Saturday, 6 August 2016

Nuffnang SG x Garuda Indonesia Fam Trip!

I flew to Medan a couple of months back!
This was made possible by Nuffnang as well as the people from Garuda Indonesia and Ministry of Tourism Indonesia! :)

Garuda Indonesia is Indonesia's national carrier.
They have undergone a remarkable transformation to refresh their new fleet of aircraft.
In addition, they also have a fresh corporate identity now!

I have heard of Garuda Indonesia previously, but what I did not know was they were awarded
a five-star rating by Skytrax, making it the seventh airline in the world to earn this prestigious award.

 Garuda Indonesia also won themselves the ‘World's Best Airline Cabin Staff’ in 2014 and 2015! They won it yet again this year, making it the third consecutive win! Garuda Indonesia was also awarded ‘World’s Best Economy Class’ in 2013 and ‘World's Best Regional Airline’ in 2012 by Skytrax World Airline Awards!

Garuda Indonesia currently operates over 95 weekly direct flights to 6 destinations - Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya,  London (Heathrow) and Amsterdam. Medan is the latest addition!

Of course, they had a celebration since it was their first flight from Singapore to Medan! :)
We were warmly welcomed by their stewardess who were dressed in beautiful Batik uniforms!

We were then surprised by a group of young dancers!
They definitely lifted up the spirits that morning with their energy!

We were also treated by a sumptuous spread after their performance!
It was about 8 that morning but our eyes were all wide open when this spread greeted us! 

Took a photo of the chef who created this dish!
This dish symbolises success!

Travel mates for the trip. :)
They really made the trip enjoyable!

Off we went!

We flew to Medan in their new fleet of ATR 72-600 plane.
The new fleet comes equipped with modern technology and is capable of efficient operations.  This  aircraft is the best in its class to serve short distance routes between the islands and cities in Indonesia!

The flight was a short one, just approx an hour!

First meal upon landing - Ayam Penyet!
We were fed fully before we adjourned to Niagara Hotel via a 5 hours bus ride.

Pit stop along the way and I spotted this abandoned looking setup in monochrome!
Kinda matched my flight outfit so I took the chance to snap my ootd! :p

Finally reached the hotel when the sun set and we were all so tired!
Had a quick meal and we went to bed thereafter to prepare ourselves for the next day's activity!

The next morning, we started the day at 8am and headed to the pier for our Samosir Tour.
We were headed for Tomok Village, where we will get to see the ancient tomb of King Sidabutar.
The ferry ride was just under an hour and we arrived at Tomok Jetty.
See the "HORAS" word at the back?
In Medan, Horas is commonly said and heard as it means Hello in the traditional Batak language!
The small streets leading to where we were heading to.

And we are here at the King's Tombstone.
Legend has it that King Sidabutar was the first man to set foot on Samosir Island, hence this makes it an attraction at Tomok. 

Before entering, we were all given a piece of Batak traditional cloth called ulos.
 After entering, we saw the King's Tombstone. At his side, you will his bodyguard's tomb.
If you place close attention, you will realize the King's tomb carving resembles a face.
The face at the front belongs to the King, and there was a lady at the other side.
It was said to be the woman he had loved for many years.

We then took the ferry back to the pier, where we were headed for lunch!

This is a typical sight at our meals.
We had meat, fish and vegetables every meal!

After lunch, we were headed for some sightseeing!
Here's Lake Toba. It is the largest volcanic lake in the world!
It covers an area of 1707 sq km, making it bigger than Singapore!
When we first learnt this, we were all going wowwww.
Singapore is only 707 sq km so imagine how huge Lake Toba is!
While we were traveling around, we basically saw Lake Toba at almost every corner!

This was such a scenic view!
Twist to new friendships forged. ;)

We also had our tea break at a local restaurant nearby and this banana fritter was soooo good.
Loved it so much I had more than 2 servings!

Adjourned to Sipisopiso Waterfall which is situated at the end of Lake Toba.
Sipisopiso Waterfall is 120m tall, making it the tallest waterfall in Indonesia!
We also learnt that the water actually flows to a small village, before it flows back to Lake Toba, interesting.

Outfit photo taken at Sipisopiso Waterfall.

Bag: TCL Rayle Sling Bag

We ended the night with a bonfire at Simalem Resort.
Simalem Resort is located right in front of Lake Toba and we had a scenic view!

Check out the stunning view - Sunrise the next morning!
I was too tired to wake up for this (it was at 5am!) and I was feeling a little regretful when they sent me this photo, haha. I am sure it looks even more magnificent in real life!

We then headed to the Central Fruit Market where we saw fresh fruits, flowers, horses and even rabbits!

Next stop, Lumbini Natural Park.
Lumbini Natural Park is a buddhist temple with a golden exterior.
I must say it looks really grand.

Also known as a replica of Shwedagon Pagoda, the temple was nothing short of stunning.

Outfit for the day:

Checked in to Aston Hotel, located in the city of Medan.

This was my favorite accomodation in the trip and I will be sure to shortlist this hotel should I return in future!

Toliet selfie(s). :p

TCL ootd again.
The pants are really comfy btw, so comfy you can sleep in them!

It was a short stay but I enjoyed the comfort and service of this hotel so much!

The reason why we were at this hotel was because we had a Business Matching with the rest of the people involved! This gave us reason to dress up! ;)

Ended the night with a heart to heart talk with the girls and we were up at 3am!

We headed for Nias, located at the South of Indonesia again by Garuda Indonesia's ATR 72-600 plane!

I was really tired and knocked out the entire flight!

We were all craving for Indonesia Mee Goreng, how can we not when we are in Indonesia right?
Of cos we had to eat the authentic one!
Really hats off to the MOT team, they actually found one for us while we were driving to the accommodation! The store was along a roadside and looked really traditional, haha.
Glad to say we loved it! :)

After lunch, we were brought to this place known as the Jumping Stone.
It is one of Nias's traditions where boys had to jump over a 6 feet stone to prove their manhood.
Hence, this became a virility rutal for the boys!

We don't get to see such things often enough and it was quite a priceless experience! :)

We then explored the place a little!

Found a rustic looking house and we started taking photos.
The villagers were so friendly and kept urging us to take more photos! :)


Nias Island is also known for surfing activities in case you didn't know!
We saw a couple of surfers!

We had some time left, so we chilled and watched the sea, enjoying the sea breeze. :)

The next morning saw us back at Medan!
Though we loved all the meals we had, this really made us all happy!

At our last attraction before we checked into our hotel for the night!

Before that, we went to la Maison for macarons! 
These are highly recommended by the locals and you HAVE TO visit them if you're there!

They surely didn't disappoint! 

They have some pretty interesting flavours like watermelon, the one on the left!
The macarons weren't too sweet and i really loved them! :)

On the way to dinner, in TCL of course! :)

Top: TCL Finder Basic Tee

Checked out the next day, it was time to go home.
Albeit sad that all the fun has come to an end, I was looking forward to home after being away for almost a week! 

Thank you Nuffnang Singapore, Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia and Garuda Indonesia having us!

There is current promotion for Economy class! :)
Get an All-In-Promotional Fare
to Medan at only SGD 248.
All you have to do is quote #GarudafliestoMedan when making a reservation at
Promo is valid from now till end Nov 2016.
*Fares subject to changes due to the fluctuation of taxes. Terms and conditions apply.

Just for laughs.
I was tying my laces and realized this looked pretty much like a scene from DOTS?

Hope you guys had a good read! :)
Goodbye, Medan!