th Siak Sultan. It can be said that Senapelan area was the forerunner to the formation of Pekanbaru City which was born as a positive impact from Sultanate economic development.

Hotel front yard is on an edge of Sam Ratulangi Street.

Coming too early, I tried my luck in front of reception desk. Maybe they could put me faster to rest in hotel room.

The room isn’t ready, Sir. Just wait in our lobby until 13 o’clock”, young staff on duty said in neat uniform.

Oh well, Sir. Can I put my backpack here. I better go around the city first, then come back when I can check-in“, I replied.

Oh sure, sir. Just put it here“, he asked my backpack to put behind the table.

Sir, is there a power outlet to recharge my handphone?“, I asked him

Oh, the plug is in hotel’s restaurant at right of the lobby. Just go in, Sir!“, His index finger pointed at a door.

Straightening my waist for a while in the lobby, I was still staring at the authentic reception room, golden yellow dominated. Three roofs with three selembayung at the end. praying hand shape symbolizes the close relationship between living things and God.

In addition to selembayung, motifs like a Malay songket is beautify the room.

After my camera and handphone was charged, to take advantage my time while waiting for check-in, I began to explore some traces of Siak Sultanate which were clearly represented along Siak River, Tuan Kadi’s Halfway House and Nur Alam Grand Mosque

Entering twin bed room at 2 pm.
Cheap but luxurious hotel room for me.

Sri Indrayani Hotel was originally a guesthouse which was rented by an airline for its air crew since 1971. Along with Pekanbaru development, this guesthouse perfected itself by transforming into a leading shariah hotel in Pekanbaru during the city’s development. Its location which opposite the Chinatown also made hotel development was quickly its time.

Finally, I found warm water after didn’t bathing for 38 hours.
The park behind hotel is bordered by Bangka Street.

From Sri Indrayani Hotel, my adventure to exploring Pekanbaru was began. It was time to got around the city and got to know about the capital of Riau Province.

7 Fast Destination at Pematang Siantar

Sitting in waiting room, my gaze focused on my watch and INTRA bus office yard….Never saw when he arrived, from right side of the yard, he shouted to me. It was nice to meet an old friend.

His kindness and simplicity was still the same as Erwin who I met in Kuala Lumpur 2013 ago. Remembered again when he gave me a small box of red cakes on Kuala Lumpur’s Hop on Hop off. And now, he gave me four hours of his time to enjoying Pematang Siantar.

Come on, bro, ride up!“, He said while turning backpack to his chest. I Instantly glided on his 90’s Japan motorcycle towards his home. He had to change a teacher uniform which he wore before going around the city.

1. Warung Miso Pematang

Let’s have lunch first, bro! There is something special for you. Come on!“, His smile ignored my rejection because he just wanted to be a good host. Tracing the “rat path” which I never knew its exact location, I felt the rear tire was a bit shaky. It made me believe that Erwin is a sincere and simple person.

Warung Miso Pematang. Oh, is this the special dish that is meant?“, I muttered. Erwin rushed into the restaurant with its front door at the back. While I was still in the yard, busy capturing the picture. It was amazingly delicious, a bowl of Miso, a mixture of yellow-white noodles which are flushed with soup mixed with fried tofu, chicken liver-gizzard and mushroom for USD 1.3.

The dish was closed with fresh orange juice….Yummy.
The first Siantar specialty food which I tasted.

2. Pedicab Monument BSA (Birmingham Small Army).

Come on, I’ll show you the Siantar icon!“, He spoke while cranked the motor starter. I give a thumb as agree sign. Riding along Sudirman Street until finally arrived at a motorized rickshaw-crowned monument. Supposedly said that this city has almost 1,000 war motorbikes. Therefore you have to queue to be able to take a picture in front of the monument.

The main character this time.

3. Sintong Bingei Public Library

Right behind the monument is a public library owned by the city government while on the right opposite is Pematang Siantar City Hall where the Mayor worked.

Sintong Bingei Public Library. Sintong Bingei is father of the North Sumatra “Cigarette King“-Edwin Bingei Purbo Siboro.

4. Pematang Siantar City Hall

Pematang Siantar City Hall is a century-old Dutch building.

Gecko ornaments in most of large buildings in Siantar made me to asked a question about it. Erwin briefly explained that gecko is a wisdom and wealth symbol for the Batak ethnic. Local people call it as Gorga Boraspati.

5. Hangout Area near Pedicab Monument

While on right side of the monument is a coffee shop row which seems to only wait for short time to be filled by city millennials to hang out at night.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to sip the coffee.

6. Pematang Siantar City’s Bunga Park

While right behind hang out area is Bunga Park. As a Child Friendly Public Open Space makes this park as a favorite place to spend time with family after work.

The perfect place to celebrate a weekend for city dwellers.

7. Ganda Bakery

Bro, it’s almost dark, let’s go back to INTRA office!“, Erwin reminded me. I jumped on his motorcycle and hurried to INTRA bus office. Upss ….”Why Bakery?“, I suspected.

Don’t flatter yourself, I don’t buy bread for you, but I will buy it for my family at home“, he thinly smiled. I was burst out laughing when seeing his act. I took a moment to enjoy storefronts with fragrant aroma of tempting bread.

Ganda Bakery is legendary since 1979.

Ten minutes later, I was standing outside and waiting for him to complete payment at the cashier. And then….He held two packs of bread in his hands.

This is for your breakfast tomorrow on the way“, he said while offering a packet of bread with srikaya jam which was famously delicious. It was forbidden to refuse it, so I accepted it with many thanks.

Come on, now it’s really going to INTRA Bus office and not stopping by anymore!“, He said with a laugh. That was the end of my fast journey at Pematang Siantar.

Thank You Erwin. See you later.

Black Taxi from Toba Lake to Pematang Siantar

I entered Eloise’s room to pick up my backpack which I had entrusted since morning. I checked out in the morning and continued to exploring Samosir all day with her. I said good-bye to her and prepared to go to Pematang Siantar, while she was still overnight at Samosir.

Bagus Bay Homestay staff directed me to wait for a ferry at the nearest port. Turn left after exiting the hotel, a few tens of meters later, I entered a alley at left side of road. Keep stepping until I reached a stall, right on port edge.

Tigaraja, Sir? Wait for half an hour, okay?“, Said a timer to me. Half an hour which was more than enough to ate a bowl of instant noodles with egg topping for USD 1.1 in stall corner.

Ferry looked approaching and the timer was silently pointing my face, then his index finger was pointing toward the ferry. I understand what that means.

Not even perfectly leaning yet, I jumped into the ferry. All passengers on the left deck shouted. “Watch out, Sir!” I waved like an artist. It turned out that my ability to maneuver with motorboats in Jatiluhur Dam when I became a fish farm salesman was still good.

Zoe’s Paradise Hotel (white) and Dumasari Hotel (red) stared at me when leaving Samosir.
Heading to Tigaraja port in 50 minutes.

The man in a faded blue jeans was intently staring in the distance when I descended the ferry. There isn’t other way to avoid it. I looked like waiting for a thug who was ready to hit me.

Siantar, Sir. Forty thousand Rupiah (USD 3)?“, He said while shadowing my steps. “Oh, taxi service“, I said. Chasing INTRA Bus which would leave at seven o’clock in the evening, I said yes. And I was taken to Bagus Taxi’s office.

Dying for a pee but didn’t getting a toilet, someone took a shower too long….Huftt.
Driver and passenger were hostile through a wooden pawns fight.

Looked like I was the last filler in taxi manifest. So fast, I’ve just sat on right side of middle row seat.

Right on my left, an old man who liked smoking during journey.

Black Avanza (one of Toyota type in Indonesia) swirled to measure street and picked up passengers one by one. pickup was ended with one incident when a woman missed her wallet in the fifth kilometer of our trip. It was annoying but can make me a little bit laugh. There wasn’t choice, the taxi turned back to get her wallet.

Leaving Toba Lake, the taxi speed forced me to open my eyes. It invited me to snaking and enjoying beautiful natural scenery of Simalungun Regency. Oil palm plantations, fields, hills and valleys were passed one by one. Occasionally the driver created humors, one of it when he frantically installing a seat belt which he didn’t wear in unison with a passenger next to him, even failedly installing it, until we passed the police operation area….Luckily, he didn’t stopped by police.

Within an hour and 20 minutes, taxi started to entering city edge, then headed to downtown via Gereja Street and Merdeka Street with two monuments as city landmarks.

Adipura Monument. Siantar has won this environmental award for four times.
Wahana Tata Nugraha Monument in President Soeharto era, an award for the excellent of transportation management.

Brother, once you get to Parluasan area, just go to the bus office, be careful“, said Erwin (my backpacker friend who accidentally met on KL HoHo Bus on 2013). Maybe he was worried about me when entering Parluasan area who was famous for its thugs. But I casually responded because I knew that I would be dropped right in front of the INTRA bus office.

I arrived…..

Let’s waited for brother Erwin to pick me up for getting around Pematang Siantar for a moment.t

Three Malay Dances at Merdeka Walk

After tasting Waroenk Nenek’s pecel lele (fried catfish with chili sauce), the sky looked occasionally throwing lightning. As if announcing to earth inhabitants that soon it would drop rain which it couldn’t hold anymore.

It seems I never heeded the announcement. The green button “Order GoRide” has already been touched and invited a online taxibike driver to appear in front of me in 4 minutes. Motorizing along 4.5 km, I got off at right in front of “Pos Indonesia” building. “Anno 1911” was precisely wrote above a old window with four columns and three rows shutters, had became a birth certificate of the building, it is meaning that the building is 109 years old now.

The colorful gates of Merdeka Walk which are only 150 meters from my dropping point, I approached it by walk. This time, I passed next old building which had become “Bank Indonesia” office and next to it I found an elegant Old City Hall which was doused in yellow spotlights from its roof.

Arrive at a big T-junction, right in front is my next destination and at the south side is “Bank Mandiri” Building.
Old City Hall in north of Bank Mandiri.

I slowly tread into Medan’s culinary center. Large trees became the first sight which catched my eye’s attention. How shady it would be if I arrived at noon, the assumption which I immediately imagined.

Let’s come in!….Don’t just stare.

Long rows of tables and chairs which were arranged lengthwise following restaurants direction which lined up parallel to Balai Kota Street greet me. I wasn’t counting but I heard that Merdeka Walk provided 700 seats for visitors.

Hang out there seemed good.

This place also provides menu variety from Asian food to European food. But yes, that’s how I am, you can certainly guess….I never once sat and tasted food in this place.

Sitting there is fun also…Looks like again.

Two Merdeka Walk restaurant sides will be centered in a field area called the Center Piece. That night, this area was transformed into a red carpeted stage which was functioned as a catwalk. Loud music delivered by backstage sound system was welcomed by swinging footsteps in one straight line. Child models were able to stylish like an adult and experienced models.

At the Center Piece there was also a local TV shooting activity.

Not long after, the sky really poured heavy rain. I couldn’t imagine, they who quickly sipped hot coffee or they who chewed their food which have just been served with a high tempo too….amused to see it. While me?…. Easy…. Just ran away and took shelter in an closed restaurant then waited for rain until finished.

What’s behind of Merdeka Walk?

The night began to move, in the soft drizzle I went down some stairs at back of Merdeka Walk to saw activities at Merdeka Square. It seemed that this field is an children choice area which allowed them to free run around or just drove around in cars which were glittering with colorful lights.

Medan Hall.

Then my steps came to a large hall where several families gathered while laying mats and enjoying dinner together with a dinner basket from home. A harmonious family.

And when I intended to end my visit on Merdeka Walk, I hear a faint Malay music which was followed by someone’s voice which I guessed as MC. The sound was sourced from north. I rushed over

It turned out to be a free performance of Malay dance.

For a moment I enjoyed three Malay dances which were held right in front of the yellowish green “Tourist Service” building.

Beautiful closing night in Medan because on next day I would go to Toba Lake….I couldn’t wait.

Revealing a Benefactor story at Tjong A Fie Mansion

Sumatra Money Museum and Tjong A Fie’s House are only three blocks away and pass a large intersection which separates Pemuda Street where the museum is located and Jenderal Ahmad Yani Street where the house is located.

Security: “Hey, brother. Why do you capture photos of this building?”, his left hand is on his waist, his right hand hold a T-stick.

Me: “Oh, that’s sir….The building is nice, really classic“, bent down as a sorry.

Security: “Oh yeah, that’s great … I didn’t realize it“. Saying while standing on my right side led to the same building.

Me: “Sure, Sir….You who has worked here for a long time, just realized that” while holding a laugh in my chest.

I thought he will take my camera and erased the picture in it…. Apparently no, hahaha.

—-****—-

That house gate is so small and I had a little bit passed it. I turned and slowly walked toward it.

My bad habit: silence for a long time in the courtyard and even didn’t blink.

Young staffs who on duty at ticket desk were watching me from terrace. They were glad to get a guest. Some time later, I realized that they were waiting me.

Staff: “Sir, you can keep your backpack here. The house is spacious, you will be tired“.

Me: “Thank you honey Ms, I put it here….Is it safe?”.

Staff: “I’ll take care, Sir….You don’t need to worry”.

Me: “Take care of my heart too….Thanks Ms”.

OK….Let’s start to entering Tjong A Fie Mansion.

A multicultural figure from Guangdong.

Do you know about Tjong A Fie?….He is a Chinese descent resident who in his life became a rich trader and became an important figure in Medan because of his generosity in building Medan city in his era. He worked hand in hand with Sultan Makmun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alamsyah to develop city economy. At that time, Deli was famous worldwide with its high-quality tobacco, and even Deli was dubbed as Dollar Landsh (Dollar Land).

The beauty of his 120-year-old house is truly eye-catching. Has four guest rooms with different concepts to receive guests from different communities.

The yellow dominant living room is for receiving guests from Deli Sultanate as Malay community.
Chinese descent guests are welcome here.
This room is to receive guests from Dutch government.

I was fortunate to meet two visitors from Aceh who used a tour guide services. Seeing me when visiting it alone, Mr. Syaiful smiled and waved to me and then invited me to join with them. “Come on, brother, come here!“, he lightly said. How lucky is my fate.

Tjong A Fie was so rich, many of his home furnishings were imported from Europe such as safes, ceramic decorations or ovens in his kitchen.

The dining table was ever used to entertain Deli Sultanate family in Chinese New Year celebration.

Next exploration showed photos of the entire Tjong A Fie family, which consist from 21 family members. The photo was taken during his 60th birthday celebration in early 20th century.

A bed made from classic carving woods with white mosquito nets.

An orange kitchen wall with three wood-burning stoves next to a separate room with two flour stone-grinders and one rolling pin with similar material.

A hall which contains a row of family history photos.

In other side, I found a Tjong A Fie family tree, some photos of important buildings in the city which were built with his funds (such as Gang Bengkok Old Mosque, Sipirok Old Mosque and even Al Mashun Grand Mosque in downtown), as well as a photo of Kesawan Bank Commissioner which was founded by Tjong A Fie.

A high windows with a dominant number make the house so spacious.

Tour guide said that during President Soeharto era, the state acquired Tjong A Fie’s plantation and merged into state’s plantation ownership i.e PT. Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN).

End of my visitation in Tjong A Fie Mansion. His house gate is seen from 2nd floor.

See the Tjong A Fie Mansion situation here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYmGn_g4FW4

Attaching a Signature at the Sumatra Money Museum

I began to walk at exit path of Sri Deli Park.

My steps were so harmonious with my index finger pressure on camera to capture the best images along Sisingamangaraja Street.

Red motorcycle suddenly got off from asphalt and its brake pounding threw dust which made me momentarily cover my nose. A face which was hidden behind helmet turned towards me while waving. I paused while thinking what was happen. A little suspicious, I stepped up to him while keeping a safe distance.

He : “Sir, don’t carry your good camera like that. There are a lot of thieves here. Just keep it!“, speaking after slowly taking off his helmet.

Me: “Oh, thank you sir….Okay sir”, I relieved replied

He: “Be careful, Sir. Assalamualaikum

Me: ”Wa’alaikumsalam Sir”. Good people are always around me.

—-****—-

Strong despite being old.

I was stunned under Tirtanadi Water Tower while sitting and putting my backpack next to a tree trunk to protect myself from the sun’s heat. Then I filled my bottles with free drinking water in front left of PDAM (the name of water company) Tirtanadi office.

Worried that the dusk which had been queueing to present, I fastly stepped to Tjong A Fie’s house. Passing a railroad crossing and then entering Pemuda Street, I accidentally passed a roll up banner which its titled “Sumatra Money Museum“.

See the way toward Sumatra Money Museum here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1NWlMmGZr0

Maybe just need about 30 minutes to explore, stop by for a moment!“, inwardly whispered teasing me. Without argumentation, now, I have been speaking with Miss L – a sweet young woman in a sky blue scarf – as a staff and also as a museum’s tour guide. She took souvenirs in the form of two coins made by Palembang Sultanate with a hole in its middle which was neatly wrapped while giving a piece of green paper as size as a ticket with a writing “Souvenir Fee USD 0.75“.

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2nd floor.

I stepped stairs and continually observed its classic building. Ms. L said, I was in “Gedung Juang ’45“. “No need to hurry, Sir. The museum closes at 5 pm“, she said with a smile.

Arriving on 2nd floor, I was treated to a view of money printing machine “Oeang Republik Indonesia Tapanoeli (ORITA)” which was used in early era of President Soekarno.

ORITA.

Founded 3 years ago by Saparudin Barus, this collection room became the first money museum in Sumatra. The collector’s personal intention was approved by local government after Gedung Juang ’45 was chosen as museum location. In the past, This building itself has an important role as headquarters of Barisan Pemuda Indonesia (Indonesian Youth Front) in carrying out resistance against Dutch colonial government.

In 1726, for the first time, the VOC published coins known as DOIT or DUIT.

Exploring from one storefront to another, accompanied by an explanation from Ms. L, I began to float into nation’s historical flow through coins sequence which is sorted by its using.

Indonesian coins from time to time along with Malaysian coins.

Being the only visitor that afternoon, I was willing to repeatly observe some trade exchange tools in the golden era of Srivijaya Kingdom. Or money which was made from burlap which was issued by Buton Kingdom in Sulawesi.

It’s so large, Soekarno era’s paper money!

At the end of my visitation, Miss L directed me to a long white cloth and she briefly explained that each visitor would be asked to write his impression message about the museum and ending with a signature underneath. Okay, no need to be stingy to write on the cloth. My signature scratch ended this visitation.

Museum’s storefront with many money collection from various times.

How lucky me to passing and visiting it….Let’s to next destination!

Eight Facets in Al Mashun Grand Mosque Architecture

That green mosque with dominant white was clearly visible from Maimun Palace gate. It’s a 111 years old mosque which is be a memory of Deli Sultanate greatness. According to story, Sultan wanted to build a mosque more beautiful than the palace where he lived as a service for religion. So the palace and mosque are an architectural package which were planned by Sultan Deli which you must visit when you are in Medan.

Impatient steps made me sweaty panting and my back was increasingly achy because burdened by a backpack which even I have carried for 4 hours since leave Kualanamu International Airport.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight….Oh, eight facets“, I murmured in heart when I got around outside of the oldest mosque in Medan. The main dome with dark color is surrounded by three twin domes. A unique form and rarely found in any mosque.

Sultan Ma’mun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alam needed for 3 years for finishing the building.

Dhuhr azan reprimanded me for immediately turning off the camera and purifying myself with wudu (ablution) in a separate building at east of mosque.

Wudu (ablution) place.

After put my shoes, I walked on a rubber track into mosque’s worship room. I was looking around and admiring mosque’s interior which is very charming.

Able to accommodate 1,500 worshipers at a time.

Eight buffer pillars are coated by marble which was imported from Itali by the architect – Mr. Tingdeman -. Combined with the elegance of a chandelier from France which its form like a reverse birthday cake. Then walls on every sides consist of doors with Spanish arch style and are completed with large stained glass from China. Then islamic nuances of Taj Mahal are represented on wall motifs and pulpit (minbar) carvings….AMAZING.

Al Mashun Grand Mosque dome are black from outside.

After Dhuhr prayer, I watched an Aussie tour group who visited the mosque using hijab which were provided by the mosque. They looked fascinated when entering mosque’s door.

Some mosque worshipers were seen heading to tombs on west side and made a pilgrimage to Sultan tombs. Al Mashun Grand Mosque looked solemn inside and outside.

Do you know the meaning of word “Al Mashun”…. “maintained” is the meaning of its name.

Pedestrian bridge which its shape is influenced by mosque architecture.

I tried to approach Sisingamangaraja street to enjoy the mosque from a distance. Its beauty increasingly become when I observed it from pedestrian bridge

Madani Hotel is in across of the mosque. See!. It have a dome too….Beautiful.

See Al Mashun Grand Mosque situation here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGM70L6JeaQ

That was my adventure in Medan’s second destination….Come with me again to another good destination !.

Golden Yellow of Maimun Palace

Call his name as Yunus, a young man with a Malay face with his confidence patting my shoulder from behind. My focus to snapping the palace image from the best position finally faded.

Yunus: “Can you take photo of me, brother?”

Me: “Oh, okay. Don’t stand there…. stand in the middle! “, I directed his position like a professional photographer.

He just came from Pangkalan Brandan to try his fortune in Medan after passing a vocational school with its majoring in Automotive Engineering. He want to work in automotive workshop. He was so fascinated by my appearance so he guessed me as a reporter with a camera which he thought expensive. Even though……Hahaha

Take my photo, boy!“, I said. “Oh okay, smile, smile“, Yusuf managed…. Snap…. Am I similar to a reporter?

Our small talk was resolved when my steps were leading to a separate building at left of the palace. I looked inside, there was a cannon with a broken end. That is the “Buntung/Puntung” Cannon. Amazing, that cannon piece fell as far as 75 km at south of the palace because of cannon’s heat which was continuously fired.

It is said that this cannon was the incarnation of Putri Hijau (Green Princess) when Deli Sultanate was attacked by a king from Aceh who was angry because his marriage proposal was rejected.

“Dee Eerste Steen Van Dit Gebouw

Is Celeco Op Den

26 Augustus 1888

Door Z. H. Den Sultan Van Deli

Mahmoed El Rasjid Perkasa Alamsja

I read with lips curve which is similar to dutch accent at the base of front pillar just before climbing the white gray stairs.

Fixing my backpack in preparation for whole palace exploration then was continued with buying an entrance ticket for USD 3.7 at the top of stairs. Then my steps began to tread palace floor.

King and Queen chairs.

Yellow color palace door which are so numerous, adopt an European style which is combined with green dominant shutters and arches at the top with Indian Mughal architecture, were the first scene which I remember.

Great wedding altar in golden yellow.

Then “the yellow and the green” are combined with “the red” as a signify that this palace clearly belongs to whole Malay nation. Yellow represents wisdom, green represents Islam and red represents tradition colors.

Lamp ornaments above the height of palace ceiling.

So many faces of Deli Sultanate family are introduced to public through classic photographs which are neatly arranged and tightly attached to wooden walls of the palace.

As a result, I was stunned by the beautiful face of Yang Mulia Raja Noorsida who is wife of Seripaduka Sultan Osman Al Sani Perkasa Alam.

Photo of Sultan Deli who rules today: Seripaduka Baginda Tuanku Sultan Mahmud Arya Lamanjiji Perkasa Alam Shah.

In some corners, I diligently watched several weapons which are left by Sultan, such as Bentara Kris (Keris Bentara), Tumbok Dagger (Tumbok Lada), Cenderahati Kris (Keris Cenderahati). Also some musical instruments, jewelry, ceramic plates and Sultan’s clothes.

Deli Sultanate spears.

More noon, more visitors enlivened the whole palace. Many people were willing to queue for wearing Malay traditional clothes and pose in king and queen’s chairs. Students didn’t hesitate to sit on palace floor and listening to teacher’s explanation which loudly tell some stories until his jugular veins appeared.

Malay traditional clothes rental.

My visitation to Maimun Palace really left a deep impression because this was the first time I visited a palace on Sumatra island.

See you again, the magnificent and modest palace.

See the Maimun Palace situation here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzCzrdsv978

Come on….See next creations of Deli Sultanate !…. Al Mashun Grand mosque. It’s not far …