With excitement we would like to announce the launch of Crossing Bridges 15, North Sumatra, Indonesia, August 18 – 24, 2018.
Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago country. With a total of 17,504 islands in various sizes, Indonesia has 5 main islands: Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi and Papua. Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, is located in Java, the smallest out of five main islands, yet the most densely populated. The island of Sumatra, the third biggest island in Indonesia, is a 473,481 km2 elongated land mass which stretches at the most western part of Indonesia. Being the 6th largest island in the world, Sumatra has a rich biodiversity which includes several dozens of endemic plants and animals. Sumatra is further divided into 10 administration provinces, being one of them, North Sumatra.
North Sumatra is the home of Lake Toba, the biggest volcanic lake in the world. Lake Toba is the result of a massive supervolcanic eruption which occured around 69,000 to 77,000 years ago, the largest-known explosive eruption on Earth in the last 25 million years. The eruption caused global temperature decrease thus resulted in global volcanic winter that lasted ten years long. In the middle of Toba Lake lies the Samosir Island. At 640 km2 wide, it is the fifth largest island lake in the world. A narrow isthmus at the western part of Samosir connects the island to the Sumatra mainland. Tele, the area which the isthmus to Lake Toba is located, with its renowned Tele Tower, offers one of the best views of Lake Toba and Samosir Island. The Crossing Bridges 15 venues will focus around the Lake Toba, Samosir Island and the surrounding vicinity areas.
The Batak ethnic tribe is the native inhabitants of North Sumatra and Samosir Island. It is believed that their settlements started around 2,500 years ago. Being one of the oldest ancient cultures in Indonesia, Batak culture is also one of the most complex. Ancestries are very well documented with their Marga, the Bataknese patrilineal family lineage system. Batak people are known to produce highly skilled crafts, such as fabric weaving (known as Ulos) and wooden carvings. We will have the chance to visit a few numbers of traditional villages and see the villagers perform their daily activities, including Ulos weaving process using traditional looms. Tor-tor is a traditional Bataknese dance which emphasizes on community and friendship. There will be fun and games and group competitions involving the Tor-tor dance.
Adding to the long list of unique Indonesian cuisine, Batak cuisine is rich in spices and has a character of its own. Andaliman is a unique native Batak spice (known also as Batak pepper) that is widely used in Batak dishes such as saksang (braised spiced meat), arsik (spiced fish), gomak noodles, etc. North Sumatra is famous as one of the producers of the finest coffees in the world. Due to its rich volcanic soil and many high altitude areas, it is the ideal place for growing Arabica coffees. Sidikalang, Lintong and Mandailing are a few examples of coffee types produced in North Sumatra that are widely exported around the world. Traditional coffee shops (or in Indonesian: warung kopi) that serve various kinds of North Sumatran coffees are commonly seen anywhere around the region.
Planned itinerary for Crossing Bridges 15, North Sumatra, August 18 – 24, 2018 (subject to change when necessary)
Day 1, August 18, 2018 (Medan):
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- Pick up at Kualanamu Airport, Medan
- Opening ceremony and dinner
Day 2, August 19, 2018:
- Gundaling Hill landscape
- Sinabung Mountain View
- Brastagi traditional fruit market
- Sipiso-piso Waterfall
Day 3, August 20, 2018:
- Tele Point View at sunrise
- Huta Bolon Batak Museum
- Batu Hoda beach
- Lumban Suhi-suhi traditional ulos weaving
- Parbaba white sand beach at sunset
Day 4, August 21, 2018:
- Balige traditional market
- Andaliman Pizza
- Huta Ginjang landscape
- Parapat beach
Day 5, August 22, 2018:
- Beta Hills at sunrise
- Simanindo Harbour
- Simarjarunjung landscape
- Sidamanik Tea Plantation
- Dinner and durian party
Day 6, August 23, 2018:
- Pajak Horas traditional market
- Pematang Siantar old train station
- Anugrah traditional ulos factory
- Massa Kok Tong coffee shop
- Tebing Tinggi lemang making (traditional rice cake)
August 17th is Indonesia’s Independence Day. The annual celebration takes place all over the country. For participants who are interested in coming a few days earlier, this is a good chance to capture the nationwide celebration. Traditional games, rituals and performances are commonly held throughout the whole day, as it will also be a national holiday.
Additional 3 days 2 nights sidetrip will also be available. Planned route will be from Medan to the Leuser National Park where the Sumatran elephant sanctuary is located. Details will be revealed later as we progressed.
Single occupancy is available for additional cost. However, due to the limited hotel availability in the Silalahi area, there will be one night where 1 room must be shared with 3 people. However, the view surrounding the hotel is so beautiful you might want to spend the night outside the room instead.
Meeting and pick up point will be in Kualanamu Airport, Medan, North Sumatra. Pickups will be available starting from 16 – 18 of August before opening ceremony. Drop-offs to Kualanamu Airport will be available on August 24. Several airlines serve direct flights to Medan from Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bali.
Please contact your country leader for further details regarding registrations.
See you in North Sumatra!
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