Indonesia (Part 1)

12 Dec

Finally, some time to write about our trip.

We flew AirAsia out of Melbourne. Seriously cheap. The cost of the taxi from our home to the airport was more expensive than the cost of one ticket from Melbourne – KL.

I was worried that low cost would mean low quality, but we had no problems at check in, no problems with late flights or lost bags and the service on the plane was fine. There was also no problem with S’s walker and wheelchair, although we know next time to inform check in staff in Melbourne that we need to borrow a wheelchair to meet us off the plane in KL as it’s quite a walk to where you collect the baggage.

Having 3 restless children on an 8 hour flight was quite a challenge, but we can’t blame AirAsia for that ;-).

We arrived in Medan, Sumatra where my in-laws live at 9pm at night. It wasn’t the heat that reminded me most that we were back in Indonesia, it was the smell and haze of clove ‘kretek’ cigarettes in the arrival hall and the lack of haste on the part of the immigration staff.

We spent our first 2 nights at the Aryaduta hotel in Medan. A seriously gorgeous hotel that takes up the top 3 floors of one of the many shopping mall complexes in downtown Medan. I so wish this hotel had existed when I lived in Medan 10 years ago. A beautiful pool, a fabulous restaurant and being up so high, there was no sound of the traffic or chaos of the streets below. The view over the city was great. S, who is always  particularly curious about how many levels a building has, was excited to be staying on the 11th floor. M loved the lifts. They both loved the all you can eat buffet breakfast :-).

And again, it was cheap. The cost of our 2 nights there including incredible buffet breakfasts and one amazing buffet lunch was also less than the price of our taxi to the airport in Melbourne.

I liked the free wireless Internet and the fact that sitting by the pool, we could almost imagine were were in a hotel near the beach in Bali.

I’ll be honest and say that 2 nights of luxury hotel life were not enough for me. It’s been a big year, an exhausting year and I was tired, am STILL tired. I could have happily stayed in the hotel for a week and fully recharged my batteries.

But alas, the trip was all about visiting family, so on the third day we left the hotel and traveled about an hour out of the city to the village where my husband grew up.

It’s a beautiful village alongside a river, with limited vehicle access, beautiful tropical fruit trees galore (rambutan, papaya, bananas and more) and an incredibly friendly community.

We arrived after dark and it was pouring rain. But still, we received a great welcome with everyone smiling and laughing, carrying large umbrellas and helping us carry our bags through the puddles and into our little Indonesian home.

And so the second part of our adventure began.

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6 Responses to “Indonesia (Part 1)”

  1. ALison December 12, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Can’t wait to hear part 2…

  2. bron December 12, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Di, I want to come next time!

    I know it’s super exhausting but the memories are so worth it :)

    Next time while on the flight to KL just inform the cabin crew and they will either get the wheelchair/walker/pram from the cargo hold ( if that is infact where they put it!)- you just hang out on the tarmac for a few minutes. Or they can radio down to the ground and get a big persons old wheelchair for you. ( Malaysia infact Melbourne too do not have little peoples chairs !)

    That said we had the same issue this time from Coolangatta and just had to carry Cooper which is hard work after 8 hours flight and everyone is tired xx

    looking forward to part 2….

  3. Sarah December 13, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    Sounds great!

  4. Belinda December 13, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    Part 1 was great, Bring on Part 2!!!! xxxxx.

  5. suealeen December 15, 2010 at 1:25 am #

    Di, wow! You’re that close to KL. We’re just around the corner. Maybe next time we can visit each other, huh?

  6. n0thingbuteverything December 21, 2010 at 7:32 am #

    Thanks for that advice Bron. We were expecting the wheelchair to be waiting for us on arrival as it usually is with Malaysian Airlines (and as it was on all the other legs of our flights except for arrival in Melbourne). We’ll be better prepared next time. It was a long walk!

    And Suealeen, we did spend a night in KL, but kids were still not well and we weren’t probably great company. We definitely should try and catch up next time.

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