Berastagi, Sumatra

Berastagi is often used as a retreat away from medan. You can reach Berastagi from the outskirts of medan by a short 2 hour bus journey up the volcanic hills to an elevation of about 1300m.
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The mountain village of Berastagi is centred around the green fields of Karo Highlands and its abundant supply of fruit, vegetable and flowers in particular passion fruit. The climate and location makes this area perfect for agriculture. The fertile soils from the surrounding active volcanoes (Mount Sibayak and Mount Sinabung) as well as the cool climate and low rainfall.

The wholesale market, which is located just outside the main hub, is used to buy food for export to neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. Here bags and bags of vegetables are sold on mass. But smaller quantities of similar ingredients can be brought in the Central market.

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Most people come to Berastagi to do a daily treck the volcanoes, which can only really be done with a guide. At the moment Mount Sinabung has a warning so cant can be climbed. If long days of walking aren’t your thing, we were told to head to Gunaling Hill, a 45 minute walk from town. This rises above the surrounding area to provide some spectacular views of these two volcanoes.

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As tourism isn’t big in Berastagi, western food isn’t really found, except at minimarts. However to eat out, Indonesian warungs and street food stalls are dotted up the main stretch selling fried rice, noodles or fried bananas. On the other hand, being a dominant Christian community, you should take advantage of the pork (Babi) sold in restaurants- called B2. The whole part of the pig is used in the dish, the meat (sometimes offal) and fat is barbecued, the bones are used to make a stock and the blood is used in a spicy sauce….real head to toe cooking! But make sure you don’t go into B1 restaurants as this is dog meat!!

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