My second stop was berastagi. as amentioned i took a shared taxi from Parapat to berastagi for rp 120,000. Though there are cheaper options you can do with a combination of public transports like angkot and buses, trust me, spending a few bucks more, will save you a lot of time and energy (especially if you're lugging around a 15kg backpack).
I met the guy who sold the ticket in the ferry to pelabuhan tiga raja, he took me there with two other backpackers and dropped me of at wisma sibayak. As mentioned, they always overcharge tourists. while internet reviews mentioned rooms start from rp 60,000, the lady said the cheapest was
rp 150,000. (no hot shower eh...) that was enough to get me going. I ended up at Losmen Sibayak for pretty much the same price, rp 150,000. but i bargained it down to rp 125,000 ( cause the bathroom light did not work ).
The bus station isn't too far from the hotel. You can walk up there and take an angkot for rp 5000 to terminal sepadan at kabanjahe. and from there take another angkot for rp7000 to simpang Si Tunggaling. and from there, You'd have to take a becak for rp 10,000 to the waterfall. i paid for it on my own, so even if you're sharing the becak with a friend, you'd only have to pay rp 10,000 (going dutch on transport saves much ion the long run).
I reached Si piso piso at about four something, climbed all the down to the base and made it back up by close to six.. two words- KILLER STEPS.... going down was easy, but climbing back up was harder (was bent over like an old lady most of the way). but the view was definitely worth the climb, it was real beautiful, the pic below does no justice!. Even standing there, taking pics, i could feel water spray all over .
The next day, i ended up hiking sibayak i paid rp250,000 for a guide at losmen sibayak, it's only
rp 200,000... always do your resarch and never ask for the price... they always overcharge... !!.. and they'd probably tell you it's dangerous to do the hike alone, honestly it didn't even take an hour to reach the crater from the base, and it was a fairly good climb on a well-paved trail, you DON'T need a guide, and can definitely do it on your own. If you go in the morning, there are tons of local students whom you can follow along . But i had no regrets taking the guide as he brought me all the way up to the base by transport (bike-rp 5000 parking fees). pics shown below:-
Just climb all the way to the peak you see in the pic on top to get a breath taking view of berastagi and the villages below.
i forgot the guide's name but he was absolutely humorous and fun... he did most the talking, (which was good cause i'm failure at small talks)...after the hike, he took me around berastagi and the villages below...we reached the hostel by 11 something. I left wondering around looking for food. whatever you do, please never buy any drink called alpoket... it tastes like blended chinese mustard greens. i had to force myself to gulp it down. And you certainly need to try fresh markisa drink or markisa shake if they have any on the menu...love the drink!. tastes citric.
I had the whole day to myself after the hike so i went around the fruit market... not too far...you can walk there from losmen sibayak. Strawberries are oh so cheap, only 10,000rp for 100 grams...(purchase at the stall that's right in front don't go into the market) that's like rm3.00.... i ended up buying markisa, telon fruit, manggis and strawberries and muched on those for luch. At night, went around food hunting (sooo my thing)... i don't really like the indonesian food when it comes to curries and all, but their bakso, was darn good! gotta try it.
and thus, the next day, i left for medan on an angkot from berastagi, you can ask around and walk to where the angkot leaves for medan. if you're carrying a backpack, you would need to put it on top of the angkot, but i paid for two seats, so i had a fairly comfortable journey without worries of my backpack being drenched in the sudden downpour. i left in the morning, about nine, so reached medan by 12 something, prayed zohor and asr jamak at terminal pinang baris, and took a bus to banda acheh from the rp 180,000... you can get it for a lesser price if you took it from somewhere ... can remember (just cross the road and ask around the shopkeepers)... but i was plainly tired, so i settled for it. It was a good bus though, with wifi, blanket and a real comfortable seat (huge!)... had no qualms on that... took the bus at four something and reached medan by Fajr next morning around five something.
BTW... try not to stop over at terminal pinang baris, as i have been warned countless times after that that the place is full of pick pockets and robbers... just be very careful! that and Amplas Terminal... the place looks kinda dead too.